By Jim Hynes
That McGill ranked highest of all large Canadian universities in the Campus Technology category in the Canadian University Report published Oct. 23 in the Globe and Mail is welcome news, but it’s not a exactly a surprise to the students and staff who use the University’s information technology services.
Thanks in large part to the accessibility (A) and quality of its computer equipment (B+), its on-campus internet/e-mail network (A) and wireless network (A), McGill earned the only A handed out for the overall quality of campus technology in large universities (those with enrolment of more than 22,000).
“It is encouraging to see McGill at the top of the campus technology rankings issued by the Canadian University Report,” said Sylvia Franke, McGill’s Chief Information Officer and the head of Information Technology Services on campus. “It reflects over a decade of attention to the strategic importance of IT in supporting the University mission.”
McGill was among the first universities to adopt wireless network connectivity and universal email, on-campus computer labs, and web services to track everything from admissions applications to course registration and graduation status.
“And our use of the web to deliver course content and lecture recordings is unparalleled,” said Franke. “We are continuing to improve with our use of clickers in the classroom to support student-professor interaction and a web-based environment called myFuture that allows students to hook up with potential employers.”
Franke and her team are by no means done with their mission. They aim to build upon the student IT experience at McGill. Students will soon be able sign up for athletic activities and track their student aid information on the web. And a better web environment for academic advising and program information is also on the way.
For more information and some key facts and figures on the IT services that McGill provides, visit www.mcgill.ca/cio/student.