Office of the Chief Information Officer

Areas of Strategic Priority

The Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Areas of Strategic Priority is a five-year, high-level roadmap for the IT enterprise at the University of Chicago that outlines the strategy intended to mature the IT enterprise and realize the creation of UChicago IT. The roadmap also details the strategic priorities that frame decision-making and direction, and highlights illustrative projects, either in progress or planned.

While conveying broad strategic directions for the overall University of Chicago IT enterprise, the roadmap also emphasizes efforts specifically within IT Services (ITS), the University’s centrally funded IT operation organized under the Office of the CIO. As UChicago’s largest single IT unit, ITS oversees a broad portfolio of services, strategic projects, and institution-wide initiatives, each supporting the mission of the University of Chicago.


The University of Chicago is in the midst of significant and important change with regard to the role and use of technology for research, teaching and learning, and administrative support.

Technology at UChicago supports the more than $7 billion enterprise; enhances teaching and learning for 3,000 faculty and 16,000 students; supports close partnerships within the surrounding community; and provides a backbone for a prestigious research portfolio, including efforts with global reach such as the National Cancer Institute Genomic Data Commons and the ATLAS detector at CERN.

While it can be challenging to meet the varied and evolving needs of faculty, students, staff, and University partners both on campus and around the world, the breadth and scale of their work makes it an exciting time to work in information technology and reimagine the IT enterprise.

Through this five-year plan and the day-to-day work it guides and represents, there are countless opportunities for UChicago IT to build high performance systems and services to meet the current needs of the University and expand its capabilities for the future.

Kevin Boyd
Associate Vice President and CIO


Beginning in FY16 and continuing through FY20, the University of Chicago IT enterprise will undertake planning, assessment, realignment, and service enhancement activities designed to mature financial management, workforce development and management, and service delivery and support capabilities.

FY16: Align IT Services to Be Prepared for Change

    • Address IT Services financials
    • Engage staff, reorganize, and begin retraining
    • Review and reduce services

FY17: Develop UChicago IT and the Supporting Structures

    • Perform campus-wide IT assessment
    • Analyze data and develop IT Rationalization (ITR) roadmap
    • Launch UChicago IT and the IT Leadership Council (ITLC)

FY18: Implement UChicago IT and Execute on ITR Programs

    • Begin to shift select campus-wide reporting structures
    • Broadly enhance face-to-face and virtual service delivery
    • Begin execution of four core ITR areas

FY19: Focus on Operational Excellence

  • Modernize key financial tools, continue to enhance key business systems, including Workday, AIS, and Giving
  • Mature business practices to enhance administrative efficiencies

FY20: Continue Maturity and Transformation

  • Complete implementation of new financial system
  • Implement new campus-wide IT Staffing model

The overarching aim of the five-year plan is the creation of UChicago IT, which will be carried out through four interrelated efforts: IT Rationalization, IT Leadership Council, IT Academy, and IT Connects. These activities are designed to challenge the status quo as it relates to the oversight, management, growth, and execution of IT across the University.

As an outcome of the IT Rationalization roadmap, four core IT initiative areas were initially identified and are currently in progress:

Email and collaboration tools: email consolidation (Office 365); collaboration tools standardization

Infrastructure transformation: data center and server room consolidation; virtual machine and cloud compute optimization; on-premise storage to cloud migration

End user devices and support: end user form factor consolidation; centralized machine image; TechBar walk-up support expansion

Classroom audiovisual (AV) optimization: AV standards development; vendor and support contracts consolidation; one-touch setup configuration

UChicago IT will improve the existing service model to bring IT providers and practitioners together with an enhanced support environment for teaching, learning, research, and administration. Additionally, IT leaders will continue to assess the appropriate level of financial investment in IT to ensure it reflects the University’s requirements and budgets.

Finally, a new rubric will be created to centralize service delivery. This rubric will be co-created with stakeholders from across academic and administrative areas to increase engagement with IT partners outside of ITS. Services may be ordered into three primary categories:

Core: Enterprise-level services, solutions, and support structures that should be delivered from a centrally managed organization. Example: the central financial system

Common: Practices and approaches that should be widely adopted to offer more secure and well refined services to help eliminate redundancy and enhance support. Example: the deployment of mobile devices that are securely managed for all faculty and staff

Unique: Services, solutions, and support options that are finely tuned at the local administrative or academic level. Example: support for a specific type of instrumentation that a researcher uses to advance their science

The strategic priorities and direction, outlined below, are designed to deliver on the plan, address the core IT initiative areas, and prepare for the University’s future needs and direction.

Strategic Priorities and Direction

IT projects and efforts are planned, operationally executed, and measured against six areas of strategic priority: operational excellence; delighting the community; research; teaching and learning; information security; and people. Included below are some illustrative projects in progress or planned for each of the six areas of strategic priority. For current projects, updates through September 2017 are noted.

Operational Excellence
Enhance and grow a culture of operational excellence through leadership in the deployment of enterprise solutions.


PROJECT: Implement a new, modern financial system for the University.

SUMMARY: As a basis for the new financial system, analyze and collaboratively devise a new account coding structure that will provide for the growth and analytic financial needs of the institution and will satisfy the historical record keeping demands required for audit and reporting purposes.

Proposed high-level project timing includes discovery and planning (late 2018 to early 2019); software evaluation and selection (through third quarter FY19); and the beginning of phase one implementation (beginning mid-2019).

STATUS: IT Services, in partnership with Financial Services and the chief financial officer (CFO), will lead a multiyear implementation of a modern financial system that will provide the University with the financial tools required to support the dynamic growth of the institution. The new financial system will go live in the first quarter of FY22.

PROJECT: Strengthen the budget management process by enhancing Delphi.

SUMMARY: Implement improvements to Delphi to drive adoption of the system across all units for budget planning and monthly forecasting, in partnership with the Office of the CFO.

Proposed high-level project timing includes implementation of monthly forecasting and new budget model (early 2018); and rebuild of Delphi data and architecture (mid-2018).

STATUS: An upgrade to the latest version of the software, and the launch of a revised forecasting model are anticipated in the first quarter of FY19. Following that, the system moves into a sustainability mode.

PROJECT: Continue to grow and enhance analytics capabilities that allow University staff and faculty to use data to drive decisions.

SUMMARY: Implement new analytics to support grants management, instruction, and student success. Phase in new enterprise platforms to enable data visualization and big data analytics using Tableau and Hadoop, respectively.

Proposed high-level project timing includes continued enhancement of available student analytics (through late-2018); and implementation of a new Grants Data Warehouse (early-2018 through 2018 year-end).

STATUS: The delivery of analytics for instruction and student success is planned to be completed by 2019. Tableau and Hadoop architectures are being developed in phases through mid-2018, at which point they will be offered as campus services. The implementation of an updated platform for AURA Grants is driving development of a new reporting service to be deployed later in 2018.

PROJECT: Utilize the cloud to increase agility, decrease costs, and maximize resources that are expensive and in short supply.

SUMMARY: Adopt a cloud-first strategy when considering applications, services, and upgrades. Continue to create expertise through the Cloud Center of Excellence with a focus on research computing, storage, and administrative systems, as appropriate.

STATUS: As of late autumn 2017, 29 percent of ITS administrative services and systems are fully cloud-based or a hybrid of cloud and on-premises. An additional 10–15 percent of systems and services are expected to migrate in the next 18 months.

ITS continues to extend infrastructure into the cloud. A Cloud Architecture Working Group has been working to continuously improve architecture at Amazon Web Services (AWS). More of the ITS web hosting infrastructure is being migrated to AWS, as are much of the data center backup processes.

PROJECT: Consolidate non-research data centers.

SUMMARY: With campus partners, consolidate and rationalize data centers across campus to maximize computing resources, reduce costs, and reduce the overall risk profile for campus. During the IT Rationalization assessment, 21 distributed in-scope data centers were identified. Starting in FY18, consolidate distributed data centers into one of the four enterprise data center spaces operated centrally, based on a risk analysis.

Pending funding for the Data Center Consolidation project, ITS continues to evaluate and consolidate data centers as time allows.  Once funding is made available for an assertive consolidation, the project will actively resume, lasting for three years.

STATUS: Four data centers have already been 80 percent migrated; and four are in active planning with ITS. In coordination with the Biological Sciences Division and the Computation Institute, four of the previously identified 21 distributed data centers have been partially or mostly migrated into alternate infrastructure and are on the path to decommissioning. Formal funding is still under review, pending approval of the business case. Work will continue as time and resources permit.

PROJECT: Enhance connectivity with the Next Generation Network.

SUMMARY: The Next Generation Network (NGN) initiative is designed to replace the legacy campus network environment with a high performance network infrastructure. Comprised of approximately 20 major projects, this effort will span the course of about 10 years and is designed to introduce a network that is intelligent, automated, and highly adaptable.

STATUS: A key example is a replacement of more than 1,000 end-of-life network systems, which is now 20 percent complete as of July 2018. Similarly, ITS initiated an effort to deliver complete Wi-Fi coverage at all indoor public spaces, which has reached 63 percent complete. Foundational projects necessary for future development, such as enhancements to the core and border network infrastructures are complete. The distribution layer is next, beginning in the second quarter of FY19 and will take two years to complete.

PROJECT: Modernize voice communications and collaborative tools.

SUMMARY: The voice communications and collaboration program is designed to replace the legacy Private Branch Exchange (PBX) voice communications system for the University and the University of Chicago Medicine with a Voice over IP (VoIP) platform that features advanced voice, video, and collaboration capabilities. The VoIP migration project began in FY11 and will replace over 25,000 telephones and the associated PBX throughout the next eight years on the University campus, in the medical center, and its affiliated clinics around the Chicago area.

STATUS: As of July 2018, every component of the VoIP system has been upgraded to new hardware and software and the VoIP migration project reached 84 percent completion. During summer 2018, a Unified Communications working group was created to focus on the goal of identifying Unified Communications offerings that the University of Chicago should explore as an alternative to the existing on-premise VoIP service and related functions. The working group consists of representatives from the University and medical center, with reporting obligations to the IT Leadership Council.

PROJECT: Implement ServiceNow to modernize service delivery and support.

SUMMARY: To meet the needs of the community and to establish a robust workflow system for IT Services, utilize the ServiceNow system to modernize service delivery across the organization. With an integrated Knowledge Base, ServiceNow will provide the campus with a set of self-service tools that allow ITS to fulfill service requests, track incidents, and produce data to drive service improvement. Develop service portals that will support the work of both IT Services and the Shared Services team. Position ServiceNow as a campus-wide service offering to eliminate local service management tools, reduce costs, enhance service, and capture data that can be used for service improvement.

STATUS: Phase one was implemented in autumn 2017; clients can access both Shared Services and IT Services through a common ServiceNow portal.

The mobile application was released in July of FY19. This is a native application for the iPhone. The application gives primary fulfillers the ability to complete tasks on their phones, and also gives them access to the ServiceNow portal. Later in the year, after a communications campaign to announce the app, everyone will be able to take advantage of the capabilities of the mobile app.

In the second quarter of FY19, the ServiceNow platform will be upgraded to the most current version, code named London.

PROJECT: Define next generation technology for fundraising.

SUMMARY: Alumni Relations and Development (ARD) is in need of new technology strategies and sophisticated analytics to further engage the donor base and to broaden prospect pools. The proposed technology strategy addresses the entire ecosystem and is planned to include: gift processing and prospect management; a donor engagement hub; data sharing; and a platform for big data, predictive analytics, and machine learning. The goal is to create a system which provides a highly personalized experience based on the individual preferences of the user.

STATUS: ARD and IT Services have completed a strategic assessment of ARD’s information systems environment and related business processes. A business case document has been drafted for review with executive leadership and will then be presented to the University president and provost. A funding decision is expected in November of FY19.

PROJECT: Implement additional Academic Information Systems functionality.

SUMMARY: Doctoral student milestone tracking is the key deliverable for the second phase of Academic Information Systems (AIS). The four divisions with the most doctoral students—Social Sciences, Humanities, Physical Sciences, and Biological Sciences—represent the bulk of the work for this phase. Other schools and divisions will also be addressed, but the level of effort will be smaller given the size of their doctoral programs. These include the Divinity School, Law School, Chicago Booth, and School of Social Service Administration.

STATUS: The doctoral student milestone data for the Divinity School has been migrated to AIS.

PROJECT: Develop Operations Center of the Future.

SUMMARY: The Operations Center of the Future (OCF) program describes a series of initiatives designed to substantially enhance the operational support capabilities of the Command Center, the central team that monitors service status and responds to after hours service requests. This enhanced organization would establish visibility to all critical IT systems and services, conduct triage when events occur, proactively identify threats to future service availability, and maintain service monitoring for availability, performance, and the user experience.

STATUS: Since establishing the vision of the OCF program, a number of new efforts have begun. The Command Center has installed a video wall for monitoring disparate technologies across campus and provides monitoring and operational support to additional organizations such as Chicago Booth and campus security. A new planning committee has been created to discuss how to achieve these aims in partnership with other groups.

In addition, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has offered to host an IT operations center, called the Enterprise Monitoring and Operations Center, in order to promote the site as a hub for technology and research in Chicago. A concept plan has been drafted and discussions are underway with the Polsky Center and the project architect to consider the creation of the new operations center in this space.

PROJECT: Adopt pre-awards grants system.

SUMMARY: University Research Administration (URA) has adopted the Click Commerce software suite to support its business processes for managing and administering pre-award grants. URA has also implemented Click Commerce modules for managing conflicts of interest, Institutional Review Boards, and Institutional Biosafety Committees. URA, IT Services, and Huron Consulting are engaged in a major upgrade of the grants software.

Proposed high-level project timing includes AURA IRB and AURA master store (mid-late 2018).

STATUS: The University has engaged Huron Consulting to assist with the upgrade of the pre-award grants module of the Click Commerce suite. This project is scheduled to be completed in December of FY19.

PROJECT: Establish a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) role.

SUMMARY: The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) serves as a focal point and advocate for IT infrastructure vision, leadership, strategic planning, and oversight for the University. As a part of the creation of the role, several existing areas within ITS transition under the CTO, including Cloud Strategy; Networking, Communications Infrastructure, and Service Operations; and from within Enterprise Application Systems, the Data Center Services team and Data Center Strategies and Operations team.

STATUS: Bill Stauffer, formerly the executive director of Enterprise Application Systems, is serving as the inaugural CTO as of February 2018. As the University’s first CTO, Stauffer will establish the role and assist with the national search that will be conducted in 2018 in coordination with his planned retirement at the end of 2018. The search for the new CTO is beginning in August 2018. The goal is to have the CTO hired in November, subject to the search for a new CIO.

Delighting the Community

Be leaders in the delivery of services, transform the customer experience, and work to delight the community.


PROJECT: Deliver service at the unit level.

SUMMARY: Leverage the scale of UChicago IT to deliver service at the unit level. Better align central and divisional staff resources to provide a well-rounded service model to administrative, academic, and research staff; faculty; and students.

STATUS: A campus-wide IT Leadership Council has been established, consisting of central and divisional IT leaders coming together to provide governance, share resources, and identify common goals and activities. At the same time, new reporting roles for some distributed IT leaders are being re-established to have connections to the Office of the CIO.

One of the activities that the IT Leadership Council has undertaken is an exercise to identify services that can be classified as core, common, or unique to the central IT organization and the divisional groups. The outcome of this activity will yield a 3- to 5-year roadmap for IT, resulting in a transition of services based on agreements made by the Leadership Council.

PROJECT: Improve personal computer and laptop acquisition.

SUMMARY: Provide an easy-to-administer, minimal-touch implementation of new devices by producing a consumer-like experience across a diverse range of users and a wide set of devices.

STATUS: In 2018 and 2019, IT Services desktop engineering focused on compliance with the End User Device (EUD) Security Policy not only for managing the current population of ITS supported workstations but also to develop a service offering for divisional IT partners across campus. The service offering will include assistance with workstation provisioning for PC and Mac as well as a standard tool for being able to report compliance against the EUD Security Policy. This standard compliance reporting will enable ITS to provide senior leadership with data on the current state and regular future reporting on compliance until ITS reaches a goal of 95 percent or greater.

PROJECT: Transform the ITS Service Desk to be a Tier 1 support organization.

SUMMARY: Achieve Tier 1 level service status by having Service Desk members resolve 80 percent of incoming requests without further assistance. Utilize the talents of University students to assist and augment the staff. Increase the use of student staffing at the Service Desk, TechBar, and within the Academic Technologies Solutions areas, providing the students with invaluable experience and utilizing their perspectives on the use of technology.

STATUS: In the beginning of 2018, the ITS Service Desk “reboot” strategy was implemented, focusing on areas of improvement and on-boarding Tier 1 support for all services that ITS provides.

As of July 2018, 83 percent of tasks were managed at Tier 1 over the last 6 months and improved to 90 percent over the last month. The Service Desk is using metrics in the new dashboards in Tableau and implemented processes, policies and procedures for the identified areas of improvement.

Additionally, they onboarded Tier 1 Support for O365 and UChicago and Voices Sites, established a Subject Matter Experts (SME) Program with Tier 3 Partners, and partnered with Command Center to improve 24/7 support. The Service Desk is now handling Partner Support calls during normal business hours.

PROJECT: Create a collaboration services suite.

SUMMARY: The University is nearing completion of a project to migrate its campus email system to a cloud-based version of Microsoft Exchange called Office 365. The next phase of the deployment of Office 365 includes the implementation of Microsoft Teams, a module that provides a place for groups on campus to share documents, communicate via chat and video, and collaborate with formal and informal groups across campus. The scope of this project will include deploying Teams and developing a service offering to assist the campus in leveraging these tools to improve business processes and services.

STATUS: IT Services has also launched Box, a cloud-based file sharing solution, and implemented a collaboration and chat tool called Slack. All of the Office 365 modules are now available to campus and  work has begun to develop the related service offering.

Broadly and positively impact research activities that support UChicago’s commitment to free and open inquiry.


PROJECT: Expand data center capacity in support of research computing.

SUMMARY: Partner closely with individual researchers and the Research Computing Center to house high performance computing environments that directly support the production of new science. Expand research computing data center space to enable more computing technology to be made available for research. Provide an engineering study to evaluate the feasibility of using the first floor of 6045 Kenwood to more than double the University’s research data center space. Use the engineering study to do a comparison of constructing an on premise space or moving off campus.

Proposed high-level project timing includes 6045 POD-B data center expansion (through mid-2018).

STATUS: Currently increasing capacity for key researchers through expanded data center operations with an additional 63 racks. This build-out is scheduled to be completed in August 2018.

With the expected growth of research computing at the University, IT Services completed an assessment of options to further expand data center capacity on campus.  The research community has decided to defer further data center investments for the next 12-18 months. ITS and the research community will review demand for data center capacity every 6 months.

PROJECT: Implement second-generation science network.

SUMMARY: The University’s high performance research network, known as the Science DMZ, is optimized for moving big data across campus or around the globe. This network moves 6-12 petabytes (PB) of data per month and has helped support emerging research. To fortify and improve the University’s leadership in key areas of science, medicine, and innovation, ITS must take action to address the limitations of the existing infrastructure. Within the next five years, the second-generation network will need to be capable of moving orders of magnitude more data. Once in place, this second-generation Science DMZ will provide the foundation for future growth and capabilities at the University of Chicago.

Proposed high-level project timing includes Science DMZ upgrades (ongoing).

STATUS: In-depth testing of this new infrastructure was completed in early 2017 with positive feedback from participating researchers. New infrastructure is being deployed over the course of the first half of 2018. Additional infrastructure will be implemented in 2019 resulting in an exponential increase in capacity over the previous generation SciDMZ.

PROJECT: Enhance cyberinfrastructure support.

SUMMARY: UChicago’s cyberinfrastructure (CI) effort is designed to link together computational systems, advanced instruments, visualization environments, data and information management, and people. This initiative establishes the framework for a next-generation inter-institutional capability for connecting high performance research networks (Science DMZs) together on a national scale. It will promote collaboration, enhance researcher experience, support large-scale science, and improve the competitiveness of UChicago grant proposals.

Proposed high-level project timing includes CI support recommendations (ongoing); and Service Layers at the Edge (SLATE) National Science Foundation grant work (late 2017 to early 2020).

STATUS: IT Services has been leading the effort to establish a partnership among key service providers and researchers across campus, referred to as the University of Chicago Cyberinfrastructure Alliance (UCCA). This partnership was formally established in March 2018. UChicago IT partners, including the Research Computing Center (RCC), Regenstein Library, the Computation Institute, Argonne National Labs, Biological Sciences Division, and Booth School of Business, are formalizing the goals of the UCCA to be referenced in future grant applications.

The UCCA is actively planning for the National Research Platform, an initiative to connect Science DMZs together on a national scale. Additionally, IT Services is supporting the effort of Robert Gardner of the Computation Institute, who as principal investigator in partnership with University of Michigan, University of Utah, Clemson University, and Argonne National Laboratory, is developing Service Layers at the Edge (SLATE), a 3-year grant. Funded through 2019, this project is designed to support the automated deployment of common science applications utilized within the Science DMZ and promote agile development. Conversations are underway with members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance to consider an NSF proposal relating to the National Research Platform (NRP).

PROJECT: Establish a Cloud Center of Excellence.

SUMMARY: Prepare IT professionals to support faculty using new tools and techniques in cloud storage. Create a cloud center as an opportunity to support the ever-expanding needs of faculty in research computing purposes. This new resource will be in place for the start of the FY19.

STATUS: As of May 2018, the initial offering of provisioned Amazon Web Services accounts for faculty that adhere to University standards and industry best practices is available and will continue to be improved. Work on the rest of this project will be limited in FY19 due to lack of funding for dedicated resources.

PROJECT: Provide secure data consulting with faculty.

SUMMARY: Support research and technical services in several disciplines that increasingly entail processing large data sets containing confidential personal information, such as medical, criminal, and educational records. Help incorporate appropriate measures to protect this data into departmental workflows and operations. Continue evolution and implementation of the University Edition Cyber Security and Data Privacy policy framework developed in collaboration with Research Administration, Office of Legal Counsel, the Research Computing Center, IT Services, and others that informs how security risks and institutional liability associated with these activities are managed.

STATUS: In FY18, Urban Labs completed their first annual risk re-assessment. The Secure Data Enclave, a University service designed to appropriately protect research of this type, is nearing initial implementation of its first major component having completed development of technical design and associated procedures in compliance with the University Edition framework. Globus, a cloud service supporting research activities at the University and hundreds of other research organizations, is nearing production implementation of its High Assurance mode of operation for sites that wish to use their services within their own protected data processing environments. A number of those sites currently have BAA contracts under review at the Office of Legal Counsel. The Center for Data Science and Public Policy is in process with its initial University Edition gap analysis and development of procedures, documentation, and technical measures needed to bring their operation into compliance.

Continued consultation with the Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board (IRB) supports their work by providing expert guidance on unique security and confidentiality needs of many human subjects research protocols and also provides an opportunity to observe the inception of research projects involving large confidential data sets that may need the benefit of the University Edition framework of the Secure Data Enclave.

PROJECT: Offer a secure data enclave.

SUMMARY: With the Research Computing Center, offer a Secure Data Enclave (SDE) computing service to campus designed to meet the security and privacy expectations of the Data Use Agreements required by providers of sensitive research data. The SDE service will be designed in accordance with University Edition security and privacy policies.

STATUS: Team members from ITS, Research Computing Center, University Research Administration and the office of the General Counsel have been working on the development of the SDE service. A final review of the SDE service offering with the office of the vice president for research and ITS leadership will take place soon, pending leadership transitions. The go-live date for the service will be finalized at that time.

Teaching and Learning

Create a world-class teaching and learning technology organization that inspires faculty and students.


PROJECT: Adopt and diffuse Canvas.

SUMMARY: Canvas is the leading cloud-based learning management system. Through active engagement with faculty and partners across campus, migrate all courses from Chalk to Canvas. Through this transition, create meaningful relationships with faculty that can enable new forms of pedagogy.

STATUS:  For Spring Quarter 2018, 98 percent of all classes using a learning management system were housed in Canvas.

PROJECT: Create a faculty-first symposium on teaching and learning with technology.

SUMMARY: Sponsor and execute an annual Teaching and Learning symposium, bringing together faculty, teaching assistants, instructional designers and developers, industry experts, and staff to foster improved learning opportunities and knowledge of advanced digital pedagogy.

STATUS: Academic Technology Solutions delivered its revamped Canvas Day on April 25, 2018. The redesign of this event was a much broader showcase of teaching and learning with technology. This event successfully allowed faculty and instructors to share their unique work in integrating academic technology into their teaching practices.

PROJECT: Create a faculty fellows program within IT Services.

SUMMARY: Create an annual fellowship program open to UChicago faculty and graduate students to further early-stage research and work to enhance existing teaching practice. Two to three fellows will be hosted on an annual basis beginning in FY20.

STATUS The executive director of academic technology solutions is drafting a charter that describes how IT Services will structure and support a faculty fellowship program.

PROJECT: Develop UChicago Media Commons.

SUMMARY: In partnership with academic units and the Logan Center, envision and construct the UChicago Media Commons, an on-campus facility that supports the capability for students and faculty to create a variety of digital content. The UChicago Media Commons will provide access to common tools (hardware, software) and expert support in the appropriate use.

STATUS: The CIO and the executive director of Academic Technology Solutions are developing a partnership with the Social Sciences Division and the Logan Center for the Arts to move the proposal forward with University leadership.

PROJECT: Create the first-ever One Button Studio at the University.

SUMMARY: In partnership with Regenstein Library, construct the first-ever One Button Studio at the University of Chicago. This is a pre-configured, easy to use digital media creation space that allows students to create digital artifacts of learning and faculty to record digital lectures.

STATUS: The One Button Studio is in beta testing throughout the summer 2018 and is targeted for full operation for Fall Quarter 2018.

Information Security
Work to enhance the University’s information security stance to ensure a safe and secure computing environment.


PROJECT: Adopt two-factor authentication.

SUMMARY: All members of the University community will adopt two-factor authentication (2FA) by the end of summer 2018.

Proposed high-level project timing includes two-factor authentication adoption (through October 2018).

STATUS: All University officers and deans have enabled 2FA as of the end of the year 2017. Faculty and staff have been enabled as of mid-summer 2018. Incoming students who are claiming their CNetIDs are being enabled at claim.

PROJECT: Develop a cloud security strategy.

SUMMARY: Develop the architecture, policies, and guidelines that will enable the University to move services and infrastructure into the cloud quickly and securely.

STATUS: In the second quarter of FY18 security’s place within Cloud Governance was established. One accomplishment was to implement security configurations for non-ITS related AWS accounts. Currently there is development of a secure pipeline and process for deployments within AWS, and improving monitoring capabilities.

PROJECT: Implement security for cloud based email.

SUMMARY: Implement the Proofpooint on Demand anti-spam service to reduce on-premises infrastructure, allow email to keep flowing even if campus experiences an internet disruption, and provide more effective spam and phishing protection for all campus email, not just Office 365.

STATUS: IT Services begins configuration and testing in August 2018. After this is complete IT Services will point campus email to Proofpoint’s servers and they will take over delivery. The average individual’s experience will be similar to what they have now, but the new suite features a number of improvements: new capabilities to protect individuals from malicious content in emails, vastly improved accuracy in blocking spam, and a new, responsive interface for looking at their spam quarantines. Additionally, users can import their existing rules and preferences into Proofpoint.

A future, not-yet-scheduled phase of the Proofpoint implementation will include the ability to filter email sent by the campus community for viruses, phishing, and spam.

Invest in the growth of IT professionals throughout UChicago to place job and career satisfaction, development, and opportunity at the center of organizational decisions and design.


PROJECT: Develop and grow the UChicago IT Academy

SUMMARY: Implement an IT enterprise-wide initiative, the IT Academy, focused on investing in the growth of IT professionals throughout the University. The IT Academy will provide a formal, multi-year, self-paced, continuous development program, inclusive of on-boarding; core productivity skills development; management and leadership training; and project, skill, and technology-specific development needs. The program will include mechanisms to track progress and measure growth of each participant.

STATUS: The IT Leadership Council (ITLC) IT Academy work group has been meeting regularly since autumn 2017 to plan for the implementation of the IT Academy later in 2018. Recent activity includes the creation of an implementation timeline and a model for the Academy structure.

PROJECT: Invest in organizational and staff development.

SUMMARY: Focus on supporting, developing, and growing UChicago IT staff, specifically through programs that impact staff satisfaction and leadership acumen, as well as that lead to increased retention rates and employee growth. Engage existing University resources and programs, as well as vendor partners, to provide development opportunities and engage staff.

STATUS: Throughout FY18, several leadership companies and on-campus offerings were engaged to offer face-to-face seminars, one-on-one coaching sessions, and leadership and management workshops, for IT management and staff, the ITS senior leadership team, and various IT partners throughout the University. Additional opportunities are being planned to take place throughout FY19, including the launch of a grassroots leadership and staff development program.

Contact and Additional Information

A print-friendly version of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Areas of Strategic Priority is available on Box as a PDF download at

For more information about the strategies, strategic priorities, or any of the projects described in the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Areas of Strategic Priority, contact

To learn more about IT Services, visit

To learn more about UChicago IT, visit


Last updated: July 1, 2018