Computing & Information Services

Technology Strategic Goals 2015-2019

Technology infrastructure

  1. Expedite faculty and student research, administrative services, and electronic communications by increasing campus network and internet bandwidth, expanding storage and processing capacity, and improving wireless and cellular access.

    • 2015 - Completing the third and final year of a complete network overhaul. Upgrades have made the main campus networks faster, more reliable, more scalable, and easier to manage.
    • 2015 - The legacy wireless infrastructure has been replaced by new Wifi equipment and approximately 40 additional access points have been installed to address coverage gaps. We are developing heat maps to identify increasing demand and are deploying additional access points as needed.
    • 2015 - We have increased campus Internet bandwidth from 400mb to 600mb.
    • 2015 - The campus network now supports WiFi calling (“VoWiFi”) for some carriers and cellular phones.
    • 2016 - Added approximately 50 new access point locations and upgraded 70 802.11n access points to 802.11ac.
    • 2016 - Increased primary campus Internet bandwidth to 1 gigabit
    • 2016 - Completed campus WiFi heat maps and tuned WiFi access point channels to improve coverage.
  2. Address risk management issues in cyber-security, business continuity, emergency preparedness, and other areas by making voice and data infrastructures more durable and secure.

    • 2015 - The main campus firewall was replaced with a next generation firewall that improves network security with features such as Intrusion Detection/Prevention and malware filtering and increases the speed of user connections to on-campus services as well as to the Internet.
    • 2015 - A Wifi guest access portal has been deployed to allow visitors convenient access to the Internet.
    • 2015 - New Network Access Control has been installed to expedite network registration for smartphones and other devices.
    • 2015 - New network management tools have been added to improve our capacity to troubleshoot and quickly address network problems
    • 2016 - Implement Peer-to-Peer Encryption for Bookstore, Computer Store, Phonathon and other campus merchants that accept credit cards in order to improve PCI-DSS compliance.
    • 2017 - January added a second Internet Service Provider to establish an alternate, automatic failover connection should either provider go down.
  3. Constrain future technology operating costs, energy consumption, paper usage, and system management overhead by pursuing server virtualization, eliminating unnecessary computer hardware, and deploying more cost-effective printing, scanning, and copying technologies.

    • 2015 - New color copiers deployed in 2015 will save the college approximately $50,000 annually over the next five years.
    • 2015-16 - RT expansion
      1. CRIS expanded from a 3rd party ticketing system to CIS-hosted RT, saving thousands of dollars over comparable plan costs.
      2. Created visibility for Res Life RDs into relevant Facilities work orders (which moved to RT in 2014, saving ~$1,000 annually).
    • 2016 - Deployed a  combined ACS and TIS virtual server infrastructure which  reduces hardware costs and system management responsibilities.
    • 2016 - Virtualized campus web server, content management system, and corresponding test servers thereby eliminating three hardware servers.
    • 2016 - Expanded direct printing capabilities to copiers thereby reducing the number of standalone printing devices on the network.
    • 2016 - Deployed an email-based fax system to approximately 20 administrative offices to reduce paper usage and eliminate the cost of purchasing and maintaining fax machines.
    • 2017 - Set B&W and double-sided printer settings as default to copiers thus reducing toner usage, paper consumption and overall costs while still allowing easy access to color printing.

Support for instruction, research, and student use of technology

  1. Implement computer labs, classrooms and technology resources to support new majors and concentrations.

    • Amazon Web Services selected for cloud computing and storage services, available for use in faculty research projects.
    • 2015 - Ensemble video distribution system deployed for dance classes.
    • Collaboration with the library initiated to catalogue and digitize the White Bird dance video collection.
    • Implemented bioinformatics teaching and research computer lab, with six student workstations and one instructor station.
    • 2016 - Deployed Ensemble video distribution system for video captioning in Spanish courses and other areas across the curriculum.
    • 2016 - Increased capacity to capture and edit performance/rehearsal footage by expanding Performing Arts Resource Center recording equipment and improving training and documentation.
    • 2016 - Implemented RStudio Server to give statistics students access to R packages, data, and a consistent platform for collaborative data analysis.
    • 2016 - Upgraded resources in a computer-equipped classroom to increase student access to spatial analysis software and other analytical tools.
  2. Facilitate faculty use of instructional technologies by collaborating with the Center for Teaching and Learning to expand faculty training and support.

    • 2015 & 2016 - Collaborated with the Center for Teaching and Learning to offer a roundtable discussion in December 2015, a week of digital scholarship workshops and discussions in March-April 2016, and peer workshops in November 2015 and December 2016; planning for future sessions is ongoing.
    • 2015 & 2016 - Mellon digital scholars Martina Morris (November 2015), Miriam Posner (April 2016), and Hadley Wickham (October 2016) offered workshops in network analysis, digital humanities, and data science.
    • 2016 - Made online documentation of instructional technologies to support faculty members who are unable to attend in-person sessions available on the Teaching and Learning with Technology blog and on the Data @ Reed website; additional documentation is underway.
    • 2016 - Worked with the Center for Teaching and Learning to develop the Faculty-Student Collaborative Grant for Curricular Technology Integration program; first round of grants will be awarded in spring 2017.
  3. Help faculty evaluate and use emerging technologies (such as 3D printing) for instruction and research.

    • Collaborate with faculty, librarians, and academic support staff to investigate curricular uses of 3D printing and scanning, laser cutting, CNC milling machines, and other fabrication technologies.
    • 2016 - Launched a pilot of 3D scanning using the iPad-based Structure Sensor in the Performing Arts Resource Center.
    • 2016 - Collaborated with the library and various academic departments to make 3D printing and digital fabrication resources available to faculty, students, and staff.
  4. Facilitate student coursework and research by collaborating with the Library to expand access to digital resources and improve student technology training and support.

    • 2015 - Began expanding electronic reserves system to facilitate document creation, management, and access.
    • Under the auspices of a Mellon grant, began building a scholar’s toolkit of technology utilities and best practices for accessing and managing research resources, starting with a Spring 2016 pilot in two political science courses.
    • 2015 - Integrated the Ensemble Video system with Moodle to provide streaming media for academic courses across the curriculum
    • 2016 - Began piloting a new audio reserves system, integrated with Moodle, to improve management and delivery of streaming audio resources for courses.
    • 2016 - Partnered with faculty and librarians to develop course-specific training sessions and resources to increase students' ability to use tools for digital scholarship, data management and analysis, geospatial analysis, and other curricular technologies.
  5. Expand access to images and other digital material collections used for instruction and scholarship by collaborating with the Library to develop a new digital asset management system.

    • 2016 - Reed Digital Collections was launched in Fall 2016 with a beta release. All digital collections have moved to the new system in Winter 2017.
  6. Facilitate the use of technology in the classroom by deploying wireless projection and screen sharing, reconfiguring whiteboards and projectors, and providing other technology resources to support differing faculty teaching styles.

    • 2015 - A pilot implementation of wireless projection is underway.
    • 2015 - Collaborate with faculty members, the registrar’s office, and facilities services to design and equip classrooms with technologies that can support a wider range of pedagogical styles.
    • Expanding access to in-class polling and student response systems by piloting flexible polling options in statistics, foreign language, and physics courses in spring 2016 and the 2016-2017 academic year.
  7. Expand the functionality of Moodle by improving the integration between Moodle and other academic software used at Reed.

    • 2015 - Began employing Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standards to (1) make electronic reserve materials available to students and faculty via Moodle; and (2) support a data collection application developed in-house for research in political science.
    • 2016 - Extended use of LTI standards to deliver audio reserve materials via Moodle.

Support for administrative use of data

  1. Upgrade administrative technologies to support more sophisticated data management and analysis for financial aid, student outcomes, budget control, development, and other critical administrative areas.

    • Expand data access for the Dean of Faculty's office, faculty committees, and other offices that have not traditionally used administrative reporting tools.
      • 2016 - Implemented ARGOS app for creating Annual Faculty Salary Letters from Banner data. Retired outdated, unwieldy Filemaker database and dual data-entry processes.
    • Work with Institutional Research and offices that steward data to determine need, decide on best practices, and set priorities for improving access to data for decision-making.
      • 2016 - Worked with Student Services VP and Institutional Research to establish a Data Governance Team in order to develop a set of data policies, procedures, standards, and definitions, guided by institutional priorities and strategic questions prepared by the Executive Team.
    • Add more data snapshots that capture information at specific points in time and develop dashboards based on these snapshots.
      • 2015 - Began freezing data defined by Institutional Research and ACS to address data analysis needs for Admission, Financial Aid, and Student Services.
      • 2015 - Began freezing prospect territories and regional counselor assignments for Admission analysis.
      • 2015 - Created Student Outcomes dashboard for Dean of Students office.
      • 2016 - Worked with Institutional Research to create Enrollment freezes for longitudinal analysis.
      • 2016 - Collaborated with Institutional Research and the Dean of Students Office to create new student retention snapshots and create charts for the Summer 2016 Trustee Retreat.
    • Expand our existing datamart for College Relations so it can be used by other departments.
      • 2016 - Participated in CLAC Mindshare event to learn how peer schools are handling data warehousing, data governance and analysis.
      • 2016 - Collaborated with Institutional Research to investigate data mining requirements and strategies.
    • Prepare enterprise database (Banner) for pending transition to Web 2.0 technology.
      • 2015 - Applied first stage (Database Extension Utility) to production system. Planning underway for additional database conversion stages.
      • 2016 - Implemented virtualized (VMware) cluster for deploying Banner components.
    • Enhance user experience and ease of management by transitioning enterprise applications to current technology.
      • 2016 - Implemented Banner EPAF (Electronic Personnel Action Form) system for Student Employment and assisted in establishing a one-stop source for student job postings in Griffin Door.
    • Enhance application security by transitioning from silo authentication to Single Sign On for enterprise applications.
  2. Enhance student recruitment and application processing operations.

    • Work with Admission to evaluate and document their goals and needs.
      • 2016 - Worked with Admission to plan Slate (CRM) implementation;  collaborated on the search for a Data and Systems Analyst to lead the Slate implementation in 2017.
    • Work with Admission to implement improvements in their uses of Banner, Nolij Web, Argos, and other applications as determined by the analysis of their goals and needs.
      • 2016 - Automated Common App document loading to process 150 documents per minute, well beyond the 20 documents per minute maximum that could be handled manually. Thanks to this improvement, more than 42,000 documents were automatically loaded for the upcoming application season.
      • 2016 - Expedited Admission Office email communications by implementing an Argos data extract that can be uploaded to MailChimp.
  3. Support faculty advising and student course planning activities.

    • Enable more features for Students in Banner Self-Service.
    • Develop and pilot a “what if” course scheduling tool for students.
      • 2016 - Evaluating commercial product (DegreeWorks) and internally-developed options to pursue this goal.
    • Upgrade IRIS web apps for grade submission, transcripts, academic advising, and student tutoring.
      • 2016 - Grade submission and student tutoring upgrades completed. (Transcripts and academic advising in progress and slated for 2017.)
  4. Establish a unified strategy and budget for acquiring, developing, and retiring administrative software and online services.

    • Implemented an online Technology Adoption Request process.

  5. Collaborate with administrative offices to standardize data definitions, improve data stewardship, reduce duplication of effort, promote data security, and increase reporting and analysis capabilities.

    • Work with Institutional Research and ad hoc user groups to improve reporting efficiency and cross-departmental consistency of data definitions and reporting terminology.
      • 2015 - Created a RUG (Reporting User Group) Moodle site with glossaries for reporting terms and data definitions.
      • 2015 - Provided hands-on training for building dashboards.
      • 2016 conducted week-long SQL and report-writing-at-Reed training for admin report-writers.
      • 2016 - Collaborated with Admission on ad hoc committee to determine how to collect, update, use, and communicate about gender identity data.
  6. Assist administrative offices’ transition from paper-based records and processes to digital format.

    • Continue implementing and customizing the Nolij Web document management system.
      • 2015 - Implemented Nolij Web "filing cabinets" and workflows for Admission, Financial Aid, Special Programs, Business Office, Human Resources, College Relations, International Student Services, the Registrar's Office, Academic Support Services, Library, Disability Support Services, and CIS Admin.
      • 2016 - Updated scripts for loading College Board's iDoc image files, and other improvements that increased the number of files automatically loaded into Nolij Web for Financial Aid from 65,000 in 2015 to 103,000 in 2016, eliminating a great deal of manual work.
    • Assist administrative departments with document scanning.
      • 2015 - Provided customized assistance as Nolij Web is implemented for new departments.
      • 2016 - worked with College Relations to replace old Windows computers and scanners with new Macs with faster scanner.
    • Implement web apps and document management for Young Scholars and MALS applications.
      • 2015 - Implemented Young Scholars and MALS app, data load, and image repository ("filing cabinet") used by applicants, counselors, and the Special Programs office.
    • Move the Benefits Open Enrollment process from paper-based to an online process.
      • 2016 - Implemented online Benefits Open Enrollment and Mid-year Benefit Changes forms.
    • Improve Institutional Review Board operations.
      • 2016 - Testing implementation of web-based application and review process for Institutional Review Board.
    • Improve Leave of Absence operations.
      • 2016 - Developing web-based system for Leave of Absence application and review process.
    • Improve academic progress reporting
      • 2016 - Worked with Registrar's Office to generate Academic Progress Reports in Argos, load the files into Nolij Web, notify students by email that their Academic Progress Reports are available to view, and make those reports available to students via IRIS.
  7. Improve administrative office operations by establishing more sophisticated technology skills among administrative staff members through recruitment and/or technical training.

    • Provide basic Nolij Web training for current users and new hires.
      • 2015 - Provided customized Nolij Web training to newly hired staff.
    • Provide administrative users with Argos report-writing and SQL training.
      • 2015 - Provided hands-on Argos and SQL report-writing-at-Reed training.
      • 2016 - Provided hands-on SQL report-writing-at-Reed training for a record 18 people from numerous offices, saving the college $50,000-$70,000 on off-site training costs.