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Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
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Executive Summary
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Executive Summary

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  • 1. NORTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) STRATEGIC PLAN 2009-2012
  • 2. Table of Contents Executive Summary.............................................................................................................iii Preface.................................................................................................................................iv University Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals.....................................................................1 Information Technology (IT) Mission, Vision, and Goals.....................................................3 Factors that Affect Success..................................................................................................4 Goals, Objectives, and Methodologies................................................................................5 Goal 1...................................................................................................................................5 Provide a quality technology environment to support teaching and learning at the highest level. Goal 2...................................................................................................................................6 Provide continuous quality technology services to support students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Goal 3.................................................................................................................................11 Provide quality administrative services that meet the needs of the university community and allow the university to expand services to the community. Goal 4.................................................................................................................................13 Provide an increased use of web-based applications and services to meet the needs of current students, faculty, staff, and community end users. Summary............................................................................................................................18 Appendices.........................................................................................................................19 Appendix A University Advisory Committees....................................................................20 Appendix B Northwestern State Technology Enrichment Plan.........................................21 ii
  • 3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Northwestern State University began its first steps toward the development of a technology plan when the Northwestern State Technology Enrichment Plan (NSTEP) was created in 1997. The NSTEP reflects the university’s commitment to address the influence of technology on higher education by creating a series of initiatives, which address organization, access, support, and innovation. Each of these areas reflects the university’s response to the need to ensure that the university is strategically positioned to address the future needs of a changing student demographic and environment. The purpose for this strategic plan is to create a three-year roadmap that supports the university’s mission as well as opportunities for long-range planning and efficiency. The Information Technology Strategic Plan (ITSP) provides the overarching technology vision and anticipated infrastructure to support technology that is vital to the day-to-day operations of the university as well as innovation in the future. It is also understood that the university’s IT plan is fluid and will be modified to reflect the changing needs of the organization. iii
  • 4. PREFACE In today’s university environment information technology plays a critical role in the creation and maintenance of resources and services that are operation essential. In a market that has become increasingly competitive, a university’s ability to provide essential support and services is imperative. As we consider the function of information technology in this environment it becomes apparent that in order to continue to serve university constituents, essential services must be maintained and expanded. We also recognize that in order to be viable competitors in the future increased emphasis will be placed on our ability to effectively and efficiently manage information technology resources and initiatives. Most universities today have also made considerable investments in technology infrastructure and will continue in an effort to maintain and expand operations. We must be innovative as we attempt to place the university in an advantageous strategic position for the future. Ongoing investment in technology will enable the university to continue technological advancement to provide adequate services for its faculty, students, and community. iv
  • 5. UNIVERSITY MISSION, VISION, VALUES, AND GOALS Mission Northwestern State University is a responsive, student-oriented institution that is committed to the creation, dissemination, and acquisition of knowledge through teaching, research, and service. The university maintains as its highest priority excellence in teaching in graduate and undergraduate programs. Northwestern State University will prepare its students to become productive members of society and will promote economic development and improvements in the quality of life of the citizens in its region. Vision Northwestern State University strives for educational quality through excellence in teaching and research, innovative use of technology, and exceptional service to students and other constituencies. The university seeks to attract and develop outstanding students and faculty and to provide them with the resources needed to promote optimal learning and service. By maintaining a student-oriented environment, Northwestern will offer challenging and rewarding academic experiences augmented and enriched with opportunities for cultural, social, athletic, and other extracurricular activities. The essence of this student-oriented environment will be the university’s commitment to create a cooperative atmosphere in which faculty, staff, and students treat each other with dignity and respect and recognize the value and worth of all individuals. Electronic learning and distance education will be an integral part of Northwestern’s role in delivering degree programs and effective services on campus and throughout Louisiana, the nation, and the world. Northwestern will be responsive to 1
  • 6. changing views and trends as it works to provide a highly qualified workforce to promote economic development and to meet the needs that higher education can provide to students, state government, private enterprise, and society. Values Northwestern recognizes the value of all individuals and strives to create a climate in which faculty, staff, and students treat each other with dignity and respect in an effort to provide students the opportunity to achieve success. The university’s desire is to retain and graduate students who are satisfied with, and motivated and enriched by, the quality of education and services that they receive at Northwestern. University Goal 1: To create and maintain a responsive, student-oriented environment. University Goal 2: To provide programs, services, and operations throughout the University of high quality and effectiveness. University Goal 3: To enhance institutional viability through effective enrollment management. University Goal 4: To promote economic development, community service, and an improved quality of life in the region. 2
  • 7. IT MISSION, VISION, GOALS IT Mission: The mission of the Office of Information Systems is to provide leadership and support for Northwestern State University through best practices in the effective use of technology for teaching, learning, research, outreach, and administrative programs. IT Vision: Northwestern State University will build and maintain a technology-rich campus. The Office of Information Systems will be a key contributor to advancing the university’s strategic plan. Northwestern State will be renowned for leadership and expertise in information and instructional technology; for the promotion of partnerships to achieve excellence in the use and support of technology; for leadership in the development and use of new, collaborative models for teaching, learning, delivery of instruction, and customer service. IT Goal 1: Provide a quality technology environment to directly support teaching and learning. IT Goal 2: Provide continuous quality technology services to support students, faculty, staff, and alumni. IT Goal 3: Provide quality administrative services that meet the needs of the university community. IT Goal 4: Provide an increased use of web-based applications and services to meet the needs of current students, faculty, staff, and community end users. 3
  • 8. FACTORS THAT AFFECT SUCCESS Funding – Technology initiatives must have an annual budget to operate, provide staff, support special initiatives, and provide equipment and software. Staffing – Qualified personnel are required to support specific services such as administrative, media, instructional, web, application, and network. Infrastructure – Infrastructure - including virtualization, servers, security hardware and applications, network equipment and applications, storage capacity, and back-up solutions - must be reviewed yearly and updated on an industry standard timeline. Changes in the industry, particularly regarding security solutions, often require modifications. 4
  • 9. GOALS, OBJECTIVES, AND METHODOLOGIES Goal 1: Provide a quality technology environment to directly support teaching and learning. Objective To increase the number of ‘smart’ – technology enhanced classrooms Participants TRED, ECE, STAT, Technical Services Methodologies  Solicit input from university representatives  Evaluate resources  Secure financial resources  Evaluate technology enhancement  Implement technology enhancement  Provide professional development  Implement technology enhanced classrooms Tangible Results  Increased opportunity for faculty to incorporate technology into teaching  Increased opportunity for improved learning experience for students  Increased opportunity for faculty-student, student-faculty, and student-student interaction Timeframe Fall 2009 – Fall 2010 Status In progress Objective To increase distance learning opportunities for faculty and students Participants TRED, ECE, STAT, Technical Services, Academic Services Methodologies  Solicit input from university representatives  Determine mode of delivery (online or video)  Evaluate resources  Provide professional development  Secure financial resources as appropriate  Implement course development or redesign Tangible Results  Increase opportunity for students to participate in university offerings at a distance  Increase opportunity for faculty to engage in distance teaching opportunities  Increase outreach to rural and underserved areas Timeframe Fall 2009 – Fall 2012 Status Ongoing 5
  • 10. Goal 2: Provide continuous quality technology services to support students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The university recognizes and understands the importance of providing technology resources that are current, consistent, stable, and available. Many of these services are critical to the operational integrity of the university, and these services are utilized by the user community to meet the mission and goals of the university. These important services are documented by the university and have been deemed essential. Technology services are continually assessed and monitored for replacement and expansion. New services are implemented to facilitate needs or to preserve the university’s financial and other operational resources. Trends in the adoption of technologies, such as virtualization, not only support these benefits but also work to offer other tangible benefits. However, these initiatives are not just limited to virtualization. Other projects outlined below offer a basic road map to the progress the university plans to work toward over time to ensure the effectiveness of these initiatives. Objective To maintain a continuity of operations plan Participants TRED, Business Affairs, Provost, University Affairs, Cabinet Methodologies The COOP plan provides the following items:  Road map for recovery from natural or manmade disasters  Contact information for key university personnel  Business continuity planning  Information assurance  Organization and responsibility  Recovery procedures  Reconstitution, Training, Testing, and Maintenance Tangible Results Recovery of critical IT resources in time of disaster Timeframe 2009 – 2012 (Annual revisions) Status Ongoing Objective To provide a modern, high performance, and reliable network 6
  • 11. infrastructure for voice, video, and data Participants Technical Services Methodologies  Invest in fiber infrastructure for network redundancy and resilience  Refresh network hardware to network standards and performance needs  Expand network access via wired and wireless applications  Provide accessibility for mobile users  Ensure network stability and security Tangible Results  Functions as the digital nervous system for the university  Provides connectivity for all university digital services Timeframe Fall 2009 – Fall 2012 Status Ongoing Objective To utilize virtualization in the IT environment Participants Technical Services Methodologies  Conduct analysis  Evaluate solutions  Select VM platform  Formulate budget  Procure funding  Implement Tangible Results  Reduce power consumption in the data center  Recapture space in data center  Reduce the heat that is generated in the data center  Recapture network ports and capacity  Replicate virtual machines for easier disaster recovery  Snapshot virtual machines  Sandbox new systems and services before implementation  Reduce cost of maintenance on physical servers  Enhance university’s green initiative  Integrate future systems into this environment  Negate (potentially) the need to purchase additional servers Timeframe Fall 2009 - Spring 2012 (Fall 2009 Initial implementation) Status In Progress Objective To provide unified communications 7
  • 12. Participants Information Systems Methodologies  Procure financial resources  Complete migration to a pure voice over IP environment  Integrate voicemail into the university email system  Provide desktop sharing and video for meetings and collaboration  Provide instant messaging at the enterprise level Tangible Results  Increase user productivity  Escalate communications in real time  Provide university employees with modern communication tools to support the mission of the university Timeframe Fall 2009 – Fall 2012 Status Beginning initial implementation Objective To maintain security Participants Information Systems, Faculty, Staff Methodologies  Provide a secure and safe computing environment for students, faculty, and staff  Ensure computers are patched and updated in a scheduled fashion  Continually inspect and monitor security posture and evaluate weaknesses  Deploy systems to automate security monitoring and reporting  Maintain physical security  Maintain data security in accordance with applicable policies and procedures Tangible Results Secure university environment and adherence to university policies and procedures Timeframe Fall 2009 – Fall 2012 Status In progress Objective To secure university software agreements Participants Technical Services Methodologies  Conduct analysis  Evaluate solutions  Formulate budget 8
  • 13.  Procure funding  Implement Tangible Results  Provide standard computing software to the university community  Make standardized software available  Reduce management of software licenses  Ensure legal compliance  Reduce cost for standardized software purchases  Allow the university to maintain current software releases Timeframe Fall 2009 – Fall 2012 Status In Progress Objective To provide technology ‘refresh’ for users Participants Technical Services Methodologies Procurement of financial resources Tangible Results  Increase work productivity  Improve management of IT resources  Improve forecast for technology budget  Ensure that users have adequate and competitive technologies Timeframe Ongoing Status Fall 2011 - Fall 2012 Objective To provide mobile computing enhancements Participants Technical Services Methodologies  Make network resources available to support mobile users  Ensure usable data delivery  Analyze service translation analysis  Service translation  Support users who make use of mobile technologies Tangible Results Broaden information retrieval capabilities Timeframe Fall 2009 – Fall 2012 Status In Progress Objective Provide adequate and efficient storage and backup 9
  • 14. Participants Technical Services Methodologies  Continually monitor and invest in storage to meet the demands of the university community  Ensure historical backup of critical university data  Maintain a stable and dependable backup and recovery system for hardware and software Tangible Results Data preservation Timeframe Fall 2009 – Fall 2012 Status In Progress Goal 3: Provide quality administrative services that meet the needs of the university community. Northwestern strives to provide faculty, staff, and students with access to university data that is timely and meets the needs of the user. Effective information delivery is a crucial part of the university’s ability to meet its goals and objectives. 10
  • 15. Through continual assessment of administrative systems, the university is able to implement the tools and services that provide the flexibility needed in a dynamic environment. The tasks outlined below offer a broad overview of the steps Northwestern is taking to ensure that the needs of the university are being addressed. Objective To provide administrative systems that facilitate use of new technologies to enhance faculty, staff, and student access to university data Participants Administrative services, university community Methodologies  Procurement of financial resources  Utilize a consolidated information delivery system, leveraging newer technologies and data environments  Implement employee self service system  Use newer reporting tools that enhance delivery of information  Provide professional development in applicable areas Tangible Results  Greater access to information  Automation of common tasks Timeframe Fall 2010 – Fall 2012 Status Planning Objective To implement systems that reduce dependency on paper and promote use of greener technologies Participants University community Methodologies  Use online reporting storage and retrieval systems  Conduct forms conversion analysis  Implement electronic forms submission Tangible Results  Create reduction in paper costs  Provide automation of common tasks Timeframe Fall 2009 – Fall 2011 Status In progress Objective To provide work request management Participants University community Methodologies  Implement procurement procedures  Implement systems to request, track, and monitor service needs 11
  • 16.  Engage users for feedback on work request to improve services that are offered  Audit resource allocation Tangible Results  Manage work request load  Request space for functions and events  Supply data to users for feedback and work status  Increase work productivity and electronic automation of work request to aid in reduction of paper usage Timeframe Fall 2009 – Fall 2012 Status In progress Goal 4: Provide an increased use of web-based applications and services to meet the needs of current students, faculty, staff, and community end users. Northwestern State takes pride in its historical ability to be innovative in the use of technology in higher education through diligent monitoring of market trends and world demand shifts. Ideas are conceived, implemented, and tested for practicality to the university's end users and market spaces. Following the tradition of excellence at 12
  • 17. Northwestern, the IT goals and objectives facilitate change and pursuit of practical solutions for the university environment and education in general. Contained herein are current tasks that demonstrate the university’s pursuit of excellence in the academic arena. Items under this goal are continuously evolving. Information System's ability to adapt to changing environments and needs is presented. Objective To redesign university website(s) for administration initiatives and to satisfy user expectations Participants NSU Academic Services, NSU Technical Services Methodologies  Begin main site template and container design  Conduct needs assessment of sub entity websites  Implement open source software analysis  Implement open source software testing  Redesign current physical architecture in tandem with NSU Technical Services  Procure resources to provide new deployment architecture  Implement software finalization  Develop professional development curriculum  Initialize sub entity migration  Initiate professional development  Finalize main site template and container design  Finalize initial mobile template design Tangible Results Live websites Timeframe Spring 2009 – Fall 2009 Status Complete Objective To initiate university web content integrity initiative Participants NSU Academic Services Methodologies  Expand professional development sessions  Create custom submission applications Tangible Results Expanded serviceable content Timeframe Fall 2009 - Fall 2012 Status Pending 13
  • 18. Objective To develop university online media repository Participants NSU Academic Services Methodologies  Test open source digital assets management  Develop professional development curriculum  Schedule professional development  Release production DAM system Tangible Results Serviceable online application Timeframe Fall 2009 – Fall 2010 Status Fall 2009 – In Pilot Objective To initiate web application development environment redesign Participants NSU Academic Services, NSU Technical Services Methodologies  Study current application  Evaluate .NET usage  Evaluate database server  Initiate sandbox development  Implement new production Tangible Results  New rapid application development environment  Reduced licensure expense  Achieve cost reduction through implementing open source tools and technologies  Improved documentation services Timeframe Spring 2010 – Summer 2010 Status Pending Objective To remodel secure certificate Participants NSU Academic Services, NSU Technical Services Methodologies Change security model for CMS systems Tangible Results Performance improvements from secure processing Timeframe Fall 2009 – Spring 2010 Status In Process Objective To unify the student portal Participants NSU Academic Services, NSU Administrative Services 14
  • 19. Methodologies  Unify existing student portal systems into cohesive presentation  Reduce unnecessary system batch processing  Reduce licensure expense by implementing open programming languages Tangible Results Single point of entry for students Timeframe Spring 2010 – Summer 2010 Status Pending Objective To streamline media streaming and progressive downloading Participants NSU Academic Services, NSU Technical Services, NSU ECE Methodologies  Integrate with established DAM  Establish progressive download protocols  Present course models  Integrate with ECE CMS Tangible Results  Improved Rich Media course models  Improved end user experience  Reduce end user requirements Timeframe Fall 2009 – Spring 2010 Status Pending Objective To centralize casting Participants NSU Academic Services, NSU Technical Services, NSU ECE Methodologies  Unify casting technologies  Automate publishing workflows Tangible Results  Improve Rich Media course models  Improve end user experience  Reduce end user requirements  Improve electronic coursework Timeframe Fall 2009 – Spring 2010 Status Pending Objective To expand the university mobile initiative Participants NSU Academic Services Methodologies  Establish standard  Establish SDK RADs Tangible Results Ensure university information is delivered accurately to popular 15
  • 20. mobile devices Timeframe Fall 2009 – Fall 2012 Status In Progress Objective To expand student portfolio initiative Participants NSU Academic Services, NSU Technical Services Methodologies  Consolidate student information system data  Integrate information in the student portal  Feed friendly export to social network  Establish standard for mobile delivery Tangible Results Increase in centralized data and data retrieval Timeframe Summer 2009 – Fall 2010 (Software testing In Progress) Status Pending Objective Enhance news bureau opportunities for communication, notification, and casting Participants NSU Academic Services Methodologies  Increase publishing capabilities  Increase distributed media types  Further integration points into student systems Tangible Results Further reaching news and notifications Timeframe Fall 2009 – Spring 2010 Status Pending Objective Implement university web design and workflow committee Participants NSU Academic Services Methodologies  Creation of entity and sub-entity site templates  Proof presentation  Identify selections Tangible Results Increased university branding reinforcement Timeframe Fall 2009 – Summer 2010 Status In Progress Objective To expand web directories Participants NSU Academic Services 16
  • 21. Methodologies  Provide master and context searching capability  Create meta provisions  Integrate with Google / Overture Tangible Results Increase practical web usage Timeframe Fall 2009 – Fall 2012 Status In Progress Objective To develop applications that increase the data feed Participants NSU Academic Services Methodologies  Integrate course offerings  Integrate fee schedules  Integrate registrar push  Integrate financial aid push Tangible Results  Increase practical web usage  Enhance university mobile initiative Timeframe Spring 2010 – Spring 2012 Status Pending administrative software finalization SUMMARY The next three years will be as exciting as the past three years, when it comes to technology at Northwestern State University. We have invested a great deal of effort in developing primary support systems, technology for instruction, network infrastructure, and web applications. These efforts will provide the building blocks for even greater achievements in administrative, technical, and academic support services. There will also be increased opportunities for multi-disciplinary collaboration and technology-rich instruction. The university has embraced technology in most of what we do and will continue to infuse technology into operations at every level. 17
  • 22. APPENDICES APPENDIX A: University IT Advisory Committees APPENDIX B: Northwestern State Technology Enrichment Plan (NSTEP) 2008 – 2013 18
  • 23. APPENDIX A: University IT Advisory Committees The IT Executive Planning Committee and Northwestern State Technology Enrichment (NSTEP) Committees have primary responsibility for developing technology plans for the campus and recommending priorities. Ad hoc committees are formed to address specific initiatives. IT Executive Planning Committee Dr. Randy Webb Dr. Lisa Abney Mr. Carl Jones Mr. Jerry Pierce Dr. Darlene Williams Dr. Marcus Jones Mr. Robert Crew Mr. Tracy Brown Mr. Phillip Gillis Mr. Donnie Choate University Northwestern State Technology Enrichment Plan (NSTEP) Committee Dr. Randall Webb, President Mrs. Juanita Darby Dr. Lisa Abney Mr. Cecil Knotts Dr. Darlene Williams Dr. Susan Pierce Mr. Tracy Brown Mrs. Misti Adams Mr. Phillip Gillis Dr. Rick Tarver Mr. Donnie Choate Mr. Stan Wright Mrs. Billie Bitowski Mrs. Veronica Ramirez-Biscoe Mrs. Daphne Sampite Mrs. Lillie Bell Mrs. Gail Kwak Mrs. Molly Giering Mrs. Rita Graves Mrs. Jennifer Long Martin Dr. Helaine Razovsky Student Representative, Natchitoches Mrs. Shelia Gentry Student Representative, Shreveport Student Representative, Ft.Polk 19
  • 24. APPENDIX B: Northwestern State Technology Enrichment Plan (NSTEP) 2008 – 2013 Northwestern State University of Louisiana, May 2008, Next Revision May 2013 20
  • 25. Northwestern State Technology Enrichment Plan NSTEP 2008 – 2013 Northwestern State University of Louisiana May 2008 Next Revision May 2013
  • 26. ii
  • 27. Table of Contents Executive Summary............................................................................................................iv Preface................................................................................................................................iv Authoring Process ..............................................................................................................iv Technology Vision Statement .............................................................................................v Environmental Context ......................................................................................................vi University Goals ................................................................................................................vi Technology Initiatives ......................................................................................................vii NSTEP Objectives ............................................................................................................vii Action Plans .......................................................................................................................ix Reporting and Evaluation .................................................................................................xii Funding .............................................................................................................................xii Timeline for Annual Revision..........................................................................................xiii iii
  • 28. Executive Summary Changing demographics and expectations of students, along with rapid advances in information technology, are forcing universities to invest heavily in technology. Northwestern State University is determined to make these investments to the benefit of its students, its faculty, and to the State of Louisiana. To ensure the most efficacious expenditure of limited funds, the University has initiated a planning process for the procurement and use of technology. The five-year technology plan is organized into a series of organizational, access, support, and innovation initiatives. The NSTEP policy is available for viewing by the Northwestern State University community via the web. Preface It is increasingly evident that the influence of technology on higher education will be more profound than any previous circumstance or resource that has impacted teaching and learning in recent history. Both the method and organization which currently characterize universities are being transformed. This transformation is accelerated by rapid and continuous advancements in communications technologies, changing population demographics, and the expectations of the market place. The health of Northwestern will depend largely on its ability to anticipate and accommodate these changes. The University must be prepared to compete nationally and eventually globally, for a growing nontraditional, technologically astute clientele. To do so effectively and economically will require a product-oriented organizational structure marked by cooperation, and by a dynamic plan of action, the implementation of which will help define Northwestern as an Information Age University. Northwestern’s technology plan is based on a series of initiatives, each of which is categorized according to its nature as organizational, facilitating access, improving support, or exploring innovative applications. The specifics of the interpretation of each initiative will be detailed separately and only to the extent that will ensure maximum efficiency and an observable product, without forcing a rigid, contextually isolated translation. Authoring Process The first draft of Northwestern State University’s current technology plan was developed in response to a request by the Board of Regents to organize a plan for the use of the SGA-approved student technology fees. In response to the Board’s request NSTEP, Northwestern State Technology Enrichment Plan, iv
  • 29. was composed. The initial plan included a series of technology initiatives identified with the input of the University administration, SGA representatives, technical support personnel, and selected faculty. With the first draft of the plan in place, collection of the student technology fees began in the Fall of 1997. Preparation for a second, more detailed technology plan began with the arrival of students and faculty for the 1997 fall semester. The College Deans were provided with a copy of the technology plan and asked to solicit input from their faculty. Each of NSU’s three SGAs reviewed the draft of the plan and provided feedback. In addition, copies of the plan were disseminated to interested students and an e-mail account was set up to facilitate student questions concerning feedback regarding the technology plan. Based on the feedback gathered from the University community the current version of NSTEP was developed. Technology Vision Statement Whatever the context or delivery vehicle of instruction, the innovative use of technologies to ensure its effectiveness will, in large part, determine the success of the University in the coming years. Northwestern State University will move boldly into the Information Age, building on its legacy of innovation and commitment to ensure a quality education for all students. The University will firmly establish its position as a preeminent provider of quality educational programs and will make these programs flexible enough to accommodate the individual circumstances and changing demographics of its clients. The use of advanced technologies will play a critical role in the realization of the University’s mission. The delivery of educational programming as well as student services will, through the use of technology, provide a number of convenient and effective options for students. Technology-assisted instruction will be available to students in the more traditional classroom setting or at their convenience electronically, unrestricted by place or time. In either format, students will have available to them an unprecedented depth and quality of programming that is insightfully organized and presented to maximize learning. A dynamic planning mechanism and effective implementation of timely innovations will be defining elements in the organizational infrastructure of the University. Web-based technologies will be used to ensure an efficient communications network within the University and as a link to global electronic resources. The rapid retrieval, integration, and exchange of large amounts of information will be easily accessible to all students and faculty. v
  • 30. Environmental Context Northwestern State University of Louisiana was founded by the Louisiana Legislature in 1884 as the Louisiana State Normal School. Its mission then, as now, is to provide excellence in education. For over 125 years Northwestern has endeavored to make available a quality education to the broadest possible audience, as a means of advancing the social and economic well being of its students. Northwestern’s success has been marked by its acknowledged leadership in the use of instructional technologies and distance education, the growth of its satellite campuses in Shreveport, Alexandria, and Leesville, and the many accomplishments of its alumni. Northwestern is the home of the prestigious Louisiana Scholars’ College, the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, and the National Center for Preservation, Technology, and Training. The University boasts an extensive compressed video network, and is a statewide leader in the use of Internet technologies to deliver academic coursework worldwide. In addition Northwestern has distinguished itself with program innovations designed to address the academic needs of both a traditional and a growing nontraditional student population. Increasingly, the University’s student population is typically older, more technologically astute, and often professionally engaged. More students are expecting educational programming that is conveniently accessible, that accommodates their schedules, and that is unrestricted by geographic location. Northwestern’s rural location has for some time been an impetus for the use of distance technologies. As a result Northwestern has invested heavily in instructional technology. Even so, the progress made thus far has come at great expense to scarce University resources. University Goals Goal 1: Northwestern State University will endeavor to create and maintain a responsive, student-oriented environment. Goal 2: Northwestern State University will provide programs, services, and operations throughout the University of high quality and effectiveness. Goal 3 Northwestern State University will strive to enhance institutional viability through effective enrollment management. Goal 4: Northwestern State University will promote economic development, community services, and an improved quality of life in the region. vi
  • 31. Technology Initiatives The University’s vision for the use of technology to advance the quality and effectiveness of the teaching/learning process is operationalized in a series of initiatives presented herein. These initiatives are action-oriented and ultimately defined by their product. While they are specific in their intent and method, it is understood that they are malleable. The University technology initiatives will be elaborated and extended within the technology plans developed by the individual colleges. Organizational Initiatives – Efforts to define and operationalize an organizational structure responsible for defining, implementing, and evaluating the University’s technology plan. The Information Technology Advisory Council will evaluate the progress of initiatives, make recommendations for new initiatives, and offer input on all major technology efforts, both academic and administrative. The make-up of the council will reflect the organizational structure of the University and its students. This initiative is supported by Action Plan Objectives 9, 10. Access Initiatives – Those efforts that will help to ensure anytime, anyplace access to information and to the means by which to process this information. This initiative is supported by Action Plan Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Support Initiatives – Initiatives designed to facilitate the effective and efficient use of technology while ensuring that the technology remains as transparent to the end user as possible. This initiative is supported by Action Plan Objectives 2, 3, 5, 9, 10. Innovation Initiatives – Efforts to examine new technologies and their application to the teaching/learning process. This initiative is supported by Action Plan Objectives 2, 3, 4, 7, 8. NSTEP Objectives 1. To improve access to technology by students, faculty, and staff at Northwestern State University. 2. To provide classrooms with updated technology and multimedia. vii
  • 32. 3. To upgrade laboratories with modern technology. 4. To improve and proliferate the use of distance education within all colleges at NSU. 5. To upgrade and maintain the campus communication network and infrastructure. 6. To provide a system for maintenance, upgrade, user training, and support of technology that will extend into the future. 7. To encourage technology initiatives by faculty, staff, and students. 8. To encourage innovation and research. 9. To provide and support hardware and software upgrades, new hardware and software for specialized functions, and training for technical support personnel. 10. To maintain a technology budget for the University, its colleges, and its directorates. These objectives support Northwestern State University’s goals as follows: NSU Goal NSTEP Objectives 1 – Northwestern State University will 1. - 10. endeavor to create and maintain a responsive, student-oriented environment. 2 – Northwestern State University will 1. - 10. provide programs, services, and operations throughout the University of high quality and effectiveness. 3 – Northwestern State University will 1-4, 8 strive to enhance institutional viability through effective enrollment management. 4 – Northwestern State University will 4, 7, 8 promote economic development, community services, and an improved quality of life in the region. viii
  • 33. Action Plans OBJECTIVE 1: To improve access to technology by students, faculty, and staff at Northwestern State University. OBJECTIVE 1 ACTION PLANS • Provide current technology for student use • Provide increased access to administrative systems (housing, meal plans, etc.) through Web-Based Student Services • Equip access labs to meet ADA standards • Improve access to campus resources, especially on-line courses and distance education, from off-campus locations OBJECTIVE 2: To provide classrooms with updated technology and multimedia. OBJECTIVE 2 ACTION PLANS • Construct multimedia classrooms (including hi-resolution projection systems, SMART boards, etc.) in conjunction with multimedia laboratories • Increase multimedia equipment availability for student presentations • Continue progress to organize and staff Instructional Technology Support and Training Centers On all campuses: • Increase the number of classrooms and laboratories equipped with multimedia delivery systems* and Internet connectivity. • Increase volume and currency of stand-alone multimedia equipment to faculty and students available in each college for instructional purposes annually. • Extend Instructional Technology (IT) Support and Training to all campuses; initiate development of web-based technology application tutorials. • Identify faculty willingness and expertise for peer tutoring related to creative technology implementation in teaching environment. • Increase web-based course offerings. • Review the state of the campuses’ communication network and infrastructure *Note: Multimedia delivery system includes a computer with current presentation software, keyboard, monitor, mouse, a projection unit, screen, and necessary wiring for Internet connectivity. ix
  • 34. OBJECTIVE 3: To upgrade laboratories with modern technology. OBJECTIVE 3 ACTION PLANS • Upgrade laboratory classrooms (hardware, software) OBJECTIVE 4: To improve and proliferate the use of distance education within all colleges at NSU. OBJECTIVE 4 ACTION PLANS • Enhance the Compressed Video Network • Provide each college with convenient access to distance learning technologies • Provide convenient access to library electronic resources and tutorials • Provide servers for online courses • Develop partnerships with business/industry for delivery of electronic instruction to the workplace OBJECTIVE 5: To upgrade and maintain the campus communication network and infrastructure. OBJECTIVE 5 ACTION PLANS • Plan, program, and install additional intranet services • Increase web-based student services • Support and upgrade wireless access • Implement emergency notification system OBJECTIVE 6: To provide a system for maintenance, upgrade, user training, and support of technology that will extend into the future. OBJECTIVE 6 ACTION PLANS • Provide for network administration with flexibility to change consistently with University technology infrastructure expansion • Provide workshops to students on use of technology • Provide workshops to faculty and staff on use of technology • Provide support for maintenance of new and existing programs OBJECTIVE 7: To encourage technology initiatives by faculty, staff, and students. x
  • 35. OBJECTIVE 7 ACTION PLANS • Establish community partnerships and internships • Provide invitational workshops to highlight faculty/student work • Promote technology initiatives through a Student Technology grants program OBJECTIVE 8: To encourage innovation and research. OBJECTIVE 8 ACTION PLANS • Maintain Innovation Grant process a. Establish seed grants b. Encourage grantsmanship among all faculty c. Promote cross-discipline research and grants writing among faculty d. Encourage grants writing among all faculty for external funding sources • Increase library holdings in print and electronic formats • Provide peer recognition opportunities • Publish faculty research/presentation abstracts annually • Develop a University Web site to showcase faculty/student research, publications, and presentations OBJECTIVE 9: To maintain support of: a. hardware and software maintenance and upgrades, b. new hardware and software for specialized functions, c. user training, d. training for technical support personnel. OBJECTIVE 9 ACTION PLANS • Review technology and training needs annually • Provide hardware and software maintenance and upgrades • Provide new hardware and software for specialized functions • Provide user training • Provide training for technical support personnel OBJECTIVE 10: To maintain a technology budget for the University, its colleges, and its directorates. OBJECTIVE 10 ACTION PLANS xi
  • 36. • Maintain a process that will ensure that all NSU campuses have equivalent technology resources including access, hardware, software, and training • Maintain a plan for replacement of technology purchased with Student Technology Fee funds Reporting and Evaluation Northwestern’s technology plan will be available for input from the University community on an annual basis according to the schedule below. The steward of the plan will make it widely available to the University community, and will solicit input from all faculty, staff, students, and the administration. Each college is strongly encouraged to develop its own technology plan. An ongoing evaluation process will ensure the appropriate direction and continued evolution of the technology plan and associated initiatives. Based on the evaluation results, initiatives may be continued, modified, or suspended. The development of new initiatives is an on-going process guided by the University’s vision and facilitated through the efforts of an empowered faculty and student body. Funding Over the past ten years, the University has spent several million dollars on technology and technology-related initiatives. While some of this money has come from grants, most has come directly from the University’s budget. The University is committed to remaining a leader in the state in the early use of advanced instructional technologies. Funding of technology initiatives over the next five years will require: • Sufficient and consistent funding, • Continuous acquisition of grant funding from private and governmental agencies, • Acquisition of capital outlay funds, • Effective stewardship of the student technology funds. Student technology fee expenditure guidelines xii
  • 37. Timeline for Annual Revision March - April Complete data collection for review by ITAC April Progress report presented to ITAC and the Administration ITAC recommends revisions Make document available for review and solicit input from faculty, staff, students, and the administration Student Technology Support Specialist compiles suggestions and presents to ITAC for approval May Final document presented to ITAC for approval September/October Review by STAT Provide to Business Affairs for Student Technology Fee expenditures xiii

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