1 Strategic Plan for the Department of Information Technology Submitted by Frank Williams Director, Information Technology October 20, 2008
2 Strategic Plan Information Technology Information Technology Department s Mission To provide leadership, guidance, assistance, support, through the coordination of information management, computing, media, and telephone services enabling students, faculty, and staff to address the diverse educational needs of East Central University to effectively meet their goals as Oklahoma's premier comprehensive student-centered regional university. To accomplish this mission, the Information Technology Department works collaboratively with the campus community to provide technological leadership which emphasizes empowerment of the individual through the use of technology. Information Technology Department s Vision The Information Technology Department is comprised of dedicated professionals inspiring and guiding members of the university community as they prepare for a world of rapidly developing technological innovations, thus furthering the vision of a premier comprehensive studentcentered regional university that brings cutting edge technology services to students and the faculty that serve them. Information Technology Department s Values Members of the Information Technology Department are guided by 1) Commitment to Excellence in service to help fulfill the University's mission, 2) Commitment by the Individual to the University community to be respectful, helpful, tolerant, and honest, 3) Commitment Between Individuals to pursue and share newly acquired knowledge and abilities, 4) Commitment to the Organization by acceptance of responsibility, and 5) Commitment to Ethical Conduct.
3 The Information Technology Department will: Strategic Goals Goal 1: Continue to Enhance Technology to Support Improved University Processes for Learning, Teaching, and Research. (IP1, IP2, IP3, IP4, SG1, SG2, SG4, AP1, AP4) 1. Support the Vice-President of Academic Affairs with planning for lab upgrades and support faculty by installing needed software in open laboratories. 2. Improve the integration of data systems so administrators and educators have the information they need to increase efficiency and improve student learning. 3. Help faculty to install and implement teaching tools that connect with priorities in the university strategic plan (e.g., course activities that deepen student engagement in the community, encourage student research in undergraduate courses). 4. Work with academic programs to promote active partnerships (meetings and surveys) with Information Technology so to better understand and support their needs. 5. Recognizing the general trend in higher education to deliver courses in innovative ways, facilitate collaboration within departments, distance education, and Information Technology for enhanced distributed and distance learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs and expectations of the students and faculty. 6. Ensure a stable and robust infrastructure availability of e-learning technology including, but not limited to technologically enhanced classrooms and instructional labs. 7. Provide comprehensive network and programming support, development efforts, training activities, and software access for use of teaching and learning technologies. Goal 2: Improve and Support University Administrative Efficiency for Students, Faculty, and Staff. (IP1 - IP7, SG1 - SG4, AP3 AP5) 1. Information Technology will complete the implementation of a new phone system by the end of year two of this plan. This will improve both the speed and accuracy of information dissemination to campus and community callers. 2. Improve data retrieval from our administrative and instructional systems so administration may better understand relationships between decisions, allocation of resources, and student achievement. 3. Assist the university in higher-level decision making through appropriate use of stored data and reporting. 4. Update the existing networked campus-wide directory service which is the foundation of the domain and services. 5. Continually update and enhance data, voice, and video networking to support applications to the desktop by local network and Internet delivery.
4 6. Ensure compliance with all appropriate federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and auditable practices by reviewing and enhancing data storage and retrieval practices. 7. Provide support in procurement, implementation, and ongoing enhancement and maintenance of enterprise level business/administrative information systems purchased by the university. 8. Improve responsive and secure systems for access to administrative information that facilitates informed university decisions by providing better hardware and software planning, installation timing, and less predictable/unpredictable downtime. Goal 3: Maintain and Improve Networking and Infrastructure to Support University Growth, Vitality, and Relevance. (IP1, IP2, IP4, SG1, SG2, SG4, AP1, AP4) 1. Develop economically attractive licenses and contracts for hardware and software which meet university standards and needs by working with other state entities (e.g. higher education institutions, state agencies, community partners) to develop cost saving and efficient contracts and services. 2. Continue to provide and improve appropriate centrally managed support for the university applications and network. 3. Provide for enhanced and improved coverage of wireless communications within the network infrastructure by adding more access points and improving existing points. 4. Continue to improve effective management of virtual and distributed network file servers by developing a server upgrade/replacement cycle and the consolidation of any remaining distributed servers. Goal 4: Plan and Manage Information Technology by Exploring Emerging Technologies and Anticipating Future Needs. (IP1, IP2, IP4, IP6, SG1, SG2, SG4, AP4) 1. Identify issues and trends in technology that may affect the university s technology infrastructure and long-term architecture by attending conferences, participating in state and national organizations, and reading trade magazines and online articles. 2. Establish a process between Information Technology and academic departments to ensure technology in all open-access computing labs and classrooms is current and refreshed. 3. Prepare the university for the next generation of telephony services (VoIP) by installing a new phone system and continuous evaluation of current and future communication needs. 4. Define a process for ongoing collaboration and formal interactions with peers, vendors, university colleagues, and higher education contacts to track technologies and trends to generate innovative ideas. 5. Develop processes to continually and critically evaluate new ideas in test-bed environments, based on the perceived value to the university, the university s core competencies, and the expectation of interest from potential collaborators.
5 6. Develop, gain approval for, and fully implement a university-wide information technology strategic plan with means for continuous improvement. Goal 5: Continue to Provide a Reliable, Robust, and Secure Method for Access to Information and Technology. (IP1, IP2, IP5, IP6, SG2, SG1, AP1, AP4) 1. Ensure the protection and security of university data and eliminate inefficient and costly redundancies by installing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for off campus access and evaluating/upgrading campus intranet security. 2. Enhance the network architecture to support all levels of security and to provide access to appropriate logical and physical resources by authorized use processes. 3. Improve appropriate information access through role-based, easy-to-navigate, robust, content via authenticated internal resources by completing the campus portal installation. 4. Ensure technology-rich physical and virtual classrooms and open-access computing labs for teaching and learning that are consistent across the university while reflecting the programmatic needs of the individual disciplines by reviewing and improving the current standards and levels of support. 5. Preserve and enhance the network infrastructure through an ongoing commitment to upgrade, extend, and diversify its capabilities and support. Regularly refresh the network services, introducing newer versions of supported operating systems and key applications (e.g., file, print, backup, electronic mail, and scheduling/calendaring) as they become available and in accordance with the university academic and administrative calendars. 6. Improve policies and procedures to protect the security of university information technology and institutional data, safeguard personal privacy, and respect intellectual property rights, while at the same time promoting academic freedom with access to information. 7. Explore the needs and opportunities for location-independent access to services including technology support, the Internet, university networks, and other emerging research networks. Goal 6: Promote Customer-Centered Information Technology Services and Support. (IP1, IP4, SG1, AP2, AP4) 1. Define roles and responsibilities for each Information Technology position. Monitor, assess, and modify all Information Technology positions as necessary. 2. Strengthen university s technical support staff with training and other staff development initiatives. 3. Provide the university community accessible web-based applications (portal) of services. Use state and federal guidelines to ensure compliance while including industry best practices.
6 4. Information Technology will work with other administrative and academic departments to complete the implementation of web payments. This will enable students to pay tuition and fees via the web either with a credit card. 5. Continue to support the registrar s office with the implementation of web registration. 6. Continue to improve university s help desk staff s technical support ability by monitoring and modifying ability and procedures through observation and training. 7. Improve university-wide technical problem reporting and tracking by implementing the help desk work order web module which allows any ECU student, faculty, or staff member to create a work order. 8. Continue to monitor help desk satisfaction by reviewing call back information and using customer satisfaction surveys to dictate needed revisions. Goal 7: Use technology to support improved communication and safety for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. (IP1, IP2, IP4, SG1, AP2, AP4) 1. Work with ECU Police and others to upgrade or install technology to enhance campus wide safety for student, faculty, staff, and visitors by designing and clearly communicating safety policies and procedures. 2. Work with ECU Police and others to design and clearly communicate safety policies and procedures for student, faculty, staff, and visitors. 3. Explore opportunities to improve the use of technology to enhance community and university-wide communications (e.g., broadcasting, LISTSERV mailing lists, etc.). 4. Improve ongoing coordinated information technology communications and feedback mechanisms for students, faculty, and staff about available information technology services and support by enhancing the IT website and producing an IT Newsletter. 5. Ensure institutional participation in appropriate national, regional, and statewide collaborative efforts to maintain competitiveness, maximize economies of scale, and capitalize on best practices and innovation in the use of information technology in higher education. Current examples include, but are not limited to: Jenzabar User Groups, OneNet, Internet2, Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO), Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE), and Council of Information Technology (CoIT).
7 1. Overview Analyses of Information Technology Department Data Unit Profile The Information Technology Department, funded by the university, serves as the first point of contact with East Central University students, faculty, and staff for all computing needs. The ECU Information Technology Director works closely with the faculty and staff of the university to provide services and support to accomplish the university s goal of being Oklahoma's premier comprehensive student-centered regional university. The role of the Information Technology Department is to development policies and procedures to ensure safe, secure, and efficient data retrieval. Information Technology provides support for open-access lab computers, distance learning computers, , enterprise servers, faculty and staff computers, software and hardware operation, and other technological needs. The Information Technology Director is involved with local, state, and national organizations to ensure best business practices and monitor leading-edge technology development. This requires travel to several conferences around the nation and bi-monthly meetings in Oklahoma City. Some of the functions of the Information Technology staff include: responding to student, faculty, and staff computer issues; creating and generating new log on and addresses; monitoring and maintaining the most efficient network infrastructure possible; working with the Office of Admissions and Records with the development of on-line registration; working with the Bursar s Office on the development of on-line bill payment; academic advising; establishing policies and procedures for best security practices and methods of best computing; working with the Transfer Center and other departments to continue the installation of the myecu, a portal project aimed at both recruiting and retention of transfer students; working with the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs to provide industry standard equipment for ECU s open-access and course specific labs; developing new reports and extracting data for many departments across campus; and serving as a liaison between ECU and our ERP vendor, Jenzabar, for product issuance and implementation projects. 2. Unit Assessment The Information Technology Department is involved in continuous internal and external assessment of not only the services provided to our students but also through internal and
8 external assessments of providing data and reports for administrative use. However, beyond the importance of satisfying the mandates of state and federal requirements Information Technology is equally concerned with meeting students needs and achieving student satisfaction. Therefore, Information Technology has been involved with acquiring free music download from Ruckus, obtaining 6 new Dell gaming computers for Internet gaming, and pursuing a 24-hour Virtual lab for students and faculty. 3. Professional Development Plan The Information Technology staff members are affiliated with EduCause and Jenzabar groups. One or more of the staff members attends regional and national meetings with EduCause and Jenzabar (our ERP provider). The Information Technology Director attends bi-monthly Council of Information Technology (CoIT) meetings at the state regents office in Oklahoma City. Additional staff development opportunities have been made available through a series of conferences and webinars on security, programming, and networking. 4. Resources Analysis A. Staff Projections The Information Technology Department consists of eight fulltime and two part-time positions. The Information Technology Director s position along with a couple of other positions is fully funded by the university s E&G funds. The remainder of the Information Technology staff is funded by the university by a combination of E&G and Technology Fees. B. Program Development / Projections Many projects are in process and are in need of completion but with the current minimal staff employed some projects do not get the attention needed quickly. The University s Help Desk is staffed with two part-time employees, who are most often students, with little or no experience in help desk operations. It is desirable to hire more staff members for Information Technology and at least one full-time experienced help desk supervisor/staff member. These position requirements and justifications have been detailed through other means, such as budget request for fiscal year and will not be listed again here. C. Equipment Needs With ever changing hardware technology it is difficult to predict with accuracy the equipment needs for our department and university. We do know that increased security is always of importance and newer equipment and software that allow for improved security will always be needed. As our infrastructure ages we will need to be prepared to evaluate the efficiency of data movement and be prepared to respond accordingly. Continuous need for computing mobility is of importance and having equipment to allow for faster and safer wireless connections will be a challenge along with the monitoring equipment to ensure a safe connection.