Colorado State University has its first-ever, campus-wide IT strategic plan, thanks to an innovative cross-campus collaborative planning team that was brought together by Brandon Bernier, vice president for information technology and chief information officer.
The three-year roadmap — developed for the Fort Collins campus through the 2022-25 academic years — focuses on four strategic areas that are critical to the ongoing evolution of IT at CSU: Student Success, IT Security, IT Governance and Operational Excellence.
“If we’ve learned anything from the past few years, it’s that we need to be adaptable, embrace change and adjust where needed,” Bernier said. “While the strategic plan provides a clear path toward building our future, it is also a living document that will enable us to advance a series of strategic initiatives that ensure we are even more adaptable to changing conditions and new directions.”
The strategic plan is available to read at col.st/kDA8l.
According to Division of IT leaders, the strategic planning process was intentionally designed to be collaborative. Key stakeholders from across the University played an important role in the plan’s development.
Core Planning Team
Ryan Barone, assistant vice president for student success
Gwen Gorzelsky, executive director of The Institute for Learning and Teaching
Cheyenne Hall, provost business manager (College and Administration Advisory Group chair)
Chris Labelle, assistant vice president for Engagement & Extension and executive director of CSU Extended Campus
Jamie McCue, interim academic technology director and campus engagement and communications manager
Richie Nelsen, College of Business, IT director (IAC Leadership Advisory Group member)
Melissa Reynolds, College of Natural Sciences, research associate dean | Office of the Vice President for Research, faculty director – Campus Research Cores Facilities
Eric Tisdale, College of Health and Human Sciences, IT director (College Information Technology Administrators Council chair)
Core Planning Team member Ryan Barone, assistant vice president for student success, explained that this forward-looking IT strategic plan showcases the very best of CSU, with a focus on equity, learning, security and operational excellence, while authentically co-constructing actions through the spirit of shared IT governance.
“Though I was the only person on the Core Planning Team with ‘student success’ in my title,” he said, “I was inspired by the fact that my colleagues first surfaced and consistently advocated for a strategic area explicitly focused on student success.”
The plan is intended to strengthen the partnerships that exist between campus community members, while also fostering collaboration with the aim of delivering a set of goals that were developed by key stakeholders across campus.
For each of the four strategic areas, there will be a DoIT Sponsor and Campus Sponsor, who are ultimately responsible for leading the work in those areas. More details and the latest progress on the plan can be found at it.colostate.edu/csu-it-strategic-plan.
- Student Success: This strategic initiative builds upon efforts that are already underway to support student success with the overarching goal of ensuring faculty and students have equitable access to technologies and data that lead to an enhanced teaching and learning experience.
- IT Governance: This strategic initiative seeks to develop a thoughtful, collective, and inclusive IT governance structure that will preserve the trust, cohesion, and ongoing development of CSU’s strong campus IT relationships, while ensuring improved communication and alignment of IT resources to better enable the core mission of the University.
- IT Security: This strategic initiative brings a campus-wide approach to enhancing cybersecurity practices by creating a standardized approach to managing user devices, delivering more robust training programs, and developing policies and communications that are designed to raise awareness about best practices and strengthen the broader IT community’s ability to protect all members of the CSU community.
- Operational Excellence: This strategic initiative’s overarching goal aligns systems and applications at the campus level for greater operational efficiency. The initiative seeks to better understand the current portfolio of systems and applications in use, while developing a plan to reduce any duplication in efforts and address any gaps in service.
According to leaders, the Division of IT Strategy and Planning Department will be spearheading the efforts necessary to operationalize the IT Strategic Plan. Designated co-sponsors will serve as the visible champions responsible for the strategic priorities and will also provide direction, guidance and support to those individuals leading the work.
The co-sponsors will meet monthly with their respective project teams, determine what resources are needed, and provide quarterly updates, enabling the CSU community to keep informed of their progress.
“I am certain that in the months ahead we will work together with our campus stakeholders and university leadership to ensure that our path forward is the right direction for the CSU community,” Bernier said.