University of Wisconsin–Madison

MERIT Strategic Plan (HTML)


MERIT’s Mission

MERIT stewards the School of Education’s Information Environment. The Information Environment (IE) is composed of people and services that enable discovery, access, design, and use of resources for teaching and learning, research, and outreach.

MERIT’s Vision

MERIT aspires to connect people, technology, and information. Through our ongoing leadership in the adoption of emerging technologies, MERIT will empower members of the School of Education community and its partners to achieve excellence.

MERIT’s Culture, Principles, & Priorities


  • Support creative problem solving
  • Leverage the work of others
  • Create a joyful, engaging, and productive workplace
  • Value our people and environment
  • Deliver high quality personal service
  • Support professional development
  • Mentor student staff and encourage individual growth
  • Be proactive
  • Partner in the teaching and learning process
  • Promote a sense of community for the School of Education
  • Reflect and engage in continuous improvement
  • Encourage a “Yes, and …” spirit


MERIT is guided by the campus’ Guiding Principles


MERIT is guided by the School of Education’s Strategic Priorities

MERIT’s Roadmap

MERIT periodically reviews projects and goals to determine priority, based on strategic alignment. The goals are organized into five areas, which map onto the structure of the Campus IT Strategic Plan. The following goals and action plans represent MERIT’s current priorities. MERIT’s completed goals are shown at the end of the document.

Completed goals can be found at the end of this document.

A. Teaching & Learning


MERIT provides support to School of Education faculty, staff and students in the design, preparation, delivery and assessment of teaching and learning. Our practices model the integration and appropriate use of technology and information resources into the SoE curriculum and learning outcomes.


MERIT seeks to “improve the quality of each instructional moment” (Gerry McCartney) through the infusion of academic technology and information literacy skills in the School of Education.

Goal A5: Develop and expand MERIT’s online instruction.
Expand development and use of asynchronous online instruction.

Metrics for Success:

  1. Post new series of online learning objects to support MERIT workshops and course related instruction by the end of the 2013-14 academic year.
  2. The development and implementation of assessment plans including web analytics and user feedback.

Goal Paused – Staff Resources

B. Research Cyberinfrastructure


MERIT supports a wide range of research needs in the School of Education, often in collaboration with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER). MERIT’s support of research is focused in three areas: information consultation, computational resource assessment & management, and software training.


Individuals supported by MERIT will have the consultative services, training, and computational resources to achieve their research goals.

No active goals

C. Outreach & Public Service


MERIT offers a wide range of media, educational resources, and information technology services to the School of Education and the greater Wisconsin Education community. MERIT is dedicated to cultivating partnerships within the SoE community and across the university to provide high-quality and creative solutions. Areas of strategic growth include: developing departmental Educational Technology Plans and implementing Service Level Agreements with support partners.


MERIT aspires to connect people, information, and technology through learning opportunities, consultation services, and collaborations.

Goal C2: Develop a template for Service Level Agreement (SLAs) and the corresponding processes for entering into and maintaining SLAs between MERIT and School of Education Departments and Units supported by MERIT.

MERIT is dedicated to maintaining and improving existing partnerships, and to developing new partnerships within the School of Education. A shared understanding of the needs, services, assumptions, and expectations in these partnerships will help MERIT and our partners to meet the strategic needs realize key initiatives.

Metrics for Success:

  1. The development and adoption of language for a MERIT SLA template
  2. The development of processes for entering into new SLAs and revising existing SLAs
  3. The training of MERIT staff on SLAs processes and understanding current SLAs
  4. The identification of two departments or units for implementation of the SLA template and processes

75% Complete – Target completion date: Fall 2017

Goal C3: Analyze MERIT Media Service Offerings
Analyze MERIT’s current media service offerings and research the communication needs of our stakeholders.

Metrics for Success:

  1. Complete gap analysis of MERIT media services
  2. Complete cost analysis on media needs of the School
  3. Compile data on usage and limitations
  4. Written report of findings

25% Complete – Target completion date: Spring 2018

Goal C4: Research establishing a MERIT advisory board
Engage in a feasibility study researching other campus groups with advisory boards. From this study, establish the charter for a MERIT advisory board.

Metrics for Success:

  1. Research advisory boards of other campus groups
  2. Create a MERIT advisory board charter
  3. Invite individuals to join the MERIT advisory board
  4. Convene an initial meeting to establish meeting goals, principals, and meeting schedule

Target completion date: Goal Paused

D. Stewards of Our Resources


MERIT curates information & technology resources for teaching, research and outreach in the School of Education.


MERIT will continue to plan for the evolving needs for services and resources within the School’s Information Environment.

Goal D5: Research and implement new scheduling and checkout system for circulating library equipment

Due to the new integrated library system (ALMA) being installed system-wide, a new solution for scheduling and checkout for circulating library equipment is necessary.

Metrics for Success:

  1. Research and implement cost-effective solution for circulating library equipment
  2. Successful reservation and check-out of equipment at one or more MERIT locations
  3. Document process best practices

50% Complete – Target completion date: Goal Paused

Goal D7: Develop a MERIT facilities master plan
Develop a MERIT facility master plan by incorporating stakeholder feedback and School of Education priorities that invest in and realize a clearly-prioritized, strategically-aligned, and service-oriented vision for MERIT’s physical environment and stakeholders.

Metrics for Success:

  1. Ensure transparent and inclusive participation by a variety of stakeholders
  2. Develop a process for change with a focus on space
  3. Create a space inventory
  4. Formalize roles and communication with School of Education space planning personnel
  5. Produce a written plan that includes a road map for completion and opportunities for development

Target completion date: Spring 2018

Goal D9: Develop a MERIT change order process

Develop a mechanism to ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all service offering changes, in order to minimize the impact of change-related incidents upon service quality, and consequently to improve the day-to-day operations of MERIT.

Metrics for Success:

  1. Implement a change order process for the MERIT service catalog and MERIT website
  2. Implement a data- and strategically-driven process for making changes to service offerings

Target completion date: Spring 2017

E. Service Infrastructure


MERIT’s Service Infrastructure is the foundation for IT services. We provide equipment, networking, security, and storage to support School of Education operations.

Vision Statement

MERIT’s Service Infrastructure strives to support and enhance the School of Education’s (SOE’s) position in an increasingly global and competitive digital environment by anticipating the technological needs of SOE’s teaching, learning, and research functions. We will identify leading-edge technological advancements, create opportunities that foster collaboration, and support an innovative culture within a secure IT environment.

No active goals

F. Align with Campus Initiatives


Due to MERIT’s merged services (Library, Media, and IT), we evaluate and implement new campus services and tools.

Vision Statement

MERIT will continue to collaborate with campus partners and leverage campus resources in support of teaching, research, and outreach goals of our faculty, staff and students. MERIT proactively approaches these changes in a way that best uses our resources to support the School of Education.

No active goals

Completed Goals

A1: Create Individualized Technology Plans
Meet with School of Education faculty to learn more about current teaching, research, outreach, and service. Gather data around current technology adoption challenges and help identify available new solutions. Consult with MERIT and key partners to propose solutions.

A2: Assess and improve the “Teaching for Tomorrow” program
Build on the pilot year for Teaching for Tomorrow. Evaluate the past year to identify successes and challenges. Identify next steps to build and strengthen this community of practice with SoE grad staff, and assess and improve the program.

A3: Adapt MERIT resources and services to support changes to the Teacher Education program and new Teacher Education standards.
Play a key role in identifying resources, tools and strategies that support adoption of the new Teacher Education standards. Secondarily, develop a plan for sustaining and maintaining flexibility in MERIT instructional resources to adjust to future needs.

A4: Formalize MERIT instructional assessment
Formalize assessment efforts across MERIT workshops, programs, and course-related instruction.

A6: Coordinate the new Replicable Instructional Technology Infusion (RITI) technology grants for School of Education faculty, staff and students.
MERIT will work with RITI grant recipients to foster an environment of success by offering opportunities to share ideas and receive feedback throughout the product development process.

Goal B1: Establish a subcommittee of the Information Technology Policy Advisory Committee (ITPAC) to be charged with looking at annual resource allocations.
Establish an Information Technology Policy Advisory Committee (ITPAC) subcommittee, charged by the School of Education’s CIO, to develop an annual report of currently available research resources. The subcommittee’s report will also make recommendations to guide MERIT’s future resource allocations for research. Members of MERIT and WCER Tech Services will be asked to serve on the subcommittee. (Goal stopped)

Goal B2: Assure access to a variety of software in support of research.
Within the academic year 2015, review the School’s needs for research software and work internally to reduce costs and sustain reliability.

Goal C1: Develop Educational Technology Plans with Each Academic Department in the School of Education.
Engage each academic department in the SoE community in discussions about their goals, their current experiences with the Information Environment, and brainstorm new directions for the IE. (to be annually revisited). (Goal stopped)

Goal D1: Develop a MERIT Service Catalog
A service catalog is an exhaustive list of IT services that an organization provides or offers to its employees or customers. The catalog is the only part of the Service Portfolio that is published to customers and is used to support the sale and/or delivery of IT services. The development of MERIT’s service catalog will help to identify key areas of complexity within MERIT’s service structure, expand MERIT’s capabilities in key areas, and streamline service processes.

Goal D2: Create MERIT policies and practices surrounding Human Resources and Development
Review current and create new proactive policies that address staff development needs.

Goal D3: Create an “Info Commons” physical presence
As another step in realizing the merger, MERIT is streamlining services by combining all three walk-up service desks into a single geographical location. This combination will offer the value-added ease-of-access for our users, as well as address the practical business-related advantages of shared space and staffing.

Goal D4: Develop policies for equitable provision of MERIT media services
MERIT Media Services (video and graphic production) are offered at no charge to School of Education faculty & staff. A cost analysis review of the demand for MERIT media services and the resources allocated to meeting that demand is required to support policies.

Goal D6: On-board Theater & Drama to MERIT supported services
Work with Theater & Drama faculty and staff on their transition from Letters & Science to the School of Education, focusing on areas of IT, Library Services and Media.

Goal D8: Single service point inquiry
Investigate the value and feasibility of creating a single service point for Circulation, Help, and Information Desk services within MERIT Library, focusing on merged staff, services, processes, procedures, training, decision making, and other areas identified during the analysis process.

Goal E1: Reduce risk of unauthorized access to School of Education’s Information Technology through implementation of the Security Baseline Project
Work has begun with the Office of Campus Information Security (OCIS) during academic year 2012–2013 to identify security gaps in our environment and to publish a findings report documenting those gaps. MERIT will implement basic security measures by July 2015 to address these findings, resulting in reduced risk of unauthorized access to IT resources and data.

Goal E2: Automate endpoint management of client computers
Install tools to automate and centralize software deployment, configuration, and updates on all hardware platforms used in the School of Education.

Goal F1: Implement new integrated library system (ALMA)
MERIT will join with the University of Wisconsin System in implementing a new integrated library system program for Library collection materials.

Goal F2: Office 365 Migration
MERIT will assist School of Education Faculty and Staff with their email and calendar migration to Office 365. MERIT will leverage the training and support materials offered by DoIT where appropriate.

Goal F3: Develop MERIT Wellness Plan
Create a sustainable wellness program including physical, emotional, social and cultural, career and academic, spiritual, financial and environmental wellness for the MERIT staff.  Use practices rooted in sound research to promote overall health and well being of our staff.

Updated: March 2017