The user support unit of computer services is comprised of 16 full-time staff and approximately 50 part-time student employees. The team is comprised of a coordinator, three administrator positions, a technology training specialist, 10 centralized user support specialists and a third shift computer lab operator. We provide services seven days a week and have staff members split across all three shifts.
In user support we have a saying, “We support the user, not the computer.” Simply, this means that we provide help and guidance for all university staff, faculty, students and affiliates on any technology that is used, or can be used, at the university or to connect to the university.
We pride ourselves on being the gateway to computer services, as many staff members in other units of computer services and throughout the university began their careers in user support.
Operate the computer services help desk
User support operates the computer services help desk, which focuses on providing technology assistance for faculty, staff, and students. The computer services help desk functions as a single point-of-contact for questions on registration, Blackboard, Banner, My Missouri State, user accounts, smartphones and any other hardware and software related issues.
Serve as liaisons for users
User support as a whole serves as a liaison between our users and the various behind the scenes departments on campus. We provide an interface for these groups, and often serve as advocates for end-users when problems arise. We provide the users a face they can talk to when they have questions or problems.
Support desktop and mobile computing
We provide over-the-phone and in-person hardware and software help and support for all university-owned desktop and mobile computers, as well as providing support for all privately-owned computers, smartphones, and mobiles devices that connect to Missouri State resources. This support includes network connectivity issues such as VPN and wireless access. As part of our support for desktop and mobile computing, we also establish standardized hardware specifications for the university, run the university’s centralized antivirus/antispyware system, and participate in other security initiatives.
Provide individualized and group training
User support provides technology training, both individualized and group sessions, for university technology users. Current training efforts are focused on the Blackboard Learn LMS and Office 365, but training is available for many university technologies.
Provide information and documentation
User Support has implemented the Experts Knowledge Base wiki, which serves as a single, online documentation repository for the university community. Experts houses documentation on all implemented Banner modules and related systems, user and setup guides for university technology such as email and wireless devices, and collaboration spaces for departments and teams.
Operate computing facilities
User support operates the university’s three open-access computer labs and two technology training centers. The open-access computer labs provide printing, computing resources, and in-person technology help for everyone on campus, and are our primary vehicle for delivering services and support to students. The locations are Cheek Hall 150, Glass Hall 229, and Meyer Library 105. The Meyer Library 105 facility is open 24-hours a day for five days a week and is open on the weekend to better accommodate student schedules.
Manage printers and print servers
User support operates the main print servers that provide printer functionality and security for the Springfield and Mountain Grove campuses. In addition to physically installing and maintaining a great many printers on campus, we create and maintain server-side print queues, assign user permissions to these resources, and troubleshoot any client or server-side printing issues that may arise.
Perform research and consulting
Technology is changing rapidly, and user support is here to help the university. User support performs technology consulting and research services for any department, group, or individual that wants to implement technology in order to streamline processes and/or improve the end-user’s computing experience. After initial consultation, our group researches and tests various solutions in order to make informed recommendations to the group. When a solution is agreed upon, user support is often called upon to implement the technology or facilitate its implementation. Contact the computer services help desk for more information.
Software licensing and distribution
User support handles most university-wide software licensing and distribution. We serve as the university’s experts on software licensing and usage, and we work with procurement services, individual departments, and users to make sure that the correct software is ordered and the University gets the most “bang for its buck.”
User support works diligently to develop and educate students as technology users, employees, and overall successful persons. Our student workforce of approximately 50 individuals is a core part of the department because they provide much of the support for the campus. We train our student workforce to hone both technical and non-technical work skills to empower them in any career they chose. We are extremely proud that a great number of our former student workers have gone on to have careers at the university.
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