IT’s World

SFUAD’s Information Technology department is as active as ever in ensuring the student body has all they need. Jeff Pearce, director of IT, sat down with Jackalope to reveal the new technology administered to the school, and to share some of the astounding data the department has collected.

Pearce’s team is fairly small: two other full-time employees and one student-worker. However, between the four of them they have approximately 43 years of experience. Interestingly, Pearce and his two employees are alumni from the College of Santa Fe, and this is in part the reason they’re so actively invested in the student body. Pearce has been in IT since SFUAD was founded some six years ago, and worked as assistant director in IT at the College of Santa Fe before that. “I’ve basically sat in the same chair for 13 years. I really love higher education and I love working with students. It makes me feel like I’m doing something—in helping others,” he says.


IT Director Jeff Pearce. Photo by Kyleigh Carter.

IT has been working hard on many projects for SFUAD. Notably, IT recently converted the old student portal (Campus Cruiser) to Office 365. Not only was the old student portal temperamental, and “spectacularly unpopular, with good reason,” it was also “old technology.” Office 365, which Pearce and his team are proud of securing for students, includes not only a fully-functioning e-mail system, but allows all students to use Office products without paying hundreds (if not more) dollars by downloading from the student portal. “You don’t have to pay a dime for it because you’re already our student,” Pearce says.

Another project IT is working on is Echo365. This program allows for lectures to be recorded via cameras and then posted to the school website. IT has some of the equipment already and is currently awaiting details to be sorted with the administration before its launch.

The other large project IT is working on is the LiveSafe app and its components. LiveSafe is a technology-based system that helps ensure safety for students on campus. IT is setting up mobile devices for security until security has permanent locals established.

Pearce and his staff also collect data, and since Pearce has worked on this campus for 13 years, he’s noted the changes of internet usage and the number of devices per user. For example, since this spring, students have connected more than 1,600 devices including: laptops, desktops, iPads, tablets, phones, televisions and media players. In the last month alone, students have downloaded the equivalent of 40,000 standard definition (DVD) movies or 20,000 high definition (Blu-ray) movies.


Common devices students use on the daily. Photo by Kyleigh Carter.

This data signifies around 50 percent more usage than only two years ago. The most popular and most used online tool is none other than Netflix. And in an interesting tidbit: Kennedy Hall has been and continues to be the dorm with the most data usage. Pearce and his team don’t know why exactly. Another interesting trend Pearce has found is the amount of data usage by hour on campus as a whole. The second highest usage time is 4 p.m. (as opposed to noon when many students are at lunch), and the highest usage time is midnight. By 3 a.m., Pearce says, the usage drops back down.

On average, students have an average of 3 1/2 devices each, and this is in part why IT decided to remove Comcast and go with CenturyLink, a provider with faster access. While a few students miss cable TV, the large majority are relieved to have internet service that’s faster and more reliable. Thirty buildings on campus (nearly all) have at least one router, and many buildings have more than one.

“We’ve really tried to plan this out so we can be reactive to the students needs,” says Pearce.


Here are the top three things IT wants students to know:

  1. IT wants to help you. Any problems with the internet can be taken to the IT office or staff can be reached via e-mail. Drop in any time!
  2. IT welcomes students to come in with questions about their own technology. While IT cannot place orders for students, if there are questions about troubleshooting, storage devices, etc., staff welcomes them.
  3. Location, location, location. IT is a bit hidden on campus. Their offices are in the basement of the Forum. To get to IT, walk around the side of the Forum, down the little driveway, and you’ll come across a door that says Information Technology. Students are welcome to come in at any time.

E-mail IT at: