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Technology Services: From the CIO

March, 2018 CIO Update »

For this month’s update, I would like to remind everyone of a key service we can use to help us better understand and manage the ever-changing technology landscape.  I also want to highlight an initiative on which we’re collaborating with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.  Finally, I will continue to provide more detail on the Technology Services organization with an overview of my office and the central services we provide.


Gartner, Inc. is a research and advisory firm that provides information technology related insight for IT staff and technology leaders located across the world. Gartner’s expansive research database and subject matter expert

community have been used previously to help VCU strategize, plan, and execute on important day-to day technology related decisions.Gartner does this through a wide range of tools including Hype Cycles and Magic Quadrants for visualization of its market analysis results.  They can help track IT topics, provide expert commentary on IT subject matter, review IT contracts and RFPs, as well as provide relevant information on IT products, services, vendors and events. You can access your own customized dashboard via the myVCU Portal.  For detailed projects, please contact one of Technology Service’s liaisons for assistance (Keith Dean, Dan Han, or Scott Davis).

Survey of Research Data Storage

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation desires to develop a road map to address current and future research data storage needs at VCU.  Research data in this context includes all forms of data used in the context of all basic and translational research at VCU, but excluding that which occurs strictly within the VCU medical center (i.e. hospital-side) setting. Consequently, VP for Research and Innovation Francis Macrina has established a data storage working group tasked with producing a report by the end of FY 2018 (6/30/18) that will address the following:

  • Determine the general data storage needs of VCU’s research community and anticipate future needs. This phase will include direct engagement with the VCU research community;
  • Develop a plan for a sustainable model to meet these needs. The plan should leverage existing resources where possible and exhibit the flexibility to meet changing needs over time;
  • Contemplate all phases of the research data lifecycle from acquisition, active use, to archiving;
  • Consider data with special regulatory requirements, especially with respect to human biomedical data.

To help fulfill Dr. Macrina’s charge we have developed a brief REDCap survey instrument. If you are a senior administrator, faculty member, Technology Manager, or research administrator involved with any phase of digital research data life cycle, we would value your insights and input; we strongly encourage you take a moment to fill out the survey to help ensure that your concerns and needs will be addressed.

Organizational Overview: Office of the CIO 

Continuing on in providing a little more detail in terms of how VCU Technology Services is organized, for this month’s update I thought I would provide an overview of the structure and functions of my own office. The Office of the CIO has primary responsibility for central services in Technology Services, including the administrative, financial, HR and other cross-functional aspects of our operations.  Leading this area is Jim Bostick ( 827-0390), VCU Technology Services Chief of Staff.  Jim also serves as my back-up when needed.

Under Jim’s leadership are three teams that work across Technology Services to support all of our operational areas:

  1. Fiscal and Administrative Services: Led by Felita Tucker-Battle, the Fiscal and Administrative Services team assists all TS areas in budgeting, financial management, procurement, human resources administration, travel, and any other administrative activities, working between Technology Services and the VCU offices that provide those services
  2. Project Management Office (PMO):  Consisting of two project managers (Craig Kilgo and Mark Covington) and an IT Business Partner (Sean Mays), the PMO provides project management support to both Technology Services internal IT projects as well as campus-wide IT initiatives led outside Technology Services.  The team  provides project management infrastructure by developing, supporting, and maintaining our Portman system, assisting in the development and documentation of business and technical requirements for IT projects through business process analysis, and providing our project management framework.  Finally the team manages the IT Governance process and supports the VCU’s IT Governance committee
  3. IT Service Management Office (ITSMO): Led by Thom Mattauch, the ITSMO is responsible for managing and implementing the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework across Technology Services as well as acting as a resource to distributed IT organizations.  This includes managing the IT Service Catalog, running the Change Advisory Board, providing functional management of our ServiceDesk software, and leading the process of evaluating a new IT Service Management System.

Happy Spring!


February, 2018 CIO Update »

Happy Almost Spring! For this month's entry, I would like to share updates on two services that are critical to how we access online resources at VCU.  I would also like to continue providing more insight into the operational areas of VCU Technology Services with an overview of the University Computer Center. eID Self-service Password Reset Update . . .

January, 2018 CIO Update »

Happy New Year!  For this month's update, I'd like to share some information from our Information Security Office regarding some new vulnerabilities that have created some challenges.  I would also like to introduce a new feature, in which over the coming months, I will have each area of Technology Services provide an overview of its function and stru . . .

December, 2017 CIO Update »

As we begin to wind down 2017 and prepare for 2018, I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone on the Technology Services team for their hard work, dedication, and professionalism.  We have accomplished much this year and continue to be a critical part of supporting key initiatives at VCU. I also thank my colleagues in other VCU IT organiza . . .

November, 2017 CIO Update »

As the holidays approach, along with the possibility of some actual cold weather, I want to share additional information about VCU Technology Services projects and initiatives that we will be working on in December and well into 2018. Make It Amazing Customer Service (in our case Make IT Amazing): As previously announced, VCU's Division of Adminis . . .

October, 2017 CIO Update »

Unfortunately the Cubs are not in the World Series right now, so this Fall is not quite as good as last year for me.  However, the cooler weather and autumn colors are a welcome change.  As we more fully transition into Fall and start heading toward the holidays, I thought I would highlight some changes to two of our major services: TerminalFour's . . .

September, 2017 CIO Update »

With the school year in full swing and Fall officially arriving, I thought I would highlight several new initiatives that help to ensure that all of the services we offer can be easily accessed and utilized and that our user community can access and handle VCU data easily but also safely. The Learning Systems Academy The Learning Systems Academy w . . .

August, 2017 CIO Update »

Welcome to the new academic year!  After all of our summer preparation, classes have begun and VCU is once again bustling with new and returning students "making it real."  This month I'd like to highlight a couple of improvements we've made as well as provide a reminder: TS Training Rooms Refresh This summer, the Labs and Classrooms Computing . . .

July, 2017 CIO Update »

The new academic year is fast approaching, and there are multiple efforts underway to prepare.  Our migration to multi-factor authentication continues to progress; we now have more than 15,000 registered users of DUO.  We continue to maintain and upgrade fiber and network infrastructure; we are progressing well in the upgrade to Banner 9; we have succ . . .

June, 2017 CIO Update »

Earlier this month the Technology Services team, along with our Administration colleagues in Human Resources, Facilities Management, Police, Parking & Transportation, and Safety & Risk Management gathered to celebrate our accomplishments and to recognize those who this year exemplified great service.  I would like to thank Technology Services . . .

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We are responsible for implementing and supporting the technology used around campus, such as the network, phones, enhanced classrooms, and Internet-based systems including myVCU, Blackboard, email, and more.

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