Thursday, July 12, 2012
My thoughts on a charge back model in relation to IT and Academic Affairs faculty development support for instructional technologies.
The LTC, we do not support a charge back for our services. If it is deemed a needed service for faculty that has demand, we look to harness financial resources to gain the human or technical resources from the Provost to provide that service. Or, work with the Provost to build a model to gather those resources (e.g. distance education seed fund). The potential for the new D2L ecommerce tool for non-credit courses (pre/post professional, continuing ed, and consortium courses) is an example of that.
An examination of current charge back services should be examined to guarantee charge-backs are appropriate for these services. For instance, if I worked at a company, ie IBM, I would expect that 1-1 tech support for learning a new software, e.g. Word or Pantherfile, would be free. However, this does not greatly affect us, but does impact individual faculty trying to do their jobs, so to speak.
The main challenge that we have had is receiving timely and efficient service and communication about the service status when requested. The current customer service model is not in the benefit of the customer, which can lead us to go other places (outside UWM) for the needed service. When providing a charge-back service (ie service agreements, web services), the role of UITS becomes a vendor in competition with other vendors when the quality or timeliness of the services is inadequate.
Invoicing for charge back services is another concern. I still haven't been able to track down an invoice yet money is taken out of our budget month after month without an invoice or specifics as to what was preformed. I spent several weeks trying to find out what these charges were for -- and I did, but still no actual invoice.
A large discussion of what should be provided by centralized IT vs. decentralized IT is probably needed as well so not to duplicate services or budget needs.
The LTC pays out of our budget to UITS for several campus-wide systems (clicker registration, qualtrics course evaluation administration, scantron import tool). This is should come out of a central budget, but it does not.