People Want to See Action, They are Tired of Hearing Us Talk: ACANS Follup-up Meeting

ACANS News & Information Center

People Want to See Action, They are Tired of Hearing Us Talk: ACANS Follup-up Meeting

On Friday, Feb. 17th, Information and Communication Technologies CIO Michael Hites hosted a follow-up session to the ACANS (Association of Computer and Network Support) Tech-Summit Planning Session that was held November 10, 2005 in Las Cruces.  Approximately 70 information technology professionals, representing NMSU and its four branch campuses, discussed immediate and long-term objectives in relation to advancing technologies at that planning session.

NMSU President Michael Martin opened the November 2005 planning session by telling those in attendance that it was critical they assume a leadership role in helping the university create a new super structure to meet the challenges the institution will face in the next several years. 

At Friday’s follow-up session, Hites gave a status report on how things had progressed since last year ’s planning session outlining goals for the future and answering questions from those in attendance.  Ann Bock, an ACANS member and a professor in the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, was a featured speaker.  Bock had gathered the data from last year’s planning session and analyzed it against President Martin’s Living the Vision and One University documents.  “Of all the folks who looked at the information that came out of the ACANS Tech Summit,” said Hites, “Ann Bock has probably put the most time into it.”

“I looked at the Living the Vision and One University documents,” said Bock, “and tried to determine what themes they shared.  She noted that NMSU was seeing more integration of colleges and departments, and that is was therefore important to include others in ACANS dialogue.  The inclusion of others would facilitate communication that would in turn inform ACANS and ICT of their needs.  Another significant finding Bock noted was the importance of keeping members of the university community informed as to how their IT dollars were being spent.  “People want to see action; they are tried of hearing us talk about it.  They want something to happen in the process.” 

In building relationships that extend beyond NMSU and its branch campuses, Bock identified ACANS and CHECS as two important entities whose combined membership included immediate and statewide contacts.  The funding sources for the two groups may be different noted Bock, but dialogue between them brings to light significant issues that impact information technologies as a whole.

Bock also noted that there are many IT professionals among NMSU’s faculty and staff and that 12-month employees can take one day a month as a consulting day.  She suggested that ACANS tap into this resource for such projects as proposal and grant writing. Such a venture, she suggested, could be mutually beneficial.     “Sometimes we don’t make use of the resources we have available on this campus, ” she said. 

Among the action items Hites addressed were how various university news outlets were being implemented to disseminate policies more effectively.  Hotline, the ACANS listserv, and the ACANS New & Information Center (acans.nmsu.edu) are currently being used to this end. 

Among projects currently being addressed are the creation of a collaborative knowledge based FAQ (frequently asked questions) database, implementation of pay-per-print, expansion of Tech Day, moving the eportfolio tool out for university-wide use, the April 2006 go-live date for Banner 7, and networking and classroom technology expansion.  

Addressing classroom technology expansions, Norma Grijalva, Director of ICT Telecommunications and Networking Services, said, “We have been building rooms like crazy.  This year we are going to build 25 more classrooms.”  Hites noted that classroom technologies have been embraced by faculty and students alike, and that $40,000 of Student Technology Fees translated into about $250,000 worth of classrooms.  “It has been a good project for us,” he stated.

The eportfolio tool, which was developed from grant monies by the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, has been a phenomenal success with 84.2 percent of those who have used the tool say they increased their technology skills in at least one area.  The College of Agriculture and Home Economics is working with ACANS to move the tool out for university-wide use next year. 

Addressing Banner 7, Hites said there are a lot of upgrades contingent on Banner 7 going live Aril 2006.  “It has become a priority,” he said, “because other SunGard SCT software is contingent on it being up.  SunGard SCT is an integrated administrative software suite for managing student information, advancement, finance, financial aid, human resources, advising, and faculty support.  

In regard to pay-per-print, Teresa Burgin, Senior Technical Director, ICT Instructional Support Services, said the project was still two-to-three months from realization, but talks were on-going with vendors.  Pay-per-print is being implemented as a way for departments to recover their printing cost.  Members of the student leadership organization ASNMSU (Associated Students of NMSU) have endorsed pay-per-print. 

The follow-up ACANS Tech-Summit Planning Session addressed ACANS goals in relation to President Martin’s Living the Vision and One University vision for the future of technology at NMSU.   The next ACANS meeting is scheduled for May 19th.   ACANS’ members support the use of technology by other people.   For information on joining ACANS, email acans@nmsu.edu. 

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