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River Forest, IL  –  Dominican University is the recipient of a new, $2.5 million grant that will modernize and expand its information technology network while greatly enhancing student experience and access.

The U.S. Department of Commerce grant is provided through the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program, part of the Biden Administration’s Internet for All initiative, which aims to expand technology and reliable high-speed internet access to everyone in America.

Dominican, with an undergraduate enrollment that is more than 60% Hispanic, is one of only 12 minority-serving institutions of higher learning selected to receive this grant. The grant will allow the university to bring its broadband and IT capacity up to a robust level, which will allow for advanced technology education.

“With the $2.5 million from this grant, DU-IT can finally take proactive steps to future-proof our network, refresh the technology in many of our campus classrooms and, most importantly, assist our students in meeting their goals at Dominican,” said Todd Kleine, chief information officer for Dominican University.

Additionally, new state-of-the-art equipment purchased for the university’s Rebecca Crown Library and new, hands-on educational workshops will give students experience in using technology commonly found in today’s workforce, said Estevan Montaño, university librarian.

“This grant is important for Dominican as it allows us to strengthen and heighten our technology and instructional services in the library in an already competitive market,” Montaño said. “We are providing

a multidisciplinary and culturally responsive space for students to experiment and fully utilize a variety of technologies for their courses or other endeavors.”

The grant will fund the following over two years:

• Significant upgrades to wired and wireless network infrastructure, creating faster and more consistent network capabilities.

• Upgrades to student computer terminals in computer labs and classrooms.

• Instructor technology upgrades in 15 classrooms benefitting hybrid learning opportunities.

• New equipment for the WeatherTech Innovation Lab in the Rebecca Crown Library, such as kits for building digital and electronic devices, vinyl cutters and more.

• Stipends for technology workshops at Rebecca Crown Library and development opportunities for faculty and students.

• Paid internships for the Student Technology Corps, a program providing information technology work and learning opportunities.

• The hiring of four additional IT personnel and two new library technology coordinators.

“Addressing technology gaps through an innovative, targeted approach will strengthen our commitment to inclusivity and enrich technology equity for all current and future DU students,” said Anne Deeter, executive director of planning at Dominican.

Work on the wired and wireless network is slated to begin this spring, Kleine said. New computers will begin appearing over the summer and library training and workshops are also slated to begin during that time.


About Dominican University    

Founded in 1901, Dominican University is a comprehensive, coeducational Catholic institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees through the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences, the Borra College of Health Sciences, the Brennan School of Business and the College of Applied Social Sciences. The university also offers doctoral degrees in information studies and applied social justice. U.S. News & World Report ranks Dominican University among the top 15 of all Midwest regional master’s level universities, and #1 in Illinois for innovation, best value, undergraduate teaching and ensuring the social mobility of its graduates.