Home > Services > Anticipated Future Support Trends by Department
Anticipated Future Support Trends by Department
The Art Department projects significant growth in the areas of electronic art and public art especially. New faculty hires in these areas have come on board this year, placing additional demands on facilities and staff. Digital printmaking and photography are nearly oversubscribed already. IT staffing levels in the Art Department are acknowledged by all to be already inadequate. In addition, planning should begin in 2006 for the digital interface facility in Digital Arts building, and that facility will need new, permanent staffing—at least an incremental FTE—when it comes on line in 2007.
Digital Arts and New Media
The Digital Arts and New Media program will continue rapidly to grow. The program will reach its full size, a cohort of 36 MFA students, in the fall of 2005. The opening of the Digital Arts facility in 2007 will significantly increase the demand for equipment and staffing. A Computer Resource Specialist II position is defined in the DANM budget and is about to be recruited; it is hoped, but not certain, that staffing at this level will be adequate. Current equipment replacement funding levels for the program may become problematic in three to four years.
Film and Digital Media
Although staffing and facilities for Film and Digital Media are currently sufficient, the department anticipates new graduate programs by 2007, including 10 MFA and 13 Ph.D. students. This will put additional demands on staffing, facilities and equipment. Further, Film and Digital Media as a discipline always requires the most up-to-date and powerful IT equipment, and equipment replacement cycles need to be short. Here again, equipment replacement is likely to be an issue in two to three years.
History of Art and Visual Culture
The HAVC Department is supported entirely by divisional IT staff. Currently, this is a reasonable approach, as the technical demands of the department are at a manageable level. The advent of planned new facilities at a refurbished McHenry Library, and/or the addition of a digital image archive, as discussed in the department’s build-out plan, however, could create a need for either dedicated departmental staffing or an incremental increase in divisional staffing.
The effectiveness and dedication of the Electronic Music Studios director means that many activities, spaces and faculty in the Music Department are supported by a single person, with support from divisional IT staff. However, the new Doctor of Musical Arts program—with its emphasis in algorithmic, computer-assisted composition—is now enrolling its first cohort of students. In addition, the Digital Arts building will incorporate a lab focusing on algorithmic composition, an IT-intensive activity. These developments will create the need for increased IT staffing in Music.
New faculty hires in Theater are driving a significant increase in technical activity, especially in the areas of set and lighting design and distance/interactive networked theater. A 0.25 FTE position, the current staffing level, is not appropriate for a department at this level of technical activity.
Current Division staffing is tight, but adequate. The Systems and Support Manager, a long-time staff member, is remarkable in his ability to support an entire division with only his own labor and that of a half-time student. Far from generic workstation support, he provides both standard support services and discipline-specific support services across all of the Arts disciplines. The student assistant position is soft-funded, but is essential.
We hope that the small administrative systems function will soon be in place in ITS. The divisional administrative systems position is currently vacant, and it does not seem prudent to recruit for such a position, given the redundancy of many of the local systems across campus.
Equipment replacement funds, provided to all faculty and staff by the Division, remain constant as faculty numbers increase, which means fewer equipment dollars per faculty member and staff member. For some faculty (and staff) the trend toward more powerful and less expensive equipment mitigates the decreasing funding; for others it does not.
The programmatic need for ever more network connectivity means that more of the divisional IT budget goes toward networking, leaving less money for equipment replacement, software—both general productivity and specialized instructional, casual staffing needs, and development activities. A new network funding model is sorely needed to mitigate this trend.
Every area of the Arts Division already relies heavily on discipline-specific IT support. Currently, IT facilities and services are reasonably robust and well integrated into instructional and research programs. Support has grown organically over the last dozen or so years, but with careful attention to the need to use resources wisely.
At the same time, every area in Arts anticipates growth over the next few years in the need for IT services. These needs are driven by continued programmatic growth, and by trends that continue to incorporate a wide variety of information technologies into arts endeavors.