Frequently Asked Questions

What is IT Governance (ITG)?

The term "IT Governance" refers to any organization-wide decision-making system used to set technology policy or evaluate important technology-related projects; such systems are common at most colleges and universities and serve both to coordinate the use and development of technology across all campus units and to allow the structured participation of the community in setting strategic goals and establishing institutional priorities.

Is there an overview of the ITG process?

Yes! Read the process of Brandeis IT Governance, last updated 4/11/2013.

Why do we need an ITG Process?

An efficient, open ITG Process will allow us to make timely and thoughtful decisions about what IT projects we undertake. That's particularly important in an era of constrained resources. It will also allow us to be more efficient, by helping us see opportunities for collaboration, whether here at Brandeis or with consortial partners.

What kinds of projects go into the ITG process? Should I expect to submit my plans to IT Governance?

Since Library and Technology Services serves the campus as a whole, projects that might involve measurable effort or expenditure on the part of LTS should use the governance process as a forum for campus-wide consultation, and as a framework for agreeing on collective priorities.

What about projects that are part of grant proposals?

If you're working on a grant proposal that has a technology component, we ask that you do not submit to the ITG process but rather let us know by emailing LTS staff will help make sure that you have the institutional support, the numbers, and the documentation you need to make a successful proposal.

Why are some projects exempted? If I think mine will be exempt, why do I need to submit?

Not all IT-related decisions are campus-level decisions. There will be IT projects that can be done without help from LTS, and that don't seem to interact with existing campus systems: we'd still like to know about them, just in case we could help you find partners, save money, or navigate a process. All we ask for is a brief description and an indication that you think the project is exempt.

Who makes ITG decisions?

Faculty, students, and staff appointed to be on the three topical subcommittees make the primary prioritization of submitted proposals in their areas. A steering committee made of the chairs of the subcommittees and the Chief Information Officer assigns available resources, coordinates the recommendations from the subcommittees to the Integrated Planning and Budget Committee, and then schedules approved and funded projects.

Can I know what projects are being proposed and approved?

We publicize the results of the process at several points. We share the proposals submitted to subcommittees for review, the recommendations of the subcommittees, the final decisions of the steering committee, and the proposed schedule of work for approved proposals.

What happens if my project is approved and no funds or resources are found for it?

There will occasionally be fewer resources than are needed by all worthy project proposals; some projects, therefore, will not able to be funded or staffed. When this happens, the proposal will be eligible for resubmission after one year.

Do LTS projects go into the process?

Large-scale LTS projects will go through the ITG system.

Are Heller and IBS included?

The ITG committee membership provides for representation from the Heller School and the International Business School: their Deans will appoint some members.

How often are decisions made?

Proposals are reviewed three times a year: in May-June, September-October, and January-February.

What happens during a review cycle?

The two-month review cycle works like this: submissions are due at the beginning of the first month, submitted proposals are developed and organized for review during the remaining part of that month, and review by committees happens in the second month. Final decisions are available by the end of the second month.

Do I have to wait for submission dates to submit my proposal?

No. Submissions are encouraged at any time, and proposals will be responded to and developed with LTS help all year long. During review cycles, projects will be reviewed in the order they are received, so you should submit as soon as you can.

How long will I wait to find out if my project is going forward?

You will know the recommendation of ITG within a few months, depending on when you submit the proposal, and assuming you didn't request an expedited review. If the project requires significant new resources, you may know within a few months if it will be recommended by ITG, but you won't know if it will be budgeted until the completion of the next annual university budget.

How can a given community member serving on an ITG subcommittee really be qualified to make IT decisions?

Committee members aren't expected to be IT experts, but rather to understand the significance of IT decisions in the different domains that make up a university community, from student life to teaching and research to administrative systems and IT security. LTS can provide technical consultation on request for any committee, and can help to connect projects to people and organizations whose cooperation they may require in order to succeed.

Will I get help developing my proposal, or am I on my own?

LTS staff will be in touch with you shortly after you submit your proposal, and will help develop it further, if necessary, before it is reviewed by the relevant subcommittee.

Can I propose things that are more like policies and less like projects?

Yes. The ITG process is intended to also review and recommend IT policy.

What if I don't know enough about the IT portions of my initiative to feel comfortable proposing it?

LTS can help you develop an accurate articulation of your IT needs.

How does the ranking system used by the subcommittees work?

The ranking system is meant to provide some consistency in the initial evaluation of proposals, but only as a baseline for the rest of the process. ITG recommendations and priorities are ultimately decided on the basis of discussion of the proposals and their merits.