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Niagara County Community College has hired a nationally recognized college technology management company to take over most of its computer management.

College trustees agreed last week to hire Collegis of Maitland, Fla., to provide technological expertise and support for NCCC, which, officials concede, is "significantly strained" by its continuing conversion to a new computer program.

Collegis will work with the two-year college's existing information technology staff to integrate network management, telecommunications management, academic and administrative support, student computer laboratories, distance-learning efforts, student management, financial data bases and employee training needs.

"Collegis also will help to facilitate NCCC's ongoing conversion to a new student-management software package that has significantly strained the college's human resources staff over the past year," according to an announcement distributed by Tim Girdlestone, NCCC's director of public relations.

As part of the agreement, Collegis will provide NCCC with a full-time manager of information technology and manager of user services, "as well as any additional expertise and resources needed to address technology issues on campus."

Antonette J. Cleveland, the college's president, said the agreement with Collegis would permit NCCC "to focus on what we do best: teaching and serving Niagara County students. Collegis will ensure that we have the expertise to carry out that mission in a time when teaching and learning is becoming increasingly reliant on new technologies."

Recent improvements in technology at NCCC include the wiring of the entire campus with fiber-optic cable for Internet access, the purchase of more than 600 new computers for student laboratories, creation of eight multimedia classrooms and the construction of distance-learning classrooms on the Sanborn campus and at the Trott Access Center in Niagara Falls.

The college also is in the proces of buying a new telephone system and implementing a $7.3 million master plan with further improvements in technology.

NCCC Board chairwoman Joan Wolfgang said the college had contacted several other schools that are using Collegis.

"All of them cited the company's management and leadership expertise in helping their institutions to streamline operations and become leaders in the field of teching technologies," Mrs. Wolfgang said.

Girdlestone said the contract with Collegis still is being negotiated.

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