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IT Strategic Plan 2012-2020


FeedbackWe encourage members of the campus community to provide feedback on the draft IT strategic plan. You can click on the feedback button on any of the content pages to submit comments. The feedback form requires login with your NetID.

What students, faculty and staff are saying

It would really help if someone went through and organized this plan. There is a lot of redundancy, and if there was a summarized list it would be a lot easier to choose goals.

I have to start out by saying how amazing this plan is. I was very impressed at how everything fits together! There are so many components that go into something like this that I, and I can assure you, many other students are completely unaware of! I am truly blown away at the extensive detail not to mention the organization of all of the details that comprise this plan. I also feel very confident in the overall success of the plan as each component begins to implement itself into action making it all reality. How exciting this is for the future of the University of Montana! The integration of new technology on a number of levels as well as the improvements of current technology used is allowing such a great expansion in our education ability. This plan opens doors of all kinds which aid in overall success for any and every person who has the opportunity to be a student of the University of Montana as well as the wonderful staff. It creates new and exciting challenges for both students and staff bringing us to a new place in the history of the U of M and the incredible and ever-expanding technology that has and will continue to teach us and offer new ways for us learning.

The ADA Team would suggest that IT Central and the university as a whole adopt guidelines similar to the "Wisconsin Postsecondary Closed-Captioning and Captioned Media Guide"; and adopt a policy to adhere to Section 508 as soon as possible.

I am currently taking five online classes so distance learning is the extent of my relationship with the U of M. I just wanted to say that having taken classes from schools like Phoenix Online as well as Portland State, both well known for their online learning capabilities, I have been very impressed with the University of Montana's distance learning. I have no complaints about any of my five classes. All, I have found very challenging in a positive way, offering a variety of support services and availability of teachers as well as other staff online. I live in Arlee and I stay at home with my three young children so physically coming to the school to find help of any sort is really not an option for me right now unless there was an emergency. That being said, I have had many questions as I became more and more familiar with moodle and the resources available. I have always been able to find the answers to my questions as well as technical support without leaving my home. This has been a great advantage to me and I thank you all and look forward to continuing my distance learning.

I just came from the distributed IT open forum with the outside consultants and found the conversation to be productive, although it was apparent there is quite a bit of pent up frustration from years past. One suggestion that was made by one of the consultants that I would really like to see addressed, is providing a more structured way for the various system administrators from units across campus to share and collaborate on initiatives within their units and to have respresentation at the institutional IT level. It feels like we are all working on some of the same issues but doing so in isolation of each other and central IT. Although I don't want to see central IT become responsible for all we are doing, as I think in some cases it could decrease our unit's abiltiy to be responsive operationally, it would be nice, as the consultant suggested, to have a more structured representation for our distributed IT units.

I would like to see a part of the IT Stategic Plan address the potential for the creation of a new management structure that could cross multiple operating units to address the need for creating efficiency and reducing costs for the delivery of the administrative portions of some of our student services (i.e. registration, bill presentment (including parental/guest access for financial aid and payment transactions), academic transactional items like transcripts, change of majors, graduation applications, and online forms/records.

One area of representation that seems to be missing to me is the administrative units within Academic Affairs. Many programs and new strategic initiatives, such as the Office for Student Success, GLI, and the Office for Academic Enrichment have administrative systems and data needs that I feel need to be incorporated into the plan. Program assessment and student engagement, persistence & graduation data are part of our mission and responsibility. Defining a governance structure that promoted productive coordination and collaboration with data managers and data users across all Academic Affairs units would be helpful.

I'd like to thank the people that spent time on the plan document. Although there are things I think still need to be added, this is a great 1st start. I was impressed with the honesty of some of the statements that were made about our current environment. In my view, it's this level of honesty that can help us make the changes and improvements I think we all want.

Currently the IT Strategic Plan does not state the Universitys legal obligation to ensure that all programs, activities, services, including those provided through information technology, are accessible to individuals with disabilities. ITs mission, vision, and core values are not yet determined. However, this section (mission, vision, and core values) could be an appropriate place to state the University of Montana has to comply with the laws and guidelines. I have two folds on the following sentence: Universal accessibility: In collaboration with the ADA Team, DSS and EEO develop a plan to address accessibility assessment, training and information dissemination. 1) Remove Universal. 2) This section is troublesome since this plan seems to rely on only a few units (Disability Services and EEO) to be the central to develop an IT Plan for entire campus, train the campus, and disseminate info to the campus. The legal obligation and compliance should occur in a higher level in the institution. This sentence should be changed to something like, Information Technology create a campus wide committee and develop best practices for ensuing accessibility by collaborating with the ADA Team, Disability Services for Students, and other campus units.

Please make accessibility the number one priority in The University of Montana Information Technology Departments strategic plan. UM has numerous and varied legally mandated accessibility standards that it should be upholding without fail, yet the concept of accessibility is never even mentioned in the current version of this strategic plan. This is absolutely unacceptable. Not one consultants profile shows they have expertise in this area. It is imperative that it be explicitly stated in the IT Strategic plan that UM is firmly committed to upholding its legally mandated web accessibility requirements such as those delineated in to W3C web standards (, Section 508 (, and The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act ( ). As well, the IT strategic plan should be taking into consideration the recent Office of Civil Rights settlement agreement, and the recent Department of Justice guidance on this issue, both delineated at the following link: Here is an excerpt from this link: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504) prohibit postsecondary institutions from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education has indicated through complaint resolution agreements and other documents that institutions covered by the ADA and 504 that use the Internet for communication regarding their programs, goods, or services, must make that information accessible. In an OCR settlement agreement, the federal agency stated that whether the communication is via media, print, or the Internet, postsecondary institutions must "effectively communicate" with individuals with disabilities including students, faculty, staff and the wider community. (OCR 09-95-2206.RES) The Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, in the Department of Justice (DOJ) has just recently issued a document entitled Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites to People with Disabilities ( In this document, DOJ states that state and local governments are required under the ADA and 504 to provide "equal access to their programs, services, or activities unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature" of these programs, services or activities or "would impose an undue burden." This equal access obligation covers access to the information on governmentalthat is, public postsecondary institutionalwebsites. (See further explanation of this on the website at the link above). Today, all students, especially those with disabilities, expect online media when and where they need it. Today audio, video, and text are all digitalized, meaning that these three can complement and interchange with one another. Therefore there is absolutely no excuse to be remiss in the obligation to fully serve all people with varying types of disabilities. Students need to know that UM is committed to providing accessible electronic file formats (For more about the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards go to this link: Students need to be able to use screen readers to read the PDFs provided by their instructors. This includes the PDFs put together by adjunct instructors. Students must know that UM is providing them with the most up-to-date software to convert digital files into audio files, and this software should be available on the UM website. If professors plan to run their courses online using streaming, they need be ready and able to provide a variety of accommodations. If instructors are using video clips, these clips need to follow the principles of described captioning media, meaning videos should be captioned, the spoken word should be in audio, and there should be a background description. In K-12 in Montana there is a library archives-type site that has materials available for check-out that are following described captioning media principles ( UM should perhaps have a similar library of materials, or at the very least, there should be some sort of gatekeeping process so professors arent allowed to post inaccessible videos and documents online. Its not up to the students to force UM faculty and adjunct instructors to provide accessible courses! Even Moodle discussions are inaccessible to screen readers! Individual students should not have to use the complaint process to get their basic rights to access upheld after-the-fact. I solicited feedback from George Kerscher, the Secretary General of the DAISY Consortium on what he thought should be included in UMs IT strategic plan, and here is what he sent me.: Higher education and digital publications are in a transitional phase. Digital books and Learning Management Systems (LMS) must be accessible to persons with disabilities. See, Based on this set of recommendations and the rapid adoption of digital books, The University of Montana, and all schools of higher education in Montana, should examine the opportunities presented in the EPUB 3 specification for digital publications. The DAISY Consortium, the organization focused on accessible digital publications, has endorsed EPUB 3 and the publishing industry is getting geared up for the future of accessible digital publishing. In this transitional phase, the University of Montana should consider establishing an implementation group to keep abreast of best practices and supporting technology in accessible digital publishing. The focus of this group would be to advise The University on policy and timelines for the transition to a digital first publishing ecosystem. You can see George Kerscher explaining EPUB3 standards. Please consider making effective, accessible communication via websites and the internet your number one priority in your IT Strategic Plan, and please state explicitly what standards UM is committed to upholding in terms of accessibility to information technology. Thank you. I will forward this feedback to President Engstrom at, in hopes that he can provide some sorely needed leadership on this issue.

The Americans with Disability Act Team also wants to remind the IT Strategic Plan committee that accessibility is not just an academic issue and should be included in all aspects of the Strategic Plan as well as the implementation of such a plan.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Team expects that the overall mission of IT is to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as well as the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 and all other Federal, State and local regulations to ensure maximum accessibility for students, faculty, staff and the public at The University of Montana. We also expect that such a statement will be included in the mission and goals of the final Strategic Plan.

All videos produced by the University for example the University YouTube channel, needs to be accessible via captioning. Currently the University it NOT in compliance with the ADA and 504. Captioning provides access to the videos for Deaf, hard of hearing, veterans losing hearing, English as a second language users and any person globally that might want to access our videos.

I agree that the IT staff that we have is very good, they do a great job, and provide quality service. The biggest weaknesses to me, are the lack of redundant equipment, certain areas being used to house servers, and especially the inconsistency, and un-integrated and non-user-friendly design of many of the UM websites. If a person has to click through 15 pages to find what they are looking for instead of maybe 3-5 clicks, that is effectively putting 3-5 times more strain on the network. Just because of bad web design and integration. This needs to be fixed as it would probably be cost effective, and would reduce strain on the network, making it much more reliable.

I think the mission of IT should be to provide reliable and efficient computer and technology solutions to staff, administration, and students, in a practical and effective manner. The vision should be to create a department that will be able meet the needs of all students and faculty as far as Information Technology goes, In a way that makes it easy for the student or staff member to access or store the information they need quickly and effectively. The values should be Efficiency, redundancy, ease of use, and innovation. Meeting or exceeding the customers expectations in customer service, ease of use and effectiveness.

The integrating of the authentication process through CAS has made things like Cyberbear and Moodle much easier to access since you no longer have two different logins/passwords. However, I still feel that the system could be more integrated throughout. I have had multiple experiences where I was told to go online to find certain UM web pages or documents, and had a very hard time finding what I was looking for in the web of different department web pages. I think Onestop could be improved by having links to all department web pages making it easier to navigate the entire web of pages, no matter what you are looking for. Onestop should be THE "one and only" stop to find anything and everything "UM". But as of now the Onestop page is rather bare. To add links to these departments pages and important documents would be cost efficient and would make navigating the complex web within the campus much faster and easier. People are more and more demanding a user friendly experience when it comes to websites and services. Reorganization of the navigation of the entire UM web infrastructure is much needed to fulfill this demand.

Cloud Computing & Virtualization Under Goals of the Strategic Plan there are areas identified about the proper implementations of cloud computing. I think there is little doubt that cloud computing in some form or fashion is the future of ERP. The greatest question may be the how and why? As far as the how, the University could go with major 3rd party vendors such as Amazon Enterprise Cloud Computing (AWS), Hewlett Packard, Dell, Google, Rackspace, Microsoft, Oracle, 8x8 or numerous other vendors. It also could build its own cloud servers or use a combination of both. With those brief how examples considered, why would the University consider cloud computing for its ERP. One example would be in simplified terms to reduce the burden on the desktop and the server. Using cloud servers and or local servers, processes could be virtualized using less resources than having the actual physical server doing the same. One local server could have several local servers virtualized inside of it doing the same job as several physical machines. This would save the cost of the actual servers, the cost of running them and the cost of storing them. In addition to having the ability of running multiple virtual machines, each machine can run virtual processes. Of course, all of these virtual processes are limited to the hosts machines storage, memory and processing power but a powerful server can be highly effective and much more powerful virtualized than as a stand alone machine. Using the same principal desktops could become more efficient enterprise machines. Less focused on individual capabilities and more focused how they interact with the cloud. Instead of having desktops that must have costly software and storage devices, cloud devices desktops would have speedy processors, small solid state drives and the majority of its operating system, software and storage would be in the cloud. While this technology may not be available at this very moment. I believe consideration should be given to similar scenarios to future proof the University.

Network One of the great advantages the University of Montana has is its access to the Northern Tier network. As stated in the strategic plan, current hardware infrastructure impedes taking advantage of this bandwidth. With budgeting limited to replace end of life core switches and new firewall replacement non-existent and building upgrades limited to a budgeted $200K per year with each building costing $100K, maybe an alternate solution could provide a temporary or permanent fix. According to the strategic plan only 4 buildings are capable of 1GB link/1GB desktop bandwidth while the rest of the campus buildings provide a lesser capability. At current budgeting levels it would take more than 20 years to get all of the buildings up to the 1 GB/1 GB standard. Now this assumption might be flawed because certain buildings may not require the higher speeds. Even with that fact considered, this seems unacceptable because after this time cycle whatever bandwidth the buildings may have been upgraded to, it most likely will be obsolete in the future due to inevitable progresses in technology. Perhaps a hybrid approach could be considered. Instead of singularly focusing all of the Universities assets on the slow process of upgrading the wired network, maybe the University could look into the possibility of expanding a more centralized, backbone wireless network in addition to the wired network. The security, lower cost, greater bandwidth capabilities, upgradability and ease of modern enterprise wireless networks make them worth a look. This would be different then the current scattered wireless networks across campus but rather a centralized network administered by IT and would be similar to the current wired backbone. There are alternative enterprise wireless options to Cisco consider such as Aruba, HP, Motorola and all-in-one providers such as Aerohive Networks. A study would have to be implemented to analyze feasibility.

Enterprise Computing Systems If the university is going to maintain control of costs, consolidate resources and eliminate redundancy a critical area would be either to take the approach that is taken in the strategic plan or take a radically different approach. I believe the approach taken in the current strategic plan is logical and well thought out for moving forward with the current Enterprise System, Banner. There may be an alternate solution out there. While it appears Sungard Higher Educations Banner may have a virtual monopoly on educational Enterprise Software, perhaps viable alternative to Banner may exist. There may be a smaller vendor who may be willing to do more for less. There may be viable open source software solutions, (i.e. Moodle). A new solution may be developed in-house or by a third party. What would be the advantages of replacing Banner? Starting over could solve many of the problems; logistical, cultural and technical. Having a new ERP that is correctly implemented could save both time and money in the long run. What could be some of the disadvantages? The initial cost could be prohibitively high. The transition period could be difficult and confusing. After full implementation it could be discovered the new Enterprise System did not meet expectations.

Organization: As the plan states the the UM central IT needs some organization for it work properly and efficiently.There needs to be a structure so as to not waste any resources.If we lack organization in IT then the funding would be towards projects that it should not.Maybe need to have a head IT at each campus and other it employees under the manager.Then you could possibly have meetings on how to keep improving the system with new and innovative ideas.

Computer labs: The computer labs are also in need of some upgrades. One of the problems I have encountered is that the labs dont have the necessary software I need to complete my work.Some of the software is only located in certain labs,where at times there may be classses going on. The AD12 lab which is open all the time does not have the software needed for some classes such as Dreamweaver, Visual Studio, Visio, MySQL are the ones I have had problems trying to find a lab to work in.To increase the lab in size to allow more students, would be of great help to the students.

In reading the strategic plan about our data centers is a main issue to upgrade. To have that many data centers spread out around campus seems wasteful. I would like to see data centers designed specifically to help them work as powerful and efficient as possible.By building specific rooms to house the data centers use special coling units to keep the equipment from overheating. Or to house the centers away from other potential hazards as water and sewer pipes as shown in the report.The management of these data centers need to be more centralized, it seems unbalanced as to the number of data centers each department manages. The data centers need to be streamlined and managed by central IT so as the work is more evenly distributed.

IT infrastructure: in support of University strategic goals Data Center and Data Services Taking a look into the University of Montanas current Data Center and Data services I would agree that it is time to upgrade the system to a more efficient location. On one hand taking a look at the suggestion, is a level 2 tier location really suffice for the increase capabilities that we are looking for in the near future. Why not build it for the future. I believe the 3 tier would be more sufficient providing multiple paths for power and really the cost isnt going to break the project. The project of this size could take advantage of tax credits and energy efficiency projects provided by the government to help pay for some of this project. I feel for the most part it is headed in the right direction with a few implementations of ways the project can recoup money in the long run would be beneficial to helping update equipment over a period of time. For instance I know that it there are political walls to jump over or around but the school is in the business of making money so think of ways to make money. The school could take advantage of the energy grants to use solar panels to help power the data center to help cut down on the power bill which would help update equipment when it is needed or help supply that extra employee to update the system. Network Infrastructure Upgrading the network infrastructure should be a top priority, how does this University expect to lead into the 21st century. This the campuses communicate more efficiently. We could have students taking online classes from Montana Tech in Missoula or the other way around. We could have student accessing the night classes from Helena COT that arent offered here at that time. It could increase revenues for all the universities making them more competitive and a better student environment providing ease of access to all the tools students are looking for. Increasing our bandwidth, updating our firewalls should be a priority to help open up the doors to our other university systems. Technology literacy and innovation Technology literacy and innovation is where the future is with the University of Montana. If we could build for the future with our data systems and networks and build our classrooms to the technology advancements that other Universities have today. Other students would come here for the experience and it seems that no one listens to that. If the University would put the technology in the classroom for online classes they could sell that class to online communities. Look at the revenues generated from classes now this University already makes its money. Why not capitalize on it and move forward with what they have. From a students perspective I would like to see the technology in the classrooms that is what I pay my money to look at or to work on. If the university would implement this technology they have another side of the university, for internships that would provide students the opportunity to learn on the equipment they would be implementing within the system.

There needs to be a defined hierarchy for the IT organization at the University A centralized IT department that could have representation from the individual academic, financial, and administrative sectors that branch out from it. There needs to be one governing, decision making entity that works for the good of all as opposed to the individual sectors making changes and supporting themselves. Long term plans need to be implemented so that there is some criteria in which to base these decisions on. Support for the various data resources need to be structured in a bottom up method, where if the individual sector cannot help then someone further up can. Also servers need to be secure.

Cloud computing is coming and needs to be in the long-term plan. If students could access all the programs that they need from their personal computers, there would not be the need for maintaining so much lab space. This would subsequently result in a reduction of the cost in computer purchase and maintenance costs. With more and more students taking online classes cloud computing would eliminate the need for students to drive into one of the campuses for lab time to complete those assignments that could not be done at home due to the lack of the required software applications. I think this availability would also encourage more people to become distant learning students. Added enrollment would help fund the cost.

Campus-wide wireless needs to be a major priority. If students used their personal computers the need for lab access would be less and the issues surrounding lab usage would be minimized. Students need wireless access in the resident housing and that addition could justify raising dorm fees offsetting the cost.

Vision, pg. 4: Central IT needs to have a clear vision of where they want the UMs campuses to be at, in terms of technology. This vision would include the wireless coverage, network speed, data servers, and connectivity among campuses. A short-term vision could include the projects expected to be completed and started within the next 5 years, including a review of projects currently in plan. A long-term vision could include a broader scope of embracing upcoming technologies and large-scale plans, and would be reviewed regularly to be updated with new technologies and changing plans. Each department and section of IT should have a similar vision that helps reinforce the central ITs vision. This would include each departments plans for wireless, network plans, and how they would help the larger IT vision. Governance, pg. 27 Central IT needs to create a more organized and logical chain of command for all IT members, as well as actively asking about issues and feedback. This would not only help clarify the positions and coverage of IT members, but also fix issues more smoothly for unsatisfied users. For any given issue, it should be clear for the user of who to contact for support. Regular collaborations between IT managers would stop the frequent issue of multiple IT groups working towards the same goal, but in different directions. Members of IT groups also need to be in contact with non-IT groups to reach collaboration for the entire campus. This would fix the issue of help desk consultants not wasting time trying to fix an issue, when someone who is familiar with the problem can fix the issue more easily. Funding, pg. 27 Central IT should have a clear model of what funding comes in, how it is divided among the departments, and how it is being spent by those departments. A review of what money comes in would be helpful in determining who it should go to, as well as possibly finding more grants for IT on campus. The money should be split between the departments according to their project needs and their total number of users that they cover. Collaboration between the departments is also the key to save money for ordering. Whether it is software, computers, or other hardware, it would benefit all of IT to save money by ordering it in bulk for vendors.

Data Centers and centralized storage facility Having worked with the IT department as a student worker for the past two years the lack of a centralized data center has always been something that has struck me as major issue. The servers that are housed in various locations around campus as shown in the IT Strategic Plan are far too spread out and in inappropriate facilities. A dedicated data center would not only centralize the administration of the servers but also provide an appropriate place to house the current servers being used on campus. The building of a dedicated data center would also provide an environment to keep the servers running at an appropriate temperature which will save energy and in the long run reduce the overall carbon footprint of The University of Montana which is something that is not covered in the IT Strategic Plan but has been outlined in The University of Montana Climate Action Plan. A centralized data center would also provide added security due to the facility being under one roof and limiting access to the facility. IT Staff IT staff is spread out throughout the university system. Most departments have a dedicated IT staff that is not affiliated with central IT. This lack of a central IT umbrella causes there to be communication difficulty between departments concerning standardization of web resources, classroom and lab resources and IT support. The University of Montana does not seem to be a cohesive unit when it comes to IT. The area that could be targeted for improvement is centralizing IT resources under a central IT umbrella so that IT support would go through one channel. This would provide a single resource for the end user and result in less wasted time by staff, faculty and students when trying to locate support. Another benefit that centralizing IT would have is increased levels of communication pertaining to web resources which would provide the end user with a more fluid experience on department sites and university services. Centralizing IT would also help to standardize the labs on campus so that students knew what to expect in terms of software, support and resources, as it is right now each lab on campus provides different hardware, printing procedures and levels of support. If The IT resources were more centralized it would help promote uniformity between departments and standardization of IT resources. Faculty, Staff and Student IT training One aspect of the IT Strategic Plan that I felt was not well represented was the training opportunities that are available to the various stakeholders of The University of Montana. While there are opportunities for application specific training many times the users only know how to use the specific applications that are required to complete job related tasks. This can often result in the user having trouble communicating with IT staff, fixing small problems that may arise and staying secure in a network environment. There is a great opportunity for central IT to close the gap in user understanding by providing training sessions to users on basic computer skills and security. This applies to all users; staff, faculty and students. By educating the user on more than just application specific computer use central IT would provide a safer network environment as well as providing the user more tools to accomplish daily tasks in a more efficient and timely manner. Educating the users would also benefit the IT staff in that less minor issues would have to be resolved and they could be utilized to accomplish larger scale or more pressing tasks. Overall I believe that there are many opportunities to educate users in a way that will provide a more knowledgeable and productive environment for the entire university system.

Data Center Hard Line Connectivity: I believe the Data center is very important to me as a student. We have several bandwidth issues around campus. Depending on where you are you may get good connection or a slow one. A new larger data center with more cabling connecting buildings would allow students and faculty to connect faster and more reliable. New cabling should extend to the farthest reaches of the University so that all students and faculty have the same bandwidth. It must be hard for IT to properly support the University when they have very small data centers spread all over the campus. When a server goes down, its hard to know exactly what you need until you arrive onsite. Then you dont have a replacement that is compatible with that particular system, its on the other end of campus. It would be so nice to have all the support and devices in one area. It would be nice to have the same connectivity no matter where you are on campus as a student or a teacher. Awesome ideas on the Strategic plan. I defiantly think it is possible and I hope it happens. The Budget I would only hope $500,000 is enough but if it is not, we need to set up fund raisers to meet higher goals. Maybe set up another committee just to look at different grants or more government funding. Use student internships and employment to do some of the wiring and set up in the data center. I think it would be great experience. Wireless Connectivity Another issue that we need to address is the wireless connectivity. If Im around a wireless access point everything is good, but there are not enough waps on campus. I get five bars in the cafeteria but when I go to HB-01, I may have two bars or maybe I get booted off altogether. It is really no fun to try and take a test online and before you submit for grading you get kicked off, and it says you have completed your test. You only get one shot at the bigger tests so if this happens, which it has you have to get a hold of the teacher have him or her reset the test so you can try again. That stinks. Wireless Support Wireless activity is growing at such a rate we cant ignore it any longer. There are so many different devices popping up and so few techs that understand how to support them. Now we have tablets, phones, readers, all of which require wireless access. Students do homework on tablets but Labs are not supported because Internet Explorer is the required web browser for many IT labs and My Labs Plus, but IE is not a web browser used on Android or I-Pod. These are small problems that if fixed would make a big difference to students. Thank you

The IT maps that are broken down by service layers within the organization give a detailed visual of the future plans. I really like the pyramid model developed by the University of Wisconsin and Cornell University it provides me with a better understanding of the important layers. The pie chart that represents the IT personnel is very beneficial, I did not realize how the IT personnel is broken down among the campus departments, its interesting to see this chart along with the campus diagram that features the wireless and wired structure. That gives a good perspective of how difficult this IT endeavor will be for the University of Montana. There are far more servers than I would have ever imagined at the campus. It appears that the campus went through such a growth spurt that this project would have been beneficial years ago. This is why organized planning is so vital to the future success of our campus. The purchase of mass software licenses would be extremely cost effective. The computer lab situation is very frustrating, it would be beneficial to have a secure campus lab with monitors that are well rounded to provide assistance to students struggling with core applications. The library section with computers is not ideal! The lighting is poor and the desktop space is crowded, it can be noisy at times. I would like to see this in a more private location away from the front entrance. I also think the COT should provide a weekend lab space for students that need access to files or applications for their courses and assignments

SWOT analysis was very thorough, followed the typical goals from a strategic planning analysis. The SWOT analysis followed the four elements in a 2x2 matrix to give a clear visual perspective of findings. IT department strengths reported are more about the individuals in the IT department, not the actual function of the department. The department weaknesses revolved more around the inefficiency of the IT department as a whole, giving clear indication that the infrastructure is failing tremendously. By reviewing comments it seems that staff and student population are very frustrated with the lack of communication, inconsistency and bureaucracy of the IT department. Weakness category is the dominant part of the matrix. The category listing the external opportunities has realistic expectations for the campus. Although when reviewing the external threats it does outweigh the opportunities. Threats can have a significant impact on the opportunities. In my opinion the threats are the most important part of the SWOT analysis because every threat is at the core, and any improvements must prevent creating more threats to the campus.

I was surprised to find that the IT Strategic Plan lacked the mission, vision and core values. To have those three fundamentals in place early on gives a sense of direction. It can establish an immediate message for the IT Strategic Plan. The mission statement should be a short powerful statement about the IT departments action, a phrase that integrates accomplishments. The vision statement should be a reflection of the IT departments short term goals. The core values can embrace the leadership, integrity, pride and excellence that is part of the University of Montana. Many companies and university look at their past, present and future to determine their mission statement, I believe that would be a good approach. We are working on a project that connects the University of Montana to the world, we are invested in technology for the future.

Computer Labs In the IT Strategic Plan, the situation with computer labs is covered pretty well. The only problem is they are dedicated to specific areas. The labs could be more versatile and have all the programs needed be installed in all the labs? Right now, there seems to be enough computers just not with the right programs installed. For example One Computer lab has Dream weaver installed the rest of labs do not have it installed. There are other examples, like Windows XP only installed in one lab etc. Overall, I think there needs to be more collaborative management of the Computer Labs and more resources are needed.

*The Availability of software* I would have to say that this is a strong point for me as there are classes that I take that only offer the software in specific labs. This is an issue that stands out as it cuts the amount of lab time that I get down when the specific lab is unavailable. With the proper licensing and a universal software implementation would definitely increase the lab availability throughout the campus by not limiting to the use of specific labs. It might also help to allow student to access the software on their own personal computer through the network as it would remove the need for lab availability. It would be helpful if students could access the server resources through their personal computers, possibly by implementing a complex virtual machine. Something must be implemented because the demand for labs is increasing and we do not have the space to increase the number of labs or increase the size of existing labs either. *Size of Facility* As everyone on campus knows there is an issue with the amount of space at the COT. Each semester there seems to be a new trailer on campus. Our classrooms are often overfull and it is hard to find a seat. I dont think that the land that the COT is located on is big enough to offer the space that we need. A new site or extended one might be in order as the amount of students enrolled increases. *Bandwidth Utilization* The COT grows bigger every year that passes. During this time more devices will need to utilize the bandwidth. With more students using the internet access the COT provides we will eventually need more to continue optimal availability for both faculty and students for both the COT and Mountain Campus

Surprised to see the vision not yet developed. I believe that there is a mission, vision and value being worked on. Some suggestions I can think of. Mission: Easy access to updated technology integrated into the learning environmental. Vision: All of classes having some interactive aspect to the subject matter through IT Core Values: Making sure that the illiterate people to technology can easily access what they need while the more advanced people to technology can take advantage of technology.

The SWOT analysis is really well summarized and makes it easy to figure out the different approaches that might be taken. Strengths- One thing that I really like about the UofM especially at the CoT is all the software and technology I have access to. I feel being able to keep the students engaged is the key to learning. Having students write notes then take an exam to me doesn't seem effective, but engaging students in their field of study really helpful. IT is very good at doing this, allowing students to learn things they may not be able to in a classroom environmental. Weaknesses- Money is always a factor in any aspect of development. Normally the best way to help sway this is either through politics or being frugal about spending. Their is a lot of technology out there that is less expensive than name brand stuff and works just as well. Opportunities- Much more technology is being devoloped to help easy the challenges of networking however the technology is moving so fast that by the time you train an employee in a certain area, it may be too late. Threats- Security threats are always an issue and probably the one that should be worried about the most. Not only are external sources an issue, the biggest threat is the internal sources. Sometimes students feel they have something to prove and you may encounter one who knows how to abuse the system. I feel that there should be more of a focus on internal threats rather than external threats.

The Innovation Center is a great idea. The worlds technology is moving at such a fast pace that is hard to keep up. A center like this would be a great place for those students who want to excel in technology. Offering technology scholarships would be a great way to get new students to apply to the U of M and would not only benefit the campus but also the community. If these type of internships were offered it would give graduates a step up when it came time to finding a job. Most companies that are hiring for technology jobs are requiring that you have experience. If we had a center like this it would always need to be evolving so that the technology would always be up to date if not a head of it.

Classroom technology is a valuable tool that needs to be used in every classroom. Our professors need to have updated equipment that actually works like it is supposed to. I have sat through so many classes where we have wasted time because the equipment wouldn't work and classes that have actually been dismissed early because of faulty equipment. The main campus definitely has nicer and better updated technology then the COT campus but a lot of the main campus classrooms are still outdated. Sometimes I wanted to take my computer to class but most of the time you cant get a plugin unless your lucky enough to get a spot that has one. It would be nice to have the option if you wanted it.

Current Situation: The College Of Technology does not contain the basic needs for a productive learning environment. Examples: I was appalled the first day of school when I parked in a mud hole then attended a study group in the common area/lunchroom and had to move my coat because the ants were coming up an ant hole from the floor onto my coat. I attended a class lab that did not contain enough computers for everyone in the class until some students dropped the class. I was assigned homework at the end of one class and was not able to use the only lab with the program necessary to do the homework until the next afternoon but the homework was due at 11AM. After that I found out that the credits I earned and paid for did not transfer to the U of M. These issues are disappointing at the very least and need to be addressed immediately.

The University System has so many aspects of learning, efficiency, ease of access and all the stakeholders. Beginning to have a set goal in place for a specific aspect and taking all those elements into consideration is not an easy task. I thank all those involved in creating this strategic plan and gathering all the data needed, just so that there is a clear mission and goals set in place. I believe it is very important to realize that social media and the ease of access to information is a way of life for all. Not taking advantage of these is a major disadvantage to any facility. However, it is important to understand that this is not replacement for the retention of information with interactions in person. The need for security and making sure that information is protected is crucial and can be very hard to have any control over in a networked situation we are faced with today. P.42 I believe that the funding of IT is very important and should be a major priority. I think that the money should be raised so that there is not a need for cuts. An increase in funding is very important to hire, and equip the university with the latest software and personnel that can teach students to be fluent. This rise in personnel will bring a diversity of knowledge and experience to IT students. Increase in funding can even lead to job opportunities to the students who can have hands on experience in order to prepare them for a professional setting. P.63

Mission Vision and Values These must be addressed before any stages are planned or you will have wasted time and resources Staff will be going in many different unnecessary directions, their will have much duplication. Nothing works without oversight. A group or person must be appointed as a leader to coordinate activity and be responsible for the results. It is no secret that the success of any organization today is dependent on quality Information Technology, a strong base to build on, and that money must be invested to make money or break even. With this knowledge a strategic plan can be created to accomplish the goals set forth. Usually you start with a mission, vision and state the core values of the organization. This seems lacking in the IT Strategic plan. A possible vision for U of M would be to provide Quality education at a reasonable price to as many local taxpayers as possible. For it is they who pay much of the taxes that support the U of M system.

Funding: Information Technology is a base necessity needed for U of Ms survival in 2012. It must be funded no matter what frills have to be cut elsewhere. Some Ideas, sell unnecessary assets (real estate not presently used for education) sporting events, raises, travel, unnecessary duplicated faculty, anything that is not absolutely needed for education. Cut the fat! This has to be done on a regular basis and is what any successful business, organization or household in America does routinely. In the short term fee increases sound ok. For the long term it would be unwise to increase fees. In a downward economy fee increases would eliminate some profit making consumers thereby resulting in smaller profits for the U of M. Isnt this the reason we are in this dilemma now because we took our eye off of the long term implications?

Governance: We do not have a governance committee. Information Technology plays a key role in the future of education at the University of Montana. Without governance there can be no Information Technology. Governance committees are responsible for but not limited to: Establishing IT policies that support strategic, campus-wide IT priorities. Establishing and communicating a campus-wide IT vision that supports the University mission and goals. Defining technical architecture and standards for the University. Establishing an overall IT budget structure for total IT spent on campus. Establishing best practices and tools for IT campus wide.An effective governance committee is needed immediately.

Mission, Vision, Core Values On the Strategic Plan for IT for the University of Montana, there is no mission statement or vision until page 51, usually this is on the first page even in a rough draft. How can you have a Vision when you do not have a mission statement? Usually this statement gives you the reason why the organization is in existence. Maybe there could be something in the mission, vision and core values to have the College of Technology to be considered truly part of the University system. Right now if you graduate from the COT and want to get your BA in Computer Science only a fraction of your credits transfer over to the main campus. So is the COT part of the University system or not! When almost all the other Universities and online courses that offer BA degrees will accept your credit so why go to the main campus? Thanks; Russell Dietz

Current Situation Trends and Expectations The way I understand windows 7 was not covered the first semester when windows 7 was on the CompTIA A+ Exam. Students complained that mainly classes in Windows XP were being taught and not Windows 7 which caused them to fail the A+ exam. Then being reactive the next semester COT added windows 7 to their curriculum. In addition, professors were asking you to bring in your laptop because there were not enough computers in lab with the proper programs to use. Therefore, I do agree that IT infrastructure needs to be strategic, agile and innovative. The UM has to be more proactive than reactive. When a new operating system comes out and is part of certification the University of Montana needs to be teaching it. Thanks; Russell Dietz

Security Issues The University of Montana seems to well aware of the security issues involved in planning for more broad/advanced IT network. Currently the state of the network seems to be at a critical point. Individuals in charge of the IT department are in need of more training to aid in the advancement of the Universities network. The lack of funding is also something that concerned IT workers have brought to the forefront. Without adequate funding UM does not have enough funds to pay for the necessary upgrades to incorporate a 24/7 support staff. Lack of fund could also lead to security breaches, loss of valuable information, and it makes our network an easy target for cyber-attacks. The plan UM has come up with seems like it should be able to solve these issues. The strategic plan will work only if there is a tuition hike, I am for this as long as the increase does not reach incomprehensible levels. Network Infrastructure UMs Strategic Plan for their network infrastructure seems to be on the right track. I really like the idea of taking advantage of the Northern Tier bandwidth; this however would require a massive campus wide upgrade. This would also help to make inter-campus relations with Montana Tech, Western Montana, and the Helena COT easier; it would also increase the level of communication between these campuses. The only idea I do not like about the network infrastructure changes is making the wireless open to all guest parties. I foresee an issue arising during times when campus is littered with visitors. I could see students living on campus and off campus, and faculty having to deal with slower internet during high traffic times; however if the University does tap into the Northern Tier bandwidth this should not be an issue.

Computer Labs Use of the labs has been a big issue for me due to the fact that we're being taught in Windows 7, but not all the labs are running or have Win.7 available. We are still using Windows XP and Vista in most of the labs where class is being taught but if the lab time runs out we are told to finish our assignments in another lab or attempt to restart it at home. If and when we get to continue our lab at a different location it becomes a problem trying to find a lab running the program that we need. If we are to have an IT program here at the U of M, and the COT campus, then we should consider keeping up with what is being currently used and upgrade all our lab computers to the current programs. Also when we are able to continue our assignments it would be very helpful if an advisor or someone is available in case there are any questions or problems encountered. I really feel that following statements support and expresses the feelings of all students here at the COT. The communication about computer lab services on campus is lacking or confusing, there is an expectation of the student user that the quality of the labs should be consistent and the mixed purpose labs cause confusion for users in determining availability. We have what I believe to be some excellent instructors here at the COT, but when classes are cancelled due to lack of instructors, than it's the student that suffers and not the school. I believe every effort should be made to provide as many classes as possible for students to finish their education as rapidly as possible.

Student Technology Roadmap I have heard the U of M referred to as the Harvard of the West, but when I look at the COT which is part of the U of M, and see that we are having trouble getting guidance in the proper order of class completion, I have to wonder if the real Harvard treats their students this way. A road map to assist students in reaching their educational goals would be of great assistance. However a knowledgeable person or persons need to be available to help the student build this road map. When we encounter problems as what order these classes should be accomplished, it is greatly appreciated when you have someone with the knowledge of the flow of required class complication. We now have to have classes done in specific order or you will be allowed to move on to the next required sessions. Again helping us build a useful road map to get to our finial destination is a big stress reliever. I also feel a full credit transfer from the COT to the main campus should also be considered and implemented for those considering a BA in their selected field or field associated within the IT community. Many students feel that after completing a Two year Associates Degree at the COT and looking forward to attending the main campus to complete their BA, become very discouraged after being told that not all their credits will transfer along with hearing that they may be required to retake some already completed courses. Lose of some credits can be very discouraging in the completion of

Online Student Resources One of the major problems I have encountered is the extensive navigation required to accomplish any of my academic needs. If I have to schedule any courses or course changes it was a navigating nightmare. I feel that when we as students log in, the navigation should take us to our field of study and allow us to work from there. That is bringing up our academic requirements that are needed for our degrees and maybe place them in the required order of completion. This would make thing a lot easier on the students and the advisors cause if they are unable to assist the student in preparing an academic road map, then this could be used as a course guide and there would be no reason for courses not being completed in the required order. But its like the statement says in the second paragraph The issue is that student requirements have not been analyzed from a broad perspective to ensure that appropriate functionality is being provided at all points of their career. While the applications that are available have been chosen or built with concern for functionality and usability, there is little cross system integration and no clear road map for the student to follow. Again this is an issue that has been an ongoing with many of the students at the COT.

Online Student Resources I hope the plan that is going to be implemented here works. The way that a student has to jump from area to area is really difficult to do. I find it hard to get through some days myself and I have been here at the College of Technoology for 5 years. One of the ways to to fix this area of course would be communication. I do beleieve that alot of students are misinformed here, and do not know what they are suppose to be doing in the way of getting everything ready so they can be addmitted. I would like to see more acedemic advising here. I think the College of Technology lacks in this area. They do tell us to be ready for school but what do they mean? There should be a department dedicated to the goal of just getting students ready so when they go to these areas they are ready.

The computer Labs for me as a student are not up to par here at the College of Technology. We get many assignments daily, and some students cant afford to buy or own a computer. When a assignment is given, and its online, many students cant do these assignments due to the fact that they can not access their student drive from another location. Another concern is that when they cant even get access because there are only two labs here at the College of technology. Our labs are always full, and there are not enough computers to do the work provided. I wish their was greater access to our student drives. I also hope to see more labs with wireless connections for more student availabiity. Attendance is at an all time high, and we need this soon or I forsee many problems.

I think it is great that the University of Montana is developing an IT Strategic Plan to provide better and more efficient IT services to all the students and employees. With the growing enrollment and the rapid changes in technology, it is very difficult to come up with a long-range plan that will achieve the goals and objectives of the University IT System. Overall, the draft on the IT Strategic Plan is a very good layout. Although I was a little bit surprised to see that it said, The mission, vision, and core values of enterprise IT at UM have not yet been determined. [1] But I do like the mission, vision and core values statements written by Central IT found in Appendix D. By reading the draft on the IT Strategic Planning, I think the University recognizes where the problem areas are and has a pretty good idea what needs to be done to improve the IT services to the students of the University of Montana. My major concern is the accessibility to access software in the computer labs. It is often difficult to locate a computer lab with open hours and the correct software set. I believe this has something to do with the availability of the computer-to-student ratio. Even though most of us have laptops at home, it is not easy to bring laptops to school every day. Also, right now my laptops keyboard is malfunctioning, and I have to ship my laptop back to HP for repair. I will not have access to my laptop for a couple of weeks. This is a classic example why the availability of computers on campus is very important. And all five of my classes this semester require the use of a computer. I am a little bit concerned about security issues. I received an email from an outside source two months ago on my university email account to apply for scholarships. At first, I wasnt so concerned about the security and I thought since I got this email through the university, it should be fairly safe to apply for the scholarship because I had a high GPA this last semester. But since I have to give out some personal information, I thought Id better check it out before I apply. I found out that some students with poorer grades received the same email, so I decided not to apply. So where does this place get my university email account information? I think like the plan said, it needs to address security issues. With this IT Strategic Plan, I believe the University of Montana can provide the students with better IT services in the future.

From what I read it all looks attainable and possible within a set amount of time.

Mission, Vision and Values I have to admit that I am very surprised that there is not more available in this section. How can one have goals without vision? I hope that a key foundation of this initiatives vision will be that the University of Montana will strive to build an IT strategy built on best practices. There are some many IT solutions that are available today. Yet, so many technologies are deployed because they are sold. Having a strategy that encourages the entire community (students, faculty and staff) to explore and implement technology is paramount to driving technology forward. But also the strategy should extend to others, not only across Montana, but we should also partner with other universities around the globe. Our university, while partnering with others can be a driver through research, design and implementation of forward thinking technologies that can impact generations for years to come.

I am greatly encouraged to see that one of the goals will be to implement Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). Since ITIL focuses on five core areas, strategy, design, transition, operation, and continual service improvement, using ITIL should result in getting a commitment from people across the entire campus. This commitment should result in defining current processes and determining new ones that can be shared corporately. Couple this with the gains derived from continuous process improvement, and our community and those joining in the future will greatly benefit. Having worked in corporate IT, I have seen the results of adopting ITIL, and the rewards are great provided that there is a real commitment. The question is will the University of Montana embrace ITIL?

My Overall impressions of the strategic plan with a focus on how student needs fit in: is that it is great to see such an initiative currently in the works to renovate the way our campus handles its IT needs for the 21st century. We currently have an antiquated and outdated overall structure that will need to be improved upon to stay competitive into this new century. My current experience with technology on campus stems from my current positions as a help desk associate for the CVPA and as a Senior Computer Lab Technician for the PTS department of IT Central. I have firsthand experience with the lack of effective communication, systems of collaboration, and bureaucracy creating such situations. It is imperative in my opinion to restructure the various IT departments and help desks into a centralized system of service to better assist our patrons in need while reducing redundancy, waste, and saving our limited resources. It would allow sharing of information, processes and solutions for problems, code/scripting, and our limited monetary resources while reducing current redundancy and wastes of both time and resources that plagues our current system. It would also allow for more effective licensing purchasing if all the departments used a centralized system to take advantage of larger discounted license packages vs. piecing them out individually on a more expensive department basis. This would also improve consistency with the types of software found in various labs across campus. It also would assist if we had a up to date, one stop resource for letting the campus population know where IT resources are found and with what specific software is currently available. A side feature to this would be the ability to submit requests for specific software to be included in their lab of choice and then have that monitored by IT to implement necessary changes to the software offered in specific labs. -Whats working \ whats not with current technology on campus? In my opinion the renovating of network infrastructure and computer hardware and software is progressing and is serving as a growing benefit to all those using these resources on campus. This is a necessary improvement system, however with these updates being implemented on an incremental basis, being based on funding and priority analysis, is confusion and misunderstanding by the common patrons as to where and why we are updating as we currently are. I feel the university should be more transparent and public with their efforts and renovation projects to let the users know what is coming up and when such projects will be taking place and then finished for their use. -Your suggestions for improving technology on campus. We need to break through the 5Gb fire wall limit on our network speed as is important for the future uses of IT resources on campus. Currently there is a need to increase the internet networks speed across campus and also beef up the wireless in the building with existing service and especially those still without service. These resources are only going to be utilized more and more over the coming years and I feel it should be a large priority now to catch up and improve this area as quickly as possible to better utilize the high speed network we currently have access too, just not the ability to fully utilize as of yet. We also need to consolidate and modernize our server infrastructure with modern levels of: being centralized in an environmentally controlled area, redundancy backups, virtualization, and off site disaster recovery. We need to continue to update and modernize our current hardware and software in more efficient and campus wide ways to save resources through bulk purchasing. We also need to take a serious look at the current structure and bureaucracy of our IT departments and Consolidate. This will take serious efforts as it is a touchy subject as it will ruffle feathers of staff and faculty with these necessary changes but the longer we put of this restructuring the more difficult it will become. The transition phase should be thought out and planned as to minimize any noticeable effects to patrons however it needs to happen sooner rather than later if we are to stay competitive utilizing the ever improving technology we have access to and use every day. We have to separate our current thinking from how things were done in the past to how we will conduct ourselves to lead into the future. I would like to discuss these ideas further and in greater detail, preferably in person if possible, as I feel that I possess an insiders view as both a student and student IT employee with 5 years experience here at both the College of Technology Missoula and The University of Montana. Please feel free to contact me for more information at: Thank you for your time in considering my input and thoughts on this important issue. 

ONLINE STUDENT RESOURCES Students that are currently attending such as myself have been complaining about the online resources that we have to use. We used to have a program called Blackboard that the school had to pay for according to a teacher I had in previous semesters, now we use Moodle which is a free program that the school has now adapted too. Moodle has been a lot more complicated for the users than blackboard was. Blackboard made it easier to find the things that we need. Also using the Mansfield Library is extremely complicated to use and takes hours just to find one article that is useful. Trying to just log into the online support we have it takes a long time as well and you have to go through many different pages just to get to the main page that you navigate from. Through the strategic plan it claims it will work on a single sign on process attempt, this is a wonderful idea and I feel could solve a lot of the problems that I listed earlier. One thing that I would highly recommend to the section of the strategic plan is to add in that all teachers must be certified on how to use the online resources because issues I have been having with the majority of my teachers is that they are not consistent with each other on how to use the online pages such as some teachers dont put their assignments that they assign in the assignments folder page which make it much easier for the student to find their assignments and see when they are due. I have also noticed that when I go to check my current grade in the class that the teachers arent consistent with entering grades some show a current grade and some dont show any grade at all.

When it comes to the strategic goals mention in the plan, I think the ones covered in bold are the important ones as stated on the page. I think the most important one is the IT infrastructure in support of the University strategic plan that involves data center and data services, network infrastructure, and cloud computing and hosted services initiatives. The cloud computing and hosted services initiatives may not be bold, but in my opinion it is a vast growing technology that can be used on campus that can make the student and the staffs life easier to come in the future.

What caught my attention was that with over 15,000 students and staff, that are core servers campus network equipment, and critical data are stored in a tier rated less than one when it should at least be in a tier two. Then looking on at the picture between the University of Montana and the University of Utah, all I can think of his how much money and time we are wasting fixing problems that arise and we are just waiting for something to go catastrophically wrong. We are a campus that takes pride in our culture and vast needs with technology and I think this should be one of the major priorities on the list when the IT Strategic Plan of action becomes final.

INFRASTRUCTURE Funding for IT across the UM campus provides for steady state operations and maintenance, perhaps not at the level desired and not consistently across sectors, but with some success. However, that funding does not cover major upgrades that must occur to ensure the IT infrastructure can support 24/7 operations with minimal downtime. This needs to be fixed because it is more important for students to get the best education then the best football or sports teams. The football team at the university has got new lights and uniforms over the past few years but yet student at the COT are continuing to have to park in mud just to get to class, and are tracking mud all over the carpets in the classrooms. It would make more sense to me to look at where the money is going to that the students are paying in but also the donations. Even if a donation was meant to go to perhaps the basketball team if it is needed for the facility more than it should be used for the facility. This method would help solve a lot of the problems that we are having with portions of the UM intellectual property. This would help make it to where the sports programs are still up to date but also that the environments and equipment for the schools. They claim in the strategic plan that their primary concerns are the central IT data centers in Social Science and Liberal Arts and the core network, this is a great thing and I hope that we find a way to get them the funding that they need to make this happen because it would be a great upgrade for the students that deserve it. I have nothing against the sports that need funding but all I am mentioning is maybe a method at which the funding could be shared with all departments that need up to date equipment and funding for facilities.

I have found somewhat of a weakness over the past few semesters of being a student on campus. I have found that on the main University website that there can be a vast amount of dead links that makes it very tedious and tiring when trying to search for a specific piece of information. When it comes between the three SWOT session notes mentioned below, I can agree with the Campus SWOT session notes the most. I think they hit the money with the weaknesses and the opportunities. I think that wireless technology, falling costs, and cloud computing are huge opportunities that the University can take advantage of and save money in the long run.

COMPUTER LABS Overall students report a 56 percent level of satisfaction with lab hours and 40 percent level of satisfaction with software access. This to me is very small number of satisfied students and the reasoning over them not to be satisfied is very easy to see. We need a computer lab that has a large majority of computer to be able to be used at all times. This lab should not have any classes that are ever in it and always should be available to any student that needs to work on any computer assignment. To go with the computers in the this lab they need to be loaded with the most up to date equipment and all of the programs for the any IT degree and class, so the student can rely on the computer sufficing whatever the users need are. To also help this I would say that it would be a good idea to have an advisor be in the room at all times to be able to answer any questions that the students might have because getting a hold of an advisor is near impossible because of the vigorous schedules that the students have against the vigorous schedules that their advisors have. This would take out the confusion that students are having about which computer lab is open at what time. Also it would eliminate the confusion about which computer lab has the correct program that needs to be used for specific assignments. To me this would be a large help to all of the students that attend at the University and would help the students better achieve their goal of a gaining great knowledge in a successful degree. It is our right as students in what we pay to attend college to use the latest computers with the latest programs to obtain our degree.

I really do like a lot of the things that this plan is working toward with IT but I think that there is a lot more important things that the University should be focusing on first before they take the specific actions that they want to with this strategic plan. Inside this plan it should also say student that complete an IT class should be able to transfer those credits from that course to any University in America because they passed the class and also did pay for it so it should be there right.

We need a computer lab that doesnt have classes in it and has plenty of computers that have the software needed for all of IT classes that we have. It would also be nice if there was an advisor that was constantly in the classroom beccause currently getting a hold of an advisor is almost impossible to do in a timely manner. This would be a great contribution to the students that are taking classes that need lost of computer uses.

A road map to assist students in reaching their educational goals would be of great assistance. However a knowledgeable person or persons need to be available to help the student build this road map. When we encounter problems as what order these classes should be accomplished, it is greatly appreciated when you have someone with the knowledge of the flow of required class complication. I feel that Full credit transfer from the COT to the main campus should also be considered for those considering a BA in their selected field or field associated within the IT community. Lose of some credits can be very discouraging in continuing their education.

Use of the labs has been a big issue for me due to the fact that we're being taught in Windows 7, but not all the labs are running or have Win.7 available. We are still using Win.XP and Vista in most of the labs but when we have to continue our lab at a different location it becomes a problem trying to find a lab running the program that we need. If we are to have an IT program here at the U of M, and the COT campus, then we should consider keeping up with what is being run currently. We have what I believe to be some excellent instructors here at the COT, but when classes are cancelled due to lack of instructors, than it's the student that suffers and not the school.I believe every effort should be made to provide as many classes as possible for students to finish their education as rapidly as possible.

With regards to the strategic plan, I would like to say that the analysis of strengths and weaknesses is very accurate. From my experience, a lack of communication most likely amplifies these weaknesses that were outlined. Also, fragmentation of responsibilities (such as which department is responsible for which classroom machines, for example) tends to cause some problems as well. Although Griztech (for example) is responsible for supporting machines in the Liberal Arts building and Native American Center classrooms, some computers are technically the responsibility of PTS as they have sole administrative rights on those machines. This presents a problem since professors within the College of Arts and Sciences call Griztech for simple operations such as updates and software installations on these classroom computers, but without administrative access to the computers we cannot help these professors. We have to either call PTS or refer the professor to PTS to get a 2-3 minute installation done. This severely limits our effectiveness to perform our job, but at the same time I understand the need to have restricted access to these machines.

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