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V. RECOMMENDATIONS AND BENEFITS

Given the current technology environment and the problems and issues identified in Section IV, the following recommendations are made and assorted benefits listed.

 

1.0 Organization and Planning

1.1 Information Technology Organizational Structure

General Recommendation

Develop the campus organizational structure in support of efficient and effective utilization of information resources. Specify the lines of authority and responsibility for

(a) implementing a campus-wide information technology strategy that is flexible enough to withstand modification and adaptable to our changing environments and today's advancing technology;

(b) establishing the necessary standards, support and guidelines for information technology and computing equipment procurement;

(c) coordinating information technology education and training; and,

(d) supporting through networking, intranet, maintenance and personnel the campus-wide linkages among information technologies;

(e) develop and maintain open lines of communication via newsletters, the 'piggybacking' of existing periodicals and Web pages.

Specific Recommendations

Continue to use the CAG in an advisory capacity to the new more centralized management making recommendations for current and future staffing needs and duties of the various computer technology entities. 

Benefits

         More efficient and responsive delivery of information services available to the university community.

         Enhanced faculty, staff and student use of information technology.

    • More 'bang for the buck' regarding personnel and equipment procurement and functionality. 

1.2 Information Technology Planning

General Recommendation

Develop an on-going planning process, which addresses the acquisition and implementation of information technology resources.

Specific Recommendations

Charge the Director of CATTS, with the help of appropriate advisory bodies to:

(a) aprovide a comprehensive framework consistent with the institutional mission to address information technology needs and issues

(b) develop and update the ITSP on an annual basis. The plan shall set institutional information technology priorities for the budget process

(c) advise the President and Executive Council on all policy and procedures related to information technology issues; and

(d) appoint subcommittees (as necessary) for more detailed technical analysis of information technology issues. 

Evaluate technology acquisitions to ensure that they comply with the Information Technology Strategic Plan.

 

Benefits

  Provide a forum to strategically address all university information technology issues.

  Identify a clear direction for implementation of university information technology. 

1.3 Information Technology Budgetary Process

General Recommendation

Enhance funding for and establish a systematic budgeting process to support the acquisition, implementation, and maintenance of information technology resources.

Specific Recommendations

Utilize the Information Technology Strategic Plan as a foundation for the systematic allocation of budgetary resources for information technology resource acquisition.

Seek programmatic funding for information technology needs.

Design and implement an on-going fund-raising program directed towards information technology acquisitions. Designate information technology acquisition as a top priority for WNMU fund-raising efforts.

Analyze all grant proposals to identify and budget for any impact on university technology resources. Encourage technology centers to apply for grant funds to acquire contemporary technology resources.

Develop recommendations and guidelines to ensure that adequate levels of support (i.e., staffing, maintenance, software upgrades) are available during the life cycle of hardware and software.

Develop a cost/benefit analysis of outsourcing selected technology functions in order to extend or enhance services.

Benefits

    • Enhance funding for information services delivery; acquire additional equipment to support faculty and staff productivity.
    • Minimize detrimental effects of tight budgets. 

1.4 Reward System to Encourage Use of Instructional Technology

General Recommendation

Provide incentives to encourage faculty and staff to design and/or integrate technology into the classroom and instructional programs

Specific Recommendations

Continue and expand funding for competitive faculty grants to support the development and integration of instructional technology into the classroom.

Establish a competitive grant process and funds to enhance equipment purchases for technology leaders.

Establish criteria for release time for both faculty and staff to support development of information technology integration requiring efforts beyond expected instructional efforts.

Within the MBO process, recognize the development of innovative information technology applications in promotion and tenure decisions.

Clarify reward or royalty policies for development of extended learning classes.

Benefits

         Increased faculty development and incorporation of information technology into classroom instruction.

         More rapid development of the extended learning program.

         Increased use of information technology. 

2.0 Computing and Telecommunications Technologies Services

2.1 Student Information Management System

General Recommendation

Continue the implementation of the MIS SCT Banner systems. Initiate development and implementation of Web based interfacing facilitating student application, dissemination of information and web registration.

Specific Recommendations

Identify and procure the technology and resources required to continue the implementation and support of the MIS and its associated hardware and software requirements.

Identify opportunities for cost and resource sharing in the implementation of the MIS.

Identify 'plans' for IT professional to attend training, attain professional certification and the maintenance thereof.

Benefits

Provide ready access to information needed for effective and efficient planning and management, e.g., enrollment planning and course scheduling.

Improve access to student information.

Provide students a means by which the enrollment, registration and aid process is facilitated.

Enhance efficiency and effectiveness in accessing student services.

Comply with Commission on Higher Education requests.

 

    1. Software/Hardware - Administrative/Academic

General Recommendation

Identify software needed in the Academic and Administrative areas

Specific Recommendations

Provide adequate monitory resources to address Faculty's software purchases.

Provide adequate monitory resources to maintain license agreements.

Provide adequate monitory resources to maintain support/upgrade functionality.

Benefits

Software delivery/installation performed in a timely manner allowing the IT professional and Faculty the opportunity to evaluate.

Licensing deadlines met with adequate funding ensuring support and maintenance. 

3.0 Education and Training

3.1 Develop and implement an information technology education and training program for all faculty and staff.

General Recommendation

Development and implement faculty and staff training programs in Distance Learning.

CATTS should develop and implement training programs in information technology for all faculty and staff to include basic, intermediate, and advanced program offerings.

Specific Recommendations

Provide on-going computer technology training both on and off-campus for WNMU faculty and staff, including workshops on computer hardware, software technology applications (word processing, database, and others as needed), as well as library technology applications.

Implement a recurring information technology awareness campaign on campus to include tours of the computer labs and library, posters, brochures, and articles in university publications.

Develop and promote the CATTS training facility as part of a viable solution to our training deficit.

Feature faculty and staff who have been identified as campus technology leaders in articles in university publications.

Provide competitive faculty development grants to support curriculum development or other applications using information technology.

Benefits

Enhanced knowledge of information technology uses and applications by campus users.

Increased awareness of information technology available on campus.

Recognized University technology leaders. 

3.2 Ensure that all faculty and staff maintain a minimum level of computing skill.

General Recommendation

Expect computing knowledge and skills of all WNMU faculty and staff.

Integrate computers and technology into the curriculum.

Initiate standardization of software so each member of staff and faculty have the opportunity to access and develop their levels of expertise in conjunction with training.

Specific Recommendations

         List the expected computing knowledge and skills that will be needed in WNMU's computing environment in the advertisement for new job positions.

         Upgrade skills of current employees to essential computing knowledge levels and incorporate same in current job descriptions.

         Determine in each department the most appropriate method for certifying knowledge and skill mastery.

Benefits

         Allows new employees to bring prior experience to enhance the WNMU computing environment.

         Expand range of technology skills among staff and faculty.

         Heighten awareness among faculty and staff of the computing skills expected of them.

    • Promote communication in an electronic environment through procedure and function.

 

4.0 Academic/Administrative Support

4.1 Campus-wide Information System

General Recommendation

Identify general information requirements of the campus 

Specific Recommendations

Inventory sources of general information.

Establish policies/procedures for maintenance, access, use of data.

Develop convenient and easy access to information.

Provide training for use of Campus-wide Information System. 

Benefits

Central repository for information - a data warehouse.

A Planned/scheduled maintenance program for IT equipment.

Tasks/processes handled in a timely, expeditious manner by the University members.

Allow the 'end-user' to be 'part of the solution' and attain 'ownership'. 

 

4.2 Electronic Forms Processing

General Recommendation

While SCT Banner Systems provide much of the framework and is application submission sensitive, we must envelop Western’s routine forms and paperwork in order to reduce the volume of paper generated and to improve the efficiency of routine operations within the University.

Specific Recommendations

Identify and prioritize all paper forms and paper-based processes that are candidates for automation and are not supported within the SCT Banner Systems or web tools.

Identify and implement networking infrastructure (see Recommendation 5.1) required to extend access of service the each entity within the university network so electronic forms processing is available to all appropriate users.

Implement additional electronic forms processing based on identified priorities.

Provide training in the use of the electronic forms within the web tools.

Benefits

Improved response time in processing.

Increased faculty and staff productivity.

Conservation of resources.

4.3 Document Imaging

General Recommendation

Expand and integrate the document imaging system to address the problem of growing space requirements, to improve records management, and to provide convenient, secure access to University records.

Specific Recommendations

Educate University community on state rules and laws related to records retention and destruction and the use of optical imaging technology as it applies to records retention.

Identify and acquire hardware and software required for an integrated document imaging system that is fully compatible with campus networking standards.

Expand staff training in use of the document imaging system.

Design processes so that all new student records are captured and maintained on the document imaging system.

Provide for the retrospective conversion of all existing student records to this system.

Benefits

  Improved records management and control.

  Reduced need for records storage space.

  Information to support informed decision making.

  Improved service for University constituents.

 

4.4 Alumni / Donor / Prospect System

General Recommendation

Implement the Alumni Development Module within SCT Banner for the

Public Information, Alumni and Foundation Offices.

Specific Recommendations

Define system requirements and functional specifications based on input from appropriate units to formulate the ‘Operations Analysis’ document.

Schedule the installation and development of the system through integration of end-user training and rules formulation.

Benefits

Improved tracking of fund raising efforts.

Availability of information on alumni and donors for use by appropriate University units.

4.5 Human Resources and Payroll

General Recommendations

Implement the Human Resources Module within SCT Banner for the

Human Resource and Payroll Offices.

Specific Recommendations

Define system requirements and functional specifications based on input from appropriate units to formulate the ‘Operations Analysis’ document.

Schedule the installation and development of the system through integration of end-user training and rules formulation.

Benefits

o        Improved tracking of applicants.

o        Contract generation and employee management.

o        Budgeting and Position Analysis.

o        Integration with the SCT Banner Finance Module.

o        Facilitated Payroll processing.

5.0 Networking and Access to Information

5.1 Campus-wide Network

General Recommendation

Provide local and wide-area network, connectivity and access for every computer workstation, office, classroom, student residence, auditorium, and conference room on campus being forever mindful of constantly increasing bandwidth requirements and the new role as the dominant technology trend.

Provide networking and video (High bandwidth) connections and access for every student residence, administrative and faculty office. Define infrastructure requirements for new construction/renovation.

Specific Recommendations

Inventory all current computer workstations that are not networked and all campus space that is not wired for networking.

Identify the information transmission and processing requirements, such as data, image, and video, of the faculty and staff.

Recommend priorities for, and implement accordingly, a campus-wide information network.

Continue defining space and infrastructure standards, such as wiring closets, cable raceways to support networking, etc., in all new building construction and building renovation. Work with internal planners and external contractors to ensure compliance.

Pursue radio frequency networking for locations currently inaccessible by fiber optic cable or hard wiring. This is a cost effective alternative until fiber is installed.

Benefits

Build foundation on which all other information technology initiatives will be based.

5.2 Integrated Electronic Mail

General Recommendation

Implement an integrated electronic mail (e-mail) system to facilitate general campus communication among all faculty and staff, and to students as appropriate.

Specific Recommendations

Define functional requirements of a campus-wide e-mail facility, such as simple mail transmission, national network interfaces, and scheduling. Identify software packages that meet these requirements.

Implement the system and provide training for all users.

Migrate all e-mail functionality to one server incorporating web mail in the process.

Require e-mail capability of all faculty, staff and students.

Train users in the use of e-mail for conducting campus business.

Provide e-mail accounts as necessary and where most appropriate.

Benefits

o        Improve communication among faculty and staff.

o        Enrich communication and facilitate the learning process.

o        Foster scholarly collaboration between faculty and colleagues at other institutions.

 

5.3 Expanded Access to Electronic Databases

General Recommendation

Through the campus LAN, gain appropriate electronic access to local, national and worldwide information to support faculty and students regardless of discipline. These will include:

o        In-house CD-ROM products, by index and full-text;

o        Available on-site databases via the web;

o        On-line databases accessible through gateways provided by private vendors;

o        On-line document delivery services, either through electronic transmission or via surface delivery, including interlibrary loan.

Specific Recommendations

Train faculty and students to access electronic information and to evaluate software and hardware products.

Identify and provide the most suitable equipment to receive data graphics, video, and sound.

Negotiate licensing/copyright/ownership issues to allow maximum use for the greatest number of patrons for the least amount of money.

Benefits

         Unlimited access for faculty and students to information anywhere in the world with virtually immediate delivery of that information.

         Reduced demands on library budgets.

 

5.4 Library Information Technology Integration

General Recommendation

Integrate information technology planning into planning and policies governing acquisitions and circulation of library media.

Specific Recommendations

Establish appropriate responsibilities for library staff related to library information systems.

Benefits

Enables increased access for faculty, students and staff to information sources with minimal impact on library budgets and space.

6.0 Support Services and Maintenance

6.1 General Recommendation

Ensure currency of computer technology and training.

Identify inadequate support resources and develop a structured plan to correct.

Specific Recommendation

Provide maintenance and upgrade planning to accommodate technological advances.

Provide on-campus and off-campus training for appropriate personnel.

Promote ‘Help Desk’ awareness.

Identify outstanding ‘vital’ projects and pursue a direction and solution to address.

Benefits

  Increased competitiveness of students.

  Increased capability to provide modern courseware for instructional purposes.

    • Increases the overall capabilities of our computing function.

6.2 General Recommendation

Increase the quality, availability, training and number of technology support personnel.

Specific Recommendations

Define needed personnel to support the various technologies in instructional support areas such as administrative offices, computer labs, faculty offices, and classrooms.

Establish on-going training support for all technology personnel.

Develop on-going structured training support for all faculty and staff.

Encourage communication among technology personnel.

Coordinate activities for all classrooms and labs on campus to insure greater consistency and continuity of lab technology and services.

Develop a cadre of local experts within campus units who will receive appropriate training to serve as volunteer trouble-shooters.

Benefits

  Technology integrated into the curriculum.

  Creative and innovative campus technology environment.

  Timely and rapid resolution of end user problems.

  Expanded availability of technology facilities.

  Lowered frustration level of faculty, students, and staff with information technology.

  Increased utilization of information technology.

6.3 General Recommendation

Establish a ‘Help Desk’ for all information technology questions.

Specific Recommendations

Provide one point of contact for all technology questions/problems.

Create and fill positions required to adequately staff the ‘Help Desk’.

Develop questions/answers database of problems making it available University wide.

Implement tracking system to ensure resolution of end-user problems.

Benefits

No more ‘guessing’ by faculty and staff as to whom or where to call for assistance.

Centralized location for information/assistance.

Make ‘end-users’ a part of the solution by allowing them to identify/remedy issues.

Follow-through structure identified – decreasing the probability for ‘falling through the cracks’.

System reporting capability for department.

6.4 General Recommendation

Develop a plan, policies, and procedures for the maintenance of information technology.

Specific Recommendations

Establish a plan for the continual maintenance of information technology across the campus based on the recommendations of the ITT.

Establish and implement policies to maintain information technology operations.

Maintain a climate-controlled environment for equipment.

Benefits

Shorter downtime for hardware.

Longer usable technology life.

Increased productivity.

Increased reliability, availability, and serviceability of networked systems.

6.5 General Recommendation

Define campus-wide technology criteria and standards.

Specific Recommendations

Set standards for all information technology. Establish criteria reflecting needs of the campus community and the ability of technology personnel to support and maintain both the hardware and software designated as 'standards.'

Define standards for products and services designated to receive support and assistance on campus. Train operations and support staff on maintenance and use of identified standards.

Benefits

o        Greater productivity and support staff effectiveness.

o        Improved maintenance resulting from standard parts and repair methods.

o        Reduced compatibility problems. Improved communication campus-wide.

o        Increased user satisfaction.

7.0 Instructional Delivery

7.1 Development of Internal Linkages within CATTS, Miller Library and OS&T

General Recommendation

Provide programs and services to assist faculty to integrate information technology into instruction. Support instructional software development, technology training, electronic classroom support, and establishment of strategic alliances with the broader university community.

Specific Recommendations

  Seek joint partnerships for technology development with constituents, state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and corporate sponsors.

  Provide formal recognition to faculty who incorporate technology into their teaching.

  Develop instructional media training courses for faculty and staff. Establish a ‘modest’ faculty lab with computer-aided training and that supports development of instructional technology. In the short-run, it may be advantageous to reserve portions of existing labs where faculty and staff may conduct training.

Benefits

o        Facilitate increased use of classroom instructional technology.

o        Provide technical support to faculty.

o        Promote active learning.

o        Enhance learning.

o        Centralize instructional technology development.

7.2 Provide access to technology for the physically challenged.

General Recommendation

Provide appropriate and full access to information technology to enhance educational experiences of physically challenged students, faculty and staff.

Specific Recommendations

  Incorporate Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines when designing new computer facilities.

  Enhance existing computing laboratories to accommodate physically challenged students.

  Investigate assisting technology devices such as screen text enlargement, speech synthesis, alternate input methodologies, and speech recognition.

  Provide multiple access methods to insure inclusion.

Benefits

o        Enhanced educational experience for physically challenged students.

o        Compliance with the federal laws.

o        Appropriate recognition of occupational training for the physically challenged.

7.3 Student labs

General Recommendation

Build or upgrade academic technology-related labs, offering students up-to-date facilities comparable to public and private sector entities.

Specific Recommendations

  Create additional discipline-specific lab space (distributed labs) located in proximity to the academic program they will serve. In labs, emulate the technological environment students will face following graduation.

  Link information technology through Local Area Networks (LANs) and a Wide Area Network (WAN) environment in order to enhance communication among faculty, staff and students and to facilitate sharing of software and peripheral devices.

  Enhance dial-up support as appropriate.

  Longer hours in labs to accommodate non-traditional student schedules and research avenues for staffing every lab.

  Enhance student lab assistant training.

  Provide user orientation sessions in the labs.

  Determine adequate student to computer workstation ratio.

Benefits

o        Better prepared students entering the workforce or attending graduate school.

o        Active learning and cooperation among students encouraged.

o        Enhanced student learning of abstract concepts through proper feedback.

o        Increased stature and image for the University as a technologically sophisticated institution of higher learning.

o        Improved student access to faculty and available software.

o        Increased accessibility to technology for economically disadvantaged students.

7.4 Technology in the Classroom

General Recommendation

Design and implement computerized teaching and learning classrooms/labs.

Specific Recommendations

Upgrade faculty workstations to facilitate integration of instructional technology into the classroom.

Make portable PCs with a PC-projection device available for all classrooms.

Equip computer classrooms to allow student computer screens to be viewed from the instructor's workstation.

Enable classrooms to access CD-ROM technology where appropriate.

Open computer classrooms to students when no classes are scheduled.

Benefits

With instructor support, reduce the student frustration in a hands-on environment.

Increase use of multimedia, CD-ROM and other technology in the classroom.

7.5 Faculty and Technology in Course Development

General Recommendation

  Identify program areas for curriculum enhancement/development

  Develop a plan of implementation

  Provide the resources by which Faculty can develop and incorporate results

7.6 Distance Learning

General Recommendation

  Develop distance learning capabilities and facilities.

  Identify appropriate markets for the university.

  Establish video viewing labs for distance learning satellite classes.

Specific Recommendations

  Develop a distance learning resource center to create and distribute educational programming on- and off-campus.

  Transmit programs directly into the public schools within the region and internationally into Mexico.

  Encourage faculty to develop courses that involve telecommunication interaction, especially with faculty colleagues at other New Mexico post-secondary institutions.

  Create "virtual classrooms" to enhance the learning process through the use of technology.

  Integrate seminars, public television broadcasts, and other contemporary presentations into classes.

  Develop courses that will attract non-traditional students and are oriented toward "lifelong learning," in addition to degree-related courses.

  Expand teleconferencing for continuing education offerings to regional P-12 public school teachers.

Benefits

  Increased integration of contemporary issues, and ideas into instruction.

  Enhanced access by the community to University resources.

  Expanded geographic market and increased ability to serve diverse, homebound, and other non-traditional groups.

8.3 Web Systems for Faculty, Staff and Administration

General Recommendation

Identify additional resource procurement and personnel acquisition to develop and implement web based functionality tools within SCT Banner while utilizing the existing as a linkage.

Specific Recommendations

  Identify the general information and data requirements of the campus at large.

  Inventory available sources of general information and data and document who is responsible for maintenance of this information.

  Establish policies and procedures related to collection, maintenance, and distribution of University information and data.

  Develop convenient, easy, and secure access to University information and data.

  Provide convenient and easy access to external information (e.g., remote databases and information services available on regional, national, and global networks).

  Provide training in the use of the web tools.

Benefits

  Better informed faculty, administrators, staff, and students.

  Enhanced instructional quality.


Western New Mexico University
PO Box 680  Silver City, NM 88062
Phone: 575-538-6149     Fax: 575-538-6243

 

 

 
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