Information Technology Services (ITS)

ITS town hall meeting: Information Security Strategy, fostering community and employee insights

Published on: September 22, 2023

On Sept. 12, 208 ITS staff members gathered in the Great Hall at Hart House for an all-staff town hall meeting. The meeting included updates on U of T’s Information Security Strategy and ITS’ new onboarding program as well as an employee panel discussion and a Q&A session with Chief Information Officer Bo Wandschneider.

U of T’s Information Security Strategy

Isaac Straley, Chief Information Security Officer and Deputy CIO, and Kalyani Khati, Associate Director, Information Security Strategic Initiatives, kicked off the presentations with an overview of the new Information Security Strategy, which was officially released in August 2023. In addition to reviewing the strategic objectives, prioritization approach and institutional initiatives, they focused on the role ITS plays in driving, enabling and adopting the strategy.

“As drivers of the strategy, ITS will play a critical role in delivering the strategic initiatives and each team will advance specific strategic objectives,” Isaac explains. “As service providers, ITS needs to appropriately secure the systems and services we manage and prepare to articulate our security plans with clients. This will go a long way in establishing community trust in the services and systems we provide.”

For more information, Isaac and Kalyani advised staff to review the resources that are available on the Information Security SharePoint website.

Isaac and Kalyani presenting on stage at the Town Hall.

Culture and connection: Growing our ITS community

Leading with a significant statistic — that 30 per cent of current ITS staff joined since the onset of the pandemic — Laurie Harrison, Director, Digital Learning Innovation, emphasized the importance of providing support to new employees in their early days, an endeavor that contributes to both their individual growth and the collective success of ITS.

Laurie shared that this updated onboarding program will consist of an in-person exploration of how we relate to the IT@UofT values; a series of online meetings to discover your strengths at work; and an in-person workshop to explore available resources and opportunities.

“An exciting new aspect of ITS orientation is the Buddy program, where a new hire will be matched with a mentor to act as an orientation contact for their first three months,” explains Laurie. “We hope this program will help foster a community connection while building and growing new employees’ professional network at U of T.”

To learn more or get involved, all ITS staff are encouraged to visit

Laurie Harrison speaking into a microphone on stage at the ITS Town Hall

Employee panel discussion

On the heels of Laurie’s presentation, three ITS employees from across the division formed a panel to share their onboarding experiences and offer perspectives on how to make the most of your time with ITS and U of T. Panelists encouraged staff, experienced and new, to form relationships with staff in other ITS departments, embrace professional development opportunities and take time to explore the campus.

Thank you to our panelists:

  • Kathleen McLeod, Manager, Research & Collaborative Applications, ARC Technologies
  • Kanupriya Parab, Information Risk Manager, Information Security
  • Aline Pruvot, Services Engagement Coordinator, EASI
Panelists on stage at the ITS Town Hall.

“It is always a treat to see and hear from you all at these all-staff events,” says Bo. “It’s clear that our strength as a community lies in our commitment to fostering connections and intentional information sharing. Let’s embrace the opportunities ahead, support our new colleagues through our revamped onboarding program and continue to grow as a cohesive and dynamic ITS community.”

We hope to see all ITS staff at the next town hall meeting in winter 2024!

Bo Wandschneider speaking behind the podium at the ITS Town Hall