The City University of New York’s deployment of cutting-edge information technology ranks fourth in the nation among university systems in PCWeek’s annual Government and Education Fast-Track 100 survey.
PCWeek, a leading industry publication, in partnership with ZD Market Intelligence, examined specific innovative technologies used by 260,000 government and nongovernment locations in North America “to find the best and brightest sites” in their search. The institutions were scored on technologies that included electronic commerce, intranet, data warehouse and high-speed networking technologies that result in cost-savings and provide better services.
In the Fast-Track combined list of government and education systems, released on March 15, CUNY ranked ahead of all government systems, except the Environmental Protection Agency and the Utah state government. Among university systems in the top ten, CUNY ranks higher than Texas A&M University, University of Wisconsin, State University of New York, Indiana University, University System of Georgia and California State University.
CUNY’s wide-area network that connects 20 colleges to a central hub with a single T/3 speed Internet gateway has had a dramatic impact on the delivery of student information management systems and a University-wide library system. Millions of dollars of savings have resulted from the University’s ability to exploit this network infrastructure by deploying local services which are run from centrally maintained server platforms.
With a recent upgrade, CUNY now can offer classroom instruction at multiple locations across the University and can import guest lecturers in seminars and scholarly conferences from remote locations. Undergraduate courses in German and graduate courses i n engineering, chemistry, psychology and biology are now being offered through the network. The video network is also used to facilitate University-wide meetings and professional development events.
CUNY is engaged in a multi-year, multi-million dollar capital effort that will include increasing the speed of the wide area connections by using Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technologies and upgrading individual campus backbones to gigabit speed. These network improvements will greatly enhance the performance of the University’s already established video network, increasing the quality of synchronous instruction and the distribution of media sources (both analog and digital) that are already provided.
Other issues addressed in the PCWeek rankings are Y2K compliance of major systems and web-based deployment of services. CUNY completed its Y2K compliance effort at the major systems level two years ago and is further developing its web-based services.