OE2C IT Initiative: Listening, Learning, Moving Forward


“I appreciate having a voice in this process; it means a lot.”

This feedback from one SMU staff member epitomizes the reason SMU staff and faculty members have organized and led dozens of focus groups as well as distributed and analyzed hundreds of surveys in the past few weeks. The initiative team is in the process of determining how SMU can deliver highly effective and highly efficient IT services moving forward.

The IT Initiative team has sought to learn specifically about which IT-related systems and processes are perceived to be working best at SMU while also determining where obstacles are experienced. The goal is to retain or enhance existing best practices while looking forward to development and implementation of the most effective and efficient technologies possible..

Organized under three broad umbrellas, the OE2C IT Initiative has achieved a number of wide-ranging goals:

  • Operational Computing (Team Lead: Jason Warner, Meadows)
    • Conducted 20 focus groups with staff and students to prepare a 57-page document detailing focus group findings (view summary of findings here)
    • Surveyed all IT staff on campus and determined that there are about 150 full-time IT staff members serving the campus today
    • Began outlining the future IT service needs across campus
  • Academic Computing (Team Lead: Thomas Hagstrom, Dedman College)
      • Received 270 responses to a faculty survey seeking to understand IT needs for course development, teaching, and research
      • Conducted faculty meetings in each school of the University to discuss faculty and student IT-related teaching and research needs (view summary of findings here)
  • Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP (Team Lead: Ron Lujan, OIT)
    • Met with key users and stakeholders to understand strengths and shortcomings of our current PeopleSoft system
    • Held vendor demos of cloud-based ERP systems Workday and Oracle Fusion
    • Sought feedback from other universities about transitioning to the cloud or how to use PeopleSoft with few customizations

As we transition into designing the future of IT at SMU, we continue to welcome input and feedback via the OE2C comment box. Please select “IT” from the dropdown menu.

By Aayush Chandra

SMU Meadows Marketing & Communications