Information Technology Updates for CofC Faculty, Staff

The Division of Information Technology at the College of Charleston provides support for all aspects of technology implementation at CofC. From troubleshooting a computer glitch to outfitting an entire department with the latest instructional technology, IT works behind the scenes to make the College’s use of technology run smoothly.

During fiscal year 2017, the Division of Information Technology (IT) developed a master plan to strengthen its core foundations (infrastructure, information security and privacy) and enhance the College’s academic and administrative technologies. A robust roadmap of the projects can be found at the IT Project Hub.

Here are some highlights of how IT is working to improve and enhance the College’s technology infrastructure:

What improvements have been made since the implementation of the IT Master Plan?

Since 2017, despite challenges with competing priorities, we fortified our IT environment into a multifaceted network of standalone, shared and cloud-based technologies, while also streamlining our internal processes to align with our master plan. This robust IT foundation allows us to deploy new technologies and expand existing services that better meet the needs of our students, faculty and staff. We upgraded our internal hardware (older network and server devices), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and applications, and implemented several cloud services to improve performance and reduce unplanned outage risks.

What processes and automation is IT implementing to help address the impact of the staffing shortage on existing staff?

Staffing shortages have impacted the entire campus, including IT. The technologies and processes being implemented – automation, system integrations and dashboarding – will help teams manage their data more accurately and efficiently.

What is IT doing to improve communications about events and room booking?

One item under development is a robust and dynamic events management system, where event planners can schedule events and campus resources (automatic ticket creation), while also generating campus calendar and social media platform entries. The invitations can be managed on the event goers’ calendars (personal and institutional).

What is IT doing to provide faculty members with resources to do more hybrid teaching effectively?

We agree that our current room setup is not optimal for hybrid instruction. We were limited in time and funds when we had to address this sudden need due to the pandemic. The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), the Teaching and Learning Team (TLT) and several faculty members are discussing future hybrid classroom options including virtual spaces for teaching (Zoom or Teams functionality), spaces for faculty training and integration with our room-scheduling system.

What is IT doing to provide budget managers with more effective reporting and dashboard tools so we can make more informed decisions?

We continue to implement new technologies that address our reliance on manual processes. Tools such as Argos, pervasive at most colleges and universities, provide better support for departmental and public reporting. As we integrate our data infrastructure with automation, we will provide more accurate and complete data for our data visualization and dashboarding tools.

What is the plan to make the MyPortal interface easier to navigate?

We will continue to work with our vendor to enhance MyPortal and improve pathways into our systems so that users can access data using single sign-on, personalize tile views across multiple devices and view role-based data.

The Office of University Marketing is upgrading the College’s external-facing website. With MyCharleston being retired, what is the plan for the internal website?

In parallel with the university marketing upgrades, we are creating The Hub, an intranet presence for our students, faculty and staff. Users will have a comprehensive view of CofC’s day-to-day operations, and departments will be able to build customized sites on The Hub for campus documentation, media and other pertinent information. Stakeholders can also sign up for notifications when content changes on The Hub.

What else does IT have planned over the next year?

IT has lots of improvement plans for FY23. For a list of projects, go to the IT Project Hub. To stay abreast of what is happening in IT, users may click on “Not Following” in the upper right corner to change it to “Following.”