With the formation of Concordia University in 1974, the Centre for Instructional Technology (CIT) at Sir George Williams University (SGWU) and the Educational Media Centre (EMC) at Loyola College combined their administrations to form the Concordia University Centre for Instructional Technology (CIT). In 1975, CIT became the Concordia University Audio-Visual Department, a name it kept until its merger with Computing Services to create Instructional & Information Technology Services (IITS), in 1998.
In the 1960s, the SGWU Centre for Instructional Technology was one of the first centralized audio-visual units among the Canadian universities. It had been established in 1964, under the name of Instructional Media Office (IMO) - which became CIT in 1969 - as a department to assist learning through the use and understanding of audio-visual technology. It was part of the Office of the Vice-Principal (Academic) and under the direction of Assistant Professor G. A. B. Moore. On October 1, 1970, the Centre was transferred to report to the Vice-Principal, Administration and Finance.
At Concordia, the AV Department has mainly been part of the Vice-Rector, Services portfolio. Its directors were Bernard (Ben) Queenan, from 1974 to 1986, and Mark Schofield, from 1987 to 1998. In collaboration with the academic sector and other service units, the AV Department identified and promoted appropriate technologies to facilitate the University audio-visual needs. It provided audio-visual equipment and expertise for teaching and learning in classrooms, laboratories and at remote locations. Its Visual Media Resources section (VMR) accumulated through the years a collection of films, videos, and DVDs for academic purposes (VMR was part of IITS between 1998 and 2003, and of Fine Arts after that. It became Visual Collections Repository (VCR) in 2018). And from the beginning, the AV department had a photographic and a graphics sections.
Originally intended as a teaching-aid department, the AV Department early opened its facilities to University community at large, particularly to students (e.g. to CUTV members). For instance, in 1975 the Department established a learning centre called AVISTA (Audio Visual In-Service Technical Area) to help students and faculty members learn to handle audio visual material, equipment and techniques. AVISTA became MITE-AVISTA in November 1989, when it installed a Multi-media Interactive Technology Environment (MITE).
The AV Department also had successful experiments in early distance education with local television channels, in the 1960s and 1970s (e.g. University of the Air). From 1988, it became responsible for the Concordia participation to CANAL Education Television, a Quebec consortium of education institutions which provided facilities for the broadcast of courses on the television network.
To provide information on its services, the AV Department published between 1987 and 1994, a newsletter called Fast Forward. Educational Technology, Concordia University Television (CUTV), Fine-Arts, Cinema, and Modern Languages were some of the heavy users of the AV Department facilities. The links with the Education department were particularly strong as one of its Faculty member, Gary Boyd, was also Assistant Director, Research and Development, of the AV Department for most of its existence.