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Information Technology Initiative

TO: The University Community

RE: Information Technology Initiative

Over the past three to five years, and probably longer, Nicholls State University has struggled to address needed enhancements to all types of information technology. Slowly and with strategic yet very costly commitments of scarce dollar resources, the university has made significant technological enhancements in support of the academic program and administrative services.

While the beneficial side of these enhancements is relatively clear, each addition or enhancement of technology makes the university community more dependent on computing support staff.

Until this past July, Nicholls has functioned through an outdated support structure for technology. More specifically, we have maintained two separate organizational structures: one each for the academic side of the house and one for administrative support. With both staffs being overwhelmed by the implementation of new software and systems, it has been progressively apparent that the old structure did not work.

As such, the university has reorganized its available computing resources and created a single Information Technology Division that encompasses all IT functions. These include: academic computing, telecommunications and networking, enterprise systems/administrative computing, special IT projects and computer set-up and maintenance.

The duties of the existing staff have been aligned to reflect the new organizational structure and salaries have been adjusted accordingly. The former computing staff, which involved twenty four positions, has been reduced by five positions, or by twenty percent, to nineteen positions against staffing of FY 2009. While there have been salary increases with this restructuring, the overall savings to the university is $116,663 against previous staffing levels.

The university will continue its efforts to manage the growth of the IT function in terms of staff support. However, it is clear that with every passing month we are adding computers, network devices, security cameras, wireless internet connections and servers, etc. And, each addition increases the university’s dependence on that technology and the staff who support it.

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