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Rowan University: Grass Roots Collaboration

Founded in 1923, Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, has become a comprehensive institution offering 80 undergraduate majors, 55 master’s degree programs and a doctoral program in educational leadership to over 11,000 students, and has created a collaborative, learning-centered environment. To that end, Vincent Surace, Facilities and Operations Coordinator, is putting their AxisTVdigital signage system to use. “It started in the Chamberlain Student Center and now is spreading across campus. When someone wants to display something, they make the bulletin or video themselves, schedule it, and then submit it to us. We review it, make sure it follows the policies, and then publish it to the system.” The policies are readily available on the student center’s website, and signing up to use AxisTV on campus is a simple process.

The digital signage software system is in its second year at Rowan. “It’s something we’d always wanted,” says Surace. “We were just sick of all the flyers.” After a year spent researching different digital signage solution, he chose AxisTV. “The fact that it wouldn’t be a full-time job was an important factor. Once you’re set up, it’s all web based so anybody can do it.” The deployment continues to grow. “About 80 clubs and associations are using it now.” The Chamberlain Student center has two LCD displays and has even repurposed an old unused television as a display. Other displays are at Memorial Hall, the Campbell Library, Savitz Hall, and the Recreation Center. “The IT guys even built some channel players from scratch,” says Surace.

While individual groups are responsible for their specific content, Surace makes sure the overall look is consistent. “We challenge ourselves to do something different all the time. Every month we change the layouts and backgrounds so the content remains fresh.” How are people handling creating their own content? When a new user signs up, Surace and his team have an orientation with the person or group. “People are intimidated at first, but then I show them how it works and they see it’s just as easy as uploading a picture to Facebook.” The expanding deployment means that more people can get the message. “It’s one click and every building has it instantly.”

He’s also pleased that they have finally gotten rid of those flyers. “It really cleans up your building, and this in a time when people are going green and using less paper.” He keeps an old bulletin board around to show people how things used to be. “I tell them, ‘Find some information on this.’ Then I show them the displays, and they see how much better this way is.”