INSIDE Chico State
0 December 12, 2002
Volume 33 Number 8
  A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
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Inside

STORIES

Calendar

Achievements

In The News

Briefly Noted

President's Desk

Information Technology

Credits

Archives


 

Information Technology

Living in a Construction Zone

If you walk across campus you can't help but notice the trenches dug to install wiring conduit as part of the CSU systemwide Technology Infrastructure Initiative (TII). This construction is just the visible manifestation of one of the many projects that constitute an unprecedented rebuilding of our technology infrastructure. Over the next three to five years, this Information Technology Construction Zone will include an array of hardware and software upgrades that will have a significant impact on how we teach students and administer the campus. Some of these projects include

  • The Technology Infrastructure Initiative, a network upgrade that replaces network and phone cables across the campus, replaces $2 million in networking equipment, and could, in a few years, lead to a more cost-effective telephone system.
     
  • The CMS project that will change business practices across the campus as we replace our aging administrative systems with one common system built upon shared data.
     
  • A next-generation online learning management system that replaces our version of WebCT with a system that, in conjunction with CMS, provides administrative and learning support for every course.
     
  • A university Web portal that connects faculty, staff, students, prospective students, parents, alumni, and others to resources and services specific to users based on their relation to the university.
     
  • A mobile computing environment that supports wireless access in the classroom, around the campus, and perhaps throughout the community to laptops, computing tablets, and personal digital assistants (PDAs).
     
  • A secure hardware and software infrastructure that improves protection from hackers and viruses while authenticating users and their access privileges at a local and national level.
     

These projects and others under review by the Beyond 2000 committee form the foundation for 21st-century electronic services at CSU, Chico. Many of these new services, such as online course registration and grading, video conferencing from offices and classrooms, powerful and easy-to-use online testing and assessment tools, integration of phone and e-mail services, and ubiquitous wireless connectivity, will be expected by the new generation of faculty and students. Other online services that allow users direct access to information and enable them to fill in forms with personal data will alleviate some work for over-burdened staff.

Living amidst this Information Technology Construction Zone will continue to be a challenge for all of us long after the trenches are filled. In a sense, we are all hard-hat workers trying to maintain services while this new Information Technology (IT) infrastructure is erected around us. As with highway construction, we will need to develop workarounds and detours to keep traffic flowing. Although hardware and software updates will certainly continue after our current information technology infrastructure upgrade, these projects will build upon a combination of IT initiatives unique in scope in the history of CSU, Chico.

As each of these major projects reaches completion and we begin to pick up the figurative yellow caution cones surrounding them, a new base for information technology services will begin to emerge. The results will be not only a more effective and efficient campus, but also a technology base upon which it will be much easier to bring future IT value to our faculty, staff, and students.

If you have any questions or suggestions about our IT projects, please check our Web pages, www.csuchico.edu/inf, or contact me, x6212.

Bill Post, vice provost, Information Resources

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