E&I Announcements

Leadership Focal Areas

Email sent: April 4, 2019
To: All IST Staff

Dear Colleagues,

Part of the feedback we received from many of you in IST as part of our culture change initiative is that you would like to hear more about what IST leadership is working on.  Something I’ve done periodically for the IT Community Council is to report on the issues and topics that are top-of-mind for me as the campus CIO and which I am focused on.  I’m happy to share these updates with all of you going forward as a way to keep people better informed…see below.



CIO Areas of Focus

April 4, 2019

UCPath.  The recent implementation of the UCPath system here at Berkeley as gone phenomenally well.  While the project overall of the entirety of the UC System has had its share of challenges and delays, the hard work and planning of the Berkeley project team paid off with a very smooth cutover.  I told JR Schulden that this was by far the cleanest cutover of any system I’ve been involved in over the course of my career.  In particular, the work of the AIS team and JR’s leadership set the project up well for success.  Please join me in congratulating all involved in making this happen.  I want to share with you a portion of the comments from Chancellor Christ that she recently sent to the entire UCPath project team:

“I, along with all campus leadership, am extremely grateful to you for your round-the-clock effort you've poured into the project thus far.  You are having a campus-wide positive impact ensuring accurate pay and benefits for all of our 23,000 employees.  I have heard nothing but extremely complementary feedback from our Berkeley executive sponsors as well as UCOP leadership about you, our UC Berkeley UCPath team.  Together you are setting the standard and best practice for future UCPath implementations across the system.  Congratulations on all you've accomplished thus far and thank you for your continued support and effort going forward.”

IST culture change initiative.  I’m encouraged at the employee and manager engagement we’ve seen on this effort.  I think we’re off to a great start with the Action Team’s leadership and Strategic Plan. Changing culture is challenging and will require a sustained and focused effort over time.  Plus we need to make sure we provide the needed tools, training, and the practice/experience to develop the new behaviors and responses needed.  Follow-through and persistence will be key.

Professional development.  One of the key components coming out of the IST culture change initiative is the need to provide greater professional development opportunities for campus IT staff.   This is an all too familiar result of year-after-year budget cuts: money for professional development tends to be one of the first things cut.  We are working to counter this through several activities:

  • We have funded a new workforce development support position which will focus on improving PD options for campus IT staff.  One of aspirations of this is to establish a Berkeley IT Academy program here similar to the IT Academy program at Harvard.  
  • Building on the IT Leadership program with MOR and Associates, we’ve established a new program with MOR calledLead From Where You Are targeted for people earlier on in their careers than the ITLP program is focused on.  We are planning to support a 25-30 person cohort each year which will be delivered on campus.  The first inaugural cohort has been chosen and will start in the coming weeks.
  • We recently helped sponsor sending about 60 campus IT staff through Kubernetes training.
  • We are regularly informing IST staff about all open IT jobs on campus.

Budget submission for FY20.  This will be the 7th straight year of budget cuts I’ve been through here…every year I’ve been at Berkeley.  However, while we are taking a further cut for FY20, for the first time, no layoffs are planned.  We are optimistic this will be the last round of cuts dealing with the campus structural financial deficit.  My chief concerns at this point is that we’ve cut some areas too far and that we lack resources to support innovation.  Despite the continuing budget cuts, though, three key strategic requests for new funding have been submitted:

  • WiFi—Sustainable funding to complete the technology refresh started over the past two fiscal years and maintain currency for the wireless network going forward.
  • Secure Research Data and Computation (SRDC)—We have heard clearly from many campus researchers that they need a more secure facility for research data—this is particularly important to support the campus’ ambitious plans for a greater level of bio sciences research.
  • Student Computing Requirement—We propose establishing a student computing requirement for all undergraduate students augmented by expanded financial aid for under-resourced students.  This is being submitted through VC Cathy Koshland’s office.

SIS Phase 2 project.  This is a strategically important project to complete the needed functionality not delivered in the initial SIS implementation project.  This will be a 2-3 year effort and is focused on delivering a defined and prioritized set of upgrades.

Reimagining IT Strategic Plan.  We have just completed a rework of the ReIT plan to align it more directly with the new campus strategic plan.  Our focus will now shift to make the case for where/how IT can support the campus plan.  Making that case will fall to the One IT community.

IT Governance.  As I’ve noted before, last year’s outside assessment of campus IT has netted down to the need to “reboot” the campus IT governance structure.  The past governance structure had no tie-in to resource decisions and was viewed as the “CIO’s governance structure.”  The reworked structure needs to truly be an IT governance structure for campus executive management and have a tie-in to resource allocation decisions.  Marc Fisher’s office is driving the reboot.

Leadership recruiting update.  In recent weeks, we have filled the following senior leadership roles:

  • Jenn Stringer as Asst. VC and Deputy CIO
  • Rana Silver as SIS Functional Director
  • Ross Stivison as SIS Technical Director
  • Anne Marie Richard as SA IT Director

We have recruiting underway for these other key leadership positions:

  • Director for the Center for Teaching Excellence, reporting to the new Executive Director for RTL
  • Director for Research IT, reporting to the new Executive Director for RTL
  • Executive Director for Research Teaching and Learning, reporting to the Deputy CIO
  • Executive Director for Enterprise Applications, reporting to the CIO

Information Security.  We’ve reached an important set of milestones in reducing the campus information security exposures.  These are funded by the additional budget we received in the wake of the BFS compromise a few years back.  Significant improvements in information security include:

  • Implementation of Two-Factor Authentication for all students, faculty, staff, and retirees
  • Next generation campus firewalls and a greater level of network segmentation
  • A hardened Active Directory infrastructure

There is an updated UC System information security policy, IS-3, which we are developing an implementation plan for.

Other.  Some areas we’re exploring as possible future programs include:

  • A possible pilot for deploying Robotic Process Automation (RPA) here at Berkeley
  • A possible new policy on ADA compliance and the role Open Berkeley could play in helping units comply
  • A possible initiative to support a new “internship” program to help bring in entry-level staff and help them develop here at Berkeley

Cloud.  A new Cloud Community of Practice has just been announced to support further use of cloud-based solutions.

Please let me know if you have any questions about these or are interested in discussing any of them further.

Follow-up from March 13 IST All Staff Meeting

Email sent: April 4, 2019
To: All IST Staff

Dear colleagues--

Thanks again to those who were able to join us at the IST All Staff last month - more than 400 of you, either in person or online, participated in the event!  Please use this survey to share your feedback about the All Staff and provide your ideas for topics you'd like to see covered at future All Staff events. 
I want to share a couple of the artifacts from that meeting, as well as answers to a couple of questions that had come in before the meeting via the survey but that we didn't have a chance to get to during the meeting.
Our next All Staff event is scheduled for June 12, so stay tuned for more information about that. Please let me know if you have any questions or trouble accessing the documents above.

Questions for next week's IST All Staff meeting

Email sent: March 5, 2019
To: All IST Staff

Dear colleagues--

We're looking forward to seeing you at next Wednesday's IST All Staff meeting on  from 2-4pm at Pauley Ballroom in the MLK Student Union. To help us better plan the time, please use this form to submit question(s) you have by CoB on Monday, March 11. Submit as many questions as you'd like, and we will answer as many as we can at the meeting.
Thank you!

Ally/Bystander Training for IST

Email sent: Dec. 4, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Dear colleagues--
IST is in the process of creating a more inclusive work environment. That means that each and every person is responsible for creating and protecting that environment, which includes identifying and managing negative behavior in the moment, when it happens. One of the pieces of feedback I received from a number of you after the MEP workshops is that many people still didn't feel sure about what to do if they witness negative behavior in the workplace. 
To help us all learn how to manage those kinds of situations better, we've arranged for Catherine Mattice from Civility Partners to give a series of Ally/Bystander workshops. In this two-hour training, you will gain actionable tools you can use when you witness negative behavior around you. At the end of the training, you will:
  • be able to discuss and describe negative behaviors beyond harassment and discrimination, including incivility and microaggressions
  • understand negative behaviors as a social phenomenon, and identify which roles they currently play in it
  • use a variety of communication strategies for intervening when witnessing incivility, bullying, harassment or discrimination
  • identify personal barriers to intervening (e.g., fear) and how to overcome them 
These workshops will be held during the last week of January (January 28-30), and as with the MEP workshops are required for IST staff.  You will shortly see an invite for this training on your bCal. We will also be holding one webinar-style session that week, just for remote employees. Please make any accommodations to your schedule to attend the training, as we have scheduled them to optimize the numbers of people in each class to maximize the opportunity for discussion.
Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Coffee with the CIO

Email sent: Nov. 29, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Dear Colleagues,

One of the key pieces of feedback we have received in our diversity and inclusion initiative--led by Catherine Mattice of Civility Partners--is the need to improve communication and interaction across the organization.  Now, I think this needs to be a multi-faceted approach and there’s no one thing that will accomplish that. 

However, one thing I want to try to help with this are periodic “coffee with the CIO” sessions at different IST locations.   The basic idea is that I’ll show up in a room at different locations with coffee and bagels from 8:30-9:30 a.m. to discuss whatever is on anyone’s mind.   I’m asking the IST directors to NOT participate as I think that might be more effective.  No agenda, per se…just a chance to hear what people are interested in talking about or input they would like to provide.

I want to get through an initial set of these and, if it seems useful, then move to a regular cadence…I’m thinking quarterly.  Please see the initial schedule below:

  • Banway - December 6
  • Shattuck - December 19
  • Warren - January 8
  • Telegraphh - January 15

Margarita is working to nail down the specific room at each location, but I want to get the basic schedule out to all of you to calendar, if you have interest in participating in this.

Upcoming IST all staff meeting on December 11

Email sent: Nov. 26, 2018
To: All IST Staff | watch video | slide deck

Hi all--

Our next IST All Staff meeting is coming up on December 11 (2-4 at the Berkeley Rep Theater). It should be on your calendar (or will be shortly), but please let Margarita Zeglin know if it is not.  If you or a member of your team needs any accommodation for the event, please let me or Margarita know by Friday, November 30.

We are still finalizing the agenda, but we will definitely hear a report from the IST Action Team with details about the IST strategic culture plan; an update on the IST budget from Terence Phuong; and more. 

I hope to see you all there!  Please let me know if you have any questions.



Introducing our action team!

Email sent: Sept. 13, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Dear Colleagues,

I want to thank everyone who volunteered to serve on the IST culture change action team.  This is a critically important group for all of us.

The team members have been selected--see the note below to the members from Catherine Mattice.  The kick-off meeting for the action team is scheduled for Sept. 24th and the plan is to move things along briskly.


IST Equity & Inclusion work update

Email sent: Sept. 6, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Hi everyone--

It's been a couple of weeks since our All Staff meeting and I wanted to give you an update on where things are with our E&I program work. I heard from Catherine Mattice, CEO of Civility Partners today. She has reviewed the 18 applications for the Action Team we received and has selected 11 people. In the next few days she will be reaching out to those folks to confirm their participation, and after that we will be able to formally announce the members of the Action Team, as well as get the Action Team kickoff meeting scheduled! 

In addition to the Civility Partners work, the directors have been regularly discussing ways to address some of the feedback we received in the CP report. One of the things we are doing to address some of the concerns we heard about communications is scheduling regular management team meetings, as well as more frequent All Staff meetings, so keep an eye out for those invitations. If you have any specific topics you'd like to see discussed at either of those meetings, please send me your ideas!

Finally, the third MEP workshop is coming up in October, so you should see those invites on your calendar as well. 

That's it for now, please let me know if you'd have any questions or would like to talk with me about the IST E&I program. 

Thank you for your continued interest in this important work.  

Re: IST E&I Program: Required MEP Workshops

Email sent: Aug. 30, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Dear colleagues--

Thank you for attending the second MEP workshop, which focused on exploring unconscious bias issues at Berkeley. I've heard from a number of you who found it useful and also an excellent opportunity to get to know your colleagues better. As I mentioned at the All Staff meeting last week, these workshops are just one of the variety of activities we've undertaken as part of our IST Equity and Inclusion program; they are intended to raise awareness and start conversations, help people who might be on the receiving end of or observe poor behavior learn how to cope and respond, and help people learn to recognize where they may be making others feel uncomfortable.

There is a final workshop that will be required to complete the series. The next one is in October (dates are 10/3-10/17) and is focused on cross-cultural communication. Here is a short workshop description:

Let’s Talk: Engaging in Cross-Cultural Communication: This three and a half hour workshop engages participants in conversations regarding “what gets in the way” when communicating across difference. This workshop reviews interactive communication theory and U.S. domestic dynamics of Human Diversity. Participants will work with each other in discussing and applying this information in varied situations. The goals of this work shop are to:

  • Increase awareness of our personal communication styles
  • Increase awareness of diversity and the complexity of communication styles
  • Come away with knowledge and application of the“Intent vs. Impact” model
  • Learn and practice skills that contribute to more effective cross-cultural communication 

You will shortly see invites on your calendar for workshop 3, and your attendance is required.  As before, we have created the workshop cohorts intentionally and expect that you will attend the one you've been assigned to. The only exceptions will be for previously scheduled leaves (vacation or sick). If you qualify for an exception please let Stephanie Sorenson know ASAP and she will try to move you to a different date/time. 

If you will be gone for the entire time we're offering this workshop, you will be expected to do a makeup session at the MEP classes that are open to the campus community this fall. Also, as a reminder, if you missed workshop 1 or 2 (or both), you need to sign up for one of the MEP campus workshop offerings. More information about signing up is available at the MEP Program siteIf you will need any accommodation for the workshop you attend, please let me know by September 21 at the latest.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you for your continued support of our Equity and Inclusion program efforts.

Thanks, Liz

Civility Partners Report

Email sent: Aug. 21, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Dear Colleagues,

We want to thank all of you who attended today’s IST All Staff meeting.

It was encouraging to see that we had strong attendance and engagement from all of you, and this bodes well for the work in the months ahead to create a culture where everyone in IST feels welcome and able to do their best work.

Follow Up Resources

  • As promised, you can find the full Civility Partners IST Assessment of Culture report we discussed today on the IST Culture website.
  • For more information about IST’s larger equity and inclusion program, visit the Equity and Inclusion site.
  • If you would like to be considered for participation in the Action Team Catherine Mattice mentioned that will develop the plan for us going forward, please fill out this short survey form. This form will remain open for responses through August 28.

Many of us have heard or read of individual accounts of incidents here that raised concerns. This survey and report allowed us to take a closer and data-based look at what is actually occurring across IST units, job positions and demographics.

As noted in the meeting, many of us have been attracted to and stay here at UC Berkeley because we strongly identify with the mission and values of the institution. Some of what we heard today does not comport with those values or mission. We must do better…and we will do better.

The Civility Partners report-out was a difficult, but important message to hear. While there were some key positives, such as, a high level of job satisfaction among most of you, it was disturbing to learn of the concerns raised about IST not being as welcoming, supportive and encouraging a workplace as some of us may have thought we were.

The focus of the work with Civility Partners is to change the IST culture in ways that comport with our best values, in particular those that involve being inclusive, welcoming, and providing equal opportunity for development and growth.  Clearly management has a key role to play in setting the norms and accountability. However, we all own the “culture” of our organization and it will take us all working together to create a truly welcoming and supportive workplace community.

We welcome your continued thoughts, commentary, and involvement in addressing these issues. Please feel free to contact Larry Conrad, Marc Fisher, Liz Marsh, or Lyle Nevels to share your thoughts about this work.

Larry Conrad and Marc Fisher

All-Staff IST Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, 8/21, 2-4 p.m.

Email sent: Aug. 15, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Dear Colleagues,

As part of our work on equity and inclusion issues in IST, we engaged outside consultants at Civility Partners to help us identify any culture issues as well as provide guidance on how to address them. The first part of this work was a series of interviews with 10% of you (randomly selected) as well as a survey that was distributed to all of you.  It has taken longer than we had hoped for Civility Partners to digest all that input, but they have just completed their assessment and are ready to share that with all of us. 

This coming Tuesday, 8/21/18, we will host an IST all-staff Town Hall style meeting where we will report out on the results of the assessment along with recommendations and next steps for addressing the identified issues.  Catherine Mattice, CEO of Civility Partners, will lead us through the findings.  Marc Fisher will also be attending.  We have placed an invite for this meeting on your calendars for 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the International House Auditorium. Light refreshments will be served.

This is an important meeting for all of us in IST and I strongly urge you to attend. I look forward to seeing you there.



Re: IST E&I Program: Required MEP Workshops

Email sent: July 13, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Hi all--

Thank you again for attending the first MEP workshop, which focused on exploring workplace diversity issues at Berkeley. I've heard from a number of you who found it useful and also an excellent opportunity to get to know your colleagues better. 
We have two more workshops that will be required to complete the series. The next one is in August (dates are 8/2-8/10) and is focused on unconscious bias. Here is a short workshop description:
First Take / Second Look: Exploring Unconscious Bias: This workshop engages participants in discussions regarding our behaviors that might be problematic for others, as well as what to do about situations where we may be on the receiving end of biased behavior.
The outcomes of the workshop are:
  • To understand what Unconscious Bias is
  • To reveal the impacts and consequences of Unconscious Bias
  • To review how Unconscious Bias happens here on campus
  • To be able to take actions in response to Unconscious Bias
You will shortly see invites on your calendar for workshop 2, and your attendance is required.  As before, we have created the workshop cohorts intentionally and expect that you will attend the one you've been assigned to. The only exceptions will be for previously scheduled leaves (vacation or sick). If you qualify for an exception please let Stephanie Sorenson know ASAP and she will try to move you to a different date/time. If you will be gone for the entire time we're offering this workshop, you will be expected to do a makeup session at the MEP classes that will be open to the campus community in the fall. 
Please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you for your continued support of our Equity and Inclusion program efforts.

FINAL REMINDER - Civility Partners survey closes today

Email sent: June 22, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Hi all,

Just a reminder that the Civility Partners survey closes today at the end of the business day. Please do take the time to complete it if you haven't already.

Here is the link again: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UCBIST

Please contact me or Larry Conrad if you have any questions.

Also, if you would like to learn a bit more about Civility Partners and their work with UCB, take a look at this flyer.


REMINDER - please complete the Civility Partners’ climate survey

Email sent: June 18, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Hi IST colleagues--
I wanted to remind you that Civility Partners culture survey will close on June 22nd at the end of the business day.  This is an important opportunity to provide honest information about working in IST, so that we can determine what opportunities there are for improvement. I really encourage you to take the time to take the survey so we can get as much info as possible to work with.
As a reminder, your responses are totally anonymous, and we will be provided only with a report summarizing the responses. You will also learn the survey results. 
Here is the link again: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UCBIST 
Please contact me or Larry Conrad if you have any questions. 
Also, if you would like to learn a bit more about Civility Partners and their work with UCB, take a look at this flyer.

Your input needed - please complete the Civility Partners’ climate survey

Email sent: June 11, 2018
To: All IST Staff

IST colleagues--

As you know, we have contracted with a consulting firm, Civility Partners, to assist in building and executing a strategic plan to create a more inclusive and equitable environment here in IST.  In order to do so, we will need a deeper understanding of the current climate and culture.

The survey will likely take you about 30-45 minutes to complete. I understand that workloads are heavy, but taking the time to answer the questions honestly and completely will result in a much richer set of information we can use to develop plans to improve our workplace. I encourage you to take the necessary time to complete the survey.

Please be completely honest - your anonymity is guaranteedYour responses are directed into Civility Partners’ own survey account; only summary and anonymized forms of information will be reported and no individual surveys will be shared with anyone in IST or UC Berkeley.

Any comments left in the open-ended questions will be reviewed for themes; no names or identifying information are included in the report, further ensuring your confidentiality.

Once the survey closes, a summary report will be provided to everyone. Further, an action team made up of all departments and several levels, from individual contributor to manager, will be assembled to identify opportunities for improvement.

Please submit your response no later than close of business on Friday, June 22nd. The survey will close at that time.

Here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UCBIST

Please contact me or Larry Conrad if you have any questions.

Also, if you would like to learn a bit more about Civility Partners and their work, take a look at this flyer.


IST E&I Program: Required MEP Workshops

Email sent: May 30, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Dear Colleagues,

You will each shortly see a calendar entry inviting you to participate in the first of what will be a series of three workshops offered by the campus Multicultural Education Program (MEP), which is run by the office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion.  We have arranged a special offering of these workshops for IST, and are requiring all IST staff to attend. In exceptional cases it may be possible to switch out your assigned session for one of the other Workshop 1 sessions, but please make every attempt to rearrange your schedule to attend before requesting an exception. If you need to reschedule please contact Stephanie Sorensen, ssorensen@berkeley.edu.

The MEP workshop series is part of our larger IST Equity and Inclusion program that we kicked off in March. As we stated then, we are taking very seriously concerns about equity and inclusion issues in our organization and are working to address them in a number of specific and tangible ways. The work with Civility Partners culture engagement work that we kicked off last week is also a part of this. 

The first MEP workshop is called Looking In / Looking Out: Exploring Workplace Diversity at Cal, and engages participants in exploring human diversity by reflecting on what makes individuals unique and how it affects one’s worldview. Through telling stories, participants learn more about themselves and others in their organization. This interactive workshop also provides opportunities to practice communication skills for understanding across difference. Note that workshops 2 and 3 will likely be scheduled in the August/September timeframe. 

Equity, diversity, inclusion and bias are complex issues with no simple solutions, and extend well beyond IST and Berkeley - diversity and inclusion numbers for the IT industry are abysmal and this is across all sectors. Our opportunity to help effect change on these issues starts in our own organization. The MEP workshop series is intended to raise awareness and start a dialogue within IST.  Some of these conversations may be uncomfortable, but we think it is important to be able to have this kind of shared experience and language within our organization, and to help make people feel safe if there are issues they need to bring forward.  Please join us in addressing these issues head-on. 

Liz Marsh and Larry Conrad

Upcoming Equity and Inclusion Interviews and Survey

Email sent: May 14, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Dear IST Colleagues,

As you know, we must become more focused on equity and inclusion in IST. Please know it is important to all of us that all members of our team feel respected, safe and welcome at work.

We have enlisted the help of a consulting firm, Civility Partners, whose founder is a well-respected expert in helping organizations create inclusive and healthy work environments. Civility Partners will help us:

  1. understand any cultural and underlying issues we face, and
  2. develop a series of strategic plans aimed at resolving current issues and creating equity and inclusion.

Civility Partners’ first order of business is a three-part assessment. They will:

  1. interview leadership,
  2. interview a random selection of employees,
  3. conduct an IST-wide survey.

Civility Partners has already interviewed the leadership team, and will be on campus next week, May 23-25, to interview employees. To ensure confidentiality, Civility Partners received a list of all employees and randomly selected 30 people on their own, at their own office. No one at UC Berkeley is privy to the names of interviewees.

If your name was selected, you will receive an email from a member of the Civility Partners team this week requesting you schedule an interview on the 23rd, 24th or 25th.

Interviews are completely anonymous and confidential, and again, Civility Partners will not disclose the names of those selected for interviews to anyone at UC Berkeley.

Please expect a link for the anonymous survey in the next few weeks. I encourage you to take the time to fill it out and be as honest as you can be. The more information obtained in the survey, the better able we will be to successfully improve our work environment.

Once the assessment phase is completed, a committee, made up of people from all levels of the organization, will be assembled to create a strategic plan to address any issues discovered and help us move toward becoming a more inclusive environment.

While leadership is responsible for leading change, culture cannot change without every single person in the organization being on board. The committee will be assembled in order to ensure change is not only coming from the top, but from all areas in IST.

Please let me know if you have any questions. You are also free to email the CEO of Civility Partners directly, at catherine@civilitypartners.com. Her name is Catherine Mattice Zundel.

Larry Conrad, Associate VC for IT and CIO

Next steps for equity, inclusion and climate planning in IST

Email sent: March 28, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Dear Colleagues--

Recently you heard from Larry about the approach we want to take to address concerns about equity and inclusion issues in our organization. These are issues we feel strongly must be addressed programmatically, over time, in tangible and specific ways on a number of fronts. Today we want to share with you more details about what we are working on and what to expect over the coming weeks and months. These ideas represent our initial thinking and we welcome all ideas and feedback for how we can ensure our organization is a positive and safe working environment for all.

Track 1: Education and awareness.  There are many education and awareness programs, on a variety of E&I-related topics, available at Berkeley as well as through UCOP. These include resources like the Multicultural Education Program (MEP) workshops, the UCOP implicit bias series, KEYS classes, and more. We are in the process of planning to bring a customized MEP program to IST, and are also discussing different trainings and awareness activities that we will make mandatory for all supervisors and managers, and strongly recommend for all. We are also planning to include a diversity and inclusion track in our 2018 OCIO/IST Workforce Development Plan. One resource we recommend everyone look at is Harvard’s Implicit Bias tests; these are confidential and free to take.

Track 2: Positive and Safe Working Environment. Part of our approach must include voices, and indeed leadership, from all levels of our organization. We intend to kick off a standing committee to discuss and provide recommendations about how to improve our climate. Based on feedback from several of you, we are planning to engage an outside firm to help facilitate the start up and initial planning work of this committee. We want to start this work in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more information about how to get involved. Another resource we expect to  take advantage of as part of this conversation is the Strategic Planning for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity toolkit, which helps units develop an E&I plan for their organization.

Track 3: Applicant/Hiring Diversity. We are all aware that there are significant gender and diversity imbalances in our IT workforce; this is a problem across the IT industry, not just at Berkeley. We have had several discussions with the campus Recruitment manager and there are a number of ideas we are pursuing to try to address this issue. These include looking at different ways to source applicants and ensuring hiring managers have received implicit bias training (e.g., there is a UCOP implicit bias class called “Managing Implicit Bias in the Hiring Process” that we will be requiring all hiring managers to take). This issue is something that will take time to address, but we must become more intentional in our hiring process if we expect to see change.

Track 4: E&I for One IT.  On Friday, we sent out a message about the Virtual Reality event exploring gender bias in IT that the OCIO is co-sponsoring. If this program is well-received we will look to do more sessions, as well as to sponsor additional events focused on gender equality and diversity in IT more broadly.  We also plan to offer anything we do for IST more broadly to the One IT community when it makes sense for a larger audience beyond just IST.

More generally for the campus One IT community, we are planning to add a 7th strategy to our Reimagining IT strategic plan that will address equity, inclusion and bias issues. We are pleased to announce that Michelle Bautista from CSS-IT and Barinder Flanagan from Haas have agreed to co-lead this strategy. Last Wednesday, at our day-long Reimagining IT planning workshop (this included 50+ IT leaders from around campus), we held an exercise to facilitate a conversation about bias and inclusion in the workplace. The debrief from the exercise resulted in many great suggestions for how we can address these issues; these will be incorporated into the E&I Reimagining IT strategy as it takes shape, as well as the local work we’re doing in IST. The exercise was so well-received that many of the participants have plans to run the exercise with their own teams.

We look forward to continuing this conversation in the days and weeks ahead. We encourage you to continue to discuss these issues with your manager, team and colleagues. We welcome hearing from you directly, whether via email (larry_conrad@berkeley.edu or lizm@berkeley.edu) or by scheduling a meeting (contact Margarita Zeglin at mzeglin@berkeley.edu).

Larry Conrad & Liz Marsh

Creating an Inclusive IT Community

Email sent: March 9, 2018
To: All IST Staff

Dear Colleagues,

By now most of you have likely seen the Pando post--or the Daily Cal article based on that post--about gender-based issues in IST. While I understand the interest that people have shown in this matter, it involves private personnel information, and we owe all employees confidentiality and privacy, regardless of what they may have shared with others. As a result, I will not comment on the specifics.

The issues raised in the post are disturbing and touch on values that are personally and professionally very important to me: the fundamentals of equal opportunity in the workplace and the right of every staff member to demonstrate their capabilities and be assessed and recognized for their contributions regardless of gender, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or any other protected category. I strongly believe these are values that are important to our long-term success in IST as well as to that of the broader One IT community here at Berkeley. Indeed, I hope these are values are important to all of us. The implications from the Pando article are not the IST any of us want.  

IST is a large organization with more than 300 people and it’s important to recognize there is not a single IST experience shared by everyone; each person has their own unique experience of the organization. That’s why it’s critically important to be proactive in demonstrating and adhering to the values mentioned above.

The IST senior management team takes this responsibility very seriously and is actively discussing how to best achieve our diversity and inclusion goals. We plan to take a programmatic approach, which will include education and training, work to increase diversity in our recruitment pipeline, and actively engaging our community to address the challenges and opportunities in order to ensure we have a climate which reflects our values. This will require careful thought and broad engagement with our community, as well as attention and monitoring over time. These are challenging issues across the entire IT industry, and indeed across our society. For example, the issues of diversity and inclusion have been widely reported to be highly problematic in Silicon Valley. That is the antithesis of what we want the IT experience to be here at UC Berkeley.

The culture of an organization is complex, and everyone has a responsibility for shaping it. As the leader of this organization and the campus CIO, I am committed to ensuring that IST creates and models a positive, welcoming, and inclusive climate. I take this responsibility very seriously, and I hope that you will join me in working to improve the culture of our division. In that spirit, I have two specific requests for each of you:

1.    If you see or know of behavior that is contrary to the values we want to engender in IST, I am asking you to speak up. You can bring 
these directly to me, either in person or anonymously, or to any member of the management team. And if you experience this behavior 
directly, know that you have options available to you:

a.    You can speak confidentially to the Staff Ombuds Office;

b.    You can speak confidentially to Employee Assistance counselors;

c.     You can report the behavior to me or to any member of the management team;

d.    You can report instances of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression discrimination and harassment 
to the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination

2.    I want to hear your ideas about tangible steps we can take to engender and support the values we want the organization to represent 
and to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Please send me an email or contact Margarita Zeglin (mzeglin@berkeley.edu
in my office to find a time to discuss in person.

I am committed to taking proactive steps to ensure IST is a welcoming and inclusive organization. I welcome your ideas, your support,

and your participation.

Larry Conrad, Associate VC for IT and CIO

E & I Announcements

April 4, 2019: Leadership Focal Areas

April 4, 2019: Follow-up from March 13 IST All Staff Meeting

March 4, 2019: Questions for next week's IST All Staff meeting

Dec. 4, 2018: Ally/Bystander Training for IST

Nov. 29, 2018: Coffee with the CIO

Nov. 26, 2018: Upcoming IST all staff meeting on Dec. 11

Sept. 13, 2018: Introducing our action team!

Sept. 6, 2018: IST Equity & Inclusion Work Update

Aug. 30, 2018: Re: IST E&I Program: Required MEP Workshops

Aug. 21, 2018: Civility Partners Report

Aug. 15, 2018: All-Staff IST Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2-4 p.m.

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We look forward to continuing this conversation and encourage you to discuss these issues with your manager, team, and colleagues. There are many ways to get involved in this work, we welcome hearing your feedback or ideas:

Email: Larry Conrad, Associate Vice Chancellor for IT and CIO; or Liz Marsh, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff in the Office of the CIO.

Schedule a Meeting: Contact Margarita Zeglin, Executive Assistant.