2023 VCA Annual Report - Information Technology

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UC Berkeley’s Information Technology (bIT)  is powered by problem solvers who deliver the technology services and support that enable students, faculty, and staff to do their best work. Incredible feats were accomplished by Berkeley IT teams to deliver services and support to the campus community this year. Berkeley Information Technology's FY22 Operating Results & FY23 Budget can be found here.

Jenn Stringer, Associate Vice Chancellor for IT and CIO, is responsible for the strategic oversight of both the bIT department and the broader campus-wide Information Technology (IT) strategy. This includes leading the strategic planning effort for campus IT priorities. Dedicated Berkeley IT staff partner with other departments across campus to provide technical support and services for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. This collaborative campus community of ~900 staff is known as One IT.

Check out the Berkeley IT Around the World webpage for a glimpse of their staff from wherever they are: remote around the country or traveling around the globe.

FY22 Achievements

The following projects are just a sampling of the achievements of Berkeley IT in FY22. All of these projects are great examples of the collaborative efforts that exist between Berkeley IT and their campus-wide IT partners who make up the One IT community.

Strategically Aligned IT Organization

Built an agile central IT organization that serves as a strategic partner to efficiently deliver IT services. Focus on the people, process, and structure to be agile, and to allow staff to do their best work. Embrace diversity and equity, and foster a sense of belonging on the team and with the campus community.

Key Measures of Success

  • Central IT is able to demonstrate to campus leaders that it is a trusted partner in delivering great strategic and operational value to the campus community and in service of the University’s mission.

  • Improved coordination between central IT and local IT units so that fewer services are duplicated and each department can focus on their unique strength and value.

  • Central IT is able to more easily reallocate funds internally to manage decreasing campus funding while supporting strategic investment areas.

  • Central IT is organized in such a way that its structure, processes, and staff are flexible and over time, can respond effectively to rapidly changing needs in the external environment.

  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are integrated into the organizational structure and our work.

  • Staff have opportunities for professional growth and experimentation.

View Organization Design Project website for additional details

Improving the Campus Wi-Fi Experience

Prior to approval of the campus Wi-Fi funding model on July 1, 2022, we utilized CIO one-time funds to implement changes to campus Wi-Fi that optimize design and available bandwidth, improve reliability and performance, and create a better overall user experience.

Key Measures of Success

  • Replaced 75% of remaining legacy (Cisco) Access Point infrastructure.

  • Eliminated Airbears2 SSID.

  • Implemented additional Campus Firewall and VPN capability.

  • Enhanced monitoring of Wi-Fi user experience by installing 25 additional sensors across campus.

  • 50% of new Wi-Fi Keys Portal development completed.

  • Created a sustainable Wi-Fi funding model as part of the larger campus network funding proposal.

View Wi-Fi Service Improvements website for additional details

Image of Jen Stringer addressing the staff at the Berkeley Technology Picnic-2022

AVC/CIO Jenn Stringer addressing the staff at the One IT Picnic - July 2022

Campus IT Governance

Establish a new mechanism/model to engage key campus stakeholders in governance around critical technology-related issues, including the Productivity Suite of applications and tools; enterprise applications; data ownership and handling; and risk mitigation associated with the widespread use of unlicensed administrative cloud-based applications and tools.

Key Measures of Success

  • The new IT Strategy Committee, Productivity & Collaboration Tools governance group, the Enterprise Applications governance groups, with an initial focus on Student Information Systems (SIS), the Berkeley Financial System (BFS) and the Berkeley Procurement system, were stood up.

  • IT Governance committees informed and endorsed critical decisions regarding the Productivity Suite Qualtrics and Adobe services, the Campus Network Funding model, and the Instructional Resilience and Enhancement Fee (IREF).

  • Campus leadership is better informed about campus wide IT spends as well a deep dive on Berkeley IT spend, and has also learned and provided feedback on important in-flight projects such as the Comprehensive Curriculum Management System (CCMS), the Data Center and Cloud Strategy Program, and the EPIC project to move to a new campus healthcare system.

View IT Governance website for additional details

Campus-Wide Cybersecurity Implementation

Continue the multi-year phased implementation of IS-3 (information security risk management) across campus, with a focus on high-risk academic, research, and administrative units, and ongoing engagement.

Key Measures of Success

  • VCRO/RIT/ISO* Research Security Partnership formalized; pilot research groups onboarded.

  • 40% of campus academic and administrative units have completed all initial implementation tasks, exceeding the goal of 30%.

  • Prioritization strategy for engaging with units has been formalized.

  • Processes for high-risk unit onboarding and status tracking have been operationalized.

  • Annual review for pilot units initiated.

  • Program for ongoing engagement of security leads is in place.

  • Campus Information Security Roles and Responsibilities Policy formally approved as a campus policy by the campus Compliance and Enterprise Risk Committee (CERC).

  • All Unit Information Security Lead (UISL) security dashboards are incorporated into the campus asset registration application (Socreg), reducing complexity for units. 

View IS-3 project website for additional details

Image of some attendees of the One IT picnic from July 2022

One IT Picnic - L - R: Julie Goldstein, Wes Johnson, Charron Andrus, Lois Warham, Salwa Ismail, and Allison Henry.

FY23 Goals & Priorities

Berkeley IT professionals work together to provide the tools, data, and infrastructure the campus community needs to continue to grow as the world's greatest public research university. The FY23 One IT Strategic Plan includes projects that require more than a single year to complete. Here are some highlights of their plan: 

Network User Experience Improvement

Offer a broader range of connectivity options for campus users. Improve the stability, usability, capability, and capacity of various network services, including Wi-Fi Infrastructure, Wi-Fi Device Connectivity Services, Campus Firewall, Campus VPN, and Connectivity for International Students. 

Key Measures of Success

  • Improve the roaming performance of user-connected devices to allow for seamless connectivity while moving around on campus.

  • Deliver a network specific for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Including a device registry that maps to individual CalNet IDs and improves connection reliability/stability.

  • Fully remove AirBears2 network to simplify user experience and replace all remaining CISCO wireless access points to improve connection reliability and stability.

  • Roll out a new visitor network and retire CalVisitor to improve network security, connection reliability, and stability.

View Network UX project website for additional details

Mature the IT Governance Model

Continue to mature and grow the new campus IT Governance model: Stand up additional committees as needed. Leverage the model to move high-impact IT projects through the campus review and funding approval processes.

Key Measures of Success 

  • Hire a governance Program Manager. 

  • Standup the Data Governance Committee. 

  • Continue to develop and formalize IT governance processes and policies, including annual goal setting and self-assessment. 

  • Create a robust communications plan to better inform the campus community about how to engage with IT governance and learn about outcomes for topics that come to governance for review/recommendation

View IT Governance website for additional details

Digital Accessibility Program

A collaborative effort across the campus, the Digital Accessibility Program seeks to ensure all university websites and digital content are able to be accessed and interacted with by everyone in our community. As we create and share online content, we want to be sure it has been designed, developed, or procured to be accessible to people with disabilities, including those who use assistive technologies.

Key Measures of Success

  • Create the new ITAP Steering Committee to oversee implementation of the policy at Berkeley.

  • Hire a new Program Manager to run the Digital Accessibility Program

  • Kick off the Website & Third Party Platform Remediation to identify and remediate the top 200 public facing Berkeley websites.

View DAP website for additional details

Data Center and Cloud Services Roadmap Implementation

Develop concrete next steps for the evolution of on-premise server rooms across campus, including data center colocation and local/edge server rooms, and a detailed implementation plan for campus system utilization of the public cloud.

Key Measures of Success 

  • Deliver V1 of the campus (proposed) computational infrastructure roadmap. 

  • Identify a surge option for Warren Hall and actively onboard high-power dense research computing to a new location in the first half of FY23. 

  • Establish target colocation facilities for future workloads. 

  • Develop an accepted financial and incentives model for covering campus off-site hosting costs.

View the project website for additional details

Image of Jen Stringer and bIT staff member

Berkeley Technology's New Year's Celebration in Jan. 2023, Jabari Thomas and AVC and CIO, Jen Stringer.