The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Office of Information Technology

OIT 2012 Survey Results

Faculty Comments

These are all of the comments from respondents who identified as Faculty.

Back to Services used by Faculty | Services not used by Faculty

2. Overall Satisfaction

1. Consider Offering | 2. Overall Satisfaction | 3. OIT Services you're not using

You guys are great!!! VERY HELPFUL!!!
You folks do an outstanding job!

You all do an outstanding job
You all do a WONDERFUL job!I appreciate all of your support over the years as well as your professionalism!
Would like more support in how to utilize technology more in the classroom. Would like to understand more about utilizing Blogs (do not like Blackboard option), wikis, video streaming, RSS.
Wireless access is fair to poor in the new Min Kao building.  Definitely not meeting expectations!
We need other kinds of smart/Promethean boards (on one end of the spectrum) and access to laptop clickers (at the other end of the spectrum)
We need computer support, on the phone and in person and courses too. It is crucial to have computer experts that can come to our Office  and solve whatever problem we encounter with our advanced technology, essential if we want top climb  uo to  the top 25.
We are satisfied with the daily support we receive.  However, related to special projects, we have concerns about the response time to the following projects:

(1)  making Argos reports available to graduate academic departments.
(2)  response to our requests to coordinate with CollegeNet regarding IT requirements to implement new ADMIT program in Graduate Admissions.  We need Shiboleth but there has been resistance/delays in IT responding to contact with CollegeNet
(3)  IT was slow in responding to some items on the list of requests submitted to Bob Campbell
We are really handicapped in the School of Music because we do not have a technology specialist who can tutor us on new technologies and applications, and help us to integrate these into our classes.
Unfortunately, issues with QDA miner are not being resolved in a meaningful way and Atlas is the much preferred version of qualitative analysis software in the field.
Turning off the internet for literally days, including basic things like all department websites, was a huge black mark for OIT. This was not the only internet outage here, but it was the longest. I can't trust that, say, a database maintained in my lab will be available to colleagues. Intermittent outages happen, but this outage shows that OIT has a single point of failure. In an age of Amazon EC2, virtualization, etc., an IT team that just turns things off without migrating services other than a single static webpage shows either a lack of professionalism or of competence.
too many outages this semester - it's been a real pain
TMail does not work well with Mac. I use GMail because I experienced too many problems with TMail. OIT's support for survey software was abysmal - when I conducted research abroad the server did not work and my questions about the survey software were not answered, even after I sent several emails.
Things are much better now, especially with the OIT help desk and the reliability of our email and wireless.  Great job.
The wireless seems to cut out every once in a while, which is annoying, but otherwise it's fine.
The wireless network availability this year has been too spotty.
Blackboard has been frustrating as well.


The team that responds to fix any problems with the overhead projector systems have been GREAT!
The wireless is simply not adequate.
The wireless in Hodges needs to be improved. Does the campus have a site license to GoToMeeting?  That would be useful.
The wireless connectivity here is not very good at all.
the technicians at the help desk are excellent -- I've had nothing but successful experiences with them
The QDA Miner is not compatible with macs.  This problem needs to be corrected of the university needs to get something else.
The only issue is that I work from home one day a week and use my own laptop computer, which OIT can't/won't help with when I have problems. e.g. recently (and still) t-mail attachment dialog box doesn't show enough info for me to punch buttons to upload documents. All work related but no help
The only complain I have is the problems with Blackboard because I rely on it.
The one thing that is HIGHLY UNRELIABLE is access to the wireless network on campus.  On numerous occasions, in different buldings -- Ayres Hall, Ferris Hall, Black Cultural Center -- it seemed to be pure chance whether my computer connected/connects or not.  Others had the same problem.  At one point, out of five computers, only one was able to connect to the wireless network.  After about 15 minutes, that computer got disconnected as well.
The new T-mail is an absolute disaster.  The regular version is visually cumbersome and has horrible features that need to be tediously disabled one by one to make it minimally useable.  The light version is visually better but has much less functionality than the old webmail.  Overall the new system represents a huge backward step.  I have to waste time and energy every day trying to do things that were easy on webmail.  It was very discourteous to impose this system on us without consultation or notice.  Every thing else about OIT in my experience, including the online helpdesk, has been splendid.
The amount of time I spend sorting out problems with my computer, Tmail, scanning, transferring materials VHS to DVD, and trying to find the right OIT person to help me uses a massive amount of my time.  I end up devoting a huge chunk of time to these administrative type issues which takes away from my academic work.  Perhaps this is because I did not receive an OIT orientation and do not know what services are available.  But never the less, I am constantly having IT problems and they take forever to be resolved.  There has to be a more efficient way of managing OIT services.  The IT person at the college is very helpful and I rely totally on him.  Since this is the case, OIT should invest more in their training and resources
Support after 4:00 PM is needed and necessary if we are going to increase graduate student enrolement and graduation rates.
sometimes things are done rather quickly (satisfied) and others it seems to take much longer than it should (dissatisfied).  They seem to balance out but would prefer there would be more in the satisfied column.  Understand the resource constraints but don't see them applied equally.
Sometimes the gap between TIS and OIT means things fall through the cracks.  TIS has gotten better and more responsive in the last 6 months.
Some data bases useful to finance research are not currently supported.
Since I'm in EECS, much of my needs are taken care of by our staff.  THe wireless in the MK classrooms was horrible at the beginning of the semester -- much better now, thank you.
Since I am retired, most of your services are not relevant to my situation. I keep up with my professional obligations through T-mail.
Shifting Telephone services to OIT seems counterproductive. the one question I had was met with courteous cluelessness. So I managed to get Telephone Services and had the question answered in about i minute.
Sharepoint isn't working.
Too wedded to Microsoft.
Not exploring open source software.
SharePoint has never worked as I had hoped and tends to slow everything down when I do use it.
My laptop seems to default to UT visitor wireless even though it is a UT computer--not always, so maybe this problem has been fixed.
Reliability of networking infrastructure is lacking (especially wireless), in my opinion.  Existing system seems not able to gracefully handle peak loads.
Recent outages were difficult.
Ramses never was going to work and OIT's handeling of the implementation insured that.
Quality of help from the Help Desk is highly variable
Overall (and there are exceptions)OIT seems like a huge entity more concerned with looking after itself than with providing service to the university.  The services that are provided (eg Blackboard) are useful, but have flaws in their implementation.  Even though the Blackboard site claims a high "Uptime" it continues to go down at key points, just before final exams - so seeing the high uptime claim on the front page is irritating.   The web presence is very uneven - some things are easy to find but others are not, and there are many broken or outdated links.
On a personal, daily level, I am quite satisfied.  However, I would like to see more enterprise systems developed,  such as leave reporting and tracking. There are also protocols not supported here that need to be for my research and professional needs, e.g., Shibboleth. UT Knoxville cannot participate with top 25 universities in important initiatives because we lack that critical infrastructure.
OIT supports the UT faculty extremely well.
OIT staff rank very high, in my estimation, in both need and performance
OIT staff and teaching staff like Bruce Delaney are simply superb.
OIT is very impressive.

I wish you had grants for technology, not just technology assistance.  I am dying for an ipad-- I cant seem to get one through the college or university.
OIT is fantastic!!
OIT is amazing! No matter what my question, issue, or problem someone always resolves it in a helpful, professional manner and never makes me feel stupid which I appreciate immensely. Also, myself and my department have benefitted tremendously by our collaboraion with OIT through Faculty First projects and Project RITE grants. I am indebted to the professionals at OIT for all their help on a variety of projects and endeavors that I am involved in. They are great and provide an invaluable service to our UT community!
OIT is always so responsive and friendly. I never feel as if I am "asking a stupid question."
OIT is always helpful and gets me back to where I need to be when I call on them.
OIT help is especially efficient and good.
OIT has always done a great job whenever I have had questions or problems.  Been here 17+ years.
OIT delivers
Ofter there is trouble just getting internet connections to UTK. Some of our School of Art classrooms don't get internet connection -- this is very annoying
Network Services has been so horrible this semester. In my office, in classrooms, in conversations with my students, I find constant problems with both UTOpen, and even with eduroam (though it used to be much more stable). Connectivity problems, signal problems, DNS problems.

Aside from network services, I would also like to see some sort of sandbox for faculty, departmental, and even student web development. The current unix account is simply insufficient. But, if I want to develop web applications with ruby/rails, python/django, or even traditional LAMP apps, I can't do it here. I have to buy my own, even though the development is part of my research, publication, and teaching.

Even if just for the development stage, OIT should provide faculty and departments real virtual space-- a heroku for UTK.
Need access to universal and standardized method for computer backup.  This is a MAJOR hole in OIT offerings.  Everyone needs to back their stuff up, but we all do it individually (or many do not do it at all).
My technology needs are very basic because I am skeptical of technology, and I want my students to be less engaged, not more engaged, with technology. I use computers for creating documents, emailing, and searching the Internet. The law school's IT people and the secretaries do a good job of keeping me up and running with technology. For my research, I think technology has been helpful, especially the digitization of old newspapers. I would also like to know more about how to use Excel spreadsheets because some of my research would probably lend itself to that. So, yes, by giving me access to the word processing programs, legal research programs, hardware, etc., that I have, UT is meeting my technology needs.
My needs are usually basic, and they are met very satisfactorily every time that I apply for help.
My entire work evolve around email (GB of emails) and require contant internet access. None of these requirements are completely satisfied by OIT.
my department needs more tech support
My biggest criticism about OIT is not knowing what they are working on that can help me or what solutions are available through them that can benefit me or my department. (Communication) Quarterly newsletter? Semi-annual newsletter?
Most unhappy  with BB which still seems to have too many problems for everyday use. Collaborate is not as good as Centra.
Most of the time I am very satisfied.  OIT followup of help requests has not been satisfactory at all.  Work with sharepoint has not been well executed.
Lori Epperson is the BEST!
I've been lucky to get smart classrooms, otherwise I'd be unhappy.
It would be helpful to have a more functional smart classroom for our classes which involve watching performances.  Perhaps our new building will have this option!
It meets my basic needs.
IRIS, Banner, PAMS need to talk to each other. TERA is a disaster.
In-house support is excellent as well as the on-campus support through OIT
In general, I am quite happy with the support (presonnel) we receive. I am very unhappy having to work with an antiquated computer (> 8 years old) which is slow and often unable to perform what I need it to do.
I'm very impressed with the service, especially the phone service.
I'm satisfied in all areas but Banner - and the ability to access critical data.
I'm not that tech oriented.
If my classroom was computer-enabled (so-called "smart classroom" I would do more, but the benefits are not sufficient to warrant dragging both a laptop and a projector unit all the way from my office to the classrooms I am assigned.
I would say satisfied if it weren't for blackboard and my administrative experiences with BANNER
I would really like to deploy tests online in an environment that prevents cheating, such as a closed-network, testing lab
I would like more workshops on Nvivo, because I am rusty and need students (GRAs ) t be able to learn that program quickly.  They should have access to it as well.  That is done with quant software, so it is just equitable
I would just like to see more than one mac person in my college
I work in South Stadium Hall, so my biggest complaint is the intermittent availability of wireless, especially in the classrooms when I want to show online content. I can never predict when of if I can get on line; Ihave an ethernet connection in my office, and some of the class rooms do, but not all (or I haven't found them).
I wish you'd stop changing services every time someone gets a wild hair.  T-mail is working by and large, so leave it alone.  I have migrated three times now and don't want to migrate any more.
I wish there was a way to disable wireless communications in large lecture halls... some students pay more attention to the internet than the lectures, typically in large introductory courses.
I wish that the commons was open 24/7 for walk-in help. This would be a great benefit to students and faculty. We need more skilled people on the help desk that can help us right away versus telling us to wait until the commons is open or for an appointment with our college IT person
I wish more user friendly interface and tutorials
I wish more software was available to students and faculty at negotiated rates. UTK should have the buying power to do this more often.  Especially non-server based applications.  My students won't use the Sigmaplot because it is server based and too slow.  The University I was at before had yearly renewable CDs for $99 for this to run locally. COMSOL is also incredibly expensive to maintain for the department and a reduced fee for the package and modules would be wonderful.  ProE, others too. Thanks.
I will be accessing you more as I get some projects up and running, where determining the best way to collect data (chemstation), access it and then which programs or methods would be best for data analyses.

Another hugh issue is the data generated by sequencing and other omic techniques where very large files are beening generated so storage and then computational analyses will be and issue.  Do we have access to a UT cloud?  other issues there with security and outside access.
I was very upset that I was not notified that Live Online was going to be discontinued and that it was during the Spring semester with very little time to adapt to a new system!!
I was surprised at the lack of customer service at the help desk, at the computer store, etc.  It seems there is nowhere on campus for faculty to go to establish their computing needs.  It seems like its all 'do it yourself' and try to find where the information exists online ...somewhere.  That is why I did not suggest UTK support for the software I use.
I use some of these services every year or two. I am retired.
I took a one day course to set up my own website. Then I learned that UTCVM faculty were not allowed to have their own web pages. Very disappointing. How can I keep mine up to date if I have to have someone else do it for me?
I think that UT is doing a GREAT job supporting faculty. However, this college is WAY behind the times in access to technology in our classrooms.....other than wireless. We should have some type of electronic whiteboards in each classroom in our building.
I only barely use any University technology.  My position is far off-site and I do not rely on an UT systems for my research and work.
I needed to conduct a survey in a foreign country and I met with Mike O'Neil and he helped me set up my survey using mrInterview, which is a clunky program to begin with. I had difficulties implementing the survey during fieldwork, some error messages regarding a server at UTK. I sent several emails to Mike O'Neil to get help with resolving the matter but he did not respond. I have been less than impressed with Mike O'Neil's level of customer service. Besides my difficulties in implementing the survey, I've recommended that one of my female colleagues see Mike to get assistance with implementing her survey. I asked her how it went. She thought that he was too flirty and unprofessional and Mike especially seemed less interested in helping her after she told Mike that she was already in a committed relationship. From my perspective, Mike's level of customer service has been terrible.
I marked satisfied, but I would categorize it as somewhat satisfied.
I mainly use T-Mail. It appears to lack workable filters so that I get 95% spam.
My home IP (Comcast) filters out all the spam that gets rerouted to my home computer.
I just need good e-mail access and the Blackboard website.
I have everything I need.  The MATLAB license is very important to me.
I have been very happy with OIT and their willingness to provide whatever assistance I have needed
I have been concernced because the server bumps me off a great deal when I am in the middle of an e-mail.
I especially appreciate the expertise of John Morgan and Patrick Villaverde on the occasions I DO need help with my computer.
I do think more commitment to Mac support is needed.
I continue to be amazed that we do not have site licenses for STATA, which is the program of choice in political science as well as other social science disciplines. The lack of access to this program seriously undermines our ability to teach statistics courses to grad and undergrad students. I can afford to pay for the software, but the students often cannot, and the lack of access to such an essential program is appalling.
i can't believe the level to which things are out of date.  i have a computer that is so slow in my office and half the time doesn't work.  after coming here from ohio state, and before that the univ. of texas, it is so obvious how underfunded UTenn is.  the quality of technology/web resources available is way behind the rest
I believe OIT is the best run organization at UT. You are maybe the main reason why I don't want to retire.

I am so grateful to you that I frequently think that I should bring you a cake.
I appreciate the work of the staff who keep things going.
I am shocked that there is no faculty-centered research lab and that there is no software troubleshooting offered by qualified individuals at a major research institution.
I am satisfied with email and computer services in general, but dissatisfied with the general IT structure and the software environment as regards access to class information, grading input, ease of maneuver within applications, departmental control of web pages, and the like.
I am currently creating an online hybrid class and have had wonderful help by Michael Burke and Jerry Riehl in Hoskins in putting my class online through MediaSite, etc.
I am annoyed that you have to attend clicker training to get a clicker receiver.  I have used clickers at other universities and this is never their policy.

Really dislike that we can't see our photo rosters in large lecture classes because they are all affiliated with the lab sections.

Same with grade entry.  Having to enter the grades lab by lab for a large lecture class is incrediubly tedious and I think the systems needs to better accomodate logistics for large lecture classes.

Uploading and downloading grades into blackboard is impossible (except for manual entry).  Why does this have to be so nonintuitive??
I am a dean, so I do not use many of the datebase and research tools at this point in my career, however, they are extremely important for our departments and faculty.  OIT is very responsive to my needs and always has been.
However, I really think Blackboard is cumbersome, doesn't use current technology, not user friendly.
Help Desk folks have usually been very effective in getting back to me and in walking me through any steps I needed to take. Much appreciated.
Have found OIT trouble shooting staff very helpful, timely, responsive, reliable and professional.
Generally good; too many outages; too many dead spots in wireless network in Law College.
From time to time over the years, we've looked to OIT for help with development assistance--e.g., developing an on-line questionnaire--and were dismayed at the amount of lead time needed. I wish this type of service could be provided more quickly -- perhaps with contractors that OIT vets.
Except for having to use Exchange and Outlook all is fine. Outlook is particularly terrible compared with, say, Eudora. The search in Outlook is awful, the GUI is confusing, and the capabilities for multiple accounts and different settings for each is lame.
Excellent service.
Excellant Service!  Always there to answer and assist!
E-mail continues to get lost for no reason.

Blackboard continues to go down more often than it should.

ATLAS.ti is not supported well by research computing.
David Boroff is great- he is fast, thorough and accurate.
County offices get little troubleshooting help to to IT/staff ratio.
consolidated password management via ActiveDirectory can be problematic at password updates when using Outlook to access the account on different platforms
Computer problems always handled promptly and efficiently.
Campus has long needed a content management system. If the campus communications department, who sets web standards, does not use data center or campus hosting, why should we. Also many needs specific to this college are not supported by univ. tech.
Blackboard is miserable, I'd love help developing an alternative way to get material to classes.
Blackboard is cumbersome & is often down 3-4 critical times during a semester.  It's more of an impediment than a help, but we have no alternative.

Central requests for OIT support are not always effective. Recently, tech support came to my office only to tell me that he didn't want to "mess" with restrictions put in by my college.  Needing a tech to complete the simplest installs is maybe not the best use of resources. Is there evidence that this actually prevents malware attacks?  It seems at times that OIT believes its mission is to protect the network from faculty rather than to ensure their access to it.  Without evidence that allowing users to install updates/software is more expensive than trying to maintain central control (which includes lost time/productivity of the person requesting help), we should go back to allowing us administrative privileges & route requests to the department/college first.

BTW, limiting response length is a great example of what not to do in a survey like this!
Blackboard and Banner is very unreliable, especially when they are most needed.  I am not sure why this has to be the problem because we basically cannot work when these services are nit available.
Banner is a nightmare; difficult to access, inflexible. I know these things take time but there seems to be little excuse for how cumbersome the process is, and how non-intuitive.
as an adjunct instructor, I'd be just as happy to use my personal email rather than tmail account, but blackboard is very necessary for communication with students, tests, etc.
As a retired person, our needs were not addressed in this survey.  I don't know how much space I have here to comment on this.
As a faculty member, I deal with large numbers of large files attached to emails on a daily basis.  The default quota of 1 GB is laughably small for handling this level of data.  Though OIT was helpful in increasing my quota at my request, I am nonetheless baffled at the quotas offered to faculty as a matter of course.  With accounts quickly swamped by student assignments and presentations, faculty may choose to resort to the use of cloud-based email solutions that can better handle the baseline data volume associated with their position.  This could possibly result in untoward consequences for the university by exposing FERPA information or proprietary research data in the wake of a database breach, for example.  OIT must ensure that faculty email is able to handle all faculty needs.  To do otherwise is irresponsible.
Always readily available and willing to assist...........
Although I hate Banner...get something else.
A serious university needs serious research computing.  When SPSS is your primary statistical computing software, your university is a joke.
(1)    Launching a new DE program the day a class begins seems to be one of the worst ways to implement technology. No one had a chance to prepare for uncommon classroom procedures, such as the use of interpreters, newer programs, etc. I don’t care what reasons we have for this; the people who made this decision should ask teachers and students their opinion.

(2)    Bb Collaborate seems to be a much better product than Centra. I appreciate the work OIT put into training opportunities.

(3)    Students are dropped off with regularity from the system. In any given class/evening, 20-30% of students will be bumped off and have to log back on.

(4)    I’m frustrated that I am told that DE is one of UT’s focus areas for future growth yet staff that could be helping instructors and students are continually cut, major systems are launch the day class begins, and in-class assistance is done away with. Either support it or close it down.

1. Consider Offering | 2. Overall Satisfaction | 3. OIT Services you're not using



The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System