Colleges are no different from other organizations when it comes to the persistent problem of silos: How to eliminate them, bridge them or prevent them from happening in the first place? When technology is a pillar throughout campus operations, addressing silos is even more important.
IT is multifaceted, touching strategy, infrastructure, financial operations, pedagogy, skills development and more. When colleges recognize technology as an interconnected web, they become more effective at approaching deployments holistically. Almost any major initiative has multiple moving parts that stretch across wide-ranging departments, as reflected in several of our stories in this issue.
Bridging the Remaining Gaps in Higher Ed
Student success programs are expanding across the country as institutions prioritize students’ experiences and academic progress. Data analytics is one strategy, augmented by chatbots, apps to promote mental health and efforts to instill a sense of community, especially for at-risk students. The University of Kentucky and the University of Connecticut are among many institutions working hard to turn last year’s challenges into meaningful supports for students who need them.
Similarly, one-to-one device programs, with implications for networking, cybersecurity, and online teaching and learning, involve staff from across the university, as seen at San Joaquin Valley College.
In some cases, the right technology can reduce IT silos. At the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, new storage solutions streamlined research and improved workflows for those who depend on massive data sets.
Silos may persist, but technology is often a way around them, bringing together staff and faculty from a variety of disciplines to tackle shared objectives.
Editor in Chief