The State University of New York (SUNY), with its sixty-four campuses scattered throughout the state, brings educational opportunity within commuting distance of virtually every resident of New York. It is the nation's largest comprehensive system of public higher education. Accomplishing and maintaining the high level of teaching, research, and service that the state of New York has asked its public university to provide presents a host of technology challenges. SUNY's technology professionals have learned that key to successfully meeting these challenges are collaboration and sharing amongst themselves and with their technology partners. The annual SUNY Technology Conference is the foremost forum at which SUNY's technology communities join together to grow as professionals, to learn about advances in the marketplace, and to discuss approaches for addressing common issues.
The Computing Officers Association (COA), the Telecommunications Officers Association (TOA) and the Educational Technology Officers Association (EdTOA) of SUNY convene this annual conference. These organizations consist of computing professionals, educators, telecommunication professionals, and media specialists from SUNY. The institutions represented include SUNY System Administration, four major university centers, nine other doctoral granting institutions, thirteen university colleges, eight technology colleges and thirty community colleges. Together they serve over 413,000 students.
SUNY technology has been built on the concepts of openness, community and sharing. For the past thirty years, SUNY campuses have worked together to build on the strength that comes from cooperation and collaboration. This belief in solving problems and meeting challenges collectively has resulted in historic multi-campus procurements and the development of major member cooperatives including the Information Technology Exchange Center (ITEC), the Center for Professional Development, and the Student Information & Campus Administrative Systems Center (SICAS). The free sharing of campus expertise has been invaluable in the University's technological evolution; on-loan campus data and telecommunication specialists were critical participants in the design and creation of the initial, award winning implementation of SUNYNet, the University's first high speed network. SUNY in 1980 developed a comprehensive Administrative Business ERP System and in the spirit of today's Open Source concept, offered its source code and the right to its use to any interested New York State entity. This early ERP implementation went on to become the basis for some commercial solutions on the market today.
The SUNY Technology Conference was built on this tradition with computing, media and telecommunication professionals acting as an open source community - sharing ideas, searching for solutions and evaluating emerging technologies that will continue the expansion of SUNY's use of technology.