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Customer Stories

How Dropbox helps multi-campus Arizona State operate as one university


Published on September 03, 2015

Spread across five palm-dotted campuses in the Phoenix area, Arizona State University strives to provide quality programs and operate as “one university in many places.” To help faculty and staff deliver on this mission, the largest public university in the US recently recruited some assistance: Dropbox.

With the cloud-based collaboration network, Sun Devil employees will now be able to easily access and share files on the Tempe, Arizona campus — and around the globe — on any platform and any device. “With Dropbox, our reach becomes as immediate and broad as the Internet,” says Gordon Wishon, Chief Information Officer with ASU’s University Technology Office. “An ASU curriculum specialist working in Singapore can develop and upload a shared graduate curriculum and connect with an educator teaching in Paris, an administrator in China, and IT support in Tempe.”

ASU has long pioneered the use of technology in education to help prepare its students for the future. The university ranks second on US News & World Report’s list of most innovative schools for its strides in areas like online education and using computers as interactive learning devices. But the university realized it needed to be just as rigorous about upgrading technology in the workplace as it had been in the classroom.

Faculty members collaborating with colleagues on research projects across campuses and with other institutions occasionally struggled with email file-size restrictions. And staff working on academic planning documents have sometimes resorted to trading thumb drives back and forth — not ideal for maintaining version control.

ASU decided to make the switch to the enterprise version of Dropbox after learning that many members of the university community already had personal Dropbox accounts. This wide use allowed easy adoption and provided the benefits of business collaboration tools and security features. By the end of the fall session, ASU’s more than 10,000-strong faculty and staff will use Dropbox to get key work done. “Incorporating this enterprise collaboration system means boosting efficiency, speed, access, data sharing, and the quality of our academic, research, and administrative operations,” Wishon says.

Given the rapid pace of innovation in the education sector, we’re excited to announce that Jason Katcher is joining Dropbox as our Head of Education to help schools like ASU take advantage of the latest collaboration solutions. Jason is a longtime leader in education and technology, and joins us after 10 years in similar roles at Google, where he most recently led the Google Apps for Education and Chromebook efforts across the Americas. Based out of our New York City office, Jason is looking forward to working closely with the growing list of educational institutions running on Dropbox — from ASU to California State University-Fullerton, University of Oklahoma, and MIT.

Welcome ASU and Jason to Dropbox!