Part 6


Faculty Engagement Survey Part 6 (August 2015)

Question: Does your institution employ local IT liaisons in different departments and units?


  • Determined Carnegie Classification for each respondent
    • Six small, 2- or 4-year institutions
    • Four medium, 4-year institutions
    • Eight large, 4-year institutions
    • One large, 2-year institution
  • Removed replies from people who did not employ this strategy (3 respondents – 2 small four-year institutions and one medium).
  • There appears to be two types of faculty liaisons described in this data:
    • Department faculty members designated as IT liaisons (One small and one medium-sized 4-year college)
    • IT staff/directors assigned to individual colleges or departments (Several small, medium and large institutions)
  • Calculated data for questions 1, 2 and 5.
  • Categorized and summarized responses to questions 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8.


  • Data based on 17 positive responses from 8/12 – 8/19, 2014 and 9/9 – 9/11, 2015.



1. How effective do you feel it is?

Scale 1=Very ineffective  |   5=Very effective

Mean 3.53
SD 1.18
Median 4
Mode 4
2. Are you planning to continue or discontinue using it?
Discontinue 1
Continue 16
3. List the three main benefits of using this strategy.

Listed by category with amount of respondents who mentioned it in parentheses, listed by order of frequency:

  • Local staff/liaison know culture of college or department better and can specialize to better address specific needs and opportunities (9)
  • Promotes better two-way communication between IT and department to better communicate faculty concerns and disseminating IT information to unit (9)
  • Helps build stronger relationships with faculty and increase faculty comfort level (7)
  • Functions as local resource and first line of support (5)
  • Provides faster response time (2)
  • Allows for centralization for IT resources (1)
  • Takes pressure off of central IT support, and allows them to focus on the big picture (3)
  • Assures that file types are appropriate for online delivery (1)
4. List the three main issues to consider when using or introducing this strategy.

Listed by category with amount of respondents who mentioned it in parentheses, listed by order of frequency:

  • Obtain buy-in from all parties and make sure role of liaison is clear to everyone involved (7)
  • Getting the right skills and abilities in the liaisons: Can be difficult to hire for positions requiring terminal degree and some work may need to be spread out over a group of people with different talents (6)
  • Enable liaison to effectively escalate support issues and try to ensure effective collaboration across campus by setting framework for communication, collaboration, coordination and cooperation (6)
  • Determine clear reporting structure and try to ensure that everyone is at the same level, not mixing directors with technicians, to encourage everyone to share equally (5)
  • May result in increased workload for IT rep, who is more accessible and employees in different departments may not want the extra work (3)
  • Make sure faculty and IT interests are equally represented by liaisons and maintain oversight to ensure their tasks remain consistent with mission (3)
  • Find out from liaisons what tasks they are asked to perform in order to include in annual reporting and be flexible if their role changes due to changes in department or college priorities (2)
  • Consider cost benefit (1)
  • Make sure office space is available in hosting department (1)
  • Make sure to regularly communicate with liaisons (2)
  • Central IT should make sure to give local IT staff a voice to present their needs, challenges and concerns to leadership (1)
5. Which strategy do you think holds the biggest potential for faculty engagement? See the Biggest Potential page.
6. What is the biggest obstacle to faculty engagement and training at your institution?

Listed by category with amount of respondents who mentioned it in parentheses, listed by order of frequency:

  • Time (19)
  • Teaching and Educational innovations are not part of faculty evaluation criteria (2)
  • Faculty attitudes toward use and implementation of technology in the classroom and fear of the unknown (2)
  • Changing nature of technology and faculty needing to/failing to keep up with developments (1)
  • Lack of clear policy or standards for training before teaching online or blended courses (1)
  • Lack of incentives (1)
  • Instructor lack of understanding about the potential for big instructional gains with a small time commitment (1)
  • Lack of coordinated and well-structured center for faculty to consult with educational technology specialists (1)
  • Lack of personnel resources (1)
  • Making faculty feel valued for participating (1)
  • Change fatigue (1)
  • Getting faculty to commit to working on integrating educational technology into their teaching (1)
  • Faculty having difficult prioritizing their time between need for conducting research and working to improve their teaching skills and pedagogy (2)
  • At research universities, it can be hard to make faculty development for instructional technology and teaching a priority for instructors and for administrators (1)
  • Some colleges preferring workshops specifically for them instead of participating in mixed workshops with attendees from other colleges (1)
7. Other comments
  • Implemented this a year ago - has been a huge success. Faculty feel they are supported properly. (large, 4-year)
  • In addition to our IT staff, Library staff plays an important role in supporting course blogs and other online resources. (small, special focus institution)
  • We have had this program for about 10 years with one liaison per college and admin team (Student Affairs, Business Affairs). If has greatly helped keep technology costs down for everyone, and we help each other on projects.
8. Please describe how many [liaisons] you employ and what their duties are.
  • Small and medium-sized 4-year institutions (and a few large ones, including a 2-year one) tend to employ around 10  or fewer liaisons:
    • 11 people who are resident experts on all aspects of technology for the individual colleges
    • 9 in our group supporting faculty use of technology in courses; instructional design, multimedia, graphic design, etc.
    • 8 instructional designers
    • 5 support operations up to and including application set-up
    • 4 faculty liaisons for 300 faculty.
    • 4 people who train, do outreach, and manage trouble tickets
    • 3 staff that report to central IT(large, 4-year).
    • 1 assistant professor with course release.
    • 1 full-time staff person for Moodle support plus one more for technical issues.
    • One IT Director liaison for each college within university (large, 4-year).
    • “A handful” of faculty with no defined duties. Few IT staff communicate with them.
  • One large, 4-year institution reports employing more than 100.
  • Another large 4-year institution probably employs along 30-50:
    • The colleges and schools employ the liaisons. Their duties differ greatly. Some colleges have 4-5 employees along with numerous student assistants and others have one part-time person.
  • No particular patterns emerged regarding the type of support done at small, medium or large institutions. Consequently, a collective list of duties is provided.
    • Support provided for: Instruction and research, software licensing, computers and connected devices, online services, mobile devices, specialized technologies, new technology research and purchasing support, development and delivery of programming, network registration, patching and moves, identifying technology needs in research proposals, manage trouble tickets, perform graphical design.
Institutions that have responded

Cycle 1 (March 2014 - March 2015)

  • Wesleyan University
  • Univ of California, Riverside
  • UC Riverside
  • University of Arizona
  • Nevada State College
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • University of South Florida
  • Sauk Valley Community College
  • NC State Univ.
  • Valparaiso University

Cycle 2 (April 2015 - April 2016)

  • Barry University
  • Tyler Junior College
  • The University of Texas at El Paso
  • The University of Akron
  • University of Alabama
  • Towson University
  • Babson College

Compiled in September/October 2015.