What is the next stage of technology at WFU?

The following is from Jacque Fetrow, the chair of the IT Executive Committee and the Dean of Wake Forest College:

Dear Reynolda Campus Colleagues,

With the significant changes in technology and the upcoming expiration of the Lenovo contract in Fall 2012, it is time to begin discussions on the next stage of technology on the Reynolda campus. The Information Technology Executive Committee (ITEC) seeks the help of our entire campus in exploring next steps in academic technology.

During the planning for the Plan for the Class of 2000 in the 1990’s, the faculty and staff of the Reynolda campus participated in detailed discussions regarding technology for academic purposes. These discussions resulted in the laptop program, a program that supplied laptops and a suite of professional software programs to every student, staff, and faculty member. This program has served us well for over a decade.

With the upcoming expiration of the Lenovo contract, now is the right time to re-evaluate technology on campus. The question is not simply “do we keep the laptop program or not,” but extends well beyond to ask: what is the next step for technology on the Reynolda campus? We plan a campus-wide conversation, involving all constituencies, to discuss and consider this question.

We need everyone’s input.  The following groups have already been consulted and will prepare reports for  ITEC:  Committee on Information Technology, the Student Technology Council, Student Government, and the IT Partners Council.  These groups will communicate with their constituencies (faculty, staff, administrators, students) to identify all benefits and trade-offs associated with various approaches that we might pursue.  Each group will develop their own approaches and methods for communicating and gathering information from their constituencies; these approaches may include forums, listening sessions, and surveys.  Each group will prepare a report to be shared with ITEC and with their own constituencies.

The responsibilities of each group and the process for gathering information are described in the “Next Steps” site created by ITEC to facilitate these discussions and provide additional information as it develops:   https://sites.google.com/a/wfu.edu/nextsteps/.

We will share documents on this site, which also provides a location for common discussions and forums. The outcome of this process will be a final report written by ITEC, to be shared and discussed with the broader campus community.  The final report will contain recommendations for the CFO and Provost.

I encourage each and every one of you to be engaged in this process.  The outcome will affect all of us in future years, as the laptop program has done since the implementation of the Plan for the Class of 2000.  I look forward to your active participation with the above committees to ensure the optimal outcome for us all.