Last month, the formation meeting of the European Campus Card User Group was held in Ireland at the Waterford Institute of Technology. The inaugural conference and expo drew 200 attendees from 60 campuses across 17 European countries. It also drew upon the expertise of the U.S. campus card community. Many of the conference presenters were from U.S. campuses and card providers—many of whom you have likely heard present at association and conference sessions closer to home.
Many areas of card technology look to Europe for leadership for both technical and operational deployments. In higher education, however, the U.S. clearly leads the world. This is likely a credit to the early recognition on our campuses that operations must function as business units and that our students are our customers and deserving of the highest quality service.
Our card programs are doing more with a single piece of plastic and are viewed as the model for this technology. Too often, we lose site of our successes focusing instead on the applications we have not yet been able to deliver. While this constant drive keeps us striving for better and better service, it is important every now and then to take a moment and pat yourself—and your staff—on the back. Then get back to work.
As for our new card colleagues in Europe, we should wish them the best and provide them any support we can so that they might learn from our experiences. They, in turn, will help us to make our programs better in the future.