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Network Support Specialist

Department: Informaiton Systems and Technology Effective Date: April, 2010

USG 9-13

35 hr/wk

Reports to: Director, Network Services, or their designate

General Accountability

The Network Support Specialist reports to the Director, Network Services , or their designate. The Specialist is responsible for a wide range of activities related to the stable and efficient operation of the network infrastructure on which the University depends. The Specialist is familiar with, complies with, and at all times promotes the University's policies and its directives related to information systems and technology.

Nature and Scope

The use of information technology is pervasive in teaching, research and administration at the university. The ability to use that information technology effectively is dependent on a campus network infrastructure that is "always on". The major responsibility of the Network Support Specialist is to provide a stable network infrastructure for the campus. On a broad scale, this includes:

Statistical Data

As of 2006-10, the campus network includes approximately 800 edge-switch devices providing wired-access connectivity to 20,000 user devices (servers, workstations, printers, VoIP phones, etc), 600 wireless access-point devices enabling laptop/handheld connectivity in all on-campus buildings, 100 building-level aggregation switches, 10 constituency-aggregation switch/routers, 2 core switch/routers, 2 external-constituency security appliances, several hundred security/surveillance devices, and a PBX telephone switch supporting over 6,000 ports for digital, analog, and VoIP handsets and softphones

Specific Accountabilities

At the USG 9-10 levels, the Network Support Specialist's focus is on day-to-day tasks encompassing wired and wireless network-device deployment and configuration changes related to user-device moves/adds/changes, network-diagram and equipment-inventory record keeping, proactive use of network-device performance monitoring software, first-level problem investigation, and application of vendors' updates for network-device software.

At the USG 11-13 levels, focus is on providing technical guidance to less-experienced staff and performing the more complex aspects of that day-to-day work, plus application of vendors' software updates for server-based tools, second-level problem investigation and resolution, new-technology deployment, and contributing to the work of the Network Development and Computer Telephony Integration units in their assessment and configuration planning processes.

The career path progresses from an entry-level position through to a highly-skilled professional. As skills develop and the range of technical competence broadens, the Network Support Specialist assumes a more significant role in providing campus-wide support for network technologies. The following descriptions refer to foundation, proficiency, in-depth, and expert levels that are defined in IST's "Career Paths Skills Table".


This is the lowest entry-level position. Staff work on assigned well-established tasks. Staff at this level require:

USG 10

Staff at this level participate in a broader variety of tasks, and usually at a level that requires only general direction.

USG 11

Staff at this level possess an in-depth knowledge gained by a significant number of years experience. They assume operational responsibility for one or more specific support areas, in which they provide technical direction to other staff members. Impact generally includes a number of organizational units.

USG 12

Staff at this level assume primary operational responsibility for multiple support areas. The impact is University-wide, affecting a significant number of clients. May be assigned to provide technical guidance in various university projects and committees.

USG 13

The senior professional at this level is recognized campus-wide for skills and responsibilities in their area of specialization. Responsibilities include several major areas of support critical to the business of the University. The individual plays a major leadership role in the deployment of new technology in these areas. Impact is generally University wide, affecting significant numbers of organizational units. Provides technical leadership in the formation of proposals. May be assigned to provide technical guidance to various university projects and committees.

Working Conditions

The Network Support Specialist works closely with staff in other Network Services units, other IST groups, and other UW departments to support the deployment and use of network-infrastructure hardware and software in a team-oriented approach.

Normally, the Network Support Specialist carries out all responsibilities during UW business hours. However, the Network Support Specialist must work outside of UW business hours when the need for changes or new deployments so dictate, and must participate in on-call rotations for problem-response support outside of UW business hours.