The Current State of Technology at VUU
One of the campus’s historic achievements is the development of the centralized information technology data network structure over the past five years. In late January 2000, the Office of Information Technology was established at Virginia Union University in an effort to develop a centralized information technology infrastructure for the institution. Prior to this initiative, the primitive network was based on a decentralized and ad-hoc structure with several local area networks not fully addressing its needs in a fast-changing world of information technology in higher education. Due to cost restrictions, wireless was the connectivity choice over wired because eight of the nine buildings on campus were not conducive to wiring. Thus Virginia Union University became the 1st institution in Virginia and the second in the nation to become a totally wireless campus. This Historically Black Institution or College (HBCU) achieved this feat for a mere $800,000 where other contractors estimated the cost for a wired campus at $3 million alone. Over the past five years, the campus community has become increasingly reliant on the high level of intra- and inter-network connections provided by this wireless campus network.
In 2000, the IT Center was unquestionably, a modest, small, beautiful facility in its early years. A new Help Desk was developed to serve as a one-stop point-of-contact for all information technology users at the University. Currently, information technology users who need computer-related help are encouraged to call the IT Center for assistance.
A back room inside the new IT Center was converted to house the new VUU-ITC network christened vuuNet on November 21, 2000. Prior to 2000, this small room contained old furniture and yards of tangled cables and wires but was transformed into a professionally designed Master Control Center with raised floors, shelves, servers, computer monitors, hubs, routers, e-mail, Web, and Internet access stations.
Servers and the University's IBM mini computer are integrated centrally into the network. The vuuNet network, like any computer network, demands constant monitoring to ensure the hundreds of parts, access points, radios, antennas, hubs, routers, switches, servers and operating software installed in buildings and strategic locations throughout the campus.
The Office of Information Technology continues to upgrade the campus information technology network to the address emerging and expanding technological needs of students, faculty, and staff. This early 2000 facility benefited the institution in past years, but has since become dated, obsolete, and not conducive to properly servicing the needs of the University.