nebraska hall

The Nebraska Hall link is pictured on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

As a part of our initiative called Curious Cornhuskers, an anonymous reader asked The Daily Nebraskan, “What is on the second floor of Nebraska Hall, behind the Engineering Library, that is constantly surveilled?”

The Information Technology Services Operations Center sits on the second floor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Nebraska Hall, tucked away behind the Engineering Library and several surveillance cameras.

Neil Wineman, the assistant vice president of Client Services for ITS, said the center is so secure because of the critical data stored on its systems.

The center — which is part of UNL’s larger ITS operations — directs calls on main university phone lines, oversees the Nebraska Hall Data Center and provides other help desk-type assistance. Wineman said the center runs 24/7/365 and includes both full-time and student workers.

He said the center has existed in some form since the ’80s, although its duties have evolved over time to accommodate campus’ technology needs.

“Early on, its responsibilities revolved primarily around voice communications, including answering and directing call inquiries for the university and state government,” Wineman said.

He said the dorm rooms had landline phones until the late 2000s, so the center directed those calls as well. Other previous duties included monitoring all campus alarms, which have since been taken over by the UNL police department.

Today, Wineman said the center still answers main university phone lines, but lower call volumes have allowed the center to oversee other things.

“[The center] has shifted from providing mostly voice-related services, to providing a wide variety of system monitoring, network monitoring and basic Help Desk-type functions,” he said. “It will continue to change and evolve as needs of the campus require.”