You are here

Feature

When Ohio State students requested a campus life mobile app, Steve Fischer, director of web and mobile apps (standing, left) and his team collaborated on the project that made it happen.

In today’s higher ed world, no department can work in a vacuum, least of all IT. From understanding the business plan to knowing how a web page or application will be used and by whom before it is designed and built, the days of CIOs and their teams working independently are gone.

IT administrators are spending more time than ever before collaborating with other departments to ensure there is a clear understanding of a project’s mission and to generate a more successful outcome.

When mapping out how wayfinding should be incorporated into digital signage on campus, ease of use for students and visitors should be the top concern. “The more information that can be presented visually, rather than textually, the more easily information can be digested in terms of wayfinding,” says Lyle Bunn, a digital signage expert based outside Toronto.

Colleges and universities must consider students' privacy and other issues when lectures are recorded.

While the benefits of lecture capture and the flipped classroom model have caught widespread attention in higher ed, it is crucial to note its risks—particularly in the area of privacy and copyright violations.

The President’s Task Force  Committee at Salisbury University is an example of how multiple  departments can work with IT. On  the committee is Simeon Ananou (seated, with laptop), as well as his colleagues from the provost’s office, student affairs, registrar, financial aid, general counsel, HR, web  communications and two academic departments.

Within the next few years, as the ROI of collaboration becomes increasingly known, expect cross-departmental teamwork to be integral to the way all IT projects are handled, says Kamalika Sandell, associate CIO of American University. “There will be fewer boundaries in IT, and that will allow input to happen fluidly throughout the regular course of doing business,” she notes.

Simeon Ananou, CIO of Salisbury University in Maryland, sees a future higher ed model where IT and curriculum are integrated.

Swipe for entry: Florida State and other  campuses are moving toward all buildings,  not just dorms, requiring a card key for access.

As violent crime has steadily increased on college campuses in the last three decades, institutional leaders have reacted by creating more stringent policies to restrict visitors from entering their academic, administrative and residential buildings.

Electronic records are helping to solve storage problems for Rebecca Turner of Central New Mexico Community College, where 4,000 boxes of personnel files and other records must be retained for up to 55 years.

Around 4,000 boxes of paper records fill the shelves in Central New Mexico Community College’s storage area. And many of these boxes—those containing employee personnel files, for example—must remain in storage for up to 55 years before they can be destroyed.

It’s a big reason why CNMCC has embraced electronic records management, says Rebecca Turner, records and property control manager for the Albuquerque college.

Of all the new ideas bubbling to the surface in building state-of-the-art science centers, the one theme that was constant across all Inside Look submissions was creating spaces that foster collaboration—both among students and teachers within a specific science, as well as across all science disciplines. One school even calls its science center a “collaboratory.”

Thanks to the use of image capturing verification processes,  students and graduates of Shenandoah U in Virginia need not worry about the accuracy of their electronic transcripts.

Despite the benefits of electronic document management systems, college and university compliance efforts can be undermined by faulty management.

Providers were asked to share their thoughts on what higher ed institutions aren’t paying enough attention to when it comes to compliance and electronic documents/records management. Here’s what they told us:

One way to determine if a visitor management program is successful is to measure whether it has reduced crime on campus.

Since the University of Southern California in 2012 enclosed its campus with fencing and shut down access to visitors each night, the number of thefts occurring between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. has dropped by nearly 50 percent, says David Carlisle, deputy chief at the university’s Department of Public Safety.

IT officials at any institution considering outsourcing help desk support will need to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether budget and IT operations mesh with an external provider

The IT department at Widener University in Chester, Pa., was at a crisis point. Unexpected IT staff turnover and high demand for more technology resources intersected, leaving the university grappling with how to provide help desk support. The school had walk-in centers that were open into the evenings, but overall, coverage wasn’t keeping up with demand.

Pages