Introduction

Introduction

Mark Sheehan (Montana State University, USA) and Ali Jafari (IUPUI, USA)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 5
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-108-7.ch001
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Abstract

This is a book about Internet portals in higher education. It grew out of the editors’ sense that the application of portal technologies to college and university needs is a much broader topic than can be addressed in a brief article or conference presentation. Portals present unique strategic challenges in the academic environment. Their conceptualization and design requires the input of campus constituents who seldom interact and whose interests are often opposite. The implementation of a portal requires a coordination of applications and databases controlled by different campus units at a level that may never before have been attempted at the institution. Building a portal is as much about constructing intra-campus bridges as it is about user interfaces and content. Richard Katz (2000) sums it up concisely: “A portal strategy is difficult and perilous because many on campus are weary and suspicious of another new enterprise-wide information technology initiative, and because portals, by definition require across-the-institution agreements on approach and design that are hard to achieve in loosely coupled organizations like academic institutions.”

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