Role of the Department Contact

A CLAS Department Computer Contact acts as the point of contact for computer users within a department. For those departments served by CLAS IT, they also act the department’s liaison with us.

Why contacts are needed

Users in a department need someone to contact when they have computer-related needs or questions. CLAS IT needs a contact within the department to coordinate computer activity within the department. Contacts also act as a filter between CLAS IT and huge user base (over 3000 users in 50 departments and centers).

How CLAS IT assists the department contacts

CLAS IT provides training and assistance to department contacts. Our web pages contain detailed instructions for purchasing and installing new computers and software. Contacts may email questions to us at CLAS IT staff will meet with the contact and show them installation procedures. There’s also a mailing list, which CLAS IT uses to notify contacts about new features, downtime, and other information.

If a contact is unavailable, and a problem will not wait until the contact becomes available, CLAS IT will try to assist on a time-available basis. If the contact is going to be unavailable for a long period, a backup contact should be chosen.

Characteristics of an ideal contact

A contact should:

  • Be a full-time staff person. Faculty don’t usually keep regular 8-5 hours, and are often on trips, so they’re not quite as desirable as contacts as staff people. Part-time OPS students or graduate assistants can be used by the department to provide support, but should report to a full-time computer contact.
  • Be willing to learn. Contacts will need to acquire rudimentary computer knowledge in order to create and maintain computer accounts, purchase and install computers, and answer questions posed by the department’s users.
  • Have time available for their duties. If the department picks a contact, it should be someone who has time to perform their duties, preferably written into their official job description.

Things contacts should do

A contact should:

  • Let their users know how the system works.
  • Give their users theĀ Welcome to CLAS IT (PDF) handout, and show them the CLAS IT home page.
  • Make sure their users understand how storing their documents on the server can safeguard their data.
  • Make sure their users understand the CLAS IT policies on proper use of their accounts.