Welcome. The months since our fall 2010 newsletter have been busy. IT has been working hard on the following projects and activities:
- Implementation of the IT governance and prioritization process with the establishment of three committees and the IT Council.
- Creation of the first IT prioritized project list. This list now contains more than 100 projects; 18 have been completed since January.
- Completion of the upgrade of our Tier 1 servers and storage (those critical for university operations) with the exception of Banner. The Banner environment upgrade will be completed over the summer. All of these servers and storage were past their end of life.
- Launch of the new Technology Commons, located on the ground floor of Hunter Library. This area has been completely transformed with final improvements to be finished by the end of the June. Student visits to the Technology Commons have significantly increased. UNC President Tom Ross toured the facility on March 31 and remarked on its inviting and student-friendly atmosphere, saying that he expects this area will grow.
- Continued work on technology for the new Health and Human Sciences (HHS) Building and the SciQuest electronic procurement process. SciQuest will be launched for a pilot group this spring and implementation across campus will begin in July.
- WCU’s recent signing of an agreement to upgrade our voicemail system before the end of this fiscal year. This will address many issues we have been experiencing with our automatic call distribution services which impact OneStop, admissions, IT Help Desk, financial aid, etc. Aspects of this upgrade will also extend the life of our phone switch, saving considerable funds and resources versus a full replacement.
In addition to these activities, IT has had to respond to the budget cuts just as have other university divisions. Currently, IT is implementing its 10% reduction plan. This involves reducing the level of vendor support for key systems; eliminating some online training resources; eliminating support for some third-party software; reducing student worker funds, which impact services and support hours; and moving some critical costs from state funds to fee-based funds where appropriate. We have also completed a 15% reduction plan, which, if implemented, would have to be met solely via position reductions that are currently vacant, but required for university-prioritized efforts and support.
I hope you enjoy this edition of DoIT News. You will find many interesting and helpful articles in this edition, including:
- Update on our Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) migration and important dates
- What the project and governance processes means for faculty and staff
- A feature on the first academic project to go through the governance process: WeBWork Math
- Recent recipients of the IT Triple P Award
- Improvements in the university datacenter and the resulting benefits to campus
As always, we appreciate your feedback.
Craig A. Fowler, CIO