During the last three years new leadership at the University of Cincinnati (UC) in many senior administrative positions has resulted in a rare culture of collaboration. This presentation will focus on the dynamic that has evolved among the Dean of Libraries, Vice President for Information Technology, and the Vice President for Research; discuss the development of the Research Hub@UC, which will deliver a profile-based customized suite of programs to researchers and scholars throughout the lifecycle; and explore a specific initiative (Scholar@UC) that demonstrates the depth of collaboration and its impact on the partners’ cultures, particularly the libraries’ at all levels. UC’s research support ecosystem has been disjointed, incomplete, ignored, or simply hidden. To grow the university’s research enterprise, these leaders realized that support programs throughout the research lifecycle had to be improved, expanded, and promoted. Presenters will discuss the successes and challenges of bridging different work cultures, funding development in a fiscally austere environment, and establishing collaborative models for operational support. To demonstrate the value and challenges of the partnership, including its impact on the cultures of each partner, presenters will explore two projects that have been enabled by the partnership, including the aforementioned Research Hub@UC and Scholar@UC, a faculty self-submission repository. Using these as case studies, presenters will discuss how agile (including open source) software development projects and broad system integration needs have enabled the partners to develop nimble, user-driven processes and a strong sense of risk taking to deploy new enterprise-wide systems in an environment of lean staff and resources.
Scholar@UC - scholar.uc.edu - is the faculty self-submission repository currently in development at the University of Cincinnati (UC). Using the Hydra framework, this system comes in an environment of dramatic change: new partnerships across campus and with other entities, new engagement with faculty and stakeholders, growing needs for internal staff job development, and development of new researcher services. The UC Libraries is lean on staffing in comparison with its peers, so we face unique challenges that require flexibility and creativity. We embrace both nimble processes and a strong sense of risk-taking, to ensure that Scholar@UC becomes a critical enterprise system. This panel reflects on three aspects of our engagement and development efforts. First, we will discuss outreach efforts to bring together a small set of “early adopter” faculty, and the process of assembling feedback in a personalized, interview-based setting. Then, we will discuss the process to transform this feedback into functional use cases that prioritize needs and desires. Finally, we will discuss building a small and high-functioning software development team, and collaboration with UC’s central IT department and other local/national development efforts. We think this presentation will offer insight for other institutions with ambitious agendas and limited means.