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Information technology resources, including computers and network resources, are tools for scholars in all disciplines, used by faculty members and students, and the College is committed to making appropriate computing resources available to support the academic program. In all courses, faculty and students use computers in some way, and the College’s official means of communication is electronic.
The College has had a dual Macintosh and Windows computer-standard strategy in place since 1998. Macintosh and Windows systems are available for student use in the Lovejoy cluster (Lovejoy 400). Macs are located in the Olin computer classroom (Olin 323), and Windows computers are located in the library cluster (Miller 16) and the Davis Educational Foundation Electronic-Research classroom. Specialized computing facilities dedicated to particular departments are located in biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, geology, mathematics, music, physics, and psychology, as well as in the Language Resource Center. Advanced UNIX/Linux systems are available in the Schupf Scientific Computing Lab. Central computing systems include several Sun and Hewlett Packard UNIX minicomputer systems for academic use.
Colby’s data communications network, built around a gigabit Ethernet backbone through the academic buildings, is available in all student computer clusters and in every faculty office and all classrooms. All residence halls have direct Ethernet access to the network with a port available for each student and additional ports located in many lounges and study areas. Wireless network access (802.11abg) is available in most of Cotter Union and Miller Library, the Language Resource Center in Lovejoy, the Science Library in Olin, and the Art and Music Library in Bixler. The College has high-speed 40 Mbps (over two partial T3s) Internet access.
Colby has a Microsoft Campus Agreement that provides for each student a license to Microsoft Office and a variety of other software, including all upgrades. Antivirus software also is licensed by the College for each student to use. About 95 percent of all students own a computer. It is expected that students will be able to use both Windows and Macintosh computers. A Colby account is set up for each student, providing integrated electronic mail and storage of personal Web pages linked to the campus Web server. Access to the network is available from computers in all public clusters, from student rooms, and from wireless zones at various locations.
All classrooms are served by data/video/audio presentation technology, most of them with systems installed. Equipment (e.g. overhead projectors, portable computer projection systems, camcorders, and sound systems) is available for student and faculty use, as are video conference facilities. Satellite downlink and commercial cable services facilities provide multilingual and special-interest programming to the campus via cable TV, which is available in each suite of rooms in the residence halls.
Assistance can be obtained from student consultants at Student Computer Services and from the Information Technology Services (ITS) staff. Workshops are scheduled to introduce the computer and network systems, Microsoft Office applications, e-mail, and Web use, and to provide advanced information on specific topics. ITS publishes a newsletter, and the ITS Web pages (www.colby.edu/info.tech) provide information online.
The Information Technology Committee, made up of faculty, staff, and students, advises ITS and the president. All meetings are open, and those interested in computing issues are encouraged to participate in discussions.