By Jean Haley, interim vice president for information resources and technology

Recommendation eight of the Strategic Planning Committee was to:

“Create a new organizational structure that builds upon the competencies of existing departments, specifically Instructional Support Services, Computing and Communication Services and the Libraries, and realigns their services into a stronger whole.”

This recommendation came out of the work of the study group charged with evaluating the university’s technology organizational structure. The goal was to maximize service to customers and minimize confusion by getting similar services and staff with like responsibilities working together. The board of trustees approved this recommendation in September 2000.

Since January, the combined management of Computing and Communication Services, Instructional Support Services and the Libraries — the “Information Resources and Technology (IRT) Management Team — have been meeting together to develop a plan to carry this recommendation forward. This article is intended to communicate its work to date and to solicit your support and feedback.

What are the objectives?

A kickoff luncheon for all IRT staff was held in January. The following four key objectives for the year were described:

  1. Define what it is we do as a division (i.e., the services provided and clients served)
  2. Define why it is we’re doing it (i.e., our purpose in offering each service and our mission overall)
  3. Describe how the services we provide are connected both internally (within our division) and externally (to other university departments)
  4. Demonstrate progress in coordinating those services where natural affinities exist.

How will we meet the objectives?

In recent weeks, a project plan has been developed to guide us toward meeting these objectives. Through the work of a steering committee comprised of representative IRT staff and others, we expect to complete the project as defined by the end of June. Along the way, we will develop:

  • A comprehensive, categorical list of services that includes client bases and delivery paradigms
  • A description of the links between services
  • Mission/value/vision statement(s)
  • Justification/reason for each service offered, based on the mission, values and vision statements as well as the circumstance/history of this service
  • A list of services that IRT does not or can no longer provide
  • Periodic reports to key stakeholders
  • The formation of work groups to capitalize on natural affinities, building on existing cross-departmental collaborations.

We look forward to working with you as we develop our service model for the future. Your comments are encouraged and may be directed to Jean Haley, (651) 962-5016, or members of the IRT Management Team.