IT focused on enrollment, students, and research

Our goal is to align with University enrollment, student success, and research goals, and to be a catalyst for reaching those goals.

The University of Montana’s IT organization developed that goal statement as part of a recent visioning process. The statement provides guidance when it comes to making choices about technology spending and projects.

“We’re focused on doing our part to make this University successful,” UM Chief Information Officer Matt Riley said. “We’re keeping up the technology infrastructure, but we’re prioritizing our investments on projects and technologies that will help us attract students and help them be successful, and on meeting our research goals.” 

Recruitment and student success initiatives 

In the past couple years, IT has invested in making UM’s digital content fully accessible. It has implemented cloud-based tools like Box, Qualtrics, and Microsoft 365 for students. UM’s web presence now includes a search tool and special content to help prospective students discover academic opportunities. And IT continues to support the revamping of high-tech classrooms, including a quantum leap in the Liberal Arts building.

Momentum is picking up, with several more high-profile projects in the works. Here are some of the new technologies coming on line in the fall to support student success: 

  • A degree audit tool called DegreeWorks to help students and advisors plan and track academic progress
  • An electronic catalog tool called CoursLeaf that will integrate with other systems and streamline the catalog management process
  • A student relationship management tool called Radius and a student success solution called Starfish, both from Hobsons
  • A suite of mobile applications will be developed using the CampusM platform 

Research investments

UM built a state-of-the-art mobile data center two years ago. Now it is investing in a research and education facilitator position to help computational researchers use technology more effectively. The position will be funded collaboratively by IT, the Vice President of Research, and UM’s research community, primarily in biological sciences.

“Our vision for this role is based on the National Science Foundation’s project to get researchers aware of and using the technology infrastructure it has built through cyberinfrastructure grants,” Riley said. “This effort will help researchers get grants, and it will help grant-funding agencies to get more bang for their buck.”

Learn more about Research and Education Facilitators.


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