Campus Connection: October 19, 2007 • Vol. 23, No. 4

New University Technology Structure, Quad Cities Campus Reorganization

President Al Goldfarb announced on Oct. 10 a new structure for the organization of University technology, as well as new administrative assignments for the Quad Cities campus and extension/distance learning.

Goldfarb has named Joe Rives the interim executive assistant to the president for the Quad Cities, planning and technology. Rives will divide his time between the two WIU campuses; the interim appointment will continue for up to 18 months during which time the new structure will be implemented and searches will be conducted for new permanent positions.

Rives came to Western in 2005 as assistant to the president for planning and budget. He has coordinated the University’s strategic planning process, institutional strategic plan for technology, Quad Cities Academic Program Planning Committee and co-chaired facilities master planning on the Quad Cities and Macomb campuses.

“During the past year with the implementation of the institutional strategic plan for technology, benchmarking of best practices nationally, a consultant’s review, focus groups with end-users and conversations with technologists, it became increasingly clear the University needed to streamline administrative functions and share computing support to continue to advance the University’s academic mission and service operations,” Goldfarb said. “We have a tremendous technology staff who have established the foundation of an exceptional service."

According to Rives, on the Macomb campus, central university technology will be divided into two areas: Technology User Support Services (TUSS) and Technology Infrastructure Support Services (TISS). TUSS will be responsible for all facets of classroom and user support services, the help desk, computer stores, web support, development of a campus portal and distance learning technological support. The unit will be comprised of staff from the former University Computer Support Services (UCSS), the Center for the Application of Information Technologies (CAIT) and University Relations web staff. An internal search for an executive director to oversee Technology User Support Services will be conducted.

TISS will be responsible for technological operations of the University mainframe, infrastructure and telecommunications. The unit will be comprised of staff from the former UCSS, University Information Management Systems and telecommunications, with an internal search for an associate director for computer infrastructure. Cyndy Moore, manager of telecommunication and Westel Services, will continue to oversee telecommunications operations. Moore and the associate director will coordinate daily operations of the unit and interface with end-users.

“These changes are being implemented to enable Executive Director Mitch Davidson to focus on long-term technology planning and benchmarking for the University,” Rives explained.

Technology Support Services on the Quad Cities campus will work closely with both TISS and TUSS to advance the priorities and needs of Quad Cities users.

In addition, students, faculty and staff on both campuses will benefit from increased support at the college and divisional levels, Rives added. Each college will provide support for students, faculty and staff in academic affairs, while administrative services, under the leadership of Elvin Hodges, will coordinate institutional data sets for University Information Management Systems. Advancement and public services will continue to use foundation and alumni data sets and provide content for the University website. Student services will retain oversight of Electronic Student Services.
Both campuses will also benefit from the current hiring of a Chief Technology Security Officer (CTSO) as the University continues to enhance the speed, performance and security of its networks, Rives noted. Mike Dickson, who is currently serving as the interim technology security officer and director of technology special projects, will continue to work on technology special projects for both campuses.

“We expect that the new technology structure will deliver better and more coordinated service to our end-users and allow Western to regularly update computer equipment and technology for the entire campus,” said Goldfarb. “Through reallocation of resources, we are implementing goals outlined in the technology and Higher Values in Higher Education strategic plans.”

A key goal in the University’s strategic plan, in addition to increased technology support, is Quad Cities campus expansion. Goldfarb assigned continued successful advancement of strategic plan goals for the Quad Cities campus, which includes an enrollment of 3,000 students and a new Riverfront Campus, to Rives.

“Joe has been instrumental in Quad Cities facilities, program planning and community relations, and I know that he is excited to help make goals a reality,” Goldfarb said.

Under a new structure, Quad Cities operations will be aligned in five areas: academic affairs, student services, instructional and administrative services, technology support services and external relations.

“Like our Macomb campus, the Quad Cities campus is quickly becoming a regional and national leader for a high-quality, affordable educational experience,” Rives said. “We are in a tremendous position to continue our Quad Cities expansion, which is only made possible by the dedicated efforts of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community leaders. I am honored to work with everyone in advancing our Quad Cities and technology goals.”

Goldfarb also emphasized the need to stabilize and enhance the University’s extension and distance-learning programs as Western becomes the leading public master’s degree granting institution in the United States. To meet the goal of expanding extension and distance learning initiatives, Jeanne Clerc, who currently serves as associate provost of Quad Cities and extended studies, has been named associate provost of extended studies and distance learning.

“Under Jeanne’s leadership we will increase extension and distance learning enrollments and sections and continue to provide excellence in undergraduate and graduate education for place-bound students,” Goldfarb added.

Goldfarb and Rives outlined the new structures with technology and Quad Cities employees Oct. 10. According to Goldfarb and Rives, the new operating structure will be in place effective Jan. 1, 2008. Initial organizational charts are available at www.wiu.edu/UniversityPlanning/technologyplan and www.wiu.edu/qc. The charts will be updated as the new structures are finalized.