CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Information Technology in a University: An Institutional Case Study of Instructional and Research Computing in a client/Server

Date of Award

1997

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

John A. Scigliano

Committee Member

Gerorge K. Fornshell

Committee Member

Michael Moody

Abstract

This study examined the problem of financing of information technology in higher education institutions. Some of the pressures faced by those institutions as they attempt to control expenditures while continuing to support information technology were also examined. Particular emphasis was placed on the aspects of information technologies as they relate to pace of acquisition, the use of client/server computing, the Internet and the World Wide Web. The current study replicated a case study conducted by Samuel Levy at the University of Arizona in 1988, and extended it as described above, to explore various aspects of recent technological advances at Fairfield University. Levy (1988) used two surveys to assess computer use of the faculty and administrators. Those surveys were modified to reflect the environment in the case organization, and to capture data on the aspects Gmt extended the original study. The study used multiple sources of data as recommended by the literature, to improve the reliability of the study. The multiple sources included interviews, and internal documents that were relevant to the research agenda. The results of the survey showed that respondents expect their use of the Internet and the World Wide Web to increase in the next few years. The current method of equipment procurement was found unsatisfactory by a majority of the respondents. With the use of client/server computing increasing at all institutions, and the rapid growth in the use of the Internet and the World Wide Web, the results of this study should be of value to many other institutions. The recommendations of the study include shortening the information technology planning cycle to reflect the rapid advances in technology. Each planning cycle should be followed by a survey to evaluate the user acceptance of the initiatives in the planning cycle. The study also recommended formal capacity planning procedures for client/server environments to ensure the efficiency and integrity of the operation.

Future researchers might be able to use the new groupings of data that were developed in this study. New variables could lead to new analyses and fresh insight into the problem of rapid acquisition of information technology.

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