Friday, May 11, 2012 - 2:05pm

The IOWA award logo.The University of Iowa honored Information Technology Services and Research Information Systems staff members with Improving Our Workplace Awards this spring. IOWA Awards recognize UI employees who demonstrate initiative and innovation that has a positive impact in their workplace.

ITS recognized the recipients at a reception April 19. Associate Vice President and CIO Steve Fleagle thanked and congratulated the winners, noting that ITS and RIS are proud of the staff and partners involved with the projects, and that their hard work and accomplishments will benefit many people.

The ifolio team created an electronic portfolio for students. The University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa partnered on the project, and the efficiency of this collaboration saved the state thousands of dollars. The UI had developed and deployed ifolio just as UNI was looking to replace its vendor-supported product. UNI found that ifolio was customizable, included more features, and saved the school about $20,000 per year in licensing fees. The two universities worked together to provide appropriate integrations to identity management systems, training for support staff and faculty, ongoing support for students, and local branding for each of the schools and departments.


The members of the ifolio team.

Members of the ifolio team were: Annette Beck and Sue Almen-Whittaker of ITS-Instructional Services; Andrew Rinner of ITS-Enterprise Services; Chris Pruess, Nick Roy, Gary Rogers, Greg Nims, and Rebekah Ahrens of ITS-Administrative Information Systems; and UNI staff members Aaron Thompson, Lori Seawel, Jason Vetter, Jeffrey Ries, and Donna Vinton.

“The ifolio project involved collaboration within the university community and across boundaries to UNI,” said ITS-Instructional Services Senior Director Maggie Jesse, who nominated the ifolio team. “This was a nice way to start that collaboration. It exemplifies cross-Regent communication, careful long-term planning, and measurable results. Congratulations to the staff from both universities.”

The eCOI Applications Team developed a consolidated electronic system to disclose potential conflicts of interest. Many faculty and staff face internal and external reporting obligations, and a new regulation increased the time involved with meeting federal-level reporting requirements. The Conflict of Interest in Research Office reached out to other university units responsible for complying with the reporting obligations, and together the team developed eCOI. The solution will eventually impact about 10,000 faculty and staff members by standardizing the process and saving them time.

The members of the eCOI team.

Members of the eCOI team were: Charlotte Talman of the Conflict of Interest in Research Office; Jose Jimenez, Gayle Elliott, and Ashok Vijayendra of Research Information Systems; Denise Krutzfeldt of UI Hospitals and Clinics’ Conflict of Interest Office; Diane Finnerty of the Provost’s Office; and Susan Zollo of the Continuing Medical Education Office.

“The award is well deserved, and I am thrilled that the group won,” said nominator Jim Walker, an associate vice president for research. “It’s a challenge to coordinate IT and personnel components of a project of this scope at a large institution. We were under a tight time frame, and I was impressed by how smoothly the team moved forward to create a consolidated system that meets diverse needs.”

Walker noted that the project could not have been successful without contributions from many other employees in Health Care Information Systems, ITS, and RIS. He thanked them for their efforts.

IOWA awards are given out each fall and spring. A committee of staff members from across the university reviews the nominations. Many excellent people and projects are nominated for IOWA Awards, and the nomination process is rigorous. Two ITS efforts won in the fall. Chris Pruess won an individual award for her work developing campus IT communities at the UI, and the Bus on the Go (Bongo) project won a team award. A campus-wide IOWA Award reception will take place May 22.