In the Dec. 2 edition of The Miami Student the front page article titled “Miami spends millions, hopes to save more,” included a quote from me that was intended as background, rather than providing significant information regarding the work currently underway in support of Miami University’s overall budget reduction goals.
The IT support organization and process design initiative’s goal is to make support for information technology across Miami more efficient — not just IT Services. This work is in its early stages, and there are no preconceived ideas of what the future support model will look like. Reporter Taylor Dolven asked me for a sense of how this may impact students and my answer was that we really do not know at this point. I mentioned that one model that has been discussed is a shared services center. In explaining how that might provide the efficiency needed, I said that each academic division has local support staff and that the ratio of local IT staff to the number of faculty they support varies from division to division. The shared services center could offer basic or “commodity “support at a common level for all faculty and staff.
Clearly, this background detail of one potential solution is interesting, but does not appropriately represent the status of this important effort. We do not know what the right solution is, and we are actively engaging with faculty and staff across the university to identify their needs. Once we have that picture, the group will begin to build a solution.
Unfortunately, Dolven’s choice created a negative impression that has caused some to question the openness of the process. The key message is that this effort must produce savings to meet the university’s goals, along with an IT environment that serves Miami’s needs today and into the future.