YEAR IN REVIEW 2021
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.
Throughout the pandemic, faculty, staff, and students have turned to technology more than ever. One of many examples is the steep increase of online video conferencing and collaboration tools such as Zoom, which hosted more than a million UI meetings and webinars, and Microsoft Teams, with 4,800 daily users—a 45 percent increase over the previous year.
In addition to using tools like Zoom and Panopto for lectures, biomedical engineering major Joseph Verry reported using new extensions and tools on ICON that his professors implemented into their course designs. He used a virtual desktop to access software for his engineering courses without having to go to a computer lab, and he began utilizing the Microsoft suite of tools with Office 365 more often.
“I used Word and PowerPoint along with OneNote, Teams, and SharePoint for my classes, extracurricular organizations, research, and job through the university,” Verry says. “All of these tools allowed me to work on projects with others safely and efficiently.”
Returning to campus
As students and many university employees returned to campus last fall, others transitioned to remote or hybrid work arrangements. IT professionals effectively supported these new ways of working, getting equipment set up to be used on campus, after helping departments quickly move home in March 2020. The Help Desk walk-in space reopened and support staff rolled out new capabilities such as hoteling spaces and new conference room technologies to better support hybrid meetings.
This year OneIT helped the campus respond to constant change related to COVID, developing mechanisms for disbursement of $11.6 million in federal relief to 9,400 students, as well as mask-fitting appointments, flexible work arrangement forms, online commencement, and vaccination records.
Change has also been a theme in leadership. The OneIT community welcomed new directors of Research Services, Administrative Information Systems, Pharmacy IT, the Center for Teaching, and a new chief information security officer. At the university level, we are excited about building relationships with a new president, new deans, a new controller, and a new director of public safety.
Supporting the core mission
Change is often challenging, and I am proud of the resilience, innovation, and dedication the OneIT community has exhibited, especially as the pandemic extends, to help the institution thrive.
That perseverance allowed us to continue to make progress on strategic and core-mission activities. The Center for Teaching celebrated its 25th year of supporting excellence in teaching and learning through workshops, resources, and one-on-one consultation with instructors. OneIT played a key role in implementing Hawkeye Introductory Courses, preparatory math and science-based courses that support student success, and expanded computing services and training for researchers.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) remains a priority for OneIT. Websites and applications were updated to use more inclusive terminology and a new DEI digest and coffees have sparked thoughtful conversations and reflection across the IT community.
Collaboration with health care IT has also continued to be a focus, as we transition the campus to internet-based telephone service managed by Health Care Information Systems and Office 365 email managed OneIT. In February, OneIT adopted the Cherwell IT service management system used by health care, enabling support professionals to assign customer inquiries across all workgroups.
We have much in store for 2022, and you can always view the latest project roadmaps on the OneIT website. We will expand relationships with the research community to enable and accelerate the work of faculty. The Hawkeye Introductory Course Initiative is a three-year initiative supported by the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology, and promises to positively impact students in critical courses.
Other priorities include upgrading technology and architecture to pave the way for a more flexible and secure campus network, continuing to make progress on the OneIT DEI Action Plan, and ongoing efforts to attract and retain IT talent.
I hope you enjoy and share the OneIT Year in Review. We are grateful to all of our campus partners, and we appreciate your interest in what we accomplished together this year to move the university forward.
Steve Fleagle (he/him/his)
Associate Vice President and CIO