CIO Blog: Governance Structure
This past summer and fall has been very a busy time for the University and for OIT. We have witnessed the transition of the Bryce properties to UA and the completion of many new facilities on the campus. We have increased our workload in all areas without an increase in staffing levels. This has placed a significant burden on all of us and has led to a focus being placed on operational capabilities at the expense of strategic visioning. It is time for us to balance the operational with the strategy most certainly at the executive team level.
In order to accomplish this we plan to focus on the build-out of the Annual Work Plan that will project our vision and strategy to meet the demands of the University’s technology requirements for the next 2 years. We had established a roadmap for the past 2 years and we have completed much of what we had set out to do. However, the ad hoc demands from across the campus can influence how we go about accomplishing our tasks. Instead of a straight path as we envisioned it is often indirect and in some cases circuitous. Witness the replacement and extension of our fiber plant; it was influenced by the requirement to reach all athletic venues for support of our television station. We did accomplish what we wished to complete but rather indirectly. That is the nature of the IT organization. We must be resilient and able to accommodate even when we have established our plan.
It must be said that we cannot operate in a vacuum and for that reason the Governance Structure of the University (see Diagram) with respect to IT becomes very important. We have established a structure that involves the participation of many members of the University community and various interest groups. It is in the process of being revised. The IT Committee is comprised of faculty and staff from many areas of the University and represents a major committee for the development of and review of IT guidelines. ITAC represents the IT individuals in each of the Colleges or administrative areas of the campus. Associated with it are special interest groups, SIG’s, which provide input to OIT. For example, the Security SIG is very active and meets regularly under the guidance of Ashley and the Security Team. The Teaching Learning Committee, TLC, is very active and is focused on the technology and learning environment. Both the IT Committee and TLC are comprised of members that are appointed by the President. In addition, a relatively new committee related to IT and research has been formed. It will begin meeting shortly and is the Technology Research Advisory Committee. The Vice President for Research is supportive of this Committee.
Therefore we will not be planning in a vacuum as we build out the planning process for the next 2 years. It represents an exciting time to be involved in the build-out and support of IT for the University of Alabama!