OSHEAN, The Quilt’s member in Rhode Island, along with many other regional research and education (R&E) networks, is using Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) grants to improve infrastructure for the institutions they currently serve and extend these networks to more community anchor institutions (CAIs) in their state. These grants provide only the capital funds to build the networks. For R&E networks, this means not only supporting a greater number of CAIs, but also ensuring these new CAIs are integrated into the community that is the hallmark of these R&E organizations.
On its own, the OSHEAN BTOP project will be a major change agent for its operations, management and governance structure. In addition to implementing its BTOP project, OSHEAN is undergoing a merger with RINET, the state’s K-12 education network. The merger means that the combined organization, RINET and OSHEAN, will serve the majority of Rhode Island’s educational institutions as well as state government sites. The expanded participant base that will be served by OSHEAN through the RINET merger and BTOP project requires disciplined strategic planning, the use of scalable operational processes and sophisticated management tools to improve service delivery, reporting and analytics.
As OSHEAN enters its next exciting chapter, it has sought out its peers within The Quilt for an external review for insight and recommendations for OSHEAN in these new undertakings. For the peer review, organizations were sought who had undergone similar growth and organizational transitions. The result of the external peer review will be a final set of recommendations in the form of a report for OSHEAN and the OSHEAN Board of Directors.