On behalf of the Office of Information Technology, I would like to invite you to review our spring 2009 newsletter.
We are starting another calendar year at AU with much excitement and promise for the future. We have come through a campus wide strategic planning effort with information technology playing a prominent role in the plan. Now, we are developing the detailed operation or "action" plans to help us realize our objectives and aspirations. Some early efforts to try to identify important initiatives have occurred and have been put forth in recent budget requests under consideration.
We remain optimistic that even in this difficult financial period that investment will continue in new information technology, since it lies at the center of many of the proposed goals for the university. Take for example our goal to expand research occurring here at the university. Technology is at the center of this initiative since without the modern broadband networks, data storage, or advanced computing to support computation, visualization, and collaboration, AU faculty and students will not be able to compete with other universities for grants or even meet their stated goals for research.
Another example is the ambitious enrollment and teaching goals, and the continued need to support more digital media and Web 2.0/3.0 are driving us to adopt new ways to create, manage, and share new forms of knowledge and information.
Finally, if we look at our goals to improve services to students, we are exploring ways to improve the transparency, ease of access, and effectiveness and efficiency of our support services. At the heart of this effort is again technology with improved processes made possible by new and innovative applications of technology.
We continue to see progress and improvements over the last semester to our enterprise services on campus. For example, some services highlighted in this newsletter are our response to the rapid growth in the demand for wireless and Internet bandwidth. At the Library, the rates have grown dramatically in one year from only 50 concurrent wireless users to as many as 458. In that same year, the campus has grown to over 3,000 concurrent wireless users from a level of about 1,500. Keeping up with this pace of growth in demand is critical and central to our mission, but can stretch our scarce resources.
We are also working on refreshing and modernizing our aging infrastructure and adopting IT best practices that help us to improve our effectiveness through the adoption of Service Level Agreements, Change Control, and Portfolio and Project Management. We also have improved security and control of data to protect privacy, improved flexibility and reliability of our central servers using virtual machines, enabled wireless printing, and faster credit card processing on campus. There are many more improvements planned in line with the new strategic plan.
While we have put in place an ongoing process and a committee with campus wide representation to help identify priorities, feel free to send me your ideas and I will be sure they are reviewed and considered.
Thank you for your support and I look forward to another successful semester here at AU.
Chief Information Officer