Metro’s IT department separates for better service

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Posted Wed, Nov 17, 2010

As of Sept 10, the Information Technology Department is now two separate entities.

The split will dissolve the Division of Information Technology and employees will be reassigned to one of the two domains: Academic Affairs or Administration and Finance division.

“Information Technology is being added into the mission and strategic plan for the College,” said Director of User Services Camille Fangue. “In an effort to best support and fund IT, the infrastructure and administrative services are being put under Administration and Finance and the support services for faculty and students are being placed with the provost.”

The restructure created two new positions: the chief information officer/associate vice president of academic affairs (CIO), who will report to Provost  and Vice President of Academic Affairs Vicki Golich, and the chief technology officer/associate vice president for administrative computing (CTO) will report to Vice President of Administration, Finance and Facilities Natalie Lutes.

The new organizational method did not cause any employees to lose their jobs, but it did eliminate Steve Beaty’s position as the Vice President of Information Technology position. Currently, Beaty is serving both roles of the CIO and CTO until they are filled.

“We hope to have the position filled by the spring semester,” said Catherine Lucas, the
associate vice president of Communications and Advancement.

Beaty said the hope is that with the change, IT will have a more efficient response to issues that students and faculty are having, as the two parts are only focused on certain issues.

 “Before, IT had two roles,” Beaty said. “It worked with the back office, things like human resources, accounts payable, and accounts receivable – the business side of things. Also, there was the academic side: computer labs and user support. In the past, it was one organization serving two masters. Now, it is two organizations serving separate masters.”

 Beaty said it will take somewhere between three to six months to solidify the split. The hardest part of the separation will be “pulling apart the overlapping areas.” These gray areas did not matter so much when IT was a single organization.

“All tech support calls will be answered by our on-campus staff rather than by the company in Kentucky,” Fangue said. “We will be able to assist with all their support issues, including limited assistance with laptop and mobile devices through either walk-up or appointments. E-mails and voicemails can be left after hours and we will address those issues the morning of the following business day.” 

In addition to splitting the department, the change will now affect student fees. It might not show up as a line item on a student’s account summary, but the change will better appropriate the ways the fees are spent.

“Student fees will go a number of places,” Beaty said. “It will help for a better use of those monies for different purposes and it will continue to be used in technology.”

Previously, the monies were organized to be used for a specific function. Money could not be taken from one account and used for another, even if it yielded a great benefit to faculty and students, Beaty said. Pending the approval of the Board of Trustees, the online course, student technology and telephone fees will be moved to Metro’s base budget to be used for students.

There will not be changes in student fees, nor will the split cost the department any money.

“Student’s will not see any more of an increase to their fee structure than the usual and customary increases from year to year,” Fangue said.

Since he is one man working the jobs of two, he’ll be “the only one feeling the pain,” but Beaty believes the split should not affect students or faculty.

“The hope is that most people won’t notice and the effects won’t be visible.”

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