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Repurposing Campus Technology for the Virtual Campus

IITS // Spotlights // Spring 2020 Technology Spotlights // Repurposing Campus Technology for the Virtual Campus

Nothing demonstrates CSUSM’s true spirit and community partnership in 2020 better than the unit’s response to the shift to virtual instruction and other associated spring work environment challenges.  For IITS, what started out as a one- or two-day equipment checkout event back on March 16th became weekly distribution days spanning the entirety of the semester. That first week was a challenging yet inspiring time as over 30 IITS employees from all IITS groups directly participated in supporting the effort to provide equipment to the entire campus community on very short notice. (see also CSUSM NewsCenter story - IITS Rises to Challenge Amid COVID-19 Crisis)  In the first three days alone, IITS provided over 300 laptops (120 to students) and several hundred other pieces of loaner equipment (webcams, headsets, monitors, keyboards, etc.). Since the beginning of this COVID-19 event no technology request by a member of the campus community has been turned down. 

Due to the nature of the event, IITS deployed a unique strategy.  Instead of simply buying our way out of the problem—which would have been costly—IITS primarily utilized existing resources wherever they could be found on campus.  This strategy included collecting all instructional laptops, reimaging them, and redistributing them for immediate reuse.  By the end of the semester, IITS’ effort had included deconstructing our once-pristine student labs to increase availability of equipment for distribution.  As the academic year was ending, IITS was exchanging laptops loaned to staff for All-in-One computers previously used in our labs. These returned laptops are in turn refreshed and provided to students (and some faculty) for the summer and fall terms. 

While the first days of this event saw the greatest distribution of equipment, the demand continued throughout the duration of the term.  In support of this effort, throughout the semester IITS managers went to campus week after week to staff the Help Desk and provide desperately needed help and equipment to students, staff, and faculty who needed these items to teach, serve, and learn, ensuring that the campus community had access to all necessary technology.


The Spring semester’s scope of effort:

  • Total Faculty/Staff/Students Assisted – 576 (373 Fac/Staff and 203 Students)
  • Total Laptops Loaned Out – 480 (287 Fac/Staff and 193 Students)
  • Total Items Loaned Out – 1203
  • Total Distribution Days - 12 days over 7 weeks
  • IITS Team after a long day of handing out equipment (pre-mask warning days) 1
  • IITS staff handing out equipment (pre-mask warning days) 2
  • IITS staff handing out equipment (pre-mask warning days) 3
  • laptops ready for equipment checkout 1
  • laptops ready for equipment checkout 2
  • IT staff cleaning equipment before handing out to customers (pre-mask warning days)
  • Diane Petersen, Associate Dean, assisting with equipment checkout (pre-mask warning days)
  • Kevin Morningstar setting up a laptop for a student

Photos are from early March. Individuals in photos have varying levels of personal protective gear and contact appropriate to the time the photo was taken and may not be consistent with current guidelines and procedures.