University Technology

IT Strategic Plan and IT Governance

Feedback and Comments on the IT Strategic Plan

Provide feedback

Comments were requested through September 5, 2013.  This cutoff date allows time for final editing and approval before the documents are submitted for inclusion with materials that go to the Board of Trustees prior to their October 11 meeting.  The backdating is as follows: 

  • October 11: Board of Trustees Meeting
  • September 11: Final version is submitted before noon for inclusion in packet of information that is sent to the Board of Trustees prior to their meeting
  • September 9: IT Strategic Plan is submitted to the President for his final approval
  • September 5: Final comments due by close of business 

Return to review the IT Strategic Plan and IT Governance documents.

What students, faculty and staff are saying about the IT Strategic Plan

I strongly support action item 2.2 and recommend that the CIO have a seat at the table as a member of the University's leadership team, even if the CIO does not report directly to the President.

Posted September 5, 2013

I went through the IT Strategic plan with much interest. I can see many technology initiatives being planned. Hopefully these will allow our university to be competitive in the educational market place. It is nice to see the move/consideration of open source/cloud platforms for various application areas. Though we had few challenges with WesternOnline being a SaaS offering, we seem to have adapted to it. This experience with the core educational software being SaaS can give further impetus for other SaaS based offerings for applications (e.g., e-mail, etc.).

I see lot of discussions on the consolidation of uTech and other technology departments (especially support). I can see the predicament of the user groups. As mentioned, centralization and decentralization seem to be the major issue here. Both have advantages and disadvantages. I see the benefits of having a centralized Tech support department. Federal approach could also help in allocating responsibilities to the business units for certain technology functions and to the IT unit for certain other technology functions. Based on the strategic plan, I can see the IT landscape may be drastically changed in the coming years with newer ERP, BYOD/mobile initiatives, consideration of cloud for various applications, classroom initiatives (including VC), etc. Nature of tech support may even change with these initiatives (already I can see that in WesternOnline with D2L providing support through our CITR/uTech).

It is nice this plan dovetails with the IT Governance initiative that is being undertaken here at the university. It is true future IT strategic plans could be created by that Governance group. However, I also strongly believe there should be ways for general users to give their opinion (just as done this time).

Nice to see that there may a person working part-time to foster communications between uTech and the user departments. It will greatly help with operational issues. I also believe the IT Governance process can also eliminate or reduce the communication issues with regard to new initiatives.

I also believe this IT Strategic plan should reflect the university strategic plan ideals in some fashion. Looking at the university strategic plan, I see the values of academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth, social responsibility could be easily mapped on to some of the recommendations (if not all) in the IT Strategic plan. By doing that we can clearly see how the IT is aligned with the overall university strategic plan.

Posted September 5, 2013

13. Under Recommendation 5: CIT recommends adding a new Action Item 5.6: Surplus IT Infrastructure Dedicated to Innovation in Teaching and Research. For instance, provide the capabilities for online-only degrees including being able to complete the registration process without being physically present on campus. Another example would be the capability to create research/teaching virtual labs for disciplines like behavioral economics, computer science, psychology, etc.

14. There is a typo on page 16 in Action Item 5.1 "modern than the on in Horrabin". Should be "modern than the one in Horrabin".

15. Action Item 6.4. While CIT fundamentally agrees with the sentiment here (and this was a topic of debate in CIT two years ago), this seems more like a curriculum issue than an IT/administration issue and thus is under the purview of the faculty senate. CIT did collect data two years ago on faculty's perception on their students technical skills. Overall, students need grounding in basic information technology skills.

16. Action Item 7.2: At the end of the third paragraph (counting the italicized text in bold as paragraph 1) explicitly add “… and research” so that the last sentence reads

“Faculty members are beginning to request help in the development of mobile apps that they can use for instructional purposes and research.”

17. There is a typo in Action Item 7.3 on p. 21, line 2: “… currently on ongoing effort …”. Should be “currently an ongoing

Posted September 5, 2013

1. Action Item 2.1: ESS concerns need to be addressed as they are rolled into Utech. Similarly, University Libraries rely heavily on their support staff who reside in the Digital Commons. The University Libraries does not want to see this go away, unless the tech structure adds more support there.

2. Action Item 2.2 is too vague: the CIO should or should not report the President? Which one is actually proposed?

3. Action Item 2.3: CIT feels that paragraph two provides the context needed for paragraph one to make sense. Therefore, we recommend swapping the two paragraphs.

4. Action Item 2.4: CIT recognizes the importance of continued training but how is this going to be funded, when faculty just had all their professional development/travel funding swept. Both IT staff and faculty continued professional development and training are important. IT staff can be very well trained but if the front line users (faculty) aren't provided with training and innovation opportunities then only a few people will use any given technology (or will use that tech well).

5. Action Item 2.6: The University has been looking into this since 1994. What is in place now at the University Libraries is a vast improvement from the previous practices, as students have to release their print job, which cuts down on duplicate and accidental printing. It is worth implementing this across the whole university. Still, even at University Libraries, there is a lot of unnecessary printing, some of which can be left in .pdf format for on-screen reading. The option of limiting the amount of printed materials students can utilize should be considered, as well as increasing the technology student fee in order to cover the actual cost of printing.

6. Recommendation 4: Scholarly Enablement. “Scholarly” includes not only teaching/instruction, but also research activities which are a major faculty responsibility. Therefore, the wording should be changed from: “Western Illinois University should continue to develop and improve its technological resources that, when used by faculty in effective and innovative ways, have a direct impact on student scholarly achievement.” to

“Western Illinois University should continue to develop and improve its technological resources that, when used by faculty in effective and innovative ways, have a direct impact on FACULTY AND student scholarly achievement.”

7. Action Item 4.2: Significant percentage of faculty feels that D2L does not work as well as Blackboard. More than a steering committee is needed in order to address the state of and future initiatives for Western Online.

8. Action Items 4.3 & 4.4: Faculty also need dedicated computer classrooms with instructor stations. Currently many faculty do not have access to a classroom with computers in it that they can use all semester long, regardless of the fact that using specific software packages is part of the coursework. Faculty can use the library twice (instructor stations no whiteboard) or Morgan 102 (blackboard no instructor station) or Stipes 331 (no instruction station, tiny whiteboard) for limited times. This also forces the students to move around campus during their semester. In addition, faculty should have some input when the hardware is changed in these rooms. Morgan 102 was switched over to tiny netbooks and while they may be cheaper it just makes it that more difficult for students to view and interpret for example their SPSS (SAS, MINITAB, etc.) outputs.

9. Action Item 4.5: Add “and research” at the end of the first italicized paragraph in bold, so that the end of the sentence reads: “…emerging technologies that have potential application in instruction and research.”

10. Under Action Item 4.5: Instead of “sandbox”, provide more support for a technology research/resource center either university wide or for each college – model it off the current technology center in the College of Education and Human Services.

11. Under recommendation 4: CIT recommends adding a new Action Item 4.8: Faculty Support for Development of Online Course Materials. CAIT used to provide resources to set up new online courses, these are no longer available. The University needs to create replacement for this service. In addition, for already existing online courses, there should be support for the creation of original instructional content that goes beyond the basics. Without such support services, WIU would hardly be able to compete in the Online Education market.

12. Under Recommendation 4: CIT recommends adding a new Action Item 4.9: Faculty Research, in order to explicitly address faculty research IT needs, including hardware, software, and training needs.

Posted September 5, 2013

1. There is no entry point in the proposed governance structure for IT proposals that are driven by/would enable research activities. CIT recommends that research along with education be the responsibility of the Education Alliance. To better reflect its responsibilities, CIT recommends that this alliance be called Scholarly Alliance.

2. CIT fully supports the Faculty Senate Chair recommendation: “Assure that the faculty members in the Education” (Scholarly ) “Alliance are the majority of voting members. With that in mind, make the Registrar an ex-officio (non-voting).” Without this, it may be the case that there is no faculty representative on the Executive committee which CIT finds counterproductive to the governance process. The idea is the chair of the Education (Scholarly) Alliance to be a faculty member, who will then carry on as a member of the Executive Committee.

3. Add three faculty members to each of the Administration and Marketing/External Alliances. Thus, there will be an equal number of faculty and student representation on these alliances. This is needed because the Faculty, as well as students, are stakeholders in the processes which will be overseen by these alliances.

4. The faculty members in each alliance should come from the CIT, thus ensuring smooth communication with the Faculty Senate and the faculty body as a whole. CIT has 12 members, of which 5 can serve on the Education (Scholarly) Alliance, 3 on the Administration, and 3 on the Marketing/External Alliance.

5. CIT would like to see a mechanism in place which will ensure that the members of the alliances will have strong interest or knowledge of IT. In view of item 4 above, we need to work closely with the Faculty Senate to ensure that the members of the CIT have such interest/knowledge. However, for the rest of the Alliances members, a mechanism has to be established by another governing body. CIT would like to see that addressed in the revised governance proposal.

6. In the current governance proposal there is an imbalance between the faculty/administration representation, with practically no faculty representation at the level of decision makers. To partially remediate that and ensure proper communication in the decision making process CIT recommends a Faculty Senate designee serve on all three bodies: CIT, IT Executive Committee, and IT Governance Council.

7. In terms of proposal flow through the IT governance structure, CIT recommends to make the status of proposals and accompanying comments known to the campus community at each stage of discussion/approval, i.e. ensure a transparent process while proposals are in the pipeline.

8. “Tech Reps” are currently listed as Advisory members of the Education (Scholarly) Alliance. CIT notes that according to the current practice it is not clear in all cases who carries out the role of “Tech Reps” within the various colleges.

9. Overall, more clarification is needed as to the mechanism according to which members at all levels of the governance structure will be chosen.

10. While the current proposal allows for a student ex officio member of the IT Governance Council when discussions affect the student body, any such provision is lacking when discussions affect faculty (which practically would always be the case). Therefore, CIT recommends item 6 above, or the inclusion of a similar mechanism for faculty representation at all levels of the decision making process.

Posted September 5, 2013

The Tower and The Cloud, Katz, Beyond the False Dichotomy of Centralized and Decentralized IT Deployment, Jim Davis, pg 118, Educause, 2008.

"As we consider IT deployment in higher education, we must take into account factors that include growing expectations when it comes to access and functionality, the integrative effects of a “network economy,” and the movement toward data as an institutional resource. IT is also playing an increasingly important role in research and education, compelling institutional IT to become more deeply involved with individual academic units. The university’s teaching and research economies are becoming more interlinked while simultaneously regulatory and security requirements escalate rapidly and accountability broadens. It’s true that one of the challenges to operating in this complicated environment has to do with the technology itself—the sheer complexity of technology deployment is increasing and technology requirements continue to change.

But our long-standing IT deployment practices are also breaking down. As universities struggle with how to piece together centralized and decentralized models in a way that will meet the needs of both the institution as a whole and the individual units it comprises, powerful forces are pushing these models toward failure. The centralized-versus-decentralized approach no longer aligns well with the programmatic objectives and regulatory requirements of the university. Hierarchical IT organizations and empowerment through budget and reporting lines are faltering and the organizational chart is failing to describe the real practice of IT. Institutional and departmental IT units can no longer compartmentalize their services and are forced to wrestle with their respective roles, turf, and accountability about services that are inherently integrated. Too often, we refer to IT services provided by a central organization versus those provided by individual units or departments. This has become a false dichotomy, creating an unproductive kind of competition among IT operations and preventing our common goal of a seamless, responsive, end-user IT environment."

Posted September 3, 2013

Organizing Information Professionals on Campus
Educause Quarterly, November 2002
By Fredrick Miller

It discusses a hybrid approach to centralized and decentralized IT.

"...Illinois Wesleyan University began using a new model when it reorganized its academic computing, administrative systems, and telecommunications departments into a single Office of Information Technology. ...

"...The question of decentralizing versus centralizing is important when discussing new organizational structures for information resources in higher education. In colleges and universities, a decentralized structure is typically organized around departments or constituencies, providing a strong department focus and strategic alignment with department needs. It gives individual departments more control over priorities. Unfortunately, a decentralized IT structure tends to place multiple demands on the people performing the decentralized function, causing them to act more like information generalists than specialists in a particular technology function.

A centralized information resources structure, on the other hand, lets an institution pull together its information workers and provides more opportunities for technology specialization. The centralized structure allows for more professional development for staff and lets organizations more effectively apply lessons learned within departments across the organization.

The disadvantage of the centralized model is that the one-size-fits-all approach allows more organizational efficiencies at the price of solutions that might not fit some departments. Conversely, a decentralized solution provides better tailoring to the needs of individual departments at the cost of efficiency, along with a need for more communication.

New hybrid information resources organizations may provide the benefits of both decentralized and centralized structures. In a hybrid IR model, the top-level information access layer (closest to users) is more likely to be decentralized within an institution. At the same time, the model’s lower layers will likely have more centralized structures, to deliver more efficient services."

Posted August 30, 2013

Every external or new person that comes to campus says that all technology should be under one group. The question that is never asked is why is it the way it is currently? Electronic Student Services was created because we needed quicker and more specialized technical support. This plan would then move those people back into the old way that didn’t work.
Steve says that he will make sure that the level of service we are used to, will continue to be the level we receive. Why would we like the plan when we are already getting that level of service and the only thing that can happen is that it stays the same or gets worse? This plan does more for the people that don’t get the service than those who already have it. It actually sounds like a way to fix some of the issues with Utech.
OK, so you suck up ESS and AIMS. Why is it that we aren’t talking about the tech reps? I’m guessing one of two things. One, they are seen as low level people to deal with later. Two, no one wants to try to force anything on the teachers. What I see happening is that all the areas will end up with tech reps. Not tech reps supplied by Utech but, by hiring their own like the colleges have already done. What’s the end result it this? ESS and AIMS are gone. We now have thirty tech reps around campus that have to follow Utech’s rules to a degree but, not completely. Steve says that everyone area would have a representative; we have that now!
I work directly with AIMS on a weekly basis. You work with one or two of those people because they are over your area. So instead of sending an email to those people, I will have to submit a ticket to Utech, they will route it to the AIMS groups. Now someone in AIMS has to figure out who should end up with that ticket. Sound like it solves one thing – the chance of quick support.
That begs the next question. Currently we contact our own help desk and use WES to do it for us. I know Utech has something similar that directs you to a web page but, how will those calls be handled. We no longer have WES so we have to use the web or call. We contact the help desk who doesn’t know the way ESS does things. They try to help but, in most cases won’t because Utech does things differently. So now we have a lag in support while they figure out it’s an ESS supported area. Not that ticket is routed to the ESS area of the ticket system. Finally my area gets the support that they would have already received if things were left alone. I’m sure the answer is to standardize the way things are done. This would change the way things work. Our office would then be less affective due to this change. I would also like to site an example of this already happening and doing exactly what I have listed: Zimbra.
Money! This is a huge topic on-campus. How is it that you plan to move ESS and AIMS into Utech but, nothing is being said about money? AIMS makes its own money. Does that money now become Utech’s money? How does AIMS pay for the next piece of software, the next mainframe? ESS is paid for out of Student Services money. In some cases, those areas directly pay for the salary of the person. How do we take money directly from Student Services departments and use it for the entire campus? When those bigger Student Service departments don’t get the service they are used to, drag their money back, how do those people now get paid. I personally have information that tells me that those departments are already prepared to take that money back if ESS is moved.
I think this plan does fix one thing. People don’t know who to contact for what. I understand that is an issue for new people especially. So we will now know to contact Utech for everything. Of course we can’t get the service because the people that typically take care of our issues are now dealing with other things. I heard a rumor that said if this happens, ESS and AIMS will still do much the same thing. So if things aren’t changing except who to contact. That contact is now longer due to people not understanding the difference in how things are done. What is actually improving?
Last, I would like to say something about Utech. I have worked with those people for over 15 years. Every area has their issues and Utech is no exception to that. That being said, those people work hard. They have a lot of people to support to with very little control. ESS has the support of their vice President. That doesn’t happen with Utech. I know those people do good work but, I already have someone supporting me that does a better job for me. It might not be a better job for the Math department but, it’s better for me; hence why ESS was created!

Posted August 29, 2013

Overall, there is a strong trend toward centralization of the IT infrastructure and services with corresponding advantages (noted in the plan) and disadvantages (often neglected in the plan). Some disadvantages include the varying needs and funding resources of different units on campus. Though a humanities department may not have the same needs as a tech oriented department, there are still significant needs in electronic classrooms, infrastructure, hardware, etc for both. But to standardize the hardware, electronic classrooms, etc. in these various areas would either produce waste on the one hand or a lack of resources on the other. Standardizing will inevitably require prioritizing resources, but this often results in those with lower, but just as important needs being neglected for those whose needs are more obvious. I urge caution on the attempts to provide uniform resources and a standardized approach to IT.

Posted August 28, 2013

Hello. It seems to me the #1 priority should be classroom instruction--as this is a school of learning. Meaning all classrooms should be wired and as fast as possible. Also, that we finally get some decent/quality rooms where we can have better interactions b/w Macomb and QC campuses--or just use Skype. It's sad that we don't have such facilities including for regular classes as well as interviews; the current system is utterly inadequate for remote interactions. These all come under Recommendation 4; that all teaching/instruction come under just one of the many (ten?) recommendations speaks volumes as to the (somewhat incorrect) priorities of the authors of this draft.

I also believe that faculty and students should play a central role in creating and implementing such a plan but see "centralization" as implying that will not be the case.

Posted August 28, 2013

The previous comment linked the wrong document. This is the cirrect link.

IT Organizations: Balancing Centralized Efficiencies with Localized Needs

John Voloudakis, ECAR
Center for Applied Research

Posted August 26, 2013

All previous comments posted here regarding section 2.1 center around the potential of a decline in response to user services if AIMS and ESS are Centralized under an umbrella with uTech to improve efficiency.

This article from Educause highlights that the decntralized model is generally well liked from users and staff in these cases. And that unique local needs are important and should not be disregarded. However, efficiency improvement is in regards to financial means - and WIU is now finding it necessary to look at all cost savings where possible, as the article discusses.

IT Organizations: Balancing Centralized Efficiencies with Localized Needs

"Information technology (IT) services at many colleges and universities are delivered through a complex organizational structure combining one or more central IT groups with numerous local providers. In universities that have more than one physical location, this complexity is often multiplied across the campuses. The decentralized model for providing IT services is generally well liked by those who work outside the central administration, but it is often criticized for duplicating services, confusing constituents, and raising the overall cost of delivering IT services. ...

This research bulletin outlines an approach for rethinking the structure for delivery of IT services in colleges and universities that have multiple IT groups. It examines where in the institution IT services can be delivered and how such delivery can be streamlined, while recognizing that there are unique local needs that are not likely to be effectively met by a single, centralized approach."

It should be noted that the previous combination of departments under uTech did not eliminate their individual visibility or unique services to WIU, but instead where possible and where user services was not sacrificed, inefficiencies were eliminated.

It will be difficult to manage an IT Governance model at this university without a more centralized umbrella leadership. Many Universities have already gone this route, and WIU must evaluate how to do it without turning over the apple cart.

Posted August 26, 2013

This is a good reference for existing EdTech implementations by other Universities.

These fall within the Strategic Plan (from edCetera article below):
- Indiana University - WiFi, BYOD
- University of Arizona - Web Site-in-a-Box
- Youngstown State University - Student Retention System

New Tech on Campus: 10 Universities on the Cutting Edge of Tech
via edCetera

A lot of attention has been paid to off-campus higher education of late. Some even went so far as to call 2012 "The year of the MOOC." While all of these virtual campuses and massive open online courses were busy grabbing the spotlight, a lot of brick-and-mortar universities are taking their on-campus technology to the next level. ...

Why This Matters: This list details 10 Higher Ed Institutions have taken their on-campus technology up a notch. From lecture-free classrooms to BYOD policies, there are plenty of ideas to incorporate into your own EdTech plans.

Posted August 26, 2013

Recommendation 2: Won’t Improve Efficiencies

Action Item 2.1: Centralization of IT services

1.Consolidation of ESS, the Library Tech Support into UTECH if very concerning for us in the library. UTECH doesn’t have the staff or time to respond within minutes of an issue when we have time critical e-document delivery. The libraries have very specialized software for checkout, ordering and delivery of documents. When service is down it impacts faculty, staff and students (not just on campus) but global information sharing.

Just last fall as our servers were migrated and that action stopped document delivery services for well over 3 months while UTECH figured out a solution. Our deliveries go to faculty, staff, and students here on campus as well as others around Illinois and the world. Presently, there is another server issue that has been ongoing all summer not allowing the libraries to save, store, and back up our digital collection to the server. This too has been ongoing for well over 3 months now. The potential for data loss is high at this time only being able to backup these images to portable drives.

So to say the least, my department would be against this complete integration as UTECH has not been appropriately given staff to cover campus wide issues nor the applicable training to solve these types of issues quickly. I believe Ess and the Library Tech staff should remain separate entities.

Posted August 16, 2013

Comments by Section:

Recommendation 1: IT Governance

While this section provides a reasonable proposal for funds specifically allocated by the University for IT purposes, it fails to address the use of non-appropriated funds utilized by individual departments. These funds are often allocated as needed for high priority departmental needs. These may be needs that the University Technology Advising Group would consider as a low campus priority. The expectation that these funds be allocated to support the “greater campus needs” at the expense of the individual department would likely cause these funds to be allocated for other purposes.

Action Item 1.2: Effective communication

1. The proposal fails to include non-academic staff representation in this group. The proposal includes appointing a faculty member and a student to work with University Technology senior leadership to more effectively communicate. The inclusion of a non-academic staff representative would serve to improve communication with all of the groups.

Recommendation 2: Improve Efficiencies

Action Item 2.1: Centralization of IT services

1. The consolidation of ESS into University Technology is a cause for concern for the Health Center. Beu has invested significant resources into the virtual desktop technology implemented by ESS with an understanding of a certain level of support. Current response time from ESS is usually measured in minutes. This is critical for the Health center as our providers are usually fully scheduled and need access to patient medical records to provide the best possible treatment. By contrast, our historical experience with University Technology support issues has been measured in hours to in some cases months. Any consolidation that would reduce responsiveness to outages would be unacceptable.

2. We have concern regarding any possible decrease in functionality with the integration of existing virtual desktop equipment.

Action Item 2.3: Focus on Mission Critical Differentiators

1. Health Care provides little differentiation from other Universities. Would this factor make support for campus health care a low priority item within a combined unit?

2. Salaries of some IT staff are supported by Student Services departments based on specialized skills needed to support our equipment and software. We would be concerned if these staff members were to be refocused resulting in a reduction in the support we receive from our salary contributions.

Recommendation 4: Scholarly Enablement

Action Item 4.1: Desktop and Application Virtualization

1. As the pioneer test site for VDI with ESS, the Health Center has made a significant investment in this technology. Are provisions being implemented to ensure that new systems are compatible with existing systems preventing the need for additional investment in competing technologies?

Recommendation 8: Strategic Technology Alliances

Action Item 8.1: Telecommunication Partnerships

1. Due to security concerns with VOIP sharing campus network resources, a transition to VOIP would force some campus departments to discontinue accepting credit card payments. The expense involved in the SAQ certification for transmission over a VOIP system is cost prohibitive. Integration of the VOIP system with data also raises some concerns regarding security and confidentiality of voice mails.

2. Would the migration of all phones to VOIP affect the speed of the campus network during peak times?

3. Based on communication with other departments currently using VOIP technology, it is unclear if this system supports paging functions. This is a function of the legacy telecommunications system that is used extensively by the Health Center. Would a migration to VOIP necessitate the installation of a 3rd party paging system?

4. Moving the phone system onto the campus network would reduce staff productivity during a network outage. Currently during network outages our staff can utilize this time to catch up on phone calls, this would not be possible if all resources were dependent on the campus network.

Posted August 13, 2013

I believe that ESS should remain a separate entity. ESS was created approximately 15 years ago due to poor support response from (then) Academic Computing. Offices within the Division of Student Services came together to create (then) ITSS (Info. Tech Student Services). Since that time, ESS has been providing service tailored to the needs of the offices in the Student Services division, along with select other offices. Were ESS to be merged into UCSS, and were they to be put into mainstream support, I believe that these offices would no longer receive the support that they are accustomed to. ESS provides a necessary and valuable service to one-quarter of University staff that would most likely be lost if they were merged. ESS already works closely with UCSS in many areas, without being a part of them. This partnership can continue without actually being merged. I believe it is in the best interest of the Division of Student Services that ESS remain as they are so they can continue to support those users effectively. If anything, my suggestion would be that ESS be left as-is and tasked with supporting other "business-processing" offices, which would fit into their specialty. This would relieve UCSS of some support burden, thus allowing them to concentrate on more University-wide infrastructure projects and other University-wide and academic area needs. There are options such as this that should be considered rather than a merge of ESS and UCSS.

Posted August 1, 2013

I am not in favor of ESS falling under the umbrella of Utech. I feel that this change would result in decreased customer service and slowed customer support. In a business where urgency is the utmost importance I worry that adding extra responsibility to Utech would be overwhelming for their staff. ESS has been an asset to my department and they make sure that the work they complete is efficient and done in a quality manner. Thank you.

Posted July 25, 2013

Please leave ESS where they are. I feel that the way ESS is set up currently is where they need to remain. They are so efficient and helpful I don't know what our office would do without them!

Posted July 25, 2013

I would not be in favor of moving ESS under the umbrella of Utech. Our department demands prompt feedback on IT related issues and joining these two entities would not expedite our needs. ESS has been done a good job working on any issues that have come our way and we will need their department to remain the same to satisfy our future needs.

Posted July 24, 2013


It is important that we look at the broad scope of how our University functions through information technology. As a football program I deal daily with the ESS staff, they get back to me at the latest within the hour. This service is necessary for our success as a program. My biggest fear is that we would have an issue during the season and UTEP, who have proven to be far worse in response time, would not get back to us for few days. This could cost us competitions. As for a university we need to understand that as we move forward we will continue to rely more and more on technology and putting a big umbrella on support would really hurt day to day operations as a University. I feel very strongly regarding this matter. Please contact me with any questions or concerns. Andrew Prevost,

Posted July 23, 2013

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