Regional Consortiums: The Northwest Experience


This paper deals with the different roles and services of the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium (NWACC) and the NorthWest Higher Education and Technologies (NW-HEAT). NWACC, which emerged out of a regional network effort, serves a diverse audience of colleges and universities, working with a formal structure, bylaws, dues, and steering committees. NWACC offers its members workshops on key issues, consortial pricing, and Internet2 representation, and also sponsors a collaboratory project. NW-HEAT arose to serve a group of small colleges and operates in an informal, collaborative manner. NW-HEAT offers individual computing staff opportunities to meet and discuss common problems, brainstorm solutions, and present a stronger presence to others than individual members can do on their own. This paper discusses how to start a consortium, degree of formality and structure, methods of communication, accomplishments to date, and future plans for collaboration between the groups.

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