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Organizational Initiatives

The Office of the Vice President for IT is committed to organizational development efforts that:

  • Foster a more diverse environment to allow input from different points of view and styles to challenge existing ways of thinking and allow for new, improved results.
  • Increase staff capabilities to be flexible to keep up with the changing needs of our constituents: faculty, staff, students, alumni, and donors.
  • Better develop staff for the future, especially as we grow our reputation as one of the world's top research universities.
  • Clarify expectations so organizational issues are minimized.
  • Determine where pain points are and address them to increase staff retention.
  • Reduce unnecessary stress even as workload intensity increases.
  • Better understand and address staff members' work/life balance issues.

UR Valued

UR Valued is a homegrown program for diversity, inclusion, and professional development. Diversity and inclusion--in its broadest sense--means being open to understanding and appreciating differences in backgrounds, working styles, and experiences. Our "UR Valued" approach builds diversity and inclusion into our culture through professional development, team building, serving the community, and leveraging employee skills, talents, and passions.

Nationally recognized in a research bulletin published by the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, this program has also been cited as a best practice by peers and regional community organizations.

Staff Leadership Group

Chartered in 2009, this group is actively engaged in the leadership hierarchy of the University IT organization to:

  1. Identify and realize opportunities to improve operations.
  2. Develop processes and policies that advance our vision and core values.
  3. Advise and inform IT leadership regarding workplace issues that concern all staff members.

Since its inception, this cross-functional group has provided a professional development opportunity for staff members and improved collaboration and employee engagement throughout the organization. A signature accomplishment is an orientation program that provides all new employees with consistent access to institutional resources and a "buddy" that helps them acclimate and get involved in the organization.

Members of the Staff Leadership Group

Front row (left to right): Drew Potratz, Julie Buehler (sponsor), Brenda Wideman, Shelly Rogers, Beth DesJardin, Danielle Bombard

Back row (left to right): Pat Taylor, Gabe Stampone, Marcus White, David Lewis (sponsor), Marc Seigfred, Linda Francis (Warner Center advisor), Brendan Noll, Kevin Riggs, Seth Reining

Not pictured: Wayne Bowden, Diane Evans, Tony Perez, Sean Singh, Samantha Singhal, Jason Wagner

Professional Development

Metrics (as of Dec. 2013)

• Total sessions hosted: 94
• Total attendance: 1,630
• Average attendance: 17

The IT Professional Development Program was launched in 2008 to provide opportunities for IT employees to:

  • Achieve better results by improving their communication, meeting management, and project management skills; and learning about the mission of IT and the University.
  • Foster leadership through coaching and mentoring, being a role model for the IT values, encouraging team building, and gaining supervisory or leadership skills.
  • Further the technology mission of the University by exchanging knowledge and expertise, building technical competency, improving customer service, and staying on the cutting edge of technology.
  • Explore diversity by creating opportunities to understand and appreciate differences in background, working styles, and experiences.

Sessions are led primarily by staff, with some led by University partners.

Mentoring Program

The mentoring program for the management team was implemented in 2010. Managers are paired with a member of the senior leadership team -- other than their immediate supervisor -- every year and meet monthly to work on mutually agreed-upon goals. The intent of the program is to further succession planning and provide hands-on training in working with different styles.