IT wants to know what students want

University of Indianapolis Information Technology, formerly known as Information Systems, changed its name on Tuesday, March 7. According to Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of IT Steve Herriford, the changes that come with the new name are new marketing strategies and a push for two-way communication with students and faculty.

“One thing we want to do more of is [to] better communicate the resources available,” Herriford said. “Part of the problem in the past is that we may have technology, but no one knows about it, so what good is it? What we want to do with this rebranding, besides just changing our name, is to find better ways to communicate about the resources and technology available on campus. We’ve worked with our marketing and communications department as part of this to come up with the idea of newsletters and eventually how-to videos. So you’ll be seeing a lot more of that kind of stuff coming out.”

A new resource available to students and faculty that IT wants to emphasize is the new Wireless Interactive Presentation Systems that are available in 74 different rooms across campus, including classrooms and group-study rooms in the library, according to Senior Director of IT Michelle Duman. WiPS gives students the ability to present in a classroom through their personal devices, without dealing with any connective cables. IT also is working to make minor changes to its structure to expand opportunities for students interested in working with technology, according to Duman.

“We’ve always had student workers, and it’s very important to us…. What we are trying to do is change our structure a little bit so that we’ve got different layers of student jobs, so we have not only Help Desk workers, but we have students working with more specific areas. So we’ve got students working with the web team; we’ve got students working with the repair team; we’ve got students going a little deeper,” Duman said. “The Help Desk is very broad but not very deep, so we wanted to create some positions where they would get to go deeper in certain areas they had shown interest in or shown a certain skill set in. We’d love to be able to offer internships and more positions like that. We’re just starting now to figure out what all that looks like.”

There are two ways that IT has been working to get information out to the student body and to create an environment for students to give feedback. IT is educating students through UIndy’s communications and marketing team by creating new marketing strategies such as posters and flyers students may notice around campus giving fun facts about the resources IT offers, according to Duman. IT has been advised to use its Twitter on a regular basis to promote the technology available to students and faculty and create an environment for two-way communication with students.

According to sophomore political science and international relations major and Vice President of Indianapolis Student Government Taylor Carpenter, ISG is encouraging students to fill out a questions-and-concerns form on the MyUIndy website to offer feedback about any issues or suggestions they have for IT. Carpenter and Herriford have monthly meetings during which they discuss the information students have submitted to ISG on the website. Students also can contact ISG through ISG’s Twitter or e-mail, isg.uindy@gmail.com. ISG held a technology forum designed to educate students about the technological resources available to them. Starting next semester, ISG plans to hold more forums and more actively promote communication between students and IT.

“We enjoy forums because it’s a quick and easy way to push out information to students, but trying to find a time that works for most of all the students on campus, and commuter students, even graduate students, is really difficult because everybody’s schedule is absolutely completely different,” Carpenter said. “So we will have more forums in the future, starting out next year, but I think we’re going to try to find different ways to tackle it rather than just the traditional from 5 [p.m.] to 6 [p.m.] before the dinner hour, where students are going to get dinner before their night classes. So maybe we’ll try different times of the day and different days of the week as well.”

More information about IT can be found at technology.uindy.edu.