Faculty Senate addresses ‘out of date’ technology


G-Jun Yam

Byron Nash, chief information officer and associate vice president of Technology Services, visited the Faculty Senate on Nov. 13 to discuss the college’s technology systems.


Byron Nash, chief information officer and associate vice president of Technology Services who has been with the college for five months, discussed with the Faculty Senate Nov. 13 his plan to modernize and efficiently bring the college’s information technology systems into the 21st century, adding that the school is 7–15 years behind, mostly because the network is outdated.  

“IT should not be something separate from the campus and the college,” Nash said. “It should be a key part of the college’s strategic plan.”

Nash added that the college lacks standards, policies and procedures in the IT department, saying he is concerned about the college’s aging infrastructure, especially with its lack of a coordinating security program, an identity management system and the use of servers that are more than five years old. 

Nash said he also worries how dependent the college is on its years-old wired network when anyone could go to Starbucks and use the wireless, adding the college’s wireless is about two generations behind.

“I think it is critical for [the college] to understand why things take a long time here—we have limited staff,” Nash said. “That is probably the condition

for everybody [at the college].”

A new network will be installed after the college recently completed negotiations for a new fiber ring that will double network capacity from 10 GB to 20 GB.

The new network will run from Congress Parkway down to Roosevelt Road around Wabash Avenue and up Michigan Avenue with a new connection to the Internet at 35 W. Cermak Rd., allowing bi-directional traffic to different servers, Nash said. 

The college recently replaced its firewalls to present a more logical view of the two networks and analyze the traffic coming in and out of the college’s network. He said the department can now track the most frequently used applications on campus with Facebook being No. 1 followed by Pandora Internet Radio. He added the IT department may need to realign the use of those applications more with what students are studying.  

Curtis Lawrence, an associate professor in the Journalism Department, reminded Nash to consult with departments before tampering with the stream of social media applications because the Journalism program teaches social media classes and encourages the use of it while on campus.  

K-J Mathieson, an associate professor in the Cinema Art + Science Department who teaches computer animation, advised Nash to make sure IT workers who run those specific labs communicate with the IT leadership team so things can run more smoothly. 

Nash said instead of creating a formal group, he is trying to establish a monthly meeting with certain IT workers to coordinate everything efficiently around campus. 

“I am incredibly proud of all the accomplishments of Faculty Senate lately,” said Greg Foster-Rice, associate professor in the Photography Department and president of the Faculty Senate. “Everyone is really throwing themselves into a positive change for the college.”