Monday, February 8, 2010

Success Behind the Scenes

During the past twelve months we have witnessed wonderful examples of teamwork, collaboration and alignment at the College. For so many different areas to accommodate the significant influx of new students in such a short time should be a real point of pride for all involved.

When I arrived at the College nearly 3 years ago, I received a great deal of input from many perspectives. One thing that stood out was the need for better communication, better alignment, and focused strategy. Experience teaches that these things cannot be willed or mandated. This kind of change requires individuals throughout the organization to make the conscious choice to engage in open dialogue, the free sharing of perspectives, and a willingness to collaborate for the benefit of the College.

While there are a number of examples from the past year, efforts in the Information Technology area come to mind as week after week, it seems, a new milestone reached. Often, in the world of IT, milestones come and go with little fanfare. Here, I want to shine a bit of “bloglight” on them.

In previous posts I’ve mentioned the significant impact “priority registration” and “waitlisting” have had on our enrollment increases. These increases have, however, been assisted through other system improvements, like online payment; online placement testing; online access to financial documents; automated phone-call reminders to students (thanks to the good work of the business office); web notifications for cancelled classes; online registration and payment for non-credit classes; and server upgrades to support self-service applications.

During the recent semester break, we expanded bandwidth access 500%! In addition, wireless access for laptops was expanded in all common areas as well as some outdoor areas.

Campus safety has also been enhanced by fully implementing the NY Alert emergency notification system and creating an online safety reporting system for our Airframe & Powerplant program. We’ve also significantly expanded the number of web-based security cameras at both campuses.

Computer labs are being upgraded at a swift pace, with the creation of two new Mac labs and increasing the number of computers for tutoring and libraries. All STEM Center labs have been upgraded this year, along with adding two new facilities. Significant upgrades have been made to computer hardware and software for students, faculty, and staff. And new computers are planned to be installed in all open student computer labs by the end of spring break. Both campuses will be completely ready for Windows 7 upgrades this summer or when that final decision is made.

While we still have many planned improvements ahead, all of this has been accomplished with effort, focused prioritization, patience and collaboration among departments. None if it could have occurred without the expertise, time, and commitment to service leadership in the Information Technology department. To each of them, and to all those who collaborated with them, your work is gratefully received and deeply appreciated. If you have any thoughts on items in this post or technology in general, please contact me at presblog@mvcc.edu.