Information technology and the widespread
employment of computer technologies have revolutionized all areas of academic
endeavor: instruction, learning, scholarship, research, creative activities,
and community outreach. To support these new academic endeavors, WNMU will
establish and maintain new delivery systems in its service area and the State
of New Mexico. This necessitates an extensive institutional investment in all
aspects of information technology.
The viability and efficiency of academic and
administrative support services, as well as instructional and outreach
services, will increasingly rely on information technology systems. For the
university to achieve excellence, all institutional activities must incorporate
compatible and appropriate advanced equipment and programs.
An eight-member committee appointed by President
Counts investigated the existing information technology environment, gathered
data about perceived needs and/or problems, and identified solutions. The
findings and recommendations contained in this plan were gained from
discussions with administrators, faculty members, support personnel, and
students; a survey conducted by ITSP-TF in March 1998; and direct input from
members of the Information Technology Strategic Plan - Task Force (ITSP-TF). A
large cross-section of the University in terms of occupation, specialization,
work assignments, interests, level of automation use and expertise, staff and
length of tenure at WNMU contributed to this report. The information gathering
method ensured representation and consideration of all users and all aspects of
information technology on the campus.
The Task Force focused on six major areas of
investigation: (a) Organization and Planning, (b) Instructional Delivery, (c)
Education and Training, (d) Academic Administrative Support, (e) Networking and
Access, and (f) Support Services and Maintenance. Two other areas of
investigation have been added as part of the focus of the University's
technology goals: Computing and Telecommunications Technologies Services and
Web Inter/Intra-net Development. Highlights of the problems and issues,
recommendations, benefits, and implementation costs [dollar figures completed
June 1998] are summarized below.
PROBLEMS AND ISSUES
Organization and Planning
- Development of centralized
control and operation of information technology across campus.
- Limited policies and
procedures to guide the various campus technology units including
Computing and Telecommunications Technologies Services (CATTS) and
Outreach Services & Technology (Extended Learning).
- Lack of clear campus-wide
computing standards for hardware and software, including Network Operating
Systems and platform specific choices.
- Maintaining equalization of
project and personnel levels at CATTS.
- Decentralized and incomplete
software license control. Software License Control can be addressed to
some extent with SMS. We must determine how to extensively deploy it.
- Software License Control.
- Insufficient funding for
ongoing support of Information Technology.
- Lack of faculty involvement
in distance learning.
- Lack of policy regarding
the development/agreement for courseware generation.
- Lack of policy regarding
attendance by university members of in-house IT Training.
Computing and Telecommunications Technologies
- Insufficient resources to
adequately address technology training.
- Ability to develop and
maintain technology staff certification.
- Inadequate resources to
address fully software/hardware requirements for departmental, faculty and
Education and Training
- Lack of awareness by many
employees and students of available computing resources and services.
- Inadequate expectation for
computer literacy demanded of students, staff and faculty.
- Limited training
opportunities for technical skills for both general knowledge and advanced
- Limited recognition for
- Lack of sufficient skills
and knowledge on the part of lab assistants to undertake software/hardware
- Limited incentive systems to
encourage employees to enhance technology skills.
- Need for more training
classes conducted by CATTS.
- Overabundance of paper
processing to conduct routine business.
- Lack of easy access to
institutional data and information.
- Storage of (hard-copy)
records takes up large amounts of space; information not easily retrieved.
- Obsolete equipment for some
staff and faculty.
- Training and equipment
issues with SCT Banner access most cases, accessible via the Web.
- Inadequate resources for
supporting network access to student residence halls.
Networking and Access to Information
- Lack of campus-wide
connections to communications networks, including the residence halls.
- Few and scattered networked
- Limited distance learning
- Limited CD-ROM database
- Need for increased library
- Limited Bandwidth for
current networks and external connections.
- Lack of definition for
infrastructure requirements for new construction/renovation.
Support Services and Maintenance
- Ad-hoc basis for upgrading
of technology for staff, faculty and students.
- Random technology repair
- Inadequate general purpose
computer lab support.
- Lack of specified
campus-wide technology standards.
- Lack of faculty/staff
support center to encourage the integration of Information Technology (IT)
into the curriculum.
- Only limited number of
classrooms are adequately equipped with IT.
discipline-specific computer labs.
- Insufficient quantity and
quality of IT.
- Limited incentive system to
encourage faculty to integrate IT into curriculum.
- Limited resources for
faculty to pursue course development.
WEB Inter/Intra-Net Development
- Limited resources in
personnel, hardware and software to fully develop and maintain WEB
- Limited WEB awareness in
the university community and its positive significance.
- Develop an on-going
planning process for information technology expansion, use, maintenance,
replacement and training.
- Establish campus-wide
standards for networking, hardware and software. Standardization and
formality needs reviewing with regard to training requirements.
- Specify control
responsibilities and duties with regard to academic and administrative
- Implement a systematic
- Explore alternative sources
of funding and out-source as possible for more cost-effective services;
develop a funding plan for on-going technology support.
- Develop a reward system to
encourage instructional technology use.
- Facilitate development of
WEB based instruction by identifying and implementing policy for
- Develop/implement policy
for faculty/staff participation of ‘in-house’ IT training.
- Faculty, staff and student
use of information technology will be enhanced.
- Delivery of information
services will be streamlined.
- University information
technology implementation will be clarified.
- Enhanced funding for
information services will increase capabilities and use.
- Lines of duty and
responsibility will be clarified.
- University members will be
equally aware of and skilled in IT.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES SERVICES
- Identify training to
enhance professional development in the technical area.
- Develop training plans for
professional certification and maintenance thereof.
- Identify administrative/academic
software need and address.
- Address support positions
for WEB development and Telephone
- Maintain and develop
information technology staffs level of skill and knowledge.
- Provide IT staff a Plan to
address growth for professional development which intern increases the IT
staff's ability to address newer and leading edge technologies.
- Providing adequate means by
which software for faculty may be delivered in a timely manner.
- Addressing support issues
to increase the levels of access of technology by the faculty, staff and
- Develop education and
training programs for faculty, staff and student assistants.
- Expand technology literacy
skills expected of students in the literacy classes.
- Define a minimum expected
level of computing skills for faculty and staff.
- Design training that
supports a basic level of competency for all lab assistants, staff and
- Increased proficiency with
information technology uses and applications by faculty and staff.
- Increased awareness of
available information technology on campus.
- Achievement of an
acceptable level of technology literacy for WNMU graduates.
- Proper and valuable
assistance provided when needed and where needed for faculty, staff and
- Implement a comprehensive
Student Information System (MIS).
- Provide user-friendly
access to an integrated campus-wide information system (an overall MIS
- Automate the processing of
routine forms and paperwork.
- Implement an integrated
document imaging system.
- Implement an integrated
- End-users will have access
to information needed for effective and efficient planning and management.
- Units within the University
will be better equipped to attract and retain students.
- Access to data and
information will increase productivity.
- Appropriate technology will
enable rapid response to information and service requests.
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
- Expand networking
capability to include all faculty, staff, residence-halls, classrooms,
student labs and conference rooms, i.e., full campus-wide access to the
out lying areas.
- Development of e-mail as a
campus-wide standard for integrated communication.
- Provide electronic access
to external databases and networks, through a campus LAN.
- Establish distance learning
center with appropriate funding.
- Provide staff and resources
to support information technology integration for library services.
- A campus-wide electronic
communication "backbone" will be established.
- Communication among
faculty, staff, and administrators will improve.
- Faculty and students will
have unlimited world-wide access to information.
- Instructional services will
be expanded for WNMU Centers in Gallup, Deming, and Truth or
- Ensure through appropriate
planning that state-of-the-art computer equipment is available and used.
- Provide adequate technology
- Establish clear policies
and appropriate funding for information technology repair and maintenance.
- Define criteria, support
and standards for campus-wide technology.
- Using existing academic
programs and work-study programs, establish more direct student
involvement in campus technology. Given our manpower shortages, we can and
must effectively utilize students who are anxious to learn and gain
experience. This may include some reliance on secondary training systems.
For example, department staff may train work-study students on
technology-based tasks used in departments and offices.
- Students will benefit from
the latest technology.
- Faculty and Staff will be able
to use modern courseware.
- Enhanced quality of
- More timely resolution of
- Reduction of compatibility
problems will promote campus-wide communication.
- Standard parts and repair
methods will make maintenance easier. Establishing a link with student
resources and the maintenance thereof provides the university a pool of
manpower that not only enhances departmental function but will provide
avenues of experience and skill development for our students.
- Provide easy access to
technology, especially adaptive technologies, for the physically
- Regularly upgrade computer
technology in all student laboratories.
- Design and implement
computerized classrooms and laboratories and encourage their use.
- Establish viewing and
distribution labs for distance learning.
- Identify program areas for
- Technical upgrades and
support will enhance student learning.
- A visible centralized source
will provide for instructional and learning needs.
- Physically disabled students
will have access to technology that best serves their needs.
- Students will be better
prepared for graduate school and employment opportunities.
- Instructors will be able to
share teaching media.
IMPLEMENTATION PLAN WITH COSTS
In Section VI of this document.
Widespread interest, expectation, and determination exist among employees
- to improve current
information technology capabilities;
- to expand hardware and
software holdings and applications for teaching, learning, research,
administration, data processing and storage;
- to expand campus access to
educational, administrative, and research information and thereby improve
the communication process;
- to enjoy the educational
opportunities and rewards available through the use of existing and
- to provide adequate and
on-going funding sources to support WNMU’s movement into a technological
This plan specifies the direction WNMU must
take with respect to information technology. The Task Force urges that its
recommendation be implemented as quickly as possible, given financial