Introduction & Planning Context

In Fall 2012, the Provost requested that the Chief Information Officer develop a comprehensive strategic plan by May of 2013 for Information Technology on the Urbana-Champaign campus that would provide guidance and priorities for better utilizing IT resources at all levels of the campus, including central enterprise IT units, campus-wide entities like Beckman and IGB, and College and Departmental groups. This plan includes IT’s impact on all stakeholder groups and ensures that faculty’s perspectives were prevalent in its development. To achieve this aim, the IT Governance Executive Committee led a process that included the development of five IT subcommittees, all led by faculty and with significant faculty and membership. Each subcommittee developed a strategic plan in their area that informed the development of the overall IT strategic plan. The five IT subcommittees were:

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Research
  • Administrative
  • Security and Privacy
  • Extension and Outreach

In addition, there was significant input from the IT community through the involvement of the IT Council.

The structure of Information Technology at the university has experienced significant change over the past few years. After a brief movement toward more university system level oversight, each campus is now expected to identify its own key needs and work to collaborate with other campuses and the university administration when there is a clear benefit. In addition, the individual colleges, units and departments are collaborating more than in the past. This is leading to more efficient implementations of large-scale change, like the implementation of a single email and calendaring system along with unified communications.

Information Technology’s role in research, teaching and learning, and engagement is rapidly changing and its importance to the mission of the university is as critical as ever. The types of external research collaborations and need for accessibility to large data sets is increasing. Online and blended classroom experiences are much more prevalent and the introduction of MOOCs (massive open online courses) may have significant impacts on the way by which learning is delivered. The university’s role in providing lifelong learning, both to its alumni and others, will likely expand through the leveraging of technology. The use of technology to support the administrative work of the university will continue to evolve with an expectation of more mobile, efficient, and user-friendly tool sets.

These campus, university, and global contexts were considered throughout the development of the IT strategic plan for the Urbana-Champaign campus.