ITS staff recently represented USF at the 2012 meeting of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Conference on Information Technology Management (CITM) at Boston College. The conference exists to help members understand and fulfill the proper role of computing and information services, promote productive use of information technology, and facilitate collaboration between the member institutions. Indeed, a common challenge for the presidents of Jesuit schools is to ask CIOs join forces to get better pricing from vendors, which is difficult because each school has different legal and purchasing standards and different relations with vendors.
USF’s Information Technology Services CIO Steve Gallagher developed a national portal by which AJCU institutions can purchase inventory by the aggregate purchasing power of all 28 schools, each with a local portal which allows all of the schools to maintain total independence in their procurement processes. He demonstrated a working prototype of the portal at the conference. Over the past two years, USF has participated in many successful collaborations, particularly among West Coast Jesuit universities. Perhaps in recognition of USF’s active participation within CITM, Steve Gallagher was elected by peer CIOs at the other 27 schools as president of CITM for a two-year term.
At the conference, USF presented with two other schools, Loyola Chicago and Boston College. “There was a lot of great feedback and interest about tools being used for project portfolio management based on questions from the audience,” said Aouie Rubio of ITS. After discussions from sessions, USF and other colleges like Loyola Maryland have decided to partner and will begin monthly web and phone conference calls to discuss portfolio management. They are looking to launch these in April, when the first call will take place.
Representatives of various universities presented on the challenges and benefits of working in IT, noting the commonalities in the work environments and the reasons that each department has formal methodologies. The key differences between each school’s IT department were the structure of project management and the method of reporting to the main office.
Director of Learning Technologies and the Center for Instruction & Technology John Bansavich presented on two different topics at the conference. The first presentation was called,“Choosing and Implementing a Campus Video Repository.” Along with a panel of speakers, John shared the research and process for selecting USF’s video repository, Ensemble. His talk included discussion on the process his committee approached to review eight potential video repositories, which involved four months and 12 staff members who reviewed the vendors, IT, marketing and communications. Eventually they settled on Ensemble after speaking with a number of vendors about cost, quality, features, and whether the product would fit the needs of its users. This new video repository will replace an aging QuickTime Streaming server and provide much higher quality video. CIT is now in the process of reviewing the product and will launch for the community sometime in June. With Ensemble, individuals will be able to view and upload videos, which are scalable and searchable in a setup that is similar to You Tube.
John made a second presentation called, “iPad Experiences — Past, Present, and Future,” along with two people from Boston College presenting on their iPad studies as well. In 2010, USF conducted an iPad study with 40 faculty. The year after that, another study was introduced to the School of Education in the graduate program