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Archive

Planning Assumptions and Guiding Principles

The Roundtable identified an initial list of responsibilities; a set of planning assumptions (both internal and external); technology strengths, threats, and weaknesses facing UWM; a vision worth working for; goals for technology planning; and framework of priorities, initiative, and tactics that serve as the foundation for the plan.


PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS


The Learning Through Technology plan is based on a set of external and internal planning assumptions defined by the Roundtable:

  • External Planning Assumptions:
    • There will be a wide range of technological needs among students and faculty. Some needs will be common to all others will be highly specialized. School/college, departments, and administrative and support units will need to develop their own technology plans that will reflect institutional plans and priorities.
    • Plans must link goals and objectives to accountability measures.
    • Maintenance costs and equipment life cycle will impact what we do.
    • The growing reliance on computers and technology will increase the importance of providing equitable access to all students for a range of institutional activities.
    • Technology will continue to change at rapid rates and become more expensive.
    • New technologies will increase demand for services.
    • Students will come to UWM with high technology expectations.
    • Reliance on Internet capabilities and the importance of Internet-type tools will continue to grow at a significant rate.


  • Internal Planning Assumptions:
    • Change is difficult but necessary.
    • Technology is important to all campus units.
    • UWM will need to increase its commitment to information technology and technology support.
    • Budget changes (at all levels) will be necessary to achieve the goals of the Plan.
    • I&MT as a unit is only a part of the university information technology picture.
    • Input from faculty governance groups, academic staff, support units is a necessary component of the Plan.
    • Our IT plan must be aligned with the campus strategic plan.
    • Cooperative arrangements with local and state agencies/universities are necessary to achieve our goals.



RESPONSIBILITIES



Early on in the planning process the Roundtable outlined individual; department, school/college; and campus responsibilities that would be necessary to ensure proper infusion of technology to accomplish the four priorities in UWM’s Strategic Plan. These responsibilities are carried through in the plan's tactics and action steps :

INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Initiative:
    • Have the desire to learn, collaborate, and share
    • Take the initiative and make time to learn new skills, to use technology, to teach differently
    • Be willing to attend staff development programs and training
    • Maintain current knowledge about the application of modern technology to problems within one’s discipline

  • Awareness:
    • Recognize the benefits that technology advancement can offer to integrate scholarly activity and teaching
    • Acknowledge that the integration of technology will be necessary to achieve institutional services and goals
    • Realize that each individual is ultimately responsible for the quality of research and teaching at UWM
    • Share realistic expectations of institutional technology priorities



DEPARTMENTS/SCHOOLS/COLLEGE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Leadership:
    • Create an environment that supports technology use
    • Facilitate change
    • Ensure appropriate pedagogical and administrative use of technology
  • Communication:
    • Provide information about campus resources and coordination among individuals and groups
    • Establish formal links between units and campus IT providers
  • Support and Resources:
    • Provide faculty/staff development and training opportunities
    • Increase level of resources for technology expansion
  • Incentives:
    • Reward the use of technology in teaching and research through merit raises and promotional decisions



CAMPUS RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Leadership:
    • Provide leadership and directions in the adoption of technology
    • Take primary responsibility for guiding and funding the application of new technology
    • Investigate technology futures
    • Develop public/private partnerships
    • Advocate effectively for competitive technology needs

  • Environment:
    • Create an environment that encourages and supports collaboration and cooperation between schools, colleges, and departments with technology initiatives
    • Support the Learning Technology Center and other such activities

  • Infrastructure:
    • Establish baseline levels of technology services available to faculty, staff, and students
    • Develop infrastructure and convergence of cross-platform solutions
    • Encourage and support compatibility standards
    • Establish a well-funded, customer-service oriented technology support unit

TECHNOLOGY STRENGTHS, THREATS, WEAKNESSES, AND OPPORTUNITIES


TECHNOLOGY STRENGTHS AND THREATS FACING UWM:

CURRENT TECHNOLOGY STRENGTHS

  • Substantial resources in voice/ data infrastructure and availability of various technology funding sources (lab/class mod, student technology fee, faculty development funds) are already in place.
  • Regent’s acknowledgment of the importance of technology as called for in “21st Century Study”
  • System’s willingness to request $ from legislature for technology and the state’s willingness to fund the initiatives.
  • Skill, expertise, and commitment of the I&MT staff.

ADDITIONAL STRENGTHS THAT WILL BE REALIZED BY EXPANDED TECHNOLOGY AS A MEANS TO ACCOMPLISH THE GOALS IN UWM’S STRATEGIC PLAN

  • Enhanced Learning and Productivity:
    • Research can be enhanced through technological advances that support information access, discovery and creativity, data collection/analysis and communication.

  • Maximized Use of Resources:
    • Teaching can be revitalized
    • Manual, repetitive work can be minimized so that attention can focus on providing quality service to students, faculty and staff

  • Improved Communication and Resource Access:
    • Better/more flexible alternatives can be provided for students to conduct business resulting in fewer reasons for students to make special trips to campus and thereby, reducing frustration with bureaucracy and parking
    • Save costs
    • Virtues, talents and expertise of the university can be disseminated to students and other groups outside of the UWM campus through technology-assisted distance learning efforts

  • Improved Competitiveness:
    • The public is ready and expects college campuses to have the technology–they will view UWM as modern

CURRENT TECHNOLOGY WEAKNESSES

  • Lack of a cohesive technological planning for technology at all campus levels.
  • Lack of formal technology assessment process.
  • Resources fall short of meeting current and projected demands.
  • Lack of a plan or policy for maintaining the skill level of the staff over time.

ADDITIONAL WEAKNESSES THAT MAY RESULT BY EXPANDED TECHNOLOGY AS A MEANS TO ACCOMPLISH THE GOALS IN UWM’S STRATEGIC PLAN

  • Expensive:
    • Technology can be costly and time consuming to incorporate

  • Difficulty in Recognizing Appropriateness:
    • Mistaking progress in technology for progress in pedagogy and research
    • Understanding the positive value of failure
    • Knowing when system becomes legacy system
    • Thinking technology can do everything


CURRENT TECHNOLOGY THREATS FACING UWM

  • Growth demands far outstrip the resources available.
  • Fragmentation that results from uncoordinated departmental development of applications and services.
  • The increasing strain on I&MT and Library resources.
  • The need for the university to insure equitable access to computing and information resources to students regardless of economic status, location, etc.
  • Increasing complexity of the network environment.
  • Increasing reliance on a networked environment by instruction, research, and university operations creates expectation of uninterrupted access.
  • External interference (state and system level) in funding restrictions, vendors, and providers.
  • The rapid cycle of change. The duration of the cycle from initiation to obsolescence will continue to become shorter.
  • The cycle of technological change is shorter than the current planning cycle.

ADDITIONAL THREATS THAT MAY RESULT BY EXPANDED TECHNOLOGY AS A MEANS TO ACCOMPLISH THE GOALS IN UWM’S STRATEGIC PLAN

  • Change:
    • Resistance to change
    • Inability to assess change and recognize when the changes are made


  • Adequacy of Resources:
    • Resources might be drained from other vital areas
    • Lack of resources to accomplish goals
    • Competition for existing resources
    • Growth demand for technology may become insatiable
    • Lack of budgetary planning for maintaining technology


  • Institutional Disparities:
    • Isolation–the gap between those who know technology and those who don’t
    • Real and perceived disparity between “have’s” and “have not’s”
    • Our diverse population that includes: the technophobes (people are afraid of technologies or dislike change) and the technomaniacs (people adopt technologies even when they are not the best choices)
    • Assumptions that information technology needs are all the same; fear that individual needs may not be met

TECHNOLOGY OPPORTUNITIES FOR UWM

Opportunities that may realized by expanded technology as a means to accomplish the goals in UWM’s Strategic Plan:

  • Advances in Innovation and Access:
    • Ability to reach new populations of students
    • Becoming a leader in the metropolitan area
    • Reaching out to the public, e.g. MPS
    • Increased interaction of UWM within the community as well as better exposure on the state and national level
    • Advancing UWM’s recognition as a Research II Institution by providing faculty better access to information and research opportunities in order to become more competitive for extramural support & outside sponsorship


  • Recapturing Resources:
    • Potential cost savings
    • Reducing demand for physical space
    • Redefining resource use and the way we work
    • Increasing administrative efficiency

  • Fostering Collaboration:
    • Collaboration in teaching and research at the intra- and interinstitutional levels

CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY ISSUES FOR UWM

The most critical issues (major changes, dynamics and additions) that will need to be addressed in order for UWM to accomplish the goals in its Strategic Plan are:

  • Institutional Leadership:
    • Leadership at the campus, school/college, and department levels
    • Greater commitment to the structure of campus-wide support
    • Improvement of synergies between academic units and centralized support services

  • Institutional Vision:
    • Creating an appropriate technology vision worth working toward
    • Assessing future trends and developments

  • Institutional Values:
    • Changing rigid institutional structure to accommodate need for good practices
    • Modifying the reward system to make it conducive to adopting technology
    • Knowing how to assessing technology effectiveness

  • Planning:
    • Developing an implementation plan
    • Budgeting creatively for lifecycle turnover

  • Development:
    • Staff development, training, and retooling
    • Providing incentives
    • Establishing base level support services

  • Resources:
    • Having the time, money, and support
    • Budget constraints on capital and operating and the limits it imposes on incorporating new and changing technology

  • Infrastructure:
    • Maintaining a network infrastructure