Vision and Guiding Principles

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					University College Cork
   Strategic Plans for
  Information Services
      2009 – 2012
Contents

1.   Strategic Plan for IT                      3

2.   Strategic Plan for the Library             18

3.   Strategic Plan for Audio Visual Services   25




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University College Cork
    Strategic Plan for
            IT
      2009 – 2012

  Towards e-Community




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Contents

1.   Vision and Guiding Principles       5

2.   Environment                         5

3.   Challenges                          6

4.   Initiatives and Projects            7

5.   Infrastructure                      12

6.   Support and Training Services       14

7.   Resources                           15




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1. Vision and Guiding Principles
  Our vision for the development of information technology in UCC is to have in place a top quality
  virtual environment which

     supports the needs of students, lecturers, researchers and administrators
     is fit for purpose, efficient and secure
     is easy to use
     is easy to access via streamlined standardised portals for students and staff.


2. Environment
  This plan has been developed in the context of the UCC strategic planning process to contribute
  to the stated Strategic Goals and Objectives for the University 2009 – 2012 (see Appendix). It
  also takes account of the developments in the University, in the Third Level sector generally and in
  IT which are shaping the environment in which we work. These include:

     a projected increase in student numbers to 17,500 FTE by 2012 including a doubling of
      postgraduate student numbers.

     a greatly increased emphasis on research for which the IT requirements are huge but are also
      more difficult to define than for other areas and are, in many cases, non-standard.

     a ‘data deluge’ - a term often used to describe the phenomenal increase in the volumes of
      data that we now find ourselves storing, processing and transmitting over the networks.
      There is a general trend now where the demand for data storage is increasing faster than the
      demand for high-performance networks or computation.

     the availability of good quality laptops at 50% of the price two years ago and approximately
      25% of the price five years ago. As a result it is likely that very few students will be without a
      laptop in the next year or two. The experience has been that students tend to leave their
      laptops at home because of the weight and the possibility of theft. However this will probably
      change due to the lower price/replacement cost and the development of smaller lighter
      machines which are now beginning to come on the market. Also, laptops, palmtops, mobile
      phones and camera etc. are converging so it is almost certain that every student will have a
      mobile device accessing our services in the classroom and on campus generally in the next
      four years.

     the overlap of education, entertainment and social communications in cyberspace which
      means that by providing electronic resources for education and research, much of those
      resources will be used for gaining high-quality access to services which have not been part of
      the traditional formal education model.

     concerns about security and how we use and protect information in an open devolved
      organisation.

     concerns about our carbon footprint. The IT industry is focusing on various means of reducing
      energy requirements and introducing technologies to help with this. Nevertheless, today’s
      systems require much heavier processing which, if the industry projections are correct, will
      result in at least a ten-fold increase in energy consumption over the next four years.

     targeted funding by government such as the HEA’s SIF (Strategic Investment Fund). This
      funding is significant and very welcome but it gives us less independence in deciding our
      priorities and substantial resources must be transferred from other projects to provide the
      matched funding for SIF designated projects.




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3. Challenges
  The overall challenge for the Computer Centre over the next four years is to continue providing a
  reliable, high capacity and stable IT environment for a variety of users while maintaining the agility
  to respond to new developments, technologies and other demands. Many of these demands
  cannot be predicted but require an immediate response with a very large injection of resources
  which must, inevitably, be taken from other projects or services.           As an example of the
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  unpredictability, if we look back four years we see that Facebook, Bebo, YouTube, 2 Life,
  podcasts, GoogleEarth and similar applications didn’t exist. Yet these now consume a significant
  portion of IT resources everywhere and there is an expectation that users can have easy access
  to them.

  Security is at or near the top of every IT agenda today. Our information assets must be secure
  and therefore we must be able to identify and check the authorisation of each user who accesses
  them. Putting the technical infrastructure in place to accomplish this is a difficult challenge.
  However, it is much more than a technology issue. Every person in UCC who is authorised to
  access or process information has a responsibility with regard to that information to ensure where
  necessary that, for example, they do not corrupt it; that it is adequately backed-up; that their use
  complies with copyright, data protection legislation etc. and that they don’t allow other
  unauthorised users access to it.     Convincing each individual that they have such responsibilities
  is the biggest challenge of all and will require a significant culture change.

  Allied to the security issue is that of data ownership. Whereas a security policy will define for
  each user their responsibilities with respect to all of their data and other relevant resources, a data
  ownership policy will define a model for the management of each dataset and will allocate
  responsibilities for different aspects of its management. The availability of cheap storage devices
  gives the impression that data storage is becoming much less expensive but in fact the overall
  central cost of storage management is increasing significantly. It will be impossible to contain the
  costs without a data ownership policy but, again, getting users to recognise that they have a role
  to play in this is a difficult task.

  The primary focus of the restructuring in UCC has been on devolution. In relation to IT support,
  however, we are finding that some areas which provided their own support are now shifting many
  of the responsibilities and functions back on to the Computer Centre while retaining locally the
  resources which were originally allocated for this purpose.           The whole question of
  central/distributed support needs to be reviewed - in particular the overall responsibility for IT
  management (and perhaps IT governance) in the distributed areas.

  This strategic plan proposes the development of a virtual environment to serve the needs of all
  students and staff. However, this development will fail unless the processes associated with the
  central applications are reviewed and re-engineered where appropriate. Having the processes re-
  engineered is often a far more difficult task than the computerisation itself.

  The greatest challenge facing the Computer Centre, however, is the lack of resources. Based on
  the most recent figures available across the sector our non-pay budget per student FTE is 80% of
  the average across the Irish Universities and 44% and 16% respectively of UK and US
  universities. Our staff headcount at 57 - is two less than NUIG while it is 32 less than UCD and
  30 less than TCD. It will be impossible for us to keep up with the competition, not to mention
  getting ahead of it, if these trends are allowed to continue.

  In terms of space, we are accommodating 51 of the staff members in a space designed for 35 with
  some of them in rooms that are unlikely to comply with safety regulations.               Even more
  significantly, the vulnerability of our computer room to flooding presents the single biggest risk to
  the University’s systems.

  Not alone are our resource levels very low, but the demands are increasing at an exceptionally
  high rate. For example, the IT Building and the Postgraduate Library together will have added
  approximately 6,000 active points to the network representing a 50% increase in the size of the
  network in little over a year. In planning such developments, no account is taken of the annual
  backend costs incurred in maintaining and supporting this. Similarly, when new applications are
  implemented, quite often no provision is made for the ongoing annual license costs which have to



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    be borne by the Computer Centre. For example, the implementation of Agresso will add an extra
    annual expenditure of over €60,000 on license payments to our accounts.




4. Initiatives and Projects
    From the technology perspective, the objective is to build a virtual learning and a virtual research
    environment to support the core mission of the university together with an e-business environment
    to support administration and management.          To achieve this, a wide range of projects and
    initiatives will be undertaken as described below.


4.1 Virtual Learning Environment
4.1.1 Blackboard The Blackboard system is now used regularly by 80% of students in UCC and 46%
      of modules (representing 68% of all module enrolments) are available on the system. A major
      enhancement of the system is currently underway and will be completed early in 2008/09. This
      will provide far greater capacity and faster response times as well as integration with the student
      administration system (ITS). While Blackboard will provide our primary VLE, at least until 2011,
      we will nevertheless continue to investigate other products such as Moodle.

4.1.2 Learning Repositories The Computer Centre is collaborating with other third level institutions
      on the development of a HEA-sponsored National Digital Learning Repository (NDLR) for the
      purpose of establishing a framework to enable development and sharing of digital learning
      resources between the seven Universities and the Institutes of Technology. The project aims to
      provide support for best practise in the development of digital learning resources and to
      establish inter-institution academic groups (Communities of Practice) working towards improving
      the subject specific learning experience. In addition, it is researching the licensing and copyright
      issues that have to be considered before a learning repository can gain the confidence of its
      potential users.

4.1.3 Online Plagiarism Detection From 2008/09, we will be providing a digital plagiarism detection
      service through the Turnitin system. This will allow students and lecturers to run assignments
      through the system which will then produce an ‘originality report’. Guidelines for using the
      service have been incorporated in the UCC Plagiarism Policy. The launch of the service marks
      the outcome of the work of the Plagiarism Detection Working Group which was established by
      the Academic Board.

4.1.3 Online Assessment To date, the development of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) has
      been concentrated on the delivery of electronic content and media. The area of assessment
      has not been included to any significant extent. It is now planned to undertake a study of the
      feasibility of providing online examinations. At this stage it would appear that the implications
      of such a service could be quite wide-ranging and therefore it is likely that the roll-out of a
      service would be done on a gradual basis over the subsequent years.

4.1.5 Video/Audio Streaming and Podcasting We are currently working with Audio Visual Services in
      the development of a streaming and a podcasting service which will be available in 2008/09.
      These services will be successful only if adequate training is available for all users. A suitable
      training programme will therefore be developed, ideally to be rolled out as a standard package.

4.1.6 Web 2.0 Technologies Web 2.0 is a term used to describe loosely a set of services which allow
      the user to contribute information and to interact with other users rather than just receive
      information. They include social networking, wikis, blogs, and specific services such as Bebo,
      Facebook, YouTube, Second Life, iTunes etc.        Web 2.0 services can be very effective in
      engaging students but they can also give rise to very serious privacy, data protection and
      information security issues. Also, there is evidence of a trend showing that some students
      prefer their universities to communicate with them via the more standard and formal web and
      email applications. While taking account of these issues, we will continue to investigate and
      exploit these technologies and in particular examine how we might use social networking to
      provide a UCC online community.



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4.1.7 Wireless & Mobile IT Support While wireless access is available widely throughout the campus,
      there are still a number of blackspots and it can be difficult to provide coverage in many of
      these. However, we aim to have full wireless coverage in all UCC buildings by 2010. In the
      meantime we will continue to explore other networking technologies such as 3G broadband,
      WiMax etc. and adopt these as appropriate. We are also collaborating with the other institutions
      to provide federated access to services which will allow mobility for students and staff by giving
      them access to their normal services from outside the campus and particularly from other
      universities. Some of these services will be rolled out in 2009 and will continue to be developed
      through to 2012.

      By negotiating special deals with the suppliers, we expect to have student laptops available for
      approximately €500 and less in 2008/09 and we will continue to provide extensive support for
      students who purchase laptops.      However, as the IT market looks like moving towards other
      mobile devices ranging from mini-laptops to iPhones, we will provide support for these devices
      where feasible.


 4.2 Virtual Research Environment
      To date the Computer Centre has focused primarily on providing an extensive IT infrastructure
      as well as a wide range of services and applications to support teaching and learning, and
      management and administration. For the research community we have provided little added
      value on the infrastructure other than network services. This is very much in line with the
      pattern in universities generally since, rather than attempting to provide a wide range of
      specialist services centrally, it has been more cost-effective to have many such services,
      including storage and processing, supplied locally within the individual research groups.
      However, this model is becoming less viable for many researchers.

      Research is now the most significant growth area in UCC. With the increasing emphasis on
      collaborative research across disciplines and institutions, the management of individual projects
      is becoming more complex. It is getting increasingly difficult for research teams to provide and
      manage IT resources, particularly storage and processing, on the scale required for their work.
      Also, the management and security of research data is becoming an issue.

      The term Cyberinfrastructure (CI) was coined by the NSF to describe the IT model to support
      today’s research requirements. Generally the term is used to describe a support model which
      includes high-performance computing, an advanced network infrastructure, data storage and
      management facilities, collaboration tools and analysis software. We are developing some of
      these components within UCC and others are available to us from external partners.

4.2.1 High-Performance Computing Supercomputing services are available from ICHEC (Irish Centre
      for High-End Computing) who also provide support and helpdesk services.                   The
      supercomputers are hosted by HEAnet and are therefore accessible directly from the UCC
      network.     The users of this service will deal directly with ICHEC but, where necessary, the
      Computer Centre will provide first-level support and will work with the users to address any
      connectivity requirements.

4.2.2 Advanced Network Infrastructure         The rollout of gigabit connectivity to the desktop in all
      research areas of the University will be completed in 2009. External connectivity, currently at
      1Gb, will be kept at least on a par with the other universities. Where there are exceptional high
      bandwidth requirements for large data transfers, arrangements will be made through HEAnet to
      establish point-to-point connections to provide for these.

4.2.3 Data Storage and Management Network Area Storage (NAS) will be made available to all
      researchers by 2010. It has already been made available to some in a pilot project that is
      underway.       The project is being used to determine more clearly the requirements of
      researchers.     A fixed quota of storage will be allocated to each individual researcher. In
      addition, storage will be provided for individual research projects to allow all researchers on the
      team to share data and information. The NAS storage will be accessible from anywhere over
      the internet and will be backed up automatically on a regular basis thus providing large capacity,
      accessible and secure storage.



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4.2.4 Collaboration Tools The tools necessary to enable collaboration in virtual research communities
      within UCC and across institutions will be provided and supported.            These range from
      communication tools such as Sharepoint to remotely controlled instrumentation as well as
      Web2.0-type online communities and secure forums. In addition, since it is an essential
      requirement for many research projects to have a website, the Computer Centre will provide
      web development and hosting services.         Also, we will continue to work with Audio Visual
      Services in exploiting the use of audio and videoconferencing throughout UCC.

4.2.5 Analysis Software    We provide a range of statistical analysis and mathematical modelling
      software while advanced simulation, mathematical, programming and visualisation tools are
      available from ICHEC. The range of software currently provided will be reviewed to see if it’s
      adequate for the needs of our researchers.

4.2.6 Server Hosting Many researchers have their own local servers and in some cases these are
      very powerful machines/clusters with special environmental requirements in terms of
      temperature control, power supply etc. Since it is often difficult to meet these requirements
      locally, there is a need for a central hosting service and this will be included in the overall plans
      for a new data centre.

        We will engage with the research community to establish how best to present and support these
        facilities as an integrated research support service.  Because many of the IT support tasks
        sought by researchers are short-term and need to be delivered quickly, it is recognised that any
        support model must be agile enough to address such requirements.

        While the cyberinfrastructure model originated within the scientific community, most of it is
        equally relevant in the arts and humanities. We will continue to develop and enhance our
        support for the specific concerns of the arts and humanities in relation to areas such as data
        curation and preservation, electronic publishing, digital repositories etc.


4.3 e-Business Environment
        The business transactions, administration and management are dependent on a suite of
        applications supporting the main functions of the University.        It is planned to enhance or
        replace all of these applications as well as introducing some new ones over the period of the
        strategic plan. It has been our policy to date to select systems for each function on a ‘best of
        breed’ basis rather than relying on a single supplier to provide an ERP-type solution. We plan
        to continue this approach since it has been found to be the most appropriate in universities
        generally.    In selecting the systems, however, it will be a top priority to ensure that they can
        communicate with one another and to be integrated to the degree necessary to provide users
        with seamless and streamlined services.

        The principal applications are as follows:

4.3.1 Student Administration System The present student administration system, ITS, has served us
      well for the past ten years. However, the environment has been changing with most student
      transactions in relation to registration, fees, exams, etc. taking place online. Also, we are likely
      to see more student mobility between universities in the near future. While the ITS system has
      been able to cope with these developments, this is nevertheless an appropriate time to go to the
      market to see if there are other systems available more suited to our needs (and to consider the
      features in the new version of ITS, which is now available). We plan to issue an RFP early next
      year with a view to having a new/enhanced system in place for 2010/11.

4.3.2       Student Portal The portal will provide the individual student with streamlined and
        personalised access to all the online services they need. It will provide a single entry point from
        which they will be able to view information from different systems on registration, courses,
        timetables, assignments, library account, email etc. The development of the portal will be
        dependent on having other components of the infrastructure in place such as an identity
        management system. At present the target date for implementation is September 2009.

4.3.3 Financial Management System A project, managed by the Finance Office with Computer
      Centre support, is currently underway to replace the existing CODA system with the financial


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      management system, Agresso. The new system will provide for online transactions, more
      comprehensive and timely management information, electronic workflow as well as electronic
      procurement. The system is due to go live in 2008/2009.


4.3.4 HR/Payroll Systems The Core Payroll system was implemented in 1992 and the Core HR
      modules were integrated into Payroll in 2003. The Core Time and Attendance, Access Control
      and Business Intelligence modules are also in operation for a number of years. The Access
      Control module is fully integrated with the student administration system (ITS). While the Core
      suite is installed in all the Irish universities, UCC is leading the field with regard to the number of
      modules used and the level of integration. Not alone is the Core suite of applications critical in
      terms of the services it provides to users directly, but many of our other systems and processes
      are also dependent on timely data from these applications, particularly from the HR system.
      However, there are legacy issues between the HR and Payroll functions as processes were not
      fully re-engineered at the time of integration. While Core provides UCC with full HR end-to-end
      services (from recruitment to contract administration through to payroll and staff card), much
      work still remains to be done to provide for the information needs of management and
      departmental users. The advancement of the e-business strategy also requires that self-service
      facilities be made available to all staff. There is a further technical imperative to upgrade the
      application to supported versions of the operating system and Oracle database. This upgrade
      will have added benefit for reporting and management by reflecting the new UCC restructured
      organisation and chart of accounts. The Computer Centre, with the Finance Office and HR
      Department, will plan this upgrade, first ensuring that the existing process and data deficits are
      clearly identified and addressed as part of the upgrade.


4.3.5 Research Information System         The existing application for research administration uses the
      InfoEd system. This manages the CV/expertise database for researchers across the University.
      A separate system, Inteum, is used by the Biosciences Institute for IP Management. The InfoEd
      system is under review at present since, in its current implementation, it is falling far short of the
      requirements of researchers and of management.             A full RIS would cover not just the CV
      database but also include proposal development and tracking, project management, project
      costing, compliance, clinical trials management and IP management/technology transfer.
      Following the review, a decision will be taken on which of the above areas are to be covered by
      the new system and whether to move to a new version of InfoEd with major enhancements over
      the current version or to replace it with a different system. The primary target at this stage is to
      have a new CV database in place for September 2009.

4.3.6 Integrated MIS - The Data Warehouse Much progress has been made in the development of
      the Data Warehouse to deliver student and financial management information through the MIS
      portal. However, this portal will be replaced shortly by the Microstrategy business intelligence
      (BI) tool in which we made a major investment earlier this year. Microstrategy will provide more
      flexibility and improved user management, the ability to set up business metrics and
      dashboards, and deliver improved drill down and data analysis capabilities. Between now and
      2009/2010, we will continue the development of the data warehouse to produce, via
      Microstrategy, integrated management reports covering student, HR, finance, research and
      Buildings & Estates data.

4.3.7 Electronic Workflow      Electronic workflow is a process whereby transactions can be initiated,
      processed and completed electronically without paper and directly by the end user without
      intermediaries. It provides one of the foundations of an e-business system The Agresso system
      will be the first in UCC to incorporate electronic workflow. It will be introduced initially for
      expenses where the staff member will submit their expenses claim electronically, have it
      forwarded via email to their superior for approval and then forward it, again via email, to
      Accounts from where an electronic payment will be issued to the claimant. Electronic workflow
      for procurement is also planned as part of the Agresso implementation. There are a number of
      other potential applications and we will be investigating and identifying these with a view to
      making the processes more efficient and reducing if not eliminating the paper associated with
      them.

4.3.8 Document Management A good document management system also facilitates the reduction of
      paper. It normally includes a scanning system where all paper documents are scanned and
      held centrally for easy retrieval by anyone who needs to access them. In addition, a document

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      management system provides for the integrated management of all documents - paper and
      electronic - with the latter including email messages as well as the standard wordprocessed
      and spreadsheet documents etc. A document management system is often used in conjunction
      with collaboration software such as Sharepoint which was mentioned above. Some document
      management applications have been implemented but we will be looking more closely at this
      area to identify further applications.


4.3.9 Smart Cards At present, every student and staff member in UCC is issued with a university card
      which, among other things, is used for access to some buildings/offices and for library services.
      The cards contain a barcode, magnetic stripe and an embedded computer chip.                  The
      embedded chip was introduced last year to allow the card to be used as a proximity card for
      entry to the new Postgraduate Library while the barcode and the magnetic stripe had to be
      maintained on the card for legacy applications. Other cards/keys are used for the Mardyke
      Arena, access control, parking, etc. with some of these systems having little or no integration
      with central administrative systems. To avoid a proliferation of different cards and card
      technologies we need to move towards an integrated smart card across the University so that all
      services requiring a card would use a standard staff , student or visitor card only.

      System integration is the key to efficient and effective process and information management.
      This is also true for service delivery, which from a client perspective (staff, student, visitor, etc.)
      should be seamless and transparent. While this integration progresses as regards the central
      administrative systems, it needs to be addressed as part of the wider move to smart card
      services and underpinned by university policy and funding. Integrated smart cards would allow
      for a wider range of services including cashless vending across the campus.

      Ideally, the introduction of the smart card would be accompanied by the establishment of a
      central card management office which would be responsible for the production and distribution
      of the ID cards as well as the management of the Smart Card systems and user support.

      Our move to the proximity card in UCC provides the starting point for the development of
      services based on Smart Card technology.       For the next step, the Computer Centre
      recommends that a Smart Card Steering Group be established which would comprise
      representatives from all stakeholders with a remit to review and co-ordinate the future
      development of Smart Card services in UCC. The Computer Centre will take an active lead in
      the proposed Steering Group as it promotes system integration and the development of IT
      services.


4.3.10 CC Website The UCC website is the most important direct channel through which UCC
      advertises its services.    The current website design went live in 2004 and a new content
      management system, SiteManager, was implemented in parallel.              Responsibility for the
      higher-level pages of the website fall between the Office of Media & Communications and the
      Computer Centre. Responsibility for the lower level pages rests with the individual departments
      or colleges. The development of the website is therefore impeded by a lack of clarity regarding
      its ‘ownership’.     We propose that a team be dedicated fulltime to the development and
      maintenance of the website. They would have ownership of the website, would be responsible
      for the content, design and technical aspects and would

             Write edit and update pages at the top levels
             Develop a consistent style for writing content
             Promote migration from stand-alone sites providing assistance where necessary
             Monitor all sites for breaches of the UCC style
             Work with internal and external designers to develop the visual appeal
             Provide advice and training for all users.
             Ensure consistency between English language version and the version in Irish and
              versions in other languages as they are developed.

      Such a team should be established with at least five members initially, most of whom would be
      drawn from existing staff and including two people skilled in writing for web use.  The team
      would be supported by a clear set of policies and guidelines defining ownership of the higher
      and lower level pages and providing design parameters.


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       If the development of a fully effective e-business environment is to be achieved, we must focus not
       just on the implementation of new systems but also on the more productive use throughout the
       campus of the existing tools such as email, electronic calendars (for planning meetings,
       videoconferencing, laptops (rather than paper) at meetings etc. At this stage meeting rooms such
       as the Council Room should be fitted with full conference facilities. The technology is available
       on most of our desktops today to transform the way we transact our business but it requires a
       culture change and leadership across the campus to see it through.


5. Infrastructure
       The Computer Centre is involved in the development of a wide range of services, applications and
       technologies to support students and staff, teaching, learning and research as well as the
       administrative functions across the whole University. One of the biggest difficulties we face is
       ensuring scalability and flexibility in our services to cope with the ever-increasing number of users,
       variety of demands and range of new technologies.

5.1.      The Network Upgrading of the network equipment has been an ongoing activity with switches
         being replaced year by year on a rolling basis as funds allow. At this stage we have reached
         the external bandwidth limit of 1Gb on the network. This is adequate for the immediate future
         but a significant investment will be required to take us to the next level of performance.
         Catering for video is likely to put a serious strain on our existing capacity within the next year or
         so and services mentioned already such as streaming video, visualisation applications and
         supercomputing applications generally are likely to require bandwidth of a different scale to that
         available on our network at present. Also, new technologies centred around IPV6, multicasting
         etc. as well as some security enhancements will require an investment in a number of locations
         at the desktop level as well as greatly enhanced functionality in the central switches.

         In addition, a major reorganisation of the network will be undertaken through the implementation
         of VLANs etc. to make it more manageable and to provide added capability for new services.
         This, coupled with the introduction of automated network access control and the provision of
         VPNs will provide enhanced security while allowing greater flexibility for the users.

         At present the wireless service is confined to basic internet access but as the security protocols
         for wireless improve, we will be providing additional services.

5.2      Servers and Storage The major focus in IT today is on security, resilience, 24x7 availability and
         on performance. This results in a huge increase in the demand for processing power and
         storage. At present we have approximately 80 servers in the Computer Centre. It is possible
         that we will have between 200 and 300 in three years time. This represents a big investment
         with substantial ongoing overheads.

         Similarly with storage although the increase will be even greater. However, we implemented a
         SAN (with a second SAN for resilience) two years ago and this provides an infrastructure on
         which to build.

5.3      Virtualisation Virtualisation is a concept from the mainframe era of the 1960s and 70s which is
         being reintroduced today with the ultimate aim of providing greater efficiency across an
         organisation’s processors by allowing multiple and varied applications and services to run
         simultaneously on the same physical server although each appears to have its own logical
         server. The drivers for virtualisation are the need to reduce the number of servers with the
         resulting reduction in power requirements and in the carbon footprint as well as easier
         configuration management.

         Virtualisation works at two levels. The first is server virtualisation and the Computer Centre has
         got recognition nationally for its pioneering work in this area. We currently run approximately 40
         virtual servers and this is proving very successful and effective. However, we have reached a
         point where it will become counterproductive if we extend the virtual environment much further
         without investing heavily in the physical infrastructure underpinning it and in the monitoring tools
         necessary to manage it.




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          Another application of virtualisation is cloud computing. With cloud computing, a user can log in
          to a number of different applications and services from their PC but it is irrelevant to them where
          these applications are hosted - they could be on a local server or on various servers in different
          external locations - to the user they are in the ‘cloud.’ Cloud computing could provide for
          much greater efficiency in the provision of mainstream applications although it is unlikely to
          make a significant impact within the timeframe of this plan. Nevertheless we will keep it within
          our sights as it indicates the long-term strategic direction.

5.4       Computer Room Our present computer room poses by far the greatest risk to our systems and
          services in UCC. There is not enough space there to accommodate all of our servers, some of
          which have to be left in insecure areas as a result. There have been serious power supply
          problems in the past and while many of these have been addressed, it is very unlikely that our
          needs over the next two years will be met without a very significant investment. The biggest
          problem, however, is the risk of flooding. The computer room is located under a flat roof which
          is vulnerable to leaks. The room is directly under a drain which collects the rainwater on the
          roof. The water is then carried via a pipe under the ceiling across the room. There have been
          serious leaks which have come very close to destroying the central networking equipment and
          servers. A new computer room/data centre is required urgently to minimise the physical safety
          and security risks and to cater for UCC’s medium and long-term needs. An initial analysis
          would indicate the following requirements for the data centre:
                                                        2
                   Area                         >200 m
                   Power Supply                 300 Kw + UPS
                   Air Conditioning             Water pipes to be installed
                   Floor                        Raised
                   Ceiling                      High enough to allow adequate              air
                                                circulation
                   Safety                       Fire detection and suppression

          There is also a requirement for a backup centre in one or more buildings in UCC. This would
                                          2
          need to be approximately 50 m . If the new data centre were to be built somewhere other than
          in the Kane Building, then the existing computer room could be used as the backup data centre.

5.5 Security A major security initiative will be undertaken consisting of four elements:

           A risk assessment covering all IT applications and infrastructure

           A security policy defining the controls necessary to safeguard the critical systems and
            infrastructure and ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the data. In addition to central
            systems, the policy will also focus on the mobile environment - laptops, memory sticks etc.

           A data ownership policy defining roles and responsibilities for all data held electronically.
            The policy should clarify responsibilities in relation to each file or database - e.g. who owns
            the data? Who authorises access? Who is responsible for data protection issues? Who is
            responsible for ensuring the data is backed up?

           A disaster plan and a business continuity plan for each application and system


5.6 Providing Capacity & Scalability To ensure that we have adequate capacity at all times to deliver
    the required services, we must have greater clarity regarding service parameters and then define
    the infrastructure based on the service requirements. Again, to maintain scalability, we must
    automate the management of the infrastructure as much as possible. Therefore three initiatives
    that must be undertaken are:

           Defining a catalogue of services with service level definitions.
           Formalising the design of the IT architecture.
           Automation of our back-end operations.

      These projects require significant resources to get them underway although they are mostly back-
      end projects from which the user will see little immediate or direct benefit. However, unless they
      are progressed, our services will degrade. If we can make substantial progress on these, then


                                                       13
    our services overall will be much more efficient and significant back-end resources should become
    available to provide additional services and support for the end-users.       The alternative is to
    provide increasing resources for our front-end services every year to maintain the existing service
    levels.


5.7 Identity Management/Authentication A ubiquitous and systematic authentication mechanism is an
    enabler for most, if not all, of our ambitions in this strategic plan - its absence will constitute a
    major logjam in delivering these.         Authentication has many faces and correlates including
    directories, portals, single sign-on. It is a prerequisite for effective authorisation and accounting.
    Identity management, which provides the framework for authentication, is dependent on up-to-the
    minute inputs from systems such as the student administration system and the HR system

    Some of our existing authorisation methods are based on network location. Not only does this
    have limited applicability, but also restricts our ability to deploy location independent services.
     While we will have an ongoing requirement to provide generic “defences” for our network, end to
    end application security and more widespread firewalling technology will have to take over many
    of the controls currently provided by the basic network. Ultimately, using the network for this
    function will only result in the underperformance of the network, restricted and rigid deployments
    and, at best, modest application protection.

    The model outlined here would be a major element in our IT architecture and moving the
    authentication function towards the individual applications and away from the network is an option
    that will require further consideration before a final decision is taken.


5.8 Email

       Mailbox quotas for staff email were increased recently from 50 Mb to 500 Mb. In addition, a
        much more user-friendly and feature rich web interface was provided for web access. We will
        continue to develop the staff email service in terms of mailbox size, interface, virus and spam
        management.      In addition, it is planned to provide a central storage service for each staff
        member and for groups where they can store files which can be accessed from anywhere and
        which will be backed up automatically on a regular basis. Also, we plan to provide tools such
        as Sharepoint which complement the email and central storage systems and provide
        extensive collaboration facilities for group work. More significantly, they allow individual users
        to manage their electronic documents, email messages and paper documents under one filing
        system as a single set.

       While a staff email account is for official work use and is ultimately the property of the
        University, a student’s account is for their personal use. The student email system, which has
                           rd
        to compete with 3 party services, has been enhanced considerably over the last few years
        and it is now the primary medium in the University for communicating with the students - this
        year the Registrar’s Office began sending all communications with the students via email. In
                                                                      rd
        developing the service further, the option of availing of 3 party hosting provided by Google
        and Microsoft will be considered. Such services are very attractive but there are concerns
        regarding privacy and long-term viability and it is too early to make a judgement on these.

       Another possible option is to have a combined email service for both students and staff or
        have both on the one platform - at present MS Exchange is used for staff email and
        Surgemail is used for the student service. There could be significant economies of scale in
        combining them and these options will be assessed during the coming year.


6 Support & Training Services
    Over the last few years, the Computer Centre has succeeded in moving its support model from
    being reactive to being very much proactive. This is evident from the virtual elimination of
    Helpdesk and other queues and from the satisfaction expressed by users. It has been achieved
    through a structured approach, through a detailed medium to long-term plan, through flexibility on
    the part of those providing the support and through a major user training programme targeted at
    both students and staff.


                                                   14
    Over the next four years, we will be focusing on automating our support processes where possible
    and providing users with a greater level of self-service facilities. Also, we will continue to offer
    users the option of letting us manage their desktops and other local facilities for them through
    automatic downloading of anti-virus upgrades, operating system patches etc.            Although this
    service puts a significant load on our resources initially, it is of mutual long-term benefit since it
    relieves the end-user of many ‘housekeeping’ tasks and provides them with greater reliability while
    it allows us to implement a more standardised service.

    Some departments/schools/colleges have their own local systems administration staff to provide
    some of their IT support and in most cases there is very good collaboration between these and the
    Computer Centre in providing for the overall need of the department or unit.           Increasingly,
    however, some of the services and responsibilities which had been maintained locally are being
    handed back to the Computer Centre while the additional resources which would have been
    provided to support these services are retained after the support for the service has been
    transferred.    It should be possible to establish better coordination of central and local support
    services through the individual colleges and the Computer Centre will work with the colleges to
    this end.

    For many years the Computer Centre has invested very heavily in user training and has delivered
    an extensive training programme to all staff and students throughout UCC. It has:

        -   been a major contributor to the HR staff development programmes.

        -   worked in tandem with development staff on major projects to provide user follow-up
            support.

        -   provided a comprehensive range of classroom courses as well as online self-paced
            courses.

        -   provided ECDL certification for students and staff.

        -   participated in the student orientation programmes and produced the annual IT Services
            Student Guide.

    A refocusing of our training courses is underway with a particular emphasis on the idea of self-
    service, transferable skills and best practise. To reflect this our new programme includes
    modularised courses for Office, Explorer, and Blackboard among others. The introduction of the
    new online ECDL training system has so far been a huge success and encourages resource
    efficiency and again a focus on self service. Our training programmes will be kept under review
    on an ongoing basis to ensure that we are making the best use of our training resources and that
    students and staff are using the programmes in the most effective manner possible.


7 Resources
7.1 Funding The development programme outlined in the projects above is a very comprehensive one
    but provides no more than the services expected in today’s better universities. It follows that to
    implement the programme requires a level of resources commensurate with that in such
    universities. However, in this UCC is well behind most others. Based on the most recent figures
    available across the sector, as mentioned earlier, our non-pay budget per student FTE is 80% of
    the average across the Irish Universities (62% of TCD and 76% of UCD) and 44% and 16%
    respectively of UK and US universities. Over the period of this plan we must bring the level of
    investment in IT in UCC into line with that in the universities we wish to emulate. Bringing it up to
    the average UK university does not sound like a very ambitious goal, but it would be a vast
    improvement on our present situation.

7.2 Staff   The staff headcount in the Computer Centre is 57 which is two less than NUIG, 32 less
    than UCD and 30 less than TCD. We have four vacant positions but cannot fill them because we
    do not have the space to accommodate them with the result that our accommodation is proving to
    be a direct constraint on the services we deliver.



                                                   15
7.3 Accommodation We are accommodating 51 of the staff members in a space designed for 35.
    Some of them occupy rooms with no windows, heating or air-conditioning. The Space Committee
    visited the Computer Centre early in 2006 to undertake a space audit. They were surprised at the
    overcrowding and agreed that additional space was needed but no action was taken.       There is
    also a critical shortage of space for equipment - see ‘Computer Room’ under ‘Infrastructure’
    above.


Appendix
The table below summarises the goals and objectives from the overall UCC strategic plan. Each
project outlined in the Computer Centre’s strategic plan contributes to one or more of these objectives.
The projects are listed on the next page and the links between the projects and objectives are shown
in blue.



    University Strategic Plan
    Strategic Goals 2009-2012
    with associated objectives

       Improve the             Improve the Staff              Increase Research                   Strengthen                   Strengthen the
         Student                 Experience                         Output                         External                    Resource Base
       Experience                                                                                Engagement

  Improve Undergraduate       Improve Staff Support          Enhance Research           Build Stronger Relationships      Provide Quality
   and Postgraduate             Processes (2.1)                 Activities & Support        with National Bodies and           Facilities & Enough
   Student Support                                              Structures (3.1)            Leaders (4.1)                      Space (5.1)
   Services (1.1)
                               Improve Governance             Increase External          Improve External                  Identify Innovative
  Grow the Student             Processes (2.2)
                                                                Research Funding (3.2)      Communications (4.2)               Means of Improving
                                                                                                                               Space Utilisation
   Population & Increase
                               Improve Management                                         Establish Advisory Bodies          (5.2)
   Diversity (1.2)
                                                               Develop 4th
                                                                            Level           Representative of
                                Structures (2.3)                Student Processes (3.3)     Stakeholders (4.3)                Reduce Energy
  Widen Participation and                                                                                                     Consumption (5.3)
   Enhance Equity of           Resource the Colleges with     Introduce and Develop      Increase Technology
   Access (1.3)                 Appropriate Support             Graduate Schools (3.4)      Transfer Activities (4.4)         Diversify Funding &
                                Functions (2.4)                                                                                Increase Income from
  Attract and Retain                                          Increase the PG            Increase Outreach Activities       Overseas Tuition
   Outstanding
   Undergraduate and
                               Ensure all Management           Population to 30%
                                                                                            to Benefit the Region (4.5)        Fees, External
                                                                                                                               Funding,
                                Information Systems are Fit     including 1,700
   Postgraduate Students
                                for Purpose (2.5)               Research PG Students       Develop Collaborative              Commercialisation, IP
   (1.4)                                                                                    Strategic Alliances (4.6)          and Fundraising (5.4)
                                                                (3.5)

  Enhance the Quality of      Actively Engage with the                                   Identify and Exploit              Identify and Pursue
   Teaching and Learning        QA/QI Process and
                                                               Achieve 220 PhD             Opportunities for Further          Innovative and New
                                                                graduates annually          Collaboration Locally,             Income Generating
   (1.5)                        Implement
                                                                (3.6)                       Nationally and Internationally     Opportunities (5.5)
                                Recommendations (2.6)
                                                                                            (4.7)
  Develop and Modernise                                                                                                      Identify and Pursue
   the Curriculum (1.6)        Improve Internal                                           Improve UCC’s International        Cost Saving
                                Communications (2.7)                                        Reputation (4.8)                   Opportunities (5.6)
  Increase Levels of
   Lifelong Learning
   Participation (1.7)

  Prioritise Quality (1.8)




                                                                               16
                                          Strategic
                Project                Goals/Objectives
                                                             Target Date
Blackboard                                   1.1, 1.5          2008
Video/Audio Streaming and Podcasting           1.5             2009
Web 2.0 Technologies                         1.5, 2.7         2009-12
Online Plagiarism Detection                  1.5, 1.8          2008
Online Assessment                              1.5             2012
Learning Repositories                          1.5             2009
Wireless & Laptop Support                    1.1, 2.1         2008-12
Research Information System                    3.1             2009
SAN Storage                                    3.1            2008-12
Supercomputing (e.g. ICHEC)                    3.1             2009
High Bandwidth                               1.1,2.1,3.1      2008-12
Server Hosting                                 3.1             2010
Finance Management System                   2.1, 2.5           2008
Student Administration System             1.1, 2.1, 2.5        2010
HR/Payroll System                              2.1             2009
Website                                1.4,2.5,2.7,4.2,4.8     2009
Integrated MIS (Data Warehouse)           1.4, 2.5, 5.6       2008-12
Electronic Workflow                            2.1            2008-12
Document Management                            2.1            2009-12
Electronic Card                             1.1, 2.1           2011
Student Email                               1.1, 2.5          2008-12
Staff Email                                 2.1, 2.5          2008-12
Risk Assessment                                2.5            2009-12
Security Policy                                2.6             2008
Data Ownership Policy                          2.2             2008
Business Continuity Plan                       2.6            2008-12
Identity Management                                            2010
Automated Network Access Control             1.1, 2.1          2009
IT Services Management (ITIL)                  2.6            2009-11




                                        17
University College Cork
  Library Strategic Plan
       2009 - 2012




            18
Contents

     Summary                                          20

1.   The Mission of University College Cork Library   21

2.   Key Assumptions                                  21

3.   Critical Success Factors                         22

4.   Strategic Goals                                  23




                                  19
Summary
This document presents the plan which will guide the operation and development of the UCC Library
over the next five years.

The Library Strategic Plan will be subject to change in response to the welcome emerging plans of the
four Colleges; the priorities and aspirations of the academic plans will be reflected in the next revision
of this plan.

A number of key assumptions are made which take account of the University Strategic Plan for the
same period as well as the wider information and academic environments. The findings of the latest
Quality Review of the Library have also been considered in refining this plan.

The Library's central function of serving the information needs of the University and providing access
to recorded knowledge for the benefit of its teaching and research functions is affirmed in the Library
mission statement. The specific strategic goals identified to deliver this mission are presented under
seven headings.


The Library's strategic objectives for the next five years are as follows.

1   To strengthen the library collections
2   To enhance availability and accessibility of the collections and other information resources
3   To provide the optimal physical and technical infrastructure
4   To develop flexible services to meet the changing needs
5   To develop partnership and collaboration
6   To ensure that adequate resources are available to fulfill this plan
7   To ensure support from high quality staff



The priority goal is to strengthen the library collections. The fulfillment of this aim will receive
particular attention during the lifetime of the plan.




                                                    20
1      The Mission of University College Cork Library
1.1    The mission of UCC Library is to deliver excellent information services to meet the needs of
       the University and regional scholarly community; to support the University’s mission to
       contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest
       international levels of excellence; and to contribute to the preservation of the cultural heritage
       of the region.

1.2    It will achieve this through:
             the acquisition, organisation and dissemination of library materials
             support for the exploitation by users of the rich and diverse collections
             the development of a highly motivated, knowledgeable and skilled staff
             the preservation and housing of the collection for future generations
             the cost-effective management of resources.


2      Key Assumptions
2.1    Student numbers will continue to increase incrementally at all levels: there will be a doubling in
       2003 PhD graduates by 2013. The profile of the student population will continue to include a
       significant international component.

2.2    Demand for increased access to library premises will continue towards 24/7 availability.
       Demand for increased access to library services will also continue.

2.3    Library services will have to be provided in a more complex and challenging environment. The
       Library will continue to offer a ‘hybrid library’ service, combining paper and electronic
       resources as appropriate in each subject area. The growth of electronic resources will not be
       matched by an equivalent decline in the publication or use of traditional paper-based library
       resources, except possibly in some of the sciences.

2.4    The Library will have to meet the challenge of providing an integrated infrastructure for
       research, by expanding the digital library and at the same time safeguarding the print
       collections that still underpin research in many subjects. Planning will be needed for a
       potential move to electronic-only provision of journals in some disciplines.

2.5    The increasing reliance on electronic resources will lead to a shift of resources from
       college/departmental budgets to general funds managed by the Library. This will have to be
       managed in a transparent manner.

2.6    Developments in ICT will allow more sophisticated services to be offered, and the growth in
       computer literacy and widespread use of computers by all groups of user will lead to
       expectations for more library services to be delivered directly to the desktop.

2.7    The University will require the Library to provide support for the acquisition and development
       of information skills by staff and students.

2.8    The University will maintain its mainstream educational role and not embark upon a major
       distance education programme.

2.9    There will be no significant reduction in the output of traditional paper-based publishing except
       for journals in science, technology and medicine; the Library will therefore continue to need
       additional offsite storage space.

2.10   The Library will pursue development and external funding opportunities relating to:
           the establishment of an institutional repository of UCC research output
           the acquisition and development of special collections
           improvement in electronic access to information
           inter-institutional collaboration

                                                   21
               digitisation

2.11    Inflation in the costs of materials, especially scientific journals, will continue to exceed any
        growth in the Library’s income.

2.12    During the period covered by this plan, it is envisaged that the University will continue to
        remain a contributing partner to the Cork City and County Archives.

2.13    The Library will remain a legal deposit library, playing its part in the maintenance of the
        national published archive; as well as print, this role will encompass electronic publications as
        permitted by legislation and insofar as they fall within the Library’s collection development
        policy.


3       Critical Success Factors
3.1     To be able to fulfill its mission and meet the demands of its users, the Library must be
        adequately resourced, through a combination of a stable and predictable income from the
        University, increased income from fundraising and increased efficiency wherever possible.

3.2     Major risks to success:
3.2.1   Reduction in funding level by the University. It is recognized that the full cost of the Library is
        apportioned across the four academic Colleges according to a designated cost allocation
        mechanism.
                 Impact: inability to provide core services, including adequate provision of books,
                 journals and electronic resources.

3.2.2   Reduction of HEA funding for IReL. It is noted that the current funding programme for IReL is
        sanctioned to 2009.
                Impact: inability to support essential research information needs.

3.2.3   Failure to raise substantial funding from external sources
                 Impact: inability to acquire collections, develop new services and enhance access to
                 resources.

3.3     Major contributors to success:
3.3.1   Provision of major external funding.
                Impact: ability to acquire more collections.
                Impact: ability to provide improved services or better provision of resources at no
                additional cost to the University or a continuation of the present level of service at
                reduced cost to the University.




                                                   22
4        Strategic Goals
4.1      To strengthen the library collections [1,2,3,4,5]

4.1.1    Acquire significantly more library material to support research and postgraduate activity in
         particular.

4.1.2    Revise, and keep under review, the Collection Development Policy, to ensure an appropriate
         balance of acquisitions across subjects and languages, in paper and electronic format, to meet
         the expressed needs of users and within the available budget.

4.1.3    Work with other Irish research libraries and local libraries and repositories to improve the co-
         ordination of intake, and to plan and implement schemes to share the task of collecting and
         preserving relevant material in both printed and electronic form.

4.2      To enhance availability and accessibility of the collections and other information
         resources [1,5,2,3]

4.2.1   Improve access to the collections via the online catalogue and ensure that the catalogue is supported by
         additional web-based search and access tools.

4.2.2 Review the physical availability of collections to ensure optimal open access to in-demand material.

4.2.3 Ensure minimum delay in sourcing and delivering library materials requested by users.

4.2.4   Provide a reader service at the offsite Library Store.

4.2.5 Prepare and implement a preservation policy for all parts of the collections.


4.3      To provide the optimal physical and technical infrastructure [1,5]

4.3.1    Ensure that appropriate adequate storage capacity for future expansion of collections is
         provided.

4.3.2    Review the Library physical development master plan.

4.3.3    Work with the Health Services Executive to redevelop the Cork University Hospital Library.

4.3.4    Achieve an adequate cleaning and maintenance programme for all library premises.

4.3.5    Ensure that readers and Library staff are provided with appropriate hardware and software,
         including bandwidth, to access and manipulate the resources they need.

4.3.6    Review the Integrated Library Management system (currently Innopac Millennium)
         requirements.


4.4      To develop flexible services to meet the changing needs [1,2,5]

4.4.1    Review service provision model and change as appropriate.

4.4.2    Improve services by monitoring and assessing changes on a continuing basis.

4.4.3    Ensure opening hours commensurate with the changing needs of the community.

4.4.4          Improve the Library’s understanding of the needs of the user community.


 Corresponds with the current strategic priorities: 1=Enhance Teaching, Learning and the Student Experience; 2=Increase
Research Output; 3=Strengthen External Engagement; 4= Strengthen the Resource Base; 5=Improve the Staff Experience



                                                         23
4.4.5   Ensure that readers are provided with an appropriate level of guidance on the use of the
        Library and its resources.


4.5     To develop partnership and collaboration [2,3,5]

4.5.1   Ensure that formal structures are developed for liaison with Colleges on library matters.

4.5.2   Exploit the potential for enhanced cooperation within the University.

4.5.3   Work with other libraries regionally and nationally as appropriate.

4.5.4   Work with the relevant HSE and voluntary authorities to deliver effective support for health-
        care education and training, research, and practice, and to integrate this support with the
        relevant national strategy

4.5.5   Maintain the Library’s outreach to the general public through an exhibitions programme,
        lectures, publications, etc.

4.5.6   Work with other libraries on an international basis as appropriate.


4.6     To ensure that adequate resources are available to fulfill this plan [4]

4.6.1   Ensure that the Library’s case for maximising its income from University sources is made to and
        understood by appropriate bodies within the University.

4.6.2   Obtain an agreed formula for recurrent library funding.

4.6.3   Obtain sufficient funds to support enhanced materials acquisition.

4.6.4   Define and cost core service provision.

4.6.5   Explore income generation opportunities and act accordingly.

4.6.6   Explore the potential for R and D funding opportunities and act accordingly.

4.6.7   Ensure financial accountability and transparency.

4.6.8   Continue to explore fundraising opportunities and act accordingly.


4.7      To ensure support from high quality staff [1,2,5]

4.7.1    Provide the library staff with appropriate expertise/skills base.
         4.7.1.1 Create a staff development policy and programme.
         4.7.1.2 Provide cross divisional opportunity for all library staff.
         4.7.1.3 Operate quality performance mechanisms.

4.7.2    In the light of new service demands and expected staff changes, ensure that staff are
         equipped with appropriate skills and work within an efficient management structure.

4.7.3   Ensure that staff work in a safe and comfortable environment and improve awareness of health and
        safety issues among staff.

Rev: 27 August 2008




                                                       24
University College Cork
     Strategic Plan for
Audio Visual Media Services
       2009 – 2012




            25
Contents

1.   Summary                       27

2.   Mission Statement             27

3.   Key Assumptions               27

4.   Key Areas                     28

5.   AVMS Strategic Goals          28

6.   Implementation Targets        31




                              26
Summary
This plan identifies the unique role of Audio Visual Media Services (AVMS) in UCC and will guide the
operation and development of the unit over the next five years. It has been developed in the context of
the UCC strategic planning process and relates to the Strategic Goals and Objectives for the
University over the same period.

The specific function of the plan is to identify, develop and deliver key audiovisual services to the
College community.

AVMS’s objectives for the next five years are:

          To deliver the required audio visual systems, services and practices at the highest possible
           standard.
          To deliver the required media production, post production and support services at the highest
           possible standard.
          To achieve a comprehensive balance in these services and communicate their extent to the
           College community.
          To develop partnerships and encourage collaboration.
          To ensure adequate resources are available to deliver these services.
          To support AVMS staff in the development and expansion of their skills and knowledge.


1. Mission Statement
The mission of Audio Visual Media Services (AVMS) is to be the premier provider of audio visual
media systems, services and practices that support and enhance the University’s mission of
contributing to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest levels of
excellence.

We will achieve this by:
       Establishing a more comprehensive and balanced service to meet the needs of the
          University.
       Focussing on staff development to improve knowledge, skills and performance.
       Introducing systems and practices that deliver the required services in a cost-effective
          manner.


2. Key Assumptions
    1)    Student numbers continue to increase.
    2)    The number of centrally bookable and AV facilitated rooms is continuing to increase.
    3)    There will continue to be a need for a Life Cycle Policy on AV equipment renewal.
    4)    New initiatives in Teaching and Learning will require a greater amount of dependable AV
          facilities.
    5)    All teaching areas will require a certain level of AV facilities.
    6)    New and emerging AV technologies will need to be integrated into existing rooms and
          facilities. (Voting, smart boards, streaming, podcasting, etc)
    7)    The quality and extent of AV facilities in teaching areas will become significant factors in
          contributing to enhanced student experience as well as influencing the standing of UCC
          among universities worldwide.
    8)    AVMS will be required to contribute significantly to enhancing UCC’s image (locally, nationally
          and internationally) through photography, media productions, publications, rich media events,
          awards ceremonies, online media distribution and broadcasting, etc.
    9)    Achieving value for money and energy conservation will continue to be high priorities in
          delivering all services and initiatives.
    10)   The use of Digital Signage for campus-wide information will increase e.g. Library Information,
          Student Information, Brookfield Information, IT Building Information. Timetables, etc


                                                    27
  11) AV and IT technologies will continue to converge


3. Key Areas
       1.    Media Production
                      i. Video and Audio
                     ii. Photography
                    iii. Graphic Design
                    iv. Digital Signage

       2.    AV Systems
                      i. Design and Specification
                     ii. Installation
                    iii. Maintenance and Repair
                    iv. Upgrading and Renewal

       3.    Systems and Practices
                     i. Support (maintenance and faults)
                    ii. Training (received and given)
                   iii. Innovation
                   iv. Audit and AV Asset Inventory
                    v. AVMS Information and Image
                   vi. Work Environment


4. AVMS Strategic Goals               (UCC 1-5 refer to UCC Strategic Goals)

  1.        To deliver the required audio visual systems, services and practices at the highest possible
            standard.
  2.        To deliver the required media production, post production and support services at the
            highest possible standard.
  3.        To achieve a comprehensive balance in these services and communicate their extent to the
            College community.
  4.        To develop partnerships and encourage collaboration.
  5.        To ensure adequate resources are available to deliver these services.
  6.        To support AVMS staff in the development and expansion of their skills and knowledge.




  4.1 To deliver the required audio visual systems, services and practices…. (UCC 1,2,3,4,5)

        4.1.1    Achieve the objective of having a recognised minimum level of AV facilities in all
                 centrally bookable rooms.
        4.1.2    Continue the campus-wide introduction of a network based management system for
                 AV projectors and systems.
        4.1.3    Develop an agreed Life Cycle Policy for AV systems and equipment.
        4.1.4    Develop a campus-wide strategy for videoconferencing including MCU Bridge, Virtual
                 Meeting Rooms and digital recording of conferences.
        4.1.5    Identify with Human Resources and the Procurement Office options for out-of-hours
                 AV support for teaching, conferences and events.
        4.1.6    Develop a campus-wide strategy for Digital Signage Systems.
        4.1.7    In collaboration with Computer Centre establish a streaming service for live events
        4.1.8    Establish an on-line faults reporting and customer management system.


  4.2 To deliver the required media production and support services… (UCC 1,2,3,4,5)

        4.2.1    Continue to expand and enhance the high quality, value for money, photographic
                 services AVMS provides for the University.


                                                    28
      4.2.2   Identify an out-of-hours photography service.
      4.2.3   Continue the revitalisation of existing video/audio studio and post production facilities.
      4.2.4   Provide instruction for staff on single camera video and audio recording techniques.
      4.2.5   Provide post production support for departments gathering their own material or
              preparing material for I-Tunes U, You Tube, Blackboard, etc
      4.2.6   Provide high quality productions for Media and Communications, UCC archives,
              research units, etc. as well as promotional material for UCC generally.
      4.2.7   Encourage the University community to use AVMS in-house graphic design,
              illustration, large and medium format, value for money, printing services.


4.3    To achieve a comprehensive balance in these services …(UCC 1,3,4,5)

      4.3.1   AVMS will actively monitor the extent and range of its services.
      4.3.2   Conduct a campus-wide audit of AV facilities and create a comprehensive database of
              AV assets.
      4.3.3   Create a new website listing all services available together with comprehensive
              information on AV facilities in Centrally Bookable Rooms, FAQ’s, contact details and
              an online faults reporting facility.


4.4    To develop partnerships and encourage collaboration. (UCC 1,3,4,5)

      4.4.1   AVMS will work closely with Teaching, Learning and Student Experience Groups.
      4.4.2   Provide training for Security Services Operatives (SSO’s) in checking AV facilities in
              Centrally Bookable Rooms.
      4.4.3   Contribute to induction courses for new staff with sessions on using UCC’s AV
              facilities.
      4.4.4   Continue to develop good working relationships with the Library, Computer Centre,
              Buildings and Estates and other central services.
      4.4.5   Continue to provide and expand training for staff and students in conference poster
              design and layout.
      4.4.6   Will foster relations with comparable service providers in other universities.



4.5    To ensure adequate resources are available to deliver these services. (UCC 1,3,4,5)

      4.5.1   Seek the full implementation of the SIPTU/UCC agreement (March 2009) on AVMS
              staffing levels and management structure following the Alison (1998) and the Browne
              (Nov 2008) Reports.
      4.5.2   Press for the immediate creation of a post of Deputy Head of AVMS and plan for the
              replacement of the existing head of AVMS upon retirement.
      4.5.3   Press for adequate funding for a Life Cycle programme on equipment and facilities
              replacement.
      4.5.4   Continue to seek funds from Room Bookings income for equipment maintenance,
              updates and replacements.
      4.5.5   Use the opportunity to generate income from projects and services for UCC
              departments and research centres while providing good value for money.
      4.5.6   Continue to explore income generation opportunities created by conferences, events
              and ceremonies as well as local organisations, businesses and public bodies.
      4.5.7   Generate earnings from media production, photography, graphics design, digital
              signage etc. while also providing good value for money.

4.6    AVMS staff development (UCC 5)

      4.6.1   Encourage and enable AVMS staff to attend HR staff development programmes.
      4.6.2   Encourage membership of professional bodies.
      4.6.3   Facilitate and fund staff to attend relevant AV conferences and exhibitions
      4.6.4   Facilitate and fund staff to attend relevant commercially available courses for the
              audio visual media profession.
      4.6.5   Encourage and facilitate staff to attend relevant third level courses (UCC, CIT. etc)


                                                 29
    4.6.6        Hold regular all-inclusive staff meetings to keep AVMS staff informed and maintain
                 momentum.
    4.6.7        AVMS staff to participate fully in the UCC Performance Development and Review
                 System (PDRS).




     University Strategic Plan
     Strategic Goals 2009-2012
     with associated objectives
                  1                         2                              3                               4                            5
      Improve Teaching,                                           Strengthen                                                 Improve the Staff
                                 Increase Research                                                Strengthen the
        Learning and                                               External                       Resource Base                Experience
                                       Output                    Engagement
     Student Experience


     Improve Undergraduate       Enhance Research           Build Stronger Relationships      Provide Quality          Improve Staff Support
      and Postgraduate             Activities & Support        with National Bodies and           Facilities & Enough       Processes (5.1)
      Student Support              Structures (2.1)            Leaders (3.1)                      Space (4.1)
      Services (1.1)
                                  Increase External          Improve External                  Identify Innovative      Improve Governance
     Grow the Student             Research Funding (2.2)      Communications (3.2)               Means of Improving        Processes (5.2)
      Population & Increase                                                                       Space Utilisation
      Diversity (1.2)
                                  Develop 4th
                                               Level
                                                              Establish Advisory Bodies          (4.2)                    Improve Management
                                                               Representative of                                            Structures (5.3)
     Widen Participation and
                                   Student Processes (2.3)     Stakeholders (3.3)                Reduce Energy
                                                                                                  Consumption (4.3)
      Enhance Equity of
                                  Introduce and Develop      Increase Technology                                         Resource the Colleges with
      Access (1.3)
                                   Graduate Schools (2.4)      Transfer Activities (3.4)         Diversify Funding &       Appropriate Support
                                                                                                  Increase Income from      Functions (5.4)
     Attract and Retain          Increase the PG            Increase Outreach Activities       Overseas Tuition
      Outstanding
      Undergraduate and
                                   Population to 30%           to Benefit the Region (3.5)        Fees, External
                                                                                                  Funding,
                                                                                                                           Ensure all Management
                                   including 1,700                                                                          Information Systems are Fit
1     Postgraduate Students
                                   Research PG Students       Develop Collaborative              Commercialisation, IP     for Purpose (5.5)
      (1.4)                                                    Strategic Alliances (3.6)          and Fundraising (4.4)
                                   (2.5)

     Enhance the Quality of      Achieve 220 PhD            Identify and Exploit              Identify and Pursue      Actively Engage with the
      Teaching and Learning                                    Opportunities for Further          Innovative and New        QA/QI Process and
                                   graduates annually          Collaboration Locally,             Income Generating
      (1.5)                                                                                                                 Implement
                                   (2.6)                       Nationally and Internationally     Opportunities (4.5)       Recommendations (5.6)
     Develop and Modernise                                    (3.7)
                                                                                                 Identify and Pursue
      the Curriculum (1.6)
                                                              Improve UCC’s International        Cost Saving              Improve Internal
                                                               Reputation (3.8)                   Opportunities (4.6)       Communications (5.7)
     Increase Levels of
      Lifelong Learning
      Participation (1.7)

     Prioritise Quality (1.8)




                                                                   30
5. Implementation Targets

                  AVMS Project/Initiative                       UCC Strategic Goals           Target

Have a recognised minimum level of AV facilities in common
                                                                       1.5, 4.1,              Q2-2010
teaching areas.
Campus-wide management system for AV projectors and
                                                                        1.5, 4.1              Q4-2012
systems
Life Cycle Policy for AV systems renewal                                1.5, 4.1              Q2-2010
                                                              1.5, 2.1, 3.2, 3.5, 3.7, 3.8
Campus-wide strategy for videoconferencing                                                    Q2-2010
                                                                          4.1
Out-of hours AV support for teaching, conferences and
                                                                     1.5, 3.2, 4.1            Q4-2010
events
Campus-wide strategy for Digital Signage                             1.1, 4.1, 5.7            Q2-2010
                                                              1.1, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 3.2, 3.7,
Streaming and Podcasting Services (with Computer Centre)                                      Q4-2009
                                                                      3.8, 4.1, 5.7
Identify out-of-hours photography service                            3.2, 3.8, 5.7            Q4-2009
On-line Faults Reporting and Customer Management
                                                                   1.5, 4.1, 5.3, 5.7         Q3-2010
System
Revitalisation and upgrading of existing studio and post      1.1, 1.5, 1.6, 3.2, 3.5, 3.7,
                                                                                              Q1-2011
production facilities                                                 3.8, 4.1, 5.7
Post production services for those preparing material for
                                                                1.1, 1.5, 1.6, 3.8, 4.1       Q1-2011
Blackboard, You Tube, I-Tunes U, etc
Training for UCC staff on single camera video and audio
                                                                1.1, 1.5, 1.6, 3.2, 3.8       Q4-2010
recording techniques
Production services for high quality promotion and            1.5, 2.1, 3.2, 3.5, 3.8, 4.1,
                                                                                              Q1-2011
information materials for UCC                                         4.5, 4.6, 5.7
Campus-wide audit of AV facilities                              1.5, 3.8, 4.1, 4.5, 5.7       Q3-2010
                                                              1.5, 3.8, 4.1, 5.1, 5.3, 5.5,
New comprehensive AVMS website                                                                Q4-2009
                                                                           5.7
Training for SSO’s in AV media facilities.                      1.5, 4.1, 4.3, 5.1, 5.7       Q1-2010

AVMS to contribute to HR induction courses for new staff      1.5, 3.8, 4.3, 5.1, 5.4, 5.7    Q3-2010
New staffing levels and revised management structure as per
                                                                1.5, 4.1, 5.1, 5.3, 5.4,      Q4-2009
SIPTU/UCC agreement (Mar 2009)
                                                              1.5, 3.2, 3.8, 4.1, 4.5, 4.6,
New post of Deputy Head of AVMS                                                               Q2-2010
                                                                        5.3, 5.7
Income generation (AVMS items 4.5.4 to 4.5.7)                        4.1, 4.5, 4.6,           ongoing

Staff development initiatives and the funding of (AVMS 4.6)     5.1, 5.3, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7       ongoing




                                                  31

				
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