GW eliminates CIRC, breaks up services

GW will eliminate the Computer Information and Resource Center by next semester and divide its services into separate offices as part of the “evolution” of computer systems at the University, interim Chief Information Officer Alan Tuttle said.

Tuttle said CIRC, which manages computer systems for faculty members and students, is being pulled in too many directions under the current system. Changes will allow each part of the University to receive specialized support while sharing information between them.

CIRC will be reformed to handle core services for the division of Information Systems and Services that are used by the entire community, such as e-mail and calendar programs. It also will continue to operate a help desk, all under a new name. Other information offices, including ResNet, which specializes in residence hall wiring, will work as Local Service Providers and will work together with ISS, Tuttle said.

Brad Reese, who served as CIRC’s director since its inception nine years ago, will move to the University’s academic affairs division to oversee learning enrichment and academic technology.

“When I founded CIRC, it was under academic affairs and it focused on academics and learning,” Reese said. “As we expanded, we had to fight to keep the focus on academic stuff.”

In his new position, Reese said he will work to integrate technology into the classroom.

As part of the changes, many schools and departments will gain technology advisers and staff. The advisers will address the specific needs of their offices and serve as the first level of assistance for their departments, Reese said.

As part of the separation of computer services, Tuttle said he hopes to integrate systems to make them more accessible to different members of the University community, including students, faculty and administrators. The new systems will provide more Web-based information, including financial aid and the possibility of online registration. Tuttle said the changes, which are ongoing, should be complete within the next year or two.

“In the Web world, that’s about a decade,” he said. “We’ve got to move fast.”

Dave Swartz joined the University Monday as the new chief information officer. Swartz formerly served as director of information systems and networking at West Virginia University. Tuttle will retire at the end of the month.

“The next phase is delivery of services and applications,” Swartz said. “I think GW is on the leading edge of technology.”

Tuttle said with the number of people at the University who use computers growing, the University needs people to handle specific needs and concerns.

“We’ve grown up,” he said. “The concept is we’re evolving from looking at academics in a narrow way to looking across the entire campus.”

Tuttle said the new systems will be integrated with administrative systems, making information more accessible for everyone.

P.B. Garrett, CIRC’s interim director, was unavailable for comment.

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