Information Technology Master Plan

Higher Education is a distinct enterprise continually reaching out to find leading-edge implementations of information technology to transform the administrative, teaching, research, and service missions of the institution. At Minnesota State University Moorhead, information and instructional technologies are considered essential components to fulfill the mission of the university. It is considered instrumental for improving information exchange, enhancing teaching and learning, and increasing productivity. We recognize that technology is conceptually changing how we conduct business and how we communicate.

Planning for technology is difficult given the changing and evolving landscape of the organization. In addition, we face growing financial challenges as we continue to grow and evolve into an integrated state-wide higher education system. However, our university needs to determine strategic goals that shape our tactical plans as we explore, evaluate, select, and implement technology solutions. This Technology Master Plan was developed to align with the strategic goals and initiatives of the university.

Information Technology Strategic Plan [PDF]

Planning Assumptions

There are several planning assumptions used by the University Technology Committee and Information Technology leadership team as the Information Technology Master Plan was being developed. A few of those assumptions are as follows:

  1. Information technology is critical to the realization of institutional goals and must be aligned with the mission, core values, strategic vision, and strategic goals of the University.
  2. The University is dedicated to supporting an information technology infrastructure that is robust, reliable, and transparent to the end user.
  3. University faculty members are responsible for setting the technology expectations of students in their courses. The departments are responsible for integrating technology into their academic programs as appropriate and assessing these efforts.
  4. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MinnState) System Office (SO) provides and supports the core administrative software applications used by the institution (e.g., Integrated Student Records System (ISRS), D2L Brightspace (D2L), Office 365, Degree Audit Reporting (DARS)). Significant campus support is provided for select administrative applications (e.g., Dragon Card, Image Now, Blackboard Analytics).
  5. The University embraces training and development to assist students, faculty, and staff with the use and application of information technology.


Priority 1 – Engaging Student Learning Environments:
Develop, support, and foster technology enriched student-learning environments, which inspire and teach learners to acquire, apply, and extend knowledge; to think critically; and to solve challenges imaginatively.

Priority 2 – Reliability:
Services can be counted on for consistent consumption. Services perform at a consistently high level.

Priority 3 – Information Technology is Professional:
The University Information Technology Division conducts services and support in a business-like manner that meets the expectations of faculty, staff, and students. Those services are designed to meet the desired service level of the customer. Students will have the opportunity to engage in real- world Information Technology Business challenges that will help them prepare for their careers.

Priority 4 – Sustainability:
Cost conscious, Resource Allocation/awareness. The services that we engage in will be implemented in a manner that allows the University to benefit from that service for the longest period.

Priority 5 – Emerging Technologies/Development:
We will commit a certain percentage of our resources to development and research into the space of new technologies, so that we continue to remain in line with industry trends and activity. We will promote the research and application of innovative emerging technologies through campus partnerships and community outreach. Pilot projects will have a defined starting and ending point, with the ending point consisting of a decision to halt the project, or to proceed with full enterprise implementation, including training/development, as well as service and support.

Goals & Outcomes

Priority 1 – Engaging Student Learning Environments Goals:

  1. Research new and emerging educational technologies (hardware and software).
    1. Formulate best practices for student learning environments and create a uniform learning experience for students.
  2. Develop and implement digital literacy competencies training.
  3. Enhance support for the creation and use of accessible course materials.
  4. Provide appropriate equipment to faculty and staff.
  5. Provide standardized training for faculty in course delivery.
  6. Support technology-enhanced department-initiated course redesign.
  7. Enhance the technological support of students to create new forms of communication and feedback in and out of the classroom.

Cornerstone 2 – Reliability Goals:

  1. Enhance Wi-Fi/Network connectivity and track performance and reliability.
  2. Implement and maintain a diversified communication strategy to positively impact and address issues related to all facets of the institution.
  3. Develop a plan to ensure equitable access to campus network resources.
  4. Maintain Information Technology customer support services and continue improvements and enhancements based on feedback and internal review.

Cornerstone 3 – Information Technology is Professional Goals:

  1. Ensure professional development resources are available to meet specific university goals and objectives.
    1. Ensure resources are inclusive, equitable, engaging, efficient, and effective.
    2. Ensure technology is supportive and accessible.
  2. Use University resources on campus to offer workshops, webinars, and materials to support Information Technology student and staff workers development of customer service skills.
    1. Focusing on service that is inclusive and globally aware.
    2. Designed to enhance the desired service level to the customer.
  3. Promote training & information on cybersecurity to university community.

Cornerstone 4 – Sustainability Goals:

  1. Seek and maintain partnerships for the benefit of meeting campus technology needs.
  2. Educate and inform the university community of campus core tools*.
  3. Maintain an equitable balance of support between universal core tools vs. specialized resources and technologies.
  4. Continually assess the value of campus systems, services, and resources.
  5. Ensure transparency in resource prioritization decision making.

*Core tools currently include D2L Brightspace, Zoom, Kaltura MediaSpace and Microsoft 365.

Cornerstone 5 – Emerging Technologies/Development Goals:

  1. Shared responsibility to provide equitable student access to Wi-Fi and personal devices.
  2. Support the use of Open Educational Resources in collaboration with other stakeholders.
  3. Provide ongoing training and support to students, faculty, & staff on all core tools*, including a way to measure progress.
  4. Unify resources and efforts toward emerging technologies including, but not limited to, Makerspace(s), Virtual and augmented reality, video & multimedia production, electronic publishing, robotics, and 3D printing.
  5. Support research, planning and implementation of digital humanities with relevant departments and/or community outreach.
  6. Enhance digital accessibility for available information & academic technologies to achieve maximum compliance with federal regulations and university policies. This includes the use of an accessibility checklist.
  7. Provide faculty and staff with options for purchase requests by designing and communicating a clear process for how new technologies are sustainably purchased, funded, and supported.

*Core tools currently include D2L Brightspace, Zoom, Kaltura MediaSpace and Microsoft 365.