Fairﬁeld University is a private liberal arts
institution consisting of 3,000 undergraduate
students and about 1,000 graduate students.
The university is composed of a College of Arts
and Sciences, School of Business, School of
Nursing, School of Continuing Education, BEI
School of Engineering, Graduate School of
Education and Allied Professions, Graduate
School of Business, and Graduate School of
The university ﬁrst acquired an IBM 1500
computer in 1968, which served the institution
for its academic and administrative applications
until 1979. In 1979, a DEC System 2060 was
acquired followed by a DEC VAX in 1986.
Most of the departments on campus were con-
nected to the main system through data lines,
and used terminals for access to the data stored
on the central system.
In 1992, a change was instituted that led to
the installation of a ﬁber optic backbone, and
every building was connected through this
backbone. The plan was for every building to be
connected through local area networks (LANs).
Thus the terminals were to be replaced by
personal computers connected to the LAN.
The purpose of this study is to examine man-
agerial and economic aspects of the introduc-
tion of information technology at Fairﬁeld
University, its recent rapid growth, and to draw
conclusions about Fairﬁeld University’s needs.
To ensure a logical and consistent research
design, the research in this study replicated the
work of Levy (1988) at the University of
Arizona. This study also extended the Levy
(1988) study in its investigation of the aspects of
the Internet, the World Wide Web, and client/
server computing. The replication of the Levy
(1988) study at Fairﬁeld University is also an
extension of the original study from a large
university to a small private institution.
Managerial issues examined included the
level of managerial and faculty commitment to
information technologies. In addition, the
degree of centralization/decentralization, the
in a university: a case
Winston Tellis is Director of Technical Services, Fairﬁeld
University, Fairﬁeld, Connecticut, USA.
Reports on a case study conducted at Fairﬁeld University,
USA, on the rapid increase in information technology
implementation. The study replicated the work of Levy and
extended it by examining aspects of the Internet, World Wide
Web, and client/server computing. Survey instruments were
the primary means of data collection, augmented by
interviews and internal documents. The results show
potentially large increases in expenditure ahead as users feel
the need to use the new technology. Users, however rejected
most of the listed sources of funds to pay for the increase in
expenditure. Recommendations include more formal server
capacity planning and conﬁguration, and shorter information
technology planning cycles.
Campus-Wide Information Systems
Volume 14 · Number 3 · 1997 · pp. 78–91
© MCB University Press · ISSN 1065-0741