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ITS town hall offers updates AND holiday spirit!

Published on: December 15, 2020

More than 200 University of Toronto’s (U of T) Information Technology Services (ITS) staff members gathered for the virtual town hall meeting on Dec. 8.

Held via MS Teams, the online meeting was moderated by Laurie Harrison, Director of Online Learning Strategies, with a presentation by Bo Wandschneider, Chief Information Officer (CIO).

It included divisional, operational and budget updates. Staff also participated in holiday-themed activities, such as an entertaining holiday slideshow showcasing IT@UofT people (view the slideshow on YouTube), seasonal polls (conclusion: winter walks and hot chocolate are favoured by many in this group!), trivia (view answers), prize giveaways* and an interactive Q&A session.

Survey says…

A follow-up survey of the event revealed that respondents most enjoyed the updates on return-to-work status, current projects and the budget. The photo slideshow and Q&A session were also mentioned as valuable.

Highlights

Here are some of the session highlights:

  • IT@UofT Strategic Plan Annual Report: Wanschneider gave an overview of the 2020 annual report, which was released on Nov. 26. He started by mentioning that while ITS made measurable progress on IT@UofT strategic plan goals and initiatives in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis drove new priorities to the forefront, such as remote work support, data security and privacy protocols and more. Yet, he pointed out how IT@UofT community members worked together collaboratively and effectively, using this opportunity to successfully drive and deliver transformative technology-enabled services University-wide.“Many services, systems and infrastructure were needed to support work from home and you all contributed to that, thank you for that,” said Wandschneider. “Teaching and learning support for remote and online modalities, this was a monumental shift; it’s just amazing what was accomplished over the last eight months. We did a fantastic job at U of T and we’re getting really positive feedback around that.”
  • 12 wins of 2020: Wanschneider shared ITS’ 12 wins of 2020, which included the aforementioned annual report. Also included were the completion of the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) migration and year-two of the SAP Modernization program, the launch of the Alibaba Cloud Enterprise Network service and the Data Asset Inventory and Information Risk Self-Assessment (DAI-IRSA) program, plus the facilitation of more than 621,869 Teams calls across the tri-campus, to name a few.
  • University wellness resources: U of T health and wellness resources were highlighted as support tools for staff during this challenging time. This included the HR & Equity Wellness and Work From Home toolkit​ and Wellness Hub and the How to Combat Online Fatigue tip sheet.

Happy holidays everyone!

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*Winners of the 2020 ITS holiday events

  • Holiday recipe submissions winners: Jacqueline Tong, Education, Awareness & Culture (EAC)​ and Justin Fletcher, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI) and Academic and Collaborative Technologies (ACT). View staff-submitted holiday recipe collection here.
  • Holiday pics submission winner: Russell Sutherland, Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS).
  • Holiday trivia winners: Gabriel Kim-McMullen, EIS (first place), Mezba Mahtab, Enterprise Applications & Solutions Integration (EASI) (second place) and Anju Meena Das, EASI (third place).