What's a "Cluster"?
Back in 2011 the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences made the decision to combine staff from between 2 and 5 various departments into a single administrative unit or cluster. Gone were the days of a single purchaser or account manager and no IT support. Now there were multiples, or at least duplicates, of every staff role. From our site's front page, this brought the following efficiencies:
The administrative clusters were formed to allow equitable access to key services between all departments. Our three departments are able to leverage the entire Metro Cluster staff.
Good for faculty, good for staff, most services have more than one person to handle things. This means more efficient service during staff absences and, well, the ability to have staff absences without the place falling apart.
Metro staff have a presence in every building. They are also available via phone, email, and most even use Skype for Business or Slack, tools available to everyone on campus.
What's in a name?
Originally provided the handle of ACL2, the staff were allowed to offer alternative suggestions. Legend has it there were more than a dozen names listed by the staff including Gaia, Eco, and even, prophetically, Camelot. The decision by the CAO at the time was to adopt the name Metro as defined as, according to a third definition of "metropolis" in what must be an obscure dictionary, "a place where people come together". Three CAOs later the staff were given a chance to rename the cluster and declined, having grown well accustomed to the moniker.