Reports to: Director administration
Size of IS shop: 300
Mobile PCs: 2010
Hand-held devices: 800
Total screens: 15,354
Industry: Education services
PC environment: Apple Mac, Windows XP, Dell, HP, Lenovo
Server environment: AIX, Linux, Sun, Windows 2003, IBM, Apple, Dell,
DBMS: Oracle, SQL, MySQL
Address: 22 Princes Street, Auckland
Key IS projects this year: Completion of a major virtualisation
programme for servers and SANs; streamlining application and
enrolment processes around CRM.
AS NEW ZEALAND’S largest university and research centre, the University of Auckland wants to grow its research income so that by 2012 it is double the 2005 income figure. In conjunction with this goal, the university aims to grow its proportion of postgraduate students.
Campus planning is designed to support these goals, with a demanding programme over the coming 10 years. This includes the Owen G. Glenn complex, opened by the Prime Minister in February 2008, which houses a new business school and 2500 lecture theatre seats. Postgraduate students require more space than undergraduates, with the university looking closely at space utilisation. Consequently, it is selecting and implementing new timetabling and room booking software to optimise the use of teaching spaces and to make better use of under-utilised rooms.
“The Government is reviewing the way it funds tertiary teaching and learning so that research funding is now more based on outcomes. A key driver for the IT team is therefore to provide measures and reporting around teaching and learning systems and to improve the quality of our indicators,” says Stephen Whiteside, director IT.
Given the forthcoming end to open entry to Arts and Science courses, Whiteside says the university has been enhancing its CRM strategies. It has introduced two Software-as-a-Service applications to improve marking and student service, as well as enhancing directory systems to incorporate external entities such as prospects and alumni. In 2008 the focus is on streamlining application and enrolment processes around the above CRM foundations.
Whiteside says collaboration and connectivity between systems and locations is important, as is new education
delivery channels such as e-research, which allows researchers to collaborate online to complete work they can't complete individually or in person.
“Information sharing and combined super-computer generated data from other parts of the world is important to today’s researchers,” says Whiteside. Collaboration and communication are major themes in the university’s 2008 programme. The university is incorporating more Web 2.0 concepts into its architecture, particularly for teaching and learning, as students are accustomed to using several social networking environments to learn and collaborate.
Scheduled legislative acts like the Public Records Act, effective from 2010, create work for the IT team of the university, along with developing improved document management and supporting systems.
The university has recently adopted a new web content management system, Jahia, and has major web enhancement projects over the coming two years. Collaboration with others to enhance the quality of Reach
Administration systems in New Zealand is also underway. This year a major project to enhance HR systems and services will be completed.
In 2008, the completion of a major virtualisation programme for servers and SANs means the shift to a major new city campus data centre will go almost unnoticed, due to the capability to swap major systems between different data centres.
Whiteside says the university is now planning to develop an improved new second data centre, and consolidate faculty IT equipment spread across the university.