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University of Auckland

  • Senior IS executive:

    Liz Coulter, Director, ITS
  • Name of organisation:

    University of Auckland
  • Reports to:

    Corporate CIO
  • 2015 Ranking:

    10
  • Size of IS shop:

    404
  • Total screens:

    62,399 including BYOD
  • Address:

    58 Symonds Street, Auckland City
  • Website:

  • Key IS projects this year:

    PeopleSoft Finance upgrade, BI and Reporting Programme of Work, Campus Solutions upgrade, Canvas LMS.
The university is replacing its homegrown Learning Management System and shifting to Canvas in order to provide a more flexible, modern tool for both students and faculty.

LEADING THE ICT at New Zealand’s largest university provides a different scale of challenges for ITS director Liz Coulter and her team.

The ICT team works on projects spanning eight faculties and 30 inter- disciplinary research groups.

The ICT staff supports more than 62,000 screens, of which 40,000 are BYOD devices of students. Coulter says the BYOD support is limited, “on best endeavour basis, mainly with intranet knowledge articles and FAQs”.

Coulter says the university’s ICT budget will increase up to 10 per cent this year, but numbers for staff and projects will remain steady.

This year, they will be working on a range of projects that include an upgrade to the PeopleSoft Finance system, BI and Reporting Programme of work and upgrade to the Campus Solutions.

The university is replacing its homegrown Learning Management System and shifting to Canvas in order to provide a more flexible, modern tool for both students and faculty. The new LMS will integrate seamlessly with external tools and applications used by faculty, and work across operating systems of devices used by students.

Coulter says other projects the team will also work on are a new lecture recording solution, portfolio resource planning, and greater automation for service management and provision.

In the past year, Coulter and her team’s work on infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) has laid the platform for large improvements in time and cost for the business.

In upcoming months, the university will continue investments in business intelligence and analytics, infrastructure consolidation, systems operations, automation with enterprise management software, unified communications and content management systems.

Coulter continues to be active in ICT industry events. For the past two years, she has been organising the Women in IT Conference at Auckland University, where she invites IT professionals, academics, students and alumni for a day- long discussion on mentoring, persity and encouraging more young people to consider a career in ICT. She is also increasing persity in her own ICT team, where at the moment, more than a quarter are women. “We are looking at how we might improve on those statistics.”

Coulter also works with her ICT leadership peers in the education sector, through the NZ Universities Information and Communications Technology

Committee (ICTC), the Council of Australian Universities of Directors (CAUDIT), and i Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE).

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