ACANS News & Information Center will Highlight a Technology Enhanced University

ACANS News & Information Center

ACANS News & Information Center will Highlight a Technology Enhanced University

In view of the reorganization, consolidation of services, and the new focus on research at NMSU, Dr. Michael Hites, Chief Information Officer, says he wants involvement from everybody on campus.   Reiterating NMSU President Michael Martin’s vision of One University and Living the Vision , Hites said that as a university community we are coming up with new ways to measure outcomes and they are all tied to technology.   

President Martin was the keynote speaker at the Association of Computing and Network Support (ACANS) Tech-Summit Planning Session held November 10, 2005.   He told the group of about 70 information technology specialists that their contributions to the mission of the university were invaluable, and they would be called upon to assume a leadership role in helping the university create a new super structure to meet the challenges of the future.   Hites responded to Martin’s assertion by saying, “President Martin drives the mission, and we, as information technology specialists, help implement the mission, and we need everybody’s involvement.”

ACANS is comprised of people who have an interest in, and work with, information technology.   This group of people supports technology and enables the university to move forward.   Membership in ACANS is all inclusive, with all campuses, colleges, and departments being represented. Recognizing the importance of this collaboration in meeting the University’s technological goals, Hites initiated a number of system-wide collaborations to support those goals, among them was the ACANS Tech-Summit Planning Session held last year, and which is planned as a yearly event.   

ACANS News & Information Center, an online information site , is another initiative resulting from the fall planning summit.   ACANS New & Information Center will replace the ICT Newsletter , and it will provide broader exposure on how technology is enhancing NMSU’s capabilities.   It will also act as a vehicle for voices to be heard.  

ACANS was founded in the late 1980s, and is comprised of information technology professionals who represent every college and department on NMSU’s five campuses.   “There is a lot going on out there,”  says Brian Ormand, Director of Strategic Relations.  “Dr. Hites is concerned with technology across the system and wants to use the input from various professionals.”  

The typical ACANS member is not necessarily the person who just uses technology, he/she also supports other users.   “Typically, they support desktop PCs, networks, instructional technology, and a variety of other things, ” explains Ormand.

As a group, ACANS tries to address the systemic issues; the institutional-wide issues in terms of technology infrastructure and technology services.   Ormand notes there are a lot of innovative things being done in the various colleges and departments, and the ACANS News & Information Center is the ideal place to share these innovations.  

“We’d like to hear about those things and see if they are systemic in nature and if they might be universally shared,” states Ormand.   “Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provides the centralization/standardization for that to be accomplished, but we need the cooperation and support from all colleges and departments.  We want to work in collaboration with them.   We want to hear from them, and we want them to know their voice is important and they have an avenue to express their thoughts and ideas.”

“Technology is so important to the future of our students, and to the future of our institution. ”  Ormand says that as a university community we should be thinking about how technology is used to advance our mission.   “It’s not about technology,” he says, “it is about what we can accomplish via technology. ”   Many times, he notes, technology infrastructures get overlooked, taken for granted, and generally underemphasized, but in the long run, it is the technological skill sets that prepare our graduates go out into the work world that count.”

Classroom technology (multimedia classroom) is one initiative to that end, and it is very much a partnership among colleges, departments, and ICT.   “Just as you walk into a classroom and expect a chalkboard or a whiteboard, we are moving toward a situation where you can walk into a classroom and expect it to be a multimedia classroom.   Until that is available ubiquitously, until faculty can count on that being there, it being reliable, it being easy to use, we can’t really expect systemic change in instruction.”

Transitioning from the ICT Newsletter to the ACANS News & Information Center is a natural progression of that process.   “We look forward to hearing more stories through the news center.   The ACANS News & Information Center is about what is going on across campus, whether ICT or other support professionals are involved,” says Ormand.  

ACANS Newscenter is published by the Association of Computing and Networking Services at New Mexico State University. If you would like to subscribe to the ACANS Newscenter, request further information, or to submit articles of interest contact ICT Strategic Relations, 646-4857  email: ict_sr@nmsu.edu