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A Cal U Faculty Member Standing With A Small RobotA Cal U Faculty Member Standing With A Small Robot

IT becomes UTech Services

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Posted on April 2, 2010

"U," the individual, and "U," the University as a whole, will benefit greatly from a reorganization and expansion of the Information Technology office.

"This not your dad's IT Department," explains Dr. Charles A. Mance, vice president for information technology, as he describes the reasoning behind the change.

As Cal U moves towards more collaborative learning, greater data sharing and new mobile computing initiatives, Mance anticipates a greater need for a broader-reaching, more responsive department.  And he is ready to deliver.

Look for University Technology Services - UTech Services - to replace the traditional Information Technology Department at Cal U over the next few months.

"Information Technology was a term that originated with data processing," Mance says. "University Technology Services is more descriptive of what we do today - and how we will address the growing needs of students, faculty, staff, as well as friends and visitors to the University in the future. It's all about service."

A new, user-focused approach developed from highly successful business models will affect all aspects of technology and affect how services and support are requested and delivered.

  • Desire2Learn replaces BlackBoard and eCollege this summer, eliminating the need for students and faculty to adapt to two online learning systems. As the single learning management system for the PASSHE system, Desire2Learn, in conjunction with the Learning Edge Equella learning content management system, will facilitate an exchange of ideas across all 14 state universities and beyond.
  • New software will improve and expand Help Desk services. The department will create new service-level agreements, as well as a catalog of products and services, and users will be able to track their service requests.
  • By August 2011, Banner will supplant (SIS) SCT-Plus as the University student information system. The Banner administrative suite will elevate the University's capability for reporting and data analysis and offer a more user-friendly portal for students.
  • A new security, quality and compliance group will establish policies and define and measure processes to constantly improve customer satisfaction.

The success of UTech Services rests on quality support staff that will be trained and certified to provide strategic - not just tactical - responses.

"We have high-potential people in our group and they will be put in ‘stretch' positions where they can grow," says Mance.

While the University's SMART classrooms symbolize a commitment to interactive education, Mance suggests that UTech Services can support and enhance even the most sophisticated learning environment, making it more productive for students and faculty - and more efficient for the University.

"We're investing in technology that can simulcast between two SMART classrooms, for example, to make the space more usable and give more students access to classes and advanced resources."

"Cal U's campus is so impressive and its reputation for excellence is growing," Mance says. "I want to make sure our technology service and support is just as impressive.

"With the changes we're making, I foresee an extremely high quality, customer centric department that supports and empowers everyone in the Cal U community."