When the University decided to bring students back to campus this fall amid a pandemic, a number of things had to happen to make sure Notre Dame was ready for the “what if’s.”
For example, it was likely that the Notre Dame community would be exposed to COVID-19 and people would need to be tested. Also, surveillance testing needed to be established to identify those who had the virus but were asymptomatic. There would need to be isolation and quarantine locations. And those instances only scratch the surface. Much of what needed to happen involved the Office of Information Technologies (OIT).
OIT is often behind the scenes (staffing the help desk, working to bring us all up to speed on Zoom, supporting the new outdoor spaces for students, and in myriad other ways), but NDWorks wanted to pull them out front and acknowledge all they’ve accomplished to help the University have a successful fall semester. Here’s some of the feedback we received when we asked University leaders how OIT helped.
“The OIT team has been an integral part of the COVID-19 Response Team (CRU) since the University began planning for the beginning of this unprecedented academic year. They were called to develop, implement and coordinate numerous technology elements, in an extremely short time frame, that impact critical operations like the Daily Health Check, COVID test orders at the University Testing Site, contact tracing record systems, quarantine and isolation programs and the HERE website and dashboard, just to name a few. OIT's impact has been invaluable as the University continues to navigate this challenging time.”
Michael D. Seamon
Vice President for Campus Safety and University Operations
“Daily health checks and contact tracing are both essential in keeping our community safe. The entire team had the ability to lead through the creation and management of ongoing strategies as well as amazing willingness and ability to adapt to change. The team's tireless pursuit to keep the University on a positive trajectory through the 2020 pandemic cannot be overstated.”
Senior Director of Emergency Management
University of Notre Dame Police Department
“During the fall semester, OIT has been essential in the development and execution of an effective response to the coronavirus on campus. I am incredibly grateful for their partnership. The OIT has continually embraced challenges as the semester progressed. Their creativity and commitment to understanding issues and developing the most impactful solutions further allowed for the COVID-19 Response Unit's ability to keep the Notre Dame community safe and healthy. Most importantly, the care and kindness that they exemplified during the entire process is what was most inspiring.”
Quarantine Testing Team
COVID-19 Response Unit
“The OIT team was an amazing partner that not only listened to the needs of staff as we cared for students, they were continually trying to make our lives easier through creating or modifying programs and systems. This allowed us to more efficiently and expeditiously respond to students. Day and night they were available to help even when they were tasked with numerous projects. They were creative, gracious under pressure, accessible and approachable. Not sure how we would have navigated the semester without them.”
Christine Caron Gebhardt, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President of Student Services
Division of Student Affairs
“The OIT team has provided immense support to the testing site these past months. Through many conversations and countless hours of work, we have been able to take initial plans to look collectively at many departments with various needs from multiple systems and bring to life something new. The plan is ever evolving and there is no one-size-fits-all model. I'm grateful in these challenging times to have been able to interact with many across OIT and other campus departments and am thankful to have met and collaborated with such talented individuals.”
Ami Driscoll, BSN, RN, EMT
COVID-19 Response Unit
Central Testing Site Ops Lead
“Notre Dame Learning had many critical collaborators in supporting instructors in their design and delivery of the best possible learning experiences for our students this fall. In particular, there were three areas of OIT that did outstanding work to this end. OIT Teaching and Learning Technologies provided support for technology tools that facilitated learning including Sakai, Zoom, Gradescope and many other tools. OIT's Audio Video Technologies group completed a Herculean effort to install the infrastructure that made dual-mode instruction possible. And ND Studios provided additional capacity for the creation of digital materials and the management and support of the Global Classroom. In addition to those groups, the OIT Help Desk added to its capacity and extended its hours. OIT also formed a teaching triage group to ensure that instructors' questions were handled as quickly as possible.”
Senior Director, ND Learning
Director, Kaneb Center for Teaching Excellence