In Spring of 2016, UC Merced launched its first IT Governance Council (ITAC) consisting of 11 executive and senior leaders from across campus. Over the course of two years, ITAC met 12 times to discuss campus priorities and advise on the IT workforce plan and roadmap over a critical period of IT transformational change.
Over this time, ITAC also defined a project prioritization process for FY 16 that resulted in the selection of three project priorities for FY 17:
- Cashnet: Scope Statement | Project Budget | MOU
- Academic Case Review System: Scope Statement | Project Budget | MOU
- Curriculum Proposal Management Information System (CPMIS): Scope Statement | Project Budget | MOU
These projects have continued to move forward on schedule, meeting anticipated milestones and demonstrating that careful planning and collaboration can deliver campus value around IT services.
As well, the campus has made significant progress in defining campus-wide priorities in light of the 2020 Project, UC Merced’s Campus Vision, and Workforce Planning Workgroup recommendations.
Having made good progress in building a campus conversation regarding he role on information technologies, it is now time to consider how IT Governance can be redesigned.
Beginning FY18, project resources will focus priority allocation to efforts that align to UC Merced’s Workforce Planning priorities. Requests for new projects will be assessed for their alignment to the following recommendations for workforce restructuring proposed by the Chancellor’s workgroups:
- Improve Research Support Infrastructure with a Centralized Service Model.
- Expand Administrative Coordination Team (“ACT”) to include several additional divisions.
- Consolidate Procurement and Improved Processes.
- Apply a Matrix Organizational Structure for “Self-Supporting” Auxiliaries.
- Restructure Academic Advising with a focus on a centralized model focused on first-year students
- Provide support for faculty and deans aligned with School Restructuring Plan
Where needed, assessment of requests that require significant funding investment or reallocation of current IT projects and priorities will enlist Vice Chnacellor level leadership, Senior Leadership, or workforce planning groups where appropriate, to resolve funding or staffing needs.
All of the former ITAC members patriciate campus-wide executive-level decision-making forums and as such, are well positioned to contribute and lead broad-based conversations, and in that way, can remain active and engaged partners with OIT.
What is Office of Information Technology (OIT) Governance?
OIT Governance is the formal process of defining the strategy of the IT organization and overseeing its execution to achieve the goals of the University of California Merced. OIT governance encompasses several major decisions related to the management of IT priorities. Read this Harvard Business Review article for a good overview of why IT Governance is critical to effective IT decision-making.
The OIT Advisory Council, formed in May 2015, provides IT Governance functions to UC Merced’s Office of Information Technology through its advisory role to the Chief Information Officer. It is designed to advance campus stakeholder interests through constituent representation that provides input into project priorities that align to campus needs.
IT Governance provides strategic leadership, establishes campus-wide IT priorities and policies in agreement with the University strategic interests, and is accountable to the University. Its members include senior administrators who meet once a quarter. Members are expected to represent stakeholder constituents, not the singular or narrow interests of their business or academic unit.
OIT’s Four Strategic Outcomes
- Build Operational Capacity
- Fix IT
- Create Sustainability and Scalability
- Establish Value Creation and Communication
The IT Advisory Council is charged to:
- Facilitate the alignment of IT to UC Merced priorities
- Advise the CIO on strategic goals, tactical objectives and institutional policies
- Review and recommend IT policy
- Reviews and understands the financial context for IT
- Communicates recommendations and/or statements of support for relevant project funding levels to appropriate decision-makers
- Works with the CIO to communicate the status of IT initiatives to the University community
- Assist the CIO in forming task forces or ad hoc review to deal with pressing, immediate issues
Principles for Strategic Action
- Enable Scalability,
- Ensure Sustainability,
- Right-size Complexity …
….by making a commitment to Standardize where possible, and Customize when necessary.