The Digital Transformation Division Newsletter - November 2021

The Digital Transformation Division Newsletter - November 2021

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The Half-Time Livestream has been going strong since Jan. 8, 2020, bringing everyone in Dx together for the chance to:
  • Ask questions directly and get them answered
  • Hear up-to-date news about projects, changes, events, and more
  • Recognize team members for their great accomplishments
  • Ponder the quote of the week
  • Learn the stat of the week
  • Laugh at the plentiful dad jokes
To participate, tune in every Wednesday at 11:45 AM on the Half-Time Channel on the OIT - Public team in Teams. It's 15 minutes you won't get back, but hopefully, you won't want them back!



The Presidential Awards of Excellence highlight faculty and staff for their efforts in key areas related to UVU's mission, values, and action commitments. There are four award categories: the Presidential Exceptional Care Award; the Presidential Exceptional Accountability Award; the Presidential Exceptional Results Award; and the Presidential Excellence in Mission Award. To submit a nomination, follow this link.

The 2021 nomination deadlines are:
  • November 12, 2021, to supervisor or dean
  • November 17, 2021, to vice president
  • December 3, 2021, to president's office



The UVU Goodwill Association sends get-well wishes to UVU employees with the primary goal of enhancing employee relations by maintaining a caring atmosphere at Utah Valley University. Membership dues are used for the following:
  • Sending get-well floral baskets for hospital stays greater than 3 days (typically for life-threatening illnesses). 
  • Sending bereavement floral baskets to employees who have lost a mother, father, child, in-law, or spouse. 
Do you know any employees needing goodwill? Please refer them by following this link. For more information about joining UVU's Goodwill Association, check out their page.


Have you seen a UVU staff member offering exceptional service or giving an exemplary performance? Remember to nominate them for the Wolverine Sighting Employee Recognition Award! The Wolverine Sighting Award is an employee recognition award sponsored by PACE. Nominees must be full- or part-time UVU staff employees, but there is no minimum requirement for years of employment and nominations are accepted year-round.



The Dx Team Recognition Award is a way to recognize our colleagues in Dx for their hard work and accomplishments. Recognized during our Half-Time live-stream each Wednesday at 11:45 AM, a deserving nominee will also receive an award certificate and two movie vouchers. 

To nominate someone, fill out this form or navigate to the OIT - Public team in Teams, enter the Half-Time channel, and select the Team Recognition tab from the top menu. Remember, nominations must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Tuesday to be eligible for the following Wednesday's Half-Time.

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This year, Veterans Day falls on Thursday, November 11. Be sure to extend your gratitude to any veterans you know and read up on the traditions of Veterans Day.

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This year, UVU campus will be closed from Wednesday, November 24, through Friday, November 26.

For employees, the Thanksgiving Holiday extends from Wednesday, November 24, through Friday, November 26.

For students, the Thanksgiving Holiday extends from Monday, November 23, through Saturday, November 28. 

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Ask Sage, the MS-Chatbot MVP 1.0, will be released on December 1, 2021.
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Brett McKeachnie, Senior Director of Product Portfolio Management

In the United States, the month of November is a traditional time to pause and reflect on what we have and express gratitude. I recognize that many of us aren't necessarily comfortable in our present circumstances; our new reality has arrived after difficulty, change, and even conflict. We are still struggling to find ourselves, figure out our status, and formulate our roles in a world and institution that has been fundamentally changed. By all accounts, we are thriving, yet after facing such hardships, sometimes gratitude isn't our first instinct. As I reflect and share the things for which I am grateful, I hope that each of you will be encouraged to do the same. 


I work and contribute in real ways within two industries that make the world a better place: higher education and technology. I'm employed by UVU, one of the most stable, hopeful, and student-oriented organizations I've ever known.

Overcoming COVID-19

Despite having risk factors in my health, I survived contracting COVID-19 with only mild illness and little long-term impact. I live in a part of the world where it is easy to get immunized to help protect myself, my family, and all those I come in contact with.

Associations with People

Every day, I am privileged to work with individuals who share my values and passion for improving people's lives through problem-solving and continuous learning. I am fortunate to be surrounded by caring, accountable, and results-oriented coworkers who diligently support everyone in this institution. 

The Dx Vision

I'm glad to be pursuing our path of digital transformation, which promises a prosperous future for the university and everyone it serves. While some of us may tread that path uncertainly, I have confidence that if we continue to follow it, we will accomplish the lofty, desirable, and delightful goals ahead. We have leaders at all levels within Dx and the institution generally who sustain our efforts, applaud our successes, and fortify us when difficulties arise. We have been granted a previously unimaginable amount of funding. With it, we will implement the changes necessary to educate every student for success in the face of a pandemic and beyond.

Before we became the Digital Transformation organization, we universally agreed we wanted change to occur because we recognized that our progress had been stagnated by convention and routine. Change never comes in the ways we expect it, but change has come, and it continues to come. An era of change has arrived, and the effects continue to transform us, our technology, and our world. We need to shift our attitude by looking at changes with gratitude. We can view change as an obstacle to our success—or as an opportunity to become a transformative influence for good. 

I'm grateful to be navigating these changes with all of you as we each proactively embody the changes that our dynamic world requires of us. It's critical for every one of us to participate in embracing and adapting to changes. After all, we need each other's help to move forward together. I'm grateful we have leadership, resources, and companions on this path of digital transformation because Dx isn't a destination; it's a journey that should transform us. 



Laura Busby, Director of Academic IT and Analytics

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." – Socrates 

The Dx directors recently received training on organizational change management from Ksenia Bitter, who has a wealth of expertise and knowledge in this area. She started the first session by asking us to think about a time in our professional lives when a change was handled well. What made the experience positive? Then she asked us to think about a change that became a disaster and what made that experience negative. 

As I reflected on my experiences, I realized that successful changes usually involved frequent communication and transparency. The people involved in the change communicated a clear vision as to why the change was necessary and how it would impact me. In cases where changes were unsuccessfully implemented, I noticed that communication and transparency were usually absent.  

Many methods can be used to bring about change, but Ksenia presented the ADKAR model for organizational change management. ADKAR stands for Aware, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. It is a methodology focused on the individual. We're starting to use this framework in our Business Intelligence Services team as part of our larger projects. Our goal is to provide individuals with the tools and information they need to change. Whether the change is adopting a new system, responding to an organizational change, or improving a business process, each individual should know their role in the change and how they can help bring it about. The ADKAR framework helps us provide support to individuals and identify areas where there may be pitfalls. 

Over and over, we've heard the phrase "culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner." To me, it sometimes sounds like the rallying cry of a doomed army; when we hear it so often, some of us feel like it's a forgone conclusion. Lately, I've felt uncertain about how to bring about change as a leader, but this recent training has been extremely helpful for me. However, as with any other training or tool I've been given, it's just a framework. Unless I help my team learn how to use it, then it just becomes another rusty tool. If your director hasn't spent time reviewing the recent training and concepts with you, help them out by asking them to review it in your next team meeting.  

You can learn more about ADKAR here: 



Tim Stanley, Director of Institutional Research 
Geoff Matthews, Associate Director of Reporting, Analysis, Data Mgmt.

There are times when campus leaders ask broadly stated questions that need to be answered in clearly defined ways. One of these questions is, “Why are women under-represented among our graduates?” 

For 2019-20, 46% of award recipients at UVU were women. On the surface, this appears like a disparity. However, UVU’s Fall 2020 enrollment was 49% female. If you exclude high school students, it is 47% female. If you only count continuing students, 43% of students are women. When you take these enrollment numbers into account, the initial disparity in awards seems less concerning.

The obvious question here is why fewer women are enrolled at UVU. When you look at enrollment by age, it becomes apparent that our younger students are more likely to be women, while our older students are more likely to be men. 56% of students 18-21 are women, but 58% of students 22-24 are men, as are 69% of students 25-29. Women aren’t a majority within an age group until 40-49 (67%), but students that fall within this range are a minority at UVU. In short, the reason for UVU having more men enrolled than women is a function of age.

Female enrollment graph 2.

Female enrollment in graphs.



Tim Stanley, Director of Institutional Research 
Geoff Matthews, Associate Director of Reporting, Analysis, and Data Mgmt.

Each year UVU's office of Institutional Research uses data from our "Third Week" census of the fall semester to report official data. These data are used by the state, the federal governments, researchers, and other decision makers to examine the state of higher education and compare institutions. Institutional Research prepares a summary annually for the leaders of UVU to describe our campus. As we all work together to make UVU what it is, it is helpful for everyone to become more familiar with our student body. Hopefully you find this summary valuable!

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The following positions are available in Dx. Be sure to watch for upcoming opportunities in Dx. 
Is there an opening in your division or department that needs to be filled? Be sure to get it approved according to the Temporary Human Resources Guidelines. Once the position is open, get the word out by submitting it to Caitlin Tobler for next month’s newsletter.


The following individuals have been recently hired by Dx:

  • Pete Ozols, Dx Project Manager
  • Brendan Post, Service Desk Technician
  • Angelica Rodriguez Peralta, Process Improvement Associate 

We are so excited to have these individuals on our team! Be sure to give them a warm welcome!