Over the past twelve months we have witnessed homes becoming virtual offices and spaces of instruction and learning, new collaboration technologies being adopted at an unprecedented pace, and new challenges and expectations arise. This time has also revealed higher education’s increasing dependency upon technology and the inextricable link between technology and the success of both our learning and administrative functions. All evidence points to an even further reliance on technological solutions and to the clear need for strategic partnership with IITS as conversations and plans are made that will plot CSUSM’s future course.
As we look to the future, much can be learned from our abrupt transition from a primarily physical campus to a virtual one. This rapid shift quickly revealed that some of our existing tools—built to primarily serve a physical campus—had inherent limitations, while those technologies that could serve a virtual or hybrid campus were underutilized. The transition was challenging yet successful and, in many ways, established new norms that none could have expected in March 2020. At a minimum, this unprecedented moment is an opportunity to chart a strategic direction where technology no longer binds the campus community to physical classrooms and offices but, rather, enables a mixed in-person and remote work environment with flexible movement of people and information between physical and virtual spaces. As higher education looks to purposefully adapt to the rapid and ongoing changes, IITS has aligned our plans to the goals of creating a flexible, adaptable, innovative campus that strives for digital equity.