Information Technology Services (ITS)
ITS updates and staff questions addressed at virtual town hall
Published on: September 24, 2021
On Sept. 14, University of Toronto’s (U of T) Information Technology Services (ITS) department hosted a virtual town hall, attended by over 200 staff members and invited guests.
This virtual event was led by Bo Wandschneider, Chief Information Officer (CIO), with presentations by Scott Mabury, Vice President, Operations & Real Estate Partnerships & Vice-Provost, Academic Operations and Isaac Straley, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), who discussed the plans for returning to campus and information security accomplishments and goals, respectively. Attendee questions were also answered by the presenters, ITS managers, directors and a Human Resources representative.
Here are some event highlights:
Return to campus
Scott Mabury expressed his deep appreciation to the ITS staff: “You have done an unbelievable job to allow the University to function as successfully and effectively over the past 18 months. We managed to deliver a quality experience for our students, staff and faculty.”
Mabury then echoed the recent announcement about our plans for a safe return to campus, with a vaccine mandate in place. He reported that the campus is already filling up, with students having returned in robust ways.
When asked about how the vaccine uploads are being verified, Lori-Anne Hill, Director, Human Resources, Office of the Vice President, Operations & Real Estate Partnerships, explained that once staff upload their proof of vaccine to UCheck, they will be verified depending on the type. Priority will be to verify those with medical, religious and creed exemptions, in accordance with privacy regulations.
When asked about flexible hours during on-campus workdays, the CIO reinforced that staff can request flexible hours to avoid taking public transit during peak traffic hours. Staff must fill out an Alternative Work Arrangement form and work through this process with their manager.
For exemptions related to medical accommodations, the CIO recommends bringing questions and requests forward to Environmental Health and Safety or submitting requests to the Enterprise Service Centre.
Isaac Straley spoke about the threats we face as a top-20, world class, research-intensive institution, and acknowledged that ITS’ leadership is critical to leading the way in technology. Straley said, “We did an amazing job working through the pandemic, but it’s really important that we recognize the challenges and risks we still face.”
The CISO spoke about the new Remote Work Guidelines, which has been endorsed by the Information Security Council to effectively reflect the voice of our community. ITS staff are encouraged to review the document to reference, suggest edits and recommend to others within the University.
Thank you to those who attended the Town Hall and provided feedback via the post-event survey. Results of this survey showed that 63 per cent of respondents found the content highly or somewhat relevant, and the majority of respondents enjoyed hearing updates from Scott Mabury. Survey feedback suggestions are taken into consideration for future events. Stay tuned for the next town hall invitation.