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About the Office of Information Technology

About Us

Academic Technology Services

In conjunction with the recent re-organization, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) Help Desk will continue to assist the campus community by providing general information about, access to, and support for the following applications: Blackboard, Qualtrics, ExamSoft, WordPress, Sitecore, and various statistical applications (SAS, SPSS, Mathematica, etc.)

The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) will assist and consult with faculty on the use of these tools to enhance course instruction, student engagement, and learning assessment.

Application Development and Support Services

The Application Development and Support Services, led by Ron Lujan, consists of technical developers that offer programming and consulting for the Access.SMU, AdminImages, Sitecore, SMU Budgets, SMU Financials, and Voyager (PONI) systems on campus. This team is responsible for maintaining, interfacing and customizing the database applications as well as working with Systems to implement new phases of Access.SMU and PONI. The Applications team also provides web infrastructure support and development, and desktop database support.

Command and Control and Information Security

The CCIS team is responsible for implementing and monitoring a diverse security infrastructure to protect the University physical security as well as cyber-security. Through Command and Control, the team oversees the University’s physical security infrastructure including video surveillance, mass notification, physical (ID Card) and biometric credential management, stored value accounts, and door access.  The team is also responsible for overseeing information security technologies, security investigations, and ensuring that all university servers and technology services meet security specifications.  The team plays a key role in cyber-security compliance for credit card security (PCI-DSS), Identity Theft protection (FTC Red Flag rules), copyright issues (DMCA), student loans (GLBA), and health records (HIPAA) by consulting with local teams, advising on system and network architectures, and through regular assessments and testing.

Database and Integration Services

The Database and Integration Services team, led by Curt Herridge, builds and sustains SMU's 300+ virtual servers, 400+ databases and applications that run many of the systems at the University. Major databases/systems supported are PeopleSoft, Blackbaud, Blackboard, Inside.SMU, AdminImages (15M pages of documents) and The team also supports Apps.SMU – our virtual lab application.

Systems Services and Data Center Management

The Systems Services and Data Center Management team, under the leadership of Allen Hughes, is responsible for providing servers, storage and systems software services for the University. Systems software services include: High Performance Computing support for SMU research community; Linux and Windows Server support services; unified messaging services; SMU account and access management; virtualized hosted systems; enterprise file storage services; server data backup/recovery services; collaboration systems support services; and support for numerous cloud services, such as Office 365.  The team is also responsible for managing the University Data Center and Plano Recovery Data Center.

Technology Support Services

Technology Support Services, under the leadership of Abby Kinney, is responsible for providing client technology support to all students, faculty, staff and others affiliated with the University. This technology support includes the following services: IT Help Desk for reporting all technology related requests and issues; client hardware and software support for 5,000+ computing devices campus wide (including procurement, installation, software installations and updates and recycling); Audio/Video (AV) installation consulting and support for AV equipment in classrooms and meeting rooms; departmental cellular phone acquisition and support; training for Access.SMU, AdminImages, Adobe applications, Inside.SMU, Microsoft Office, SMU Financials, and other services provided by the Office of Information Technology; campus client software license management; and general computing support to all users affiliated with the University. In addition the team oversees IT communication efforts and departmental Project Management coordination.

Telecommunications Services

Telecommunications Services is responsible for maintaining the campus wired and wireless network (including upgrading and installing network equipment), maintaining inside/outside cable plant, telephone and voice mail operations, and providing SMU directory assistance. Telecommunications provides long distance, calling card, and audio conferencing services for faculty, staff and students and is responsible for the campus wide cellular and cable services contracts. The director of Telecommunications also serves on the SMU Emergency Management Taskforce.

Web Application Services

Web Applications Services, under the leadership of Aren Cambre, creates new applications, extensions and customizations to existing applications, and automation for manual tasks. They specialize in marketing technologies (Sitecore, WordPress, HTML5, user experience (UX), etc.); library systems; imaging services and workflow; advanced SharePoint applications; and software development. They partner with OIT's Technology Support Services for routine user support, tasks to satisfy standard user requests, and user training. They also partner with DEA Public Affairs for marketing technology leadership.

The IT Advisory Council (ITAC) will advise the Chief Information Officer of the University on standards, policies and practices related to the selection, deployment, management and assessment of information services used in support of campus-wide and school-based academic, research and administrative programs. Information Technology Policy plays a critical role in providing guidance for governance issues impacting the University’s distributed Technology Support model and will provide a framework for collaboration between and among all departments. The primary mission of Information Technology at Southern Methodist University is to enhance the research, teaching, and learning experience at the University. SMU has a complex decentralized structure and the technology environment should create a balance between:

Innovation vs. Stability/Reliability
Standardization vs. Autonomy/Experimentation
Accessibility vs. Security/Privacy
Consensus vs. Efficiency in Decision Making
Centralized vs. Distributed Services
Proprietary vs. Open Source

Southern Methodist University’s Information Technology Guiding Principles articulate the University’s shared organizational values, underlie our strategic vision and mission, and serve as a foundation for our integrated decision-making framework. The initial terms of reference for the ITAC will include, but not be limited to, the following charter functions:

Charter Functions of ITAC:

  1. Provide guidance for campus-wide technology services:
    1. Review and recommend changes to the IT Strategic Plan and alignment to the University Strategic Plan
    2. Review services for alignment with the Strategic Plans
    3. Recommend Guidelines/Policies for the role of IT and how technology is used on campus
  2. Reviewing and supporting the maintenance of campus-wide and unit-specific IT policies and procedures.
  3. Assisting in the specification of a standard operating environments on campus.
  4. Instructional technology and academic computing needs focused on aligning University investments in this area to academic initiatives.
  5. Provide guidance for IT Services at SMU:
    1. Recommend and prioritize new strategic IT Initiatives
    2. Assist in the development and review of campus IT Policies
    3. Establish appropriate focus groups to evaluate IT Services
    4. Review and Critique Service Level Agreements (SLA) for critical IT Services
    5. Gather reports from standing IT Collaborative groups as needed
  6. Provide status reporting on the IT Advisory Council activities
    1. Define process for reporting Advisory Council results and initiatives to senior management / campus community
  7. Provide guidance for effective and appropriate management of IT risks
  8. Review IT Service Catalog
    1. Create Focus Groups to gather input on new service initiatives as needed
    2. Create Focus Groups to review existing service offerings for improvement as needed

ITAC Membership

The ITAC is chaired by two members of the council and appointed by the Provost, CFO and CIO and consist of 22 representatives. Each Co-Chair is appointed for a staggered three year term.

OIT Personnel are located in several buildings across campus including Blanton, Hughes Trigg, and Expressway Towers.

Phone: 214-768-4357

Main Mailing Address:

The Office of Information Technology
Southern Methodist University
PO Box 750262
Dallas, TX 75275

Blanton Location

6185 Airline Road, Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75205

Hughes Trigg

3140 Dyer Street
Dallas, TX 75205

Fondren Library East Location

6414 Robert S. Hyer Lane
Dallas, Texas 75205

Expressway Towers Location

6116 North Central Expressway, Suite 180
Dallas, TX 75206

Leadership Team

  • Joe Gargiulo: CIO
  • Karie Conklin: Assistant to the CIO
  • Abby Kinney: Director of Technology Support Services
  • Allen Hughes: Director of System Infrastructure Services
  • Aren Cambre: leader of Web Application Services
  • Curt Herridge: leader of Database and Integration Services
  • David Nguyen: Director of Networking and Telecommunications
  • George Finney: Director of Digital Interests/ Information Security Officer
  • Ron Lujan: Director of Application Development and Support Services