UHD's approach to governance for Information Technology is based on the concept that broad participation and guidance throughout the university community, combined with strategic alignment to university priorities, enhances the university's potential to achieve effective, efficient and strategic use of technology in support of its mission and goals.
Numerous individuals, groups and committees provide input to Information Technology planning and make recommendations for IT support, services, and projects. This input is channeled through one of the IT governance groups described below (Academic Technology Committee, Administrative Technology Services Group/PeopleSoft Leadership & Oversight Group), one of several university governance bodies with IT membership (Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence Advisory Board, Safety Committee, Student Governance Committee, Institutional Compliance and Risk Management Committee, and the University Planning and Budget Development Committee), or to the Senior Leadership IT Governance Council.
The Senior Leadership IT Governance Council meets biweekly to review IT strategy and project priority and includes the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Administration and Finance, and the Associate Vice President for Information Technology and CIO. This group serves as the overall leadership governance body and ultimately defines the directions and priorities for Information Technology endeavors at UHD.
The planning of IT Resources is guided by the university's strategic plan and the Information Technology Strategic Plan. The IT Strategic Plan is reviewed regularly with key stakeholders and university leadership to ensure proper alignment with the University Strategic Plan and the University's mission and goals.
Governance issues are also addressed directly in several of the Information Systems policy documents:
- PS 08.A.01: Review of Information Technology Resources Requests
- PS 08.A.02: Information Technology Policies, Procedures, Standards, and Plans
- PS 08.A.03: Academic Technology Committee
- PS 08.A.05: Academic Computing Services
The primary Information Technology-specific governance groups in addition to the Senior Leadership IT Governance Council are described below:
Academic Technology Committee
The Academic Technology Committee (ATC) is a standing, shared governance, committee with representatives from each college and includes student membership as well as staff from the library and key technology support areas. The committee acts as an advisory committee to the Provost and the Chief Information Officer with regard to academic technology matters and provides recommendations for academic computing endeavors to help the university maintain and deliver effective technology in support of teaching and learning. The committee's recommendations are incorporated in the technology planning process. ATC also partners with Information Technology in the coordination of academic technology events and showcases such as the annual Technology Learning Conference.
An example of successful findings and recommendations that have come from the Academic Technology Committee includes discussions regarding the need for program assessment software, which resulted in Provost's approval for an investment in a leading assessment software (TracDat). The committee also worked with the Technology Teaching and Learning Center to set up hands on evaluations of classroom technology and made recommendations for features and functions to guide acquisitions. It also recommended a technology solution for online testing security which resulted in the implementation of Respondus lockdown browser and Collaborate & Zoom remote monitoring systems. Another item the committee recommended was to provide a wireless presenter to each faculty member and that was implemented.
Administrative Technology Services (ATS) Governance Group
The Administrative Technology Services (ATS) Governance group offers a forum for engaging the user community in defining and evaluating application development needs for projects that require IT resource support. The group is led by a user representative, who coordinates the meetings and engages the group in ongoing dialogue to discuss project progress and priorities as needed and also informs the ATS group about upcoming projects identified by the University, the University of Houston System, the State of Texas or the Federal Government.
Through this group, members of the user community bring forth development and programming requests for information systems such as Banner, and engage in a process to review and prioritize the project requests and discuss project status for development projects in progress. The review process includes business process impact along with cost (resource)/benefit (service impact) analysis and an assessment of impact to other areas. While the assumption is that the user community has already reviewed available functionality in the existing systems or considered a business process change to handle the need prior to requesting any modification or any new development, IT project staff offers the opportunity to provide in-house or external expertise to determine if the request can be met without system modification or development. If it is determined that the request requires system modification, projects selected for development are placed on a priority list and are available to the IT administrative systems leadership for resource assignment. However, the CIO also regularly engages university leadership in reviewing the major project priority list and makes adjustments as needed.
Planning & Budget Development Committee (PBDC)
This committee is charged with advising the President regarding the university's budget. The membership of the PBDC includes the Vice Presidents, one Dean, one Department Chair, the President of the Faculty Senate and an additional member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the President of the Staff Council, The President of the Student Government Association, one faculty member from each college, and any others whom the President believes would be useful additions. It also includes representatives from the Library and from Information Technology.
The committee is responsible for submission, review, and approval of new initiatives (operating and capital expenditures). Requests require units to include explanations of how the new budget initiatives requested will contribute either to enhanced unit performance or the achievement of UHD's strategic goals. Review of previously approved initiatives (Look-Back Exercise) take place at the beginning of the process each year.
Information Security is centralized under UHS IT Security with a dotted line reporting relationship to UHD's CIO. Weekly meetings with the assigned ISO and Monthly meetings with the UHS CISO are held to discuss information security needs and issues.
UHD Information Technology Planning & Governance
IT Governance Organization Chart:
UHD Senior Leadership Governance Council (top level)
University Planning Committee (2nd level)
Academic Technology Committe (ATC) (2nd level)
Administrative Technology Services (ATS) (2nd level)
Shared Governance Committees (2nd level)
IT Leadership (2nd level)