CampusWorks & Higher Education

a Quarter Century of Impact

Thought Leadership

Reflections on a Quarter Century of Impact in Higher Education 

Since its founding in 1999, CampusWorks has embarked on an extraordinary journey, marked by an unwavering commitment to listening, learning, and leadership. This journey has established CampusWorks as both a trusted advisor to leaders in higher education and a driving force for organizational transformation. 

Our rich history is defined by resilience, adaptability, and significant impact on the institutions we partner with. And who better to tell it than the people who make CampusWorks what it is? As we commemorate our 25th anniversary, we seize this moment to look back on key milestones, challenges overcome, contributions to our clients, and our broader influence on higher education. 


Milestone Moments 

2021: CampusWorks Earns Great Place to Work Certification® 

 “I’ve watched CampusWorks achieve many growth milestones, but the most meaningful has been earning Great Place to Work Certification®. We first became a Great Place to Work in 2021, and we recently learned that we were re-certified for the fourth year in a row. As a rapidly growing virtual organization with team members located across the United States and Canada, this is a powerful testament to our people-first culture — and it’s been an invaluable recruiting advantage. “  

– Cris Lloyd, Executive Director, Human Resources  


Innovation and Transformation 

2022: Reorganizing for the Future 

In June 2022, CampusWorks’ leadership restructured the organization. Often, when people hear the word “restructure,” they equate it with people getting fired and it leading to an environment that is rife with animosity and low morale. However, this was not the case with CampusWorks’ restructuring. What I admired most about this transformative period was that the executive team was clear and transparent about why we were restructuring, how it was going to get done, how it would improve company productivity, and ultimately, how it would further improve service delivery to our clients. 

This experience showed me that CampusWorks’ leadership cherishes its personnel and how a well-thought-out plan would prove to continue fostering a sense of appreciation for the great work that is done daily. I took the opportunity to step into one of the newly developed roles that resulted from the restructuring, and I can speak firsthand about the detailed planning that went into ensuring clients were well cared for during the transition. That care and attention resulted in increased client satisfaction, stronger relationships with current clients, and an optimized structure for serving future clients.  

– Andre Richburg, Senior Optimization Executive
(Andre is currently pursuing his Ed.D. in Higher Education Policy and Administration and will be CampusWorks’ cherished Dr. Richburg in May 2024!) 


Challenges and Resilience  

2020: Navigating a Global Pandemic  

Amidst the solitude brought on by a global pandemic at the beginning of 2020, the freshly launched project of revitalizing Aims Community College’s digital presence was my sole focus—a challenge not just of technical skill but of vision, facilitated by the unwavering support of CampusWorks. This project, monumental in both scope and significance, was not just about building a website. It was about creating a portal that reflected the resilience, adaptability, and forward-thinking ethos of the educational community we served.  

CampusWorks was the backbone of this endeavor, providing not just the resources but the encouragement and support that transformed this challenge into opportunity. CampusWorks commitment to fostering innovation and excellence in higher education resonated with each aspect of the project. It was their support that allowed my team and I to push boundaries, ensuring that the website was not just functional but a best-in-class product.  

The journey to reimagine Aims Community College’s website was a testament to the collaborative spirit that defines CampusWorks. The company provided assets and solutions as needs arose and worked in the background to continue the project as other institutions pulled back on initiatives during the uncertainty of the pandemic.  

This project was more than a testament to our technical abilities; it reflected CampusWorks’ mission to transform higher education through technology and collaboration. It underscored the power of partnership in overcoming obstacles and achieving greatness, marking a significant milestone in our continued journey to elevate and enhance the student experience.  

– Hunter Wilson, Senior Optimization Executive 


Personal Growth and Contributions 

2018: Expanding Online Learning to Reach Education Deserts 

In my time with CampusWorks, I have experienced significant professional and personal growth, particularly in deepening my understanding and involvement in the complex realm of higher education. This journey illuminated the intricate challenges faced by educational institutions and the vital role of thoughtful, tailored solutions in overcoming these challenges. CampusWorks excels in distilling complex problems into actionable, impactful solutions, a skill I have honed and embraced. 

A prime example of my growth aligning with meaningful organizational impact is our project with Rio Salado College, which not only expanded my expertise but also profoundly influenced the college’s trajectory. Rio Salado College, primarily serving the Phoenix area, aimed to extend its reach to students living in “education deserts” across the United States. These areas, characterized by limited access to higher education, presented a unique and significant challenge. 

Our collaboration with Rio Salado was geared towards harnessing their online education capabilities to transcend geographical limitations. The goal was to democratize education, making it accessible to a broader audience, particularly those in educationally underserved regions. The success of this initiative was marked by a remarkable overall enrollment increase of 13%, a testament to the efficacy of the strategies developed and executed by my colleague, project lead Vanessa Whaley, and the potential of online education in bridging educational gaps. 

This project not only contributed to the college’s growth but also resonated deeply with CampusWorks’ mission of empowering educational institutions. It stands as a testament to the impact of combining expert knowledge with a commitment to educational accessibility, reflecting both my personal growth and our collective success in making a meaningful difference in the landscape of higher education.  

– Dan Silverburg, Sr. Optimization Executive 


2023: Moving the Needle for Information Technology 

I joined the Campus Works team as a chief information officer in 2023, after a 20+ year career in higher education. Under the leadership of CampusWorks’ CEO, Liz Murphy, I have been given the opportunity to positively impact client organizations in ways that I would never have expected.  

Working with my first client as a CampusWorks CIO, I was able to draw upon years of IT leadership experience to provide day-to-day tactical and technical leadership of a college’s IT department while resetting the culture and improving communication.  

Thanks to the trust placed in me by CampusWorks’ leadership team, I was successful in developing and maintaining collaborative relationships with the college’s internal leaders and the leadership of key vendor partners — both of whom played a critical role in the effective management of technology initiatives that were planned in that organization. I had the autonomy to draw upon my skillsets and experience to quickly implement two student services applications that the organization had purchased as part of their IT strategic plan 

After the eight-month engagement concluded, the college’s Executive Cabinet was very grateful to CampusWorks and acknowledged that the IT staff and I had successfully moved the IT strategic plan forward and created a culture of customer service excellence that remains in place at that organization today. 

– David Rosenthal, Chief Information Officer 


Looking Forward  

Keep an Eye on the Kids 

One thing I’ve learned in my 30+ years in higher education is that it is always good to keep an eye on kids ages 17-19 to find out what drives them. Until recently, I volunteered as an activity coordinator at a church for young women and young men, and I always asked them, “What drives your innovations? Where are you planning to go to college and why?” Their insights and feedback have long inspired my work. 

Colleges today need to cater to students, fully leveraging the Communication Management tools within their ERP systems, to help them feel special. They need to reward students when their academic progress is positive and on program, so students want to stay and complete their education. Simple things like sending positive reinforcement messages (“Great Job!!”) or rewarding them with a free sandwich at the school deli. If they complete two semesters like this, give them something else. Today’s kids live on power-ups. So do the people that work for them. 

These days, students frequently change their mind about their education paths. So being able to leverage a tool like Degree Audit is important as well. Giving students the ability to solve “What if?” on their own is vital. What if I were in Computer Science instead of Mathematics? What would I still have to take? And how long will it take me? What would my next couple of years look like? They are simple questions, but students need to have the means to get that information easily. These are the types of opportunities we look for with every client at CampusWorks.  

– Patricia Yue, Senior Colleague Finance Consultant  


CampusWorks: 2049 

What will our observations be 25 years from now — on CampusWorks’ 50th anniversary? 

Fifty years ago, CampusWorks embarked on a journey. Sparked by frustration with the way information technology services were delivered to American colleges, CampusWorks leaders decided on a novel approach—listening to customers. Listening to customers with all their idiosyncrasies. Listening to customers with their tenuous grasp of the technologies they hoped would help them run their operations. Listening to customers with their passion for their college’s students and their certainty that the way they did things was the best—or even the only—way possible. 

Listening, learning, restating, listening again, learning again, and then guiding and energizing as the customers redefined themselves, their ways of working, and their systems to make them work better—better for their students, better for their colleges, better for themselves.  

The magic of a CampusWorks engagement has progressed with technology but remains grounded in humanity—making CampusWorks the leading professional services company for those who educate and serve the world’s students, no matter who they are, no matter where they are, no matter what they seek to learn. 

Guided always by its commitment to what is best—truly best—for its clients, CampusWorks is a professional services provider like no other. CampusWorks has helped make campuses and schools happy and their students successful for half a century. 

– Liz Murphy, CEO 


Final Thoughts 

Over the past twenty-five years, CampusWorks has transcended its role as a professional services organization to become a partner in progress for educational institutions across the United States and Canada. The insights and innovations shared by our team members not only highlight the company’s unwavering commitment to enhancing the student experience but also underscore the transformative power of collaboration, technological advancement, and strategic innovation in higher education.  

As we look to the future, our legacy of impactful solutions, personal growth opportunities, and a relentless pursuit of excellence continues to serve as a guiding light for the next generation of challenges and opportunities. Our team members’ reflections are a testament to the enduring values and visionary leadership that define CampusWorks, illustrating a path forward that is rich with potential for continued innovation, growth, and positive impact on the world of education. 

Company History Timeline

Founding Year

Fred Gross and Larry Schoenberg have an idea for a higher education technology consulting company. Together, they launch CampusWorks. The original CampusWorks team consisted of 16 people, primarily providing interim technology leadership services to community colleges. During that first year, CampusWorks had seven clients and operated out of founder Fred Gross’ home.

Expansion into Canada

The company’s reach expands into Canada when Lethbridge College in Alberta becomes a client.

First Leased Office Space

CampusWorks opens its first leased office space at 330 South Pineapple Avenue in Sarasota, Florida.

New Office

CampusWorks’ growth prompts the company to relocate to a new office space at 126 South Osprey Avenue in Sarasota, Florida.

Working Remote

With team members and clients located across the United States and Canada, CampusWorks’ leadership decides to become a virtual organization to reduce the company’s impact on the environment and improve operational efficiency.

First System Client

CampusWorks signs its first state system client, Nevada Higher Education System. Since that first contract, we’ve gone on to work with additional state systems, including Minnesota, University System of New Hampshire, Vermont State Colleges, New Mexico Community College System, North Carolina Community College System, Virginia Community College System, Alabama Community College System, Oregon Community College System, and Universities of Wisconsin.

First R1 University Client

CampusWorks signs its first research-1 (R1) university client, Penn State University.


CampusWorks helps Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) become the first Canadian institution to issue academic credentials to graduating students through Blockchain technology.

Leadership Change

Liz Murphy announces her retirement and Mahendran Jawaharlal steps in as CampusWorks’ new CEO. Liz continues to serve as board chair.

Giving Back

CampusWorks celebrates its 20th Anniversary by donating $2,000 scholarships to 20 different colleges and universities across the United States and Canada, providing a total of $40,000 in financial support for students in need.

Book Club

CampusWorks launches its first book club, meeting monthly to discuss best-selling business books. Christie Lindor, author of The MECE Muse, led the club’s July meeting.

Employee Milestone

The CampusWorks team reaches 100 employees.

Great Place to Work-Certified™

CampusWorks becomes a Great Place to Work-Certified™ company, a designation earned based on employee feedback. This achievement earned CampusWorks a spot on Fortune‘s list of Best Small and Medium Workplacesas well as Great Place to Work’s list of Best Workplaces in Consulting & Professional Services.


Growth Milestone

CampusWorks has a record-setting year, exceeding its revenue goal.


CampusWorks celebrates its first annual Impact Weekend, GivingWorks. This philanthropic initiative provided CampusWorks’ employees with a half day of professional development and enabled them to deliver over $33,000 in donations to 27 non-profit organizations while volunteering their service in their local communities, creating a nationwide ripple of impact.

Added Leadership & Capacity

CampusWorks’ Executive Advisory Board expands its capacity to provide executive advisory services under the leadership of Dr. Joseph Rossmeier, vice president of advisory services.

25 Years

CampusWorks celebrates 25 years of creating happy campuses at hundreds of colleges and universities across the United States and Canada. The company has grown to more than 240 employees, with almost as many contractors for the greatest depth and breadth of higher ed knowledge to support your success.