Reply To: Communication, Collaboration, and Community


Elisha, Greg and Duane,

Thanks for your feedback to my posts. I haven’t taken the time to reply because of more pressing tasks but do appreciate the thoughtfulness of your replies.

I think anyone who knows me is well aware that like many of you, I’m strongly committed to UNM but as I originally pointed out, my first loyalty is to the law school. My struggle is to see how changing the reporting structure would benefit law. Obviously, I am not opposed to changes that would facilitate more resources in core services already provide by Central IT. I’d be happy to provide input on which core services I believe need additional funding and personnel, and I speak for all the law IT staff when I say that we are willing to participate in focus groups as appropriate. Those of you who have been around a few years know that Law has always been an active (and often outspoken) member of the UNM IT community. I’m open-minded and although my posts might come off as being from Negative Nelly, I absolutely see the benefit of a collaborative community who work together for the betterment of UNM IT – the “common purpose” that Elisha addressed. I do support any initiative that will address issues with how core services are funded and provided. Where we differ is seeing how this approach fits into our environment which is simple but highly integrated – and working very well. At last week’s IT UNM meeting, Brian stated “There will be exceptions, different reporting structures, everything is open to be discussed”. That gives me hope that there are opportunities for us to “sit at the table” and be a full participant in a way that benefits both law and the overall UNM IT community. Both Jerry and I have been here for many years and as the former Field Agents Manager, Jerry has a unique perspective and experiences that would greatly benefit this initiative. Having the IT Officers meet regularly as a group as well as with the entire UNN community (or at least a significant subset thereof) is very close to the original intent of IT Agents, if I’m not mistaken.

Brian also talked about switching from an authority model to an accountability model, where ITOs are accountable to the business units they support. I’m a little surprised that IT staff don’t already feel that they are accountable to their units. Personally, while I report directly to the Dean, I feel as though I have hundreds of bosses including not only our students, faculty and staff but also our adjuncts, external community partners including members of the NM Judiciary, practicing attorneys and our alumni to name just a few. Sure, the Dean is the ultimate *authority* but OTOH, UNM has a tradition of faculty governance – a fact brought up quite often in faculty meetings. Anyway, perhaps my experience at the law school is unique but knowing many of my IT colleagues from other units, it seems highly doubtful that we are the only ones who feel responsible for providing excellence to our constituencies.

Again, just to be perfectly clear, I support more collaboration across campus and have no problem with participating in this and other efforts that will benefit the greater UNM IT community. I simply don’t see what good comes from changing the reporting structure.

Cyndi Johnson
School of Law