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Santa Clara University 2.0
“Email is down again.”
“I have to communicate with my alumni about a job posting.”
“I’m new to the University, and I don’t know anything about the tools that are available.”
These are some of the concerns faculty and staff raised at the first Communication and Collaboration Task Force Town Hall meeting on Oct. 20. It was their chance to discuss how the University might improve its technology and tools on campus to help SCU advance many of the priorities outlined in President Michael Engh’s new Strategic Plan.
The task force, which consists of 15 people from various departments and offices, is lead by Management Professor Terri Griffith. They’re working together to identify campus needs for communication and collaboration services, identify categories of tools necessary to meet those needs, and evaluate and recommend specific tools and vendors within each category. Members of the task force are also looking at security and privacy issues that may arise when using such tools.
Some 30 people attended the first town hall meeting to share ways in which their day can be frustrating with the current tools in place. One faculty member complained about the number of emails she receives every day, while one staff member noted the inefficient ways of communicating to a certain segment of large audiences such as students and alumni. Several people mentioned the lack of mobility, making working on the train and at home less than convenient. The needs varied from project management to how someone begins his or her day at the office.
“We don’t want vendors to come to campus and say here are all of our features,” Griffith told faculty and staff. “Instead, we want to tell them ‘here’s what we do in our jobs. How does your tool fit that?’”
After the task force has gathered the requirements, tasks, and concerns from all members of the University, they will send them to the vendors. The task force will then invite the vendors to show the members how their tool tackles each need. Based on all the information they gather from students, faculty, staff, and vendors, the task force will then make recommendations and hopefully be up and running with the new tools before the beginning of next fall.
If you missed the first town hall meeting, you can reach out to the members directly or make your suggestions online. The task force hopes more people will attend future town halls as they’re scheduled in the coming months.