Univers IT y: Where Does Your IT Fit In?
Shauna Switzer
Ohio University
740.593.4712
[email protected]
EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference 2005
• Copyright Shauna Switzer 2005. This work is the
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Ohio University
Ohio University Campus Profile
• Main campus in Athens: 19,704 students
• Five regional campuses: 8,809 students
• Total students: 28,513
• Faculty: 1,878
• Staff: 2,942
• Of the staff 230-240 are IT
(central, distributed, and help desk)
Ohio University Institutional Research Fall 2004 data
Ohio University Campus Profile
• IT to faculty/staff/student ratio:
139:1 user to overall IT
4,900:1 user to help desk ratio
(not including student help)
Falls mid- to slightly under mid-range when
compared to 16 of our other sister universities
(T. Reid, personal communication, February 28, 2005)
(B.Sams, personal communication, February 28, 2005)
Research at Other Universities…
• Research by Hitch, Erskine, and Dancause
(2004) at Northeastern University suggests
that:
• Many IT staff’s previous work experience is
not in higher education
• IT have not been trained on how their role fits
in the ‘big’ picture or aligns with mission
• There is a need for professional development
to help align their goals with those of the
university
Ohio University IT Survey & Results
• Number of years at OU & previous work experience?
• Tasks and activities that support OU's mission do you
work on during the work day?
• Who are your customers and how do you know you're
doing a good job for them?
• What do you consider your strongest technical/nontechnical skill?
• What skills do you want to acquire and why?
• How would you like your job responsibilities and
professional development to evolve over the next five
years?
Ohio University IT Survey
• Who do you team with most often to solve problems
or offer services/how to make that teamwork more
effective and efficient?
• What do you think the IT organization should be doing
to serve its customers better and to anticipate the
evolving need of the university?
• What question(s) do you think we should have asked
you and didn't?
• Additional comments and contact information/
interested in helping further.
Ohio University IT Survey Results
50
45
40
Total Employees
35
30
30
26
25
20
15
10
6
6
11-15
16-20
5
4
0
0-5
229 IT emailed
72 Responded
31% Response Rate
6-10
Years Worked by Employee
21+
Ohio University IT Survey Results
74% of respondents came from field other than higher education, such as:
•
•
70
60
57
Total Employees
50
40
30
20
15
10
0
No
Yes
Previously Worked in Higher Education
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Business (32%)
IT (software, consulting,
etc) (21%)
K-12 (7%)
Manufacturing (7%)
Military (5%)
Student (5%)
Banking (4%)
Newspaper (4%)
Sales (2%)
Other, self-employed (14%)
Ohio University IT Survey Results
Daily tasks that further the mission:
• Batch/Application support
• Maintain core network (backbone/wireless)
• Networking
•
•
•
•
•
•
Programming Applications
Security
Support/Systems Admin/Policy
Training/Support
Web programming
We have a mission?
Ohio University IT Survey Results
Main themes:
• We all do many different and overlapping tasks.
• Everyone does many of the same tasks (from
unjamming printers to server admin and security)
• We have a lot of customers both within the university
as well as external.
• We have a large skill set and knowledge base here at
the University that we need to tap into.
• We want to further develop our skills (both technical
and otherwise).
Ohio University IT Survey Results
• Communicate, communicate, communicate
• Share, share, share
• Promote teamwork and collaboration
• Develop our skills and stay current in the industry
• Have more networking opportunities, more training,
and more time and encouragement to attend them
• Work together NOT AGAINST each other
Ohio University IT Survey Results
To condense the feedback into one comment:
“The biggest problem I have, and I'm sure many of my colleagues
share, is the sheer volume and diversity of what I am doing. I have
gone from training faculty on Video Conferencing, to setting up
computers in a lab, to clearing a copier jam, to repairing a projector, to
installing a sewing machine, to preparing Media for streaming, to
trying to learn MY SQL to rebuild a server, and that was all before 1
pm today. (And someone thought I took a long lunch, because I
wasn't in my office.)”
Anonymous quote
The Pilot Program
Behind the Screens: The Netizens, Knowledge
Workers, and Silver Surfers of Ohio University
We all know who our customers are! They are the
students, faculty and staff of Ohio University. But
what does that really mean? Find out more about
the diverse groups we serve and brainstorm ways
we can avoid "anticipointments" in this pilot
Professional Development course for OU's IT.
The Pilot Program
Behind the Screens: The Netizens, Knowledge
Workers, and Silver Surfers of Ohio University
Netizen?
The Pilot Program
Behind the Screens: The Netizens, Knowledge
Workers, and Silver Surfers of Ohio University
Netizen
A citizen of the Internet, as in, one who spends a
significant amount of time online or is an
experienced user of the Net.
taken from http://www.netlingo.com
The Pilot Program
Behind the Screens: The Netizens, Knowledge
Workers, and Silver Surfers of Ohio University
Knowledge Worker?
The Pilot Program
Behind the Screens: The Netizens, Knowledge
Workers, and Silver Surfers of Ohio University
Knowledge Worker
Quite simply, it is a person who works in the industry. Most
often, this person's job is to gather and disseminate
information. A knowledge worker, however, can be anyone
whose primary work responsibilities are centered on the
use and manipulation of digital information, including stock
traders, financial analysts, software programmers, and
journalists, just to name a few.
taken from http://www.netlingo.com
The Pilot Program
Behind the Screens: The Netizens, Knowledge
Workers, and Silver Surfers of Ohio University
Silver Surfer?
The Pilot Program
Silver Surfer
An adult, generally 50 years of age or older, who frequently surfs the Web
and spends time online ("silver" refers to the color of their hair). Unlike
neophytes, silver surfers are considered netizens, experienced users of the
Net. The phrase silver surfer … applies to midlife adults (generally those in
their 40s, 50s and 60s), and seniors (age 70 and over) everywhere. By
2005, close to 108 million people will be over the age of 45 (which
comprises 40 percent of the population).
Silver surfers:
• Account for 70 percent of the U.S. net worth, controlling $9 trillion
• Inherit over $12 trillion from their parents -- the largest wealth
transfer in history
• Control 80 percent of the personal financial assets
• Represent 50 percent of U.S. discretionary spending
• Own about 50 percent of all credit cards
taken from http://www.netlingo.com
The Pilot Program
Behind the Screens: The Netizens, Knowledge
Workers, and Silver Surfers of Ohio University
Anticipointment?
The Pilot Program
Behind the Screens: The Netizens, Knowledge
Workers, and Silver Surfers of Ohio University
Anticipointment
Slang for the feeling you get when a product or
event does not live up to its own hype. For
example, "Windows Me was said to be a huge
anticipointment for users who upgraded from
2000."
taken from http://www.netlingo.com
‘Behind the Screens’ Pilot Program
• 8:00-9:00 ‘Eat and Greet’
• 9:00-9:45 ‘The Netizens’, Dean of Students on
the student perspective
• 10:00-10:45 ‘The Knowledge Workers’, newly
tenured Associate Professor on the faculty
perspective
• 11:00-11:30 ‘The Silver Surfers’, Director of
Maintenance and Operations for a staff
perspective
• 11:30-12:00 discussion/wrap up
‘Behind the Screens’ Audience
• 72 total IT staff responded to the survey
• 43 agreed to future contact/willing to help
They were invited to our pilot program to provide further feedback
• 18 signed up and 14 were able to attend
• 8 of the 14 who attended filled out the online evaluation at the end
of the program
Faculty/Staff/Students by Generation
Generation
Nexters (1980-2000)
5-25 years old
Faculty, Staff, or Student?
Students (early 20’s)
GenXers (1961-1980)
25-44 years old
Administrative Staff (43)
IT Staff (41)
Baby Boomers (1943-1960)
45-62 years old
Faculty (48)
Classified Staff (46)
Pay grade 93 < (53)
Veterans (1922-1943)
62-83 years old
Zemke, R., Raines, C., Filipczak, B., (2000)Generations at work: Managing the clash of veterans, boomers,
xers, and nexters in your workplace. New York: AMACOM Books.
‘Behind the Screens’ Issues Identified
Differences in Evaluation and Expectations
Faculty
• Evaluated on 40:40:20
– 40% Research
– 40% Teaching
– 20% Service
• Evaluated on:
–
–
–
–
–
–
Number classes taught
Number students taught
Number advisees
Number committees/groups
Innovation in teaching
Research and grant money
IT
• Performance Management
– Define goals on yearly basis
align them with mission
– Mid-year review
– Final-year review
• Evaluated on:
– Completion of goals
explain how/why not
‘Behind the Screens’ Issues Identified
• Faculty grant writing for equipment (for
promotion and tenure)
– Who supports it?
– Is there communication?
• Large, unplanned projects can easily affect IT
workload (and evaluation if our performance
management goals aren’t met)
• Create friction between faculty and IT
‘Behind the Screens’ Issues Identified
Friction?
Previous studies found that there were
instances where faculty gave up grants to
other institutions, as long as they maintain
a significant role, because of lack of faith in
current IT structure
‘Behind the Screens’ Issues Identified
Differences in Evaluation and Expectations
Faculty
• Evaluated on 40:40:20
– 40% Research
– 40% Teaching
– 20% Service
• Evaluated on:
–
–
–
–
–
–
Number classes taught
Number students taught
Number advisees
Number committees/groups
Innovation in teaching
Research and grant money
IT
• Performance Management
– Define goals on yearly basis
align them with mission
– Mid-year review
– Final-year review
• Evaluated on:
– Completion of goals
explain how/why not
‘Behind the Screens’ Issues Identified
Differences in Technology
Faculty
IT
• Equipment used ranges from
an old PC and Mac all the
way up to a DNA sequencer
• Standardize
• Multiple platform
• Reduce redundancy
• Multiple generations
• Easier manageability and
support that frees up time for
the larger issues
• Multiple applications
• Quirky old software and
quirky old computers as well
as rare, state-of-the-art
equipment
• Integrate
‘Behind the Screens’ Issues Identified
Creative and innovative research
that puts the university ‘on the map’
VS
Consolidation, standardization, and
uniformity
Is it possible in higher education?
How do we manage the diverging paths?
‘Behind the Screens’ Feedback
• The program received 6 positive and 2 negative
votes. The approval rating was 73%, or 3.63 out of 5
stars. (77%, 3.86 stars if screened feedback)
• The discussion with the faculty member was by far the
most mentioned and valued agenda item.
• The negatives were that they didn’t think it should be
directed to an ‘IT only audience’ and that we should
already know these things.
• The faculty member was very positive about the
experience also. She said she also learned a lot from
her interaction with the group.
‘Behind the Screens’ Feedback
•
“The speakers really pointed out how diverse the IT community is and
some challenges we must face. I found it very informative and felt it
gave me a sense of perspective about the IT community here at OU.”
•
“I think this program has a lot of potential impact on the university as
a whole. As was mentioned in the meeting, IT personnel are too
often ignored or taken for granted until a major problem arises.
Prevention is always better (and cheaper) than damage control.”
•
“Maybe a topic on how to make a presence in the planning process
with regards to the purchase of new IT related systems. I'm sure not
all faculty and staff personnel even think about including IT people
and even the ones that do might resist the idea if they don't realize
the potential benefits of IT staff inclusion.”
•
“The presentations are all important issues that everyone at the
university should be aware of.”
‘Behind the Screens’ Feedback
•
“Hearing the perspective of someone from the academic side of things
fist-hand.“
•
“I liked the fact that 3 different audiences were presented one after the
other. The connectedness helped contrast differing needs for and
uses of technology on campus.”
•
“While the faculty person realized the importance of their IT staff, the
fact that they didn't even consider the potential increase of demand on
the IT person when writing grants was surprising. It would be
interesting to meet with a group of faculty to discuss what
considerations go into grant writing. Does the faculty consider the full
cost of ownership? If not, how can we, as IT, make them aware?”
Need More Communication
• We need more communication and
teamwork within IT, and across all
aspects of the university.
Ways of Opening Up Communication
Implemented so far:
• New mission and vision statement created by
our CIO, and publicized
Ways of Opening Up Communication
Implemented so far:
• ‘Communities of Practice’ – faculty, staff, IT,
students… who get together to collaborate
and communicate on a topic of interest.
– Communication
– Tablet PC
– Open Source
– Web Development
Ways of Opening Up Communication
Implemented so far:
• Collaboration of IT and faculty to create a
class “Technical Support in Educational
Settings” to help train people who could be
liaisons between faculty and IT. They may not
be able to fix every problem, but the will be
able to speak the language of both sides.
(M. Hyclak, personal communication, February 15, 2005)
Ways of Opening Up Communication
Implemented so far:
• Encouragement and support from our CIO for
IT to expand and learn about the academic
side of higher education
– grant writing
– presenting
– research
Where Do We Go From Here?
• Comments or suggestion?
Shauna Switzer
Ohio University
[email protected]
740-593-4712
My Sources
City-Data.com. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2005, from http://www.city-data.com/city/Athens-Ohio.html
Discover Ohio. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2005, from http://www.discoverohio.com/visitors/map.asp
Hitch, L., Erskine, P., & Dancause, B. (2004). Filling a void in IT professional development: Understanding
higher education. EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research(ECAR) Research Bulletin, 2004(12)14.
Retrieved March 13, 2004 from http://www.educause.edu/ResearchBulletins/1007
NetLingo dictionary of Internet terms. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2005, from http://netlingo.com/
Arbogast, W. (2003). Technology Service Excellence: A proposed technology service model for Ohio
University. Washington, DC: ideaReserve, LLC.
Staff Statistics – Fall 2004 (2004). Retrieved March 10, 2005, from Ohio University, Office of Institutional
Research Web site: http://www.ohiou.edu/instres/student/quartenroll/index.html
Zemke, R., Raines, C., Filipczak, B., (2000) Generations at work: Managing the clash of veterans, boomers,
xers, and nexters in your workplace. New York: AMACOM Books.
Photos courtesy of Ohio University Photographer, Rick Fatica, and Shauna Switzer.
Special Thanks to Bill Sams, CIO and Ann Kovalchick, Director of CITL, Ohio University
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