Priorities for Academic Computing
Information and Instructional Technologies is committed to providing contemporary computing services to the academic community. Within this broad framework, IIT will focus on six primary objectives. The objectives are listed below in alphabetical order.
Educational Partnerships: Effective curricular computing requires an understanding of the discipline, as well as an intimate familiarity with the supporting technologies. For many faculty, this requires a close working relationship with the IIT staff. IIT is committed to developing strong partnerships with the faculty to ensure the development of content-rich computing components for all aspects of the curriculum. This commitment will require the reallocation of existing staff resources, coupled with the future addition of new staff members.
Information Access: Access to global and local information drives the academic community. IIT will work with Administrative Computing and administrative offices to help deliver to faculty, staff, and students relevant local information in an electronic format, and to provide the means to access that information. The maintenance and routine upgrading of the St. Olaf Internet services (including lines, servers, etc.) will also be a continued priority for IIT.
Innovation: Advances in use of academic computing will occur when scholars undertake curricular development or professional activity that employs contemporary computer tools. To continue St. Olaf's technological leadership in academic computing, a continued budget priority will be to support projects that represent significant innovation in ways in which computers are used at St. Olaf.
Networking: A robust campus network, and its connection to Internet are the foundation for information technology use at St. Olaf.. Now that the campus-wide fiber-optic network is in place, IIT will concentrate on installing or upgrading the wiring in the residence halls and academic buildings to provide at least ethernet-speed data transmission, and to improve our maintenance and troubleshooting capabilities of existing networks.
Replacement and Redistribution: IIT is committed to continue an aggressive upgrade and redistribution program that provides faculty, staff, and students access to both desktop and central computing technology that matches their academic needs while making the most efficient and effective use of college funding. The useful life of computer equipment is rather short--typically 3-7 years. Beyond that time maintenance costs become uneconomical, software support vanishes, and new systems completely overshadow old capabilities.
Service and Support: Educational and maintenance programs are the backbone of a successful computing environment. IIT will continue to improve and redesign the support services as appropriate to more closely match the campus computing needs, such as the enhancement of IIT workshop and seminar program, the migration of documentation to an on-line, on-demand format, the increasing on-demand help services such as the Hotline, to more stringent and demanding preventive maintenance program for IIT-supported hardware and software.