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Turning the Vision Into Reality

Wednesday, January 1, 1992

Abstract

The VISION was the easy part...what was the role that information technology (IT) could play in supporting the University's mission? Certainly, IT could enhance the academic program, the research effort and the administrative effectiveness of the University. The vision is an exciting depiction which no one can argue with--and no one can implement. Plans, however, are implementable. How did we get from the Vision to the Plan? Who was involved? Who wasn't? How long did it take initially? Why did we do it?What do you do with the plan once it is constructed? (Besides touring the country giving talks about it?) How do you take the plan and make it THE PLAN?Implementing the plan...everything up to this point is strictly theoretical. You can plan to eliminate 7 operating systems, all your mainframes, network the remainder of the campus, establish a campus-wide standards-based environment, run administrative applications on unix workstations, and reduce the percentage of institution funds spent on IT. But, how do you do it? And what do you do if it goes wrong?At Lehigh University we have gone through each step guided by the experiences of others and making up the rest. We developed our first integrated computing and communication services plan two years ago and are well into implementation. This presentation is not meant to be a tutorial on planning, but will generally describe the process and outcomes at Lehigh and then focus on specific impacts that implementing the plan has had on staff, budgets, productivity, management, and the computing and communications environment. Much of the time will be spent on administrative computing and networking issues.

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