The current nature of technical support on campus needs to be defined so that SCSU can plan and develop a coordinated technical support infrastructure for SCSU within the next five years. This planning must address how to ensure responsive, comprehensive, up-to-date, and discipline-sensitive technical support for various units across campus. Planning also must take into consideration compliance with appropriate use standards.
Technologists provide valuable services to students, faculty, staff, and administration. Specifically, they work directly with users on particular projects and problems and are generally assigned to college or administrative units. This structure ensures that technologists develop a greater understanding of the technology environment of the people they support. Additionally, each college/administrative unit technologist spends part of the week (approximately 3-4 hours) at the Miller Center HelpDesk. This contact with university-wide support staff provides a wider perspective of technology advances and challenges across campus and enables these individuals to facilitate a high level of communications about current and evolving technology across campus. Finally, technologists provide leadership and coordination to ensure that various users' technology needs are met.
Currently, full-time college technicians are assigned in the Colleges of Business (COB), Education (COE), and Fine Arts/Humanities (COFAH). A half-time technologist is assigned in the College of Social Sciences (COSS), and the College of Science and Engineering (COSE) does not have a college technologist although some departments within COSE have technologists. Some departments in the COSE have little if any technical support other than the HelpDesk. This lack of technical support has lead to a number of problems, particularly for COSE computer labs. The anticipated expanded demand for Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software across campus may require increased technical support, and it’s likely that the current level of support in some colleges with full-time technologists is still insufficient. In addition to these needs within the colleges, Student Life and Development has requested full-time technical support. Other administrative units might benefit from more locally assigned technical support too. Although additional staffing may seem costly, additional technical support strategically placed can actually reduce downtime and save money.
An additional area of concern is legal use of software and hardware. Technologists have varying levels of understanding and training in the areas of quality assurance and compliance with copyright and appropriate use policies. Since the institution is held to legal standards, technologists must be trained to maintain standards of appropriate use of technology across campus and in their assigned units.
The following goals provide a framework for evaluating the needs and efficacy of assigning technologists to colleges and administrative units. Annual review is part of the process, but a final evaluation will be completed in five years.
The process outlined above will allow the university to determine the number of technologists needed to provide effective technology support to all units. The costs listed below are per position for salary, benefits, equipment, and training. Additional staff training will be an ongoing cost and will be scaled based on the number of positions.
Per staff costs in 2002/2003 dollars (which should be adjusted for inflation):
|Annual training of current/new staff – annualized||4,000|
Revised: May 2003