Sul Ross OIT: Faster and More Accessible for the Students
By Liam Littlefield, Skyline Student Life Correspondent
ALPINE, Texas – The Office of Information and Technology (OIT) has been undergoing major changes and updates. This semester, Dr. Matthew Moore, Executive Vice President for Strategic Engagement and Enrollment Management, spoke about these changes and what they mean for the school.
“We are trying to put the focus on the students,” Moore said. “We are trying to spend less time dealing with minutia and spending more time making the technology on campus faster and more accessible.”
One plan for OIT is increasing bandwidth on campus. “Outsourcing secondary or tertiary systems, such as survey softwares, increases the amount of bandwidth available on campus because it would no longer require the school’s bandwidth to function. It also frees up time for our department to work on other issues or projects,” Moore said.
The email system used by the university was moved by OIT to the Microsoft Office cloud last semester. Outsourcing can also be seen through the internet service provided to the residence halls, which is now under the control of Apogee. The Sul Ross website is also slated to be outsourced sometime before next semester.
OIT has spent an estimated $75,000 to increase the university wide bandwidth from one megabyte per second to ten megabytes per second.
OIT is also in the middle of a consolidation effort to cut down on redundancy in software used on campus. “Come to find out we had 5 different contracts for survey software used on campus and that just isn’t smart,” said Moore.
“We need stricter protocols and more adherence to these protocols, because it isn’t just a matter of money; it also affects security,” Moore said.
The computer system at The University of Texas El Paso has been down for over two months because of a virus installed by unapproved software. OIT is hoping to prevent situation like happening at Sul Ross by codifying software into the universities budget, and removing frivolous software.
In the spirit of putting students first, OIT is expanding wireless internet on campus. “We hope to provide Wi-Fi to every part of campus. First and foremost, we will be expanding wireless to the university mall. We’ll also be putting in Wi-Fi at the [S.A.L.E.] Arena and improving the Wi-Fi at the UC,” said Moore. OIT also recently completed a $800,000 project that remodeled classrooms to serve distant learning students.
“Thirty classrooms in total were remodeled with new projectors and screens to better serve the students outside of Alpine. This is just another way OIT has begun to make students our priority,” Moore said.