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Greetings!  I would like to have some recommendations on how to keep members of an IT advisory/governance committee engaged and attending meetings.  We have a University Technology Committee which is a Faculty Senate subcommittee that is comprised of faculty and administrators (about 16 in total).   The committee meets every other week as the agenda dictates (sometime we go a month between meetings) and we meet using WebEx.  Our chair is a senator and she is outstanding as far as technical knowledge and collaboration goes and the agendas are pretty well populated with relevant topics.  Our main issue is getting people to show up for (log in to) the meetings and be involved in the tasks that come out of this committee.  This is a good group but there is a high level of stress  because so many of us have lots of other commitments.  Short of a major system failure, an extra $500k to spend in the IT budget or giving away iPads (none of which are happening), we are looking for ways to increase participation and collaboration. I know some may think this is a good problem to have but I find this group a great source for exploring new ideas/directions and it serves as an early warning to address issues before they become problems.  We thought about breaking the group up to meet alternate times to discuss academic/instructional issues and then administrative issue separately but I am not sure that is the answer either because we lose some perspective.  What have you done to keep your advisory/governance teams engaged?  I would like to know.

Thanks

Curtis 

--

Curtis White

Vice President, Information Technology
Ashland University
Skype: cltrwhite
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From: "Curtis White" <cdwhite@ASHLAND.EDU>
Greetings!  I would like to have some recommendations on how to keep members of an IT advisory/governance committee engaged and attending meetings. 
--

Curtis White

Vice President, Information Technology
Ashland University

Hello Curtis, 

There has been a bit of discussion about this recently on the email list of ACUPA (Association of College and University Policy Administrators). A proposal for an ACUPA conference session on this topic is in the works, and due on February 1.  Here is some of the draft language from the proposal...

"...at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the IT Policy Committee meetings tended to devolve into complaints and troubleshooting the personal IT challenges of the committee members, including the faculty member who was chair. The CIO and Deputy CIO addressed this challenge in several ways. Before the election of the next chair, they identified a reasonable person who was willing to serve, and found two people to nominate and second that choice. They also began meeting with the new chair a week or so in advance of each committee meeting to ensure that the agenda was clearly laid out and that the chair wasn't planning to bring up any surprise topics. To keep the members engaged, the emphasis was on choosing interesting discussion topics for the committee members as opposed to IT status reports. During these chats, the chair would also gain a deeper understanding of campus IT issues and usually become an advocate for the IT department. The Deputy CIO took over all aspects of facilitating the meeting time, location, agenda and minutes so that the chair only needed to  lead the discussion. A pot of coffee at the 8:00 am meetings made the committee members feel respected. The meetings have become so popular that the number of guests who attend to stay up-to-speed with respecte to campus IT developments typically outnumber the elected members."

- David

Deputy CIO David Stack, PhD
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
414-229-5371
david@uwm.edu

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

An insightful committee member asked a great question: "Why is it that around here committees just drag and die, but task forces get stuff done?"  Pondering this has been an extremely useful exercise for me. 

Here's what I do to get people to show up:
 1. Make sure that they have meaningful work to do.  This is partly in the charter, partly in how meetings are managed. 
 2. Make sure that they understand how they are creating value: why the work is needed, and why they are the ones who need to do it.
 3. Support them enough (eg by doing the necessary prep work) that they can succeed at the work—ideally with visible success from each meeting.
 4. Honor their contributions by doing the after-work necessary to assure impact and make it visible.

If I can't promise to do all of these things then the chances are I am wasting their time. In which case, why are we having the meeting? Why would anyone come?

Ethan


——
Ethan Benatan, Ph.D.
Vice President for IT & 
Chief Information Officer
503.699.6325   

MARYLHURST UNIVERSITY
You. Unlimited.


Ethan has articulated a really well balanced response to this question.  Just to build on his suggestions,…  we’ve found a few generic techniques helpful in structuring the  agendas for our University Technology Council (“UTC”)meetings.  For instance, we specify why topics are included in the agenda by including one of 4 designations for each;  “information sharing”, “decision making”, “consultation” or “coordination”.  We try to help participants prepare by including material to “please review” and/or “please bring”.  (This also saves some time during the actual meetings in terms of time spent on purely sharing information).  We also follow-up with a meeting summary organized by “information shared”, “decisions made”, “consultation provided” and “next steps determined”.

 

I’d also stress the necessity of clearly articulating the role and relevance and of the committee within the broader context of the university, and it’s complimentary relationship with other committees, councils etc.  Just by way of example, I included how we’ve attempted to do this at Framingham State below:

 

“[…]  In summary, the members of the Technology Council collectively serve the University as a trusted advisor for the broad application of information technology and provision of related support across academic programs, student services and university operations.”

 

“[…]  The Technology Council is also an institutional resource that is prepared to be actively engaged with defining and achieving continuous improvement objectives focused on areas essential to advancing the strategic goals of the institution.  These include but need not be limited to:

 

  1. Aligning the enabling capability associated with available information technology and support services with the goals and objectives of academic programs in collaboration with Academic Affairs, Curriculum Committee, Educational Technology Office and the Center for Excellence in Leadership, Training, Scholarship and Service (CELTSS).
  2. Maximizing the yield from investments in the administrative and student information systems to improve university operations and student services in collaboration with administrative departments, the Efficiency and Effectiveness Council (EEC) and the Budget and Resource Committee (BRC).
  3. Attracting, serving and retaining students through the provision of online services and informational resources that are rendered through a unified presence on the world-wide web in consultation and collaboration with student representatives, and the committee on Enrollment and Student Success (ESS).
  4. Contributing toward the development and implementation of the University’s Climate Action Plan.
  5. Implementing a comprehensive information security program that incorporates a subset of pre-existing and/or new policies and best practices in collaboration with other Massachusetts public universities and colleges and the Framingham State Information Security Council.
  6. Determining priorities for upgrades to the technological infrastructure and adapting related support services in order to; provide, maintain or increase capacity; sustain performance and/or availability of information systems and online services; and respond to institutional growth and changing demands for expanded and enhanced utility.

[…]”

I wish you well.  It’s something that evolves over time and requires the ongoing navigation of governance structures, politics, inter-personal relationships and culture.  (We also make considerable use of the Task Force approach too).  But it can actually be productive!  (Well, most of the time anyway).  J 

 

Regards,

 

 

-P

 

Patrick Laughran | Chief Information Officer | Information Technology Services | 508/626-4048 w 508/626-4947 (fax) | Framingham State University | 100 State Street w PO Box 9101 w Framingham, MA  01701-9101

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Ethan Benatan
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:04 PM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] IT Advisory/Governance Committee Member Engagement

 

An insightful committee member asked a great question: "Why is it that around here committees just drag and die, but task forces get stuff done?"  Pondering this has been an extremely useful exercise for me. 

 

Here's what I do to get people to show up:

 1. Make sure that they have meaningful work to do.  This is partly in the charter, partly in how meetings are managed. 

 2. Make sure that they understand how they are creating value: why the work is needed, and why they are the ones who need to do it.

 3. Support them enough (eg by doing the necessary prep work) that they can succeed at the work—ideally with visible success from each meeting.

 4. Honor their contributions by doing the after-work necessary to assure impact and make it visible.

 

If I can't promise to do all of these things then the chances are I am wasting their time. In which case, why are we having the meeting? Why would anyone come?

 

Ethan


 

——

Ethan Benatan, Ph.D.

Vice President for IT & 

Chief Information Officer

503.699.6325   

 

MARYLHURST UNIVERSITY

You. Unlimited.

 

Patrick,

This feedback and the suggestions you have are quite beneficial.  Many thanks for sharing.

Curtis

Many thanks to David, Ethan, Mark and Jim for their responses/recommendations to this posting.  The information provided will be the topic of discussion when I meet with the Chair of our University Technology Committee.  While there are some differences in the scope of the committees discussed (advisory, steering, management, etc.) and the governance structure (IT managed vs IT assisted with and external chair), the perspectives shared are quite helpful.   I certainly welcome other responses as well. I believe that a well run committee focusing on technology is key to keeping IT functioning well at a college or university.

Curtis

Ethan has articulated a really well balanced response to this question.  Just to build on his suggestions,…  we’ve found a few generic techniques helpful in structuring the  agendas for our University Technology Council (“UTC”)meetings.  For instance, we specify why topics are included in the agenda by including one of 4 designations for each;  “information sharing”, “decision making”, “consultation” or “coordination”.  We try to help participants prepare by including material to “please review” and/or “please bring”.  (This also saves some time during the actual meetings in terms of time spent on purely sharing information).  We also follow-up with a meeting summary organized by “information shared”, “decisions made”, “consultation provided” and “next steps determined”.

 

I’d also stress the necessity of clearly articulating the role and relevance and of the committee within the broader context of the university, and it’s complimentary relationship with other committees, councils etc.  Just by way of example, I included how we’ve attempted to do this at Framingham State below:

 

“[…]  In summary, the members of the Technology Council collectively serve the University as a trusted advisor for the broad application of information technology and provision of related support across academic programs, student services and university operations.”

 

“[…]  The Technology Council is also an institutional resource that is prepared to be actively engaged with defining and achieving continuous improvement objectives focused on areas essential to advancing the strategic goals of the institution.  These include but need not be limited to:

 

  1. Aligning the enabling capability associated with available information technology and support services with the goals and objectives of academic programs in collaboration with Academic Affairs, Curriculum Committee, Educational Technology Office and the Center for Excellence in Leadership, Training, Scholarship and Service (CELTSS).
  2. Maximizing the yield from investments in the administrative and student information systems to improve university operations and student services in collaboration with administrative departments, the Efficiency and Effectiveness Council (EEC) and the Budget and Resource Committee (BRC).
  3. Attracting, serving and retaining students through the provision of online services and informational resources that are rendered through a unified presence on the world-wide web in consultation and collaboration with student representatives, and the committee on Enrollment and Student Success (ESS).
  4. Contributing toward the development and implementation of the University’s Climate Action Plan.
  5. Implementing a comprehensive information security program that incorporates a subset of pre-existing and/or new policies and best practices in collaboration with other Massachusetts public universities and colleges and the Framingham State Information Security Council.
  6. Determining priorities for upgrades to the technological infrastructure and adapting related support services in order to; provide, maintain or increase capacity; sustain performance and/or availability of information systems and online services; and respond to institutional growth and changing demands for expanded and enhanced utility.

[…]”

I wish you well.  It’s something that evolves over time and requires the ongoing navigation of governance structures, politics, inter-personal relationships and culture.  (We also make considerable use of the Task Force approach too).  But it can actually be productive!  (Well, most of the time anyway).  J 

 

Regards,

 

 

-P

 

Patrick Laughran | Chief Information Officer | Information Technology Services | 508/626-4048 w 508/626-4947 (fax) | Framingham State University | 100 State Street w PO Box 9101 w Framingham, MA  01701-9101

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Ethan Benatan
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:04 PM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] IT Advisory/Governance Committee Member Engagement

 

An insightful committee member asked a great question: "Why is it that around here committees just drag and die, but task forces get stuff done?"  Pondering this has been an extremely useful exercise for me. 

 

Here's what I do to get people to show up:

 1. Make sure that they have meaningful work to do.  This is partly in the charter, partly in how meetings are managed. 

 2. Make sure that they understand how they are creating value: why the work is needed, and why they are the ones who need to do it.

 3. Support them enough (eg by doing the necessary prep work) that they can succeed at the work—ideally with visible success from each meeting.

 4. Honor their contributions by doing the after-work necessary to assure impact and make it visible.

 

If I can't promise to do all of these things then the chances are I am wasting their time. In which case, why are we having the meeting? Why would anyone come?

 

Ethan


 

——

Ethan Benatan, Ph.D.

Vice President for IT & 

Chief Information Officer

503.699.6325   

 

MARYLHURST UNIVERSITY

You. Unlimited.

 

Many thanks to David, Ethan, Mark and Jim for their responses/recommendations to this posting.  The information provided will be the topic of discussion when I meet with the Chair of our University Technology Committee.  While there are some differences in the scope of the committees discussed (advisory, steering, management, etc.) and the governance structure (IT managed vs IT assisted with and external chair), the perspectives shared are quite helpful.   I certainly welcome other responses as well. I believe that a well run committee focusing on technology is key to keeping IT functioning well at a college or university.

Curtis

Ethan has articulated a really well balanced response to this question.  Just to build on his suggestions,…  we’ve found a few generic techniques helpful in structuring the  agendas for our University Technology Council (“UTC”)meetings.  For instance, we specify why topics are included in the agenda by including one of 4 designations for each;  “information sharing”, “decision making”, “consultation” or “coordination”.  We try to help participants prepare by including material to “please review” and/or “please bring”.  (This also saves some time during the actual meetings in terms of time spent on purely sharing information).  We also follow-up with a meeting summary organized by “information shared”, “decisions made”, “consultation provided” and “next steps determined”.

 

I’d also stress the necessity of clearly articulating the role and relevance and of the committee within the broader context of the university, and it’s complimentary relationship with other committees, councils etc.  Just by way of example, I included how we’ve attempted to do this at Framingham State below:

 

“[…]  In summary, the members of the Technology Council collectively serve the University as a trusted advisor for the broad application of information technology and provision of related support across academic programs, student services and university operations.”

 

“[…]  The Technology Council is also an institutional resource that is prepared to be actively engaged with defining and achieving continuous improvement objectives focused on areas essential to advancing the strategic goals of the institution.  These include but need not be limited to:

 

  1. Aligning the enabling capability associated with available information technology and support services with the goals and objectives of academic programs in collaboration with Academic Affairs, Curriculum Committee, Educational Technology Office and the Center for Excellence in Leadership, Training, Scholarship and Service (CELTSS).
  2. Maximizing the yield from investments in the administrative and student information systems to improve university operations and student services in collaboration with administrative departments, the Efficiency and Effectiveness Council (EEC) and the Budget and Resource Committee (BRC).
  3. Attracting, serving and retaining students through the provision of online services and informational resources that are rendered through a unified presence on the world-wide web in consultation and collaboration with student representatives, and the committee on Enrollment and Student Success (ESS).
  4. Contributing toward the development and implementation of the University’s Climate Action Plan.
  5. Implementing a comprehensive information security program that incorporates a subset of pre-existing and/or new policies and best practices in collaboration with other Massachusetts public universities and colleges and the Framingham State Information Security Council.
  6. Determining priorities for upgrades to the technological infrastructure and adapting related support services in order to; provide, maintain or increase capacity; sustain performance and/or availability of information systems and online services; and respond to institutional growth and changing demands for expanded and enhanced utility.

[…]”

I wish you well.  It’s something that evolves over time and requires the ongoing navigation of governance structures, politics, inter-personal relationships and culture.  (We also make considerable use of the Task Force approach too).  But it can actually be productive!  (Well, most of the time anyway).  J 

 

Regards,

 

 

-P

 

Patrick Laughran | Chief Information Officer | Information Technology Services | 508/626-4048 w 508/626-4947 (fax) | Framingham State University | 100 State Street w PO Box 9101 w Framingham, MA  01701-9101

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Ethan Benatan
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:04 PM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] IT Advisory/Governance Committee Member Engagement

 

An insightful committee member asked a great question: "Why is it that around here committees just drag and die, but task forces get stuff done?"  Pondering this has been an extremely useful exercise for me. 

 

Here's what I do to get people to show up:

 1. Make sure that they have meaningful work to do.  This is partly in the charter, partly in how meetings are managed. 

 2. Make sure that they understand how they are creating value: why the work is needed, and why they are the ones who need to do it.

 3. Support them enough (eg by doing the necessary prep work) that they can succeed at the work—ideally with visible success from each meeting.

 4. Honor their contributions by doing the after-work necessary to assure impact and make it visible.

 

If I can't promise to do all of these things then the chances are I am wasting their time. In which case, why are we having the meeting? Why would anyone come?

 

Ethan


 

——

Ethan Benatan, Ph.D.

Vice President for IT & 

Chief Information Officer

503.699.6325   

 

MARYLHURST UNIVERSITY

You. Unlimited.

 

Many thanks to David, Ethan, Mark and Jim for their responses/recommendations to this posting.  The information provided will be the topic of discussion when I meet with the Chair of our University Technology Committee.  While there are some differences in the scope of the committees discussed (advisory, steering, management, etc.) and the governance structure (IT managed vs IT assisted with and external chair), the perspectives shared are quite helpful.   I certainly welcome other responses as well. I believe that a well run committee focusing on technology is key to keeping IT functioning well at a college or university.

Curtis

Ethan has articulated a really well balanced response to this question.  Just to build on his suggestions,…  we’ve found a few generic techniques helpful in structuring the  agendas for our University Technology Council (“UTC”)meetings.  For instance, we specify why topics are included in the agenda by including one of 4 designations for each;  “information sharing”, “decision making”, “consultation” or “coordination”.  We try to help participants prepare by including material to “please review” and/or “please bring”.  (This also saves some time during the actual meetings in terms of time spent on purely sharing information).  We also follow-up with a meeting summary organized by “information shared”, “decisions made”, “consultation provided” and “next steps determined”.

 

I’d also stress the necessity of clearly articulating the role and relevance and of the committee within the broader context of the university, and it’s complimentary relationship with other committees, councils etc.  Just by way of example, I included how we’ve attempted to do this at Framingham State below:

 

“[…]  In summary, the members of the Technology Council collectively serve the University as a trusted advisor for the broad application of information technology and provision of related support across academic programs, student services and university operations.”

 

“[…]  The Technology Council is also an institutional resource that is prepared to be actively engaged with defining and achieving continuous improvement objectives focused on areas essential to advancing the strategic goals of the institution.  These include but need not be limited to:

 

  1. Aligning the enabling capability associated with available information technology and support services with the goals and objectives of academic programs in collaboration with Academic Affairs, Curriculum Committee, Educational Technology Office and the Center for Excellence in Leadership, Training, Scholarship and Service (CELTSS).
  2. Maximizing the yield from investments in the administrative and student information systems to improve university operations and student services in collaboration with administrative departments, the Efficiency and Effectiveness Council (EEC) and the Budget and Resource Committee (BRC).
  3. Attracting, serving and retaining students through the provision of online services and informational resources that are rendered through a unified presence on the world-wide web in consultation and collaboration with student representatives, and the committee on Enrollment and Student Success (ESS).
  4. Contributing toward the development and implementation of the University’s Climate Action Plan.
  5. Implementing a comprehensive information security program that incorporates a subset of pre-existing and/or new policies and best practices in collaboration with other Massachusetts public universities and colleges and the Framingham State Information Security Council.
  6. Determining priorities for upgrades to the technological infrastructure and adapting related support services in order to; provide, maintain or increase capacity; sustain performance and/or availability of information systems and online services; and respond to institutional growth and changing demands for expanded and enhanced utility.

[…]”

I wish you well.  It’s something that evolves over time and requires the ongoing navigation of governance structures, politics, inter-personal relationships and culture.  (We also make considerable use of the Task Force approach too).  But it can actually be productive!  (Well, most of the time anyway).  J 

 

Regards,

 

 

-P

 

Patrick Laughran | Chief Information Officer | Information Technology Services | 508/626-4048 w 508/626-4947 (fax) | Framingham State University | 100 State Street w PO Box 9101 w Framingham, MA  01701-9101

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Ethan Benatan
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:04 PM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] IT Advisory/Governance Committee Member Engagement

 

An insightful committee member asked a great question: "Why is it that around here committees just drag and die, but task forces get stuff done?"  Pondering this has been an extremely useful exercise for me. 

 

Here's what I do to get people to show up:

 1. Make sure that they have meaningful work to do.  This is partly in the charter, partly in how meetings are managed. 

 2. Make sure that they understand how they are creating value: why the work is needed, and why they are the ones who need to do it.

 3. Support them enough (eg by doing the necessary prep work) that they can succeed at the work—ideally with visible success from each meeting.

 4. Honor their contributions by doing the after-work necessary to assure impact and make it visible.

 

If I can't promise to do all of these things then the chances are I am wasting their time. In which case, why are we having the meeting? Why would anyone come?

 

Ethan


 

——

Ethan Benatan, Ph.D.

Vice President for IT & 

Chief Information Officer

503.699.6325   

 

MARYLHURST UNIVERSITY

You. Unlimited.

 

Many thanks to David, Ethan, Mark and Jim for their responses/recommendations to this posting.  The information provided will be the topic of discussion when I meet with the Chair of our University Technology Committee.  While there are some differences in the scope of the committees discussed (advisory, steering, management, etc.) and the governance structure (IT managed vs IT assisted with and external chair), the perspectives shared are quite helpful.   I certainly welcome other responses as well. I believe that a well run committee focusing on technology is key to keeping IT functioning well at a college or university.

Curtis

Ethan has articulated a really well balanced response to this question.  Just to build on his suggestions,…  we’ve found a few generic techniques helpful in structuring the  agendas for our University Technology Council (“UTC”)meetings.  For instance, we specify why topics are included in the agenda by including one of 4 designations for each;  “information sharing”, “decision making”, “consultation” or “coordination”.  We try to help participants prepare by including material to “please review” and/or “please bring”.  (This also saves some time during the actual meetings in terms of time spent on purely sharing information).  We also follow-up with a meeting summary organized by “information shared”, “decisions made”, “consultation provided” and “next steps determined”.

 

I’d also stress the necessity of clearly articulating the role and relevance and of the committee within the broader context of the university, and it’s complimentary relationship with other committees, councils etc.  Just by way of example, I included how we’ve attempted to do this at Framingham State below:

 

“[…]  In summary, the members of the Technology Council collectively serve the University as a trusted advisor for the broad application of information technology and provision of related support across academic programs, student services and university operations.”

 

“[…]  The Technology Council is also an institutional resource that is prepared to be actively engaged with defining and achieving continuous improvement objectives focused on areas essential to advancing the strategic goals of the institution.  These include but need not be limited to:

 

  1. Aligning the enabling capability associated with available information technology and support services with the goals and objectives of academic programs in collaboration with Academic Affairs, Curriculum Committee, Educational Technology Office and the Center for Excellence in Leadership, Training, Scholarship and Service (CELTSS).
  2. Maximizing the yield from investments in the administrative and student information systems to improve university operations and student services in collaboration with administrative departments, the Efficiency and Effectiveness Council (EEC) and the Budget and Resource Committee (BRC).
  3. Attracting, serving and retaining students through the provision of online services and informational resources that are rendered through a unified presence on the world-wide web in consultation and collaboration with student representatives, and the committee on Enrollment and Student Success (ESS).
  4. Contributing toward the development and implementation of the University’s Climate Action Plan.
  5. Implementing a comprehensive information security program that incorporates a subset of pre-existing and/or new policies and best practices in collaboration with other Massachusetts public universities and colleges and the Framingham State Information Security Council.
  6. Determining priorities for upgrades to the technological infrastructure and adapting related support services in order to; provide, maintain or increase capacity; sustain performance and/or availability of information systems and online services; and respond to institutional growth and changing demands for expanded and enhanced utility.

[…]”

I wish you well.  It’s something that evolves over time and requires the ongoing navigation of governance structures, politics, inter-personal relationships and culture.  (We also make considerable use of the Task Force approach too).  But it can actually be productive!  (Well, most of the time anyway).  J 

 

Regards,

 

 

-P

 

Patrick Laughran | Chief Information Officer | Information Technology Services | 508/626-4048 w 508/626-4947 (fax) | Framingham State University | 100 State Street w PO Box 9101 w Framingham, MA  01701-9101

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Ethan Benatan
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:04 PM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] IT Advisory/Governance Committee Member Engagement

 

An insightful committee member asked a great question: "Why is it that around here committees just drag and die, but task forces get stuff done?"  Pondering this has been an extremely useful exercise for me. 

 

Here's what I do to get people to show up:

 1. Make sure that they have meaningful work to do.  This is partly in the charter, partly in how meetings are managed. 

 2. Make sure that they understand how they are creating value: why the work is needed, and why they are the ones who need to do it.

 3. Support them enough (eg by doing the necessary prep work) that they can succeed at the work—ideally with visible success from each meeting.

 4. Honor their contributions by doing the after-work necessary to assure impact and make it visible.

 

If I can't promise to do all of these things then the chances are I am wasting their time. In which case, why are we having the meeting? Why would anyone come?

 

Ethan


 

——

Ethan Benatan, Ph.D.

Vice President for IT & 

Chief Information Officer

503.699.6325   

 

MARYLHURST UNIVERSITY

You. Unlimited.

 

Many thanks to David, Ethan, Mark and Jim for their responses/recommendations to this posting.  The information provided will be the topic of discussion when I meet with the Chair of our University Technology Committee.  While there are some differences in the scope of the committees discussed (advisory, steering, management, etc.) and the governance structure (IT managed vs IT assisted with and external chair), the perspectives shared are quite helpful.   I certainly welcome other responses as well. I believe that a well run committee focusing on technology is key to keeping IT functioning well at a college or university.

Curtis

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