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February 19, 2018


It’s been said, “You can’t get where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.”  Don’t ask me who said it but it is a great quote. The Office of Information Technology has a road map for the coming year. In fact we have an atlas for the next few years culminating in 2020. But before we kick off a new journey through 2018, we’d like to travel back through 2017 and share just a few of our historical markers.

Leadership Changes. We said goodbye to several of our long-time colleagues as they moved on down the road. In June, we celebrated the retirements of Dr. Cynthia Rolfe, Darry Bergstresser and Becky Owens. Sonya Watkins took over as the Chief Information Officer and James Morrison is serving as Interim Associate CIO.

Adding Strength and Support to the University Mission. As always, OIT’s goal is to support the University’s mission to help students learn by providing transformative education experiences to students so that they may become productive, creative, ethical and engaged citizens and leaders serving our global community.  OIT continuously strives to strengthen and support that mission. Here are a few highlights of projects that helped advance that goal.

  • Old North opened with fiber to the building, network cabling within all offices, classrooms and meeting spaces, audiovisual equipment in all conference and meeting spaces, wireless network, cable TV services and an OIT office space in the building to ensure priority classroom, event, and administrative support.
  • Major changes have been taking place with the new UCO website and will continue for quite a while. The online face of UCO has already received accolades including the Hannon Hill ”Best New Site” award and the “Before and After” award from the Oklahoma College Public Relations Association.
  • Multiple buildings came online in 2017 with a mix of remodels and rebuilds. Each one required significant technology planning and implementation. The projects ranged in size but all required complete technology integration.
    • New Police Service Annex
    • New Softball Facility
    • Mitchell Hall Education Center
    • Murdaugh Hall
    • South Central Plant
  • Other construction projects underway requiring technology planning and integration expected to be complete in the coming year includes
    • STEM Building
    • Sports Performance Center
    • Liberal Arts Addition
    • North Hamilton Annex
    • Athletic Facility (Temporary Wrestling/Batting Cages)
    • New Dining Facility
  • Additional technology refreshes took place in the Forensic Science Institute, Center for Transformative Learning, and the Digital Den in the Nigh University Center.
  • The Central Tech Express opened in the old Central Tech Store space in the Nigh University Center. The Central Tech Express offers business center functions to our students and visitors.
  • OIT provided pathways for OneNet to assist the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
  • OIT assisted with the implementation of a new student refund system.
  • OIT facilitated the technical implementation of a new applicant tracking and onboarding system for UCO positions.
  • Business Continuity Planning will continue but initial plans are on pace and progressing well.
  • The Disaster Recovery test provided great results to secure our ability to implement a business continuity plan should the need arise.
  • The Security Risk Assessment is ongoing and moving ahead with help from the Security Oversight Committee.
  • The CRM project includes the strategy, business processes, and software for managing and enhancing interactions with prospective and current students, alumni, and donors.
    • Phase 1 – Implementation of new online applications and communication strategies for prospective students in Undergraduate Admissions and the Office of Global Affairs. The Jackson College of Graduate Studies application is scheduled to come online in early 2018.
    • Phase 2 – A new alumni and fundraising CRM selection was made from Blackbaud’s suite of CRM products.
  • Digital Central Academy 2017, focused on innovative ideas for active learning with tablets, celebrated 15 faculty graduates.
  • OIT contributed to the successful launch of the Comprehensive Student Record (CSR), providing students with an official snapshot of their STLR achievements.

Makeovers. Several remodeling projects took place over the past year. And though the construction zones caused a little chaos (as they always do), the new and improved is a fantastic result.

  • OIT acquired additional space in the Admin 104 suites. Admin 104 and 102 were revamped and are now comfortable, beautiful spaces.
  • Remodeling of the Technology Resource Center (Admin 101) office space made room for the eLearning Administrators and a new multi-media studio.
  • The Information Technology breakroom in the Math and Computer Science building received a makeover to develop more collaboration space.
  • Not only have we added new physical space but new virtual space was added as well with the completion of the Web Farm and new virtual servers.
  • A new online self-serve Service Desk ticketing system and knowledge management tools as well as IT Service Management solution was delivered to provide a more transparent view into IT service delivery. It streamlines Information Technology service requests and helps IT support students, faculty and staff more efficiently.

Continuing Improvement. Several staff development initiatives took place over the past year.

  • OIT offered new Cyber Security training to help raise UCO employees’ awareness of current security threats and tips for staying safe.
  • OIT staff participated in Technical Writing Workshops.
  • The Academy for Leadership Excellence in Information Technology (ALEIT) group completed a management development program.
  • Tech Prep Academy, a six session series, was developed using funding provided by AT&T. The series provides student employees with both technical and soft skills that will bolster their ability to secure meaningful employment upon graduation.
  • Members of OIT presented at the Council on IT – the IT Summit. Those presentations helped to share information with other IT higher education personnel.

The Office of Information Technology Team would like to thank everyone for helping make 2017 a year to remember. We will continue to support, innovate and participate in the coming year and wish the University Community a Happy New Year.

May your road through 2018 be straight and true but have just enough twists and turns (and a few rest stops) to keep things interesting.