June 23, 2008

TBS Roundtable

Technology for Business Schools (TBS) Roundtable
Early this month (June 2008) I had the good fortune to be in the company of a lively bunch of technologists who represent the IT leadership of many schools of business from around the nation. At this mini conference (a roundtable) held at the University of Arizona, Tuscon, I was able to appreciate the difficulties faced by this group of kindred spirits struggling to maintain a state-of-the-art, yet, effectively working IT infrastructure for their respective institutions. I sensed a feeling of camaraderie not abundantly present at the typical academic conference. Despite any differences they might have, this group had to literally stick together to survive within a viciously and rapidly changing technological environment and still deliver what their Deans and consumers wanted; even if what they wanted wasn't exactly clear.

I was a newbie in the crowd, having replaced Don Krueger, who I quickly discovered was well known and respected by everyone there. After several conversations with some of the members of the group, trying to fit into Don's big shoes suddenly became a very challenging task. But, people like Jerry (who I discovered is from my homeland), Carol, Eric, Mike and Jim made me feel very welcome and I was able to accomplish many of the goals I set out with coming to the roundtable. Here are some of the more pressing issues that all the members felt was important to them which I share:

1. Finding and keeping good staff
2. Keeping up with emerging technologies
3. Relationship with central IT
4. Declining budgets/rising costs
5. Meeting the needs of faculty and students

I was able to examine many "solutions" to these challenges. In all, it was nice to know that someone else out there is having the same problems you are. Now I know who to call.

June 18, 2008

LSBE Technology Program Vision and Mission Statement

Here is my current vision and mission statement for the Technology Program. It has not yet been reviewed by the Technology Committee. Any comments are appreciated.

Technology Program Vision and Mission Statement

Nik R. Hassan

April 7, 2008

Vision and Mission

My vision of leadership in the LSBE Technology Program is to see LSBE students literate and skilled in technology beyond the expectations of their prospective employers. To this end, the Technology Program’s mission is to support faculty and staff in leading and facilitating our students.


1. Support teaching and learning technology initiatives

2. Bridge with campus technology programs including ITSS and other collegiate unit technology programs

3.Technology problem solving and troubleshooting

4.Coordinate or implement LSBE-approved technology projects

5.Coordinate the maintenance of the LSBE student laboratory and technologies in classrooms

6.LSBE data and network security

7.Loaner laptop program

8.Maintenance of technology policies, procedures and manuals

9.Coordination of technologies in LSBE building

10.Maintain LSBE Web presence and LSBE Intranet

11.Grant writing and technology funding

12.Market sensing, technology review and consultation

13.IT inventory, replacement and disposal

Support Teaching and learning technology initiatives

Goal: Support faculty in enhancing student teaching and learning activities with the use of technology

Faculty members have their own teaching styles and strategies. The Technology Program’s role is to help faculty solve problems as they use technology to enhance their teaching activities. This role includes managing the grant proposal process and supporting faculty in implementing their proposals. It also includes specific initiatives that may be undertaken from time to time to enhance student teaching and learning activities such as the Laptop Requirement Initiative for Fall 2008 and related activities such as faculty training and orientation sessions for these initiatives.

Bridge with campus technology programs

Goal: Help faculty and students improve their technology competencies

UMD has several campus-wide technology programs organized by either ITSS or other technology-related organizations. The role of the Technology Program is to become a bridge to campus-wide technology-related committee, to communicate relevant technology initiatives, orientation and training programs that are of benefit to LSBE faculty, staff and students.

Technology problem solving and troubleshooting

Goal: Support faculty and staff in resolving technology problems in a timely fashion

The role of the Technology Program is to expedite the process of resolving technology problems to that faculty and staff may return to their work in a timely fashion. A vast majority of technology problems can be resolved without the help of ITSS. Problems that require an involved process or extensive repairs will be handled by ITSS.

Coordinate or implement LSBE approved technology projects

Goal: Support LSBE strategic goals with the help of technology projects

Either as a follow up to a grant proposal or initiated by the Technology Director, the Technology Program will coordinate or directly implement projects that support LSBE strategic goals. For example, in 2008, an LSBE Intranet is set up to support the internal administrative functions and accreditation goals.

Coordinate the maintenance of the LSBE student laboratory and technologies in classrooms

Goal: Support student learning by ensuring that laboratory and classroom technology resources are available to faculty and students

Related to the previous role, the Technology Program will monitor to ensure that the LSBE student laboratory and classroom technologies are maintained in working order. Although LSBE contracts with ITSS for the computers, printer and network maintenance of the student laboratories, the Technology Program performs the upkeep of the applications residing on the server and the workstations in the laboratory.

LSBE data and network security

Goal: Coordinate with ITSS for the security and accessibility of faculty and student work files

As part of the overall maintenance of the applications working in LSBE, valuable data that belong to LSBE which includes private data such as student grades, coursework and faculty work files need to be secured yet accessible in a convenient fashion. The Technology Program will develop policies to monitor and recommend the most efficient ways of keeping such data secure and accessible. The Technology Program will initiate programs that maintain such security and accessibility.

Loaner laptop program

Goal: Provide students with alternative computing resources at short notice

The loaner laptop program plays an important role in augmenting the technology services provided to students and sustaining the level of technology for teaching and learning. The Technology Program manages this service in its entirety and ensures that students and faculty have access to laptops at short notice. Even with the laptop requirement initiative, the loaner laptop provides an alternative source for technology. Faculty, especially adjunct faculty will find this resource very useful.

Maintenance of technology policies, procedures and manuals

Goal: Maintain the documentation necessary to accomplish the goals of the Technology Program

The different roles of the Technology Program and detailed policies and procedures need to be documented to save valuable manpower and prevent any transitional problems. Developing these policies, procedures and manual will take time but will be extremely useful for future Technology Program staff.

Coordination of technologies in LSBE building

Goal: Ensure that building technologies accomplish the goals of LSBE

The new LSBE building will house several technologies such as large screen displays and multimedia equipment. These technologies will be coordinated and maintained by both the Technology Program and ITSS. The design, development and upkeep of these technologies are consistent with the goals and strategy of LSBE.

Maintain LSBE Web presence and LSBE Intranet

Goal: Ensure that the LSBE Website and Intranet accomplish the goals of LSBE

The Technology Program modified the LSBE website to allow for dynamic modifications to ensure that the website is “fresh? and reflects current activities in LSBE. The Technology Program and the Technology Committee will provide the necessary oversight to ensure that the website reflects the goals of LSBE. The LSBE Intranet extends the function of the website to internal administration and accreditation maintenance.

Grant writing and technology funding

Goal: Support the goals of the Technology Program from outside funds and resources

The Technology Director will solicit resources and funding to support the goals of the Technology Program from grants and other means.

Market sensing, technology review and consultation

Goal: Procure the best technologies for LSBE

The Technology Program staff will perform periodic market sensing activities to identify technologies that might be useful for faculty and staff. The Technology Directory and staff will support the procurement of technology by reviewing proposals and contracts to ensure the best value for LSBE

IT inventory, replacement and disposal

Goal: Ensure that LSBE computer and information technologies for teaching and learning are in working order and up-to-date

The Technology Program will keep an updated list of inventory that can be accessed to produce a report on hardware systems that have passed the four-year mark for replacement. The Technology Program will also ensure that any computers that are disposed are processed accordingly.

Re-Commence Technology Program Blog

I stopped blogging for a while now, especially because of my tenure application last year (which I am glad to report--thanks to the Dean and my friends in the FMIS Dept, I am TENURED!!) as well as the amount of work I wasn't expecting to get as Technology Director. As other part-time technology directors know too well, 50% faculty + 50% Tech Director doesn't add up to 100% (I understand, Heads of Departments are suffering from the same problem). But after taking this job for slightly over a year now, I felt compelled to write my thoughts about this job not so much for others but really for my own reflection. I was asked last Spring to undergo a 360 degree evaluation process and I am hoping that by blogging I will be able to complete that process too. I will start by publishing my thoughts about what this job is about, and then weigh-in what I found out from my recent visit with the Technology for Business Schools (TBS) Roundtable group in Tucson, AZ.

November 15, 2007

Link to Tech Grant Form?

Can we get a link to the online Tech Grant form from this blog?


September 27, 2007


> 1. I notice that as of the date of the webpage, there was no SPSS for
> Mac. Is that still true?
Only if you Mac is an Intel-based machine. Supposedly, a later version of SPSS will be available that works on Intel-based Macs. See

> 2. I notice that this is indicated as an ANNUAL license fee. What
> happens after the year is over? Does the program cease to function?
You are correct. It is an annual license. The software will cease to work once the license lapses
> Geoff

On another note, we are close to purchasing the school's set of SPSS licenses for those faculty that signed up with Don. I believe we will purchase 11 faculty licenses and I am waiting on the list of names from the Twin Cities campus. ITSS is coordinating the purchase of these block of licenses for faculty-staff. The other option is to purchase an individual annual license at $120 which is a lot cheaper than the $1000+ that it usually costs, especially if the money is from the faculty SA&E.


September 21, 2007

Statistical Software

Quite a few faculty members have been asking about getting either SPSS or SAS. I am working on getting the school-wide license for a package and should have some news to report very soon.

September 18, 2007

Entering into Digital Measures

As I enter my data into Digital Measures, I am thinking aloud and recording my experience with it...Starting out, a simple help text displayed next to the fields and options as faculty enter their data would go a long way in reminding them what they are supposed to be entering. We all forget after a while :-). After entering the title and the names of the authors (which was quite convenient using the drop-down list), I notice that the first entry is Journal/Publisher. It would probably be a good idea to separate those two (i.e. a field for the title of the Journal and another for the publisher) so that we can track both separately. They are also very different items. Maybe an ISSN number would be useful here to prevent mistakes (oops, I see it down below-probably a good idea to have that entered first, the system could actually fill out the rest of the fields from the ISSN). The next field asks for the City/State of the journal. Hmmm, many journals are international. Why not add the Address field and group them all (Address, City, State (or Province), Country) since most are there already? The rest of the fields (Vol, Issue, pages) really should be moved up because they form part of the main citation. What should I do if my article has been accepted, but is not published? Maybe a check box to say "Forthcoming"? The system can remind authors to update those with forthcoming check marks after say a year or two. When I was entering the submission and acceptance dates, it's interesting to note that they use different formats (mm/dd/yyyy and mm/yyyy) but don't inform the user which formats to use. More observations to come...

September 12, 2007

Paperless Work Environment

I am looking for a way to transfer my paperwork from a paper file to pdf file and then a way to be able to find them again. Advice.

Project Management Software

I desperately need a way to track the many and varied projects I am responsible for. My fear is that in such a fast paced environment as development and alumni affairs, that I will miss a deadline or accomplishing the project.

Blog Now Easier to Use

I have modified the blog to make it more user friendly. You will see a "START BLOGGING" link on the main page of the blog on http://blog.lib.umn.edu/nhassan/lsbetechblog/. That link will take you directly to the New Entry page to enter your own entry. Of course if you want to comment on someone else's entry, click on the "Comments(0)" link beneath that entry. THE BLOG IS A GREAT WAY TO START ADVERTISING YOUR TECH IDEAS AND PROJECTS. Let's say you want something to help you manage your committee minutes or files, you can post your needs on the Tech Blog. Other committees might be interested in the same thing. As these needs are compiled, the Tech Program will be able to start a project to address these needs throughout the LSBE.

September 10, 2007

Tech Program Update

Thank you all for being patient with us. We survived the first week without too many problems. We received 17 calls for desktop/laptops issues, as expected, 9 calls for WebCT (now called WebVista) and other calls of various categories totaling 49 since we opened shop. I am at the moment reviewing several interesting instructional technologies that Maureen O'Brien and Jill Klingner brought to my attention. We were anticipating lots of problems with laptops that could not go online because of the new QuickStart security check that the main campus installed, but there were only a few of those. My appreciation and compliments go to all the Tech Program student helpers that fielded all the calls so well.

September 5, 2007

welcome, Nik


Welcome to your new job. As a faculty member, I'd like to know (as soon as the decisions have been made) how the technology is going to be set up in the new building. For example, what will be in the labs, how many stations, what software, etc.

Steve Castleberry

August 30, 2007

Welcome to the New LSBE Technology Weblog (Blog)

Welcome! This is the first entry to our blog. I will start with the charge given to the LSBE Technology Program so that the Tech Program scope is crystal clear to everyone. Here it goes...

"Provide leadership for LSBE in the strategic development of technology initiatives which represent state of the art practice within Business Schools. He will also attempt to leverage the School's technology dollars into greater amounts through grant writing, negotiations and arrangements with technology providers. He will assist faculty and staff in their technology needs for teaching, learning and research activities. Finally, he will oversee and manage the group of undergraduate students employed by the Technology Program to provide assistance to faculty and staff within LSBE."

In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, I thought it would be a good idea to start from the bottom--taking care of the day-to-day needs of faculty and staff. One of the things that I had to learn was "who should I call if I have a tech problem, ITSS or the LSBE Tech Program?" I discovered the following rule of thumb:

For anything to do with "centralized" technology resources--problems with email, eGradebook, email aliases, centralized disk storage (H: drive), classroom technology such as projectors and multimedia devices, Novell connectivity, and Faculty eTools such as class lists and WebDrop--CONTACT THE ITSS HELP DESK x8847. They have a process they go through to get problems resolved. Please note that at the beginning of the semester, things gets extra busy and they might take time to respond. So, we will try to step in as much as possible. However, if you call us about these issues, we will end up calling them anyway because we have no control over these centralized resources.

NOTWITHSTANDING what I just said, we will still of course help when contacted.

CALL US (x6905) for anything to do with LSBE-specific technologies such as desktop issues, security issues, instructional software (WebVista or WebCT, Moodle, clickers), Microsoft Office applications, databases or applications bought specifically by us. We are trained in most of them and ITSS has delegated some of the problem solving to us so that we can usually respond quicker than they can.

Nik R. Hassan