Safeguarding the Mission

At the core of UCI’s mission are three imperatives: teaching, research and public service. These principles are reflected in our pursuit of academic excellence, cutting-edge research, and in the world-class medical team at UCI Health. When COVID-19 turned life as we know it upside down, UCI used the mission as a guiding light for how to move forward through the pandemic. Health and safety were the main concerns, not only for students, faculty and staff, but for the community at large. Remaining steadfast to the mission meant acting quickly to establish a new way of learning and working, mobilizing researchers to lead COVID-19 trials, and creating community resources like the mass testing site set up at the Bren Center on campus.

Covid Emergency Response

Almost a year into the pandemic, UCI has much to be proud of in regards to its response to COVID-19. What remains at the forefront for OIT is ensuring that tools implemented quickly at the start of the pandemic are continuing to be improved and adopted for sustained use. Work from home resources like remote VPN, video conferencing tools and softphones will be assessed to determine how well they fit in once long-term best practices for hybrid or semi-remote work are put in place. OIT will continue to partner with UCI Health and the Office of Research in pursuit of the best tools for COVID-19 testing, contract tracing, vaccine distribution and secure, agile products for storing research data safely.

ServiceNow was chosen early on in the pandemic as a great choice for contract tracing, due to it's ability to be powerful, adaptable and agile. It was already a robust tool for OIT service tickets, so its ability to allow multiple, complex integrations was known. OIT support UCI's Contact Tracing center by developing and implementing a function that allowed Center staff to identify and alert people who have potentially been exposed. Since its initial launch, the team has worked tirelessly to update and upgrade as necessary, including overhauling case investigation and creating contact tracing scripts. This tool will continue to be improved and adjusted to meet the changing needs of the COVID-19 Response Team in the months to come.