A Vision of Information Technology at Illinois Wesleyan
We create a culture of life-long learning by working as a partner with our community
to provide the best information resources possible. We prioritize our work based on
these core standards: security, community, integrity, learning, and efficiency.
The use of information technology at Illinois Wesleyan University should support the
university’s educational mission and community values. Information technology should
support and enhance, not replace, face to face teaching and learning. It should be
used not only to provide ready access to information and to extend the space of intellectual
inquiry within and beyond the classroom, but also to foster those qualities and practices
central to a liberal arts education, such as creativity, curiosity, critical thinking,
academic inquiry, open and civil communication, and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Information technology must not be allowed to isolate individuals, but should be used
to promote a sense of belonging to the Illinois Wesleyan community, its many smaller
communities, and the world beyond the campus. As an institution of teaching and learning,
Illinois Wesleyan must not merely use technology but enhance awareness of how it can
be used responsibly and ethically.
Principles For Information Technology Decision Making
Be aware always, early followers usually. The Illinois Wesleyan community should maintain awareness of current developments
in information technology and higher education. In general, the university should
maintain an “early follower” stance towards adoption of technology, although there
may be times when taking risks on an advanced technology or eschewing the latest trend
might be appropriate.
Involve the community. Information technology decisions should respect Illinois Wesleyan’s tradition of
shared governance. Wherever possible, input should be sought from all constituencies
affected by a technological change.
Pursue best practices. Illinois Wesleyan should neither avoid technology nor adopt it for its own sake,
but should strive to determine the best practices in all endeavors — from teaching
and learning to governance to administrative and support services — and use information
technology where doing so accomplishes the university’s mission most effectively or
efficiently. Wherever possible, information technology should be used to streamline
Recognize values issues. Because technological decisions often have implications for issues such as plagiarism,
copyright infringement, and harassment, values issues should be addressed from the
very beginning of the decision making process.
Safeguard privacy and security. Security and privacy considerations must not be overridden by the goal of providing
ready access to information.
Ensure access. Technology decisions should consider issues of access for those of diverse abilities
and cultural and economic backgrounds.
Buy and tweak, don’t build. Administrative and course software should be purchased off the shelf and customized
to whatever degree necessary, rather than being developed on site. Administrative
practices may need to be altered to suit the available software.
Anticipate resource needs. As much as possible, all the costs of technology, including renewal, support, and
training, should be anticipated in planning both technological and programmatic changes.
Consider cost effectiveness. Decisions about information technology should consider cost effectiveness.
Upgrade and maintain. Information technology is a vital part of the university’s infrastructure and must
be maintained and upgraded.
Excerpt from the "Report on the Starved Rock Retreat on Information Technology at
Illinois Wesleyan University" -- a TLTR sponsored retreat of selected faculty and
administrators, June 11 & 12, 2001.
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