50th Anniversary Abstracts

What Can Higher Education IT Do to Keep Up With Changing Models of Higher Education?

The role of managing technology at Colleges and Universities has been about developing and providing technical support services to the campus community. Over the past fifty years, the kinds of changes and rates of change, although accelerating, have been generally predicable. In the past five years that predictability has evaporated, so that at the beginning of each academic year we find ourselves scrambling to address unforeseen circumstances. This panel will discuss whether the current roles and practices in Higher Education IT are robust and flexible enough to adapt to an uncertain future of if we are riding on a dinosaur. If the latter, what might the future look like?

 

Meeting the Service Demands for the Next 50 years

Unlike most other ACM special interest groups, SIGUCCS has been more about delivering current and future technologies, than creating the technologies themselves. We've always cared passionately about helping our users employ information technology to reach their educational, research, and service goals. Thus, we've spent a lot of energy and time on "helping users help themselves", with services such as programming help, consulting services (the early name of Help Desk), training, documentation, the procurement and configuration of educational and support infrastructures, student labs and related services, provision of software and licensing services, etc. Within both of our annual conferences, the formal and informal themes have always centered around the question "how can we better serve our users?" Even when we discuss career choices, hiring and managing students, software investigations, staff burn out, etc., we've been always focused on our deliverables to the faculty, staff, and students of our institutions. This session will be a discussion of today's service demands and the skills, strategies and products that will be necessarily employed by SIGUCCS professionals to get the job done. Some questions to discuss: How will the ever-evolving technologies shape our services? Will the Help Desk pretty much have to remain as it is today? In this crazy world of BYOD and consumerization (coincident with flat or decreasing resources), are we eventually destined for a decrease in services? Can we set expectations in this environment? Bottom line: can we still give good customer service?

 

The Professional HEIT Staffer: Strategies for Future Success.

As a professional association of individuals, rather than a grouping of institutions, SIGUCCS has consistently played an important role in the professional development and careers of its members and conference attendees. Many of us can point to specific relationships, experiences and lessons from SIGUCCS activities that have had significant impact on our professional activities. These range from a contact that led us to some specialized knowledge of a technical skill, to a friendship that supports a mentoring path for long term career assistance. SIGUCCS has played a critical role for so many. This discussion will offer examples and suggestions of how HEIT careers have been influenced and shaped by association relationships, and it will describe specific examples of strategies used by SIGUCCS members in their careers.