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Hargrave Underscores Need To Be Responsive To Academic Needs in New Role as Technology Chief

Posted onMedia Contact
2004-01-27William Nunnelley, phone (205) 726-2800, e-mail wanunnel@samford.edu

Dr. Alan D. Hargrave has been named Associate Provost and Chief Information Officer at Samford University. The position entails broadened responsibilities for developing a new technology plan for the University.

Hargrave, Associate Provost for Learning Resources since 1996, assumed his new position Jan. 1. He will continue to have responsibility for academic computing as in the past and will add responsibilities for administrative computing.

His goal is to develop a plan that responds to academic needs, that is open "as close to 24 x 7 as possible," and that could offer such benefits as digital video in classes.

The appointment follows several months of evaluation of the University's academic and administrative computing activities by Samford officials seeking the best way to meet future technology demands.

"Our technology plans need to focus on the academic mission of the University," said Hargrave. "One goal is to improve our communication with students and faculty about their expectations of technology. This involves listening to their needs and being proactive about acquiring technology to meet both present and future needs."

Two high priorities are enhancing technology renewal and addressing the increasing expectations of technology, Hargrave said.

"We have done a good job of technology renewal for desktop computers by placing them on a three-year replacement cycle," he noted. "However, many other pieces of our technology infrastructure need similar plans. Three years may not be the correct cycle for all items.

"The Internet has brought a transformation in expectations for access to information and services," Hargrave added. "The Internet is always on and services such as Amazon.com are always available. Our constituencies expect no less of the services we as a university deliver. Our network needs to be robust and our services, from admissions to final transcripts (and everything in between), need to be available as close to 24 x 7 as possible."

Hargrave sees the new technology helping Samford directly and indirectly.

"A direct benefit would be a campus network creating more opportunity for integration of technologies such as digital video into classes," he said. "An indirect benefit would be the way Samford is perceived for making such strides. Now more than ever, a university's technology environment is a deciding factor in selecting where to attend school."

Hargrave was head of academic computing at Baylor University when he came to Samford to fill a new position. Headquartered in Davis Library, he was responsible for guiding students and faculty to make integrated use of computers and books in personal study and classroom learning. At the time, the position was new not only to Samford but for academic circles within Alabama.

At Baylor, Hargrave served as Assistant/Associate Director for Academic Computing of the Center for Computing and Information Systems (1982-96). He holds M. S. and B.S. degrees from Trinity (Tex.) University and a Ph.D. in physics from Baylor.

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