Information Technology

Five-Year Strategic Technology Planning Goals: 1999-2004

14 April 1999

The Process of Strategic Planning for Technology at Reed

Every five years, Reed undertakes strategic planning for technology.  The director and other staff members of CIS conduct individual interviews with every tenured and tenure-track faculty member, all administrative department heads, Library staff, academic support staff, and president’s staff.  Group meetings are held with students, alumni, and other administrative staff.  The process takes approximately six months.  The following set of goals consists of general objectives derived from the interviews, discussions within CIS, advice from Reed’s Technology Advisory Council, and analysis of national technology trends in higher education.

Campus-Wide Technology Goals

Web support –– both academic and administrative uses of the web require substantially more technical and user support than we currently provides.  Examples of specific objectives: access to Library databases and electronic reserves, ordering through the Bookstore, grant information for faculty, web-based surveys, and materials such as the Reed Virtual Tour, At Reed, online campus Calendar of Events, and so forth.

Wintel/pc support –– provide better network connectivity, technical support and user support; provide faculty/student/staff with greater access to Wintel/pc computers (or functional equivalents) in offices and labs. 

Technology innovation –– provide resources to enable faculty, students, and staff to explore new technologies that will help them pursue their teaching, learning, research, or administrative goals.

Desktop support and software management –– perform proactive annual office visits to evaluate and clean up hardware and software for both faculty and staff; provide more advanced notice and training about impending software changes and more information on new software releases/version changes.

Campus networking –– substantially increase the speed of the campus backbone, inter-building, and desktop networking; improve network monitoring and management; eliminate Localtalk; evaluate wireless network technology.

Server enhancements –– provide file/print services for Wintel computers; backup servers for faculty/students; improve speed/reliability of web, mail, cycle and other campus-wide servers.

Off-campus access –– improve speed, reliability, support for off-campus access to Reed resources, possibly via an external ISP and/or upgrade technologies such as DSL, cable modems, etc.; upgrade Reed access to the Internet as needed.

Mobile computing –– provide mobile technology (handheld computers, laptops, etc.), to include integration with campus systems, to enable faculty and staff to work while away from their desks, in labs, while travelling, etc.

Telephone Systems –– replace current switch; evaluate integration of student and institutional telephone systems: test computer/telephony technologies, including voice over ip and email/voicemail integration.

Academic Technology Goals

Instructional technology support –– provide assistance –– including tutorials, workshops, student workers, etc. –– to faculty who wish to explore or incorporate instructional technology in their courses.

Student computing facilities –– provide more seats and a better environment in the IRC’s; provide more reliable printing capabilities in the residence halls; expand centralized file and backup services.

Classroom projection –– provide better projection capabilities in a larger number of classrooms throughout the campus; provide  better lighting; wireless mice; better management of classroom computers; faculty training sessions in the use of projection facilities.

Statistical support – provide better user and server support for statistical software.

Workstation upgrades –– upgrade or replace Unix platforms in areas such as chemistry, mathematics, philosophy (A-life lab) and elsewhere.

Departmental Classrooms and Labs ––  provide a larger (20-25 seat) classroom for mathematics/computer science; new computers in physics 200 and natsci; larger art IRC; upgrade computers in psychology animal labs.

Expanded student access to software –– provide more access to packages such as Textures, Mathematica, TLG, Labview, Life Forms, ear training software, foreign language (e.g., Hebrew) instructional software, etc.

Image handling –– provide easy access to scanning, network copiers and low-cost, high-quality color printing facilities for faculty and students.

Emeritus Faculty –– establish a suitable approach to support the technology needs of emeritus faculty teaching and research.

Administrative Technology Goals

One-Card system –– provide a single card that can be used as a meal card, Library card, Bookstore charge card, and so forth.

Document imaging and scanning –– provide archiving, indexing, and retrieval of electronic documents from and between administrative offices.  Some examples include student applications, transcripts, committee minutes, library indexes and abstracts, public affairs files and correspondence, checks, purchase orders and other business office documents.

Greater departmental autonomy –– enable administrative offices to manipulate data more easily without requiring ACS staff intervention; provide increased training in the use of sophisticated reporting tools.

Secretarial training –– academic department secretaries and other staff are expected to use more complex technology in their jobs each year; provide ongoing training opportunities to keep them up to date on software, backups, etc.

Increase distribution of data to faculty/students –– enable students and faculty to gain access to administrative data in a secure, easy, and timely fashion.

Increase Banner connectivity –– establish connections between the Banner database and the Library’s Innovative Interfaces database and other databases to lower costs and improve workflow efficiency.

Alumni communications –– improve support for electronic communications with alumni, e.g., a searchable email directory and yellow pages, @reed email addresses and mail forwarding, an alumni web server and web conferencing.

Reevaluate major database components -- assess the needs of the human resources and financial aid offices, including the functionality of their current systems, and reconsider the ability of SCT’s Banner modules to meet those needs; evaluate the costs and benefits of processing payroll entirely in-house.