Calvin Groves, previously director of information technology with the School of Education, takes the helm of the ITS Service Desk today, March 21.
He replaces Ingrid Camacho, who retired at the end of February after a long career with the Service Desk.
Previously at School of Ed
Before coming to ITS, Groves led all IT and academic technology service and support for the School of Education for about 110 faculty and staff and a student body of roughly 600. He was director of IT for the School of Education for six years. He also previously served as chair of the University’s Information Technology Executive Council (ITEC).
“We’re all very excited for Calvin to join the team,” said Assistant Vice Chancellor Kate Hash. “He’s a thoughtful, dedicated and strategic IT leader who will fit in great with our wonderful Service Desk team. I can’t wait to see what the team is able to accomplish with Calvin’s leadership.”
Campus-wide scope appealing
The Service Desk leadership role attracted Groves, in part, because of its campus-wide scope. Also, he was drawn by the ability to join “such a high performing, knowledgeable team with a solid foundation” and a group that has “some exciting projects on the horizon where I can make an impact,” he said. “I care about building relationships, and I look forward to deepening existing relationships and building new ones,” he said. “People are the most important thing to me.”
Groves “is jumping right into some big projects and initiatives,” Hash said. “He brings a fresh perspective and his familiarity with the complex IT ecosystem at UNC-Chapel Hill gives him a strong background to understand what our faculty, staff and students need to be successful.”
Groves wants to build upon the success of the Service Desk’s work. He has several goals. One is building relationships across ITS and campus. Another is bringing in outside perspective and experience in a distributed campus IT unit “to bring a fresh take on how and why we do things,” he said. In addition, Groves wants to continue “to support the Service Desk staff through transitions.” Those include flexible work, automation, project representation and “flattening of Tier 1.”
Breaking down silos
Two related steps to enable that flattening took effect on March 1, with Christina Artis becoming an official IT manager and all of Tier 1 – phones, chat, and Walk-In – now reporting to her. (Tier 2 leader Lyndon Joyce also became an official IT manager.) Hash, who directed those changes which she called long overdue, said this flattening of Tier 1 will enable ITS “to break down silos and adapt to both resource constraints and our customers’ needs over the long-term.”
As Service Desk director, Groves reports to Hash and oversees customer technical support Tier 1 and Tier 2 and the Business Systems Help Desk. In all, he oversees 40-45 employees who work on campus helping customers face-to-face or from home providing tech support via phone, chat or online tickets.
At the School of Education, Groves’ key accomplishments included:
- Streamlining school support through position reconstruction, expanded self-help resources, improved lifecycle process, and overall strategic planning
- Leading or co-leading multiple capital projects, including the design and implementation of the School’s new Agile Classrooms
- Establishing role-based access controls
- Leading school brand identity and web redesign in WordPress
- Reducing the school’s server footprint through consolidation, virtualization and cloud migrations
- Reducing the school’s reporting overhead through improved access to data and visualizations
Before coming to Carolina, Groves held various positions with his alma mater, the University of Kentucky. He was the IT director for the College of Law, where he provided full-spectrum support and oversight for all technology needs. He also served on the instructional design team with Distance Learning Programs as a multimedia specialist, where he was a project manager for various central IT projects. His entry into higher education was with the College of Agriculture, where he supported all IT functions for 17 county extension offices.
In addition to his bachelor’s in telecommunications from the University of Kentucky, Groves holds a master’s degree in telecommunications systems management from Murray State University and a certificate in business analytics from Harvard Business School Online.
As for his life outside of work, Groves lives in Durham with his wife and 2-year-old son. They’re expecting a daughter this summer. Moving over to sports, he said, “my college basketball allegiance is a darker shade of blue but is definitely not Duke, and I’ve come around to cheering for the Heels when they’re not playing the Cats.”