A national survey of residence hall accommodations shows University of Iowa students are happier than ever with their internet service, a trend campus officials attribute to technology enhancements.
Every other year, University Housing and Dining participates in a nationally benchmarked survey conducted by the assessment firm Skyfactor that asks students living in residence halls to rate a variety of experiences and services ranging from dining to technology.
The 2018-19 survey involved over 2,100 Iowa students (36 percent of the resident student population), who ranked their satisfaction with residence hall internet service an average of 5.99 on a seven-point scale—a marked improvement over Iowa’s 4.34 average in 2014.
Iowa’s rankings also rose significantly in comparison to other universities. Scores for Iowa ranked second of 246 schools that participated in the survey in 2018-19, up sharply from 119th of 262 schools in 2014-15.
Campus technology professionals attribute the increased satisfaction to installing commercial-grade wireless access points in each room in 2015. Another improvement was introducing UI-DeviceNet, a dedicated network for streaming and gaming.
“IT has worked diligently over the past few years to meet students’ desire and need for the highest level of connectivity in our residence halls, and they appreciate our continuing efforts,” says Von Stange, assistant vice president of student life and senior director of University Housing and Dining.
Division of Student Life IT Director Brandon Mills says students view robust network connectivity as a commodity.
“It’s a great sign that our residents rarely report issues,” Mills says. “These high customer service ratings are a product of the work IT staff did to make sure our wired network is blazing fast, the placement of hospitality-grade routers in all student rooms, and the ubiquitous wireless coverage.”
Several IT professionals were recognized with SPOT Awards for their contributions to improving connectivity in the residence halls: Guy Falsetti, Chris Meier, George Stumpf, Neil Johnson, and Scott Soppe.