The Faculty Information Technology Liaison Program (FITLP) seeks to strengthen relationships between academic departments and UIT by pairing representatives from UIT with a faculty liaison from each participating department. Together, faculty liaisons and UIT reps facilitate annual or bi-annual information sessions with each department to exchange information on UIT services and the department’s strategic goals for the use of IT. Additionally, the program brings all faculty liaisons and UIT representatives together once a semester for a plenary session, and surveys the faculty annually about their IT use and goals.
Home page of the Faculty Liaison Program’s web site.
Launched in April, 2008, FITLP has just completed its pilot year. Since the Arts & Sciences and Engineering IT Committee was instrumental in the creation of the program, the pilot year focused on establishing connections with departments in the School of Arts and Sciences(A&S) and the School of Engineering(E). To date, 87% of AS&E departments have designated faculty liaisons. The program recently expanded to the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton, and hopes to include The Fletcher School in the near future.
In addition to developing relationships with department faculty, the program has met regularly with AS&E Information Technology Services (ITS) and Tisch Library colleagues. The learning and exchange of information that has occurred at these meetings has helped UIT to serve its clients more effectively.
Some common themes have emerged from the 12 department meetings that were held during the first semester of the pilot year. Faculty consistently expressed their appreciation of the IT support provided by Frontline Service Providers (FSPs). Many faculty members also mentioned that they were grateful to have had the chance to hear about UIT services, and to discuss their department’s goals. By asking their UIT rep specific questions, faculty often discovered services that they needed but didn’t know existed.
The pilot program evaluation shows that the program design is sound, and provides significant benefit to departments and UIT with relatively low overhead. It is clear from the evaluation that FITLP fills an important gap in communications, and should continue to grow and develop.
Sheryl Barnes, Senior Educational Technologist, UIT Academic Technology