What You Need to Know
Ensuring our university’s technology works – and helping when it doesn’t – remains a core source of pride for SJSU IT. During the 2021-2022 year, Customer Service managed over 57,000 cases and 29 major projects. Even with that large volume, they managed to increase customer satisfaction scores from 4.67 in 2020-2021 to 4.8 out of 5 in 2021-2022. That marks three consecutive years of rising satisfaction scores through some of the most challenging technology environments in university history – remote modality, through repopulation, and into hybrid.
Customer Service also performs preventative maintenance on over 500 classrooms weekly and monthly preventive maintenance on 100+ conference rooms. In 2021-2022, we identified and fixed 137 items before they became problems in the classroom.
As we move toward a more technology-enabled classroom and campus experience, the importance of service and support will only grow. We’re always here to help.
A key piece of the SJSU future technology strategy is a secure, reliable, fast, high-bandwidth, and IoT-capable campus wireless network. We are transforming our campus into a high-tech environment with a cloud-first approach and “always-on” connections that include integrated cameras, IoT sensors, and myriad student-connected devices.
Completed in summer 2021, SJSU IT worked within a tight and demanding timeline in order to deploy WiFi 6 to all outdoor spaces -- from design to procurement and implementation -- in just 3 months. SJSU deployed over 180 WiFi 6 Access Points on buildings dating back to 1857 that had significant historical value to the community, including Tower Hall, Spartan Memorial Chapel, the Scheller House, and Dwight Bentel Hall. It proved to be a monumental challenge ensuring we did not impact the aesthetics and integrity of these historical buildings. X-rays of walls were required to determine the structural integrity of the buildings and to avoid accidental penetration of electrical, water, or other critical building infrastructure.
The new WiFi 6 network has (1) improved speed by 37%, (2) improved multiple device handling, and (3) increased WiFi coverage across the campus. The jump in traffic on our Outdoor WiFi network was a 108% increase, from the first day of instruction fall 2019 to the first day of instruction fall 2021, allowing our students the ability to study and learn wherever they are on campus. We are addressing today’s problems while building for the future.
A future-enabled smart campus will allow SJSU to offer contextual engagement and notifications to students and visitors based on location, behavior, etc., and allows SJSU to support engagements at on-campus venues and events. SJSU buildings are enabled as smart buildings that support IoT, asset management, environmental monitoring, indoor wayfinding, and space occupancy. This will empower our data strategy, giving SJSU insights into time spent on campus by building, with the capability to understand student behavior for reporting and mapping to performance.
As late as 2016, SJSU was a very manual process oriented campus, relying on paper forms physically handed between departments. Over the past several years, SJSU IT has made a concerted effort to digitize and automate as many of our processes as possible. Over the last four years, we’ve digitized over 3,100 processes and we’re working toward a goal of digitizing over 90% of all campus processes.
Digitization and automation of daily business processes has led to massive benefits for both small and large departments. Processes are simpler, streamlined, more efficient, and faster. Departments are recovering time to work on bigger-picture projects and capturing more data to better inform their decisions.
However, the most important benefit by far is for our students. When students are faced with manual processes, lost forms, or the need to physically visit offices scattered across campus, it becomes a burden with missed filing deadlines, negative experiences and reduced outcomes because of long, convoluted university processes. The more accessible we can make our processes, the better we can serve our students. Having our processes be digital, online, and automated makes them more transparent and expands access.
Here are just a few examples of major process improvements we’ve achieved thanks to partnerships with departments across the university:
- Student financial aid documents used to be paper forms and any changes would need to be done in person or via Certified Mail. Today, they’re done digitally and remotely. Changes and corrections take a single day instead of weeks, students don’t need to visit the Financial Aid office, and the entire process is more transparent.
- When a faculty member switches into an advising role, they need special permissions in a number of systems. Each of those systems used to have a separate process for gaining access and many of them needed paper forms. Now, there’s a centralized, automated agent that grants all permissions across integrated systems. Getting access takes hours instead of days.
- Admissions used to process transfer student transcripts manually, without any consistent tracking. Some transfer students’ prerequisite credits wouldn’t be entered in time for their first semester enrollment. Now that this process is handled digitally, the team works faster and with fewer errors. Not only that, digital tracking has allowed them to see the most frequent transfer unit special cases, leading to even more automation in the future.
- The Former Student Readmission Petition (FSRP) used to be submitted via email through manual correspondence without any progress tracking. Now they’re submitted electronically and go directly to document review, checklists are updated automatically, and accepted re-admissions are automatically moved to the undergraduate admissions forms queue. All forms are housed in OnBase instead of being sent and stored via email. Student forms are easily tracked as they move through the process, reducing the amount of time spent managing students’ progress. The entire process is more transparent for all parties.
- Student employee appointments were processed manually. Data could not be extracted efficiently from the paper forms, so the university was unable to categorize student appointments by type or identify how funding was used within each type of student appointment. Thanks to a new 100% digital process, student type and category are now built into the electronic form and data can now be extracted electronically to provide reports. Processing time has been cut in half and the university now leverages analytics on appointment types and funding to make better-informed decisions about student employment on campus.