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. Initiatives are taking place to more efficiently and securely deliver IT services. Multi year investments are being made in providing secure network capability to match increasing demand for both on-campus wireless access and our campus-edge connection to the internet and in improving the flexibility and reliability of our data infrastructure.

Technology is a key factor in engaged learning. IT assists students and faculty with tools such technology-enhanced classrooms, web-based course management (Desire2Learn), classroom response systems (clickers), lecture capture, research and presentation technologies.

Accomplishments

Key accomplishments for 2012-2013 include the following:

  • Transitioned to Footprints help desk software and expanded application to other areas of IT.
  •  Implemented Palo Alto Firewall to extended virus and malware protection to wireless networks, enabled state-of-the art protection for better flexibility of restrictions, and increase campus bandwidth to 1 Gigabyte per second.
  • Conducted pilot project and faculty orientations for integration of ePortfolio in the University Studies Program.
  • Updated and improved campus wireless access, installing about 200 access points in South Scott, Reeve and Polk.
  • Joined InCommon consortium to simplify authentication to IT services from third party vendors.
  • Participated in UW System pilot of Rich Media Management system.
  • Intranet Project implemented workflow-enhanced forms replacing paper form processes.
  • Added applications to Google Apps which increased the availability of simple desktop videoconferencing, and added other specialized tools.
  • Planned and hosted Midwest Plone Symposium.
  • Reviewed IT Intern program to set standards for training, evaluation, and advancement.
  • Participated in studies by the Educational Advisory Board and external IT consultants.
  • Formed Automation and Integration team to make improvements to campus hardware and software deployment, including creation of an imaging lab.
  • Relocated server staff to be in closer proximity of the data center.
  • Improved automation in Financial Aid to reduce staff time needed to process student applications.
  • The secure storage group (Security advisory group) has completed a presentation for business offices, and has presented to two areas already.
  • Creation of the data security web pages
  • Began Identity Finder project, piloting the identification of where sensitive data is stored.

Goals for 2013-14

  • Document campus IT Service Catalog
  • Implement Project Management Framework
  • Expand and enhance our campus wireless network, focusing on large classrooms and Halsey, making continued efforts to stabilize WiFi, and making it easier to create guest accounts.
  • Increase the data throughput of the campus network from 1Gbps to 10Gbps, taking advantage of the higher capacity circuits available to us.
  • Standardize campus rollout of supported mobile devices.
  • Automate desktop deployment and management, working toward remote management and patching of all desktops.
  • Complete installation of technology-enhanced classrooms.
  • Improve tools and support for development and presentation of web-based course content to support active learning and “flipped classroom” pedagogy.
  • Provide self-service access to the campus incident management system, including the solution knowledge base.
  • Develop and adopt an update Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Develop and adopt a new Data Security Policy.
  • Create a campus wide information security awareness campaign.
  • Extend Identity Finder implementation to administrative offices.
  • Participate in developing University-wide procedures and standards for development and review of online and hybrid courses.
  • PeopleTools upgrade to 8.53, allowing for better integration and setting the stage for mobile applications.
  • Implement College Scheduler to improve the process by which students enroll in classes.
  • Complete Content Management System evaluation.
  • Begin Customer Relationship Management system review to set a campus standard.

Challenges

  • Increased numbers of installations from grants and building projects eventually need replacement and budget reductions will make the replacement of outdated computers and data projectors and the creation of new technology classrooms a challenge to fund.
  • The increase in 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.
  • Hiring and 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 backup data center.
  • The University is becoming more and more reliant on IT services straining existing resources to support the demand.
  • Increasing need for access to data by all departments requires a central data store and better access to reporting tools.
  • Adapting to the needs of active learning pedagogies requires changing resources to support a variety of modes of content delivery out of class.