I am pleased to update you on the status of the institution-wide technology strategic planning effort, launched in spring 2015. Using our phased approach, we continue to make progress in developing a multi-year implementation plan for each of the four planning areas – Teaching and Research Excellence, Operational Excellence and Student Success, Infrastructure and Support for Innovation, and Organizational Capabilities. Over the past three months, our consultants have provided two drafts of the technology implementation plan and held numerous meetings with IT advisory groups, IS staff, ITGs and others to obtain feedback. The most recent draft of the technology plan is attached. We are now developing shorter presentations and summaries of the plan more appropriate for obtaining broader community feedback in the fall.
As you know, we are not waiting for our plans to be complete before we address many significant priorities that are consistent with our strategy. Therefore, we are launching implementation activities that will improve and enhance WFU’s core mission of teaching, learning and research as well as hone administrative processes and services. We recently reviewed a set of potential priorities for the next twelve months with the Information Technology Executive Council (ITEC) that will help us begin to implement our plans and guide future priority setting. The presentation to ITEC is included with this communication. We confirmed with ITEC that the initiatives described under the first- and second-wave priorities are desirable areas of focus to recommend to the EVP and Provost for support, and we will be developing budgets and plans for each of these initiatives.
We also obtained ITEC’s agreement to begin planning the transition to the new governance model. Later this month, a detailed transition plan will be presented to ITEC along with drafts of charters for new committees and recommendations to adjust the focus and composition of existing groups. Beginning in September, with ITEC’s support, we will be sharing these recommendations with the Committee for Information Technology (CIT), Information Technology Partners Council (ITPC), Banner Steering Committee, Learning Management Systems (LMS) Committee and other groups, to seek additional input. We anticipate phasing in changes to governance over the next six months.
Additional activities underway to realize our overall strategic goals include:
- EVP Milam has appointed a steering committee for the Workday project. Members include Carmen Canales (Human Resources), Brandon Gilliland (Finance), Beth Hoagland (Provost’s Office), Emily Neese (Strategy and Operations), Phil Handwerk (Institutional Research) and Mur Muchane (Information Systems). The steering committee is establishing some aspects of the leadership and governance of the Workday project and coordinating preparations for implementation.
- Over a period of two months the steering committee and the EVP reviewed proposals and in-person presentations from several Workday implementation partners and has selected Sierra Cedar, the most experienced Workday implementation firm in higher education. In the near future, we will develop a schedule for the kick-off of the project and begin to assemble the WFU implementation teams.
- To support the interim improvement strategy for student systems, we are working with two key offices: The Registrar’s office to develop some workflow capabilities for targeted processes; The Admissions office to evaluate Slate CRM as a replacement for their current outdated solution.
- IS has identified funding to seed several activities in line with long-term strategic goals including:
- Accelerating the upgrading of classroom technology. We are working with a faculty initiative team in consultation with the Provost’s office and CIT to prioritize how we will improve our learning spaces.
- Establishing a new academic technology group within IS to support the teaching and learning mission of WFU.
- Expanding the capacity of the high performance computing cluster to support our researchers.
- Funding a university-wide desktop data back-up service for faculty and staff computers.
- Expanding outdoor wireless in Hearn and Manchester plazas.
We will continue to work closely with faculty, academic and administrative offices to develop proposals to review with IT governance groups in the context of the framework of priorities that are being developed with ITEC. In this way we can begin to realize the promise of our technology plan even as we fine-tune the details of the strategies and roadmaps.
Thank you for your continued support and collaborative partnership. As always, please call or email me with your questions and suggestions.
Best regards, Mur Muchane