Office of Learning and Information Technology

UWS CIO Council, February 17, 2005

UWS CIO Council Meeting

February 17,

2005 – 780 Regent Street
Room 108

Madison, WI

Questions to


Shared Financial System update

Legacy payroll interface

APBS interface

ACH implementation

Procurement card contract

WISDM modifications

Upgrade to 8.8

Interfacing to DOA

Report from the Common Systems Review Group


CSRG Retreat

Procurement update

State procurement initiatives


Network update

WiscNet update

Budget update

Learn@UW update

Project update

Gradebook integration

ECAR Core Data Survey

March meeting

April meetings


CIOs and their Representatives


John Berens
Joe Brown
Dick Cleek
Nancy Crabb
David Dumke
Ann Marie Durso
David Faulkner
Ron Kraemer
John Krogman
Jim Lowe
Bruce Maas
Ed Meachen
Peter Nordgren
Kathy Pletcher
Elena Pokot
Gary Smith
David Stack
Annie Stunden

Lorie Docken
Ken Ebbe
David Hart
Doug Hendrix
Bob Jokisch
Leslie Perelman
Bill Scheuerell
Michael Schlicht
Lori Voss
David Wirth

Shared Financial System update – Doug Hendrix

There have been management changes in the Shared Financial System (SFS). George Ketterer, the former project manager, has become involved with the APBS project. Dwan Schuck, former budget director at MATC, is now the project manager and Doug Hendrix is the executive sponsor. Relationships with DoIT at UW-Madison been strengthened.

Legacy payroll interface

As of July 2004, payroll is interfaced directly to SFS without going through the legacy general ledger. Development still remains for handling the summer session payroll. 1099 and 1042-S reporting to the IRS has now been taken over by SFS.

APBS interface

Work on the APBS interface began after the legacy payroll interface was completed. SFS is operating under the assumption that APBS is going live on April 1 and is working very hard with the APBS staff to make that happen. The SFS issues list is communicated to Margo Lessard of the APBS project.

ACH implementation

Automated clearing house, ACH, for paying vendors and fringe benefits is under development.

Procurement card contract

The new state procurement card contract has brought a new billing file, format and methods of doing business. All campuses are having to reprogram their interfaces, with assistance from SFS.

WISDM modifications

WISDM, the web-based front end to SFS, came with insufficient reporting capability. Therefore, WISDM is undergoing continual development and modifications. Suggestions for changes should be directed to Dwan Schuck.

Upgrade to 8.8

SFS is currently operating on an unsupported version of PeopleSoft. Upgrades were delayed because competing projects and a lack of resources and the need to coordinate with APBS. The ultimate target is November 1, 2005, which will likely require additional resources and broader coordination of Common Systems.

Annie Stunden emphasized the need to tailor the interface design to version 8.8 as well as the need for extra resources. UW-Madison also needs to test the PeopleSoft grants management module in the fall with version 8.8.

Interfacing to DOA

SFS is still interfacing to DOA through legacy processes. Direct interfaces to DOA are in the works and will result in efficiencies and possibly savings.

Report from the Common Systems Review Group – Ed Meachen, John Berens, Ron Kraemer, Annie Stunden


The CIO Council expressed the concern that objective go/no-go criteria have not been defined for APBS in regards to an April 1 go live. The Common Systems Review Group (CSRG) invited Darrell Bazzell, the chair of the APBS steering committee, to address the group regarding a risk assessment that was prepared by Diane Haubner and Ron Kraemer. The report raises serious concerns about an April 1 go-live and indicates that continuing support of the system will be expensive.

At its February 8th meeting, the CSRG made three requests for information in preparation for its February 18thmeeting:

1. Ed Meachen has begun outlining a process to evaluate long-term options, including a potential group to evaluate those options.

2. Diane Haubner is leading the analysis of the results from the ongoing APBS parallel test to date. The parallel test group met on Monday, February 14 and reached the general consensus that an April 1 go-live is not realistic based on issues identified.

3. DoIT is performing an assessment of what it would take to keep the legacy system going for the near term.

Each campus will be sending a representative to the February 18th meeting. The CSRG is expected to formulate recommendations for the forthcoming meeting of the Chancellors (February 25). Meanwhile, the President’s Cabinet has been briefed. Tomorrow, each of the CSRG members will be asked to provide, to the extent possible, a sense of where their campus stands in regard to an April 1 go-live.

CSRG Retreat

At the CSRG Retreat, Ron Kraemer, Lorie Docken and Ed Meachen were delegated the task of defining a Common System. Based upon input from David Dumke, they took the perspective of examining the value proposition that was included in the Don Norris report and first mentioned in the UWS 2001-03 IT Plan. The draft definition statement:

Common systems are applications, standards or services that address systemwide needs and satisfy value propositions that have been agreed to by all UW institutions. A common system will be adopted by participating institutions when it adds value to the clientele served, produces a favorable cost benefit ratio, and is the best solution to meet the application. A common system may be mandated when the solution proves an overall favorable cost benefit and outcome to the UW system and the clientele served. Furthermore, it is recognized that multiple solutions or services may satisfy the agreed-upon valued proposition.

An outcome of the retreat was a draft document outlining decision-making, funding, and management of Common Systems. The draft called for representation from each campus on the CSRG, a group that should function as an active planning group, not a reactive group. Under the draft proposal, the CSRG would be responsible for articulating the value proposition and reviewing the project plan and the funding strategies. It would exercise budget and project oversight. The draft suggests an “Oversight and Accountability Office” (OAO) for common systems projects. The executive officer of the OAO would report periodically to the UWS President and chancellors. The OAO would have the authority to hire and manage the project directors with consultation from the appropriate VP or AVP without obviating the necessity for close engagement by the functional VP, AVP, steering committee or campuses. This initiative would pull steering committee functions together with budgetary responsibilities.

The value proposition can also exist in business processes, not just common hardware or software, e.g., IAA or a learning object repository. Examining the value proposition could also lead to different decisions or implementations for institutions.

Over the coming weeks, the draft document will also be shared with the CBOs and vice chancellors. Input from the CIOs should be referred to Lorie Docken.

Procurement update – Helen McCain & Lori Voss

State procurement initiatives

The Governor's proposed budget includes a provision to eliminate 14.8 purchasing positions systemwide.

The Silver Oak initiative will be paid $1 for each $2 of projected savings in state procurement. The initiative is slated to roll out four waves of savings. Their goal is to standardize and consolidate the number of vendors. It will not matter if the UWS can get better pricing off Big Ten or higher ed contracts than through a state agency consortium. The UWS has representatives on the teams that are led by Silver Oak consultants to examine procurements for software, copiers and faxes, printers, IT contractors, food, janitorial supplies, office supplies, networks and peripherals.

The CIOs were asked to provide their feedback on a list of principles that are being drafted by the UW Purchasing Council.


Informatica has been questioning the UWS use of its products. Legal Counsel has been brought in to the discussion. It is likely that some sort of settlement and technical changes will be negotiated surrounding the implementation of PowerCenter. Informatica has presented a set of expensive options as starting points for discussion.

Bruce Maas recalled the negotiations that led to the initial "unlimited sources and targets" licensing agreement in cooperation with Informatica's president that led to the breakthrough consideration of the UWS as a single institution. David Hart will coordinate participation by Tom Scott and others from the initial negotiating team.

Another option is to consider switching to another vendor. Essential is a new vendor in this arena.

Network update – Ed Meachen, Ron Kraemer

Ron Kraemer reported that, according to Bob Stuessy, about 1.5 weeks ago the newly negotiated BadgerNet contract went to SBC corporate offices where it was signed and sent back to DOA. There is no word that DOA has signed it. When they do, DOA has indicated that they will have pricing information available to the UWS in a few days. The UWS institutions will need to come together in short order to examine the available alternatives and advise the Regents and President if necessary.

Meanwhile, the next WCNI meeting will be on Thursday, February 24.

WiscNet update – Kathy Pletcher

The WiscNet board of directors asked the WiscNet staff to do a strengths/weaknesses/threats analysis for the next five years. The staff made presentations to the board in January. The key directions that came out of that effort included:

continuing to provide ISP services

diversifying services and revenue sources

fostering the community of users

The first draft of a plan will be shared with the board's executive committee tomorrow. A later draft will be presented to the membership at large at the annual meeting on May 2-3, 2005.

Budget update – Leslie Perelman

A comparison of the UWS budget requests ($337,884,800) versus the Governor's recommendations ($150,410,400) was distributed. The funding requests for BadgerNet and Libraries were not recommended by the Governor, however, the increase in Student Technology Fee was. The request to hold students from the lowest two economic quintiles harmless from tuition increases was not recommended by the Governor.

The DIN for Ensuring Student Success had two parts, a request for an additional 300 faculty members and an increase in some faculty salaries. In response, the Governor recommended 125 additional faculty, but not salary increases.

The UWS will be expected to downsize 200 positions and $65M as part of the Governor's Efficiency Measures. What that will mean to each individual campus, and their IT organizations in particular, is largely speculative

Learn@UW update

Project Update - David Wirth

There have not been many complaints of late from the UWS institutions, although the heaviest use of quizzes and gradebooks has not begun. Since the D2L handles all of the patching of the code, Learn@UW has decided to hold off on taking patches in mid semester. There are still issues with the gradebook, so a best practices guide for using the gradebook has been distributed to faculty.

Hopefully, promised performance enhancements in version 7.4 will take care of the gradebook and quizzing issues. Learn@UW will put version 7.4 through beta testing in March with the goal of putting it into production for the summer semester.

A day-long meeting was recently held with the D2L president. The company is growing substantially. A plan is in place to move the UW-Milwaukee database to Learn@UW. The new Mojo utility will improve support for synchronous sessions. Mojo will be integrated into D2L, but it will not be as robust as the current Breeze Live pilot that is running through UW-Stout. A new Learning Object Repository will be examined this month.

A quick faculty survey is planned for April to learn what tools they are using and if the tools are meeting their needs. A student survey is being composed for UW-Eau Claire because their students are questioning the impact of D2L costs on the student technology fee budget.

A D2L user conference will be held from August 7-10 at the PyleCenter and Memorial Union at UW-Madison. Regular meetings are being held with MNSCU and other large D2L customers to build a community and collaborate on testing.

UW-Whitewater is considering using D2L for course evaluations if quiz data can be exported.

Gradebook integration - David Hart

Integrating D2L grades into PS has been successfully piloted at UW-GreenBay and UW-Madison. Some of the problems experienced by UW-Madison had to do with large classes and the registrar's office initiation of e-grading for the first time. Further gradebook integrations will not proceed until the issues with large classes are thoroughly investigated.

The MILER integration budget is out of money for the current fiscal year, which raises the question of whether the remaining campuses should be charged back for gradebook integration. The Council supported not charging campuses that serve as the pilots for new integration projects, and using MILER cost sharing for implementing the interfaces at subsequent institutions.

The Council also felt is was preferable to complete gradebook integration at all campuses, or at least for those that are interested, before going forward with library integration. The integration team wants to design interfaces such that they work for all campuses, even those that aren't using one of the common systems. A proposal will be brought to the April CIO Council meeting and to the Common Systems Review Group.

ECAR Core Data Survey, Ed Meachen

Ed Meachen encouraged each institution to complete the EDUCAUSE Core Data Survey by the March 7 deadline.

March meeting

The next CIO Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 17, 2005. The meeting time will be shifted an hour earlier to begin at 8:30 am and end at 2:00 pm. Nina Boss will be asked to make a presentation on the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) RFP. Whether or not the ITMC should continue operating in its present form as an organization with elected officers will also be discussed.

April meetings

The ITMC, EMTC, LTDC and CWCW groups will meet for a joint conference on April 11 and 12 at the Heidel House in GreenLake. The ITMC is sponsoring a breakout track on security issues. The CIO Council will meet after the conference during the afternoon of April 12th.

Nominations are needed for officers of the ITMC Executive Committee. Doug Wahl will be chair this year, so a chair elect is needed.