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Released June 30, 2003


HATTIESBURG -- The University of Southern Mississippi's Office of Technology Resources will have a new name and focus July 1 that reflects the university's continuing commitment to its students and as a national and international leader in higher education technology.

iTech (Information Technology) at Southern Miss will include a new gigabit network and information center designed to give the university community quicker access and "one-stop" convenience in obtaining information.

"We have a lot of good technical opportunities ahead of us and we need to take advantage of it," said Paige Strickland, director of technology infrastructure at Southern Miss. "I see nothing but positives with this move. The gigabit network and moving forward with that will benefit the university as a whole, with increased network speed."

"I'm very excited by it," said Chuck Knight, director of the administrative software unit. "I believe it's an opportunity to make some needed improvements in the technology area. We're going to make the best use of our existing PeopleSoft (software program), taking full advantage of the product's services, and this change will allow us to do that."

An open competition was held within the department to engage the technology staff in the renaming processing. More than 150 entries were submitted, and Jessi Stewart with Graphic Services submitted the winning entry.

Stewart, a recent graphic communication graduate from Huntsville, Ala., found that many universities across the country name their technology department Information Technology.

"iTech adds pizzazz to the term "information technology," she said. "It projects a futuristic image, one with which our students can identify and appreciate."

The selection committee that chose "iTech" cited its futuristic image as an embodiment of Southern Miss' goal of engaging the campus community to challenge norms, forecast the future and create a dynamic culture that continually evolves to position itself as an integral educational and economic force in the state, nation and world.

The reorganization of the university's academic units complements this change within iTech. Each of the university's five new colleges will include a staff member dedicated to the college's technology needs, with the goal of making technology updates, enhancements and repairs faster and easier to allow for less downtime. These technology personnel will work closely with each college dean to determine and monitor the needs within the college to allow for better service to the university's internal customer base.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM