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CMUG Position Paper

A Position Paper for the Deans' Group Revised August 1, 1995


Since 1990, UW System has provided each campus with annual Classroom Modernization funds (approximately $130,000 for UW Oshkosh). The purpose of the Classroom Modernization program is to improve the instructional climate in classrooms by providing support technology for learning. At UW Oshkosh these funds have purchased a wide range of technologies, from basic overhead projectors and VCRs to moveable computer projection systems. As more and more faculty seek to incorporate technology into their instruction, interest in the Classroom Modernization process has grown.

When the Classroom Modernization program was established in 1990, the decision was made at UW Oshkosh to assign responsibility for coordinating and administering the program to the Administrative Services division. At many other UW campuses, overall responsibility for Classroom Modernization was assigned to Academic Affairs, with specific responsibility in turn assigned to the campus Educational or Instructional Media unit. This pattern developed because these Media units have the responsibility to deliver, repair, and maintain equipment purchased with Classroom Modernization funds. As evidence of this relationship, the UW System Classroom Modernization Coordinator attends all statewide meetings of the Educational Media Council (EMC) to update campus media representatives on all aspects of the Classroom Modernization program.

Soon after Classroom Modernization was established, in order to increase faculty input into Classroom Modernization planning, the staff member in Administrative Services charged with coordinating Classroom Modernization at UWO dated an ad hoc "Classroom Modernization Task Force." This group over the years has made important contributions. However, its ad hoc nature, irregular meeting schedule, and limited campus-wide communication have prevented a campus consensus on Classroom Modernization.

Until 199495, the Deans' involvement in Classroom Modernization was limited to reviewing a "final list" of projects at the very end of the process. This year, the Classroom Modernization process was modified and the Deans assigned a more central role. Class Mod proposals were developed by faculty and staff in the Colleges and Libraries & Learning Resources, then collectively ranked by the Deans. At the same time, the ad hoc Task Force submitted a second set of proposals, some overlapping and some modifying those advanced by the Deans. As a result, the final prioritizing of proposals was confused and difficult.

UW Oshkosh addresses another UW System-provided technology fund-General Access Computing (GAC)-in a manner that provides an effective model for Classroom Modernization.

This Position Paper recommends that the process used to develop, prioritize, and finalize GAC proposals be adapted and applied to Classroom Modernization as well.


Responsibility for GAC planning is assigned to the Information Systems and Technologies division. A formal advisory committee, the Academic Computing Users Group (ACUG), prepares and prioritizes GAC proposals.

Classroom Modernization should be handled in a similar fashion. For this to occur, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Responsibility for Classroom Modernization should formally be assigned to Academic Affairs.
  2. Within Academic Affairs, Libraries & Learning Resources (specifically its Learning Technologies division) should be assigned responsibility to facilitate the on-campus Classroom Modernization process. When these responsibilities have been determined, the current ad hoc Classroom Modernization Task Force should be replaced by a formal Classroom Modernization Users Group (CMUG).
  3. The CMUG's mission will be to advise the Deans and Provost on academic topics related to classroom instructional technologies, including equipment and facilities implementation. Specifically, the CMUG will develop and prioritize all Classroom Modernization proposals. The CMUG may also be asked to develop long-range Classroom Modernization plans. UW System will be establishing a System Review Committee this Fall, to re-examine the Classroom Modernization, Laboratory Modernization, and General Access Computing programs. The CMUG would be the natural vehicle for UW Oshkosh input into this review process.
  4. The CMUG's voting membership will be:
    2 faculty or instructional academic staff from COBA
    2 faculty or instructional academic staff from COEHS
    2 faculty or instructional academic staff from CON
    4 faculty or instructional academic staff from COLS
    1 representative from Libraries & Learning Resources
    1 representative from Information Systems & Technologies
    1 representative from Facilities Management
    1 representative from the Provost's office
    2 students Faculty or instructional academic staff will be appointed by the Deans. Student representatives will be selected by OSA. Terms will be staggered to provide continuity. In one year, the two students will represent two of the four Colleges; in the next year, the student representatives will represent the other two Colleges.
  5. In addition to these voting members, the Associate Director of Learning Technologies will be a non-voting member. The Associate Director of Learning Technologies will chair CMUG meetings.
  6. The CMUG will determine its meeting schedule. Agendas, minutes, and other materials will be distributed not only to CMUG members but to anyone who wishes to receive them.
  7. Acting when a quorum of voting members is present, the CMUG may pass by majority vote recommendations on issues within its purview, as well as resolutions supporting a position on issues relating to classroom instructional technology. These recommendations and resolutions are advisory to the Deans and the Provost.
  8. While formal recommendations of the CMUG will be made by the official voting members, anyone can attend and participate in CMUG meetings.
  9. The Associate Director of Learning Technologies will communicate recommendations of the CMUG, including the formal Classroom Modernization proposals, to the Deans Group and Provost for review and action.
  10. For purposes of continuity, the University's Grants Administrator will continue during this transition year as the University's official liaison with UW System regarding Classroom Modernization, and will forward the University's final Classroom Modernization proposals to UW System.
  11. After Classroom Modernization proposals have been approved by UW System, L&LR's Learning Technologies division will order, install, and maintain all equipment acquired through the Classroom Modernization program.


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