(12-23-98) -- Faculty and staff will be able to direct computer-related questions to technology experts familiar with their needs, effective at the start of the spring semester.
Under a Project Delta initiative, a team of 20 newly assigned technology consultants will begin on-campus training on Jan. 7. Each will be assigned to a particular area of the University and will start work when second semester classes begin on Jan. 19. They will replace the Information Technology Help Desk as the front-line computer resource for faculty and staff. The Help Desk will continue to be available to students.
The technology consultants will be the initial members of the new Local Service Center teams. The Project Delta plan calls for the staged implementation of LSCs that will eventually serve all offices, departments and schools. Each technology consultant will assist faculty, administrators and staff in his or her area with computer needs and problems, and will have direct contact with the IT staff for assistance on areas of major concern.
LSC Director Brenda Ricard said that all of the new technology consultants will begin their jobs with an extended training program that will prepare them to help faculty and staff take full advantage of e-mail, voice mail, the Internet and Agora, the University's Web-based services. The consultants also will be trained in computing security, computer set-up, network activation and troubleshooting, Ricard said.
Once they start work, the technology consultants will familiarize themselves with the computing environments in their assigned areas, and move to address some specific problems, like unreadable mail attachments.
"We know," said Ricard, "that software incompatibilities and inconsistent versions of Web browsers are creating problems all over campus, and while we can't fix everything right away, some of these file transfer issues can be resolved with consistent versions of Word and Netscape clients."
As the project moves forward, Ricard said, the emphasis will be on training users and managing University-wide technology transitions, such as new systems in the University Libraries and Human Resources.
Julie Olivieri, a former member of IT's Technology Planning and Integration staff, will be the technology consultant team leader as the project gets underway.
Of the 20 new tech consultants, 18 are current or former Boston College employees. "We are especially proud that 10 current support staff members have been promoted into these professional positions," Ricard said.
Candidates were selected not only for their technical expertise, but also for their communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and interest in working in a service environment, according to Ricard.
Ricard and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean Patricia DeLeeuw are working on the development of role descriptions and an implementation plan for fiscal managers who will be the next additions to the developing LSC teams.
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