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The New Academic Computing Resources

by Doug Jackson, Associate Vice President

In fall 2007, Information Resources & Technology initiated an entirely new support unit targeted at faculty and student needs - “Academic Computing Resources” (ACR). The focus of the new department is on improving communications and collaboration across the entire campus in the use of technology for academic support, with the goal of focusing information technology services in support of teaching and learning. The principles behind the formation of ACR are well defined by the Academic Technology Planning Committee of the CSU:

“The highest and best use of academic technology is to help faculty provide a quality education that focuses on the student and enables the learning, teaching, research, and creative scholarship that quality education requires.”

Pretty heady stuff! Our ability to support this approach is based upon the twin concepts of communication and collaboration. We need to listen carefully to the technology needs of faculty and students and then be responsive with flexible support models and effective customer service that meets those needs. So the challenge is defined and Academic Computing Resources has been created to respond, but what does that mean to you as a customer?

There is a very broad scope of services now available for faculty and students from “ACR”. Organizationally, five new support units have been created, as shown on the organization chart on the back page of this newsletter. These include Classroom and Computer Lab Services, Learning Management System and Web Portal Services, Helpdesk Services, Web Services, and Desktop Support. Of more direct interest to faculty and students are the specific IT services these units provide to you, all developed to meet needs previously identified on campus. These new initiatives include:

  • Working closely with faculty and faculty committees to determine real-world academic technology support needs both in and out of the classroom
  • A new My Sac State student web portal
  • Coordination of campus-wide academic software licensing
  • A new Student Technology Center, focused on supporting student technology use for class assignments
  • Greatly enhanced classroom support services, including resources for effective classroom design to facilitate faculty teaching and student learning
  • More easily accessible student use computer labs with a broader range of available software titles
  • Supporting accessibility issues related to technology and finding ways to accommodate students, faculty and staff needing access
  • Identifying and making available more technology tools that are directly relevant to academic needs and pursuits
  • Working more collaboratively with online and hybrid courses and the groups supporting them
  • Developing a campus-wide computer refresh plan and budget
  • Developing a cooperative support model that allows IT staff from across campus to take advantage of our robust Help Desk services
  • Greatly enhanced campus-wide web services
  • Continuing to work closely with the Academic Information Technology Committee, the Academic Technology & Creative Services Department, and the Center for Teaching and Learning

As you can see from the above partial list, support of teaching and learning is integral to what ACR is all about. But the essential components in all of this are the new attitudes and ethic towards communicating effectively and finding ways to work more collaboratively. In a time where budgets are tight and/or fraught with ambiguity, where change is rampant and often compelled, the ability to find ways to work together leads to far greater achievement than “going it alone.” We look forward to working with you.

Academic Computer Resources Staff Academic Computer Resources Staff

Academic Computer Resources Staff Academic Computer Resources Staff

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