In a challenging economy, many people turn to academia to help them develop the skills they'll need in a new job market. IT staffers at Indiana University are proof that full-time students aren't the only ones seeking out growth opportunities.
For example, all IT workers are eligible to participate in the IT Leaders enrichment program, which features job-shadowing opportunities and job exchanges across departments, from the help desk to the registrar's office and the central IT organization. "The department delineation just doesn't exist," says Debby Allmayer, human resources officer at the Bloomington, Ind., university. Such interaction and collaboration led IT to adopt a new motto: "One IU IT."
IU employees enjoy more than broad educational opportunities; the university also has a relaxed dress code and allows staffers to telecommute. Such flexibility became crucial two years ago in the wake of Hurricane Ike, when the area was hit with severe flooding and power outages closed several buildings on campus. "The staff discovered they were capable of working remotely, and we quickly set up a central location and got tools together to help people continue to work," says Allmayer. "It came out quite well -- but it's not something we want to repeat ever again!"