ITS Strategic Planning

Dear Colleagues,

Information Technology Services (ITS) initiates discussions annually throughout the University to inform the continual improvement of the ITS Strategic Plan.  Historically, these planning sessions were scheduled for the December – January timeframe and were aligned with the March deadline for budget presentations.

ITS is shifting our strategic planning cycle to late summer/early fall in response to the new budgeting approach, Responsibility Centered Management (RCM), which is scheduled to begin FY2015 and will require budget presentations in the October/November timeframe.  Additionally, this move will allow us to capitalize on recommendations from the Redefining the University Library Committee.



UMDrive Information

Dear Colleagues and Students, is a web-based file storage service used by faculty, students, and staff.  This service plays a critical role in teaching and learning, research, and administrative processes throughout our university.

As part of our commitment to continual improvement, ITS is reviewing UMDrive to determine how to improve our file storage services.  A survey was recently conducted to gather feedback for this purpose. Unfortunately, this has led to speculation of UMDrive’s imminent decommission, and this is inaccurate.

We understand that any changes to this critical service will require a very high degree of communication and coordination. I assure you that the project team responsible for recommending any changes to our file storage services will include participation from students, faculty, and staff.

ITS will keep you advised of future developments.

Thank you,


eCourseware Update Complete

As mentioned in my previous post, ITS has completed the upgrade of eCourseware (Desire 2 Learn) over the holiday break.  Please note the following important information regarding usage and training on eCourseware:

Here is the  Training Schedule for the new version of eCourseware.  Registration for these sessions is available through Learning Curve (faculty only).

Customized videos, covering the basic tools of eCourseware, can be found at Teaching and Learning Videos. Faculty may also access these training videos .  Please note:  login is required for both.

Individual consultations can be scheduled at Consultation Ticket

If you have additional questions:

  • Email
  • Call the Help Desk at 901-678-8888. Help Desk staff are being given additional training in eCourseware and will be able to answer many of your questions

Thank you,


ECourseware Update

A TBR-wide upgrade of eCourseware (Desire 2 Learn) will occur during the holiday break.  Please be aware of the important dates, times, and services below:

  • 12/27/13 – The eCourseware system will go offline at 12:01a.m.  You will not be able to log in to the system (and if you are logged in at that time, your session will be terminated), and you will receive a maintenance message explaining that the system is being upgraded.
  • 1/2/14 – The eCourseware system will be back online at 8:00 a.m, with the upgrades in place and tested.  At that point, you will be able to get into the system to conduct all your normal activities.
  • Also on 1/2/14, the normal process for course combines will resume.  Course combines will be processed within three (3) business days of the time they are submitted.
  • The Training Schedule for the new version of eCourseware will be available in multiple formats, beginning on 1/2/14 through Learning Curve (faculty only).
  • Individual consultations can be scheduled at Consultation Ticket
  • If you have questions:
    • Email
    • Call the Help Desk at 901-678-8888.  Help Desk staff are being given additional training in eCourseware and will be able to answer many of your questions

No new features will be available on 1/2/14.  We are making the upgraded baseline system available first, to be sure that it is stable and able to handle the start-of-semester load, before we activate any of the new features available.

Thank you,


TechQual+ Campus-Wide Survey


Around this time each year, the University has historically participated in the Techqual+ survey to obtain feedback regarding information technology service quality.  To align our collection of this data more closely with the academic calendar, we will be conducting the survey for 2014 toward the end of the spring semester.  Reminders and notifications will be posted to the portal and this blog when the survey is opened in the spring.



ITS Organization Update #3

When we met on November 12, I promised to let all of those whose positions were analyzed but determined to be functional rather than ITS positions know of that status.  I sent those emails out on November 19.  If you have any questions about your status, please contact me via email or phone.




Phone:  901-678-8324



Frequently Asked Questions – ITS Organization

Q.  What is the purpose of the ITS realignment?

  • To create efficiencies
  • To eliminate redundancies
  • To cross-train for improved support

Q.  Are there going to be other changes across the        University?

  • Yes, all units are examining opportunities to reduce costs, improve services, and increase efficiencies.

Q.  Will there be more changes in ITS? 

  • Yes.  We will continue to evolve as conditions warrant and to meet the needs of the University.

Q.   Who will manage integrated technology personnel?

  •   ITS

Q.   Could I be reassigned to a different supervisor?

  • Yes, we are moving to a resource management model that may require a change in supervisors based on the work necessary to meet the needs of the University.

Q.   Who will perform evaluations of integrated technology personnel?   

  • The ITS manager/ supervisor assigned to the unit will evaluate integrated technology personnel based on job performance, skills, and customer service feedback, using the University’s annual performance evaluation process. Deans will be asked for input on evaluations.

Q.   Will the same people support the same areas?

  • Yes and no. In the short term, there will be few changes.  ITS will implement cross-training initiatives to strengthen support across campus.  For the long term, we will practice resource management by pooling personnel to complete tasks and projects.

Q.    Where will the ITS staff be located?

  • A few staff locations, including LSPs, will change locations in the short term. We will continue to have staff located throughout the campus.

Q.    How will the realignment affect support hours?

  • We have after-hours support until 7:00 p.m. at this time and will be extending to cover academic needs as necessary.

Q.  Are other divisions participating in the ITS integration? 

  • Not at this time.

Q.  How will customers request assistance?

  • Customers should call 8888 or fill out a ticket at



Update on ITS Organizational Structure

As we discussed today (11/12/13), you will find below two documents:

  • The conceptual model for ITS – the way we do business, effective today


  • The simplified traditional organizational chart – the core teams for leave requests and approvals, performance management, and other administrative tasks, effective today


Open positions will be posted within the next couple of days — please review them and apply for any in which you are interested.

Robert and Sue will meet with groups and individuals on an on-going basis to make the new model operational.  As soon as the leadership team has its full complement of members, more detailed alignments of staff and duties will be developed.

As you consider your role in the new ITS, please begin to develop your performance goals and objectives in light of the new model.  Remember that your performance plan must include at least one measurable customer service goal, and at least one measurable team/group goal.

As Robert, Sue and I all said this morning, we have confidence in your skills and your commitment to UoM, and look forward to working with you on all of the initiatives, functions, and services in which ITS is engaged.


ITS Organizational Update


When we met with you July 11, we announced the integration of central and Academic Affairs IT functions, services, and personnel, with a planned integration timeline of 90 days.  We understand the anxiety created by this effort, and we have been working diligently to move this effort forward.  As you can imagine, an integration on this scale is complicated.  Not only must we consider current functions and services, but we must also work strategically to identify the University’s future needs.

Our recommendations regarding the organizational structure are complete.  We are currently awaiting approval of those recommendations and will provide more details as soon as possible.

In the meantime, we appreciate your continued work in providing essential services and excellent customer services. 

Thanks for your patience and support.