Distributed Technology Support

Distributed Technology Support

Distributed Technology Support is an informal designation created by University Technology Services to create a community of practice for information technology professionals employed in various campus roles outside the central information technology organization. The Distributed Technology Support (DTS) role is not formal and is not maintained by University Human Resources. Positions in the DTS role are self-identified, identified by a supervisor, or identified through historical transitions. The CIO has maintained the DTS employee list for a variety of purposes, including answering higher education surveys about staff support.


The purpose of this document is to provide documentation about the Distributed Technology Services role and support model.

Members of the Distributed Technology Support Staff

Members of the informal Distributed Technology Support group are best identified by reviewing the DTS Google Group. We have found over time that the best place to keep a single maintained definitive list is through the email group contact list.

DTS Roles and Responsibilities

Job roles and responsibilities for DTS members vary. There is no standard role or position description. In fact, there are as many position descriptions as staff members, as Oakland University practices a position description environment that supports individual input and local design. In general, there are some common groups, although there are variations and blendings in each group:

  • General desktop support
  • Deployed fleet desktop support, such as a computer lab or public group
  • Helpdesk services, which involves taking questions and providing information services and support
  • Local reporting including design and development of reports
  • Data scripting for file feed export/transfer/load projects
  • Development and support of e-learning systems and solutions
  • Development and support of classroom or other presentation system
  • Support for local applications, sometimes including being a specialist on a local application
  • Providing expert support on systems and data for a specific unit

Helpdesk Teams

A helpdesk is generally a team that provides answers, services, and support to a contact group. Many of our contact groups involve students as clients. Some involve providing a base level of services to faculty as clients. Note that all DTS members do not work on helpdesk teams. All helpdesk team members may not have been disclosed or may not have elected to participate in DTS activities. We have several helpdesks at Oakland University, with public contact information posted as follows:

Which DTS Member represents each Helpdesk?

The best way to determine the helpdesk and the associated DTS member is by looking at the Google Group and the home department of the DTS member.

Data Approvals

Approvals for data usually do not overlap with technology support. Approvals for data follow a data maintenance and control method defined by a Data Steward. Data Stewards and their roles are described in Policy #860 Information Security. Data Stewards are named in the policy attachment. Additionally, some areas have data analysts that also serve as systems analysts and may be primary contacts for advanced issues involving data. There are data analysts in Finance and Administration, the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Institutional Research, Academic Advising (a disbursed unit), Facilities Management, University Human Resources, and University Advancement.


The mapping of incoming requests to helpdesk referral is challenging. If a request comes from a Helpdesk, we should assume that the unit is the Tier 1 helpdesk and a ticket is referred to UTS as Tier 2. If a general public request comes to us as Tier 1, we should attempt to first refer the request to the local Tier 1 helpdesk for the best and most qualified response to the client. It may feel like a shuffle, but this is really about getting the best answer from the person most qualified to answer as fast as possible. If it makes sense, add the assigned area as a CC: on the ticket.

Systems by Area

Individual departments usually have subject matter experts with significant knowledge of applications used in that department. Please contact these office for subject matter experts.

Admissions - Graduate and Undergraduate (Undergraduate - Steve Szalay, Graduate Claire Rammel)

Recruit - Hosted solution, anything to do with an admissions application

University Advancement (includes Alumni Engagement and Decision Support areas) (Lauren Jeske, Christopher Bowles)

iModules, Reeher, Wealth Engine

Classroom and Instructional Support

Classroom technology, public presentation technology at events, group WebEx

Student Business Services (Linda Switzer, Robert Bonam)

eBill, TouchNet, Banner Billing and Financial Aid questions

Career Services (Noah Pollack)


E-learning and Instructional Support ELIS

Moodle, eSpace, ePortfolio, Panopto, instructional WebEx, Second Life, i-clicker, Scantron, Akindi

Facilities Management (Sean Dillon)

eMaint, eBuilder, Key Management, Honeywell

General OU Helpdesk (Susan Hartman)

Desktop support for areas not covered by local desktop support, general student questions

ID Card Operations and Student Technology Center (Leo Debiaggi, ID Card - Don Ritenburgh)

Blackboard Transact

Student Success and EAB

EAB Global - Student Success Campus (Krista Malley)

Academic Performance Solutions (Peggy Cooke)

Student Technology Center (Leo Debiaggi)

Student Affairs office desktops and laptops, student computer assistance, OrgSync, Vermont Systems

Kresge Library (Rob Burns, Sarah Butash)

Ex Libris Alma Library Management, DSpace, Voyager, deployed desktops in the commons, office desktops, laptop check outs

Registrar (Jon Davidson)

Registration issues, grade issues, National Student Clearinghouse

University Housing (Adam Sternburgh)


University Human Resources (Chitra Krishnan)

PeopleAdmin (TEAMS), Skillsoft

College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration, School of Education and Human Services, School of Engineering and Computer Science, School of Nursing

Faculty desktops, computer labs, for each area

School of Medicine (Robert McAuley, Tim French)

AMP, Empower, SolarWinds Web Helpdesk

October 2018