The previous report can be found at http://www.wesleyan.edu/accreditation/stand_08.html .
The Electronic Portfolio continues to provide a unified, secure means of accessing personal data and institutional processes. Virtually all of the on-line applications listed below are accessed through the portfolio. Additional security measures have been added including challenge questions and the ability to lock applications.
Usage statistics show that over 80% of the students and faculty use the EP on a daily basis while the semester is in progress. Total number of applications that have been developed for a student portfolio is over 80, for faculty portfolio is over 50 and for employees over 80. Not all applications are available to all users at all times.
Finance and Administration and ITS implemented a one-card system that allows students to use their Wesleyan ID to pay for a wide range of goods and services including door access, food, laundry and retail purchases both on and off campus.
Graduate Liberal Studies Online Registration offers improved student service and greater student retention. Students can update their contact information and view their financial and academic milestones/holds.
Athletic Department Staff enters the information into the system providing accurate data for advising, creation of web pages and overall student profiles.
WesNet, Wesleyan’s Alumni online community, has been enhanced with additional applications including WAF Volunteer Management with Customized Reporting, Wesleyan Alumni Admission Volunteers (Waave), Reunion Questionnaire, updated Career Resource Pages and Alumni Trustee Ballots. Currently, 8976 alums are enrolled in WesNet.
Event Registration has been enhanced for Reunion/Commencement, Homecoming Family Weekend. Currently, registration for these events is approximately 36% through our University web pages and 11.5% through paper. Based upon prior years, we are seeing an approximate 3 to 5% increase in web registrations each year.
A team that included staff from user offices, Finance and Administration and ITS implemented PeopleSoft’s Human Resources Management System (HRMS) which includes position management, benefit plans and in-house payroll calculations. We have are stressing employee self-service with applications such as benefits open enrollment, 403B, personal data and life insurance web enrollments. Other online enhancements include:
Internet Credit Card and eCheck Payment - Web payment tools provide flexibility for administrative offices and their clients.
Data and Network Security Advisory group helps protect contiguent privacy and data. The group has established Gramm-Leach-Bliley Guidelines, identified areas of vulnerability for SSN and credit cards and established best practices. We are now working on dessiminating best practices.
Financial Inquiry System and Data Warehouse provides access to financial account, budget and payroll data. It has effectively extended the useability and life of our financial system.
Finance and Administration with ITS’ help has created a Budget Development and Management System called B-Maps. B-Maps assigns each account number/object code combination to a particular budget category.
Increased Database/Systems Redundancy for our most important databases, including: the Blackboard student database, the PeopleSoft administration and HR database, and the Millennium fund-raising database. Each of these five databases have identical standby databases on other machines – capable of taking control in the event of catastrophic failure.
Green Street Arts Center opened in the North End of Middletown – The Center’s goal is to serve as a cultural and educational resource offering day, after-school and evening programs. ITS has played a major role in equipping the center’s computer lab, videography lab, music rooms and administrative offices with state-of-the-art maintainable technology. http://www.greenstreetartscenter.org/
Provide the Best Academic Experience for the Faculty and Students
Continue to Improve Administrative Efficiency
Continue to Improve the Campus Life Experience Including the Supporting Facilities
We have recently formed an Academic Media Studio that will provide support for faculty for teaching, research, and scholarly communication. Formed out of four separate service points, this unit's services will include photography, digitization, poster printing, multimedia development, and website creation.
One of the units in the Academic Media Studio – digitization – has grown into a popular service for faculty to use in support of integrating digital media into their teaching. The service will digitize print, stills, slides, and video, and then place the digital files onto a server for faculty to then use in their courses. We have over 1 TB of multimedia content hosted on our servers and in anticipation of explosive growth in this area, we have acquired a large disk system.
Our Media Database – a collection of digital images for use both in teaching and for multimedia projects – has grown to over 10,000 records, allowing faculty and students access to a wide array of materials.
With funding from a number of outside sources, we have created a team of learning object developers who have worked with our faculty across the university to create a range of educational materials.
We completed our multi-year classroom improvement program renovating over 80 classrooms. We now have over 50 multimedia classrooms, and a process and budget for supporting their use, and for maintaining the equipment within. We added two new computer classrooms, one for the arts and one for the social sciences, in order to address increasing demand by the faculty for spaces where students would all have access to computers during class-time.
We continue to maintain six computer labs located throughout the campus. Our most notable improvement to these labs was the relocation of the arts computing lab to a new and larger space, and, in collaboration with the library, the creation of an Information Commons in Olin Library.
We now have in place a system for distrbuting personal response systems (aka clickers) to students, and the hardware/software needed to deploy these to faculty, for any room in campus. This polling technology has proven very popular for larger courses, allowing faculty to provide a level of interactivity and feedback that is difficult if not impossible to provide without this technology.
We chose Blackboard as our course management system, and have seen steady growth in its use, and the sophistication of its use, over time. Nearly 40% of all courses at Wesleyan now use Blackboard.
In recognition of the growing importance of the web as a vehicle for communicating to prospective students, to enrolled students, and internally as a platform for keeping faculty and staff informed, we re-designed all of the academic department websites to give them a consistent navigation and look and feel, and developed technologies to improve the quality of information contained on these sites.
As part of our larger project, currently underway, to re-examine how we facilitate collaboration within and between campuses, we created a simple web-based system to allow faculty collaborating with other campuses to securely share files with their collaboraors.
In order to provide convenient, high-quality video in a secure manner, we have upgraded our streaming video server and developed methods for linking this content to blackboard.
We have begun pilot projects for exploring how wikis, blogs, podcasting, social bookmarking, and other emerging technologies can be used in our existing environment.
In order to avoid the propagation of departmental computing clusters ITS agreed to host a central high performance computing cluster. This brings tremendous efficiencies to several areas - eg. the reduction in facilities cost can be invested in keeping the central cluster current and more efficient, the faculty members and their groups do not have to worry about the maintenance. Science faculty and ITS received an NSF grant to purchase the first HPC which will be operational in March '07.
Several enhancements have been made to the basic network infrastructure so that we have 100 Mb connectivity to the desktop, there are over 250 wireless access points and over 95% wireless coverage on campus. We have also stabilized the network connectivity to the 200 woodframe houses. Internet connectivity has grown tremendously and our current usage peaks around 60 Mb.
In order to provide more reliable and better user experience, we have redone our server architecture to be Linux based blades.
We have implemented very innovative ways to combat SPAM and viruses while delivering excellent E-mail performance through both the clients as well as web. We will be introducing more efficiencies to the email infrastructure by migrating all administrative users to Microsoft Exchange.
We have offered full desktop backups for faculty and staff. Over 600 computers are backed up on a daily basis and there have been several instances where full data restorals have been performed to save critical data for the faculty and staff.
In 2003, the City of Middletown approved the strategic facility masterplan that was developed in collaboration with the Middletown community, faculty, staff, students and alumni of Wesleyan University. The Facilities Working Group and Master Plan Executive Committee served to provide ideas, opinions, and critical responses to help guide the plan to completion. Ayers Saint Gross was the consultant that facilitated the planning process.
For the last four (4) years, Wesleyan has measured the performance of its’ Facilities operation as a member of a collaboration of colleges and universities managed by Sightlines, LLC. Each year, Sightlines measures the investment in building assets and their stewardship, the level of customer satisfaction and the operating effectiveness of the facilities operation.
The campus consists of approximately 360 acres and 2.9 million gross square feet of buildings. Wesleyan is a residential college and provides housing for all of its undergraduate students, although approximately 40 students are allowed by lottery, to live in non-Wesleyan housing each year.
The Associate Vice President for Facilities, who reports to the Vice President for Finance and Administration, has 158 full time employees including 65 contracted workers. Direct responsibilities include Physical Plant, Construction Services, Environmental Health and Safety, Campus Fire Safety and Rental Properties. The Physical Plant Director is responsible for building trades, mechanical trades, utilities management, custodians, grounds and events.
Wesleyan’s major maintenance program has facilitated improvements worth approximately $38 million dollars within the past five (5) years. Each year, the Wesleyan community is asked to submit major maintenance projects for consideration. A list of proposed projects is compiled, reviewed and prioritized by a group of facilities staff and student representatives over a period of six (6) months. A Leadership Committee consisting of over ten (10) Senior Staff and Senior Administrators have the final approval of work to be performed. A five (5) year rolling plan is in place for major maintenance projects.
Within the last five (5) years, Wesleyan has completed $136 million dollars in renovations and new construction, including major and minor projects. Downey House, once a gathering space for events and the former location of the faculty dining club has been renovated to house classrooms and offices for the English and Classical Studies Departments. The Patricelli ’92 Theater has been fully renovated and restored for dance and theater productions. The Memorial Chapel was renovated and the Zelnick Pavilion was constructed to accommodate large assemblies on campus. New buildings constructed in the last five (5) years include Film Studies phase I, an addition to the Freeman Athletic Center, a 270 bed residence hall and apartment complex called Fauver Field. The Usdan University Center is nearing construction completion and the former Fayerweather building is being renovated and restored. Consistent with the strategic facility masterplan goal of promoting a pedestrian friendly campus, the campus has seen dozens of landscape improvements in the last five (5) years including but not limited to the addition of more than 300 off street parking spaces, thousands of feet of sidewalks, new exterior lighting, benches and landscaping.
In 2003, Wesleyan employed Sightlines LLC to benchmark the facilities operation and physical assets of the University against eleven (11) peer institutions. Data collected annually and measured against our peer schools include: Annual stewardship – the equilibrium need and corresponding actual investment to keep-up with the planned maintenance and replacement of building components as they reach the end of their useful life. Asset reinvestment-accumulated backlog of repair and modernization needs and the definition of resource capacity to correct them. Operating effectiveness-the effectiveness in delivering daily service, protecting assets, and managing energy consumption. Service-the measure of service process, the maintenance quality of space and systems, and the customer’s opinion of service delivery.
One of the greatest challenges for our facilities team is the day to day operations and renovations to our historic buildings. Approximately 46% of Wesleyan’s square footage is more than 50 years old, whereas only 4% is less than 10 years old. While the older buildings add historic character to the campus, the aging mechanical systems place a burden on the operating budget and are slowly being renovated and replaced as part of the campus masterplan. Wesleyan’s operating budget for FY05 averaged $6.72 per gross square foot which is higher than our peer schools average of $6.43. Several initiatives are recently completed or underway to reduce those operating costs including a complete restructuring of the facilities organization, the implementation of increased performance expectations for the team, and the divesting of smaller, less efficient buildings on the periphery of campus. Since the initiation of the new web based work order system, annual overtime spending for maintenance has been reduced by 33% between FY02 and FY06. Improvements in the service process and improved feedback with customers is commendable according to Sightlines customer survey results, in part due to the new work order system.