Like all universities, UW-Madison has been affected by a combination of forces requiring us to re-examine our core business model and how we align resources with our mission. We universities find ourselves at a crossroads. A perfect storm of permanent changes to economic conditions, along with transformational changes in IT and communications capabilities create both challenges and opportunities for higher education.
UW-Madison launched the “Educational Innovation” initiative in direct response to these opportunities. We need to carefully review how we invest our diminishing resources for Educational Innovation to be properly funded and supported during a time of declining public support for education, and reduced capacity for students and their families to afford education.
As part of Administrative Excellence, we have created a plan for IT Decision Making that is intended to view our IT investments through the lens of what is good for UW-Madison as a whole. Starting this summer, a small working group is taking the recommendations approved by Chancellor Ward, Provost DeLuca, and Vice Chancellor Bazzell to develop a plan for a campus-wide process to move the recommendations forward. This aligns with our culture of extensive shared governance. What will come of this is a process by which UW-Madison can make prudent decisions about IT systems that are responsive to our core missions of research, teaching and learning and service. They will also be optimized for cost containment during a time of constrained resources.
More information about IT Decision-Making (the working group meeting this summer) and plans for the future is located here.
I look forward to sharing more information about this critical initiative as it unfolds. In the meantime, contact me if you would like to be part of the dialogue.