The University of Arizona

News from the DCIO - 05/16/2010

Welcome back to the news from the DCIO portion of our new Intranet Site! 
We continue to work on the site, and as I understand it, RSS Feeds are the newest addition and we are going to be trying  as some new ways for you to communicate to UITS and your own teams – so stay tuned. There are some updates in the following sections of the Intranet:
·         Organizational Updates
·         Personnel Updates
·         Budget Update
 In the meantime, here are some highlights from the last week or so:
D2L Issues
We have struggled this week with D2L storage issues as finals activity landed a load we did not anticipate. You probably saw many lights burning at late hours, while the team (UITS and OIA) worked to stabilize the system and get us through finals. Unfortunately, we had some data loss with students needing to resubmit assignments. However, this was a wonderful learning experience for us, has created some new understanding about the growing use of D2L and has created a stronger partnership between OIA and UITS to facilitate better forecasting in the semesters to come. I know it was a stressful week for many on our staff, and we appreciate the efforts put forward during this incident.
Financial Audit 2009-10
As I reported in my last update, we had our entrance meeting with the Auditor General on April 23, and Cathy Bates has been leading us in the auditor communications and work around HCM Logical Access and Change Management. She reported out on Friday, indicating that the auditors are still getting acclimated to our systems and understanding our implementation. The next few weeks will see things heat up and the in-depth questions will begin. Again, if Cathy requests your assistance, please be timely and responsive. I imagine that the auditors will begin to ask for meetings (coordinated through Cathy) with key individuals in our organization.
Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS)
We gained approval for the BPOS project (see Strategic Initiative Updates for details) from ATOC on April 29. The team is meeting regularly, working on a full project plan, and negotiating with Microsoft around a Statement of Work. You can expect a website and full project plan soon. This project will have a major positive impact on nearly everyone on our campus, and what a great opportunity for UITS to shine with our partners at Microsoft!
CRICC (CLASS Research and Instructional Computing Committee)
Derek and I have been working closely with this new committee and we think it as some very exciting possibilities as we look toward the future of IT on our campus. I am attaching the letter of invitation from Dean Jones that explains the results he hopes to achieve with this committee. This is an important milestone to UITS because we have been asked to “come to the table” and be involved in helping to design and provide service to the IT support structure for the largest college at the University. We believe this is a signal of new trust from the colleges and an understanding that we must work together to achieve results, especially in these difficult budget times.
Here is the letter and we will keep you updated as things move along:
To:                 Phil Pinto, Astronomy                                                                                             Brian Luce, School of Music
                        Ken McAllister, College of Humanities                                                                Robert Ariew, French & Italian
                        Jacqueline Sharkey, Journalism                                                                            Mark Bryant, Humanities  Tech
                        John Moeller, SBS Tech                                                                                         Joe Gotobed, Lunar & Planetary Tech
                        Brian Atkinson, SBS Tech                                                                                      John Luiten, College of Science Tech
                        Cynthia Barlow, Fine Arts Tech                                                                            Liz Taylor, UITS
                        Phil Zimmerman, School of Art                                                                             Derek Masseth, UITS
From:           John Paul Jones III
Re:                 CLAS Technology Committee Charge
Thank you for your willingness to serve on the newly formed CLAS Tech Committee. I look forward to working with you. The committee, jointly headed by Ken McAllister (CoH) and Phil Pinto (CoS), was   formed by the CLAS deans so as to optimize efficiencies in our tech related people and finances. Needless to say, we recognize that technology is absolutely central to the mission of each CLAS college  and unit.
I ask that you approach the committee’s work without preconceptions, and with a sensitivity to the facts that: there exists a high level of anxiety among tech people in the four colleges; although we are unlikely to find a one size fits all model, we cannot afford to maintain inefficiencies in tech delivery in the CLAS colleges; we need to secure everyone’s collaborative energies at the table, and at all levels, from the departments, to CLAS and its colleges, and on to UITS.
Among the issues I am asking  the committee to address are the following:
1.        What are our needs and functions (e.g., hardware, software, desktop support, teaching support, research support, security, web-delivery)? At what level (departments, colleges, CLAS, UITS) should these functions be situated? Should we turn from a department/college-based model to one organized around functions? Should there be a CLAS IT?  
2.        What is an optimal reporting structure and how should we be organized to ensure the most cooperative relationships possible? 
3.        What is the best spatial distribution of our personnel and technology across the units that comprise CLAS?
4.        What implications does RCM hold for tech within the CLAS Colleges?
5.        What other issues, opportunities, and threats lie ahead for technology in the CLAS colleges?
As background to these questions, I anticipate that your committee will not only collect data on what goes on at the U of A, but at other institutions with CLAS-type structures, including those with and without RCM-style funding models.
Thank you for your willingness to serve the colleges at this time.
Strategic Planning and Annual Report Gearing Up
This is the time of year when we begin to review and update our strategic plan and our annual report to the Provost. This effort will begin in earnest next week, initially through the communications team and Senior Directors. If you are interested in getting involved let your manager know – it’s a good experience and results in some interesting artifacts that are used to measure our success of the prior year and plan for next year.
Staff Appreciation Event Coming Soon
Lisa Stage and Patti VanLeer are working with Apple Computers to bring some fun toys and games to us for a staff appreciation event we are planning. We won’t know the date until we hear back from Apple, but likely it will be the first weeks of June. So get ready for an afternoon of fun and food with your colleagues as we celebrate you and your contributions to UITS and the UA!   Monica Tacconi has graciously accepted the responsibility of organizing this event - and she will likely need some volunteers – so offer now if you are interested!