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Information Technology Review - Final Report (August 2005)

Colleagues,

I am pleased to transmit the Final Report of the Information Technology Review Committee. This dedicated group of individuals spent a good portion of this past year reviewing our IT resources and issues. The Committee’s nine recommendations provide clear guidance to the campus as a whole and to Information and Media Technologies (I & MT) leadership.

One of the purposes of conducting an IT review this year was to prepare for a search for a permanent Chief Information Officer. Given the importance of IT in facilitating our teaching, research and services and the clarity of the team’s work, I am asking Interim CIO Bruce Maas to begin immediately to implement these recommendations. In doing so, I am also asking that there be special efforts to address the prevalent themes addressed by the team’s report.

One theme is the pressing need for the campus to prioritize proposed major IT projects. I & MT’s agenda must be more informed by a deliberate prioritization process that involves IT governance groups and the campus administration.

A second theme is the need for Information and Media Technologies to meet the campus IT needs without continually adding on to, rather than replacing, existing structures and skills. As the campus becomes more dependent on technology and as technologies evolve and emerge, the organization must find a nimble and planned approach for retooling the staff’s skills to evolve with technology and with the other needs of the organization. The campus simply cannot afford to do otherwise. And, I&MT staff are clearly mindful of the need for professional development to meet the changing demands of technology support.

A third theme is the need for I&MT to carefully balance that organization’s responsibility to meet current campus needs while also evaluating and preparing the campus to use appropriate emerging technologies. Foresight is valuable, but not more valuable than ensuring the highest quality in services currently in use.

It is important to stress that while I&MT is pivotal to UWM’s ability to maximize the benefits of technology, the entire campus must be unified and cooperative in our approach. The core service team approach to campus-wide issues has been productive and needs to be continued and expanded if we are to provide the best technological support for research, teaching, learning and services. Well-planned coordination and support for technology across all campus units is imperative in a period of increasing budgetary constraints.

I want to express my great appreciation to the members of the Information Technology Review Committee for their effective review and recommendations and to the many members of the campus community who provided thoughtful input to the Committee.

Sincerely,


Rita Cheng
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs