Thursday Updates

Welcome to Day 2 of UNC CAUSE 2016! We hope the conference has started well for all of you and you are already learning new things, meeting new people, and building relationships with like-minded individuals. Please remember to complete the session feedback survey for each session you attend. Your feedback allows us to continue to improve UNC CAUSE each year.


We had numerous folks sign up for unconference sessions. All of these will be held in the unconference room and have been updated on the online schedule and we’ve included the list below.

8:30am – Staff and Faculty (Re)Training – “Fill in the cracks”
10:30am – Shibboleth 3 and Dealing with Multi-SSO
11:30am – IT Accessibility
1:45pm – Managing Apple Devices Without Touching Them
4:15pm – Project Management

Schedule Updates

As mentioned yesterday, due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Andrew, there have been several presentations that have been cancelled, resulting in items shifting around. Please check the online schedule for the most up-to-date schedule of sessions.

Thursday Evening Social

Tonight’s evening social will be held at the Millenium Center beginning at 6:00pm. Please join us for dinner, drinks, music, and dancing! All made possible by our generous vendors.

Thank our Vendors, Get Coffee!

As mentioned yesterday, please take time to visit our vendors, learn more about what they have to offer your campus and say thanks for their support of this year’s conference. Coffee and water are available in the vendor room all day and all breaks will be held in South Main Hall as well.

If you have any questions, please stop by the registration table or contact us via social media or online. Remember to use the hashtag #unccause to tag your posts in social media!

Introducing SIGs and the SIG Toolkit

It’s CAUSE week! With just 42 hours until the Vendor Room opens and the conference gets rolling, we’d like to share some information about SIGs, the SIGs that will be represented in Winston-Salem, and how to start a new SIG.

What’s a SIG?

SIG is short for Special Interest Group. These groups are comprised of individuals from UNC CAUSE member institutions that share a common interest around a topic or technology that is prevalent across institutions. Organizing around that interest, SIGs offer us an opportunity to:

  • foster cross institutional relationships
  • provide communication avenues for common topics or technology
  • provide continuity and opportunities for collaboration during the year
  • provide more timely opportunities for working groups
  • provide opportunities for knowledge sharing

Each SIG is what its members make of it—whether that’s a robust problem-solving group that holds marathon code-writing sessions, or just a resource for asking and answering questions when you need a few tips.

You can learn more about SIGs at

More Than a Conference

Our theme this year is “More than a conference,” because the conversation doesn’t have to stop when you leave the Benton Convention Center on Friday. The UNC CAUSE organization is excited to offer SIGs support and funding for stand-alone events dedicated to your SIG’s area of interest, plus:

  • a website in the UNC CAUSE WordPress multi-site environment
  • use of common Google tools (email, groups, calendars, etc.) through the UNC CAUSE Google Apps instance
  • access to the UNC CAUSE MailChimp account for broadcast emails
  • use of event planning tools through the UNC CAUSE account
  • use of UNC CAUSE-owned resources (projectors, easels, lanyards, etc.)
  • access to conference planning services from the Conference and Camp Services group at Appalachian State University

SIGs at UNC CAUSE 2016

This year, we have nine SIGs holding kickoff sessions in Winston-Salem, organizing around the following topics:

As in BOF sessions in previous years, your SIG session is an opportunity to have a free-form conversation about your subject area. But this year, each SIG session has one or more facilitators who have agreed to lead a conversation about formally organizing your group into a recognized SIG.

Starting a New SIG

If you’ve got an area of interest that you know others in the UNC system share, you can start your own SIG! We’ve assembled some resources to help you get started:

Conference co-chair Jen McFarland and conference program chair/official “SIG Ambassador” Jason Maners will be leading a 20-minute lightning session Friday morning to introduce these resources, answer questions, and help you get started building your SIG.

We look forward to seeing you in Winston-Salem! Happy conference week!

Program News

Our call for proposals wrapped up last week (July 25th) and we’re happy to report we had a lot of interest — we received more than 100 proposals for this year’s event!

The CAUSE 2016 Program Committee is already hard at work reviewing the submissions. Our goal is to select the proposals and set the schedule, hopefully in the next week. Once we notify the speakers and get responses from the bulk of them we’ll release the schedule. Our goal for that announcement is Monday, August 15th.

Thanks very much to all of you who have submitted proposals this year! We couldn’t do this without you and we’re so excited about the range of topics for this year. Check back with us in a few weeks and start picking your favorite sessions!