Information Technology Steering Committee

The purpose of the Information Technology Steering Committee (ITSC) is to skillfully guide the information technology investment priorities for Northern Illinois University. Members of the ITSC are appointed by the chief information officer for information technology and are accountable to the President’s Cabinet. The committee will:

  • Provide strategic leadership by engaging in a “give and take” dialogue with IT and with each other in order to make optimal choices in a constrained resource environment.
  • Prioritize IT initiatives and deliver final approvals and recommendations on proceeding with proposed IT projects.
  • Assist with open communication by being a bidirectional conduit for information between the community and central IT.
  • Develop methods for ensuring organizational compliance with applicable laws as they apply to information technology.
  • Annually assist with the creation or validation of an IT strategic plan that can operationalize the university’s overall strategic plan.

The ITSC is not responsible in any way for the IT department operating budget, IT department staff, or any other aspect of day-to-day IT operations.


The agenda of a typical ITSC meeting could include the following items:

  • Review major projects in progress and discuss concerns (i.e. status and issues), issue advice, or provide guidance as needed.
  • Review new project proposals and determine the disposition of each (i.e. approve, decline, or defer).
  • Review any changes in IT/business capacity and support rebalancing as needed.
  • Review the project priority list and adjust to reflect institutional need.
  • Review and act on other business as carried forward from its subcommittees.
  • Report on prior action items from within the committee and assign new ones.


The current Chair shall recommend new membership on the IT Steering Committee to the President from time to time. Initial membership of the committee shall be:

Area Name Title
Academic Affairs Derryl Block Dean, College of Health and Human Sciences
Athletics Debra Boughton Associate Director
Finance and Administration Sarah McGill Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Human Resources Laura Alexander Senior Associate Vice President
Information Technology (non-voting) Matt Parks, Chair Chief Information Officer
Institutional Effectiveness Carolinda Douglass Vice Provost
Libraries Fred Barnhart Dean
Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development John Cowan Associate Professor
Provost's Office Jason Rhode Executive Director, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning
Research Andreas Glatz Associate Professor (Physics)
Research and Sponsored Programs Dara Little Assistant Vice President
Student Affairs Michael Stang Assistant Vice President

Ad hoc members may join for a limited term as determined by the needs of the committee.

All permanent members of the ITSC should demonstrate a willingness to become very familiar with the IT department’s policies, procedures, and practices. As well, all permanent members should have the authority to make decisions and take actions on behalf of the business unit they represent.

If any member is unable to attend the majority of ITSC meetings, the committee chair will designate a replacement. If the ITSC chair is unable to attend the majority of ITSC meetings, then the committee itself will designate a replacement.


  • The ITSC shall meet on a monthly basis.
  • The committee shall develop a scope of governance and clearly communicate it to the university community.
  • The ITSC shall form subcommittees sufficient to thoughtfully and thoroughly review the work within the scope of governance.
  • All proposals to the subcommittees shall follow a specific business case methodology as determined by the ITSC. This methodology includes clear definitions of business measures and benchmarks of progress, namely a cost/benefit analysis and clear calculation of Return on Investment (ROI).
  • Electronic copies of all proposals must be submitted to the ITSC chair by the sponsoring business unit at least five (5) business days in advance of the ITSC meeting.
  • All proposals must be formally presented in person to the ITSC by the business unit that will act as the sponsor for the proposed project throughout its lifecycle.
  • All proposals must be reviewed and approved for technological merit by the Division of Information Technology.
  • Approval for all projects will be reached through a consensus vote of the ITSC. The vote will be administered by the ITSC chair. If agreed to by the committee, an electronic vote via email or some other means may be called for after hearing the in-person presentation of the business case.
  • ITSC has the authority to reject any proposal which it deems not to have made a sufficient business case or which does not significantly contribute to the strategic goals of the university.
  • At each meeting, the committee will receive progress reports on previously approved proposals. The ITSC can recommend that any project may be held or canceled if it is not meeting its projected goals or if another project proves more promising.
  • The committee shall at all times maintain a prioritized list of projects in progress and a list of projects in the pipeline for the coming fiscal year.
  • Each year the ITSC will provide the President’s Cabinet with a report that reviews project progress for the previous fiscal year.
  • The committee shall be empowered to modify this Charter document, including this charge, to reflect its evolving needs provided that the modification is approved by a majority of its voting members.
  • The ITSC shall assist in creating and maintaining a strategic plan for IT that supports the university’s high level goals.
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