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Kudos & Congratulations for July 2015

Kudos & Congratulations

Congratulations to Matt DeCarlo (Common Infrastructure Services) whose name was drawn from the last Node 4 kudos! Matt picked a U of U vest as his prize.

UIT staff recognized for their excellent work

It is my pleasure to talk about the exceptional service provided by a UIT colleague, Paul Burrows. Paul was asked to join the Learning Spaces Task Force that would assist the Teaching and Learning Portfolio with their work to review and analyze proposals to potentially receive student computing fees. Though the work was tedious, Paul was cheerful throughout and consistently created helpful Excel spreadsheets that made our work enormously easier.

The first spreadsheet provided the Task Force with an easy way to view the various components of each request in a format that made comparisons between each proposal possible. The second spreadsheet enabled the TL Portfolio to also see the details of each proposal, while pinpointing questionable requests and making recommendations for possible cuts and funding. Even better, this same spreadsheet allowed the group to see at a glance what had been spent and how much money remained to be distributed. Many members of the Portfolio commented on the usefulness of this spreadsheet for our process. Paul took notes during the Portfolio discussions, keeping track of our reasons for not funding a particular request.

Each of these spreadsheets and the several drafts of them required a great deal of time, thought, and preparation. Paul had to read and re-read each proposal, cut and paste relevant information from each, determine ways to make them comparable, and provide the Task Force, and then the Portfolio, with the information they would need just when they would need it. It was extraordinary.

Best of all, Paul brought his wonderful sense of humor, which made the work seem less tedious.

~ Catherine Soehner, Associate Dean for Research and Learning Services, Marriott Library


It is my pleasure to talk about the outstanding service provided by a UIT colleague, Scott Sherman. Scott was also asked to join the Learning Spaces Task Force. Scott agreed to take the meeting minutes for each of our 25(!) interviews with proposal writers and then create executive summaries of these meetings for the members of the Teaching and Learning Portfolio. This seemed an enormous task to me and I was grateful that he volunteered and that the product he created was so excellent. Even when Scott was unable to attend several meetings, he still took my notes and created summaries from them! His summaries described the important points of each conversation and provided a consistent format to consider the proposal at hand. These executive summaries were provided to the members of the TL Portfolio, which most members relied on heavily throughout the process to illuminate the reasons behind a request.

Scott also completed a number of useful analyses at the end of the TL Portfolio decisions to demonstrate the fairness of the distributions. These spreadsheets will be especially helpful when conducting post-process interviews with each proposal writer.

Most importantly, Scott brought his kind and affable nature along with his intelligent questions to each of the interviews and the very long Portfolio meetings. I’m so glad I had the chance to work with him!

~ Catherine Soehner, Associate Dean for Research and Learning Services, Marriott Library


It is my pleasure to talk about the excellent work of a UIT colleague, Cassandra Van Buren. Cassandra was also asked to join the Learning Spaces Task Force. Cassandra brought a quiet intelligence, thoughtful questions, and a calming influence to each interview conducted by the Learning Spaces Task Force. When the conversation veered off-topic, she helped steer us back on course. She assisted me with brainstorming the process, setting dates, and thinking through the details. Any opportunity I get to work with Cassandra is a good day. She is professional, intelligent, and has an excellent grasp of campus politics. These particular traits were especially useful during our interviews with proposal writers, especially those who were less happy about the current process. I so appreciated having her in the room and having her calm presence throughout this process.

~ Catherine Soehner, Associate Dean for Research and Learning Services, Marriott Library


As we entered into our fourth year of using the Google Search Appliance as the enterprise search engine solution for the University of Utah's main campus and health sciences campus, our license renewal came with two brand new servers from Google. On behalf of Barb Iannucci, Shellie Eide, Debbie Rakhsha (University Support Services), Nathan Tanner (Marketing & Web, Health Sciences) and myself (as the past search administrator for the GSA), we send kudos to Corky Richardson of UIT Common Infrastructure Services. Installing and configuring the new search servers in the wee hours of the morning is a necessity, given the business requirements of the University's websites. To migrate from from the old servers to the new is the goal, which Corky accomplished professionally and seamlessly with very little disturbance in the "search force" for the University. There was a short period of time in which the search appliance re-indexed almost a million web-based documents for the U, and soon the campus was back to "search-normal," in readiness for the onslaught of search requests that precedes the start of fall semester. Thanks, Corky, for a fantastic transition!

~ Paul Burrows, Teaching & Learning Technologies


Congratulations to everyone in USS, CIS, and HR for a successful PeopleSoft 9.2 HR upgrade! Special thanks to the core HR upgrade team led by Doug Kenner - Camille Winch, Jeramy Berry, Beth Farmer, and Shay Frank; CJ McMillan, Software Design Engineer in USS; our co-workers in CIS - Matt Latham, Rob Birkenshaw and the infrastructure team; and finally to our colleagues in HR — Josna Kotturappa, Kirt Hunter and their teams. This upgrade was accomplished in record time – thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this project!

~ Debbie Rakhsha, Director for University Support Services


Want to nominate someone?

Anyone can submit an item for Kudos & Congrats. Email praise for your UIT colleagues to emily.rushton@utah.edu. The people you recognize will be put into a drawing to win gift cards, event tickets, merchandise and more. Those who submit entries will also be put in a separate drawing for more prizes. (Directors and associate/assistant directors not eligible for prizes.) A special thank you to some exceptional campus organizations that donated tickets, merchandise, and gift cards to help recognize UIT employees: Athletics, Auxiliary Services, Dining Services, Kingsbury Hall, Pioneer Theatre Company, Red Butte Garden, UIT Leadership, and Utah Museum of Fine Art.

Last Updated: 4/13/21