A DCO's responsibilities will be determined by the individual department, but are likely to include:
As proposed in the Working Group on Departmental Computing Officers 1999 (PDF , 27kb), the duties of a DCO are as follows:
DCOs should contribute to the formation and implementation of departmental IT policy, including advising departments on the suitability and use of centrally-provided IT facilities (including word-processing, spreadsheet, desktop publishing, departmental web-page provision, database programs and the central support systems) within the department. DCOs should be involved, together with HoDs and other senior managers, in establishing information strategies.
DCOs should be responsible for general computational assistance to taught graduates and undergraduates and first line assistance for departmental staff and research students.
IT Services should continue to be responsible for the following: network passwords, filestores, printing allocations, problems with centrally mounted software and machines in centrally available classrooms.
DCOs should be the channel for providing advice, support and technical assistance on all aspects of computing equipment for which their department is responsible. DCOs should be responsible for the procurement of specialist equipment, taking advantage of any deals or offers, investigating potential for collaboration with other departments and ensuring consistency with University policy.
DCOs should be responsible for ensuring the successful installation of new departmental computers, their network configuration, software installation and re-configuration of all machines after re-location or change of ownership.
(IT Services should continue to supply this as a service for a flat-rate fee.)
DCOs should be responsible for ensuring that an inventory of departmental computing equipment is maintained via a centrally-held database kept by IT Services. The scope of the inventory should be carefully defined so as to ensure the burden on departments is the minimum required to maintain utility.
DCOs should be responsible for the procurement of software for department specific uses (eg for use in practical classes) and for integration of software with the University network, where appropriate.
DCOs should liaise with departmental training officers and appropriate members of the academic staff to ensure that training and support of departmental staff and students is available.
DCOs should receive appropriate training and guidance including developments in technology and in University policy and strategy in relation to IT. DCOs should, in concert with departmental training officers, encourage staff to attend appropriate IT training.
DCOs should represent their department on appropriate internal and external committees and liaise with IT Services and the Library, including maintaining a connection to the Library's on-line information resources. DCOs should be the named points of contact for general communications between the Department and IT Services, and should disseminate information from IT Services within their departments. DCOs should normally contact IT Services via the IT Support Office.