Jacksonville University Increases Academic Technology Support for Faculty

July 25, 2016

Hello to the Jacksonville University community.

The strategic planning process we have underway has highlighted the need to improve our academic technology capability to enhance the student learning experience.  After a good review of our options to create improvement, we are launching an important resource for our faculty, our new Academic Technology Department.  This Department will report to University and Academic Affairs, and it is charged with providing support to our faculty to develop new and innovative ways to use technology to enrich the learning process.

The Academic Technology Department will support faculty teaching courses offered in all available delivery methods.  Through planning and coordination, it will function in collaboration with our Marilyn Repsher Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and our BISK Online Learning Center.  The CTL, led by Dr. Annmarie Kent-Willette, will continue to serve JU faculty by providing resources and services to support creative teaching, research, faculty development, and service endeavors.

Academic Technology will be headed by Dee Thornton, who will serve as Director.  Other members of the Department, each of whom has a customer-service focus central to their job expectations, will include Greg Minton, Media Services Manager, and the following new positions:

  1. Instructional Designer who will assist instructors with developing or enhancing course design      and teaching strategies;
  2. Media Services Specialist who will assist Greg with video production services both inside and outside the Video Production Studio for all colleges and departments;
  3. Audio Visual Specialist who will provide support for, and training of, professors using academic technology in the classrooms; maintain and update classroom technology; and develop a plan for standardizing, refreshing, and upgrading multimedia in classrooms and conference rooms.

In addition to these new positions, we are creating ongoing funding to support regular renewal of classroom and conference room technology.  We are applying EPIC funding to this high-priority work, enabling us to add capacity without disadvantaging other key work on campus.  Our goal is clear:  to ensure that our professors have the technology, resources, and support they need to deliver a world-class education competitive with the very best universities.

Finally, as a University, we will be forming Key Issue Teams (KITs) to address vital campus-wide University issues and engage important stakeholders.  Due to the importance of technology-enhanced learning, an Academic Technology KIT is being formed.  Representatives from each college and many departments will be invited to serve to ensure a coordinated and integrated approach to the use of academic technology at JU.

Thank you for continuing to bring innovative ideas forward to make us better each day.


Tim Cost
Jacksonville University
Class of 1981