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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

July 1, 2005

Q & A on information technology changes

by Diana Pounds

If you've ever wondered who to call with a computer problem ... if you'd be hard pressed to distinguish between AIT, ATS and ITC ... if you'd like more say about info tech services on campus, help is on the way. July 1 marks the official emergence of Information Technology Services, the newly restructured, central info technology department.

Inside recently put questions about the new department to its administrative leaders -- chief information officer Jim Davis, associate CIOs Maury Hope and John Kingland, and assistant CIO David Popelka. Here are their responses:

What is Information Technology Services?

It's Iowa State's new centralized information technology department. It consists of approximately 230 people and represents a merger of four previous units -- Academic Information Technologies (AIT), Administrative Technology Services (ATS), Instructional Technology Center (ITC) and Telecommunications.

Why the merger?

The merger will promote more efficient use of information technology (IT) and improve services to the campus.

Who do I call now for help?

The help number for just about any info technology question you have is 4-4000. That connects you to Information Technology Services, where staff can help with all kinds of problems. Forgot your password? Can't find that MS Word command? Computer acting squirrelly? Call 4-4000 or drop by the Solution Center at 195 Durham.

I'm used to calling another computer guru for help. Can I still do that?

Certainly. If you're used to seeking assistance, for example, from what used to be Administrative Technology Services staff, from the technical support person in your unit, or from a tech-savvy colleague, that's fine. However, you also can direct those questions to the Solution Center at 195 Durham or call 4-4000.

Our office has a service agreement with the former Administrative Technology Services. Are changes planned for these agreements?

We intend to continue offering service agreements. All current agreements will be honored and remain intact as we begin FY06. Those with service agreements should continue to work with the same staff, unless they're told differently. The Service Level Agreement program offered by AIT and the Partnership Agreement program offered by ATS will be reviewed and some changes could be seen throughout FY06.

Our unit has its own technical support staff. What happens to them?

There will be no change in their positions. We plan to build stronger bridges between central IT and unit IT support staff. We'll do this by sharing training, listening to each other and making good use of the special skills among technical staff in these units.

Will Information Technology Services serve Mac and Linux users as well as Windows users?

We'll continue to go to great lengths to ensure that our services are compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.

What's on the short-term "to-do" list for Information Technology Services?

  • Work through the reorganization, making sure we provide the same quality services while taking on new projects.
  • Create a process to encourage ongoing input from the campus community. We plan to work a lot harder at listening to what the campus community has to say. As a first step, we'll create a series of advisory committees.
  • Consider increasing the hours of support at the Solution Center (it's currently open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays).

What's on the long-term "to-do" list?

  • Look at the services we provide and decide which of those are core services that should be funded centrally and which services should be funded by fees. An example of a core service might be a university-wide e-mail and calendaring/scheduling.
  • Start working our way through 42 recommendations to improve IT services at Iowa State. These recommendations were the result of an information technology study conducted last fall.

Will the merger of the four former IT units into one result in staff reductions?

We're not planning staff reductions. We're looking for staff efficiencies, so that we can direct more energy toward new services.