UIT staff invited to revisit 4 strategic goals
By Jesse Drake
A clean desk can be so satisfying. Each completed task becomes one more “to-do” done, project put to bed, item off the list.
Strategic goals, in contrast, are ongoing. You can’t simply clean them off your desk.
As the central IT service provider for campus, UIT’s role is vital to the continuing success of the University as a world-class research and teaching institution. As such, UIT staff members are encouraged to think about how their daily work helps realize, or hinders, the four strategic goals that President David W. Pershing, Ph.D. set out to fulfill the University’s mission.
“UIT exists to help the University carry out its mission,” said David Huth, enterprise data architect. “Understanding what senior University leadership deems important helps UIT plan its efforts to help leaders steer the course of the University.”
The four goals are:
1. Promote student success to transform lives
2. Develop and transfer new knowledge
3. Engage communities to improve health and quality of life
4. Ensure long-term viability of the university
Think of these overarching, macro-level goals as a roadmap to success. Paths to success are made up of micro-level steps, responsibilities, and metrics for implementation.
“Ensure long-term viability of the university,” for example, is supported by a series of performance indicators like “Promote efficiency in all aspects of university operations” and “Reduce impact of the U on the environment.” Calls-to-action like these are accompanied by even more detailed information. Clicking on “Long-term Viability Data,” for instance, takes you to a dashboard of metrics like Building Facility Condition Needs Index and Energy Use Intensity.
This granular data is a way of connecting smaller tasks to the bigger picture.
Debbie Rakhsha, director of University Support Services (USS), noted several ways that her group supports the U’s strategic goals, such as developing mobile-friendly applications and websites, and designing templates to create a more unified user experience.
“We have developers focused on student, HR, finance, faculty, and research applications, in addition to a team of user experience developers who are certified usability experts,” Rakhsha said. “We are responsible for hundreds of applications, but we are focused on promoting student success to ensure long-term viability of the University.”
So by all means keep cleaning off that desk, but periodically review the U’s strategic goals, too. Consider how they apply to your job. This exercise allows us to stay task-focused yet mindful that success depends on individuals within the U community – students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners – who all share the same vision.