From the CTO

1 June 2017
Janet Scannell

This has been a busy year at Carleton and in ITS.  We started the year with a new email system, the College celebrated its 150th anniversary, and the country elected a new President. And during the Spring, ITS has been working with departments on the rollout of Dropbox, the College has been humming with three significant construction projects, and the country experienced the first 100 days of its “tweet-inclined” President.  In the midst of all that, you may have missed some of the enhancements ITS made this year.  

Improving Support 

Over the year, I have been visiting departments to talk about satisfaction with technology services and new support models.  I have learned about a bug in how our “wait for a professional” queue at the Helpdesk has been working, and faculty have shared a number of suggestions for how we provide greater responsiveness in supporting classroom technologies.  ITS staff members will be working on those issues over the summer. 

For those of you I haven’t had a chance to visit, you might be interested in reviewing these slides about the MISO Satisfaction survey results, our annual report of last year’s activities and/or this “in a nutshell” flyer about how faculty and staff should get technology support.  

You may have noticed that the last three issues have introduced 6 new ITS staff members.  Across the department we have a nice blend of folks who have a lot of Carleton context and folks who are bringing new ideas from other settings, and all of us are explorers looking for new opportunities to enhance or reframe what we are doing in order to most effectively serve Carleton of the future.   

What’s Upcoming  

ITS is completing its first 3-year strategic plan under my tenure and will reflect on that in this year’s annual report (due in August).  Next year, we will be engaging the campus (via new and existing task forces) on a set of specific questions and challenges as we all look forward to the next wave of technology investments and opportunities.  

If you were at the Faculty or Quarterly meetings, you heard that we are reviewing the web infrastructure of the future.  The Web Services Group has been meeting with consultants this week to start designing “Web2020”.  The goals are to create a more modular infrastructure that allows us to leverage the work of off-campus collaborators, to move some Reason functionality to existing tools (such as OnBase), and to provide more self-service tools and more support for web work across academic and administrative areas of campus. 

In wrapping up the year, I noticed that the common themes among my notes in this year’s newsletters have been: the ubiquity of technology in all professions and aspects of life, its ever-changing nature, and the importance of cross-campus partnership as a means of making the best and most sustainable use of technology at Carleton.  Technology can be frustrating, expensive and time-consuming, but it can also open up wonderful new and exciting opportunities.    

Whether you are staying on campus or heading out, I hope you have a rejuvenating summer. I would encourage you to explore a new way that technology could benefit you or the College, and to tell me about it afterwards. You might discover something that would benefit us all!


SUMMARY OF THIS YEAR’S “Note from the CTO” articles: 

September 2016 – “The ability for technology to be used seamlessly in the service of your work is always our goal in ITS.Read more. 

November 2016 – “We live in a world where some things rarely change and some things, like my profession, change very quickly.”  Read more. 

February 2017 – “The reality is that technology is infused through all disciplines and professions. To be effective in mentoring the next generation, we all need to continue our own education in these areas.”  Read more. 

April 2017 – “Whatever your personal relationship to file management, I do encourage you to use this moment to develop file and folder naming guidelines. A little tedious work now could be a great investment for later.”  Read more.

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