5.7 Communication about Technology

Background

The rapid evolution of technology demands that university community members be knowledgeable about the current status of technology on campus (policies, standards, systems, etc.) and that they be informed in a timely manner when changes and developments occur. In particular, when new technology is introduced into classrooms and offices, faculty, administrators, and staff need sufficient advanced notice to receive training and to plan for the integration of new technology into their workspaces and classrooms. When equipment, system, or software upgrades or alterations in the configurations of classrooms, offices, or other workspaces are planned, those affected need to know about these modifications in advance so that they are prepared to work around them. Additionally, when national, state, or MnSCU policies regarding technology change, community members must be apprised of these changes in order to comply with them. Finally, when policy changes are needed within SCSU, clear communication about processes are needed to enable all stakeholders to participate in discussions. When routine processes for communication are not clear and when responsibility for communication is coincidentally assigned, the resulting situations are not always conducive to effective communication.

Goals

In the next five years, the university should improve the flow of communication about technology:

  • determine people and units responsible for communication about technology and assign specific communication tasks to them
  • foster ongoing collaboration within the campus technology community, including TLTR, the Faculty Association Technology and Pedagogical Resources Committee (TPR), LR&TS, the Center for Information Systems (CIS), the central administration, and the colleges by establishing processes and means of joint decision-making and open communication
  • use existing communication vehicles (Web, e-mail, UNews, etc.) and create additional systems to provide accurate, timely, and current information about technology to the SCSU community
  • monitor the flow of technology information in the community, adjusting systems and communication channels to optimize access to information for all stakeholders
  • provide off-campus audiences (MnSCU, legislators, parents, prospective students, alumni, emeriti, etc.) with useful and timely information about SCSU technology

Specifics Action and Timeline

By October 2003, administration will establish a committee including representatives of the various constituencies on campus to assess and monitor university needs regarding communication about technology.
  • The committee will follow the standard timeline (see 5.0) for carrying out and reporting on specific actions.
  • The committee will audit the communications needs of faculty, administration, staff, and students and will make recommendations to the TLTR, the Dean of LR&TS, and the Director of CIS (administrative computing) about ways to enhance communication about technology on campus.
  • On an ongoing basis, the committee should monitor communication needs of campus stakeholders and make recommendations as appropriate to the TLTR , the Dean of LR&TS, and the Director of CIS about ways to enhance communication about technology on campus.
  • During the 2007/2008 academic year, the committee should conduct a follow-up audit of the communications needs of faculty, administrative, staff, and students to assess the current status of communication about technology. By March 15, 2008, the committee will make report to the TLTR, the Dean of LR&TS, and the Director of CIS about the current communication model.
  • By April 15, 2008, the deans and supervisors will evaluate the report and make recommendations to the Provost concerning communication about technology on campus.

Resources

The committee should make use of existing resources, including University Communications. Additional resources may be required, depending upon the results of the committee's audit, ongoing monitoring, and the analysis of the Dean of LR&TS and The Director of CIS.

Evaluation

  • Are current and newly hired faculty and staff apprised of the current status of technology on campus (policies, standards, systems, etc.) and informed about changes in technology in a timely manner?
  • Has the committee made ongoing audits of campus communication needs concerning technology and communicated those via reports to the TLTR, Dean of LR&TS, and the Director of CIS?
  • Has the committee provided other feedback opportunities (via the Web and other communication channels, for instance) for gathering campus input concerning communication?
  • Has the committee monitored regular communication channels (such as scsu-announce and scsu-discuss listservs) for technology communication issues?
  • Has the committee recommended adjustments in communication strategies and channels as needed?

Revised: May 2003