The University of Arizona

IT Student Advisory Board Seeks Faculty Help

By Shelley Shelton, University Communications | September 7, 2011

Students advise the UA's chief information officer on technology issues, with a little mentoring.

, Sara Mason uses the technology in the Main Library's Information Commons to work on a project. The Information Commons is open 24 hours. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Ganz), Architecture students Erik Lindberg and Ani Hassan Jalalian visit the Office of Student Computing Resources Multimedia Zone to use the high-end graphics software, also provided by University Information Technology Services. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Ganz)
, Sara Mason uses the technology in the Main Library's Information Commons to work on a project. The Information Commons is open 24 hours. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Ganz), Architecture students Erik Lindberg and Ani Hassan Jalalian visit the Office of Student Computing Resources Multimedia Zone to use the high-end graphics software, also provided by University Information Technology Services. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Ganz)
, Sara Mason uses the technology in the Main Library's Information Commons to work on a project. The Information Commons is open 24 hours. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Ganz), Architecture students Erik Lindberg and Ani Hassan Jalalian visit the Office of Student Computing Resources Multimedia Zone to use the high-end graphics software, also provided by University Information Technology Services. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Ganz)
, Sara Mason uses the technology in the Main Library's Information Commons to work on a project. The Information Commons is open 24 hours. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Ganz), Architecture students Erik Lindberg and Ani Hassan Jalalian visit the Office of Student Computing Resources Multimedia Zone to use the high-end graphics software, also provided by University Information Technology Services. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Ganz)
, Sara Mason uses the technology in the Main Library's Information Commons to work on a project. The Information Commons is open 24 hours. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Ganz), Architecture students Erik Lindberg and Ani Hassan Jalalian visit the Office of Student Computing Resources Multimedia Zone to use the high-end graphics software, also provided by University Information Technology Services. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Ganz)
, Sara Mason uses the technology in the Main Library's Information Commons to work on a project. The Information Commons is open 24 hours. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Ganz), Architecture students Erik Lindberg and Ani Hassan Jalalian visit the Office of Student Computing Resources Multimedia Zone to use the high-end graphics software, also provided by University Information Technology Services. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Ganz)

Whether you're a technical person or not, there's a student advisory board that could use your help.

The 4-year-old IT Student Advisory Board, originally formed to provide the UA chief information officer with feedback on how student information technology fees should be spent, is looking for student and faculty members.

The board is looking to re-energize this year after declining participation last year, to include 12 students representing various aspects of campus as well as several ex-officio members who don't vote – three faculty, one or two college liaisons, a chief information officer representative from communications and marketing and one representative each from The University of Arizona Libraries, Residence Life and the Office of Instruction and Assessment.

The group needs to fill the three faculty positions in addition to finding student members – which instructors can help with by spreading the word in their classes, said Alexander Ganz, a marketing and communications specialist for the office of the chief information officer.

The board meets from 3-5 p.m. every other Friday in varying locations.

Students can apply online, and faculty members can go to the advisory board website and use the "Contact Us" link to express interest.

For students, Ganz said, "It's a great resume builder. You're making really big IT decisions here for the whole University."

For faculty and employees, the benefit is in the success rate when there's a match between classroom technology and how students use technology outside the classroom, said Hale Thomas, a research computing specialist in the College of Humanities.

Ganz and Thomas are hoping for applications from a variety of people, not only those who have strong technical experience. They want to see a broad representation of the student body, they said.

The ex-officio board members act mainly as mentors, said Liz Taylor, deputy chief information officer.

Taylor is on the board and goes to meetings, acting as a liaison to Michele Norin, the UA's chief information officer and the executive director of University Information Technology Services.

When something comes up that Norin wants student advice on, she asks the board, Taylor said.

Likewise, the board is able to point out trends the administration should pay attention to, such as the uptick in social media use.

Though the advisory board bylaws indicate there should be just three faculty members, that's subject to change if enough students become interested in participating, Taylor said. More students would necessitate more faculty.

"They would love to have 10 (faculty members)," she said. "The students would be happy to change the bylaws."