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Recent IT governance decisions

By Scott Sherman

The IT governance portfolio groups are made up of various faculty and staff from across the University of Utah. These groups decide how University Information Technology resources are allocated and mobilized. Meeting minutes are posted in full on the CIO website. Below are highlights of recent meetings.

Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee

March 7 | The committee was shown a form on the new UIT website through which anyone can request an IT consultation regarding an application or solution they would like to obtain. This will simplify the application request process for faculty and staff, as well as allow UIT to better track requests for patterns warranting further attention.

The group also discussed whether a department should be able to offer more funding to UIT through the governance process to push its projects higher on the priority list. The members agreed it was important for the governance process to maintain priorities based on the strategic direction of the University.


Research Portfolio

March 10 | The group discussed the previously circulated faculty user agreements, which formalize some of the practices already taking place for all Center for High Performance Computing (CHPC) users. A key aspect of the agreement states unused computing cycles from condo nodes will go a common-allocation pool to be used by others.

The members were shown the preliminary budget for next fiscal year. CHPC is projected to run a deficit, but there are unspent capital expenditures funds that can account for the shortfall. They looked at other budgetary items, as well, including some funding awards and potential grants.

The job description for director of CHPC has been posted.


University Support Services Portfolio

March 19 | Members were shown new tools to track and rank projects. The group discussed a need for more information about what resources are available to them and what to do if it becomes apparent there are not enough resources to carry out their priorities.

Members gave their priority list for five new project requests via email before the meeting. Patricia Hanna presented the results of these prioritizations, and asked whether anyone wanted to argue for a different order. No one objected.

The 16 remaining “in flight” projects that do not have a description or definition were considered withdrawn, and staff will work to identify the requestor to get more information. The projects can then be resubmitted for the portfolio’s consideration.


Operational IT Committee

March 20 | The committee welcomes David Browdy, Chief Financial Officer for University of Utah Health Sciences. The group agrees to share informational items and discussion online and save in-person meeting time for action items.

Hanna brought forward the discussion from earlier USS Portfolio and FITAC meetings regarding whether campus entities should be able to move their projects higher on the priority list by offering more funding. The members agreed the USS Portfolio would be the primary arbiter of project prioritization. Also, funding and available resources could be considered by the portfolio in its decisions, but should not be the driver of them.

Members next discussed the need for document management by several areas of campus, and how to deal with future requests that may meet a broader need.

Last Updated: 4/13/21