University College Cork
Strategic Plans for
2009 – 2012
1. Strategic Plan for IT 3
2. Strategic Plan for the Library 18
3. Strategic Plan for Audio Visual Services 25
University College Cork
Strategic Plan for
2009 – 2012
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
Area >200 m
Power Supply 300 Kw + UPS
Air Conditioning Water pipes to be installed
Ceiling High enough to allow adequate air
Safety Fire detection and suppression
There is also a requirement for a backup centre in one or more buildings in UCC. This would
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
- provided a comprehensive range of classroom courses as well as online self-paced
- provided ECDL certification for students and staff.
- participated in the student orientation programmes and produced the annual IT Services
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.
7.1 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.
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’
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
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
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)
Improve Governance Increase External Improve External Identify Innovative
Grow the Student Processes (2.2)
Research Funding (3.2) Communications (4.2) Means of Improving
Population & Increase
Improve Management Establish Advisory Bodies (5.2)
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
Ensure all Management Population to 30%
to Benefit the Region (4.5) Fees, External
Information Systems are Fit including 1,700
for Purpose (2.5) Research PG Students Develop Collaborative Commercialisation, IP
(1.4) Strategic Alliances (4.6) and Fundraising (5.4)
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
(3.6) Nationally and Internationally Opportunities (5.5)
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
Prioritise Quality (1.8)
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
University College Cork
Library Strategic Plan
2009 - 2012
1. The Mission of University College Cork Library 21
2. Key Assumptions 21
3. Critical Success Factors 22
4. Strategic Goals 23
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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)
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
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 
4.6.1 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.
126.96.36.199 Create a staff development policy and programme.
188.8.131.52 Provide cross divisional opportunity for all library staff.
184.108.40.206 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
University College Cork
Strategic Plan for
Audio Visual Media Services
2009 – 2012
1. Summary 27
2. Mission Statement 27
3. Key Assumptions 27
4. Key Areas 28
5. AVMS Strategic Goals 28
6. Implementation Targets 31
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
AVMS’s objectives for the next five years are:
To deliver the required audio visual systems, services and practices at the highest possible
To deliver the required media production, post production and support services at the highest
To achieve a comprehensive balance in these services and communicate their extent to the
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
We will achieve this by:
Establishing a more comprehensive and balanced service to meet the needs of the
Focussing on staff development to improve knowledge, skills and performance.
Introducing systems and practices that deliver the required services in a cost-effective
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
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
11) AV and IT technologies will continue to converge
3. Key Areas
1. Media Production
i. Video and Audio
iii. Graphic Design
iv. Digital Signage
2. AV Systems
i. Design and Specification
iii. Maintenance and Repair
iv. Upgrading and Renewal
3. Systems and Practices
i. Support (maintenance and faults)
ii. Training (received and given)
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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)
4.6.6 Hold regular all-inclusive staff meetings to keep AVMS staff informed and maintain
4.6.7 AVMS staff to participate fully in the UCC Performance Development and Review
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
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)
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
Establish Advisory Bodies (4.2) Improve Management
Representative of Structures (5.3)
Widen Participation and
Student Processes (2.3) Stakeholders (3.3) Reduce Energy
Enhance Equity of
Introduce and Develop Increase Technology Resource the Colleges with
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
Population to 30% to Benefit the Region (3.5) Fees, External
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)
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
(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
Prioritise Quality (1.8)
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
Campus-wide management system for AV projectors and
1.5, 4.1 Q4-2012
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
Out-of hours AV support for teaching, conferences and
1.5, 3.2, 4.1 Q4-2010
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
Revitalisation and upgrading of existing studio and post 1.1, 1.5, 1.6, 3.2, 3.5, 3.7,
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
Production services for high quality promotion and 1.5, 2.1, 3.2, 3.5, 3.8, 4.1,
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
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
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