An update from IT

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On February 1, 2021

Mark Bookout, chief information officer at S&T, and Beth Chancellor, University of Missouri System vice president for information technology, sent the following message to the S&T community this morning (Monday, Feb. 1):

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students of S&T,

Beth Chancellor, the UM System Vice President for Information Technology, and I recently participated in a discussion with faculty leaders, S&T administrators, and other S&T community members concerning a number of recent IT changes and the service levels that are being provided.

We appreciate the role each of you play in executing our University’s mission, and regret that the IT services you have known and depended on for so long have experienced interruptions and shortcomings in these very challenging times.

Many of you have expressed frustration with assistance provided from IT, and the challenges experienced in receiving adequate support. Several months ago the S&T call center (only the call center) was merged with the MU call center in an effort to consolidate services and reduce expenditures. In many areas, this consolidation has been successful but, with the recent email migration project, we underestimated the call volume and support complexities resulting in long call center wait times. To address your concerns:

  • The MU IT division is continuously working to reduce call wait times, and  
  • UM IT is collaborating with Microsoft to eliminate technical issues associated with the migration.

It is important for us to highlight that S&T has retained on-campus chat support, second-tier user support and walk-in support. Those venues are still available to S&T faculty, staff and students on our campus. We are currently working to increase support through these local avenues as we have seen a drastic increase in the number of chats and walk-ins this semester.

S&T IT works hand in hand with UM IT to implement new system-wide projects such as Office 365 and email migration to protect your data, reduce costs and improve overall service levels.  These are large and complex efforts which have proven to have a significantly larger impact on you, our user community, than we anticipated.  

  • We will apply more effort to understanding user-impact from these decisions.

In 2020, S&T IT worked hard to quickly adjust and address many challenges. The technology needs of campus users changed, and properly meeting those needs while adapting to smaller IT teams has not been a small task.  At S&T, one of our adjustments was to provide more information to campus with IT department emails, frequent blog posts ( ) and a restructured IT website (  These communications methods will continue, along with a new means of receiving feedback from our customers starting today. 

  • S&T IT will expand its communications about our IT operations.  
  • We are also providing an additional means for you to help us identify the implementation shortcomings and help us improve the services being provided.  We have created a new email address,  Messages sent to this email address will be viewed by the IT leadership at S&T, MU, and UM and we will work together to review and respond.  These concerns and our responses will be shared with the ITCC.  IT needs to better understand what is working and what is not so that we can allocate resources appropriately.

In 2020 S&T reduced the number of producer-staffed classrooms due to COVID-19-related budget reductions, technology obsolescence, and staff limitations imposed by significantly greater classroom IT support across the whole campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • IT and the Faculty Senate Information Technology and Computing Committee have partnered to identify and acquire the newest classroom technology that will allow the faculty to create the most effective learning environment for our students, be they on-campus or off.

We hope this message helps to clarify our current situation and what we are doing to address the shortcomings.  It is never good to be surprised by service or infrastructure changes, and recently they seem to be occurring at an ever-increasing pace.  We pledge to do our best to keep you informed, better understand your concerns, and use your input on our path forward as technologies emerge and move to implementation.

We understand the importance of IT services to our collective missions here at S&T, and our continued goal is to provide them in partnership with you.


Mark & Beth

Mark Bookout
S&T Chief Information Officer

Beth Chancellor, MEd, CISSP
Vice President for Information Technology &
MU Chief Information Officer

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On February 1, 2021. Posted in Announcements