Forbes Magazine last week rated Temple University the fourth most connected campus in America out of 357 campuses evaluated. Temple fulfilled 17 of the 19 criteria for placement.
“We’ve always known we had a high ranking,” said Computer Services President Tim O’Rourke, “[and] now we’re finally getting recognition for it. I’ve visited many other universities and we’re as good as anyone in the nation.”
Temple Computer Services has shown tremendous growth over the past few years. In 1997 Temple had only six smart classrooms; currently they have 217. In 1999 there were only 11 courses on Blackboard, while today there are 5,700 courses available. In comparison to the last academic year, Temple’s e-mail system has increased 300 percent. Also, Computer Services is constantly expanding its wireless zones.
Only one area on The Princeton Review checklist eluded Temple University. However, according to O’Rourke, this was no mistake. Temple does not force every student to own a computer. “It’s a financial decision,” O’Rourke said. “We’re not going to make students spend thousands of dollars on a new computer. Our strategy is to do everything we can to ensure students have access.”
Even though students are not required to own a computer a survey showed that over 86 percent do, according to Computer Services Associate Vice President Sheri Stahler
“We ranked so high because technology plays an important role at Temple University. Our president keeps technology in the forefront, instructors push for technology, and we have a good Computer Services staff,” said O’Rourke.
O’Rourke shared credit for this accomplishment with the entire Temple population.
“While I and my staff in Computer Services are thrilled with this ranking, congratulations must go out to everyone at Temple: faculty, students and staff. They are the ones who use technology everyday and the ones who demand the latest tools to do their work.”
Even though Temple has already ranked fourth in the nation, Computer Services has no plans to slow down. They plan to accomplish a great deal with their $20 million budget. O’Rourke said he wants to give every student space on the central server to store files. This will eliminate the need to bring a disk to the computer labs or classroom.
Computer Services has also received a $1 million grant to develop a new portal. This larger portal will replace the current TU Portal and give students more options.
Temple is also currently in the pilot stage of initiating a campus-wide class capture program. This program records teachers during class so students can re-play lectures from their home computers. Temple is the first big school to start using this technology.
On top of expanding Temple’s technology, Computer Services aids an enormous number of students. Last year the number of phone calls received by the help desk reached more than 70,000.
Associate Vice President of Computer Services Sheri Stahler offered some tips to students to help keep their machines running. She encourages them to update the Windows patches released from Microsoft, download ad-aware onto their machines (which can be done for free) and purchase Symantec Anti-Virus Software. She said running this programs as often as possible will really help your machine.
Computer Services is located in the basement of Wachman Hall. For further information log onto their Web site at www.temple.edu/cs.
Megan Davies may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.