Information Technology

Strategic Technology Goals 2005-2009 Mid-Term Status Report, May 1, 2007


1. Equipment replacement

  • A $1.5 million item has been included in the Centennial Campaign to permit the computing equipment replacement cycle average to be reduced to 5 years for laptop/desktop computers and 3 years for servers and lab computers.

2. Network services

  • Several measures have been taken to increase network security, such as the Bradford Campus Manager for controlled network access, an intrusion detection system, and redesigned network architecture to segregate more secure network subnets.  VPN access was implemented for administrative users who need secure access from off-campus.
  • Internet bandwidth was increased from 7 to 100 mb over two years.  On campus, network speed for all network switches and wireless access points was increased.
  • A new library proxy server was implemented to improve off-campus access to library resources such as journals and databases.

3. Cross-platform services

  • Support for Windows systems has been improved for both academic and administrative users.  While we don't provide hardware repair services for Windows equipment, the availability of Intel-based Macs is making it more feasible to fully support both the operating system and underlying hardware.
  • Cross-platform infrastructure has been implemented on the Administrative network, including Active Directory for secure file server access, Citrix server for administrative applications, and enhanced security procedures required for Windows systems.

4. Digital asset management 

  • In collaboration with the Library and Visual Resources Collection, CIS obtained more than $600,000 in external funding to implement a digital asset management system.  CONTENTdm was selected for the system and work is underway to develop image collections and websites for use in art and humanities.

5. Web support and content management 

  • A full-time Academic Web Specialist position was created to assist faculty and academic departments in creating and using web pages, applications and systems.
  • Cascade Server was selected as a web content management system and a number of web sites have been deployed, particularly for administrative departments.

6. Information access integration

  • The IRIS portal was created in January 2007 to unify several previously disparate information services.
  • Initial work is underway to integrate IRIS authentication with the Kerberos system already in use for other network resources on campus.

7. Curriculum and research

  • Moodle, and open source learning management system, was selected as the cornerstone of Reed's courseware toolkit.  During the 2006-07 pilot, over 20% of the campus community has used Moodle. A half-FTE Instructional Technologist position was created to provide support for Moodle users.
  • Several CIS departments are collaborating to customize and enhance the Moodle interface and develop linkages to IRIS, CONTENTdm and other content sources.
  • CUS has partnered with A/V Services to deploy more projection classrooms and improve the reliability of classroom resources.
  • A half-FTE digital media specialist position was created to increase support for instructional uses of digital images, audio and video.  CIS has collaborated with the Library to provide iPods for use by students in music classes and investigations are underway to provide audio and video via iTunes University.
  • Development is of a web-based repository of academic software is underway and will be deployed in the summer of 2007.
  • Wireless network access has been added to teaching spaces for biology labs, theatre, and dance rehearsal.
  • Support has been improved for specialize academic software such as statistics packages, mapping programs, bibliographic tools, and the custom-developed PopBio simulation software.
  • CIS continues to collaborate with other departments to enhance various academic resources, including the Foreign Language Lab, electronic reserves, and the Quantitative Skills Center.

8. Student services and student life

  • A web-based system has been developed to enable all incoming students to complete their Getting Started and Orientation forms electronically.
  • CIS collaborated with several departments to implement a student employment system for advertising and filling on-campus and work-study jobs.
  • One-Card access has been expanded to include several academic buildings and a system has been created to manage building access based on student's course enrollment.
  • Wireless network access is now available in all residence halls.  A new print management system was installed to provide more reliable printing services in residence halls.  CIS is investigating affordable and secure ways to improve bandwidth for recreational uses.
  • CIS is working with the Computing Policy Committee and Student Senate to establish workable policies and strategies to promote and support legal peer to peer (P2P) file sharing and to discourage illegal P2P activities.

9. Planning, development, and collaboration 

  • A variety of faculty and staff teams are using Moodle as a repository for project materials, planning, and collaboration. 
  • CIS implemented a web-based project management system for evaluation by Public Affairs.
  • Web sites for the Dean of Faculty and Honor Council have been created to provide access to community governance materials.

10. End-user support

  • CUS has started to provide more one-on-one technology support for faculty, including annual preventive maintenance visits to faculty and academic support staff.
  • ACS has reallocated one programming position to full-time end-user support in order to respond more quickly and effectively to staff who are experiencing desktop computer problems.