it-cio

November CIO Updates

This month, we focus on thankfulness. We are thankful for the campus we serve but, most importantly, the people across it. We are thankful for the confidence in this IT team to improve the technology presence here, to empower our users to support teaching and learning without worries of connectivity or accessibility and to ensure that we have the foundation to facilitate student success. We are thankful to get feedback after presentations, delivery of service, technology events. We are thankful. And we’re happy to be here. Know that this month of November, this team appreciates you.

Some favorite Thanksgiving season phrases:

Leftovers are for Quitters

From this point forward, the projects we embark on will not leave straggling, unfinished parts. Rather they will be fully communicated up front, thoroughly implemented at the mid-way and the campus users will be trained on how to use the ‘new and improved’ before we announce successful completion. Completion will include continuous improvement and training plans moving forward to make sure we leave no unfinished business on the table.

In early December we plan to get all power-users of Colleague together to share open dialogue with Colleague creators, Ellucian. What do we need? Why do we need it? Why does Colleague feel like such a clunky impediment to every report or data feed that we need to make better decisions? We are starting at Colleague baseline and requesting that Ellucian re-market their product to us. We have options, they respect this so, rather than embark on a disruptive ERP change right now, let’s see if we can fix the back-office system we have in place and make it work for us. We will do this deliberately for most of our systems, in prioritized fashion. No unfinished business. Use as much as we can of products we own, smartly.

Feast Mode

Our doors are unlocked and timely response is a basic expectation within IT. If you have needs, wants or concerns, lay them on us. As we finalize first steps of a multi-year tech improvement plan, we welcome your input. We have restructured our team to best service the TU campus today and we’ll likely continuously morph our structure as future needs change. All of this relies on open, authentic feedback from you. Include us, invite us, involve us, lean on us. We are your support system. It feels like we’ve been dieting for a year to get to where we are today. Let’s do this!

I’m Just Here for the Pie

Ah the fun stuff. We promise as the next few years involve significant baseline technology upgrades – read: virtually invisible to the campus aside from random ups and downs that we’ll thoroughly communicate – we are dedicated to sprinkle the seemingly boring infrastructure builds with systems and services that you will be excited to see and experience.

Examples:

  • Ability to use your mobile devices for more on campus (Students, wireless printing is coming!)
  • Less manual tracking of non-undergrad admissions data
  • Easier access and support for faculty and research websites
  • More robust options in the student app and Colleague self-service
  • Training on all that we offer!

The dessert, the pie, the fun stuff. If you see or hear about cool offerings on other campuses or have students needing app development projects to work on, contact me. I’ll make sure it gets where it needs to be. This IT department will not work in a vacuum. It takes all of us to come up with the best ideas.

In Closing

Thank you University of Tulsa. My email is paige-francis@utulsa.edu. If I can help in any way, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Have a relaxing and blessed Thanksgiving season TU,
Paige Francis
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

October CIO Updates

It’s fall, y’all! Cooler temps (finally) and turning leaves, what a beautiful time to collaborate across The University of Tulsa campus.

In the September update to TU, we requested and received feedback on our departmental mission statement – thank you! Mission and vision statements oftentimes feel silly however they are truly the first step in defining our next many steps to excellent service. Service, for which, we want to be held accountable.

‘Tis the Season

…for putting ourselves out there! The IT Department is excited to announce the re-introduction of routine technology knowledge-sharing sessions! Bring your own lunch and learn about cybersecurity initiatives, current campus technologies and IT strategies ranging from high-level to high-tech (you’ll understand it all, we guarantee). The official series starts in November, so look for upcoming announcements with dates, locations and topics. If you have topic suggestions, please email them to paige-francis@utulsa.edu.

“Strategery”

We are honored to support the University of Tulsa. In order to make sure our ideas match campus need, we will be using this fall/winter season to finalize a new 2019/20 TU IT Strategic Plan. We plan to refine the draft collaboratively with the Academic Computing Committee of the Faculty Senate. Once finalized, the TU IT Strategic Plan will serve as a solid base for future planning.

We Put the TU IT in OpporTUnITy

So much opportunity, so little time. Improving WiFi, watching eSports develop, supporting online courses and programs, making cybersecurity (dare I say) fun, presenting to Arts & Sciences department chairs, discussing a future involving a data and digital repository, laughing and commiserating with Dr. Mandy Moore in Student Success – there is more opportunity and energy on this campus than I ever imagined. We are ALL dedicated to improvement. We are ALL dedicated to exceeding expectations. We are ALL IN on TU.

Recent Feedback

IT is on a roll for my college. Great customer service focused employees!!!

(Smiles!)  Please know we are proud of positive feedback, however we recognize this is long game territory – and we are in it to win it.

My Favorite Thing for October

It’s an annual thing. I am off to Educause in Chicago, IL next week. I look forward to seeing my CIO people each and every October. It revitalizes me. If you have any needs or wants, please let me know as soon as possible as every technology, solution and system under the sun will be well represented on the vendor floor. I will be presenting on Thursday so if you find yourself in the area, come on by! Be warned – I will come home with all kinds of unattainable ideas 🙂

Have a wonderful month,
Paige Francis
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

September CIO Updates

pop-up help deskThe University of Tulsa’s 2019-20 school year is in full-swing and your IT team is thankful to play even the smallest role in serving and supporting our vibrant campus. Thank you!

We increased our visibility as the semester start ramped up and, soon after, we identified ways we might continuously improve in these areas for our students, faculty and staff.

Examples:

  • Action: Opened Help Desk in McFarlin Library
    Learned: Keep an eye on hours of service, expansion likely
  • Action: IT presence during move-in
    Learned: Target specific, most useful hours next year

We will continue to find ways to make a positive impact and improve as we experience and re-envision ‘the next time’. That’s right – we’re keeping score!


Realigning for YOU

One of the biggest challenges of any IT organization is staying abreast of our user needs and ensuring our structure is aligned to best meet those needs. The University of Tulsa’s IT team will keep moving in line with the pace of technology, campus need and overarching strategy. Please keep an eye on the jobs page of the TU website and recommend IT openings to peers, colleagues, friends and family.


Feedback Please!

Please click this link to participate in a brief one question, two text field survey sharing your feedback on our department’s proposed Mission Statement. In order for our folks to know where we’re going (and why), we need to make sure that we’ve set clear expectations and a strong declaration on our basic departmental mission will help.

Proposed Mission Statement:

The Division of Information Technology is driven to achieve excellence through the design, development, and application of information technology in support of learning, teaching, research, service, and the facilitation of University business consistent with TU’s mission.

Again, please share feedback here: https://utulsa.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_20h5dJxHOn9NT3n


My Favorite Thing for September

Never underestimate the tools and apps that we have at our fingertips within the TU Office 365 suite of products. I never thought I would become a Microsoft evangelist, but the Bookings app met a legitimate, crucial need this week and we had no idea it existed. Watch this video and see how the Bookings application might help in your meetings-heavy office environment:

TU owns the Office 365 suite – find out what’s there and use it all!


Each month I will share progress we’ve made, roadblocks we’ve encountered, integrations we’ve built and everything in between. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at paige-francis@utulsa.edu.

Current CIO Initiatives:

  • In search of: Room scheduling tool, ‘data warehouse’ future strategy, digital repository
  • In pilot: Panic button trial
  • How can we help: ConnectTU app, Slate expansion, engage with academic areas
  • Developing in IT: Governance structure, improved policy/procedure environment, strategic plan, hiring of key personnel, audit requirements

To all I’ve met on the University of Tulsa campus, thank you for the warm welcome. For those I’ve yet to meet, I can’t wait to learn how we in Information Technology can best support you. This is only the beginning of our IT transformation journey and I’m excited to see what the future holds.

Have a wonderful fall,
Paige Francis
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

New Academic Year, New IT Leadership

Information Technology (IT) at the University of Tulsa is truly foundational, impacting the impression and experience of all that traverse our beautiful and enriching campus.

As the University of Tulsa’s new Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, I’ve spent my first thirty days on a TU listening tour, meeting with campus constituents, assessing our current technology landscape, analyzing our historical support presence, and collecting feedback on interactions, ideas and issues. Now the compilation begins, which will result in the development of a vision outlining where we need to be and the strategic roadmap that will get us there. End goal? The re-introduction of a stronger IT unit, poised and ready to partner with our faculty, students, staff and guests. This is coming soon and will be well-communicated.

What do I know now? Here is what I know. Your TU Information Technology team will:

  • Be gracious, helpful, supportive and kind;
  • Learn the University of Tulsa, its people, its needs, its wants;
  • Embrace and learn campus technologies, embodying ‘expert-level’ engagement toward each unique solution and system;
  • Investigate what’s outside of TU – (1) what are our strive to emulate partners doing? (2) who are the experts and what are they forecasting? (3) how can we not only improve but lead in our respective areas of expertise?
  • Study the TU Mission, Strategic Plan, Commitment and ensure that our work embodies and exemplifies the over-arching goals of the University in all that we do.

Each month I will share progress we’ve made, roadblocks we’ve encountered, integrations we’ve built and everything in between. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at paige-francis@utulsa.edu.

To all I’ve met on the University of Tulsa campus, thank you for the warm welcome. For those I’ve yet to meet, I can’t wait to learn how we in Information Technology can best support you. This is only the beginning of our IT transformation journey and I’m excited to see what the future holds.

Have a wonderful semester start,
Paige Francis
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer