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IT Assessment

Update on the Seven Opportunities from the 2011 IT Assessment

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What was the IT Assessment?

Penn State's IT Assessment was an activity that directly supported the University's mission. Specifically, the IT Assessment addressed the following strategies stated in Goal 6 of the University's Strategic Plan: "to use technology to expand access and opportunities and to re-balance centralized and dispersed facilities and services for greater efficiency and effectiveness."

Why was the IT Assessment done?

As with all research universities, information technology is a highly distributed function. Additionally, information technology now touches most if not all areas of our University. Before the University's leadership and IT leadership were able to make recommendations about how to develop planning and decision-making frameworks for optimized service provisioning, a necessary first step was to understand how we allocated our energies and resources. Once we better understood the whole of the activity, we were able to make recommendations for the future.

Who was involved?

All strategies in all goals of the University’s Strategic Plan were assigned to various executives across the University. Strategy 3 of Goal 6 was assigned to the vice provost for Information Technology. The IT Assessment, however, involved all budget areas to allow well-informed recommendations to be made. All budget areas participated in the data gathering, and both the Executive Oversight and Advisory Committees of the IT Assessment played key roles in data analysis.

What was the process?

The Advisory Committee developed a survey instrument as a first step. No survey is perfect, but the Advisory Committee helped to strike a balance between an information-rich data return and a realistic survey instrument. Penn State needed a better view on the information technology effort to make recommendations, but care was taken to develop an instrument that was not difficult to complete.

What was the outcome?

Penn State retained the services of Phil Goldstein and Associates to help lead and develop the IT Assessment. The consultant conducted dozens of interviews with budget executives and IT leaders. Phil Goldstein and the Executive Oversight and Advisory Committees produced a report and recommendations based on those interviews and the data analysis from the survey.

IT Assessment Executive Summary

View the final IT Assessment Executive Summary of Recommendations.


For more information regarding Penn State’s IT Assessment, please direct inquires to:

Marcus P. Robinson
Director, IT Communications