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IT Challenges for Technical Universities

Overseeing IT at a university that specializes in science and technology certainly comes with unique challenges. The primary challenge is managing user expectations, and it manifests itself in two different ways.

The first is that at technical schools like Southern Polytechnic State University, we use technology to teach technology. This creates an environment where the technology has to work. At more traditional universities, if the technology does not work, the professor can fall back to another method of teaching. At SPSU, we have hands-on technology in many of our classes and labs. If the technology does not work, the class cannot go on.

The other obstacle is that of user expectations. As a science and technology university, we are expected to have the latest and greatest of technology at all times. Further, we have a high concentration of faculty who are very tech-savvy, which tends to magnify the situation. With the economic challenges facing all of us in higher education, meeting these lofty expectations is a continuous struggle. We are forced to take a creative approach to investing in technology, while providing all of the services that our faculty and students need and hopefully most of the services they want.

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