Information technology can promote sustainability by reducing waste, consumption, and travel. At UTPA, a virtual server is used where feasible, allowing the university to utilize multiple applications per hardware server. This minimizes the total hardware required and the amount of power and cooling used per application. UTPA uses various online systems to assist in the reduction of waste. The Oracle Internet File system provides online user controllable and web accessible storage, which reduces the transmissions of large files and reduces the need to make multiple printed copies of documents through secure sharing of information. Oracle e-Business System enables significant reductions in paper use by using online forms and workflow. The Banner Student Information system contributes in reducing paper usage by providing grade reports for students, departments, Registrars, class schedules and course catalogs through online access. Banner also reduces the students need to drive to campus by offering online alternatives.
Mail generates vast quantities of waste. The campus e-mail system reduces the need for printed paper communications between people on our campus (faculty, staff, and students), and between our campus and other campuses. The Records and Information Management Program encourages the use of electronic records instead of paper records through the provision of training and support to campus offices.
Technology can reduce energy consumption as well. In summer of 2009, UTPA began the first phase of using software in its computer labs that automates the shutdown of computers to save electricity. Digital Signage is used in TV monitors in the Academic Services Building (ASB) and the New Computer Center (NCC), and information on events and lab schedules are promoted on Bronc TV. Also, all computer lab PCs are Energy Star compliant..
Other IT initiatives at UTPA reduce transportation by technologies such as smart devices. These allow for the dissemination of information, and will be available for students, parents, alumni, and others via devices such as the iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Androids. Campus has Central Identification Service allows students to log into one location and work on various systems, i.e. blackboard, banner, Bronc mail, wireless printing, or virtual labs. Smart classes and online courses are other important features of UTPA that allow students to take course without having to drive to campus, thus reducing their driving. All of these technological features allow the campus community to access the UTPA system from anywhere.
2009 Annual Report
The 2009 Annual Report for the Division of Information Technology shows how IT is providing competitive advantage for our students, staff, and , teaching and research faculty.
Out with the Old, In with the New