The Digital Transformation Division Newsletter - July 2022

The Digital Transformation Division Newsletter - July 2022

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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 Dx Community team in Teams. It's 15 minutes you won't get back, but hopefully, you won't want them back!



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 Dx Community 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.


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 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.

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Spring and butterfly.
This year, Independence Day falls on Monday, July 4. We hope you enjoy your holiday and find some time to participate in some Independence Day traditions!
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Pioneer Day falls on Sunday, July 24, but the Pioneer Day Holiday will happen on Monday, July 25. This holiday marks the arrival of pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
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Christina Baum, Vice President of Digital Transformation and Chief Information Officer 

Dx Team, 

I can't believe I've already been in this new role for a month. Thank you so much for your support and patience during this transition! I have enjoyed getting to know many of you better, and I look forward to visiting with each of your teams soon.

We had a wonderful All-Hands Meeting. Thank you so much for all your work on Beach Picture statements! We did a similar exercise with the ATSC group, then had a Dx Executive Leadership retreat where we rolled up our sleeves and worked through the statements. I then reviewed them with President Tuminez, and she was very supportive!

Below you will see the results of all our efforts in our Beach Picture. As you read through them, please identify which statements your work supports. Each person in Dx should be able to connect with at least one statement. 

In the coming weeks, each team will create a detailed Beach Picture that identifies how their work supports Dx's larger vision. We will then map projects, metrics, etc., to this work. As you set your goals for FY22-23, please keep these statements in mind. 

We have also developed a mission statement for Dx:

Our mission is to lead UVU's digital transformation 
by providing reliable, state-of-the-art solutions 
for our teaching, learning, and work environments 
that are intuitive, transparent, and delightful to use.

We will be sharing copies of this mission statement for each employee to post somewhere they can see it often, and we will print posters to put up in conference rooms, etc. Be watching for those to start to show up!

You each play a critical role for us in Dx, and I am so grateful for each of you. I am very optimistic about the future! We have great people, a clear vision, a supportive president and cabinet, and we are going to transform UVU!


The Dx Mission statement and beach picture statements



Troy Martin, Associate Vice President of IT/CTO 

Welcome to a new, exciting time and season for our division! Dean Flanagan established many vital processes and characteristics for Digital Transformation. He escalated our visibility and gave us an equal voice in groups such as the president’s council and cabinet. While he will be missed, I am thrilled to support VP Baum as she assumes the reigns and guides our efforts to transform the institution.

While we undergo this transition, I want to emphasize the importance of evolving our culture as part of the transformation. Culture doesn’t change until people change. As notable lecturer and research scientist George Esterman said, “When digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. But when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar.” 

As individuals, what can we do to change how we work and to positively affect cultural change within our teams and division? I think the answer can be found in the following five items taken from the cabinet’s 10 Rules of Engagement:

  1. Be transparent. Be forthright and honest with each other. Listen and don’t allow gossip. 
  2. Give each other the benefit of the doubt. No ‘mini grenades.’ Don’t demonize another division.
  3. Communicate proactively. Share information with colleagues so that there are no surprises in meetings.
  4. We are all invested in the big picture. Look beyond your specific role to the important things we are doing as a whole.
  5. Always keep the common vision and values in mind. Be strategic first and tactical second.

You’re probably asking yourself, “…so what are the other five rules?” Well, stay tuned! 😊 Take a moment, look over that list, and identify at least one item that you can work on. I know there are a few there that I need to focus on.

As we prepare to move to the Champions Building, will you please use this time to “bury the hatchet” with individuals or teams that you might have had difficulties with in the past? Practice being transparent, communicating proactively, and giving each other the benefit of the doubt. 

That last one—giving each other the benefit of the doubt—is especially important. Before we engage, can we please leave behind the negative opinions we default to? Can we assume the best of each other instead of the worst? I promise that the effort you put into this will be returned tenfold.

Thank you for all you do to make UVU and Dx great. Please assess how you are doing with the rules of engagement and make necessary adjustments. I know that if we each utilize the opportunity to improve our culture, we can help the campus digitally transform. 



Brett McKeachnie, Senior Director of Product Portfolio Management 


A new "Dx Community" team has been created in MS Teams. This new public team is available for any technical UVU employee who wants to stay "in the loop" with what's happening in the Dx division. The purpose behind creating this team is:

  • to unify resources and communications around the Digital Transformation (Dx) name 
  • to simplify communications 
  • to reduce unwanted notifications 

To join the new team, follow this link: Dx Community. If asked to join or create a team, switch to your team list, where you'll find the Dx Community team. Be sure to check out the aptly named Team Info and Guidelines channel. We're asking you to work a little differently here than in previous teams.

Various resources and channels will be moving to Dx Community from other MS Teams over time, especially from the OIT-Public team, which will be deprecated. The Half-Time channel has already moved to the Dx Community team. Watch for more messages about these changes; posts with details and timing of various changes will be made in related channels.

Team Info and Guidelines

The Dx Community team has a channel called Team Info and Guidelines, which describes how this new team should be used. Here's the current content:


The Dx Community team is for UVU employees who want to stay "in the loop" with what's happening in the Dx division. 


Learn more about this team's channels using the "Show channel info" button ⓘ at the top of each channel. The brief About section shows the channel description. Check out pinned messages for important information for the channel. 

  • General: General announcements and discussions about Dx across the institution. Anyone can post. 
  • Team Info and Guidelines: Guidelines about the use of this team. Static content for everyone to understand. 
  • Ask a Question: Q&A and escalation of issues with Dx departments. Anyone can post or respond. 
  • Half-Time: Home of the Half-Time livestream. Everyone can post things to address during Half-Time. 

More channels are coming! Channel creation by team members is limited while we are setting things up. Contact the team owner with questions and requests.

Rules of Engagement

Communication through this team should be related to the Dx community.

  • IMPORTANT: This is a public team. Do not share private or sensitive information.
  • Post messages in the appropriate channel only; some content may belong in another team.
  • Be kind and help others find the right team and channel.
  • Be nice and professional in all your communications.
  • Contact the team owner with suggestions to make the team more useful.

Channel Info and Guidelines

Each channel in the new team has a well-defined purpose. See the Channels section in the Team Info and Guidelines channel to get the basics. More information and rules of engagement for each channel are included in a pinned announcement within the channel. Before interacting within any given channel, be sure to read and understand that channel's purpose, rules, etc. Help others by kindly guiding them to the right channel for their needs.

Other Changes to Dx Teams

Many more changes are coming.

  • As stated above, more of the channels from OIT-Public and other teams will move over to the Dx Community team soon. It won't take long before we deprecate and archive the OIT-Public team completely.
  • The Digital Transformation Organization team will be renamed to Dx Org to make the name shorter and allow easier recognition. This team will also get a Team Info and Guidelines channel, and each channel will get a pinned announcement to describe the purpose and rules of engagement.
  • The OIT-Internal team will change also. It's not yet clear whether it will be replaced or whether its role will morph. Either way, channels there will only be for employees in the OIT division. 
  • Over time, we've created a lot of teams and channels used for various purposes across Dx. It's time to do a little selective house-cleaning of all this bloat. For instance, we found six different teams that need to be consolidated for just executive leader use. We also found a dozen teams that were created specifically for high-level projects that are now complete; teams such as these should be archived.

The bottom line is we will work with you to determine if any changes need to happen to any given team or channel. Through our collaboration on this, we'll simplify and clean up our teams to help everyone be more productive and efficient.

Who? Why?

This Teams cleanup process is being led by Brett McKeachnie under the direction and collaboration of Christina Baum and Troy Martin. We've known for a long time that something needed to be done to clean this up and name our teams appropriately. Now priority has been assigned to getting it done. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, complaints, or even if you just want to discuss the plans, please contact Brett McKeachnie. 



Brett McKeachnie, Senior Director of Product Portfolio Management

The last few years have been quite a ride for us. We've had transitions of leadership and organization, a pandemic with fluid work arrangements, changing work management and communication systems, and even different ways of looking at our ultimate goals. It is a huge understatement to say that things are no longer the same as they were in 2019. But is 2022 the year when we find our new status-quo, our new normal? In some ways, I think no, and in other ways, I think yes. Let me explain. 

Why Things Will Always Be Changing

UVU (and especially anything related to technology) is transforming. Digital Transformation isn't an end goal; it's a journey. The old staid and stoic days of traditional academia (and the systems and structures that have supported it forever) are gone at UVU. We have leadership at the very top (Pres. Tuminez) whose primary goal is to shake things up and keep shaking them to ensure UVU is always relevant and capable of providing what students need. Relevance and capability are increasingly dependent upon technology—and when I say technology, I don't just mean computers and stuff computers can do for us. I also mean processes that constantly change to take advantage of the best computer stuff and the best people stuff available. We will be continually evolving, pushing the envelope, and adapting organizationally to meet the needs of our customers (i.e., our students, faculty, staff, and the community).

Why Things Will Settle Down

Let's face it: the pandemic threw us all for a loop. Now that the pandemic seems to be receding, life is settling into the new normal. In many ways, we're still living in a topsy-turvy work world. While there will always be some level of churn, I see three important stabilizing forces at work in Dx. 

  1. Beach Picture: These visionary statements indicate a direction we are all going, and every one of us should be able to see our work as part of one or more of the items on this list.
  2. Strong Leadership: From our new Vice President down through the ranks to our directors and team leads, leadership is being emphasized. Every leader is different, but leaders are learning their roles and are empowered to get stuff done.
  3. Processes and Architecture: We've been missing some fundamental building blocks of good solutions, but now they are beginning to come together. These will change over time, but just knowing we have something to reference gives me a feeling of peace!

These are just the top three that come to mind. There are many more stabilizing forces in the works that should give us all hope for a successful future based on sound foundations. 

How We Need To Adapt

Yes, change is part of life. We've got to get used to that. Yes, having vision, structure, and leadership may feel a little new to many of us. We'll have to get used to that, too. The key is to be simultaneously flexible in our attitudes and forward-thinking in our vision. We all need to approach everything new as being done with good intentions. We also need to speak up when we find things, old or new, that could be improved. It's our future to build. Let's do it together! 



Ken Dahl, Director of Business Intelligence


There's something about working on a jigsaw puzzle that I find relaxing⁠. The task is straightforward, the objective is known, and the work is simple.

Recently I was working on a puzzle with my kids. It was a set of historic landmarks in Great Britain. Like all good puzzles, there were subtle color variations in the sky that took us a while to figure out. I learned an important lesson while working on one part of that blue sky. 

There were three pieces that all appeared to be identical in shape and color. Initially, it didn't seem to matter which order these pieces went in; they appeared to be interchangeable. But the next row required a specific sequence, and it was hard to identify the missing pieces until the entire surrounding context was in place. Even then, we had to rearrange the three nearly-identical pieces because they were not—in fact—interchangeable.

It was frustrating to go back and rework those three pieces. We thought we had the solution figured out! We felt like we were in the groove of making progress. 

What the Puzzle Taught Me About Work

At this point in the puzzle, I started to see all sorts of connections to other areas of life, including work. 

Am I willing to go back and change what I've done when necessary? 

Am I focused enough on the big "Beach Picture?"

Or, am I too focused on myself, my team, and my projects? 

As a team member, am I willing to study the details of my portion of the big picture?

Am I humble enough to allow another team member to study the details of my area?

Do I get defensive when they ask why I've put the pieces together the way I have? 

Do I consider whether another team member might be holding a piece that belongs in my area? 

Back to the Puzzle

It was humbling to realize that we had made a mistake. A part of the process that didn't seem to matter turned out to be super important. That was hard.

Finding the solution required a careful investigation into the cause of the misalignment. It took total dogged persistence. But I know this about myself: I don't do puzzles because I like to look at the picture. I do puzzles because I like the process. I do puzzles because I enjoy solving problems. I do puzzles because I like the work.



Tim Stanley, Director of Institutional Research


The Fact Book is an annual publication that provides a quick overview of UVU’s students, faculty, staff, facilities, and other important facts. It serves as a reference document for frequently asked questions about UVU. Although mostly numerical in nature, most of the information is presented pictorially and is illustrated with photos and pictures of the UVU community. Rather than a ‘report,’ it is a desktop reference where the most basic information can be quickly found. The intended audiences range from leaders and administrators at UVU to Utah legislators and the general public.

You can find our most recent Fact Book here:

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GOALS: Where You’re at Is Far Less Important Than Where You’re Headed

Joe Belnap, Senior Director of Special Projects for IT

Lawrence J. Peter once said, "If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else."  Since most of us will be heavily involved in goal-setting this month, I thought I would share three more of my favorite quotes regarding goals and goal-setting (that wasn’t just the mantra of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals):

  1. "A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at." – Bruce Lee
  2. "The great danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." – Michelangelo
  3. "If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time." – Zig Ziglar

Three varied, yet wise, takes on the subject.

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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 individual(s) have been recently hired, promoted, or changed positions in Dx:

  • Alex Chun, Service Desk
  • Chris Jones, Developer

Be sure to send your congratulations and support to our new-hires!