Page 31 - Campus Technology, January/February 2018
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on a campus could make the difference in which univer- sities students choose. Students are more apt to select a university that invests in technology and uses its information technology innovatively across campus. This is especially true when it comes to technology in the classrooms and collaboration spaces. The bottom line is that students are more apt to choose a university that invests in information technology than a university that just minimally funds tech- nology enhancements across campus.
Fodrey: Due to ever-increasing complexities through- out higher education, IT divisions find themselves jug- gling a growing service portfolio, addressing seemingly endless challenging fiscal climates and acting as leaders throughout an organization as both service providers and chief innovators.
Put more simply, every project in an organization is in some fashion a technology project — and when IT has a seat at the table, that allows you to ask, what is the organi- zation trying to accomplish? And how can technology sup- port that effort? IT does more than provide the technology, it powers the mission of an institution.
The role IT is to assist in managing organizational change and transform our respective institutions for the future. IT divisions must be able to better predict and deliver what our faculty, staff and students want at the precise moment they want it! This lean-in approach will allow our divisions to
help steer the conversation toward a technology footprint that can evolve and that we can best support, as well as divert elsewhere in situations where a technology infusion may take away from the goal or problem being addressed.
Goodrum: Certainly, a key to IT’s strategic impact in higher education is to focus on the value proposition, rath- er than the feature list of the latest technology peaking on the Gartner curve. Can we find a match between needs, delivering value and managing expectations and timelines? There’s often a lot of pain when there is a mismatch! Per- haps one analogy would be to consider two appliances that apply detergent and water with the purpose of cleaning: You wouldn’t want to put your clothes in the dishwasher and your dishes in the washing machine. Also, as with many of our personal purchases, we too often seek tools with long lists of features, then either avoid using them because they are too complex or only use them for one or two tasks. In our daily lives, we often buy (or receive) things because of convincing marketing, but then leave them in the drawer be-
cause the purpose is not a priority or we can’t afford the time to learn to use them. Or we buy the tool to satisfy a particular person, when in fact the work will be done by others. The end result of a mismatched technology will be a distraction, or worse, a disruption, keeping everyone from the purpose at hand: teaching and learning, research, ser- vice and/or the running of the university.
7) Learning Space Design
Vedantham: Changes in student behavior are informing the design of learning spaces on university and college campuses, often creating pressure on campuses with older building infrastructure. For example, new library spaces now emphasize casual interaction, movable furniture, writable surfaces, transparency and multimedia creation. Our Cabot Science Library with its media studios opened in April 2017 to rave reviews. The 2017 Designing Libraries conference featured us and several other new spaces.
Changes in physical space also require changes in poli-
“Every project in an organization is in some fashion a technology project — and when IT has a seat at the table, that allows you to ask, what is the organization trying to accomplish? And how can technology support that effort?” — Brian Fodrey
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | January/February 2018

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