With change comes opportunity, and the year 2021 was marked with significant change, both in how the campus utilizes technology and in how the IT community works to provide it.  

17,230 students

saved an average of $144 in the ICON Direct electronic textbook program in the 2020-21 academic year

In the 2020-21 academic year, 17,230 students saved an average of $144 in the ICON Direct program. The program has already served 15,655 students in the 2021-22 academic year. 


UI Instructors have participated in TILE faculty development

The faculty development component of the TILE (Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage) Program is internationally recognized for its support of instructors transforming teaching practices through lively interaction, active learning, and faculty/student engagement. More than 10 years since its inception, over 500 UI instructors have participated in TILE faculty development, which now consists of TILE Essentials—a two-part workshop focused on active-learning pedagogies in TILE classrooms.

Leslie Schwalm teaches her Making Change, Making History class in one of the Main Library's TILE classrooms.

25 years of transformative work

25 years of transformative work. The Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center for Teaching supports instructors to enhance student learning. Staff at the center work collaboratively with campus partners as advocates for effective, evidence-based teaching and share expertise in educational development through workshops and other programming.
Ted Neal uses a digital textbook, called a Pressbook, in his class for future science teachers.

Etextbook program saves students $5 million

Since its pilot in 2017, the ICON Direct program has grown from six courses to more than 600 courses, reducing textbook costs and providing easy access to digital course materials.
First day of classes, August 24, 2020 CEE:4187:0001 STATISTICS FOR EXPERIMENTERS Patrick O'Shaughnessy (Primary Instructor) College of Public Health

Making better introductions

The Hawkeye Introductory Course initiative targets high-enrollment courses that are especially difficult for students discovering the demands of college academics, aiming to identify challenges specific to each course and help more students succeed.

50 Million

files transferred with the Research Data Collaborative Service

In 2021, Iowa’s 82 Research Data Collaboration Service (RDCS) users transferred 50 million files—324 terabytes of data.


Student accounts supported by the Interactive Data Analytics Service

During 2021, IDAS supported 34 classes and 934 student accounts. Course instructors typically use IDAS tools for in-class demonstrations, assignments, and exams.

Pappajohn Business Building Scenes Phil Hadley Finance Lab

Wrangling big data

ITS Research Services provides computing services to help investigators and educators interpret, manage, and share massive datasets. In addition to high-performance computing and large-scale data storage, they have scaled up access to collaboration tools, data-analytics services, and training.
IMU footbridge scene with flags and students walking

Building an inclusive culture

OneIT teams working on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives understand that innovation happens when everyone has a place at the table. Conversations about systemic problems, individual experience, and potential solutions have became fixtures of OneIT listening posts, project planning, and hallway conversations.

25 %

of ITS staff are on campus

Some critical IT roles—such as hands-on technical support and installation and maintenance of equipment and key IT infrastructure—continue to be performed on campus.

300 +

IT professionals join the monthly CIO Listening Posts

Monthly online CIO Listening Posts continue to attract strong crowds of 300 to 350 as a venue for employees to ask questions and cover topics such as health and safety, campus updates, employee recognition, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. To date, 41 forums have been held, where nearly 350 staff questions were answered and almost 700 “shout outs” were delivered for a job well done.

25 %

of ITS staff are fully remote

Some roles can be done effectively from afar with the help of video conferencing and collaboration tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

78 %

increase in participation in training offered by the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology

Participation in training offered by the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology (OTLT) increased by 78 percent from 2019, when it was all in-person, to 2021, when it was offered online (from 203 to 362 people). Additionally, feedback on quality from attendees in the online events is equal to in-person events. OTLT also offers one-on-one consultations for instructors to improve their teaching and classroom experience. Beginning July 1, 2021, instructors were given a choice of online consultation via Zoom, or a face-to-face meeting. Thirty-four out of 40 (85%) chose online over in-person.

50 %

of ITS staff split their time between home and university workspaces

After a successful pilot of the various work arrangements, university administration gave ITS permission to make remote and hybrid work part of its normal operations. The business rationale for this decision included significant demand and competition for IT professionals.


attendees at the first online Tech Forum

Employee engagement has been a focus throughout the pandemic. OneIT held its first online Tech Forum for university IT professionals in 2021, drawing 450 attendees per day across two half-days of programming. Participation in project roadmap review sessions is better than ever, and employees have launched interest-specific spaces in Microsoft Teams to simulate water cooler chat. A conversation partners program is being piloted to foster informal conversation and build relationships.

ITS Staff Zoom meeting

Shaping the future of work

With the pandemic as an impetus, information technologists at the University of Iowa are adapting to and supporting a variety of work arrangements, including on-campus, hybrid, or fully remote positions.


university websites adopted the new UI brand

university websites
adopted the new UI brand
As Iowa embraced a new brand, the web team supported brand deployment across campus by developing Sitenow v3, an on-brand low-code/no-code site-building platform for use by its web partners. By the end of the year, more than 600 university websites had adopted the new brand, with upwards of 400 building on the Sitenow v3 platform. In 2021 alone, the relaunched sites included the undergraduate admissions website, five college websites, and numerous other high-profile websites critical to the university’s mission.


UI website managers are using SiteImprove
to enhance nearly a thousand campus websites.

In 2020, the UI deployed Siteimprove, a tool to continuously monitor for new and emergent search engine optimization, as well as quality and accessibility issues.

Campus scene of pentacrest and new UI branding signage

Building better websites

A polished and user-friendly website can make all the difference as prospective students explore what the University of Iowa has to offer them. The year 2021 was one of tremendous progress in the UI’s web space, as hundreds of campus sites were revamped and refreshed with consistent branding and other enhancements.

3.9 Million

pageviews on the ITS website in 2021 a 15% increase in traffic over the previous year

The ITS website, packed with information about IT services and how-to content, is one of the most heavily used websites on campus. Increased promotion of the IT service alerts page fueled a dramatic 800% spike in traffic as more individuals visited the site to check on the status of key services.


hours of service logged by ITS' 66 student employees

hours of service logged by ITS' 66 student employees
OneIT and its customers rely on the skills and talents of student employees for a host of tasks—taking calls at the Help Desk, working on websites, maintaining and installing equipment, performing administrative tasks, and much more. Many of these students use their IT work experience to land great jobs after graduation, including some who find positions within the UI.


ports in over 90 different buildings were replaced to enhance internet connections.

A reliable internet connection is essential, and a recently completed project replaced the technology behind every wired ethernet port on campus. The completion of this project improves the reliability of computers connecting to wired network ports and boosts the performance of campus wireless services. It also significantly decreases the risk of a cybersecurity incident and paves the way for future enhancements.


phone lines retired due to the Skype for Business conversion completion

In recent years, OneIT and HCIS have partnered to convert traditional phone lines to Skype for Business, which uses the internet to make calls and offers users a host of improved features such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and integrations with other Microsoft tools. They recently reached a milestone in completing that conversion, which involved 10,300 Skype for Business users.


Windows devices migrated in the UI's device-management system to enhance security

The UI manages thousands of computers and other devices, ensuring that systems and software are up to date and monitored for security issues. OneIT migrated more than 16,000 Windows devices to a centralized group in its device-management system, enabling IT professionals to simplify and speed up patching for security vulnerabilities and improve response times to evolving threats.  

96 %

of customers were satisfied or totally satisfied with ITS Help Desk services. A 3.4% increase from the previous year.

Customers of the Information Technology Services (ITS) Help Desk reported increased satisfaction during the pandemic. The Help Desk asks customers to rate their experience from “totally satisfied” (5) to “totally dissatisfied” (1). ITS examined whether there were changes in customer satisfaction as many IT professionals transitioned to fully or partly remote work arrangements during the pandemic, using 2019 as a baseline year and comparing it to July 2020 to September 2021.

ITS Help Desk staff working in call center

Advancing IT support and infrastructure

People at the University of Iowa count on stellar customer support and strong underlying infrastructure to meet their IT needs. OneIT made strides in both areas in 2021, including improvements to phone and email service, network connections, and device security.