IT infrastructure being assessed 

Being online is essential in a university.

“We rely on information technology for teaching, research and for running the business of a university,” says Patrick Kelley who was named Special Advisor to the Vice-President, Services on Information Technology, as well as Acting Head of IITS two months ago.

The university’s IT requirements are constantly increasing. Magnifying glass

The university’s IT requirements are constantly increasing.

Since beginning in his new role, he has begun a series of meetings for people involved in IT development across the university. These meetings help gather information to ensure the infrastructure meets the university’s needs in the most cost-efficient way possible.

Kelley’s mandate stems from an operational review that was completed last summer. The recommendations suggested, “IT had to be looked at across the university, as opposed to individual units.”

For Kelley coordination is critical because our IT needs are growing at an exponential rate: Every new laptop, PDA or laboratory on campus takes its toll on internet traffic and function.

The network requirements show no sign of decreasing and decisions on IT function have been piecemeal. Kelley sees a need for consistency in standards.

“Everyone has a reason for doing their own thing their own way, but that moves you away from efficiency. Our policies are outdated and not relevant to the situation.”

Kelley has established three committees: An overarching advisory committee made up of senior officials and two sub-committees; one to address policies and the other to investigate IT security. The committees’ work, building on the operational review, will support the development of a coherent plan.

“The first draft of an IT plan will be rough and require a lot of feedback from various key people throughout the university, but we hope to have it finalized in about a year.”

At this point, information-gathering and planning is critical. Kelley is reluctant to recommend 100% centralization, or the opposite. He would prefer a systematic review, warning of the potential pitfalls of a unilateral approach.

Once the general infrastructure and policy questions are addressed, Kelley will turn his attention to departments with particular needs such as finances, advancement and human resources. He also wants to improve document management.

Anyone who has ideas or input can submit them to


Concordia University