Information Technology Strategic Plan for Andrews University
July 2002

Enhanced Living, Learning, and Working Through Information Technology

A. Definition And Vision

Ubiquitous personal computing and communication devices, and the improving speed, ease of connection, and range of information services available through the World Wide Web and the Internet are changing the way people around the world access information and interact with each other. “These technologies are changing how we learn, do research, manage our activities, reach out to others, and even have fun.[1]

It is the mission of Information Technology Services (ITS) to provide the means for adding value to the learning, living, and working experience of students, faculty, and staff at Andrews University, and to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of processes associated with instruction, research, and administration. ITS provides responsive service and support, with flexible, reliable access to the information resources.

To be recognized as a professional, proactive service organization, providing reliable, leading edge, user-friendly information technology services for all its constituencies, and to enable Andrews University to serve in a caring and responsive manner.

Wide involvement will be sought in formulating strategies and developing plans for implementing them. The goals presented here encompass some of the key elements that will be addressed when the detailed plan is prepared.

B. Goals For The Ensuing Five Years

  1. Change the Service Paradigm:

    By providing exceptional systems, training, and support to our customers, empower and enable employees to answer questions, making every employee a customer support representative. Empower students to find answers and to complete transactions online, accessible anytime, anyplace.

  2. Living and Learning Environment:

    Facilitated through appropriate use of technology, transform education into a dynamic, interactive process with a holistic perspective, preparing students for a lifetime of growing and learning in a technologically rich environment.

  3. Working Environment:

    Provide faculty and staff with information, tools, systems, and support to inform the decision-making process, to encourage innovation and flexibility in devising improved systems, to provide exceptional service to our customers, and to make Andrews an enjoyable and satisfying place to work.

  4. Connecting with Andrews:

    Facilitate relationships between Andrews University and students, potential students, employees, alumni, donors, and providers of products and services.

C. Action Steps Towards The Goals

  1. Change the Service Paradigm:
    1. Propose and develop and/or purchase systems that facilitate information flow and availability.
      1. Implement a Customer Relationship Management system to allow tracking and follow through for contacts with prospective students and student success tracking.
      2. Research document imaging and workflow, select the target processes to automate, and implement.
      3. Develop data warehousing and improved decision support.
      4. Develop the web as a vehicle for dissemination and online analysis of information.
    2. Develop and conduct training workshops and seminars, targeted to meet the emerging needs of the campus as determined from surveys, focus groups, and other feedback.
    3. Provide support at the application software level for the use of IT in office work, administrative work, and in teaching and learning.
    4. Develop and conduct surveys to determine customer needs and customer satisfaction, through means such as telephone follow-up after closing support calls, web survey forms, etc.
    5. Be an active participant in business process mapping and redesign, in preparation for workflow automation and improved process efficiency.
    6. Develop and extend the role of the HelpDesk.
      1. Implement web submission and tracking of calls by clients.
      2. Extend the hours of cover.
      3. Improve responsiveness and the quality of responses.
      4. Develop a support web site, and post support tips, instruction sheets for common tasks, an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page, a knowledge base, etc.
      5. Implement a system for entering, prioritizing, and tracking job requests for Administrative Systems.
  2. Living and Learning Environment:
    1. Provide development opportunities and support to faculty to encourage the use of technology to improve the student's learning experience.
    2. Provide technology services and facilities that contribute positively to attracting and retaining students.
    3. Find ways of integrating the interests of increasingly technology-savvy students with information delivery mechanisms, both in and out of formal learning contexts.
    4. Provide opportunities for virtual social interaction and other recreational uses of IT resources.
  3. Working Environment:
    1. Implement technologies that facilitate electronic collaboration, such as scheduling and calendar sharing, joint authoring, both on campus and across institutions.
    2. Carry out studies in consultation with the campus to support strategic planning and decision making.
    3. Make decision support information more readily accessible.
      1. Determine analytical data models to house in the data warehouse.
      2. Build data model for interactive analysis.
      3. Develop a web-based information delivery system.
  4. Connecting with Andrews:
    1. Monitor and project demand for services provided via the “information network”. This includes support personnel, the networking equipment and cables located in buildings around the campus and in the ITS machine rooms; the servers supporting administrative functions, academic functions, the web, email, and security, sharing of files, printers, calendars, and many others; telecommunications; and technologies for supporting distributed learning.
    2. Prioritize strategic needs and match available funding to those needs by deploying technologies that are the most cost effective in terms of purchase and ongoing support.
    3. Develop a web portal that allows content to be tailored according to the needs of visitors to the web site.

D. Projected Outcome

  1. The HelpDesk will be regarded as the logical place to consult for IT related help, because calls for help are responded to quickly and courteously, and the help that is given is always effective. Information Technology plays a key role in creating and sustaining the perception that Andrews University is a helpful, caring place that knows what it is doing.
  2. Faculty make effective use of technology in enhancing the learning experience of students. Students, both local and at a distance, find Andrews to be a great place to study.
  3. Decision support information is readily available for accurate, fact-based decision making. Through premium hardware and software support, and timely and relevant training and consulting services, faculty and staff are well equipped for their work at Andrews.
  4. Individuals are connected with Andrews from the time that they become prospective students through alumni and donors by providing relevant information and interaction via the web and email. Employees, donors and suppliers are also connected through this method.
  5. Individuals experience meaningful interaction with Andrews via the web and email from the time they express interest as prospective students through alumni and donors.
[1] McCredie, John W. Planning for IT in Higher Education: It’s Not an Oxymoron. EDUCAUSE QUARTERLY - Number 4 2000, page 15