Standard 8.B.1 - Equipment and Materials
The Office of Information Technology provides total service, support, purchasing and replacement for all state-funded computing equipment and software. Grants and non-state funded entities provide funding for their equipment while IT provides their support and maintenance. Student computer labs, classroom equipment and faculty computing needs, as well as the Library computers, are all supported centrally by the Office of Information Technology, headed by the Chief Information Officer (CIO). All technology design and purchases are coordinated with the CIO.
Since FY 2000, computer facilities have been upgraded across the University:
- The Education Building was the first building to have “smart classrooms.” This upgrade was available for use and review before the spring 2002 NCATE accreditation review.
- The Education Building hosts a student computer facility and a suite of rooms equipped for technology training and student use in developing course assignments.
- Smart classrooms have been installed in 100+ classrooms across the University, including the Liberal Arts Building, McDonald Hall, PE, Student Union Building, West Campus, Science, Academic Support Center, Cisel, and all Downtown Campus classrooms.
- The Library hosts Information Commons, a computer facility for student use created as a unique study/computing environment.
- Building and remodeling on the West Campus includes upgrades in
instructional technology hardware and software to enhance COT
- Approximately 300-400 faculty/staff/student computers are replaced annually.
- Network equipment and servers are replaced on a four-to-six-year cycle.
- 100+ smart classrooms are replaced on a four-to-six-year cycle.
Equipment in the Science Department will be a focus for upgrade in the future. Laboratory equipment is provided for the biology, chemistry and physics labs through the Science Technical Services budget, faculty research grants, the College of Arts & Sciences and Administration Equipment Funds. Partnerships with the MSU Billings Foundation and the business community also help meet equipment needs with internal University funds need to be supplemented.
The MSU Billings Fixed Assets Guide is available on the web at http://www. msubillings.edu/staff/assetguide.htm. Responsibility for fixed-asset property management is held by the Financial Services Office. All fixed assets are tagged with a pre-numbered identification (P number) tag for inventory, warranty, identification and stewardship purposes. An inventory of capital assets is conducted every other year. Non-capital assets are also inventoried on a periodic basis. Fixed-asset records are maintained in the Financial Services Office.
All computing equipment is purchased by or receives approval from the CIO. Received equipment is entered into the state inventory control system managed by the Office of Financial Services. IT maintains a centralized database tracking key attributes of all equipment.
The replacement cycles for equipment are as follows:
- Desktop computers — four years
- Notebooks — three to four years
- Servers — four years
- Switches — six years
- Core networking equipment — eight years
- Software — current versions installed annually
- Fiber and network cabling — 20 years
- Balances — serviced annually
- Microscopes — serviced biennially
- Fume-hoods serviced quarterly under an annual maintenance contract
- Capital equipment — inventoried annually
- Obsolete equipment — sold at the annual garage sale
Evidence: 8.9 Fixed Asset Guide
MSU Billings employs a Hazardous Material/Waste Coordinator, who is the single agent for any hazardous material procurement and disposal. Annually, the coordinator attends a state-sponsored refresher course to maintain currency on regulatory changes and provides annual training for University personnel as appropriate.
Current materials safety data sheets (MSDS) are located in all areas where hazardous materials are stored or used. MSU Billings is classified as a small-quantity generator by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality with fewer than 1,000 kilograms of hazardous waste generated per month. The coordinator monitors storage areas and quantities monthly.
Additionally, the Science Department is responsible for radiation and laser safety while the Health Sciences Department provides for X-Ray protection and safety.