Institutional Readiness Criteria - Example 3

Is computing firmly integrated into the campus culture?

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for example, describes itself as a "computing intensive" campus. What is the level of availability of network access and personal computer ownership (or availability) for students and faculty on your campus? Do you know how many students own computers? Do you have a comprehensive maintenance and upgrade plan for campus computers?

What evidence can you provide to demonstrate the integration of computing into your campus culture? Here are some examples of the ways various institutions have responded to this criterion.

De Anza College (Foothill-De Anza Community College District)

De Anza prides itself on having been identified as the "most wired community college" by Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine in 1997. The college also opened the Advanced Technology Center in 1995; a 66,000 sq. ft. building focused on instructional technology. Approximately 95% of the building contains dedicated labs or classrooms for direct instructional support. Containing nearly 1,000 networked computers, it is estimated that about 10,000 students use this building each day for subjects as diverse as computer science, CAD, mathematics, statistics, engineering, auto technology, psychology, allied health, business and accounting, computer graphics, electronic music, animation, film and television, English composition and literature, ESL, and foreign languages. Furthermore, De Anza is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, where technology is assumed to be a way of life, not just a tool for accomplishing certain tasks.

The college is completing a plan for equipping all faculty offices with new state-of-the-art computers as well as allocating an average of $1,000,000 per year for the acquisition and support of computers in laboratories and classrooms supporting all instructional disciplines. We will soon finish a complete rewiring of the campus, installing an ATM fiber-based network to all campus work areas so that every employee and student will have on campus access to a high-speed network through state-of-the-art technology.

We estimate that 75% of our students have access to computing through their personal means or through on campus labs and networks. By the fall of 1999 all faculty will have a new computer in their office connected to the ATM-backbone network. The college demonstrates its commitment to maintaining currency in computer technology through a refresh lease program for all new computer acquisitions. Begun last year, this program will eventually ensure that our computers are current within three years at all times. We also have appropriate maintenance contracts in place for all technology as well as a group of certified repair technicians employed directly by the college.

Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Computing is firmly integrated into the culture of IUPUI. Computing tools include a variety of timesharing computers; hundreds of public-access, Internet-connected workstations, all equipped with current software; and a number of supercomputers. Interconnecting these resources is a high-speed network that links computers of many types and sizes in a complex, interactive web.

Since the implementation of the Campus Network Plan, launched in 1992, the IUPUI community has benefited from improvements to the campus technology infrastructure, dial-up access, and student technology centers. Improvements to the campus computing architecture have resulted in better reliability, security, and effectiveness for Web pages, e-mail, and instruction, as well as progress toward a goal of supporting teaching and learning "anytime" and "anywhere." Enthusiastic adoption of the OnCourse initiative, which provides online communication spaces for each of the more than 5,000 courses offered each semester by the University, is just one example of the use this campus is making of its networking infrastructure.

As the campus network has expanded in capability, so has the demand for its use. The use of e-mail and Listserv at IUPUI nearly doubled from 1994 to 1996, going from a daily average of 94,000 e-mail messages in 1994 to 170,000 in 1996. Today, there are 220,614 subscribers to over 789 unique Listserv lists. Jaguar News (JagNews), a heavily-used electronic messaging system using Listserv, delivers timely information about campus events and opportunities to a user’s e-mailbox. This service is available to any IUPUI faculty, staff, or student who has an e-mail account. Currently, there are approximately 15,000 subscribers to JagNews.

Pennsylvania State University

Computing is very firmly integrated into Penn State’s campus culture. Every member of the Penn State community (faculty, staff, and student) is given at no cost an account that allows unlimited email access, unlimited connect time via modems, large amounts of free software, free web space, and so on. More than 9,200 students have an active Ethernet port in their residence hall room. Within one year every classroom at University Park will have an active Ethernet port so faculty can easily bring technology into the classroom. University Park has nearly 1,800 public workstations and nearly 2,500 college- and department-based workstations. Similar facilities exist at all other Penn State campuses.

Penn State was an early leader of the Internet 2 project, but it has also been in the vanguard of institutions that have a successful program of helping faculty integrate technology into teaching. Our numerous national awards (including Educom awards) attest to our success in this area.

Rio Salado College (Maricopa Community College District)

Yes. 80% of our general education courses are delivered via technology. The college technology plan, reviewed and updated each year, contains a provision for upgrading faculty hardware/software throughout the year to support their research and application of the latest technology. In addition, laptops and other forms of technology are made available to faculty upon request. In addition to computers for faculty, Rio makes computers available to its students in computer labs located around the Phoenix valley. These labs are consistently upgraded and have lab technicians available during open hours.

University at Buffalo (SUNY)

  • Access99, a Computer Access Initiative for Students. UB is among the small group of major research universities making a commitment to a fully integrated student computer environment. Starting in F99 and in the three years following, incoming freshman will be expected to have access to a computer. By F02 faculty can design undergraduate courses with the assumption that all students will have capabilities in electronic communication, documentation preparation, and access to web-based resources and other multimedia formats. UB is developing extensive orientation and training opportunities to prepare students for meeting these expectations and responsibilities.
  • Computer Availability. UB has a ratio of 12.08 computers per 100 students available in public sites and elsewhere on campus. Five special areas in the University Library called "Cybraries" are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Three quarters of the dorms are wired, with the rest scheduled shortly. In symbiotic relationship with this access infrastructure, our surveys indicate that approximately 70% of undergraduates now own computers.
  • Academic Nodes. UB represents a comprehensive array of academic disciplines and professional schools. The academic IT infrastructure for its College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) and 12 professional schools is organized into six Nodes: (1) humanities and social sciences departments in CAS; (2) the five health science schools—Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Health Related Professions; (3) CAS science departments and Engineering; (4) Law, Education, Social Work, Information and Library Science; (5) Management; and (6) Architecture and Planning. The Nodes provide distributed IT maintenance and development at the unit level. Each Node includes a Teaching and Learning Roundtable funded in1998 by a provostal initiative of $180k @ $30k per Node.
  • University Libraries. Library directors and information specialists are major players in UB’s technology initiatives and are fully integrated into faculty development and student training. Librarians work with faculty in discipline-specific contexts, creating and deploying IT instructional resources through the Educational Technology Center, the Faculty Development Working Group, and the Nodes. The libraries also provide student training workshops and have established five public student labs called "Cybraries."
  • IT Infrastructure Investment. Very substantial investments in IT infrastructure have been made within the past two years, including a complete refreshment of the equipment in public computing sites (over 600 PCs); the establishment of the Node system of IT support distribution; and the establishment of the Educational Technology Center.
  • Educational Technology Classrooms. UB has equipped 40 Ed Tech classrooms with multimedia equipment and Internet access in support of faculty applications of IT in the curriculum.
  • Training Workshops. IT training workshops for faculty, students, and professional staff are regularly sponsored across the campus by a variety of units: Computer Information Technology, University Libraries, Educational Technology Center, Nodes, UB Micro.
  • Online Registration. Online registration for all students is being fully implemented in S99.
  • ResNet. ResNet is the system of physical cabling and support services that make it possible for students to use their personal computers to access computing, library, and academic services directly from their dorm rooms. Each residence hall has a dedicated ethernet hook-up for connecting student PC’s to the intranet and internet.
  • Yahoo! Internet Life Survey. The May 1999 issue of Yahoo! Internet Life ranks UB among the top fifty "Most Wired Colleges" in the United States. Of the SUNY schools that made the top one hundred, UB ranks highest at 47. It is one token of the perception that UB has substantially integrated computing into the campus culture.

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida has organized all information resource units into a comprehensive service division--Information Technologies and Resources. IT&R units include the Library, Computer Services, Telecommunications, Instructional Resources, and Course Development & Web Services. This organizational structure facilitates a comprehensive and coordinated response to the university’s information technology needs. The Library has been given a prominent role in making available a wide array of electronic information services.

Networking has become a core resource, as well as a strategy, for the university as it strives to serve a growing student population over an increasing geographic area and expands into new areas of research. Although UCF was recognized in 1998 as the nation’s "26th Most Wired Campus" by Yahoo Internet Life magazine, our goal is to be more than simply a "wired campus". UCF is using network technology to create a sense of community, extending "7 by 24" access to information, services and people to all students and employees. Stated simply, our objective is to create a high performance and ubiquitous network, fill it with useful information and services, and make it accessible to all UCF students, faculty and staff.

In response to the institution’s rapid growth and distributed student population, UCF is harnessing its network and the Web to provide access to institutional information and services. A series of core network services has been established, consisting of electronic mail, World Wide Web, the full array of Internet utilities (e.g., telnet, ftp, etc.), a wide array of on-line library information, image processing, and on-line course delivery. Access to UCF information and services is available through the university’s main Website, and services such as POLARIS, a Web interface to many administrative services for students, faculty, and staff. POLARIS was recently accorded a Davis Productivity Award by the State of Florida for the improvement in service and decrease in operating costs that were achieved. These services are available to all UCF network users. To support these services, all central servers have been continuously upgraded, and new servers were added to accommodate the growth in both users and on-line information.

UCF is a charter member of Internet2, and has played a leadership role in the advancement of education and research networking in Florida. UCF is one of only 133 institutions with high performance connections.

In 1996, UCF completed a campus connectivity project, through which all faculty and staff offices not previously connected were provided with access to the campus backbone network. New premise wiring, optical fiber and network components were implemented throughout the campus to establish universal backbone network connectivity. New faculty PCs were added and old PCs have been continuously upgraded.

At the same time, the network backbone was upgraded from Ethernet to ATM operating at OC-12 (622 Mbit/second), with distributed 100 Mbit/second Ethernet switches. All primary network servers were directly connected to the ATM backbone, resulting in improved security and significantly enhanced performance. Multiple T-1 data links were installed between the main Orlando campus and our five branch campus sites, linking these sites to the backbone network to support access to the campus network and the delivery of interactive video for distance learning.

The campus modem pool was modernized and expanded in 1997, and is further expanded each year to keep up with demand. Modem pools were added at each of our branch campus sites to provide free local dialing for all of our service areas. There is no user fee for use of the UCF modem pool. A system of Universal Access was implemented in 1995, whereby all UCF students, faculty, and staff are provided with network and e-mail accounts. UCF now maintains an account pool that ranges from 45,000 to more than 50,000 users.

UCF is adding major buildings at a rate of one or two a year, and all new buildings are being designed with full-multimedia and network-equipped classrooms. Through a companion program, existing classrooms are being converted for multimedia instruction, network access, and computer-video display. The university’s new data center houses Computer Services and campus network operations, providing a state of the art environment. The building also includes computer laboratory space and a 450-seat multimedia auditorium.

A major effort has been undertaken to expand and modernize campus public computer labs, and currently more than 1,100 lab PCs are available. Lab computers are on a three-year replacement cycle, and all labs are equipped with 100Mbps network connections, dedicated software servers, and free high-speed laser printing. Trained consultants are available in all public labs. Labs and help desk support are available to UCF students and faculty 24 hours a day, including telephone, Web and walk-in assistance.

UCF is one of the nation’s leading institutions in distributed learning. The university has the most extensive distance engineering education program in the state, operates an interactive video network that serves all branch campus sites, and has developed an expansive on-line program. UCF’s on-line courses serve both campus-based and distant students. Currently four on-line degree programs are offered. Two additional graduate degree programs include a substantial proportion of on-line courses. During the current term, 40 fully Web-based courses are being offered, enrolling 1,413 students; in addition, 75 Web-enhanced courses are being offered, enrolling 4,380 students. Nearly 200 on-line courses have been developed to date.

A major project is underway to implement new administrative systems. PeopleSoft Student Administration and Human Resources systems will go into service during the coming 18 months, featuring an extensive Web interface to information and on-line transactions for students, faculty and staff. More UCF students now register over the Web than by any other means.

University of Colorado-Boulder

CU Boulder has long had a good computing infrastructure and tradition, particularly due to the computing intensive research culture that is coupled with the national laboratories (NCAR, NIST, NOAA, JILA) in Boulder. Recently this tradition has been strengthened further. At the beginning of his Chancellorship in 1997, Chancellor Byyny stated the goal: "At the University of Colorado, we clearly want to play the lead role in using technology efficiently and responsibly to help people do their work and improve learning. We should be one of the leading public universities in that area in the next five years and the leading university in that area within ten years." [CU Silver and Gold Record, 12/3/97].

We have made major commitments in the last two years to excellent infrastructure for all faculty and students, including: a comprehensive IT strategic plan and implementation of many of its goals, including the following;

  • a faculty computer program that gives each faculty member a new computer every 3 years (~$650K/year);
  • a distributed academic support program that places instructional technology support teams in each school and college (~$700K/year);
  • 100Mb connectivity to each student in each dorm room coupled with an excellent modem pool for off-campus access;
  • a strong recommendation that each student bring a personal computer coupled with establishment (in fall 1999) of a pool of loaner computers for needy students; and,
  • a 3-year upgrade cycle for all open student computing laboratories.

A portion of the resources for this infrastructure has come from a student decision in 1998 to double the student computing fee and co-manage its use with the administration. In addition, the campus CIO position oversees both academic and support functions, coupling ATLAS and infrastructure leadership. The CIO sits on the highest level campus management groups, the Chancellor's cabinet and executive committee and the Deans Council. A high level campus IT Council, chaired by the CIO, oversees IT planning and strategic management, and a unified campus wide IT budget presentation is an integral part of the campus budget process.

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh's network, PittNet, provides service to 32,000 undergraduate and graduate students and over 9,000 faculty and staff. On the Pittsburgh campus over 70 buildings are connected across 132 acres. PittNet provides access through over 22,000 Ethernet and serial ports and 800 modems. University faculty, staff and students have ready access to computing resources and use them extensively in support of the teaching and research missions of the institution.

The University's Ubiquitous Network Access (UNA) project is dedicated to updating and standardizing the University's faculty and graduate teaching assistants computing environment. Over the last four years, the UNA program has resulted in over 1200 new computers being distributed to University of Pittsburgh faculty and graduate teaching assistants in 51 departments. In several instances, faculty members that had been using 1985 technology were upgraded to a high-end Pentium or Power Macintosh computer. All UNA recipients have access to a software library, which allows the recipient to become immediately productive. Since all UNA devices are connected to PittNet, Internet access is instantly available.

The University of Pittsburgh has equipped all Oakland campus undergraduate residence halls with one Ethernet network connection per student. These Ethernet network connections provide students with a 24-hour a day, seven day a week direct connection to the University network, PittNet, as well as to the Internet. The residential computing program provides resident students with high quality computer support via Residential Consultants, who live in residence halls to assist with the specific computing needs of resident students.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

As Chancellor David Ward’s recently released Progress Report on Our Priorities states, "We recognize that technology, used wisely, is a powerful tool that can transform our traditional approaches to teaching, learning and conducting research."

UW-Madison serves over 40,000 students with assistance from over 2,000 faculty, 5,000 academic staff, and 5,000 classified staff. Currently, two-thirds (66%) of UW-Madison students own computers, and the majority of those who own computers also own and use modems. In addition, UW-Madison provides students 16 general access InfoLabs containing 1,100 computers. Students sign into the InfoLabs over 1 million times and use 3.5 million hours of computing time annually. Almost ninety percent (90%) of faculty and seventy-two percent (72%) of full-time staff own and use a computer.

Looking ahead, Chancellor Ward’s Vision for the Future includes a statement that ". . . faculty, staff, and students must have universal access to networked communications and information. We need an integrated system of voice, data, video, wired, wireless, and other technologies–all aspects of instructional technology that are rapidly evolving."