Published October 3, 2016

IU’s Unizin-Dedicated Liaison Streamlines Coordination Between Campus, Unizin Staff

As Unizin releases more solutions for content, analytics and the learning environment, more and more people from our Member universities are getting involved in communicating, testing, and piloting our tools and services. This can present a logistical challenge when it comes to coordinating resources and teams across different departments on campus, not to mention across different institutions in the Consortium.

It became apparent at Indiana University that while Unizin was a small part of many people’s roles on campus , it was not a priority in many of their daily objectives. They needed someone to collaborate across IU’s campuses and provide leadership and coordination between the groups at IU and Unizin. Michele Kelmer, an IT Strategy Business Analyst for IU at the time, says she remembers when Unizin was first announced in 2014 and was immediately interested in the role.

“I believe in what Unizin’s mission is,” said Kelmer, now IU’s Principal Unizin IT Consultant. “I knew [Unizin] was part of IU’s strategic initiative and I was happy to see when a position opened. I also really enjoyed working with people across all of IU’s campuses in my previous position, and I look forward to working with other institutions across the Unizin Consortium.”

Kelmer said her day-to-day as a Unizin liaison consists of attending learning technologies meetings, implementing IU’s Unizin strategy, gathering content, and identifying faculty to be part of Unizin projects.

“It’s been a really positive experience,” said Kelmer. “Everyone is working toward this common goal of improving technology for teaching and learning and the experience and success of our students and I think that’s just wonderful.”

Having a Unizin-specific role has also been a positive addition for the Unizin staff, which in the past had to reach out to several people on campus in order to find the right person to talk to about Unizin services. Now, Kelmer has weekly contact with Unizin and can coordinate logistics between Unizin and IU with greater efficiency. Kelmer says it’s been especially helpful as IU starts exploratory testing on Unizin’s dashboard tool.

“It’s incredibly helpful to have a designated Unizin role on campus,” said Brian Esham, Unizin Services Manager. “The appointment of a liaison dedicated to Unizin solutions, especially one as talented as Michele, shows a deep commitment to improving digital teaching and leaning. It also streamlines communication and helps remove any barriers to adoption and change.”

Kelmer says since she has been hired, several other Unizin institutions have expressed interest in creating similar roles on their campuses. She has posted the description in the Unizin Community Forum as a resource for others. Unizin is looking forward to working more closely with Kelmer in the future and others who may take on similar roles at our Member institutions.