[CSG Winter 2006] Panel and discussion on emerging models at CSG universities

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Bernie Gulachek is talking about an initiative to reach alignment on governance and funding at the U of Minnseota. Slides are here. He says that the model should encourage the use of core technologies by faculty, staff, and students, and not ration them out as in current recharge models – there’s a slide of what those core technologies include. They’re trying to establish the notion that central technology services might be better at providing utility-type IT services that are not those that offer an individual unit competitive advantage.

It’s cental admin’s goal to make it clear to deans what they’re paying for, and to try to eliminate duplication of technology resources. They are recommending headcount-based allocation model. They base it on an annual headcount in time of faculty and staff per unit and come up with a rate per head, allocating it to colleges and admin units. Today’s model is opt-in for central services – tomorrow’s is a rigorous opt-out model.

Greg Jackson, from Chicago is talking about how his unit is organized. Greg notes that in the formal budget process he sees his budget request and other IT requests from the campus going in, but not other budget requests. And all he sees on output is his budget. This has led him to be a huge charge of recharge operations. For data networking they were considering using a charge rate that combines headcount with square footage. Then they realized that they should do that for phone lines too, so that’s what they’re now considering.

Phil Long from Yale is talking about their budget models. They used to charge by network port and email account. As of October 2004 they now charge by FTE. They estimated that 60% of the variance of costs of networks were determined by the number of drops, which roughly equated to people. They’re charging $10 per month for base 10/100/wireless connection, anti-virus at less than $1 per month, imap mail services at $3.50 per month. They need to figure out how to put the help desk support into this. So in ’07 they think the total cost will be about $15 per month for the bundle.

The big thing they didn’t get in there was institutional security – they’ll head there if they can find a way to do it.

Annie Stunden is now talking about IT service and governance at U Wisconsin (Madison). They’ve established (since 2001) service teams that have to define service quality indicators, assess customer needs, and develop a method to track and improve customer satisfaction. The service teams get to develop operating plans and create budgets for their service. The service team makes presentations to the budget group – the budgets are in the IT units, so it’s a matrix setup. They have to track revenue to expense balancing. They have to hold quarterly reviews of the service.

Who’s on the teams? There’s a sponsor who’s a director (there are six directors), there’s a service team leader, a member of business support (to help them with financial issues like budget, unit costs, revenue calculations, etc), team members from relevant organizations (operations, developers, help desk, etc). Implementations have gone much smoother, especially as a result of including the help desk staff.

Some of the teams – calendaring and scheduling; back-up services; directory services (that’s hard, it’s evolving); e-learning systems; enterprise storage services; myUW-Madison; mail; etc

It’s not an overhead free issue, but they’ve found it better.

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