Differences between Center for Academic Technologies, Computer Center explained (Features)

In an interview with Tim Barnes, Director of the Center for Academic Technologies and he explained the difference between the CAT and the Computer Center and the various tasks that the CAT handles.
The main burning question that students seem to want to be answered is “what does the CAT do?” Well, the answer is really quite simple says Barnes, “it’s administrative versus academic.” Put another way, Barnes explained it as a matter who you would report to for something to get fixed. If when someone reports to get something fixed, in regards to technology, they report to a division head (math, science, English, etc.) the people that would show up to fix everything would be from the CAT. However, if they report to a department head (financial aid, registrar, etc.) the people that’d show up would be from the Computer Center.


All of the computer labs on Concord’s campus are maintained by the CAT. Whether it be the Geology labs over in he science building or the Mac lab over in the Fine Arts building, it’s the CAT who keeps them working. They also maintain the networks and computers in the academic buildings. Barnes also noted that 90% of the technology assets on campus are academic related.

The CAT also handles some non-academic items like maintaining the A/C computer systems, taking care of the campus police systems, administering the financial software for the Concord Foundation, maintaining the Alumni website, and maintaining various servers around campus.

The CAT’s staff also teaches many workshops to faculty, staff and students. Many communication arts students are pretty familiar with the CAT area below the library because that’s where a couple of their workshops take place and many of their technology related classes are taught. Barnes himself teaches a video podcasting class available as a 400G class for comm. arts majors. But where they really shine when it comes to educating people is the workshops they hold during the summer for faculty and staff.

Barnes explained that the CAT teaches workshops on productivity tools, how to use technology classrooms, WebCT, learning objectives, and familiarization of new software. All of this is offered free of charge to faculty and staff. He noted that it’s usually more staff than faculty that shows up, usually the faculties’ secretaries.

If you’re interested in seeing the CAT and the technologies present there, it is located under the library on the left side, accessible by elevator or door. The radio station, genetics lab and WMLT studio are located down there as well.

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