OIT - The Unofficial Guide to the Office of Information Technology
OIT: This unofficial page/site hopes to collect and present information about Office of Information Technology
- ( OIT
) in an accurate, understandable and, most importantly, sustainable format which would be suitable for new OIT employee orientation. There is no desire to reproduce anything that is already in existence, so if there is already a good comprehensive resource, we'll just link to it. There will however be mistakes along the way, by all means please point them out! One thing that can't be helped at this point is that this is completely biased towards activities and information on the Twin Cities campus.
Notice (Feb 1 2007):
OIT has moved its site into the new UMContent WCM system and as a result many of the links (especially to OIT Planning) are now out of date. I'm thinking of just copying the source material into this wiki so links don't go bad. But bad links usually mean things are a changing! So may be they should stay links. So if you're reading and find dead links, please do a quick Google search and update the links as you find them. If I find this too daunting I will reduce the scope of the pages' linking to make sure it is manageable.
Welcome to the Unofficial Guide to Understanding OIT at the U of M
OIT's Vision, Mission and Goals
Like any living organism, OIT's Vision, Mission and Goals are always adapting. It's interesting to read then in light of the 5-year OIT plan, the adjustments to the plan, the Transforming the U - Strategic Alignment projects and materials, and the developing 6 year plan - initiative tracking - project pipeline efforts that are occurring now in late 2007.
- The newest current version: Mission (post the new communication arm of OIT) - Wow what a change, you'll want to reread the current version compared to the last version.
- The last version: Vision, Mission and Goals - when OIT Planning used to present this material (2007 version)
- Previous Versions
- Outdated version of mission and goals on the OIT site likely from 2006
- The Office of Information Technology (OIT) under the direction of the Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, manages the centrally provided computer, network, phone, and other information technology systems of the University of Minnesota. OIT also provides a comprehensive range of services to students, faculty, staff, and departments through two service units:
- Enterprise Management Systems
- Network and Technology Infrastructure
- 2005 (as present by the DMC) - Office of Information Technology (OIT) mission statement reflects the value that technology will have in helping the University reach its goals:
- OIT creates institutional competitive advantage through technologies developed, maintained, and supported in partnership with campuses, colleges, and departments. These technologies add direct value to students, faculty, staff, and departments by providing applications and services in teaching, learning, research, basic technology, infrastructure, business, personal productivity, and collaboration.
Governance and Power of Authority
| Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA)
|| April (Annually)
| Council of Academic and Professional Administrators (CAPA)
|| April (Annually)
| Civil Service Committee (CSC)
|| April - May (Annually)
- Sets SCIT's Duties and Responsibilities
- Recommend to the Senate on policies and administration
- Monitor existing policies, advise the president, vice presidents and chief information officer, review and propose initiatives
- To coordinate recommendations others governing bodies
- Get others (Senate Consultative Committee) involved as needed, or help them as needed
- Full Senate Agendas - (Contains agenda items related to SCIT)
- SCIT Meeting Minutes - (First Tuesday of every month)
Funding and Resources
- A portion of the operating budget for OIT at the U of M comes from the Technology Fees paid as part of students tuition. Many unit areas or collegiate units then have student government, committees and other groups that have representative members who have some say in where these fees are applied.
OIT Planning, Project Management
Bernard (Bernie) Gulachek
and company run an excellent site that will show you new initiatives and how they are positioned in the grander scheme of Transforming the U.
OIT Strategy, Compacts and Accountability
Compacts and Working Plans
(I think these are made between the Academic leadership and OIT leadership each year. Institutional and collegiate initiatives drive OIT’s internal compact development process. By establishing a variety of organizational relationships with collegiate and business administrative units, OIT is able to shape its enterprise service development initiatives. See Compact Planning Process
. These things tend to float around in draft for for a while and get discussed regularly in the Senate SCIT Committee. (These things move around so much I'm ready to switch the links to just be a Google search, and when do they ever become anything other than a draft or proposed compact?) Currently the discussion is about moving to a 6 Year
planning window. God, I'd love that job!
(looks like we are seeing some action here, things keep moving around)
OIT Projects and Strategic Positioning
Much of what has been shaping activities and will likely have influence in the short term is discussed in the Administrative Strategic Planning Task Force Report to the President 2005
. Progress reports and additional information can be found here Transforming Administrative Operations Alignment
- OIT Projects and Transforming the U and Alignment Projects
(I make copies of a lot of these planning documents, so id one ever dissappears and your interested, just drop me a note and if I have it I'll send it over.)
Initiatives, Programs, Committees, Task Forces, and Councils (aka OIT Alphabet Soup)
Strategic Technology Investment Team (????)
Any one know what this is?
Academic Affairs & Provosts
Academic Initiatives & Priorities
- Instructional Technology - using technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness in all aspects of its mission. - coordinated by Billie Wahlstrom, Vice Provost for Distributed Education and Instructional Technology. Many of these initiatives are co-sponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost and the OIT.
- The Faculty Toolkit, Lifelong Learning, The Next Generation of the Professoriate (NextGen?), Online Student Evaluation of Teaching, MyU? Portal, Portfolio, The Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), TEL Grants Program
Administrative Strategic Planning Task Force
University of Minnesota Administrative Strategic Planning Task Force report that encourages us to pursue opportunities to become more strongly service oriented and transparent in delivering these (OIT) services.
Academic Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC)
Explore the use of, implement, evaluate, and support technologies that are or might be used for teaching and learning. (formerly WebCT?
faculty advisor committee, formerly UTELL ?)
Provost’s Council for Enhancing Student Learning (CESL)
Seeks to enhance educational effectiveness in the colleges and schools, departments, and classrooms
Collegiate Information Technology Program (CITP)
The CITP is an OIT / collegiate human resources partnership program where OIT funds full or partial salaries of college-hired technology professionals. This program is of strategic importance to the Institution as it represents the standardization of technology management practices, which yield efficiencies and cost savings. (Information on this topic is difficult to come by most is found in the http://www.academic.umn.edu/provost/accountability
OIT Compact documents from previous years, although the program still continues in 2007)
This long standing, well organized group promotes excellence in communications and enhance cooperation among communications professionals working at the University. The Communicators Forum
promote professional development through programs and committee involvement, building a network of colleagues with knowledge, skills, and resources, encouraging high standards, advancing the interests of communications professionals. They charge a nominal annual fee.
Educational Technologists Forum (ETF)
The Educational Technologists Forum
(ETF) is sponsored by the College of Education and Human Development and the Digital Media Center (DMC). This group is instructional multimedia designers and developers from various colleges and units at the University of Minnesota, that give like minded people a chance to meet, mingle, share ideas, and learn about new technologies. They are often presentations about a new technology and current projects.Their meetings are held every other month, at 3:00 PM on the fourth floor of Walter Library.
Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) Council
Support and encourage technology-enhanced learning activities to strengthen the U of M's teaching mission.
The work of the Council will lead to a systematic strategy by which technology-enhanced learning becomes integrated across the full range of University activities. The TEL Council is using a private collaboration site on myU to work together. They host the TEL Seminar Series (see Events listing below) which is sponsored by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and organized by Academic and Distributed Computing Services (ADCS) and the Digital Media Center (DMC). Sessions are cosponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (SVPP) and collegiate units.
Innovation Researchers on Campus (iRoc)
The iRoc Club
is a group of student, staff, faculty members who is interested in innovation and products in technology (devices, software, hardware, and ideas) and is sponsored by ADCS/NTS/OIT. They field-test, review and, where appropriate, implement these innovation. Additionly, vendor representatives who have a business relationship with the University of Minnesota may also join. Every year an innovation award is presented to the person with the best idea or product that has been implemented University-wide.
ITLP - Information Technologies Leaders Program
I've only found one reference to this mysterious group - go to https://wiki.umn.edu/
and search for "ITLP PrivateWebs"
This group has released and empty public wiki https://wiki.umn.edu/view/ITLeadersPublic/WebHome
It is a program that the various IT managers attended over the course of a few months in groups of five or six. Similar leaders from other Universities around the US participated, so attendees were placed in cohort groups with people from other institutions. The program is administered by Brian McDonald
from MOR Associates
The ITLP acronym is sometimes attached to events and communications that grew from the ITLP workshops. For example, Mr. McDonald?
held two half-day seminars in the EE/CSci building in November, 2007 entitled "The Broader Skill Set IT Leaders Need Today." The sessions were organized by the ITLP "graduates." Another example is the ITLP Brown Bag Lunch Series, a periodic lunch series held around campus to promote networking and talk about technology at the U.
It appears that the current members Include:
- Joe Sullivan
- Linda Jorn
- Jim Hall
- Louis Hammond
- Tim Gagner
- Phil Kachelmyer
- John Miller
- Simin Hickman
- Brad Cohen
- Dack Anderson
- Melissa Martyr-Wagner
- Reed Carpenter
- Amy Lund Swalley
- Renee Rivers
- David Lewerenz
- Dave Johnson
iFellow (Innovation Fellows in Technology)
Provides a systematic way to research new products, test them in the University environment, and implement those products and services that have the best chance of improving support for the University’s mission. iFellows make presentations of their findings to a wider circle of interested people. the iFellows will provide useful knowledge and experience in helping to determine what new products and services should be rolled out to the University community. iFellows are closely linked with iRoc and is sponsored by ADCS/NTS/OIT.
Membership of the iFellow program is: 8 OIT staff, 4 students, 4 non-OIT staff, 4 faculty members (nominations will be received online, and serve a one year term). iFellows are allowed to spend up to $1,000 per year on new hardware and/or software to be tested. Selected iFellow ideas/recommendations will be given a $2,500 budget.
University Technology-Enhanced Learning Leaders (UTELL)
100 collegiate/departmental support/design professionals to volunteer to provide instructors and designers who provide instructors and designers with Course Management system support.
Office of the Vice President of Research (OVPR)
Things are afoot in this area. With the Universities drive to discover how it can be a top 3 research university many innovations are being considered. Secure storage space and on-demand research platform provisioning services, as well as software licensing models and lab designs are happening all over campus and most importantly centrally. A campus-wide subcommittee on Activities/Research/Expert Database has been formed, that I believe is started as part of the Transforming the U initative, and is looking into the vast array of duplicate, and questionably suitable solutions that already exisit (see experts@minnesota
on the OIT Systems Listing
, or type expert into the Google search box at umn.edu) and listening to vendor pitches.
The Office of Institutional Research (OIR)
UWide Information Technology Policy
These should be required by every OIT group, central, service, collegiate, or departmental. Central OIT - Human Resources
offers a top level OIT organizational chart by request to email@example.com.
When it comes to org charts, knowing the functional breakout of responsibilities is more interesting that the peoples names in the boxes. People come and go, org structure comes and goes, systems come and go, so I understand this is difficult to maintain. But what org units are responsible for what systems and services that should be do-able by almost everyone.
Half Size Version of the Massive Org Chart Listed Above
OIT News and Information Sources About OIT
Well this is a tough one, as you can imagine there is no one answer to this. Start by subscribing to Listservs and RSS feeds listed below that seem to meet your interests and needs.
OIT Office of Communication and Advancement
New group (Sept 2007) has been created to handle the problem that spawned this site. This is great news.
The Office of Information Technology has created a new department, the Office of Communications and Advancement (OCA). The OCA will oversee the areas of publications, advertising, and media relations for all units within OIT. The OCA will also be responsible for enhancing OIT's initiatives through strategic communications and marketing to both internal and external audiences.
The following team will lead this effort:
- OCA Interim Director - Kris Adelmann
- Technical writers / Graphic artists / Web Designers include: Brian Floyd, Chris Goodland, Ben Neeser, Ellen Puffe, and Kate Sophia
Kris Adelmann will begin this new position on Wednesday, September 12th 2007. The rest of the team will transition to the OCA area in the coming weeks.
This group has already helped get the official OIT
site updated. (And it is build in the new UMContent system]]
OIT Customer Service Coordinators
The OIT Customer Service Coordinator position no longer exists.
Podcasts and Video Podcasts
Wikis, MyU, WebCTVista, Moodle Sites, and various other collaborations....
Listservs And Mailing Lists
- U of M Tech News Brief - Best single source of information OIT provides.
- NET-PEOPLE - kind of catch all technology user group, some say a bit Unix and Network Infrastructure focused (Microsoft questions usually devolve into rants)
- IDEA-L - The Data Warehouse - Enterprise PeopleSoft information channel
- NET-OPS - What's up and whats down, what's working and what's not!
- COMP-SEC - Computer Security (Restricted to full time staff only) Potentially sensitive security alerts and announcements. May include in-progress IT Security attacks & compromised hosts.
- OIT-ALL - Internal communication channel, with weekly leadership emails. (recently openned? - 01/22/2008).
- OITCSC-UPDATES-L - Channel for Customer Service Coordinator announcements and notification of OIT Services town hall update meetings.
- UMNTC-DATABASE-GROUP - Information about using databases, new technologies and working with Peoplesoft (very low usage)
- CSS-Dev - Group of Web Designers and Developers mostly discussing creating standards compliant web sites for the U of M
- WEBCT-NEWS - Information about the workings of Blackboard Vista Enterprise Course Management System
- Web People - Information for Web Page builders (This groups is almost all but dead)
- The Digital Technology Center (DTC) Mailing List - (Academic focused events)
Governance Sources of News
Old News By the Time You Read It Here
- UMart newspaper - is distributed around campus (by ADCS I think), usually at main campus building entry points.
- University News Service - Occasionally you can get information about an OIT initiative here.
- Minnesota Daily - Usually they just report scandals and people of interest stories but it can be information you wont get from anyone else!
Dead News Outlets
* Official OIT News Letter Page
- oitnews List at firstname.lastname@example.org (you'll get some answer back like "You have reached a mailbox not recently accesses by its owner." Oh no!!! LOL, this is too funny)
- Web-People Listserv - I think most people use the UMContent Wiki or the CSS-Dev Listserv above
- Central Computing Operations News Page (oops - empty for over a year, doesn't our CMS remove these?)
OIT Events (How to Find Out What is Happening)
- OIT Services Town Hall - Meets about 4 times a year (East Bank, West Bank and St Paul). Seems to be an extension of the Campus Coordinator positions. The purpose of these meetings is to update key technology staff from the Colleges and other University
units about current OIT initiatives, as well as to introduce new and upcoming products.
Oddly enough University Data Security provide one of the best compiled lists of systems around the U of M. It is useful for signing up for access you need as well.
Project Management Resources
Project and Change Management Collaborators
University Services' Project Management Toolkit
OIT's Project Management Toolkit
OSCI How To Website
Stuff You Should Know
- Enrollment Data
- Who Works for Whom and What Everyone Makes
- UMReports - Look under position management in "New Reports"
Know Your Data
Much more to fill in here this is just a sketch, feel free to elaborate.
Should EGMS, CUFS, EDMS, APAS, and all those be listed here? OneStop
does a pretty good job of making these available
An don't forget you can join the Database Users Group (listed above) and share what you know/learn.
Stuff You Really Need to Know But Won't Find Anywhere
How to Find an Expert on a Given Technology
Other than a umn.edu site-restricted google search, you're pretty much out of luck here! But that technique is quite useful.
- Try this one:
- You'll find Anne Bentley seems pretty motivated to document the Extension Offices Project Management practices. She might be a good person to talk to if you are interested in putting together some more standardized way of documenting your projects or using more best practices in your projects.
- You'll find the Craig Gjerdingen has published a OIT Systems catalog that may be helpful to your Unit in evaluating how to increase the amount of common good, centrally supported software solution in your area and move towards better value for your fees, more strategic alignment with central initiatives and understand how the "Transforming the U" efforts are effecting your Unit.
Unusual Places that sometime have OIT Information
Training on All This Stuff (No not just UTTC)
The University Technology Training Center runs an outstanding site. They offer free course, online tutorials for most major systems, and fee based courses.
The Unofficial Network! (Join the fun)
Links of Note:
Quotes for this Site
"Let us explore it... together. Each man hides a secret pain. It must be exposed and reckoned with. It must be dragged from the darkness and forced into the light. Share your pain. Share your pain with me... and gain strength from the sharing." - Spock's bother Sybok: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
"Scratch an itch" - Fred Brooks: The Mythical Man Month
Blah, Blah, Blah....
The views and opinions expressed in this wiki are strictly those of the page authors. The contents of this wiki have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota, the Office of Information Technology, or the Institute of Technology.