Section 4: Technology and Information Services

The profound effects of the development of powerful and affordable computers over the last two decades are not limited to business and industry. They are felt among countless millions of persons throughout the world, and it is no exaggeration to say that they surface in virtually every element of American life. The giddy pace of the revolution taking place in what many call the Age of Information — and the implied challenges to be met by those who will play a meaningful role in it — is revealed in the fact that the complex computer programming required to land human beings on the moon and return them to earth no longer requires a behemoth of a mainframe computer; it can now be accommodated in a relatively modest, hand-held calculator. More than half of Centenary's entering students are computer owners, and a substantial percentage of these have already achieved a level of computer sophistication beyond that of some faculty. As a competitive institution, Centenary must 1) provide for the rapidly increasing and changing hardware and software needs of teaching and research, 2) assist faculty in developing new computer skills and integrating what they have learned into stimulating activities in the classroom and laboratory, and 3) assure that the College can legitimately present itself as an institution attuned and responding creatively to the daily challenges confronting academic institutions in the information age.


Goal 1. Complete the Campus-Wide Information System Using Advanced Technologies.

The investment by Centenary College of over $2 million since 1993 in computer technology reflects the institution's recognition that it is in the midst of an information explosion that is profoundly changing the way faculty teach and students learn. The College has installed a fiber-optic backbone capable of transmitting data, voice, and video. It has networked the campus and connected the LAN to the Internet, providing the campus community with direct access to the entire world. By 1998-99, students will have six PC labs available to them for general use and four additional ones in academic departments. A multimedia lab, foreseen as a technology-based learning center, is in planning. Online access to the Magale Library catalogue has recently been made available through the state-of-the-art integrated library system. Administrative information resources, while still capable of supporting basic needs with a software package more than a decade old, are undergoing a major upgrade with transition to the state-of-the-art Banner system. To seize opportunities, address needs, and solve identified problems, the College will:

Objective A. Complete Phase III of the campus networking project by 8/96, to include hardwiring of additional academic buildings and PC clusters in residence halls, and assure general faculty access to the LAN.

Resources: $80,000
Responsibility: Provost
Status: Funds obtained from donor; work completed 8/97. Network extended to Centenary Square to support needs of Education Department summer, 1998.

Objective B. Complete Phase IV of the campus networking project by 8/97, to include hardwiring of Center for Extended Learning, Turner Art Center, and Gold Dome.

Resources: $200,000
Responsibility: Provost, V.P. for College Relations
Status: Center for Extended Learning and Turner Art Center hardwired 1997-98; Gold Dome hardwired April, 1999; residence halls hardwired September, 1999.

Objective C. Obtain funding for and install a technology-based learning center in Magale Library, including 30 multimedia workstations and a satellite downlink, by 8/99.

Resources: $200,000
Responsibility: Provost, V.P. for College Relations
Status: Funds received from Houston Endowment to install multimedia workstations and satellite downlink, fall, 1998; on line April, 2000.

Objective D. Increase the number of serials available to clients of Magale Library by 8/96.

Resources: $40,000 acquired from Mellon Foundation grant
Responsibility: Dean of Magale Library, Provost
Status: More than 700 additional full-text serials made available in 1996-97; through 8/98 Magale added approximately 60,000 electronically-based titles in full-text, selected full-text, or abstract of text format. Magale has available online 301 Total Databases containing approximately 240,415,747 indexed indexed records that conain 32,615 full-text, 774,401 abstract or selected text, and 347,913 citation only serials titles.

Objective E. Transform Magale Library into a technology-based information center with the library as a nucleus by the year 2000.

Resources: To be determined
Responsibility: Provost
Status: Technology resources have increased since 1997 to include: four teaching labs with about 100 PCs; an Internet Café with 31 PCs available for general student use; a web development alcove with 9 PCs, a room completely outfitted for video editing; a video screening room; teleconferencing room and satellite downlink available to the entire library. Seeking funds with which to increase technology resources and support renovation, to include creating new space in Magale attic and relocation of archives from Sam Peters Building to Magale.

Objective F. Combine the functions of Director of Magale Library, Director of Computer Services, and oversight of the telecommunications function into one position under a Chief Information Officer and appoint the incumbent by 12/96.

Resources: Salary is budgeted
Responsibility: Provost
Status: Chief Information Officer search completed, incumbent appointed as of 1/2/97.

Objective G. Complete library database and install integrated library system to support administration of the library, provide better public access, and support online searching via the local area network by 2/97.

Resources: $250,000
Responsibility: Chief Information Officer, Provost
Status: Funds obtained; installed for 1998-99.

Objective H. Add one additional technical services person to Computer Services staff by 5/97.

Resources: To be determined
Responsibility: Provost
Status: Recommendation of Academic Affairs, Economic Policy and Learning Resources Committee. Full-time staff increased from four to five 10/96. Two additional staff members appointed 1997-98.

See also: Resource Enhancement, 2A

Last revised 19 October 2000

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