2017-2019 Hampshire College Technology Plan
Properly identifying and supporting appropriate technologies in support of the mission of Hampshire College has become an imperative in this digital age.
Hampshire's Information Technology (IT) Department has developed the following document to outline specific goals and initiatives for the next three fiscal years. These goals include increased data security, strengthened service offerings, enhanced user experience, and improved business efficiencies. These goals are in addition to the annual plans of work created by Hampshire IT.
Drivers of Change
The delivery of technology services at the College will be shaped by significant trends during the timeline of this plan. Examples of these trends are, the continuing consumerization of technology, increased mobile access, cloud computing, "always-on" culture, big data, social media, and information security. These trends will result in increased demand for services, changes in end user expectations, and increasing requirements to deliver more, accessible, and highly functional services online.
Higher education as an industry is being forced to consider new, more efficient business models, while holding on to the fundamental tenets of a liberal arts education. Undergraduate students arrive on campus having experienced innovative and technology-rich K-12 teaching environments. Students arrive at Hampshire College as digital natives with multiple devices and experiences across many social media platforms.
Financial pressures require that Hampshire IT works to solve problems and make decisions collaboratively and strategically so that resources are focused appropriately.
Responding to Drivers of Change
The goal of Hampshire College IT is to respond to these drivers of change in a fashion that will allow for continued delivery of services, that support the mission of the College, and result in an excellent and effective user experience.
To achieve this result Hampshire IT needs to continue to focus on maintaining an infrastructure that is secure, reliable, resilient, flexible, and scalable. Hampshire IT will continue to focus on innovative ways to address the College's immediate technology needs, while at the same time prioritizing the foundational work required to support the Colleges academic mission and administrative needs.
Existing organizational structures continue to be redefined to improve our ability to deliver services. Hampshire IT will continue to collaborate with our colleagues at Five Colleges Inc. on existing projects and will seek to examine new opportunities and possibilities.
The following are our key priorities, organized by functional area:
- Focus on Instructional Technology and Learning Experience Design to provide increased faculty and student support.
- Technology enhanced spaces include classroom and event spaces across campus. Continuing to support the appropriate level of technology in each space will enable the College to better plan technology refresh cycles. Learning spaces must be flexible, streamlined, and easy-to-use. As technology proliferates, budget models that are incrementally increased are fundamental to keeping these spaces adequately resourced.
- Provide faculty and students with digital resources that support scholarship and research goals. Use digital platforms to highlight the excellent work that is being done at Hampshire College.
- Hampshire IT will continue to be committed to exploring partnerships with Five College member institutions to develop reasonable technology solutions that support institutional research and scholarship.
Infrastructure and Security
- The College's data and other information resources should be appropriately secured and hardened. In response to an increasing threat landscape, security policies, education, and engagement will continue to be critical.
- Hampshire IT's security committee will continue to focus on risk mitigation, active threat assessment, and fortification of data security across campus.
- Increasingly, technology service providers are offering solutions in the cloud. The security level provided by these vendors must be monitored and should meet or surpasses the surety requirements of the College. Concerted effort must be placed on examining the cost benefit and risk of acquiring new services that are hosted in the cloud.
- Hampshire IT will continue to work in partnership with the Controller's Office to monitor Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. To the extent possible, the College intends to continue to outsource credit card processing to reduce risk and the associated workload involved in compliance.
- The campus wired and wireless network is vital to the functioning of the College. The increased numbers of devices continually added by students will require the College to continue to invest in increasing amounts bandwidth. Hampshire's current 10gb circuit to the Internet will support project bandwidth increases for the time frame outlined in this plan. Aging networking and classroom equipment will need to be replaced within the time period outlined in this plan.
- Departments must review software and hardware acquisitions with Hampshire IT before purchase in order to evaluate how they would fit within the existing software and hardware environment and to ensure that projected value is fully realized in a timely manner. Our administrative systems must facilitate the core mission of the College, provide appropriately secure access to services and information when they are needed, and be as frictionless and adaptable as possible.
- Identity and Access Management will continue to be refined and expanded across Hampshire's and the Five College system and services access layers. Two-factor authentication will continue to be expanded to include all VPN users.
- The College has made a significant investment in the Ellucian Collegaue Enterprise Resource Planning Systems and is under contract with Ellucian for support of these systems. Effort must be made to leverage this investment by better understanding its capabilities and how they can positively impact the College. Alternatives to Colleague should be reviewed and considered as the contract end approaches. Specifically, attention must be paid to the unique business requirements that are driven by Hampshire's pedagogy (evaluation based). Off the shelf student systems will not support Hampshire's approach to evaluation and would require the College to continue support of a stand alone student system if a different ERP is selected.
- Hampshire must develop a strategy for warehousing available data and providing access to reporting tools that make it easy for administrators to analyze performance, predict outcomes and plan accordingly.
The priorities outlined in this document will be reviewed annually and adjusted as needed to remain relevant.