UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook

23rd Edition, 2013 Version


Chapter VIII - Academic Standards, Procedures and Policies

8.9 Information Technology

Information Technology Services provides the campus community with information technology to support effective teaching, learning, and administrative functions. A summary of services is provided below; check the web page,

http://www.uwrf.edu/DOTS/   for ongoing updates.

8.9.1 Organization and Staffing

Information technology services at UW River Falls campus are organized into two primary groups. The Information Technology Services (ITS) department provides IT support for the main campus while the Student Affairs IT group provides IT support for the Student Affairs administrative offices and the residence hall students. Beyond these two primary support areas, several administrative and academic departments have staff within their areas that provide support exclusively to their area. These include Library Automation, Career Services, Facilities Management and the College of Education and Professional Studies Educational Technology Center.

ITS is under the direction of the campus Chief Information Officer. The CIO reports to the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance. There are 28 full-time technical staff within ITS and 1.5 FTE of Program Assistants. Student Affairs IT is under the direction of a manager who reports to the Director of Auxiliary Budgets and Contracts. This Director reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs who, in turn, reports to the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance. There are 5 technical staff, including the manager, and one program assistant.

Both ITS and Student Affairs IT utilize a substantial number of student workers to augment their workforce.

8.9.2 Information Technology Services

8.9.2.1 Network Services

Network Services is responsible for the management of the campus network and the services and servers provided to utilize it. Supported services include shared file and print services, web services, email, and centralized databases.

8.9.2.2 Computer Support Services

Computer Support Services provides hardware and software support to instructional computer labs and Technology Enhanced Classrooms (TECs), providing a stable computing environment for instruction and student projects. Computer Support Services supports students, faculty and staff in the effective use of hardware, software, network and information services to achieve their academic and professional goals. The HelpDesk student workers and student technicians work in conjunction with full-time staff to provide phone, email and in-person assistance. Computer Support Services also conducts various workshops on topics such as email, calendar, file management, web development, Desire2Learn, and “How To” for TECs.

8.9.2.3 Information Systems

Information Systems is charged with providing all aspects of analysis, design, programming, implementation, database administration, operations and information system software support for campus information systems. One of their primary responsibilities is maintaining, upgrading and enhancing the Oracle/PeopleSoft student information system known locally as eSIS.

8.9.2.4 Electronic Repair

Electronic repair is charged with design, installation, maintenance and support of the physical infrastructure pertaining to the electronic transportation of information within and connected to the UW-River Falls campus. Electronic Repair is responsible for the physical installation and maintenance of telephone and data wiring as well as telephone-related equipment. The unit also maintains audio-visual equipment of all types on campus, including classroom equipment.

8.9.2.5 Television Services

Television Services supports distance learning classrooms, satellite downlinks, two cable channels, event production, equipment checkout, duplication services, editing, and repairs of equipment. The unit also provides support to academic programs that utilize the television studio as a teaching facility.

8.9.3 Student Affairs IT

Student Affairs includes student life programming, residential living, health and counseling services, multicultural affairs, conference services, involvement center, student life facilities, budgets, contracts, day care, intramurals, field house and ice arena. Student Affairs is the liaison with contractors such as the bookstore, food service operations, vending, laundry and the Kansas City Chiefs summer camp. A majority of the funding for this IT operation comes from user fees and revenue generated within the dining, housing and student center operations; some areas are GPR supported.

8.9.3.1 Student Affairs Administration

Student Affairs IT staff support the software and web development needs of the department, developing in-house software and integrating third-party applications. The staff also supports the enterprise management system, Supermarket, used to manage residential and food services, the card office and door access systems.

8.9.3.2 FredNet

FredNet (a morph of the mascot Freddy Falcon and ResNet) is tasked with supporting the 2,450 students living on campus. FredNet provides 100 Mb Ethernet service to each student, television service offering 30 channels including a movie channel managed by the department, and telephone services. FredNet also provides technical assistance with computers, telephones and television equipment owned by students through in-room support. Small computer labs are provided in each residence hall. FredNet provides a help desk function to assist residence hall students with campus wide applications such as e-mail, web, student file storage and online course learning. (Note: Because residence hall fees support FredNet’s operations, services do not extend to students living off campus; students living off campus are supported by Information Technology Services exclusively.)

FredNet also supports the desktop and telephone needs of the approximately 400 student, paraprofessional, and professional staff members who work in Student Affairs.

8.9.4 Other Technology Functions

8.9.4.1 Technology Leadership Cadre

The TLC is a student group which provides instruction in use of technology for both faculty and students. The group is managed through the College of Education and Professional Studies.

8.9.4.2 Library

The Library is a large consumer of and depends heavily on IT services. ITS manages the Library’s open computer labs on the main floor and in the Library instruction lab on the upper level of the Library and assists with managing the proxy server that allows off-campus access to the many Library electronic resources.

8.9.4.3 Departmental Systems

In addition to the areas listed above, various other administrative and academic departments have special-purpose information systems that they have acquired or written to support their specific area. These include Interfase.com (Career Services), Facilities Management, Recruitment Plus (Enrollment Services), Donor 2 (Alumni/Foundation), Fundware (Alumni/Foundation), CaseIT (Biology), Broker (Ag. Economics), PeopleWare (Outreach), Accounting (Perkins Loan – ECSI), Ad Astra classroom scheduling system (Enrollment Services), PowerPark parking ticket system (Parking), and Decision Support Systems (College of Business and Economics).

8.9.5 Technology Environment

8.9.5.1 Network Environment

The campus network is Ethernet based, utilizing single-mode and multi-mode fiber optic cabling between all central campus buildings enabling LAN speeds of up to 1-Gigabit of bandwidth. All offices and classrooms have hard-wired network connections. Residence hall rooms are all hard-wired with a “port per pillow” deployment in the nine double loaded corridor buildings. In the newly constructed George R. Field South Fork Suites, there are approximately three ports per pillow considering the two ports per bedroom, one port in the living room, and one in the kitchen. In addition, there are ports in lounges. As of the 2007-08 academic year, all campus academic buildings and residence halls have wireless access.

The network backbone equipment is primarily based upon Cisco switches with a Cisco 6509 Core. Internet connectivity is currently obtained via a membership to the WiscNet consortium through a connection capable of OC3 speeds.

8.9.5.2 Server Environment

Microsoft Windows and Sun Solaris are the two primary network operating systems that are used on campus servers. There are older servers running Linux, but those are being phased out in favor of Sun Solaris servers. Servers are split across 4 computer rooms in 3 buildings.

8.9.5.3 Desktop Environment

All faculty and those staff considered knowledge workers have desktop computers assigned to them that are replaced on a 5-year cycle. There is a four-year replacement cycle for staff in Student Affairs. There are approximately 1,100 desktop computers in use by employees and student employees. Seventy-five percent of these are Windows based and 25% are Macintosh based. All have high-speed network access.

8.9.5.4 Instructional Technology Environment

There are 40 computer labs containing 649 computers for general student use and classroom instruction. Additionally, there are 51 technology enhanced classrooms with computers, projectors, network access, and document cameras which are available to faculty for instructional purposes. A course management system, Desire2Learn, is also available for all faculty and is hosted centrally by UW System through the utility Learn@UW.

8.9.5.5 Applications Environment

The primary application supported by the central ITS department is the eSIS student information system based on Oracle/PeopleSoft ERP software. The eSIS application is resident on the River Falls campus. Additionally, UW System provides access to a shared financial system based on PeopleSoft and located in Madison with plans to implement centralized PeopleSoft HR/Payroll and Procurement modules which will also be located in Madison.

ITS also supports the underlying applications that the University relies upon daily, including: file and print services (for staff and student storage and management of documents), Web (internal and external publication of information), directory services (LDAP) account management and phone book, e-mail and calendar, databases used for helpdesk management, parking, admissions, and alumni functions.