Two years ago, ITS began an extensive review of the department, forming both off-campus and on-campus review committees to evaluate the organization and determine means for improvement. The committees focused on workflows and ways in which the department could be restructured to become more efficient. ITS staff members also conducted an internal self-study. Recommendations from this process will be implemented this fall. “We examined how we work together with our partner organizations on campus—for example the library, development services, and the language center,” says Joel Cooper, ITS director. “We asked how can we, as Carleton’s technology and service providers, better work together with our partners and better utilize the significant resources we’ve been given by the College? We aspire to become a more nimble organization that is able to adapt quickly to changing needs.”
A survey of faculty and staff members and students, conducted last year, revealed high satisfaction rates with the ITS department, but internally certain issues needed to be addressed. Academic and administrative coordinators are overburdened by a multitude of campus needs and requests, and system administrators and database and applications programmers also are backlogged with work. However, the solution is not to hire additional staff members. “It’s really about organizing,” says Cooper. “Are there ways we can simplify or uncomplicate our current way of doing things? Are there ways we can do things better? In a well-functioning organization everyone has a shared vision and shared goals and there’s a high degree of trust. As a result you get more done. We want to move further in that direction.”
ITS staff members are looking forward to the restructure. “People are ready to go with this,” says Cooper. “It’s always scary to think about change, but by in large we’re all embracing this. Everyone wants ITS to do well for Carleton.”
– Phoebe Larson is a writer and editor at Carleton.