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Temple University prides itself on being an industry-wide leader in the use of technology in its academic and administrative functions. The Office of Information Technology Services, the principal source for technology innovation and services at Temple, is in a unique position. Not only do we support a twenty-first century learning community by providing the best available technology, but we are also charged with seeking out and incorporating new technology into every aspect of University operations.
Information Technology Services mission is to provide timely and innovative information technology solutions and infrastructure to the students, faculty, and staff of Temple University, while advancing the University’s educational and business goals.
Our technology infrastructure must support the use, sharing, and integration of all kinds of information. We must provide students, faculty, staff and other constituencies with seamless access to information and services, while, providing students with tools and technology that will equip them in a workplace that is increasingly competitive. Our technology infrastructure must facilitate all university activities, including teaching, learning, research, administration, economic development, and outreach. Finally, our technology infrastructure must be flexible enough to meet the exponentially increasing demands for computing power and bandwidth.
Our vision, therefore, seeks to create a culture whereby investments in technology and information sharing are maximized through collaboration, cooperation, and agreement on standardized practices. When combined with Temple’s mission, our vision will result in enhanced service to all members of the Temple Community.
The “Temple of Tomorrow” will be greatly impacted by the drivers of change that bring new technologies, new regulatory expectations, growing fiscal pressures, and the all-digital student who unfolds as each generation reaches college age. Thoughtful decisions about when, where, and how to employ information technology is critical given the immense need and high probability of benefits and efficiencies. With this demand comes the potential for increased costs, so it’s important to integrate technology decisions with Temple’s overall organizational objectives.
This strategic plan has been developed to address tomorrow’s challenges and align with Temple’s mission to ensure that, “Temple is a national center of excellence in teaching and research with an international presence.” When combining our mission with Temple’s Academic Compass, we established-four guiding points for our plan:
- Encouraging Opportunities for Success - Supporting the Academic Vision
- Metro-Engagement - Community Engagement & Sustainability
- Global Commitment - Expanding Temple’s Presence
- Research Excellence - Supporting Research Activities
This multi-year strategic plan aligns our vision for the future with Temple’s mission and academic compass.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the challenges we face when trying to execute our roadmap. One immense challenge is Accessible Technology which provides equal access to resources and services to individuals with disabilities. Regulations in this area are changing daily and are open to interpretation. Therefore, a faculty member’s instructional materials could be in compliance one day and out of compliance the next. We need to develop a mechanism for monitoring compliance and communication to make sure something is not missed. The training effort is enormous and compliance will be costly and affect funding within school and college operations.
Additionally, the challenge to define technology needs to support online education and to meet those fluctuating needs is one that requires a champion from the academic as well as from the information technology area.
Lastly, advancements in technology, such as, bring your own devices to class, demands more and more bandwidth from our network and increased identity management and security concerns. We are working diligently to stay in step with our University community but this requires constant monitoring and quality assurance to ensure continued stability and proper administration.
We continue to expand our direction by reviewing industry trends with Gartner research and cultivating our relationships with other institutions. Additionally, we have strategic and operational governance committees for both our administrative, academic, and faculty needs. These committees include:
- Information Technology Services Advisory Committees
- Academic Executive Advisory Committee
- Academic Technology Steering Committee
- Accessible Technology Compliance Committee
- Administrative Executive Advisory Committee
- Administrative Services Core Team
- Collaboration Center Committee
- Infrastructure Architectural Review Board
- Teaching, Learning, Technology Roundtable
These committees meet on a regular basis to provide guidance and direction and to allow us to collaborate and partner with our users.
Lastly, we have integrated the end-user into our administrative computing area by creating departments called Collaboration Centers. Collaboration Centers are centers of excellence composed of both functional and information technology resources that have specified skills in Academic, Advancement, Finance, Human Resource, and Student Systems. The Collaboration Center staff resides in the same space which promotes collaboration and the balancing of institutional and departmental priorities with technical development.
In conclusion, we are in a difficult economic environment; as technology needs increase and the demand to become more efficient grows this requires funding both to purchase innovative technology and develop processes to streamline operations. This also places urgency on recruiting and maintaining top talent.
Our strategic plan is aggressive. It is designed to ensure that Temple remains a technology leader in the higher education marketplace. As you can see, this is an exciting time to be part of the Temple University team and be part of Temple. We look forward to a continued partnership with the entire University community – students, faculty and employees - to help us prioritize and meet our collective objectives. Going forward, Temple is poised for significant breakthroughs in enrollment, excellence, and exposure, and Information Technology Services is grateful to be an integral part of this