UMassOnline Wins 2008 Public Sector Technology Leadership Award : Other Public Sector Finalists in the Mass Technology Council Award Program included the City of Boston, BostonFIRST, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center UMassOnline Recognized for Leadership and Excellence in Business and Technology

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UMassOnline Chief Executive Officer David Gray announced today that UMassOnline has been named this year’s winner of the Mass Technology Leadership Council’s Technology Leadership Award among public sector organizations. This coveted recognition, which was announced at the Council’s 11th Annual awards event on October 23 in Boston, honors the region’s leading public sector organization for excellence in business and technology. Other finalists competing for top honors this year included the City of Boston, BostonFIRST, and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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We at UMassOnline are extremely honored by this tribute in recognition of our leading innovations and implementations in state-of-the-art technology in the online learning space

According to the Mass Technology Leadership Council, the 2008 Mass Technology Leadership Awards program spotlights the companies, people, and technologies that exemplify the best and the brightest in the Massachusetts technology community. The awards are the first and only awards to equally recognize outstanding achievement in the development and implementation of technology. In 2008, the Council received over 160 nominations. A select group of industry leaders and influencers in the Massachusetts technology community serve on the Awards Selection Committee.

"We at UMassOnline are extremely honored by this tribute in recognition of our leading innovations and implementations in state-of-the-art technology in the online learning space," said David Gray, who also serves as the Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Information Services for the University of Massachusetts. "The proper, appropriate, powerful, and useful application of contemporary technology by UMassOnline is, after academic excellence and programming, the most important element in the delivery of a great education to our distance learners."

In 2008, UMassOnline extended its market share leadership among all public and private institutions of higher learning in New England on the strength its innovation, adoption, adaptation, and packaging of online technology. In addition to the application of technology to enhance the distance learning and teaching experience, UMassOnline in 2008 also significantly evolved its marketing and support strategies to parallel the demands, interests and preferences of a 24x7, worldwide constituency that sees the Internet as their mainstream source of news, information, entertainment, and community.

Innovations in web conferencing, advances in digital repository options, a first-of-its-kind 24x7 online support service, a streamlining of our own online presence to achieve a new standard in search engine optimization, the development of an online social media community for the open discussion of issues and ideas among students, faculty and staff… these and literally dozens of other technology-driven enhancements in 2008 have all contributed to accelerating UMassOnline's growth, visibility, reputation, and global reach. This year, in fact, these attributes and UMassOnline's proven technology capabilities led to a groundbreaking agreement with China that positions UMass to become the first foreign university approved to provide online education in China.

So powerful and reliable is UMassOnline's technology and delivery platform that the organization now provides hosting services to 12 other Massachusetts-based public and private institutions of higher learning now using UMassOnline's technology infrastructure in the delivery of their own courseware online.

"In short, UMassOnline's innovative implementation of online technology for learning and teaching enables two significant outcomes that principally inform our mission," said Gray. "UMassOnline brings the University of Massachusetts' premium educational services, optimized and enriched for online consumption, to a world of adult learners increasingly eager for the opportunity to gain the knowledge and prestige associated with a leading American university system; and two, in return, UMassOnline delivers to the University of Massachusetts campuses a new revenue stream -- $36.9 Million in FY08 – unencumbered by the customary investments in plant and equipment that would otherwise be associated with an enrollment and revenue growth of this magnitude within the traditional campus setting. UMassOnline achieves a worldwide virtual campus for the University of Massachusetts; it brings to Massachusetts and UMass a world class student body with ties to the State and the institution that could only be achieved for them with the online opportunity."

UMassOnline's enrollment in fiscal year 2008, during which it provided grants totaling some $300,000 for new program development by UMass faculty, grew two and a half times faster than the national average for online enrollments.

About UMassOnline

UMassOnline, the online learning consortium of the University of Massachusetts, provides the highest quality education offered by the UMass system in a flexible, online format enabling students, professionals, and lifelong learners to take courses anywhere, anytime. With 80 undergraduate and graduate degree, certificate and professional development programs and more than 1,500 courses, UMassOnline offers one of the largest accredited online programs available. Programs span the disciplines for which the University is best known: liberal arts, education, management, nursing, public health, information technology, and other disciplines. For more about UMassOnline, go to http://www.umassonline.net or visit our blog at http://www.umassonlineblog.com.

About The Mass Technology Council:

Formed by the powerful combination of Mass Software Council and New England Business and Technology Association, Inc., the Mass technology Council is dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and promoting the success of companies that develop and deploy technology across industry sectors. The Mass Technology Leadership Council accomplishes its mission by conducting educational programs and hosting signature events, facilitating networking between industry executives and potential partners, investors, and customers, sponsoring research on the industry, engaging in activities to enhance the quality and quantity of the next generation of technology professionals, advocating in favor of technology policies that promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and recognizing industry-leading companies and people.

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