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St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud State University

Technology Plan

Implementation vision of the comprehensive technology plan

May 20, 2010


The way technology has evolved over the last two decades has altered not only the way we disseminate information, but also the way we interact with each other and how we view the physical world. These new advances affect our academic work in all its facets, from student learning and classroom teaching, to scholarship, to all of our business practices.

Planning for technology on a university campus is challenging, in part, because this rate of change, already fast, seems to get faster every day. We can foresee some, but not all, of even the most basic and sweeping changes in store for us. Planning will enable us to think intentionally about how best to

  • support our teaching and learning mission and use technology where appropriate to improve our routine services
  • prioritize and respond to the complex and sometimes competing needs and expectations of all 20,000 students and employees
  • accommodate and capitalize upon technological change
  • define and purchase the technologies we need now
  • design a governance structure that builds upon our best centralized and decentralized practices
  • clarify decision-making structures

Planning, implementing, and talking about technology is also challenging because of the sheer scale of its presence and impact on campus. Not only are there about 20,000 users, but our planning must accommodate needs that range from the entire institution (and even Minnesota State) to individual users.

This plan, then, is the first of a series of plans, built, as it is, upon a brief analysis of where we are right now. We know that the examples in the definition section will change as technology and our current status change. However, these examples and the definition section as a whole are intended to provide common ground for further discussions about how to plan for and work with the problems associated with technologies on a campus this size, organized the way it is, and funded the way it is. This conversation is essential since technology has implications for every sector of our campus. We need to think strategically about the nature of technology now and into the future and develop a plan that provides the best fit for our University mission, our students, and our strategic goals.

The sections of this document

  • define what we mean by technology
  • describe where we are today with specific reference to
    • the complexity of our systems
    • governance and decision-making structures
    • the effects of changing technologies on instructional and business practices
    • funding and spending regarding technology
    • curricular and classroom technologies
    • community engagement and co-curricular activities
    • professional and workplace development
    • security and compliance obligations
    • using technology for communication and our communication surrounding technology
  • provide guiding principles for IT organization
  • offer objectives that will drive the actions this plan recommends
  • provide next steps in implementing this plan.

The objectives and next steps in this plan are intended to frame the most pressing problems we face, to encourage campus-wide conversation about how technology as defined in this report might support us in achieving our institutional mission, and to provide a foundation for the next technology plan.