New CIO pauses IT reorg to collect data on current IT services

From the informative transformit.uoregon.edu website:

A message from Jessie Minton, Vice Provost for Information Services and Chief Information Officer:

I am excited to announce an important change in the way the university will proceed with Transform IT. We will first inventory IT services offered across the university, and then we will restructure IT services one by one, guided in part by the recently completed IT Charter.

Previously, we had planned to focus on reworking employees’ reporting lines as a first step in implementation, but as the Blustain report notes, we have IT staff who fill many roles and run multiple services. After careful consideration of the options, I believe that by focusing first on cataloging and analyzing all IT services offered on campus, we can better manage service transitions and merge duplicative services where possible.

This change in approach comes after consulting with Dean of Libraries Adriene Lim, the Office of the Provost, and many of the university’s deans, vice provosts, and vice presidents.

To successfully achieve a service-focused restructuring, we will document and inventory all IT services on campus. Information Services will be the first unit, with UO Libraries next on the list. From there, we will progress through the university until we have surveyed all IT-related services and units. (We will publish a schedule once planning has reached that point.)

For example, the Charter outlines responsibilities for computer lab management, and the service-oriented approach to Transform IT will not modify the arrangement. At the same time, however, in this revised approach, we will consider how computer labs in schools and colleges can be supported and managed more efficiently before we make any significant changes.

The IT services you receive and the people that provide them will not change yet. IT staff should continue working as usual. Although the Charter does note several services that will change ownership, the university will not make such changes until the service inventory has been completed.

Transform IT Project Management Structure
Transform IT Project Management Structure

Guy Eckelberger and Gary Sullivan will continue to work on Transform IT. Prior to May 1st, they were both serving this project in a project management role. As this initiative shifts to focus on services, Guy and Gary will continue their work as co-program managers, providing high-level oversight for the series of projects that will be used to complete the service transitions. To effectively and efficiently gather and analyze information, and plan and execute Transform IT, I have also obtained temporary funding for two project managers and two business analysts. The business analysts will gather and analyze information on IT services and the project managers will plan for and guide us through service transitions.

The IT service research and analysis will begin as soon as at least one business analyst has been hired. I expect the service inventory and analysis work to take six to nine months.

We will post updates on this website every two weeks to keep campus informed about current Transform IT work tasks and the status of the Transform IT program.

I am both eager and excited to launch into the next phase of Transform IT. Please send your thoughts and questions to cio@uoregon.edu.

Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to New CIO pauses IT reorg to collect data on current IT services

  1. Dogmatic Ratios says:

    Just a continuation of a misguided, authoritarian, and uninformed centralization process — one which has already resulted in significant unnecessary costs. These pointless re-orgs happen all the time in companies and institutions run by administrators with no technological background. The result will be privatization, as units move to vendors to protect their work from central control, and a further reduction in the ability of the university community to innovate technologically.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +7 (from 13 votes)
    • haunch says:

      “units move to vendors to protect their work from central control”
      What kind of protection is needed from oversight? That sounds a bit disturbing for a public institution.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
      • Dogmatic Ratios says:

        A very relevant question. When an initiative like this comes from the administration, and there’s no shared governance involvement, then there’s no independent, democratic, or collaborative involvement in determining the criteria or process for judgment — so it’s simply arbitrary micro-management, not oversight.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  2. Dog says:

    cool
    another 5 year plan

    we ain’t ever gonna run out of those …

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)
  3. Offbeat says:

    Where is the apology to staff? They screwed up. We told them so. They continued. They bled staff and resources and now they want us to take them seriously. The way you do that is start from saying “we screwed up”. They want staff responsibility and review based pay but never have any admin based responsibility. Are all public institutions this bad?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
    • Max Powers says:

      Some public institutions are this bad. The U of O is a special kind of bad, in a wink and a nod sort of way. It seems everyone hates everyone right now and no one gets the benefit of the doubt as so many have been burned so many times. The words “dumpster fire” come to mind quite often. No University is perfect and they all have issues and people will always hate “the administration” on just about every campus. That being said, the level of hatred, disdain and dis-function between all groups: faculty, classified, administration, etc. on the U of O campus is a sight to behold. I would not advise anyone in their right mind to come and take a job at the U of O right now or well into the future.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +7 (from 11 votes)
      • UO Matters says:

        The last two years have seen a lot of turnover in the UO administration. “Hatred, distain and dis-function” metrics have dropped considerably.

        VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: -10 (from 18 votes)
        • Dog says:

          UOmatters

          please provide evidence, anecdotal or otherwise that actual operational functionality has increased at the UO – I might agree with you on the distain issue, but from my old dog eyes, I do not see
          the UO becoming a more functional institution, but that just could
          be my dog lens is always covered with dog slobber and I never
          get a clear view

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
          • Frustrated says:

            Functionality has not increased especially in HR Recruitment area. The new MyTracks system is a disaster to use and HR does not provide customer service to support the end user. We are only allowed communicate with HR via email, not by phone with MyTracks problems.

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
        • Max Powers says:

          If that were true your blog would probably be just a wee bit quieter…

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
      • The OA says:

        Preach!

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  4. Dogmatic Ratios says:

    By the way, when an administrator says “inventory” they mean “investigation”. When they want to be a “steward” of “resources”, they mean a “boss” of “you”. They get to investigate and manage you, but you don’t get to ask “what” or “why”. So much for learning, sharing, discovery, and good practice. This anti-intellectual approach to running a university needs to stop.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +8 (from 10 votes)
    • anonymous says:

      Excellent employees leave, excellent employees’ voices are gagged. Forced mediocrity, outsourcing, terrible morale, and higher costs are the results.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
  5. Inquiring minds says:

    Wow folks, give the new CIO a chance. She inherited a pretty big mess of administrative misguidance. She is doing the right things — meaningful assessments, getting to know people and units, being objective, and listening to the in-house expertise. She is also decisive — in a good way, not micromanagement.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +5 (from 11 votes)
    • Dogmatic Ratios says:

      This criticism isn’t about the new CIO — that would be unfair — it’s about the lack of anything new in her letter. The text resonates perfectly with the bureaucratic unilateralism driven by the administration itself. Johnson Hall seems to be allergic to collaboration with the broad campus community (for example, the University Senate did not approve this “IT Charter”) and disdainful of empowering their frontline workers (who are vastly more qualified than the administrators) to define and commit to high-level goals. The administration continues to be stubbornly ignorant of the broadly democratic practices needed to produce an equitable, high-quality, functioning intellectual environment for technological and social progress. They will only hire people who commit to their limited worldview. That’s the criticism. It’s nothing personal.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
      • UO Matters says:

        Thanks for clarifying that.

        VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      • CSN says:

        Pretty sure companies like Apple and SpaceX have made some pretty interesting technological process in a relatively non-democratic organizational structure…

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: -3 (from 5 votes)
        • Dogmatic Ratios says:

          ‘Innovation’ is a product of the human mind. The more minds that feel engaged and free to consider problems, propose solutions and ideas, and discuss them, the more likely an organization is to find the right direction. Apple and SpaceX are innovative in direct proportion to the willingness of their managers to acknowledge this, to share what they know, and to hear the creativity and concern of voices from ‘below’. All good tech managers know this. It’s called a team effort. It’s called ‘Agile’ and ‘Scrum’. They may not want to call it democracy, but that’s what they muddle towards, if they want to excel.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
      • anonymous says:

        The “survey” done by Blustain was terrible. The Blustain interpretation was terrible. The followup “interviews” by the CIO were terrible.

        Many of us who survived that go-round are understandably intimidated and untrusting of this next go-round.

        Provide a service to your unit that is “provided” by IS/Library? Expect to have that taken away, and IS/Library is to “provide that service” and the customers will be equally “serviced”. Sure.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
  6. dog says:

    while not the place to say this, when has that ever stopped this dog, unless the moderator censors this.

    I recently coined this phrase in a meeting with various higher
    level admins

    The UO is a place the refuses to copy the success of others but
    instead invents its own failure.

    I think this is particularly true for IT – there are many successful models out there that we could just copy, but that would not
    be the Oregon way …

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
  7. Dogmatic Ratios says:

    The “IT Charter” should be thrown out. It is not legitimate. It was built upon the presumption that actual IT experts on campus should NOT be empowered to improve IT on campus — and that they should instead be directed by accountants and administrators.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
    • anonymous says:

      Stuffing the higher levels of IT administration with IT ignorant individuals only continues to cause higher costs, destroy any collaboration amongst actual IT professionals, encourage flight, and damage the UO’s mission — education and research.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  8. Got Out, but still want the UO to succeed says:

    I quit and left for another school in the middle of this. My new institution has all IT services under one division. It is a night and day experience. We are allowed to collaborate with our peers to accomplish great things for our campus.

    When important services are split between library and IT division, one much get three levels of approval just to begin a collaborative idea accross division lines. At my new school we can just pick up the phone and get to work.

    I always had the sense that it didn’t have to be that hard to get simple results for the people you are serving. I can now report that I was right. When The front lines don’t have their hands tied by interdivision politics they can do their jobs well. The grass REALLY IS greener.

    I applaud the news that the new COO will draw her own conclusions instead of adhering to the administrative/division-line resource-grabbing-and-hording that shaped the first report.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
    • Me again says:

      The above post brought to you from a passenger seat by autocorrect and a bumpy road.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      • dog says:

        correct, as said above

        The UO is a place the refuses to copy the success of others but
        instead invents its own failure.

        There is absolutely no reason that organizational IT at the UO has to be this stupidly hard. This is a solvable problem but the UO (and most everyone associated with it) seems addicted to a process approach rather than an OUTCOME approach.

        In other words, Fuck it, just do it – is not operationally in place
        in most of the UO.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.