University-Wide Information Technology Governance Framework Development

Department and Project Manager: Office of the Vice President for IT and Chief Information Officer
(IT Strategy Officer - Joshua Kissee)

Project Overview: The Vice President for IT and Chief Information Officer along with the Associate Vice President for Academic Services commissioned the establishment of an IT Governance Working Group (ITGWG). The ITGWG included a group of faculty and staff who analyzed the governance frameworks of several Vision 2020 peer Universities.  The group then conducted benchmarking interviews with select peers, resulting in a comprehensive framework that will contain six new committees and an executive council covering university-wide IT issues. The resulting ITG framework is now available for review by University stakeholders.

The finalized version of the framework will be submitted to the President with the intent of submission to the TAMUS Internal Audit function by April 28, 2017. Following the formal adoption of the ITG framework and completion of the current project, a subsequent initiative will implement the outcomes of the framework through the establishment of the committees during September, 2017.

Timeline: November 15, 2016 to April 28, 2017



Guiding Definition

IT Governance is the assurance that Information Technology aligns with the outcomes required by the University for successful fulfillment of its mission.  It ensures that appropriate decision-making activities (prioritization and funding) are done in concert with the University’s strategic priorities, while taking into account input from a broad base of stakeholders.

Mission, Purpose, & Responsibilities

Mission Statement

Ensure holistic alignment of IT resources and services University-wide to support the mission of the university, while becoming more efficient and effective in the focus of attention and time on activities that achieve shared priorities in a decentralized organizational structure.

Purpose Statement

IT Governance at Texas A&M is the essential foundation for a shared IT vision that is agile and responsive. Allowing the entire university Information Technology community to unite on common goals that will serve the university, state, and the citizens of Texas.

Responsibilities

The responsibility of a shared IT vision is that of all users, decision-makers, and stewards of IT services across Texas A&M University.  It is this shared responsibility that is reflected in the ITG framework, to facilitate a common, thoughtful consideration of the overall needs of the university community. ITG stewards the shared responsibility of the overall governance of IT initiatives across the Academic, Administrative, Research and Technical domains.

Values

We value the ability to be open to multiple perspectives, recognizing that the executive leaders of Texas A&M University drive IT’s overall effectiveness, and respect the uniqueness of the University’s organizational culture.  As such, the five tenets that drive the confidence in IT Governance are: Transparency, Accountability, Collaboration, Stewardship, and Agility.

Value 1

We value Transparency by providing information about IT decisions to all stakeholders with clear information on the process for funding, decision-making and strategic dialogues with the appropriate stakeholders, at various levels of the university.

Value 2

We value Accountability by acknowledging that IT is accountable to the governing groups for IT decisions with the subsequent implementation and execution of decisions in a timely manner. Accountability is further exemplified by providing feedback, updates, and reports to all appropriate stakeholders regarding IT governance outcomes.

Value 3

We value Stewardship through the assurance that IT leadership is efficiently and responsibly using IT resources in the best interest of the University, its stakeholders, and members of the extended Texas A&M Community.

Value 4

We value Collaboration in dialogues and decision-making by ensuring that decisions are informed from multiple perspectives and increase teamwork via the implementation of projects across divisions for greater impact and utilization.

Value 5

We value Agility by facilitating the continual service improvement of the IT Governance framework through adaptation and adjustment to succeed in a rapidly changing, ambiguous, and dynamic environment of higher education.

Objectives and Scope

The scope of ITG includes, at the broadest, an alignment of IT outcomes required by the University for successful fulfillment of its mission. ITG encompasses appropriate university-wide IT decision-making activities, IT policy and standards development, IT risk optimization, assurance of IT benefit and value realization, optimization of IT investment and resource management, and the alignment of IT strategy to the overall University mission and strategy.

Objective 1

Establish, maintain, communicate, and continuously improve a campus-wide IT vision that supports the Texas A&M University mission, goals, and outcomes.

Objective 2

Establish, maintain, adjust, report, and continuously re-align an IT investment management program through an IT budget structure for total IT expenditures University-wide, with primary focus on the CIO’s IT organization(s).

Objective 3

Establish, maintain, communicate, and continuously improve IT policies, technical architectures, and technical standards that support strategic, university-wide IT priorities.

Objective 4

Set the direction, exercise decision-making, and prioritize an IT portfolio of University-wide services, programs, and projects for the purpose of aligning IT investment to the University mission and requirements of stakeholder groups.

Objective 5

Enable the utilization and optimization of IT services, programs, and projects for the Teaching, Research, and Learning technology related initiatives at the University-wide level.

Objective 6

Facilitate a formal input structure from a diverse body of stakeholders University-wide on the performance and utilization of existing IT services, as well as the identification of new IT services.

Component Model

Components of IT Governance Framework
IT Governance Framework Components Diagram. Fullsize image

Decision-Making Councils and Committees

Executive IT Council

The University-Wide Executive IT Council (EITC, "the Council") approves the University-wide IT vision and overall IT budget structure, sets key IT priorities for the University, endorses IT principles, policies, and standards,  resolves University-wide strategic IT issues, and establishes accountability for enacting decisions. The Board consists of executive-level positions from across the University, to include the President, Provost, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and Chief Information Officer (CIO). The EITC is the definitive decision-making body for IT, ensuring IT alignment with the central mission of the University. The decision-making members of the EITC are the President and Provost, where the President has final authority in decision-making.

Meeting Cadence
Two times per fiscal year.

Members
President
Provost
VP & Chief Financial Officer
VP for IT & Chief Information Officer
Ex-Officio: Associate Vice President for Academic Services

Strategic IT Committee

Accountable and transparent to the Texas A&M University community, the Strategic IT Committee (SITC) advises and executes decisions on IT strategies, investments, operations, priorities and services.

The SITC is the direct input body to the EITC among the ITG framework. While overall strategies and priorities are set by the EITC, the SITC defines and recommends approaches to key IT issues requiring decisions. The SITC requests the other ITG framework committees to take the lead in exploring new IT opportunities, resolving IT issues and recommending courses of action. The SITC may launch special‐interest task forces to address and make recommendations on issues that span all ITG groups. The SITC governs IT policy, funding for new University-wide IT services, major projects or IT initiatives,  as well as replacement or retirement of IT services and functions. Project priorities, initiative management, and forecasting IT service needs are all important responsibilities of the SITC.

Meeting Cadence
Four times per fiscal year.

Members
Vice President for IT and Chief Information Officer
Associate Vice President for Academic Services
1 - Division of Finance & Administration Representative (By appointment of the VP & Chief Financial Officer)
1 - Council of Deans Representative
1 - Faculty Senate Representative
2 - Faculty Members (By appointment of the Provost)
1 - Council of Principal Investigators (CPI) Representative
1 - Student Government Association Representative
1 - Graduate and Professional Student Council Representative
2 - Campus Leaders (By appointment of the President)
1 - Staff Council Representative
1 - IT Professional (By appointment of the Vice President for IT and CIO)
1 - TAMU Galveston Representative
1 - TAMU Qatar Representative
Ex-Officio: 1 - Office of Budget and Planning Representative (By appointment of the Associate Vice President for the Office of Budget and Planning)
Ex-Officio: Texas A&M IT - Executive Director & Deputy Chief Information Officer
Ex-Officio: Each ITG Committee Chairperson

Teaching and Transformational Learning Technologies Committee

The Teaching and Learning Technologies Committee (TLTC) provides input for the teaching and learning mission of Texas A&M University by reviewing, evaluating, and recommending strategies, plans, and policies regarding IT projects and services that support teaching and learning by faculty and students.

Meeting Cadence
Six times per fiscal year/Bi-monthly.

Members
Dean of Faculties for Faculty Development
3 - Associate Deans (By appointment of the Provost)
2 - Faculty Members (By appointment of the Provost)
1 - Faculty Senate Representative
1 - Undergraduate Student (By appointment of the Student Government Association)
1 - Graduate Student (By appointment of the Graduate and Professional Student Council)
Ex-Officio: Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies Representative (By appointment of the Assc. Provost for Undergraduate Studies)
Ex-Officio: Instructional Media Services Representative (By appointment of the Assc. Vice President for Academic Services)
Ex-Officio: Instructional Technology Services Representative
Ex-Officio: IT Professional (By appointment of the VP for IT and CIO)

Research and Innovation Technologies Committee

The Research and Innovation Technologies Committee (RITC) provides input for the research mission of Texas A&M University by reviewing, evaluating, and recommending strategies, plans, and policies regarding IT projects and services that support research by faculty and students. The committee solicits input from key stakeholders and constituencies across the campus to ensure that institutional needs are being met in regards to technologies needed to support campus research activities.

Meeting Cadence
Six times per fiscal year/Bi-monthly.

Members
1 - Council of Principal Investigators Member (By appointment of the CPI - Executive Committee)
1 - University Research Council Member (By appointment of the Vice President for Research)
2 - Associate Deans (By appointment of the Provost)
2 - Vice President for Research IT Professionals (By appointment of the Vice President for Research)
1 - High-Performance Computing Representative (By appointment of the Vice President for Research)
1 - Texas A&M IT Representative (By appointment of the Vice President for IT and CIO)
3 - Faculty Researchers (By appointment of the Provost)
Ex-Officio: Texas A&M IT - Chief Technology Officer

Information Risk, Policy, & Security Committee

The Information Risk, Policy, and Security Committee (IRPSC) provides the ITG framework with institutional governance of information risk. IRPSC is charged with providing oversight and support of Texas A&M University information security by authoring privacy-related policies, procedures, and security initiatives. The committee recommends strategic direction on campus information security and data privacy-related work to ensure that it supports the University mission. IRPSC works in close collaboration with the University Rule Team and Enterprise Risk Management Group within the Office of University Risk and Compliance.

Meeting Cadence
Six times per fiscal year/Bi-monthly.

Members
Texas A&M University - Chief Information Security Officer
1 - Texas A&M University System General Council Representative
1 - Division of Student Affairs IT Representative (By appointment of the Vice President for Student Affairs)
1 - Texas A&M IT Representative (By appointment of the Vice President for IT and CIO)
1 - Vice President for Research Representative (By appointment of the Vice President for Research)
1 - Academic Services IT Representative (By appointment of the Assc. Vice President for Academic Services)
1 - Division of Finance and Administration IT Representative (By appointment of the Vice President and CFO)
5 - IT Representatives (By appointment of the VP for IT and CIO)
1 - Faculty Member (By appointment of the Provost)
Ex-Officio: University Risk and Compliance Representative
Ex-Officio: Texas A&M IT - Associate Director for Security Operations
Ex-Officio: Texas A&M IT - Risk, Management and Policy Representative
Ex-Officio: Chairperson of the Architecture & Infrastructure Committee
Ex-Officio: Chairperson of the Enterprise Applications Committee

Enterprise Applications Committee

The Enterprise Applications Committee (EAC) provides operational oversight for core administrative enterprise information systems across the University. They ensure and review the effectiveness of University-wide applications and institutional data management planning.  This committee increases the role of the existing Enterprise Information executive committee, in role and scope while maintaining student information system oversight as well as other mission critical systems affecting the university as a whole. The EIC scope covers institutional data governance with the exception of risk and security issues.

Meeting Cadence
Six times per fiscal year/Bi-monthly.

Members
Assistant Vice President of Academic IT Services
Texas A&M IT - Chief Technology Officer
1 - Division of Finance & Administration Representative (By appointment of the VP & Chief Financial Officer)
1 - Texas A&M IT Representative (By appointment of the Vice President for IT and CIO)
1 - Academic IT Services Representative (By appointment of the Assc. Vice President for Academic Services)
2 - Academic Services Representatives (By appointment of the Assc. Vice President for Academic Services)
2 - IT Representatives (By appointment of the VP for IT and CIO)
1 - Division of Student Affairs Representative (By appointment of the Vice President for Student Affairs)
1 - Faculty Senate Representative
1 - Faculty Member (By appointment of the Provost)
1 - Student Government Representative
1 - Undergraduate or Graduate Student (By appointment of the Vice President for Student Affairs)
Ex-Officio: Chairperson - Research Technologies Committee
Ex-Officio: Chairperson - Teaching and Learning Technologies Committee
Ex-Officio: Director - Instructional Technology Services
Ex-Officio: Director - Enterprise Information Systems

Architecture & Infrastructure Committee

The IT Architecture & Infrastructure Committee (AIC) provides input, recommendations, and architected solutions on IT infrastructure service types including the data and voice network, email, calendar and productivity tools, as well as IT infrastructure services provided at scale, such as networking, database, data center colocation, identity management, storage services, backup services, web applications, and hardware services.

Meeting Cadence
Monthly

Members
Texas A&M IT - Chief Technology Officer (Chairperson)
1 - Texas A&M IT Representative (By appointment of the Chief Technology Officer)
1 - Academic Services IT Representative (By appointment of the Assc. Vice President for Academic Services)
5 - IT Representatives (By appointment of the Vice President for IT and CIO)
1 - Division of Finance and Administration IT Representative (By appointment of the Vice President and CFO)
1 - Vice President for Research Representative (By appointment of the Vice President for Research)
1 - Division of Student Affairs IT Representative (By appointment of the Vice President for Student Affairs)
Ex-Officio: Texas A&M IT - Associate Director for Networking
Ex-Officio: Texas A&M IT - Chief Systems Engineer (or Designee)
Ex-Officio: Chairperson of the Enterprise Applications Committee