CIS 2022 MISO Survey Results

My thanks to everyone who took part in the MISO survey of SPU's library and technology services. I greatly appreciate the time you invested in helping CIS improve and serve campus better. The survey was open late January 2022 through February 2022 and responses were received from 882 students, faculty, and staff.  The survey results were delivered in March and more in May and I have been reviewing the data for common themes, what is working well, and what is not working well. 

I personally reviewed the survey results and all of your written comments.  There was lots of praise for the things we are doing well, critiques highlighting areas for improvement, and other valuable input.  In the continuing spirit of transparency, CIS has published the full results in the dashboards linked below. The Library has published their key findings as well (2021 MISO Library Key Findings).  In addition, the following core themes were identified by reviewing your written comments: 

Written Feedback Themes

View the Interactive Dashboard

 Combined Survey Feedback  • Detailed Survey Feedback Written Feedback Themes

Top Areas for Improvement

When reviewing your comments and the general survey results together, the following are the top four areas were identified as areas of focus for improvement.  For each, the gap between expectations and reality and what CIS is doing to close those gaps are described.  

Customer Service / Response Times

Many of you have noted the long response times and customer service challenges when working with CIS. Nothing is more embarrassing for us as an institution than when our technology fails our students and nothing is more embarrassing for me as the leader than dropping the ball.

Why is this happening?

This has been an ongoing challenge since a long-serving Technology Support Services (TSS) Director left the University in 2017.  Since that time the TSS team has gone through three 100% turnovers and the cumulative years of SPU/CIS experience dropped from 75 years down to 6 years at the time of the survey.  It has since risen to 13 years with Karen Park rejoining CIS.  The CIS and particularly the Technology Support Services Team has not been fully staffed in more than six years. 

The high rate of turnover has had a significant impact on the collective knowledge of the team and the experience necessary to support campus well.

What are we doing?

CIS is always hiring! Refer a friend of family member to us!  We've also reduced a position in CIS to increase salaries to attract talent, recognizing that CIS salaries remain significantly below the market compensation.  We've also created new student technician training and onboarding programs to help get our front line up to speed faster.  Karen Park is now heading the CIS help desk and leveraging her prior experience in CIS and ETM to refocus the team.  The team is revamping the ticketing system workflows, team procedures, and ticket triage processes to improve response times. Finally, we're working to improve hiring from our primary talent pipeline, the CIS student worker pool.

Reminder! CIS offers a $1,000 referral bonus to any SPU employee if we hire a referral and they retain for at least 6 months.

Classroom Modernization / Hybrid

Many of SPU's classrooms had out of date tech and few rooms have the ability to handle hybrid teaching modalities.  

Why is this happening?

The Student Technology Fee that funds classroom technologies has been insufficient to even keep up with basic maintenance.  Funding for larger-scale updates to University classrooms is not designated and has historically come from year end fund balances and project budgets.  These funds have been diverted to cover operating deficits for the last 4+ years. There is also a lack of clarity around priorities and direction that would inform University-wide classroom design and strategy. 

What are we doing?

This past summer CIS invested heavily in classrooms, updating nearly all SPU classrooms to a common set of technologies, and updating rooms from analog to high-definition digital. Now that classrooms are "up to date" CIS is partnering with ETM to set the strategy for the future of technology in SPU classrooms.  CIS has significantly raised the Student Technology Fee over the last several years to generate revenues necessary to address the classroom technology maintenance deficit. Finally, CIS is also advocating for a person or group to be delegated oversight of classroom design and strategy. 

If you'd like to be part of the Faculty advisory committee for the future of classrooms, please contact John Robertson.

Fall Start Classroom Issues 

Nearly half of SPU's classrooms had technology issues at the start of Fall 2021, which is entirely unacceptable.  

Why did this happen?

During fall of 2021 we had new TSS leadership from outside higher education over the team supporting classrooms, and we had lost four of five CIS analysts who would normally do classroom checks prior to class start.  The critical nature of classroom checks prior to fall term was not understood and therefore not prioritized.  Additionally, the audio visual (AV) vendor CIS used to update rooms over the summer did not communicate that they ran into supply chain issues and had left several rooms in a half-finished state.

What are we doing?

CIS switched AV vendors to one that is far more responsive.  Classroom checks were also prioritized prior to this fall start to validate classrooms were in a working state.  Only two rooms were identified that could not be repaired prior to start of classes due to supply chain issues, but the registrars offices was notified far enough in advance to shift things around.  The only remaining issues came down to training in how to use classroom technologies, which is something we'll be working on for next year.

More / Better Communication

The survey clearly highlighted that large portions of the campus community do not feel involved or informed about campus technologies, strategies, training opportunities or regulatory issues.

Why is this happening?

With the staffing shortages and high turnover going on for several years, more focus has been placed on doing the work and less on communicating.  In addition, the way people consume information has been changing and the communications CIS is sending out to the community are generally not seen.  

What are we doing?

CIS is exploring different ways of communicating and engaging to determine if there are more effective ways to transfer knowledge and understanding to the campus community.  Advisory groups are also being formed, starting with classroom strategy in partnership with Educational Technology and Media (ETM).  CIS formed a student advisory group to look at a single issue around the "digital student experience" back in February.  We are now strategizing on the best way to engage with SPU students to get feedback on their evolving needs in a sustainable way. If you have suggestions on how to improve CIS's communications, please reach out to me directly.