2017 CIO Annual Report - Accessible Version

Cover: photo of trees and sculpture with campanile in the distance. Berkeley logo in white.

Chief Information Officer - Annual Report 2017


2017 was a busy and productive year for the Berkeley One IT community. It’s easy to get caught up in the “crisis du jour” and lose track of the many impactful accomplishments that have had a positive impact on the campus last year. A key goal of this annual report is to bring attention to those accomplishments and to convey a sense of the breadth and scope of activities the campus IT community is engaged with.

An overarching theme for the year was the impact of continued budget cuts to address the University’s structural budget deficit. I want to commend the One IT community for their exemplary work in making these cuts while minimizing the impact on faculty, students, and staff. We must continue to make every effort to protect the academic core of this institution which has driven the historic excellence that has been UC Berkeley.

Another key theme in 2017 was the work on the Reimagining IT Strategic Plan. The impetus for creating the plan was to have some concrete ideas and recommendations to share with our new executive leadership as they settled into their roles. The response to the plan has been quite positive. However, we recognize the plan needs to incorporate our new leadership’s vision and goals for the University as these get firmed up. In that regard, two specific initiatives in 2018 will be important to integrate into the Reimagining IT work over the coming months: the outside review of campus IT sponsored by Chancellor Christ and establishing a strategic framework for the campus sponsored by Executive VC and Provost Alivisatos.

In addition to highlighting some of the many key accomplishments by the One IT community last year, I also want to draw your attention to the What We Do section of this report. This section provides a glimpse into the sheer magnitude of effort and scope of impact involved in supporting campus information technology. IT is a high-volume, high-impact, and strategic function for the Berkeley campus.

Berkeley is fortunate to have a cadre of highly skilled, experienced, and capable IT staff to support the diversity of needs across the campus. I look forward to working with my One IT colleagues in supporting the continued excellence of UC Berkeley.

Larry Conrad,Associate Vice Chancellor for IT and Chief Information Officer

Photo of Conrad with quote: “I look forward to working with my One IT colleagues in supporting the continued excellence of UC Berkeley.”

What We Do

One IT is a community of IT professionals across campus working together to help support the mission of the University. We know not everyone is into IT like we are, and, that’s ok. That is why we are here: to keep things humming along without you really needing to know the technical details of why or how.

The graphic below is a snapshot of who we are and some of the behind the scenes work we do to help empower the campus. The Tech and Services info shown is just a small sample of the broad range of critical campus functions that the campus IT community supports every day. This report shares progress on additional projects we have undertaken to continuously improve IT service at UC Berkeley beyond what we do day to day. view/print enlarged image

View latest draft



Our campus community relies on the collaborative efforts of 876 IT staff across campus who provide technical support and services.

  • 39,234 students
  • 1,492 faculty
  • 8,447 staff

IT Staff by Area

  • 56.24% in Campus Support
  • 15.01% in Colleges
  • 10.88% in Schools
  • 10.77% in Other Academic Units
  • 7.10% in Research, Policy, Plan, & Administration

IT Roles

  • 27.85% for App Development & Management
  • 21.12% for Systems, Network, and Data Management
  • 18.72% for IT Management
  • 15.18% for Technical Support
  • 12.10% for Business Analysis
  • 3.31% for Education and Classroom Support
  • 1.71% for IT Security


Device Support and Applications

  • 15,200+ managed devices
  • ~9,600 installed applications
  • 3,000 software updates released


  • 3.5M+ campus systems attacks detected per year
  • ~750 critical security weaknesses corrected each month


  • 65K+ devices connected per day
  • 13TB of info moved per day
  • From 325 access points in 2006 to 4,250 access points in 2016.

Collaboration Tools

  • 67,000+ bMail users
  • 500 Million email messages
  • ~360 Hangout or Meet sessions per day
  • ~120 Zoom sessions per day



  • 73,500 incidents receiver
  • 77% resolved at Tier 1
  • 59% resolved within 1 business day


  • 655,000 SIS enrollments


  • 2,200+ course sites
  • 95% student usage

Cal Answers

  • 2,500 active users
  • 400,000 queries per month
  • 3.5 Million reports run per year


  • 112.4K POs processed
  • 237.5K payments made
  • 1.1K grant awards processed

Berkeley Research Computing

  • 1.5K+ active faculty and students
  • 400+ consultations across 80+ departments
  • 7K compute cores contributed to Savio by faculty in 20+ departments

Reimagining IT to Support UC Berkeley’s Mission

In July, we shared our Reimagining IT Strategic Plan, which had been developed over the previous 10 months to establish a crisp vision of the IT environment needed to better serve our campus community. The plan identifies transformational opportunities to collaboratively address the budget deficit and support the teaching and research missions of the University. The goals of our plan (G1-G3) align well with those outlined by Chancellor Christ at the beginning of the fall semester (C1-C5). Watch for these symbols as you review this report to see how our accomplishments map to these goals. View source of Chancellor’s goals

One IT Goals

G1: All Berkeley faculty and students will have the essential tools and data they need to advance their research, teaching, learning, and student success.

G2: Manage Berkeley's total IT budget (FY 18) of ~$180 million effectively. Reduce campus total IT spend by another ~5% while maintaining critical IT systems and investing in campus innovation.

G2: One IT will be a trusted and strategic partner with the campus community.

Chancellor's Goals

C1: Building Community

C2: Ensure Students Thrive

C3: Enhance Diversity and Inclusion

C4: Support Transformative Research for Public Good

C5: Build a Sustainable Financial Model

View the Reimagining IT Strategic Plan at: technology.berkeley.edu/strategic-plan

Reimagining IT At-A-Glance

Our Reimagining IT Strategic Plan uses the Objective - Goal - Strategy - Tactic (O-G-S-T) structure to organize the plan.

The image below is a summary of the plan which includes:

Objective - one central objective aligned with the campus mission;
Goals - three key goals to realize this objective and measure our progress;
Strategies - six strategies to organize our projects to meet these goals;
Tactics - 33 foundational tactics or projects to start implementing the plan. Several of the accomplishments shared in this report are tactics that we have undertaken in support of our strategic plan.

Graphic with Objective, Goals, and Strategies view/print enlarged image

Objective (1) - 2020: One IT will enable UC Berkeley to remain a great public research university and to solve the campus financial crisis. 

Goals (3)

  1. All Berkeley faculty and students will have the essential tools and data they need to advance their research, teaching, learning, and student success.
  2. Manage Berkeley’s total IT budget (FY 18) of ~$180 million effectively. Reduce spend by another ~5% while maintaining critical IT systems and investing in campus innovation.
  3. One IT will be a trusted and strategic partner with the campus community.

Strategies (6)

  1. Teaching and Research: Support major campus teaching, research, and public service initiatives each year. Reallocate IT funding to strengthen our support of teaching, research, and student success. view tactics
  2. Service Efficiency: Maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of IT security, infrastructure, enterprise systems, administrative tools, and user support. view tactics
  3. Financial Model: Establish a new IT financial model for the campus to improve the way funds for IT are generated and allocated. Evolve IT Governance to realize this new financial model. view tactics
  4. Organization: Create the campus IT organizational model required to accomplish this plan. Support functional leadership of IT, and strengthen partnerships with colleges, schools, centers, and organized research units. view tactics
  5. Campus User Experience: Tell our story. Make our services easier to discover and use. Improve the campus user experience. view tactics
  6. IT Workforce: Help One IT professionals develop skills to facilitate, broker, and integrate IT solutions for the campus community. view tactics

Year in Review: Highlights   

The following pages include just a few highlights of the accomplishments made by campus One IT organizations in 2017.

Ever Evolving IT Service Management - G1 G2

Much progress was made as we continue to evolve our IT Service Management (ITSM) framework, a process-based approach intended to better align the delivery of IT services with the needs of our customers. Our focus is to deliver high value, high quality, and consistent services to our campus community by managing IT services through the adoption of industry best practices and a focus on continuous service improvement. 

"The goal of the ITSM program is to regularly assess and improve IT services and practices to ensure that One IT meets or exceeds our commitments to the campus." - Liz Marsh, ITSM Strategy Lead

ITSM Structure

  • Strategies
    • Service Strategy
    • Continual Service Improvement
    • Reports & Dashboard
  • Applications
    • Service Catalog
    • Incident Management
    • Change Management
    • Service Requests
    • Service Portfolio Management
    • Project Management
    • Service Asset Management
    • Asset Management
    • Knowledge Management

"We are implementing metrics to ensure that faculty and staff have accessible and efficient support when an IT service they use gets interrupted." - Rich Meyer, Incident Management Functional Owner & ITSM Program Manager

"We are making it easier for staff and faculty to find and acquire the IT services they need." - Rita Rosenthal, IT Service Catalog Functional Owner

"We are improving the ability for staff and faculty to find self-service help for the IT tools and services they use." - Marlita Kahn, Knowledge Management Functional Owner

"We are reducing the likelihood of IT service downtime by streamlining communications between IT service owners and the service desk." - Amit Singh, Change Management Functional Owner

"We are making it easier to request and track orders for IT services and products in ServiceNow." - Jon Conhaim, Manager of the TPO, Service Request Fulfillment

ITSM Governance

The ITSM decision lifecycle diagram on the right shows our planned approach:

  • Inform campus providing an updated ITSM roadmap.
  • Gather input from end users, technical customers, service owners, and process owners.
  • Assess and prioritize input received in the ITSM program office to present to leadership.
  • Decide what will be included in upcoming version of the ITSM roadmap.

Learn more: technology.berkeley.edu/itsm

Stepping Up to Better Security - C4 C5 G1 G3

In addition to protecting the campus from the 3.5M attacks on campus systems that occur throughout the year, the Information Security and Policy (ISP) team has been busy with two important initiatives: CalNet 2-Step Verification and bSecure. Both projects are part of a new security strategy for UC Berkeley that places greater emphasis on comprehensive, automated prevention to better protect campus information resources.

CalNet 2-Step Verification

Rolled out in pilot last fall, CalNet 2-Step verification is now available to all faculty and staff. As one of the nation’s top ranked public universities, our research, intellectual property, and institutional data are extremely valuable and attractive to cyber criminals. The use of stolen CalNet account usernames and passphrases represents a serious, ongoing threat to the security of campus systems and data. Two-step verification provides an important, additional layer of protection against the theft of your CalNet credentials by ensuring you are the only person accessing your account.

Our goal is to get everyone on campus enrolled in CalNet 2-Step. Between Feb. 15 and April 16, 2018, the CalNet team will be working with units across campus to roll out the two-step verification requirement for faculty and staff accounts using a cohort enrollment model. Note that students who are also employees are included in this phase of the rollout and enrollment for the rest of the student population is being planned. See the timeline chart below for high level implementation dates.

Enroll Now

Use your smart phone to enroll today: https://calnetweb.berkeley.edu/calnet-2-step/enroll-device



Estimated Date

Campus-wide outreach campaign launched

Jan. 15, 2018

Kickoff enrollment for Cohort 1

Feb. 15, 2018

Require Cohort 1 to use 2-Step

March 15, 2018

Kickoff enrollment for Cohort 2

March 16, 2018

Require Cohort 2 to use 2-Step

April 16, 2018

“Two-step verification has become less of a thing that’s optional, and more something you have to do to keep up. It’s not just about the Law School adopting it - it’s about 2-Step being a success for the whole campus, because that helps us overall.” - Gabriel Gonzalez, Chief Technical Officer at Berkeley Law


The goal of the bSecure project is to replace aging campus network (firewall and VPN) technologies, plus offer additional threat prevention and enhanced security services on campus networks. After a robust selection process, Palo Alto Networks’ Next Generation Firewall was chosen to replace legacy firewall and VPN solutions on campus. The bSecure project officially launched in June, and will see over 200 existing firewall instances migrated to the Palo Alto Networks solution beginning in January 2018.

The Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) technology being deployed will include an emphasis on enhancing the security for critical IT infrastructure and systems handling sensitive institutional data by using Intrusion Prevention System technology to not only detect, but actively block attacks as they are identified. Utilizing carefully constructed threat intelligence feeds, known “bad actors” will also be proactively blocked at the network level. The bSecure project will also see the existing campus VPN service replaced by one that integrates with CalNet 2-Step verification. Additionally, a new High Security VPN service will be deployed, ensuring that any endpoint connecting to the VPN first passes a stricter set of security checks. Finally, a limited number of business units with staff that routinely access highly sensitive institutional data will receive Advanced Endpoint Protection software from Palo Alto Networks called Traps. Traps offers a much more advanced feature set than traditional anti-virus software on endpoints by proactively blocking both known and unknown malware, and preventing exploits from even being executed.

To date, the architecture has been defined and configured and the firewall migrations are in progress. Campus firewall migrations, VPN, and training will also be completed in 2018. The bSecure project is a joint initiative from the Network Operations and Services (NOS) and Information Security and Policy (ISP) teams.

Get bSecure project updates at security.berkeley.edu/projects/bsecure

Securing Research Data

Over the past year, ISP has been participating in a cross-departmental effort with Research IT and the D-Lab to help improve the research community’s ability to adequately protect sensitive research data. One of the outcomes of the Securing Research Workgroup has been the release of a “how-to” article by ISP to assist researchers with properly classifying the sensitive data they are responsible for.

The How to Classify Research Data article provides a step-by-step guide to help researchers apply the UC Berkeley Data Classification Standard to their projects. The article provides examples to assist identification of research data elements that fall under Protection Level 1 (PL1) and Protection Level 2 (PL2) requirements. The guide also takes into account how state and federal regulatory requirements and data-provider data use agreements factor into the classification process.

Most importantly, the article explains the importance of understanding the level of data protection required for research data and what campus policies apply. To learn more, contact Information Security and Policy or the Research Data Management Program.

Find best practices and resources for protecting yourself online on at security.berkeley.edu

One IT = You + Me - C1, G3

Our One IT community keeps growing stronger each year, helping to build improved collaboration and coordination across campus IT groups. With an aim to collectively better serve our campus community, we have nurtured this culture since 2014 by hosting One IT events throughout the year and promoting IT staff organizations and communities of practice.

In fact, the above-and-beyond efforts of our One IT community were integral to the success of our strategic planning process. The result is a plan that interweaves the voices and innovative ideas of the IT staff across campus, as well as an energized community that supports progress on the many projects (tactics) outlined in the plan. The One IT in Action section of this report provides examples of these collaborative efforts.

2017 One IT Events

Graphic: Save the Date for IT Summit 2018: June 7, 2018

Get Involved

  • One IT Calendar - Learn what is happening on campus from IT staff organization meetings, professional development opportunities, and other events that may be of interest to the IT community.

  • Help Reimagine IT - Get involved by working on one of the many tactics outlined in the strategic plan.

  • IT Staff Orgs - There are a variety of staff organizations which foster involvement in campus life, provide networking and learning opportunities, and keep you informed about important issues

  • Social media channels - Join the conversation and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Visit technology.berkeley.edu/one-it for upcoming events, an archive of past events, and more info.

Photo: April Wolford, Shelly Kleinschrodt, Barinder Dhillon-Flanagan, and Michelle Bautista all members of the IT Summit 2017 Planning Committee.

“To me, One IT means community and meeting other colleagues who are working toward the same goal: having excellent services for our students, staff, and faculty.” - April Wolford, Manager of Classroom Technology Services at UC Extension

Cal Answers That - G1, C2, C5

Cal Answers is an analytical tool that enables staff, faculty, and students to locate reliable, consistent answers to critical campus questions. Using Cal Answers helps UC Berkeley make better decisions as we assess new opportunities, set priorities, and deal with resource constraints.

“As our courses and number of Computer Science majors continued to rapidly increase, we used Cal Answers to gather how much our courses had increased in size, which students were taking our courses, and which courses were expanding the fastest. This data, combined with other efforts, ultimately contributed to a substantial increase in funding due to common good allowing us to reach hundreds, if not thousands more students across campus. Cal Answers is incredibly useful and saves us so much time. The basic dashboard gives me information that used to take me many hours to compile plus additional info that I previously could not access.” - Chris Hunn, Director of Undergraduate Instruction, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

2017 New CalAnswers Dashboard Releases

Kudos to the Cal Answers PI Portfolio project team who received both the Larry L. Sautter award and won a Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award this year! Heidi Wagner, Asst. Dean for Administration, Social Welfare and Max Michel, IST Enterprise Data Warehouse Dev/Ops Manager, represented the team in accepting the Sautter award presented as part of the University of California Computing Services Conference (UCCSC) in August 2017. Meet the team

Mapping Milestones: Student Information Systems (SIS) - C2, G1

The SIS Project was one of the largest, most complex, and impactful IT projects in UC Berkeley’s history. This multifaceted project spanned several years and, over the course of its long journey, involved a majority of the campus community. The initial planning and requirements development phase for vendor selection started in the summer of 2013. The following summer, the SIS Project Implementation officially kicked-off with the goal of managing institutional risk and integrating UC Berkeley’s legacy student information systems and databases into one virtual destination.

Transitioning to ongoing operations in July 2017,  a new SIS department was established. While the work initiated through the implementation project is far from over, this new department, which reports directly to CIO Larry Conrad, is responsible for the expansion, enhancement, and maintenance of the new systems. The SIS Project’s collaborative way of working has persisted and is evident in how Berkeley approaches the prioritization and management of ongoing SIS efforts. During the current 12-to-18-month stabilization period, the SIS department is continuing to address the backlog of project work, stabilize SIS foundational systems, and rollout new deliverables that will steadily improve functionality for the campus.

 In the fall of 2017, Chancellor Carol Christ thanked the SIS Team and affected campus community members for their role in improving the student experience through the SIS Project implementation. She highlighted how impressed she is by what our campus has accomplished collectively in such a relatively short period of time.

"We are grateful for the support of our campus community, the hard work of our team, and the strong executive leadership across the organization. Thanks to everyone’s efforts, our university will continue to improve and expand the system to better meet the evolving needs of our students, faculty, and staff." - Angela Blackstone, Associate Chief Information Officer and SIS Executive Director

“I am continually inspired and delighted when the Berkeley community comes together to support our students. Meeting the SIS Project's ambitious goal is a wonderful example of what our remarkable community can do when we work together.” - Chancellor Carol Christ

By The Numbers | Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2017

  • 13.1M -  CalCentral Sessions in 2017 (56% increase in Total Sessions vs. prior year)

  • 61.7M -  Total number of page views on CalCentral

  • 655K - SIS Campus Solutions Enrollments performed through CalCentral
  • 3M Communication touch-points delivered via SIS and CalCentral(1.4M emails, 882K messages, and 748K checklist items)

  • 748K - SiS Campus Solutions targeted Checklist Items displayed in CalCentral
  • 10.5K -  SIS Production Support help tickets resolved (2017 average resolution time was 16 hours)


Oracle 9.2 Upgrade

The team upgraded SIS to Oracle Version 9.2 in July 2017. The upgrade was completed ahead of schedule and the system was operational before the first day of summer classes. This crucial upgrade improved the security, stability, and sustainability of student data systems.

Transition from Project to Operations

The SIS transition from end of project to operations brought many new challenges. The SIS team shrank from a high of more than 220 workers, students, and consultants to less than 50 full-time staff. While the final phases were being delivered, SIS ran a very competitive staff selection and hiring process for the new SIS department. SIS also helped team members transition back to their home departments, find other positions on campus, and helped create a new unit within Student Affairs – the Central Evaluation Unit. As the team moves forward into long-term operations, SIS will continue to involve students, instructors, and staff to seek their input, which will continue to play a major role in the development and expansion of CalCentral and other tools. 

For more information, visitsis.berkeley.edu

Improvements to Support Teaching and Research - C4, G1

Aligning Orgs to Better Serve Faculty

Recognizing the fact that UC Berkeley faculty have a need for technical support across a wide spectrum of topics, in August, Research IT, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), and Educational Technology Services (ETS) were aligned into a single portfolio. This shift allows the expertise of these three crucial faculty and researcher support teams to be better coordinated and aligned to meet the needs of campus teaching, learning, and research. The groups report to both Cathy Koshland, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education and Larry Conrad, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer and are headed by Jenn Stringer, in a new role as Chief Academic Technology Officer and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning. This change is also an important milestone in the Reimagining IT Strategic Plan, Strategy 1. 

These three groups have been collaborating over the past several years on projects ranging from consultation in support of research and teaching, and benchmarking of Berkeley's Research and Academic Engagement (RAE) technology services against those offered by peer institutions. With the opening of the Academic Innovation Studio,thegroups had already begun to coordinate their efforts more closely including team-based support model allowing faculty to receive answers for many needs in one location. Future work and projects promise to create a more thoughtful and comprehensive approach to the technologies faculty use in teaching and research.

Teaching in the Digital Age 

The new alignment of organizations into the Research, Teaching and Learning group enables a sharper focus on the pedagogy of technology-enhanced teaching and learning. Through the Center for Teaching and Learning, digital pedagogy is being advanced in three specific ways.

  1. To enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of learning in courses, 13 faculty from across campus became Digital Pedagogy Fellows this past summer 2017, where they honed their skills in building a course plan that leverages digital tools in alignment with learning theory and practice.

  2. A Digital Pedagogy Consortium has evolved into a thriving group of technology staff embedded in various schools and colleges who all work to support digital teaching initiatives and online programs.

  3. Resources and new insights are generated through digital pedagogy expertise from the CTL, where faculty are being exposed to practice and thought-pieces on topics such as “Humanizing the Digital Classroom.”

The opportunities abound and we are excited about what the future holds for the further development and engagement with faculty and staff partners through programming, collaborations, and an array of information, resources, and tips on teaching in the digital age.

“By bringing these three units together, we hope to provide instructors and researchers with improved and expanded technology and pedagogical support services that will help empower the teaching and research mission of the campus.” - Jenn Stringer, Chief Academic Technology Officer and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning

More information and details can be found at teaching.berkeley.edu

Berkeley Explores Learning Analytics

Early in October, faculty, advisors, academic and IT staff came together to discuss an emerging concept in education, learning analytics, and what it means for Berkeley. The conversations that occurred throughout the day-long event were a community discussion and an exchange of ideas hoping to remove the barriers that separate the various aspects of campus and allow for more collaboration to take place.

Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education, Catherine Koshland opened the conference followed by a keynote from University of Michigan faculty member and analytics advocate, Tim Mckay. They both stressed that learning analytics is about serving the student; at its heart, it aims to return the data to students in a safe, practical, and insightful way. The day included breakout sessions which encouraged participants to examine a diversity of opinion and thoughts on various aspects of learning analytics. A panel composed of administrators and faculty from various parts of campus ended the conference.

The conference’s greatest success will be the increased visibility that learning analytics will have on campus, as well as the network connections and collaborations the day inspired. At a university as diverse and blessed with human capital as Berkeley, there really is no limit to what can be achieved when people assemble together to discuss the challenges and the opportunities that are changing classrooms around the globe. As Vice Chancellor Koshland remarked in her opening, “from the cosmos to the classroom,” we can apply the research currently underway to look at tried-and-true methods from a new perspective. Visit the conference website.

“Learning analytics is an area where we have both a leadership role to play and opportunity to learn. We have been an early leader in at least recognizing the value of learning data and and how important using analytics is for research and for student success as I think those are intimately linked.” - Catherine Koshland, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education

Learning Data Principles

Every day, students and instructors across the globe generate information or data around learning and teaching. Every time a student logs into a Learning Management System, like bCourses, or an instructor uses a tool like YouTube to share lecture content, a system logs the interactions, users, and more. This year, a UC-wide team, including staff from ETS and CTL, began to address what data generated by both our internal, campus supported systems, and free/public use systems means, and what standards and practices should be considered when faculty, staff, and students interact with these systems.

The ultimate goal of this team was to create a set of standards that could be used to help guide each campus during negotiations with vendors to protect user data (from ownership to data security), and to create a set of standards to be reviewed when individual users consider using free-to-use products outside campus provided tools. View a draft of the principles now under review with the UC Office of the President.

Supporting Research with Tools and Tech Expertise - C4, G1

From Assyriology to astrophysics, Research IT has been applying tools and technical expertise to challenges in research data management, large-scale computation, visualization, and leveraging museum collections. Having joined the new Research, Teaching, and Learning organization reporting jointly to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education and the Associate Vice Chancellor for IT and CIO, Research IT is helping to involve undergraduates in campus research.

Research IT is helping to involve undergraduates in campus research.

Text Digitization

Data preparation in research across many domains frequently requires conversion from images of text to computationally processable text files. In 2017, over 40 researchers in the social sciences, humanities, and professional schools have made use of Research IT’s virtual desktop for precision Optical Character Recognition (OCR), featuring ABBYY FineReader software.

Working with UC Berkeley Law Professor Kenneth Ayotte and UC Hastings Assistant Professor Jared Ellias, D-Lab consultant Chris Hench used the Savio cluster and the open source package Tesseract to perform OCR over a million pages of documents related to bankruptcy cases. Digital Humanities and Near Eastern Studies postdoc Adam Anderson is taking a similar approach to his 1.5 TB collection of rare book scans in multiple languages.

Image: A seventeenth century Dutch-language document from the Bancroft Library's Engel Sluiter Historical Documents Collection, one of 700 OCRed using Research IT's virtual desktop for OCR.

"We came up with a big research project to try to do something new and potentially important, but had no idea how to do it and no resources to help us. Research IT connected us with the resources to make the project -- which still took more than a year of processing documents -- a reality." ~ Kenneth Ayotte, Professor, Berkeley Law

Engaging Students in Computational Research

Research IT is providing opportunities for Berkeley students to put skills acquired in the classroom and through research to professional use. Undergraduate interns have contributed to the development of CollectionSpace software used to manage five campus collections, as well as public portals to the systems’ rich metadata. Berkeley Research Computing’s (BRC) Domain Consultant program draws from a pool of computationally savvy graduate students and postdocs, and in 2017 helped place Chemistry PhD Debra Mccaffrey in a computational research facilitator position at the University of Michigan.

BRC began piloting an “Instructional Computing Allowance” (ICA) in Spring 2017, enabling access to the Savio cluster for students to complete coursework that requires significant computational resources. Under a pilot ICA, the Biomedical Big Data Training Program led by Professors Mark Van der Laan and Alan Hubbard had access to 200,000 core-hours of computation in Savio. 

Visualization of research data

Research IT staff worked with Ben Porter, Director of the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, to install the HearstCAVE immersive visualization environment as part of a collaboration between UC Berkeley, UCSD, UCLA, and UC Merced to document at-risk archaeological sites. An undergraduate team worked with Hearst Museum staff to develop an initial set of models using photogrammetry—a technique for developing 3D models from partially-overlapping 2D photographs—to generate new digital content from objects in the collection. The Research Data Management (RDM) program and Research IT’s Museum Informatics will contribute to preservation and archiving of visualized content.

Image: Capturing 2D images of an object from the Hearst Museum of Anthropology for creation of a 3D model using photogrammetry.

Image: Undergraduate BRC interns Sahil Hasan and Harrison Kuo presenting on their "banking plugin" for managing HPC allocations at the the Sept. 2017 Slurm Users Group held at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). This was a national meeting of professional HPC cluster admins -- specifically, those who use Slurm to schedule jobs on their clusters. Research IT has a rich history of connecting undergraduate students to research opportunities.

Learn more: research-it.berkeley.edu

Examples of One IT in Action for Campus & UC  

Many of the projects we have completed and continue to have in flight are in direct support of common good services to better serve the entire campus with a few projects supporting system-wide initiatives for the University of California.

Service & Impact



Student Technology Fund

access to funding for technology projects open to the entire campus community

AY 2016-17, the STF allocated $770,588 to technology projects and initiatives to benefit campus. Examples include funding the Student Technology Help Desk in Moffitt Library, student software licenses, providing support for innovative projects and hardware plus events such as Human Rights Tech Talks, the LAUNCH Startup Expo, and Demo Day.

The Tech Fund is administered by a committee consisting of student, staff, and faculty representatives.


Wi-Fi Upgrades

We plan to double the density of our Wi-Fi network throughout campus over the next several years, improving performance and reliability for all users

To improve the campus user experience, increase the efficiency of our networking services, and better support teaching and research, IST is refocusing its networking services away from the traditional wired campus network infrastructure and allocating resources towards Wi-Fi improvements. Our plan is to focus on enhancing the network experience in instructional spaces, labs, and areas utilized for collaboration and study.

IST Infrastructure Services & Telecommunications

Campus Shared Services IT (CSS IT)

Educational Technology Services (ETS)

Video Conferencing

we leveraged lower cost video conference tools to reduce campus spend  

Retired: BlueJeans & ReadyTalk

Bubble:$100,000+ savings through the retirement of BlueJeans

With the introduction of Google’s Hangouts Meet, we were able to leverage our existing contract to provide a highly integrated service to all of campus while making the best of breed solution, Zoom, available for departments to purchase in cases where they need additional functionality as needed.


IST bConnected

IST Infrastructure Services & Telecommunications


Google Sites

free and simple to use website publishing

Retired: Socrates Web Hosting & Open Scholar

Sites allows you to create a simple personal website, wiki, or project site without any prior programming or design skills. With an intuitive drag and drop interface, you can work alone or collaborate with others to quickly build a website.

IST bConnected

IST Web Platform Services

Learn more about Google Sites


storage provides the backbone for information management

To increase service efficiency we now provide data encryption at rest for Performance and Utility tier storage for both block and file based storage. The group has continued to help clients across the campus manage their budgets for teaching and research this fiscal year by reducing prices for all storage tiers by 20%.

IST Infrastructure Services team worked with multiple departments across campus.



helping researchers meet their regulatory requirements

Our IST Infrastructure Services Cloud team continues to host more than 900 servers in a secure, highly available, cost competitive environment. This year we collaborated to provide multiple Data Protection Level 2 environments that satisfy regulatory requirements from a variety of granting agencies (Kaiser, NIMH, NSF, etc.) around the world.

IST Infrastructure Services & Telecommunications

Information Security and Policy

Research IT (RIT)

Office of the CIO

The University Library

University Health Services

Berkeley Optometry

Meet the IST Infrastructure Services team

UC Business Intelligence Infrastructure

provides UC-wide reporting capabilities in a centralized, secure environment

The IST Database Services team has been collaborating with multiple groups to support the system-wide Business Intelligence infrastructure. We will provide UC-wide reporting capabilities for those campuses that want a centralized and secure environment to meet their UCPath reporting needs.

IST Data & Platform Services

IST Data Warehouse

UC-wide BI Collaboration Group UCOP UCPath BI Team

Meet the IST Data & Platform Services and Data Warehouse teams

Examples of One IT in Action for Faculty

In addition to the services we provide to researchers described in other parts of this report, we also work collaboratively to identify ways we can better support the work of instructors and faculty.

Service & Impact




Speeds up the grading process and provides more consistent feedback to students plus analytics for instructors

Gradescope is a suite of tools designed to accommodate a common grading workflow. Students or instructors scan and upload their homework or exams and the software can reveal valuable statistics about their students progress.

Educational Technology Services (ETS)

Center for Teaching and Learning


Academic Innovation Studio (AIS)

a collaborative space centrally located for instructors and researchers to meet, share ideas, and innovate

Since opening their doors in 2016, AIS has proven itself as a key focal point for collaboration and one-stop-shopping for faculty. AIS is a cross-campus partnership that brings UC Berkeley instructors, researchers and academic support staff together with campus resources to foster innovation in teaching, learning and research. A core value of the AIS is to create and nurture partnerships and communities that connect visitors to each other and to a seamless support experience across a variety of campus service providers.


Berkeley Resource Center for Online Education

Center for Teaching and Learning

Digital Humanities@Berkeley

Educational Technology Services (ETS)

The University Library

Research IT


Faculty IT Onboarding

simplifies who faculty can turn to for technical help and helps them leverage their IT spend

CSS IT meets with new faculty members to provide information regarding IT policies and services. Then we recommend, purchase, and install hardware and software to meet their technology requirements. This helps faculty effectively leverage their IT spend efficiently and provides seamless support and consulting for classroom technology, research IT, and general IT support.

Campus Shared Services IT (CSS IT)

Educational Technology Services (ETS)

Research IT

Departmental IT


Berkeley Research Computing (BRC)

consulting to match faculty with appropriate resources

The BRC program supports research with a coordinated set of services across a range of computation and data analysis needs. BRC includes consulting that ensures faculty are matched to the appropriate resources, and that the computation and data resources meet their needs.

Research IT

Office of the CIO

Office of the Chancellor

Vice Chancellor for Research


Research Data Management (RDM)

addresses current and emerging data management issues

The RDM program has performed hundreds of consultations with researchers from many disciplines, developed guidance and recommendations regarding active research data storage, and defined a new campus-wide recommendation for securing research data. These services address current and emerging data management issues, compliance with policy requirements imposed by funders and by the University, and reduction of risk associated with the challenges of data stewardship.

Research IT

The University Library

Information Services and Technology (IST)


Examples of One IT in Action for Students

The following projects and programs are a sampling of the ongoing collaborative efforts we are engaged in to improve the student experience, teaming up with partners in our One IT family.

Service & Impact



Student Computing @ Cal

Impact: students get a wide range of technical help at a centralized location

1,000+ students

received IT support

last year

Student Computing @ Cal project aims to transform the entire student computing experience at UC Berkeley while reducing redundancy and creating new services that can scale across campus. The Student Technology Help Desk in Moffitt Library is a walk-up service where all students can get help configuring, using, and troubleshooting campus technologies and their personally­ owned devices, such as laptops, tablets, and phones.

Bubble: Student Engagement and Outreach

  • Over 500 students participated in Golden Bear Orientation resource fair

  • Fall Startup/Move In Activities including Wifi Connectivity and Outreach Education

  • 3D printing workshops given to over 150 students

Student Affairs IT (SAIT)

The University Library

Educational Technology Services (ETS)

Campus Shared Services IT (CSS IT)

Information Services and Technology (IST)


Meet students who work at the Help Desk

Student Technology Council (STC)

Impact: STC serves as a voice for student technology needs and hosts events to engage all students in tech fun

The STC is a student-run advocacy group that advises the campus CIO on student tech issues with a mission to connect students to campus technology resources. The STC partners with elected student leadership and campus student organizations to drive the change students want. Recent efforts include a Student Tech Fair to showcase innovative student-run and Student Tech Fund-sponsored projects on campus; reviewing and managing student developer requests for SIS APIs; providing input into Arts & Design Initiative student outreach strategies; and collaborating with campus IT leadership to strengthen the campus mobile presence.

IT Architecture and Infrastructure Committee (ITAIC)

Educational Technology Services User Advisory Group

Student Tech Fund Committee

Student Information Systems (SIS)

Information Services and Technology (IST)

Office of the CIO


Haas Technology Solutions

Impact: better engagement and support for Haas faculty, students, and staff

Haas Technology Solutions (HTS) hosted a successful One IT Summit in July 2017. This event had elements of engagement, learning and fun. HTS is actively developing Research Computing initiatives in partnership with Berkeley Research Computing, they delivered a DSEP Kubernetes JupyterHub environment for a summer session data analytics class. All production environments have been migrated to the IS&T data center. HTS is continuously improving processes and services with CSS IT, SIS and the ServiceNow team.

Haas Technology Solutions

Campus Shared Services IT (CSS IT)

Educational Technology Services (ETS)

Information Services and Technology (IST)

Student Information Systems (SIS)

Office of the CIO

Research IT


Student IT Leadership & Employment Program

Impact: students get hands-on training that includes both technical experience and the development of soft skills preparing them for future careers

SAIT employs approximately 80 part-time student employees whose roles vary from help desk and customer technical support, to system development and maintenance, infrastructure, network, and information security. Employment offers students a unique blend of entry-level experience, advanced technical work and apprenticeship alongside IT professionals. Students participate in direct services, in addition to direction setting and decision-making, impacting their peers and the university. Students value the opportunity to engage in meaningful work that directly affects the campus.

Student Affairs IT (SAIT)

Website: studenttech.berkeley.edu

Read article featuring Student Help Desk in EdTech Magazine

What’s Next

As you can see from what we have covered in this report, we have a lot of in-flight projects that we will continue to make progress on and new tactics we will be tackling in 2018. 

ReIT Approach Going Forward

Next steps for our Reimagining IT Strategic Plan work are to:

  • Keep engagement with campus a high priority through individual meetings with campus leadership and governance groups, invited speakers to One IT events, Open Seminars, and Workshops.

  • Align the ReIT efforts with the External Review by participating in co-brainstorming with them as they work on their priorities: IT services as public goods, how to fund these services, how to govern.

  • Be very clear about what success means and how we measure it. Engage individuals and groups (both campus leaders and IT leaders) to help us define the key measures of success for the end of this fiscal year and through the end of the three-year ReIT implementation.

  • Launch a small number of high priority Tactics for the remainder of FY2017-2018, and engage the newly formed Strategic Leadership Council to choose, prioritize, and assess the Tactics for FY2018-2019.

  • Align budget priorities with the ReIT Strategic Plan.

  • Establish processes to better organize the ReIT program efforts leading to new strategic business practices. Prioritize, track, and report on projects in a portfolio, based on the goals and strategies of the ReIT plan.

  • Support IT staff and help the One IT community make a difference and lead from where you are!

“We want to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication throughout the planning process and now the implementation of our strategic plan.”  - David Greenbaum, Director for Reimagining IT

2018 Timeline with Opportunities for Campus Input

  • January: Begin FY19 Budget Planning
  • January 26: Campus Conversation
  • January - March: Launch Phase 3 Foundational Tactics
  • January - April: Brainstorming sessions with External Review Consultants
  • January - May: Review plan with campus faculty, leaders, governance groups to solicit feedback and secure formal leadership support for the plan.
  • February: Open Seminar
  • February: Finalize Measures of Success
  • February 12: Campus Conversations
  • March - June: Metrics data collection and development
  • March - June: Gather feedback from campus IT departments and align departmental goals with ReIT plan
  • March: ReIT Workshop 1
  • March 22: Campus Conversations
  • March 28: One IT Event at Law
  • April: Open Seminar
  • April 24: Campus Conversations
  • May: Open Seminar
  • May: External Review Report Due
  • June: IT Summit
  • June: ReIT Workshop 2
  • June - July: Finalize and publish ReIT Strategic Plan

View ReIT Website: https://technology.berkeley.edu/strategic-plan

View Upcoming Events: https://technology.berkeley.edu/one-it/calendar

Read Draft Plan: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19qRlVjEF8HVaXK8bWAS2EjNfTJ4SjOrB5XEL...

Back cover: photo of Warren Hall with contact info:

Office of the CIO
University of California, Berkeley
Earl Warren Hall, 2195 Hearst Ave., Suite 200
Berkeley, CA 94720-4878
Phone: 510-643-4090
Fax: 510-643-5385

Facebook logo: https://www.facebook.com//groups/141771189579470/

Twitter logo: https://twitter.com/Berkeley_OneIT

LinkedIn logo: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8552812