January 30, 1998

Geoffrey Gamble, Provost
Office of the Provost

Tom Gustafson, Interim Vice President
Office of the Vice President for Administration

Dear Dr. Gamble and Dr. Gustafson:

We are pleased to submit the final report of the Information Technology Task Force. Although this report marks the culmination of six months work, it certainly does not signify that planning for information technology is complete. It is but a milestone - the planning, learning and creation of our own future will continue.

This report focuses not on technology per se, but on those institutional issues that pose barriers to realizing the best return on our technology investments. Specific tactical technology plans will be needed. However, because of the level of technical expertise and specialization needed, such tactical plans should be developed, not by a single committee comprised primarily of generalists, but by the people who will have direct accountability for the success of the specific technologies. This report suggests ways in which such plans can be coordinated to ensure that UVM optimally benefits from our investments.

In the course of our discussions, interviews, and electronic communications, we recognized four recurring themes. These themes are:

  1. The importance of orienting our IT investments with institutional mission and priorities.
  2. The need for technology coherence.
  3. The importance of organizational learning.
  4. The requirement for accountable IT leadership.


Despite the diversity in background and perspective represented in our group, there has been a remarkable consensus among the task force members. However, we recognize that there are community members who hold differing views - as is expected and as it should be. The most prominent areas with wide-ranging views are:

  1. The appropriate balance between centralized and decentralized IT resources and responsibilities.
  2. The relative importance of investing in IT as opposed to other worthwhile needs.
  3. The wisdom of creating a position to coordinate IT efforts campuswide.


We invite you to meet with us to discuss our recommendations. We further suggest a formal dialogue among the key service providers and other stakeholders to begin the acceptance and implementation of the recommendations. This could take the form of a seminar or retreat. Subsequently, the specifics of budgets and reallocations must be determined and communicated.

Respectfully submitted,

The Information Technology Task Force