Building Partnerships, Looking Forward
Like all units on campus, we begin this fall with a fresh perspective and a list of goals and objectives. Though we are all aware that the world is changing in some very fundamental ways, the campus remains a beacon of hope, a place where exploration and innovation reign.
In this spirit, Information and Educational Technology (IET) has been building a foundation for partnership with the campus. Our mission to support UC Davis' teaching, research, and outreach functions is manifested in our commitment to working with others. In doing so, we can leverage technology for the advancement of quality in all of these areas.
In my short tenure as vice provost, IET has made a concerted effort to provide both leadership and support for campuswide technology trends and needs.
Some of our more recent collaborative projects and initiatives include:
MyUCDavis. Collaborating with several sponsors and stakeholders on campus, IET has helped to create MyUCDavis. With the development of this site, UC Davis is taking the lead, along with a few other campuses (e.g., UCLA and UC San Diego) in bringing portal technology to the UC environment. Begun as a pilot last fall, MyUCDavis is now recognized as a critical information system. Just last month, the UC Davis New Business Architecture Steering Committee identified MyUCDavis as the foundation for an enterprise portal for the campus, a system that will integrate all campus business and academic computing systems into one seamless Web-based environment. (For more on this, see "MyUCDavis: Serving Us Now, Laying the Foundation for Future Business Portal" in this issue.)
Technology Infrastructure Forum and Advanced Technology Projects. I initiated the formation of the Technology Infrastructure Forum (TIF) last year to address the crucial need for ongoing campuswide collaboration as we identify, evaluate, and resolve critical information technology infrastructure issues for the campus. Composed of technology specialists from all UC Davis schools, colleges, and administrative units, the TIF focuses primarily on "middleware" issues such as security, authentication, digital certificates, and directories.
Last year, we launched five Advanced Technology Project (ATP) teams to address critical computing and infrastructure issues facing the campus. The teams are charged with investigating and recommending a course of action for the following issues: the possible campuswide deployment of Windows 2000, the development of a comprehensive enterprise directory for UC Davis, the creation of network security incident response standards and processes, wireless networking, and authentication mechanisms for mobile computing users. (See "Milestones in Advanced Technology Projects" in this issue.)
Made up of two to three members, each team is expected to collaborate closely with the TIF and others as needed. I see it as our responsibility to solicit and welcome the participation and expertise of our technical colleagues who represent various academic and administrative units. The TIF members' involvement in these projects will certainly increase our effectiveness in implementing new technologies, particularly as we prepare for the development of the UC Davis enterprise portal.
Summer Institute on Technology in Teaching. Hosted by the Teaching Resources Center, this popular annual event provides IET with an opportunity to bring hands-on technology training to UC Davis instructors. IET's Mediaworks staff played a major support role at this year's event, providing everything from presentations on how to deliver instructional content via DVD to hands-on labs for Photoshop and Dreamweaver. (See "Annual Summer Institute Serves Up Technology Fare to UC Davis Instructors" in this issue.)
Course Management Symposium. This first-ever event at UC Davis brought together faculty, technical and academic staff, and administrators from several universities to share their learning about both commercial course management solutions and "home grown" systems. Held on October 3, this symposium was hosted by the Academic Computing Coordinating Council (AC4), with support from the Provost's office and leadership from the director of IET-Mediaworks, Harry Matthews.
The AC4 recognized the increasing demand for Web-based course management systems and is committed to adopting a solution that is based on strategic analysis and experience to serve the campus over the long term. One of our goals will be to ensure that any such system can be integrated with other key business systems on campus, including the MyUCDavis portal.
Classroom Upgrade Project. In support of the Registrar's work to upgrade all general assignment classrooms, IET has been equipping these rooms with a consistent set of high quality audio-visual equipment. With the same equipment in all rooms, instructors can more easily plan the use of multimedia materials and presentations for their classes.
In addition, as part of our effort to ensure the success of instructors in the classroom, we have once again launched our Meet and Greet program. At the beginning of fall quarter, specially trained IET staff spent the first week of classes greeting instructors in every classroom with the new multimedia equipment. We showed them how to use the equipment, and left them with instructions and resources for further help.
Student Computer Ownership Expectation. In anticipation of this new expectation (all entering undergraduates are now expected to own a computer), my colleagues Janet Hamilton, Vice Chancellor for Administration, Carol Wall, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and I formed a workgroup last fall to develop an implementation plan. I'm pleased to report that the workgroup, in partnership with Dell Computer Corporation, has established a Computer Purchase Program now available to all UC Davis affiliates. For more on computer ownership, see "You Asked...About Computer Ownership" in this issue.
Looking back at these accomplishments, I realize the campus has made a great deal of progress over the last year. I look to the future with confidence in our campus' ability to use technology strategically to meet its challenges and with a renewed commitment to providing the support and leadership needed to succeed.