West Virginia University (WVU) is undertaking a full revamp of its information technology organization.

According to the university, two previously independent teams are merging together to combine their “respective strengths and best practices to create a new, future-focused Information Technology Services.”

The merger is bringing together the staffs of the university’s central IT group and the former Health Sciences Information Technology Services (ITS) organization.

In a press release, the school said WVU CIO Brice Knotts has “reimagined the organization from top to bottom, reconstituting the leadership team and developing a structure that will support a cohesive technology strategy, creating a more consistent customer experience, and identify both savings opportunities and strategic investments for the University moving forward.”

As part of the reorganization, new teams have been created at the university, including a Research Services unit that will be dedicated to building out more supportive services for researchers, and a Teaching and Learning Applications group that will manage campus learning management systems, as well as other instructional tools.

Additionally, the infrastructure and customer service operations have been combined to create an Infrastructure and Operations group. The university said that team will collaborate with the Community Engagement group at the Health Sciences Center to provide local, onsite support while also identifying opportunities to save money and improve efficiency.

“Embracing the ‘Blue Sky’ approach of the WVU Modernization Program, ITS will welcome creative solutions and be uninhibited by past practices,” the school said in a statement. WVU also noted that because technology touches virtually every aspect of university work, fully merging all daily operations will be an ongoing process.

Leading the merger is a new ITS leadership that includes positions recently filled via a competitive interviewing process. The executive leadership team features:

  • Office of the CIO, Executive Director Vicki Smith: This is a new team focused on communication and marketing, talent management and culture, financial planning and budgeting, vendor relationship and contract management, and administrative support.
  • Research Services, Executive Director Brent Cramer: This new team will focus on establishing a portfolio of supportive, enterprise-level technology services such as storage services, research networks and research technology consulting.
  • Community Engagement, Assistant Vice President Laura Roth: This team focuses on providing local deskside support for colleges at the Health Sciences Center, HSC classroom technology support and college-specific app support.
  • Information Security, Interim Chief Information Security Officer Lee Lawson: This group focuses on security operations, policy and standard development, risk assessments and mitigation plans, compliance management, and identity management and access to WVU systems.
  • Product Management, Executive Director Jerod Hall: This team is responsible for the development and administration of mission- and business-critical enterprise applications including the employee and student information systems.
  • Infrastructure and Operations, Executive Director Steve Watkins: This team ensures the reliability and delivery of core and mission-critical services such as wired and wireless internet, telecommunications, data centers and data engineering, as well as customer service.
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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs