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Information Technology Services: IT Portfolio

Portfolio Overview
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PORTFOLIO OVERVIEW

Updated:  8/12/2008

INTRODUCTION:

The Central Washington University (CWU) IT Portfolio is used as a tool to complete and present information about the use of technology at CWU and its associated six University Centers, and to further utilize this information for making better decisions about the University’s investments in information technology at all levels. The portfolio is basically a summary containing the essential information required for effective executive management and oversight of information technology within the University. The portfolio highlights the most important information about information technology from a management perspective.

The portfolio contains essential information about the University’s continued reliance on and support of technology for academic and business needs. Its focus is on the relationships between Information Technology and University business plans and programs. The portfolio contains information about business strategies, operational systems, potential investments, development projects, and technical standards and capabilities, all in the support of the academic mission of Central Washington University.

Information technology and information technology management and guidance continued to undergo significant changes at CWU. These changes in organization structure, leadership, and technology initiatives for both academic and administrative purposes are highlighted and described in the respective sections of the portfolio.

CONVERGENCE OF BUSINESS MISSION AND THE IT VISION:

In support of Central Washington University’s Strategic Plan and the Academic mission of the University, the University first comprehensive IT Strategic Plan was developed and released in June 2004. Revision 2.0 was released in March 2008. This document was the result of the combined work of the six major information technology service areas on campus. These groups are described in the following section of the IT Portfolio Overview, although reorganization has resulted in the consolidation of several of these entities with the ITS Department.

  • July 1, 2004:  In July of 2004, the Web Development Office was transitioned from the University Relations Division (where it had previously reported) to the Information Technology Services (ITS) Department.  Physical relocation to Bouillon Hall occurred with this organizational change.
  • July 1, 2005:  In July of 2005, the Enterprise Information Systems (EIS) Department transitioned to report to the Information Technology Services (ITS) Department.

In addition to the IT Strategic Plan, a separate Strategic and Operational Plan was development by the major IT support group on campus, the Information Technology Services (ITS) Department. The ITS Department Strategic Plan identifies the major goals of this department, with regards to the overall IT infrastructure at CWU. Revisiom 2.0 was released in January 2008.
The Department’s mission is:

“The ITS Department provides quality IT services and systems to meet the current and future information technology requirements of Central Washington University’s staff, faculty, and students in support of the academic mission of the University”.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE:

Information Technology support at CWU is provided by several distinct groups.

These groups are:

During FY04, new management/directors assumed responsibility for Information Technology Services, Library Technology, and the Educational Technology Center. As noted above, in July of 2004 and July of 2005, the Web Development Office and the Enterprise Information Systems Department merged with the ITS Department respectively.  Descriptions of each of the IT support areas are available at their respective websites, which are linked from this document, and in the current CWU IT Strategic Plan. An overview of the complete IT organizational structure at CWU is also available in the current CWU IT Strategic Plan.

STUDENT TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE:

Since 1996, students at CWU have paid a technology fee of $25.00/quarter. The funds are administered by the Technology Fee Committee which is comprised of 6 students plus membership from ITS, MTIS, and the University’s Computer Science (CS) Department. Funds are used for a variety of technology purposes, but are primarily used to support student laboratories, lab monitors/staff, student Internet access, and email and file services.

In FY05, the Student Technology Committee implemented their website where basic information about the committee, meeting minutes, and other important information is located.  In FY05, the committee worked with the ASCWU-BOD and the CWU-BOT to modify their operational agreement and charter.  This resulted in several major improvements, including:

  • Beginning in FY05, Student Technology funding could be used to replace computer hardware in open computer labs.  These labs are also used for technology classrooms, so the hardware funding is based on a percentage of usage.  Student Technology fees currently make-up approximately 40% of the funds used to replace computer lab hardware.
  • Beginning in FY05, due to other savings, the committee authorized at least $50,000 annually to be used to augment technology around campus.   Many worthy programs have received funding since FY05.  These programs are identified on the Student Technology Committee website.

TECHNOLOGY STAFFING:

Central Washington University has the benefit of a very capable and dedicated IT staff. While the close proximity to Seattle does provide access to resources and services that would not be expected in other more rural universities and colleges, at the same time it results in competition for employees from high-tech companies and other companies offering higher salaries and better benefits. Fortunately, CWU has been able to enjoy a fairly high retention rate as a result of employees who are dedicated to their position, and who enjoy the rural settings offered in Ellensburg, WA. Salaries for IT professionals at CWU are not at par with salaries for similar positions in private industry, however in FY08, significant improvements in the salary structure for classified IT professionals helped to reduce this gap. Over the past years, we were extremely fortunate to hire several highly qualified individuals into the ITS department. CWU is currently reviewing options for addressing salary disparities for Exempt Technology Staff.

EQUIPMENT REPLACEMENT AND OBSOLESCE:

Prior to FY06, limited funding was available for replacement of equipment. Capital funding was more available, which is used for major purchases and attempts to keep the central computer facility (servers, etc.) and networking environment in a current state. Adequate funding had not historically been available for replacement of non-capital equipment such as desktop computers for labs, classroom, and faculty/staff offices. CWU IT management and senior executives made great strides in the FY06 budget to identify funding to resolve this situation resulting in a funds-matching program to replace older desktop computers across campus. The success of this program resulted in it doubling in FY07, and reducing CWU's desktop lifecycle to less than four years.

Contact Information

Information Technology Services
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
(509) 963-2924
email: helpdesk@cwu.edu
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