Operating Model

Guiding principles

The Missouri State Information Technology Council (IT Council) was created by the university's president to be responsible for planning, coordinating, and reviewing major strategic information technology initiatives for the Missouri State System. The IT Council serves as the Missouri State System's "strategic clearinghouse" to ensure information technology initiatives are appropriate, sustainable, and funded in the most appropriate manner. The organizational structure surrounding the IT Council was developed to give order to the process of IT decision-making. While the IT Council will not coordinate all IT funding, it will establish guidelines for System-wide IT expenditures and prioritize, control, and monitor expenditures from a few central budgets.

IT Council responsibilities

  • Ensures information technology initiatives are aligned with the university's mission, the university's Strategic Information Technology Plan, and approved Division plans.
  • Coordinates the annual review and update of the university's Strategic Information Technology Plan.
  • Reviews large scale or strategic information technology purchase proposals (regardless of fund source), especially those with potential to impact the information technology infrastructure or other System units, including centralized staff and resources.
  • Reviews and approves System-wide information technology policies, procedures, and standard.
  • Periodically reviews and revises the IT decision-making organizational structure, makes committee chair assignments, and provides general structure oversight.

As a Missouri State System-level entity, the IT Council will be responsible for reviewing and approving selected technology purchases proposed by the West Plains and Mountain Grove campuses. Specifically, large-scale technology purchases and those technology purchases which impact multiple System units will require IT Council approval.

Organizational structure

The university's information technology decision-making organizational structure consists of the IT Council, and five advisory committees. The IT Council is to maintain a strategic focus; the foci of the various committees reporting to the IT Council are more tactical in nature. The structure of the committees is flexible; additional groups will be engaged in the decision-making and review process as appropriate.

The IT Council reports directly to the president. It is the IT Council's responsibility to:

  • keep the president informed regarding strategic IT issues via periodic updates;
  • address and respond to specific IT issues as directed by the president; and
  • bring IT initiatives/proposals forward for the president’s consideration, review and approval.

Issues which cannot be resolved by the IT Council may be escalated for review by the president.

Advisory committees

Five advisory committees will report directly to the IT Council. These committees are:

  • Instructional Technology Advisory Committee
  • Learning Management System Advisory Committee
  • Springfield Computer Usage Fee Advisory Committee
  • User Support Advisory Committee
  • Network Infrastructure Advisory Committee

Committee mission statements

  • Provide expertise in a particular area and, thus, a mechanism by which the IT Council can route items for review and comment.
  • Submit proposals and issues to the IT Council for consideration and/or funding.
  • Assist in the annual review and update of the Strategic Information Technology Plan.

These committees will not be required to meet on a regular basis unless deemed appropriate by their task assignments. Most will meet on an ad hoc basis.

IT Council membership

The Information Technology Council is composed of the following voting membership:

  • Chief Information Officer (chair)
  • Provost (deputy chair)
  • Chancellor, West Plains campus
  • College Dean representative
  • Faculty Senate representative
  • Staff Senate representative
  • Student Government Association representative

The chief information officer, provost, and the chancellor of the West Plains campus are permanent appointments. The chief information officer will serve as chair of the council and the provost will serve as deputy chair. The provost and the chancellor of the West Plains campus may designate representatives to serve in their stead.

The college Dean representatives are rotating two-year appointments, and appointees are precluded from serving consecutive terms.

  • The college Dean representative will be appointed by the provost

The faculty senate and staff senate representatives are rotating two-year appointments.

  • The faculty senate representative will be the chair-elect during odd-numbered academic years and chair during even numbered academic years.
  • The staff senate representative will be the chair-elect during odd-numbered academic years and chair during even numbered academic years.

The Student Government Association representative will be a yearly appointment made by the Student Government Association, and appointees are allowed to serve consecutive terms.

The IT Council chair may appoint additional non-voting appointments as appropriate to assist the council with fulfilling its responsibilities. These appointees are non-termed and serve at the will of the chair.

The IT Council will meet monthly at an established location and time. Committee chairs (or appointed representatives) will be requested to attend selected IT Council meetings as appropriate. When a committee chair desires to address the IT Council, the committee chair is to contact the IT Council chair (chief information officer) and request to be placed on the next meeting's agenda.

IT review, approval and funding

The procedures outlined below requiring IT project proposal creation, submission, review, feedback, and reporting are considerably bureaucratic and time-consuming. Since most IT initiatives impact the university's infrastructure and central resources beyond the originator's vision or intent, this process is quite necessary to ensure proper communication and review by appropriate Missouri State System constituencies. The IT Council will endeavor to provide timely proposal review and feedback. It is the IT Council's ultimate goal to significantly reduce the number of emergency projects which take the university by surprise and result in a continuous cycle of re-prioritizing of IT projects. Requiring approved proposals to directly support university plans and be reviewed by the IT Council should help accomplish this goal and allow the university to become more proactive than reactive in the design of its technology infrastructure and delivery of IT services.

Annual reports

The IT Council may request annual reports from each committee and various academic and administrative units at the beginning of each fiscal year or as appropriate. The chief information officer will report on other projects and proposals being coordinated by the Information Services Division. The purpose of these reports is to review intended technology initiatives and purchases for the coming year. These reports are intended to assist the IT Council in its overall coordination of information technology within the Missouri State System.

IT funding

The financial model is one of the keys to the successful implementation of the university's long-range information technology strategy. As much as possible, the IT Council will rely upon the university's established budgeting process for funding of information technology.

Although it will have a few budgets to fund large-scale technology projects, the IT Council will not have a budget from which to fund day-to-day, operational technology expenditures. Departments, colleges, and divisions will be expected to fund these categories of information technology from their existing budgets. It will be the IT Council's responsibility to communicate to the Missouri State System the categories of IT items which are expected to be funded by the individual units so that budgeting for replacements, upgrades, and ongoing maintenance can occur.

The IT Council will oversee a few large-scale technology budgets. Appropriate committees reporting to the IT Council will coordinate the allocation of these funds and monitor their outlays. Units desiring an "award" from these budgets will have an opportunity each year to submit proposals to the appropriate committees for funding consideration. Most proposals funded by the IT Council will result in funds being transferred into a designated budget. Once an award is made, initiation of all purchase requisitions and all ongoing inventory functions will be the responsibility of the award recipient and must be consistent with university policies. The IT Council may require the award recipient to provide periodic progress reports and a year-end report to prove funds were invested as specified in the proposal(s).

Project proposal reviews

Large-scale IT proposals, "strategic" IT proposals, or proposals for projects with potential to impact the university's IT infrastructure or other System units are to be submitted to the IT Council for review and approval prior to action being taken on the project. The IT Council may distribute these proposals to one or more committees for timely review, comment, and recommendations. The IT Council has authority to deny any proposal submitted for review or funding if determined not to be in the university's overall best interest. The IT Council may send proposals back to the originator and request additional information or modifications.