5.6 e-Services

Background

SCSU has traditionally provided high quality service to students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and emeriti. Evolving e-technologies are opening new channels for the delivery of vital services. SCSU has been, and must continue to be, a leader in delivering services in efficient and cost-effective ways that balance stakeholders’ needs and expectations.

Traditional methods of delivering services – postal mail, telephone, and face-to-face – are still valid for a large segment of those served by SCSU. However, with the availability of the Internet, the increased focus on distance education, and the everyday expectation of stakeholders that services should be readily available online, SCSU must continue to develop and deliver services via the World Wide Web in a timely and client-friendly manner.

The goal of this section is to use past experience of providing "traditional" services to a wide variety of stakeholders and the more focused "e-student services" to develop a comprehensive set of online services that meet the needs of the widest audience possible. Sixteen essential student services have been identified that the Chancellor’s Office (MnSCU) expects universities to provide online. (See http://www.eresources.mnscu.edu/ for specific information on this and other "e-" initiatives.) Although "e-student services" have been identified, online services for other stakeholders are less well defined. In some cases, online service may be important and useful to a variety of stakeholders, i.e., parking permit applications.

SCSU needs to address three areas:

  1. Of the 16 essential online student services that have been identified, some have been or will be developed and delivered by the central MnSCU IT group (i.e., registration has already been developed and delivered); some will need to be developed by the individual campuses (i.e., orientation); and some may need a shared approach to develop and deliver the service online.
  2. The list of 16 essential online student services may not be complete for SCSU. A comprehensive review of the list will identify additional services that are important to SCSU students.
  3. Online services for other stakeholders — faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, emeriti, etc. — need to be identified and developed. A few examples might include electronic library reserves, evaluation forms from Human Resources, payroll time reporting, workflow systems to sequence and route forms for employee and student procedures, budget reports, telephone reports, and orders for printing requests.

Goals

To ensure all stakeholder access to the full range of online services, SCSU must

  • increase the active participation of SCSU staff (end users and technical staff) in the MnSCU "e-Student Services" initiative
  • develop plans for delivering services not considered by the MnSCU "e-Student Services" initiative
  • conduct an extensive review to identify and prioritize online services critical to SCSU stakeholders
  • develop working plans to deliver local online services as seamless, complementing components of MnSCU initiatives.

Specific Actions and Timeline

A committee will be established to evaluate e-services. The committee will play an active role in the MnSCU "e-Student Services" initiative, will review the MnSCU e-service effort, determine the current state and identify future directions of the effort, and develop a strategy for SCSU's active participation in the larger MnSCU effort.

  • The committee will follow the standard timeline (see 5.0) for carrying out and reporting on specific actions.
  • The committee will formally review services currently available to stakeholders at SCSU, compile an inventory of online services, and compare it to the planned delivery of MnSCU services.
  • The committee, in consultation with service areas, will develop a work plan to prioritize the service items that must be delivered locally. The work plan will speak to service items, priorities, and the scope of items.
  • The committee will inform the campus of the service items and the priority for development. Active development of online services will begin based on established priorities.

Resources

The primary human resources required to develop and deliver online services are

  • services department staff time to identify essential and potential services
  • technical Web developer time to build the online components.
Both of these human resources are in limited supply; therefore, additional technical support will be required to advance online service delivery. Re-prioritizing of current development work may be necessary to focus on needed service delivery.

Additional technical infrastructure may be needed to support high-volume, Web-based student, employee, or other stakeholder services. The work plan must address estimated resource needs as the size and scope of the effort is identified.

Evaluation

  • Has SCSU staff participation in the MnSCU e-Student Services initiative increased?
  • Has the committee developed plans for delivering services not included in the central development plan?
  • Has the committee conducted an extensive review and identified online services critical to SCSU stakeholders?
  • Has the committee developed plans for delivering online services that are seamless complements to the larger MnSCU initiative?
  • Has the committee submitted a final report in Spring 2008?
  • Has the committee made recommendations for the next cycle of technology planning?

Revised: May 2003