The formal launch of Unizin begins an exciting new chapter for Digital Education and a path for universities to shape our future. We have been fortunate to be among the many who have shaped the ideas that form Unizin, and our institutions are among the earliest universities to join. Our goals and purpose in endorsing Unizin are simple: As professors and members of the academy, we want to support faculty and universities by ensuring that universities and their faculty stay in control of the content, data, relationships, and reputations that we create. As we look at the rapidly emerging infrastructure that enables digital learning, we want to bias things in the direction of open standards, interoperability, and scale. Unizin is about tipping the table in favor of the academy by collectively owning (buying, developing, and connecting) the essential infrastructure that enables digital learning on our campuses and beyond.
Over two years ago, Brad Wheeler, Indiana University Professor and Chief Information Officer, wrote to his colleagues about the future of digital learning in higher education and how universities can pave a path toward scaling learning and teaching beyond a single institution. In his closing remarks, he posited a potential path forward where universities can ”sew together a set of content, distribution and analytics capabilities via strong contracts with a range of potential players.”
Fast forward fifteen months, when I received an email asking if I would meet with James Hilton, Dean of Libraries and Vice Provost for Digital Educational Initiatives at University of Michigan, and Brad about “a new venture”. Immediately, I knew that this venture was going to be something very profound and I was not disappointed.
Unizin Membership Expands to Include University of Iowa, Ohio State, and Penn State
EMERYVILLE, Calif., Dec. 18, 2014—Unizin is proud to welcome the University of Iowa, The Ohio State University and The Pennsylvania State University as founding members. Unizin is a university-owned and directed consortium that provides standards-based Digital Education infrastructure for its members.
Oregon State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of Minnesota Join Unizin
EMERYVILLE, Calif. – Unizin, a university-owned and directed consortium that provides standards-based Digital Education infrastructure for its members, announced today that Oregon State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of Minnesota are now members of Unizin. “That three more world-class institutions joined Unizin further validates our strategy and gives us the momentum to have greater impact on teaching and learning,” said Amin Qazi, Chief Executive Officer of Unizin. “The participation of these institutions will greatly extend our reach and strengthen the services Unizin provides to its members.”
University Consortium Partners with Blackboard and Instructure to Pilot Course Content Services
EMERYVILLE, Calif. – Unizin, a university-owned and directed consortium that provides standards-based Digital Education infrastructure for its members, announced that it is working with Blackboard and Instructure to connect their content platforms with the Unizin Content Relay. “These connections to the Unizin Content Relay are the first realization of Unizin’s strategy of leveraging loosely coupled systems”, said Unizin’s CEO Amin Qazi. “Institutions and their faculty will be empowered to work with content from multiple platforms, and this moves us significantly closer to that vision.” Both products provide standards-based content storing, sharing, and discovery services that will connect with the Unizin Content Relay including forthcoming connections for Open Educational Resources.
Unizin Board of Directors selects Qazi to lead consortium for advanced digital education
EMERYVILLE, Calif.—July 22, 2014—The Unizin consortium announced today that its Board of Directors has selected Amin Qazi to serve as the company’s founding chief executive officer and a member of the Board of Directors effective immediately. Mr. Qazi brings over a decade of relevant experience to his new role having previously filled executive roles at both universities and as a management consultant.
The technology that supports teaching and learning is increasingly more like plumbing (the basic infrastructure that both enables and constrains) than like a shiny, eye-catching plumbing fixture. More important, this infrastructure is as critical to the future of residential and online education as bricks and mortar have been to our past. We ignore this technology, this infrastructure, at our own peril. Enter Unizin.