In spring 1994, in response to recommendations by the Board of Trustees and Middle States, Wells College began an ambitious planning effort to envision how computer technology can contribute to the College's ability to fulfill its educational mission. A Campus Computer Planning Group consisting of faculty, students, librarians, administrators, and staff has worked intensively through the spring and summer, and will continue its work through fall 1994. The Computer Planning Group has been aided in its efforts by a consultant, Ithaca Technology Services.
As part of the planning process, a detailed survey was designed and distributed to all members of the campus community (students, faculty, administrators, and staff) in May 1994, to gather information on current computer uses and users and on planned or potential uses. The results from the 178 responses were entered into a database and analyzed. Wells computer support staff also carried out an inventory of current computers.
Using the results of the survey as well as input from members of all constituencies of the community, the Planning Group developed visions and goals for the future of computing at Wells and formulated them in a vision statement: Connections: Enhancing the Wells Experience through Information Technology, appended to this report. The Planning Group used this document as a basis to identify the functional specifications of the computer technologies Wells should implement to accomplish its goals.
The current stage of planning (September, 1994) consists of further refining the functional specifications of the needed computer systems and of translating them into detailed technical specifications, including estimated costs. The Campus Computer Planning Group hopes to have completed this stage and prepared a document with detailed recommendations by early December, 1994. In the period after decisions are made about which computer systems to implement and before actual purchase and implementation, the College will engage in careful implementation planning, to assure that we will be able to receive maximum benefit from the new technology in enhancing all aspects of the Wells experience.
Recent Accomplishments in the Computer Area
Recent Accomplishments in the Computer Area
Wells's commitment to effective computer technology goes beyond planning. In the last year Wells has already begun a major effort to improve the use of computers on campus:
¨hired a full-time microcomputer support specialist, and created the Office of Computing Services, bringing together all computer support personnel for increased effectiveness
¨purchased 44 IBM 486 computers with 8 MB RAM (30 to upgrade three student computer labs, 5 to upgrade five faculty computer clusters, 6 for the Library's new Online Information Resources Room, 3 for faculty secretaries); purchased 5 Macintosh LC 575 computers (4 to upgrade student Macintosh lab; 1 for a faculty cluster)
¨purchased the Microsoft Office software suite for all of the new IBM 486 and the new Macintosh computers in the student labs, faculty clusters, and faculty secretary offices
¨freed up 386 and 286 computers previously in student labs for distribution to other academic areas, including faculty offices
¨created an Online Information Resources Room in the Library. Besides the FirstSearch online database station installed previously, the Online room now includes:
* two ProQuest General Periodicals Ondisc CD-ROM stations, providing access to over 400 journals in full image and indexing and abstracting to 1,600 journals
* two computers for CD-ROM and multimedia resources
* four computers dedicated to electronic mail and Internet access (see below)
Internet and Electronic Mail (Email):
¨designed and implemented an Internet email system in the Library (WELLS.EDU) supporting accounts for 218 users (mainly students) by early September, 1994; implemented a system of Internet email access for faculty and administrators using 18 individual dial-up accounts (NYSERLink) and modems; provided full Internet access (Telnet, FTP, Gopher, etc.) on two computers in the Library
¨upgraded the processor, added memory, and provided an uninterruptible power supply to the IBM AS/400 administrative minicomputer; performed a major conversion of the AS/400 administrative software; connected 12 additional computers and three additional offices to the AS/400; purchased 11 new IBM-compatible 486 computers for administrative offices along with laser and inkjet printers and modems
¨provided training on new and existing computers and programs to students, faculty, and staff, including incorporating computer literacy into the new core curriculum, ensuring that all first-year students have basic computer skills.
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