Josh Work U-Michigan The University of Michigan,
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

In May 2008 I moved back to Michigan and started working as a Senior System Administrator for the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, in their LSA IT group, primarily supporting the web applications development and content management system for the college's Development, Marketing, and Communications (DMC; later renamed to LSA Advancement) team. That team produced and maintained all the department-specific web sites for the college, for those departments who don't want to do so themselves. I was responsible for the operation and maintenance of the hardware, operating system, and application software for the web content management system (CMS), as well as the system and application architecture of the new version of the CMS environments deployed in 2009.

In August 2010, my position was relocated out of LSA IT and into DMC. Other than office location and the management chain I reported through, nothing really changed in terms of role or responsibilities.

In 2011, my team won the LSA Spotlight Award. The award "recognizes and celebrates achievements and contributions staff make to the successful operation of the college" and "is an opportunity to acknowledge the dedication and exemplary performance of individuals and work groups that deserve special recognition."

The old version of the CMS was decommissioned in June 2012; by September 2012 we had launched 100 sites in the new version of the CMS.

In April 2013, my position was transferred back to LSA IT from DMC as part of the ongoing IT consolidation and rationalization effort. My responsibilities broadened beyond the CMS focus and I got to train the other Linux admins on my team to backfill for me in the CMS role. That CMS product was finally decommissioned in the summer of 2016.

Other projects I led within LSA IT included the creation and management of a centralized MediaWiki farm for our knowledgebase (with interlinked test, internal/private, and external/public instances), including becoming the subject matter expert for it; coordination of our thrice-a-year mid-semester maintenance weekends; and the coordination for our inventory management and server extended warranty coverage. I was also the subject matter expert for our load balancers.

In the first half of 2018, LSA IT merged with the other three technology-focused organizations within the college — Instructional Support Services (ISS), Management Information Systems (MIS), and Web Services — to form LSA Technology Services. I was part of the branding working group, identifying what needed to change both electronically and physically to switch to the new logo and new team names, and coordinating or implementing several of those changes.

In addition to my role as a senior system administrator, in June 2012 I became a member of the Voices of the Staff's Best Practices and Technology (BPT) team. Voices is a a volunteer-based initiative that was launched in February 2005 to give staff, at all University campuses and Michigan Medicine, a stronger voice for developing and sharing ideas about the campus community topics that matter most to staff. About 100–150 people form the Voices teams, with a rolling 2-year appointment (about half roll out every year). A subset of that group — 2 people per Voices team — has a direct dialog with the University's executive officers and shares ideas regularly with the President and the Vice President for Human Resources; in my second year I was one of BPT's representatives to the Core Team. After my second year, I continued on with Voices of the Staff as a Facilitator, helping that team run their meetings and decide what to do, but not as an Individual Contributor. In 2015, as part of a general restructuring to realign the Voices teams with the university's changed priorities, the team was renamed to Leveraging Technologies. My role changed from Facilitator to Advisor in June 2018, working to eliminate project roadblocks and provide current and historical information that may be relevant to the team's projects. I stepped down from facilitating and advising in June 2019. In 2020 I was appointed to the Voices Alumni network team.

Furthermore, I also participated in several university-wide IT initiatives, called Michigan IT, through the office of the CIO. One project was planning for the annual Michigan IT Symposium from its initial 2014 event onwards, where I was part of the committee determining what posters and presentations to accept, building out the day's program, working 2014's and 2016's morning registrations, and working to set up before, manage operations during, and tear down after the 2017, 2018, and 2019 events, and assist with the 2020 virtual event. Another project was the newsletter working group which kicked off in spring 2015; I'm an editor and occasional contributor for it.

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Last update Feb26/21 by Josh Simon (<>).