Information Technology Governance

Engaging faculty and staff in decisions that affect them is an important part of how the UW-Madison works. The Madison campus has a structure and process to address information technology (IT) decision making–setting priorities, determining policy, setting and spending the budget, and evaluating effectiveness. Our process ensures that the people who pay for and benefit from campus IT have a role in making decisions.

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Governance Structure

On a basic level, this covers executive, advisory and service support. The advisory work is split between four representative groups:

  • Teaching & Learning
  • Research
  • Divisional
  • Infrastructure

For details on the groups and flow of decision making, see this IT Governance Structure Chart. Please also view the Entire TAG Membership and the IT Governance Calendar.


Decision Process

Recommendations to launch new services or discontinue old services can come from a variety of sources. The first step is for the appropriate advisory group to gather information, consider alternatives and make a recommendation to the executive level. Executive decisions about starting or ending a service are carried out at the service support level. Service support manages the service portfolio.


Tracking Progress

IT governance groups receive, review and recommend a variety of works including policies, services, projects, and initiatives. For a current status, see this list.

Governance structure

Information Technology Committee

ITC is the faculty advisory body for policy and planning for information technology throughout the university. It is composed of faculty, academic staffs, and students.

More about ITC


IT Steering Committee

This committee is being formed with representatives from each of the technology advisory groups noted below. Details on the function, members and meeting schedule will be published in the first quarter of 2017.

More about ITSC

Divisional Technology Advisory Group

DTAG is comprised of both business and technology leaders from schools, colleges, divisions, auxiliaries, and administrative units from around campus.

More about DTAG

Teaching & Learning Technology Advisory Group

TLTAG includes campus faculty, instructional academic staff, students, academic technology professionals, and campus unit representatives who address the technologies needed to support teaching and learning.

More about TLTAG

Research Technology Advisory Group

RTAG includes broad representation from campus research computing and research administration to address the policies, practices, and resources around campus research cyberinfrastructure and information technology.

More about RTAG

Infrastructure Advisory Group

This group reviews and recommends actions that involve or affect large-scale services, such as the campus network, data centers and other enterprise offerings.

More about the IAG

Core Principles

Current state

Fragmented governance, decision-making, and management. Works against cohesive IT strategy, prioritization of investments, identifying opportunities for improvements, cost savings and more.

Future state

  • More effective decision-making processes through teamwork (IT Steering Committee; ITC; Technology Advisory Groups)
  • Decisions focused on core IT infrastructure, strategic IT projects, initiatives, services
  • Better support for the core missions of teaching, learning, research
  • Effective and efficient support for the operations and management of divisions.

Current state

Fragmented governance, decision-making, and management. Works against cohesive IT strategy, prioritization of investments, identifying opportunities for improvements, cost savings and more.

Future state

IT decisions, priorities and investments will be grounded in an integrative, holistic view of all IT services and their delivery across campus.

Who’s involved in the process?

The process will be characterized by broad representation and engagement of all stakeholders in IT investments and strategic decisions.

  • 4 end-user Technology Advisory Groups: Divisional Technology Advisory Group, Teaching & Learning Technology Advisory Group, Research Technology Advisory Group, Infrastructure Advisory Group
    • Representation and advocacy of technology needs of faculty, students, staff in colleges, schools, administrative units (“voice of the customer”)
    • 10 out of the 15 members of the ITSC are representatives from the Technology Advisory Groups
  • Faculty
    • ITC, University Committee (UC): Commitment to shared governance. Continuous engagement of the UC.
    • Strong representation of faculty (more on faculty below)
  • Central and divisional campus leadership
    • Central leadership: Broad executive oversight from the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, deans
    • Divisional leadership: Divisional officials participate in the Technology Advisory Groups
  • Central and divisional IT leadership
    • Divisional Technology Advisory Group: divisional CIOs/IT leaders
    • Central IT leaders: CIO, COO, others

The governance process will entail close coordination and communication between ITSC, ITC, Technology Advisory Groups, IT service providers.

Decision-making & assessment processes

  • Initiation
    • Initiatives, projects, proposed decisions and policies may be initiated by any committee, advisory group, service-provider group
  • Analysis
    • Iterative evaluation and analysis involving the ITSC, ITC, and the appropriate Technology Advisory Group(s), service-provider group(s)
  • Decision-making
    • Strategic decisions: ITSC
    • Tactical decisions: Technology Advisory Groups
  • Approval
    • Decisions with policy and strategic implications will be discussed and approved by the ITC, sent to the UC and Faculty Senate
    • Assessment of outcomes will be performed by advisory groups, ITSC, ITC

The number of faculty has been increased significantly. Faculty have significant experience in governance. About 40% of ITSC members are faculty. The Teaching & Learning Advisory Group and the Research Technology Advisory Group comprise mostly faculty.

Faculty on the ITC

  • Murray Clayton
  • Christina Kendziorski Newton
  • Michael Kissick
  • Rafael Lazimy
  • Robert Nowak
  • Joe Salmons
  • Jordan Schmidt
  • Linsey Steege
  • Rand Valentine
  • Philip Barak
  • Dane Morgan
  • Grant Petty
  • Catherine Arnott Smith
  • Bill Tracy
  • Dee Warmath

New business model/culture

  • Service-centric focus
    • Focusing on the value that IT services provide and that allow close alignment with the University mission and objectives
    • Goal: Increase value
    • A shift in thinking: Away from managing applications and technologies and toward managing services, increasing value

Bottom-up strategic planning process

  • Each group/area will develop its strategy and priorities
  • These will be incorporated in an overall and cohesive strategy

Strategic initiatives to achieve goals

  • Service catalog
    • Opportunities for efficiencies, consolidation, economies of scale (cost savings)
    • Evaluate services: centrally delivered, locally (distributed)
    • Focus on value
  • Cloud infrastructure group
    • Progress toward a service-centric focus requires the development of a cloud services strategy
    • Cloud services and technologies offer opportunities for value-adding features such as scalability, flexibility, reliability, and uptime that are hard to provide on premises
    • Work with IT service providers and with users and business leaders toevaluate cloud-based solutions, design and implement a cloud-based strategy
  • IT center of excellence & quality assurance
    • Envisioned as playing a leading role in creating and implementing a service-centric focus
    • Integrative, holistic approach to evaluating customers’ IT needs
    • Quality and value: To ensure that IT services meet customer needs and are delivered in a cost-effective way