Institutional Technology Plan

Approved by Cabinet, March 2000
Revised/Approved by ITPC 3/13/03

IT plays a vital role in the discharge of the role and mission of Adams State. It provides the means for Adams State University (ASU) to achieve its strategic goals.

The academic mission of Adams State must drive its IT decisions.

Because information technology (IT) plays an increasingly integral part in the operation of educational institutions, ASU must incorporate IT into its strategic planning and budgetary processes. Without such inclusion, ASU will not be in a position to profit from the potential of technology and will find itself dominated by the chaotic power of unmanaged IT. Absent a stable funding base, any IT plan will fail.

Because IT undergoes such rapid evolution, this plan must be open to modification by the ITPC based upon changing hardware, software, and communications capabilities.

Assumptions

  • The role and mission of Adams State is to provide educational and learning opportunities for our diverse students; IT must be integrated into and subordinate to that goal.
  • The evolving capacities of technology and the costs of procuring and maintaining adequate IT must be part of the institutional planning process. That process must incorporate life cycle planning and total cost of ownership evaluation, while allowing for the exploration of the use of alternative software/hardware platforms or seeking external funding to achieve IT goals.
  • The planning process must adapt structurally as the institution evolves and as IT develops.

The planning process itself ought to conceive of technology in functional terms rather than as discrete devices or things. Hence, this plan subordinates hardware and software and the procurement of hardware and software to outcomes, to capacities and needs that can be met through wise application of IT.

Properly conceived, technology functions are easily linked to externally mandated/articulated criteria, such as the Adams State Strategic Plan for 2003 - 2006.

Goals
Technology planning, procurement, and maintenance decisions must be subordinated to the following functions. Given their integrative nature, the functions necessarily overlap.

  • Enhanced educational options [including in-class, out-of-class, and distance learning through Technology Mediated Instruction, support for student/faculty information sharing and collaboration, CAI, support of active-learning exercises or projects, ....]
  • More efficient communication, collaboration, and dissemination of information among students, faculty, administration, and support staff [including e-mail, electronic submission of assignments and assessments, student advising, transcripts, degree plans, degree audits, student support services data, data sharing, on-line registration, financial aid, business information and services such as student accounts, transcripts; e-commerce, data access and capabilities to meet CCHE, NCAA, Trustee, JBC and other reporting mandates, institutional research,....]
  • Enhanced student involvement and integration with campus [including e-mail, student web pages, chat rooms or electronic bulletin boards, computer-mediated mentoring or tutoring, support for student clubs, FIGS, student ratings of courses and advising, ...]
  • Improved efficiency for faculty and staff [office procedures including travel requests, reimbursement, electronic submission of minutes and memoranda, chat rooms or bulleting boards, inventory control, personnel handbooks, technology training, ...]

Because resources are limited, setting priorities and maintaining a focus on them is critical. The Technology Plan assigns priorities based on its assessment of current circumstances at Adams State and most likely directions of change. Although an effectively organized and operating campus transcends arbitrary functional divisions, the technology plan separates the educational enterprise into two functional components:

  1. the Delivery of Education and
  2. Services to Support the Delivery of Education.

It assigns priority of technology planning, procurement, management, and maintenance accordingly.

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Delivery of Education

ASU delivers education in two basic ways: on-campus instruction and off-campus instruction. A blend of on- and off-campus instructional designs would enhance the college's ability to be a regional service provider. Although technology may play a role in the delivery of education, technology enhanced instruction is just one tool of education delivery. This plan does not intend to suggest that technology must be a component of educational delivery. Many educators and educational programs on campus are increasingly incorporating technology as an educational-delivery component. Therefore, prioritization of on-campus and off-campus instructional technology is critical. The planning and procurement process must also address maintenance of wiring, hardware, and software through their life cycles to planned obsolescence, and the impact of IT procurements (including those through grants) on network infrastructure and services, external connectivity, and maintenance costs.

Educational Technology for On-Campus Educational Delivery
The campus should adhere to the following priorities in planning for, procuring, and managing on-campus educational delivery technology:

  • Appropriate ADA Access
  • Network Infrastructure
  • Redundancy to attain acceptable services (for example: Netware, Banner, e-mail and internet access)
  • Computers: hardware and software
  • Training
  • 24x7 (or acceptable levels of) customer service

This priority order assumes full funding; absent full funding, the order may change.

On-campus educational delivery infrastructure includes all the resources necessary to provide services. Example of services include but are not limited to, Netware file and print sharing, Banner, email, and internet access.

Redundant systems and acceptable downtime includes procurement, installation, and maintenance of RAID/second server capacity, articulation of appropriate targets for failsafe network operation, and the development of protocols for managing downtime and upgrading systems.

The computers/hardware area includes:

  • the establishment of open-access laboratories: their location, number, and number of stations, and the articulation of funding sources from student fees and institutional monies;
  • the establishment of technology enhanced classrooms, including smart-podium classrooms, video projectors, video cassette recorders, disk players and other devices which permit the display of images and information to enhance the learning process;
  • the establishment of special-purpose laboratories, including their location, number, capacity and replacement-cycle funding;
  • the procurement of other technology peripherals including scanners, plotters, printers, computer disk recorders, telephones, voice mail and faxes; technology support for academically-based extracurricular activities including student publications, theater productions, and music education and performance; the procurement and appropriate installation of client computers in dormitories, faculty and administrative offices, and ADA accessible workstations.

Software priorities include productivity software, such as word processing and spreadsheets; enhanced e-mail software; WWW software, products for chat rooms or bulletin boards; software for facsimile machines, software for special purpose applications such as statistics and the arts, and general assessment software to support computer adaptive tests and academic placement/proficiency assessments.

Training priorities include train-the-trainer, on-line training, professional, peer, and student-led training. This also embraces additional components: the need to develop institution policies that mandate or reward those who seek training and those who train; the inclusion, where appropriate, of maintaining currency and competency in technology as part of one's evaluation; and the determination of the meaning of evaluative terms such as "appropriate", "currency" and "competency."

24x7 (or acceptable levels of) Customer Service includes the identification of protocols and implementation of appropriate technology and security measures to insure that potential students and other clients can contact the institution and receive an appropriate response up to twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365-6 days each year.

Educational Technology for Off-Campus Educational Delivery
The campus should adhere to the following priorities in planning for, procuring, and managing off-campus educational delivery technology:

  • Support of distance education
  • Redundant systems/acceptable downtime
  • Telephone trunk lines/MNT/communications capacity
  • Electronic library resources
  • 24x7 (or acceptable levels of ) customer service, including support/help desk for off-campus students

Support of distance education entails the following priorities: faculty tools for distance instruction, and the identification of appropriate internet service provider; appropriate capability for faculty-student or student-student interaction such as chat rooms; e-mail and other communication links such as CTV, interactive video and whiteboards, and electronic assignment submission; capacity for web-based assessment and student rating of courses.

Redundant systems and acceptable downtime not only includes the capacities identified for on-campus redundant capacity and downtime protocols, but also embraces mechanisms and methods that insure as much student access and assistance for students as possible, when technological or course content problems occur.

Telephone trunk lines/MNT/communications capacity includes not only the quest to enlarge capacity but also protocols that reallocate capacity to distance education needs when campus needs are not as great (such as increasing modem pool lines when administrative offices are closed).

Support/help desk for off-campus students includes creative approaches to responding to student questions about academic programs, courses, with particular attention to helping them cope with technical problems that arise in accessing course materials.

Electronic library resources includes but is not limited to procuring, installing, maintaining, and upgrading electronic journal sources and other research tools, plus related document delivery services (e.g., scanner, FAX).

24x7 (or acceptable levels of) Customer Service includes those items detailed above in the Support/help desk and also embraces general customer service described in on-campus educational delivery above.

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Services to Support Delivery of Education
[on-campus, off-campus, or blended]

The priorities in this area transcend the functions of the various administrative areas on campus and focus particularly on those functions where technology promotes access and efficiency. Functions detailed here in no way are intended to suggest that particular individuals or areas may have been derelict in their discharge of these activities, but rather that technology might enhance the efficiency of or enlarge access to these functions. Further, some of these functions and capacities overlap with the educational delivery detailed above. Decisions about which administrative area and which budget should be responsible for achieving these student support functions shall not interfere with or "hold hostage" the process by which measurable progress in fulfilling this technology plan is achieved.

As identified under educational delivery, both stand-alone and networked systems must have adequate redundancy and the institution must develop appropriate standards for downtime. In all cases, critical functions and systems must be operating during tuition/fee payment time and during high-impact financial-aid award times. This includes not just those immediate functions such as notification but also those systems that might reasonably be triggered by the operation of those immediate functions. Data systems should be aligned to the degree possible that they facilitate institutional research and the generation of periodic reports required by CCHE, Trustees, campus committees, granting agencies, and other bodies that may statutorily require campus data.

Student Services
The campus should adhere to the following priorities in the planning for, procuring, and managing student services technology:

  • Appropriate ADA access
  • On-line admissions and registration [available for undergraduates, extend to graduates and extended-studies students]
  • On-line financial aid counseling, applications, and award notification
  • On-line degree audits, advising, placement tests, catalog, etc.
  • On-line career counseling
  • Imaging and electronic archives of student data
  • Computer-enhanced mentoring or tutoring
  • Web sites for AS&F clubs and organization, and other extracurricular activities
  • FAX/scanner services.

Because the priorities above are largely self-explanatory, no elaboration seems required. However, the ITPC and the Cabinet shall oversee the processes by which these functions are implemented. Implementation of these functions shall account for impact of the overall network and campus IT capacity, as well and the impact of hardware/software life and replacement costs. These notions shall govern the function areas highlighted below.

Library Services
The campus should adhere to the following priorities in planning for, procuring, and managing library services technology:

  • Access to Nielsen Library's collections (hardware and software)
  • Electronic access to (preferably full-text) journals, documents, and other research resources
  • Access to books, articles, and other materials owned by libraries world-wide (hardware and software)
  • Resources to enhance instruction in library usage and research (hardware and software)
  • Access to the internet for all (students, faculty, community)

Business Services
The campus should adhere to the following priorities in planning for, procuring, and managing business services technology.

  • On-line tuition/fee-payment, e-commerce capability
  • EFT/Campus-card credit option for student wages
  • On-line HR operations including but not limited to contracts, IRA forms, PERA, 403 b, medical/dental benefits, and personnel policies--HBPP.
  • On-line inventory control, expenditure tracking, departmental accounting
  • Web-based forms for typical operations (purchase, travel, inventory, ...)
  • Web-sites to distribute minutes, notices, agendas
  • Web forms for maintenance requests and janitorial problems
  • Computer-based facilities scheduling
  • Imaging and electronic archives for financial data, HR data, inventory data

External Affairs
The campus should adhere to the following priorities in planning for, procuring, and managing external affairs technology.

  • Alumni web pages, web-based data repository
  • Web-based publications
  • Computer-based print shop operations

Community Service
Adams State should consider offering use of any excess IT capacity to regional schools, government agencies, or non-profit organizations as a public service.

This technology plan shall govern the technology procurement and management process at Adams State. It shall serve as a component for framing the job description of the Chief Information Officer and in determining how well that officer performs the tasks of the description.

Finally, the plan shall be modified and upgraded as circumstances warrant by processes developed through the Cabinet, the Senate, and other affected groups.

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Terms

Network Infrastructure
The resources needed to provide network services. This is analogous to the plumbing used in a municipality. This includes everything behind the plate on the wall. Services and service users plug into the plates on the wall but are not part of the infrastructure. The infrastructure includes the physical and human resources required to provide and maintain it. In this context, the routers and switches are included in the infrastructure.

Network Services Provider
A computer that provides something to a user, for example, a file server, mail server, web server, DNS server, DHCP server, etc.

Network Services User
A computer that uses services. For the most part, these are desktop computers, or "clients".

Life Cycle Planning
The iterative process of documenting the lifespan of a resource. This process forces the scheduled evaluation of the usefulness of a resource and provides a way to continue or eliminate a resource.

Total Cost of Ownership
All conceivable costs associated with providing a resource. This is useful when comparing different technologies. This is particularly helpful to those that haven't been taught or don't believe that "there is no free lunch."

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