The New Information Technology Organization for Liberal Arts Colleges


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Information technology (IT) organizations in higher education face a completely different world than they did ten years ago. Some of the core principles on which we have organized higher education and the information technology to support it are now either obsolete or undergoing major transformations. The meaning of “IT” has changed. Students are not who they used to be. The economy has probably changed in permanent ways (beyond a normal recession). Fragmentation and disruption are dividing attention and resources. IT’s stakeholder community is more complex and varied. What do these changes mean for information technology at small liberal arts colleges? In this seminar, Dr. Tom Warger, NITLE Fellow and independent consultant, will outline the changes that are affecting information technology at small liberal arts colleges and their implications for IT staff, library, faculty, students and others.

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The New Information Technology Organization for Liberal Arts Colleges

  1. 1. The New Information Technology Organization for Liberal Arts Colleges Thomas A. Warger NITLE Fellow November 29, 2012
  2. 2. The shot heard around the world… The early Web radically democratized culture, but now in the media and elsewhere you’re seeing a flight to quality. The best American colleges should be able to establish a magnetic authoritative presence online. David Brooks, “The Campus Tsunami,” NYT, May 4, 2012 See also, Ken Auletta, “Get Rich U,” New Yorker, April 30, 2012
  3. 3. Is this our choice? Evolve Transform Streamline Redefine Extend ReplaceAdapted from Gregory A. Jackson, “Enterprise IT, E-Learning, and Transformation: Prospects in Higher Education.” Educause Review Online
  4. 4. A question for youIf your IT group were trulyorganized make changehappen, how differentwould it look?
  5. 5. Staff Percentage by Role Other 10% Management 12%User Services 18% Applications 35% http://blog.thehigheredcInfrastructure 25% staffing-ratios- benchmarks/
  6. 6. The IT 100• IT staff • Physical Plant• Library • Faculty• Center for Teaching • Student IT staff• Lab managers • Students at large• Student Success • HR• Finance• Public Safety
  7. 7. Second question• Do you find the IT 100 idea valid? As a goal? How close to reality? Ways to make it real and effective?
  8. 8. Bass: Disrupting OurselvesRandall Bass article:
  9. 9. Jackson: Drivers of transformation• Guidance and pedagogy • Privacy and analytics – Students (and faculty) trying fend for – We have a lot of data about our students. themselves What are we doing with it?• Paths and swirl • Complexity and – On the way to graduation permanence• Borders and treaties – Digital information runs the risk of disappearing – Prospecting widely for students• Inputs and outputs • Who’s who – Identity management is a challenge in the – How do we measure education? online setting• Division of responsibility – When a student has attended multiple institutions Gregory A. Jackson article: learning-and-transformation-prospects-higher-education
  10. 10. Cues from the landscapeDoubts and Diverging Views On the value of higher educationNew Alignments of Priorities IT needs to address the most urgent issues an institution has.Change, This Time The economic crisis will not just ago away.Know the IT Mandate Is the CIO at the big table?A Higher Standard of Accountability Metrics and proofSee Warger article:
  11. 11. Be the change…And all along we’ve prescribed a singleresponse to ensure that when the dustsettles, you’ll still have a viable business:Develop a disruption of your own before it’stoo late to reap the rewards of participationin new high growth markets.Maxwell Wessel and Clayton M. Christensen, “Surviving Disruption,” Harvard BusinessReview, December 2012.
  12. 12. Recommended1. Replace Yourself: Where can we replace ourselves inhigher ed, before someone else does it for us?2. Service Tomorrow: Do we have a good idea howeducation will be constructed, delivered and consumed inthe future?3. Experience, Not Technology: How can we in higher edfocus on the experience of learning, as opposed to thedelivery mechanism?4. Be Fearless: How can we be more fearless in higher ed,and be willing to take risks for our students?5. Design For Your Customer: Are we in higher ed offeringenough choices for how our students want consume andparticipate in learning?What do you think Netflix streaming can teach us inhigher ed? Joshua, Kim, Inside Higher Ed
  13. 13. Time to discuss• Use the WebEx “chat” window.• Rebecca will call out the questions for me.• I will reply in writing to any questions we don’t get to here online.• And,