Penn State Intercom......January
18 , 2001
Reorganization of CAC
looks to the future
By Heather Herzog
Computer and Information
Center for Academic Computing (CAC), a unit that provides computer-related
services such as access accounts, student labs and research tools for
the University community, has recently been reorganized into two new centers
that have been designed to better accommodate the University's expanding
use of technology.
The change marks
the beginning of the first phase in the overall restructuring of the Office
of Computer and Information Systems (C&IS), a University-wide division
that includes the CAC; the Office of Telecommunications; Library Computing
Services; the Office of Administrative Systems; and Computer, Network
and Information Security.
In the more than
15 years since the Center for Academic Computing was first formed, the
University's information technology needs have expanded dramatically.
To meet these needs, the CAC's services have increased from mostly addressing
research computing needs to providing a broad range of technology services
to students, faculty and staff throughout the University.
The center now
processes more than 2 million e-mail messages per day and answers around
100,000 questions per year. Support for specialized instruction and research
tools for a wide-range of scholarly interests also has increased significantly.
J. Gary Augustson, vice provost for information technology, while the
CAC has been successful in bringing about changes to accommodate these
needs, it has grown in size and scope to the point where the diverse demands
placed upon it can be better met by dividing it into two centers, each
with a more focused mission. To accomplish this, he announced a reorganization
of the center effective Jan. 2.
Under the reorganization,
Russell S. Vaught, formerly senior director of the CAC, has assumed the
new position of associate vice provost for information technology. In
this position, he will assist Augustson in the day-to-day operations of
the Office of Computer and Information Systems and will continue to oversee
the two units that formerly comprised the Center for Academic Computing.
These two new
centers remain in the Computer Building. John T. Harwood has been appointed
senior director of the first new unit. Named the Center for Education
Technology Services (CETS), this organization will focus on the support
of educational systems and will encompass Education Technology Services
(ETS) -- a group formerly directed by Harwood -- which supports teaching
and learning with technology in both residential education and at the
World Campus. CETS will also include the Distributed Systems group, which
designs and manages the computer labs and technology classrooms at University
Park; the Training Group, which coordinates Web-based training and technology
seminars; and Educational Outreach Services, which serves as a liaison
with faculty, student and campus groups.
Kevin M. Morooney
has been appointed senior director of the second unit. This unit will
retain the original name, Center for Academic Computing, and will be more
narrowly focused on end-user service of a general nature. The revised
CAC's divisions include Central Systems (e-mail, Web, directory and backup
services); Research Computing (high-performance computing and high performance
visualization); User Services and Consulting (help desk and consulting
services); Account Services (management of accounts for CAC services);
and the Microcomputer Order Center (MOC).
Rodney Erickson, executive vice president and provost, the creation of
the two new centers will help the Office of Computer and Information Systems
improve service to customers as well as enabling the organization to more
easily accommodate the University's evolving use of technology.