Tech support for College of Arts and Sciences shifts

Computer station

The University of Oregon's technology support functions continue to transition this spring as part of the Transform IT restructuring process.

Technical support for the College of Arts and Sciences is shifting to User Support Services, a new team in Information Services, starting May 18. That change comes on the heels of corresponding transitions for the College of Design and School of Journalism and Communication, the first such transitions for Transform IT, in late April.

The User Support Services team provides a variety of tech support services to the university, including desktop support, help desk functions, account and access management, device and computer lab management, classroom technology support, and management of how-to articles.

When the transitions are complete, about 60 to 70 current IT employees will be part of the new team. As outlined in an organizational chart released in January, User Support Services will include one group focused on supporting the UO's administrative units and three groups dedicated to supporting academic units in the north, central and south geographic regions of the Eugene campus, respectively.

The university’s locations outside of Eugene will be supported primarily by the academic central team. The Technology Service Desk will continue to provide help desk services when it joins User Support Services, with the staff working in closer coordination.  

Currently, most tech support on campus is provided by separate, small, unit-based groups of IT staff in cooperation with Information Services.

“I’m very excited to be leading the User Support Services team on behalf of the university,” said Gary Sullivan, director of User Support Services. “We developed it to take advantage of existing relationships and expertise with the local technology needs of individual units. That will help us achieve our larger goals: a consistent customer-focused support experience, a secure IT environment and resources that empower students, faculty and staff to achieve their goals.”

Information Services is collaborating with contacts in each unit to communicate transition details to faculty and staff members before their tech support transitions.

“Some faculty and staff may hardly notice a difference in the way they get tech support,” said Patrick Chinn, associate chief information officer for customer experience. “In CAS and some other units, the way you ask for help will change. You may also start working with some different IT staff though you'll likely still see familiar faces.” 

Information Services leaders will spend June reviewing historical customer service metrics for existing tech support teams, such as the Technology Service Desk, and metrics from newly integrated groups, such as in design and journalism, to determine if support levels have been affected and to determine whether any improvements need to be made before proceeding with the next support transitions in early July. A tentative schedule is available on the Transform IT website.

The user support implementation project is one of several ongoing initiatives within Transform IT. The enterprise university applications project launched in late 2019 and a storage and backup analysis project is on track to be completed at the end of May. Other transformative efforts underway include the campus email project and the communications and collaborative technologies program, formerly referred to as unified communications.

More information about Transform IT, including frequent project updates, is available on the Transform IT website.