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July 31, 2011

DoIT IT Support Changes - Help Desk & AV Moving

Starting this summer, there will be a number of significant changes occurring in the way DoIT provides support to the campus community. The driver for this change is the new Retriever Learning Center (RLC) that will be opening in the Library this fall. The RLC will have a significant technology component and will provide 24-hour space for students. As part of this DoIT is making significant changes to our Helpdesk and establishing a student-focused unit named the Technology Support Center adjacent to the RLC.

This is one of the most exciting and important initiatives for students that has occurred on campus. So, to support the RLC, DoIT will be making the following changes.

First, we are renaming the Help Desk to be called the Technology Support Center, which will be located next to the RLC. This change is primarily designed to provide walk-up support of students, though faculty & staff are welcome, too. Managed by Jamie Harrison, the TSC will work closely with the Library to proactively meet student technology support needs in a much more visible location.

Second, we encourage all students, faculty and staff to search, request and track technical support using the myUMBC Help menu or directly at http://my.umbc.edu/help. In moving student technology support to the Library we will only have two, remaining full-time staff (distributed in the Engineering Bldg.) who are available for faculty-staff support issues. We are exploring possible collaboration with other functional offices, Departmental IT (DIT) support staff, as well as a way faculty might be able to request specially-trained students for one-on-one instructional technology assistance. All DoIT support groups will continue to monitor the primary 5-3838 technical support phone number, however given potential challenges in our capacity to respond immediately, we are working to improve the myUMBC Help interface so you can find, request and track your tech support needs in one location.

Third, to make certain that the technology classrooms in Engineering are properly supported we will be moving the Audio Visual (AV) services group from Academic IV-A 204 to Engineering 020. In addition to continuing to deliver mobile technology carts from this location, AV will oversee support for the computer classrooms in Engineering, including openings and closings.

Finally, to streamline management we are realigning the DoIT organization so that all three of these groups will be under the Instructional Technology and New Media unit led by Asst. VP John Fritz. As with any change, we know there will be some issues that will arise that we need to address. We are committed to working with the campus to make this a success and appreciate your patience while we make this change. If you have questions, suggestions or comments, please email them to John (fritz@umbc.edu) or myself (jack@umbc.edu).

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