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Recommendations for IFAS IT budget funding:

  • Status: approved by ICC 8/18/2006

  • Background:

    The ICC recognizes that IFAS IT provides increasingly important centralized functions including, but not limited to directory, network, e-mail, web, file and print services. Such core centralized services are necessary to the basic functioning of IFAS Teaching, Research and Extension programs. Staffing levels for those services have been at minimum or below for many years, and monetary resources have traditionally been in short supply. Recent budgeting trends threaten to further erode the capacity for providing such core services.

    While reducing administrative overhead in order to provide units with the maximum amount of funding possible is a worthwhile and admirable goal, the ICC feels that the subset of IFAS IT which supplies our core IT services cannot afford continuing reductions. Rather, core IT services should exist and be supported centrally where overall efficiencies can best be realized. This is an instance where reallocating resources to units will hurt rather than help the overall IFAS IT situation. Weakened central support for core services is itself one main reason that various units have felt it necessary to provide such functions individually; we need to reverse that tendency rather than encourage it. Consequently, the ICC recommends that administration consider ways of offsetting the trend.

  • Recommendation:
  • The ICC recommends that budget items relating to core services be clearly delineated from other requests and that funding for those be given the highest priority within IT.

    The ICC further recommends that new IT projects not be begun nor existing IT projects expanded, without considering the impact on core services and providing for those proportionately.

    Finally, the ICC recommends that central administration encourage awareness of and support for centralized IT services. One means of doing that would be to encourage the inclusion of such services as a standing agenda topic at the various administrational meetings where funding allocations are discussed and considered.

  • Dissent:
  • "This recommendation as it is worded essentially defines one subset of services offered by IFAS IT as "core services" and advocates an approach which would single out those services for priority in funding considerations. While it is essential to ensure strong central support of these services, it should be noted that IT provides a number of services that are not identified as "core" services in this proposed recommendation and which have been identified by the IT Task Force as priorities for enabling IFAS to fulfill its research, teaching and extension missions. A balanced approach should be taken to funding IT services which takes into consideration all of IFAS' IT priorities as identified by the IT Task Force."

  • Action:

    Steve Lasley will take this ICC recommendation to the August ITPAC meeting for presentation to administration.

last edited 18 August 2006 by Steve Lasley