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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.


Roles


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.