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JAM 2024 Recapped: A Trip Back to the Future

June 5, 2024   |  
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This year, 1500+ members of the Jenzabar community from 300+ institutions battled the elements and the airports to arrive in Dallas, TX for JAM 2024. Featuring 300+ sessions, community conversations, and the launch of Jenzabar Workflow, JAM 2024 was one for the books. For those who couldn’t join us this year, we’re recapping some of JAM 2024’s highlights below!

CEO Bob Maginn, COO Sam Burgio, and the Rest of the Jenzabar Leadership Team Took Us Back to the Future

The implicit theme of this year’s JAM was “Back to the Future.” In his energetic keynote address, newly returned CEO Bob Maginn reminded us of what “the future” looked like in 2016, when JAM was last in Dallas. Bob also peeked into the next few years, revealing the potential role for artificial intelligence in higher education, and reflecting on how fast technology is changing the world. Higher education needs to keep up, Bob suggested, or—better yet—get ahead of the curve.  

The keynote concluded with visionary author and futurist Tom Koulopoulos, who followed up on the “back to the future” theme by examining just how fast technology is shifting. Using the past to hypothesize about the future, Koulopoulos turned his attention to higher ed, suggesting that AI and behavioral analytics are going to help institutions better understand student needs as well as give schools the means to help students personalize and shape a unique higher education journey—one that would maximize their return on investment.  

Jenzabar Workflow is Designed to Connect Your Campus and Improve Efficiency

This year’s JAM also saw the introduction of Jenzabar’s latest solution: Jenzabar Workflow. If demo turnouts were anything to go by, Jenzabar Workflow is a must-have for institutions. Designed specifically for higher education, Jenzabar Workflow is pre-integrated with Jenzabar One and enables institutions to break down departmental silos and automate previously manual tasks. By enabling staff to collaborate across departments, Jenzabar Workflow improves efficiency, increases engagement, and delivers better student and staff experiences.  

You can learn more about Jenzabar Workflow here. 

Plenary Takeaway: If You're Not Collaborating, You Need to Start

On Friday’s plenary session, Jenzabar’s Vice President of Services Robert Wheeler sat down with representatives from Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, North Central Texas College, and Bushnell University to discover how colleges of all sizes are breaking down the barriers between IT and other departments on campus. The conversation opened with some collaboration best practices, including interdepartmental meetings, IT check-ins with module managers, and open-door walk-in policies. The panel also discussed the role technology is playing in facilitating communication and collaboration, the steps each campus took when adopting new technologies and processes, and how each institution is promoting a culture of innovation. 

When asked how they recommended other institutions collaborate post-JAM, the panelists from Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College recommended taking lessons learned from JAM and sharing them with colleagues who were unable to attend. North Central Texas College panelists suggested reaching out to a colleague with whom you haven’t communicated recently. And the panelists from Bushnell recommended leaving the office to physically visit other departments around campus.

Community Conversations Continue to Break Down Pressing Industry Topics

JAM 2023 saw the introduction of our community conversations, which centered around popular topics in higher education like women in leadership, student success, and the state of financial aid. For a second year in a row, these sections were incredibly popular, with most rooms filling up and some even spilling out into the halls. We’ll be relaying some of these conversations in upcoming blogs, and we hope, as the year progresses, you will continue these robust conversations with us!   

We can’t wait to see everyone at JAM 2025 in Nashville!  

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