Information Technology Plan
The Information Technology Plan focuses on the use of information technology in support of teaching, learning and administrative support services. Technology has become an integral part of teaching, learning, research and most administrative support services. IT provides an infrastructure for interaction, investigation and collaboration. Information Technology can be a transformative agent that not only enhances traditional modes of teaching and learning, but also enables new methods of teaching and learning.
Technology has the potential to facilitate and enable change across the University and help the University achieve its goals. In 2009-2010, the University increased the network bandwidth and added high-speed connections to both Madison and Green Bay, giving the University the reliability and access to network resources needed to support teaching, learning and administrative support services for the foreseeable future. In 2010-2011, significant technology investments are being made to provide technology in the new academic building, continued expansion of wireless network services and improved delivery of internal business services with the creation of a campus-wide Intranet project.
Technology is a key factor in engaged learning. IT assists students and faculty with tools, such as Web-based course management (Desire2Learn), classroom response systems (clickers), digitizing course materials for use with iPods or similar devices, campus simulation and research technology.
Key accomplishments for 2010-2011 include the following:
- Began implementation of Intranet project focusing on providing electronic workflows for University business process leveraging our open-source Plone content management system
- Established cross-departmental Secure Storage of Sensitive Data Working Group to recommend best-practices, policies and tools to protect sensitive data.
- Websence Web proxy system was implemented to prevent viruses which may compromise our data from infecting on campus computers.
- Upgraded hardware infrastructure and completed major version upgrade of PeopleSoft Student Information System on schedule.
- Transitioned network file storage from Novell to Titanfiles for students and Windows File Sharing for most staff and departments.
- Completed Windows 7 and Office 2007 upgrades campus-wide.
- Upgraded general computer access labs with Faronics insight to give instructors better control of class activities and tPharos Omega Terminals and TitanCard readers to make it quicker and easier for students to release print jobs.
- Added Collaborate Web Conference and D2L ePortfolio software to suite of tools available for online instruction and enhancement of traditional courses.
- Added thirty new technology-enhanced classrooms in Sage Hall and enhanced two older classrooms to full technology rooms.
Key goals for 2011-2012 include the following:
- Upgrade to Sun Convergence for mail, calendar, tasks and address book.
- Participate in developing University-wide procedures and standards for development and review of online and hybrid courses.
- Implement additional security tools and procedures to prevent compromise of sensitive data on University servers and desktop and portable computers.
- Plan and begin development on a system to schedule and approve events and facilities and publish calendars which users can filter by type of event.
- Automate desktop deployment and management, working toward remote management of all desktops.
- Complete installation of technology classrooms.
- Develop plan for ePortfolio implementation and integration into General Education Reform Plan.
IT strives to be internal consultants to and partners with college offices, departments and individuals on campus in evaluating, planning and implementing technology that assists in developing solutions to challenges faced by the campus community.
Major challenges in 2011-2012 include the following:
- A projected budget lapse will make the replacement of outdated computers and data projectors and the creation of new technology classrooms a challenge to fund.
- The increasing sophistication of malicious software and the insidious methods used to infect campus computers from remote Internet locations are a significant challenge for protecting sensitive data stored on University computers.
- Retaining highly skilled information technology professionals will be an increasing challenge because of a lack of compensation increases and active recruiting by private sector companies.
- A major long-term challenge is completing the fault-tolerant campus network design that requires the construction of a small data center in the basement of Polk library to house critical equipment that is automatically activated when primary network connections or equipment fail.