Study: Higher Education Leaders See Security as Top Priority in Effort to Create a Connected Campus

ITHACA, N.Y. – August 2, 2023 – A new study commissioned by CBORD, a leading provider of technology solutions for higher education, found that top institutional leaders are increasingly focused on improving both physical and network security, reflecting ongoing increases in school-focused violence and in cyberattacks on school computer networks. The result is an increased investment in automation and mobile systems that some see as essential for long-term survival. 

The CBORD Insights™ Student Experience Survey* compiled responses from hundreds of students and leaders at higher education institutions across the country. The findings provide insight into the connected campus of the future, where an integrated automated environment will efficiently meet the needs of a security-conscious population. Additionally, the survey illustrates how automation and analytics are reshaping the higher education landscape. 

The findings reflect recent concern for cyber threats to college campuses. In May of 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a notification informing colleges and universities that sensitive login credentials had been found for sale online, potentially leading to subsequent cyberattacks against the schools. In addition, the ever-present threat of on-campus violence has institutional leaders looking toward technologies to better track and inform students of potential harm. 

“Enhancing on-campus security has been identified as a top priority for school leaders in the next two to three years,” said Dan Park, chief executive officer of CBORD. “Many are exploring the deployment of advanced mobile technology to improve students’ physical and cybersecurity.” 

According to the research, nearly two-thirds of top higher education decision-makers felt that threats to physical and network security were among their top priorities for the near future. Vulnerability to cyberattacks has prompted many institutions to migrate infrastructure to security providers with the highest protection metrics. Likewise, many schools are updating their access control systems to more accurately monitor use of student IDs across campus. Door prop alerts and remote door locking controls are also seeing increased adoption. 

“Student safety and the security of networks have taken on a new dimension with the escalating threats,” said Mike Henderson of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. “Our students are transacting all across campus, using their campus cards or mobile credentials to access buildings, shop for supplies, and order food from on- and off-campus vendors. As they move about their day, we can effectively monitor transactions and safety.” 

The study finds that nearly half of college leaders have plans to invest in automation over the next two years to address ongoing staffing concerns and create new revenue streams for their institutions. Moreover, labor shortages remain a top concern for institutional leaders across higher education as they plan for smaller class sizes beginning in 2025. Rounding out this list of challenges, nearly half of higher education leaders have plans to invest in systems to improve security on their campus. 

For a detailed analysis of the entire survey results and to access more CBORD Insights on higher education, please visit CBORD’s website: 


Conducted for CBORD by KS&R, a market research firm, in February and March 2023. Respondents included top-level, multi-site decision-makers, departmental leaders (primarily in business operations, dining and culinary services, enterprise systems and support, purchasing and procurement, and facilities), and students. More than half of the responding students were attending undergraduate programs (55%), while roughly a quarter were attending junior or community colleges (27%) or graduate programs (23%). Nearly two-thirds of responding students (64%) were living off-campus, while the others (36%) were on-campus. 

*CBORD Insights™ Student Experience Survey, February 2023. N=179 C-suite/VP-level administrators in public and private universities with undergraduate and graduate programs and N=101 student respondents. 


CBORD is a leading provider of software that connects foodservice, commerce and housing systems across higher education, healthcare, senior living and business campuses. Guided by customer-centric development and support, CBORD solutions are used by more than 10,000 organizations in the U.S. and across the world. CBORD operates as a unit of Roper Technologies, Inc. (ROP), a diversified technology company with annual revenues of $5.4 billion and member of the S&P 500 and Fortune 1000. To learn more about CBORD’s solutions, visit 

About KS&R 

KS&R is a nationally recognized strategic consultancy and marketing research firm that provides clients with timely, fact-based insights and actionable solutions through industry-centered expertise. Specializing in Business Services, Entercom & Recreation, Healthcare, Retail & E-Commerce, Technology, and Transportation & Logistics verticals, KS&R empowers companies globally to make smarter business decisions. For more information, please visit 

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Contact: Bennett Kleinberg,, 917-416-4012