CCA (Cisco Clean Access) if implemented well is a very useful tool. We mainly enforced it on the dorm networks since most students never update their computers, or when they call and ask about problems they lie and say they are updated. We're all human and lie to the tech or whoever is on the phone so we can get our issues resolved. CCA can do alot of the update work for you as far as getting those updates out and such. Sure the student still has to do some work but if they ignore it, off goes their internet.
I concur with the Blackboard nay sayers, although I never had direct issues with the package it was very unwieldy and I knew plenty of folks who had issues with it.
Back to the poster, you would have to give a little more background into what your current strategy/setup is. Are you wanting to work on remote/distance classwork? Is the campus wanting to go wireless? Are you using only windows and want to explore other options? Linux is nice but if it doesn't have a nice desktop and user friendly environment then there's no point in using it for someone walking into the lab wanting to write a paper. With that said some linux installs are perfect for that, most people wouldn't even know the difference unless they asked where the Windows XP logo went to.
If you're looking at going forward options, then you need to lay down what the current issues are with the current infrastructure. Some universities have made mistakes with setups that others have done superb jobs with. Using CCA to require downloads but not making those downloads available on local servers seemed to me like a bad implementation of the utility. Granted the infrastructure might not have been in place to support internal traffic and large amounts of storage, they shouldn't have half assed it.
What it comes down to is money. When I was working at the help desk, we had a new Director of IT get hired. He got turned the help desk into a student repair center and got us new PCs with dual monitors, which really does help when troubleshooting some stuff while working on a machine. Not one year later he was gone. He seemed to have shaken too many trees and in reality, spent money, which I guess was a ghastly thing to behold.
So keep that in mind when coming up with ideas, if you're going to spend money be ready to show some possible positive impacts from the spending.