Office of Learning and Information Technology

UWS CIO Council

February 18, 2010

Madison, WI


CIOs and their Representatives Guests

Nancy Crabb
David Dumke
Jack Duwe
Chip Eckardt
Marcia Henfer
Tom Jordan
Ron Kraemer
John Krogman
David Lois
Bruce Maas
Ed Meachen
Erich Matola
Jose Noriega
Kathy Pletcher
Elena Pokot by teleconference
Mary Schoeller by teleconference
Ken Splittgerber
David Stack
John Tillman
Doug Wahl
David Wallace

Chris Ashley
Elise Barho
Brian Busby
Tom Callaci
Kathy Caya
Lorie Docken
Ruth Ginzberg
Cynthia Graham
Keith Hazelton
Chris Holsman
Derrian Jones
Jim Lowe
Paul Moriarty
Lorna Wong

Credential Assessment Framework Update

The progress of the UWS institutions toward 100% compliance on the 37 items in the Credential Assessment Framework (CAF) by December 2010 was reviewed. This year, the Prevari software package will be used for collecting the survey data rather than a paper form. Each UWS institution has a unique login ID. Passwords and instructions will be sent to the primary contacts. Jim Lowe and Tom Callaci are looking for contacts and possible secondary contacts from a couple of the UW System institutions. A user guide will explain which replies are acceptable for the different questions. The timeline includes:

  • February 22 - March 11, completing the online Prevari questionnaire, conducting vulnerability scans and providing the documentation to Tom Callaci
  • March 15 - April 6, analysis and summarization of all CAF information
  • April 15 - discussion of steps to confirm 100% compliance by December 2010

Auditing of the responses to the questions can be handled either by internal auditors at the UWS institutions - if they have the experience and qualifications - or by an external third party such as a peer review by another UWS institution. The UW System (UWS) IT Management Council (ITMC) Security Group will be engaged to discuss how to accomplish the audits. The Prevari tool allows for auditor comments to be linked to the institutional answers to the questions.

Chris Holsman encouraged the UWS institutions to join InCommon. Identity providers are already deployed for all the UWS institutions. To use those capabilities, it will either be necessary to deploy a UWS federation or have all of the institutions join InCommon. The latter would be easier.

Oracle SAIP Pilot/D2L

Lorna Wong explained that the goal of the Student Administration Integration Pack (SAIP) project is to replace the two custom interfaces between PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and D2L that are maintained by the MILER group. These interfaces are the transfer of test rosters and instructor information from PeopleSoft to D2L and the transfer of grading information from D2L to PeopleSoft.

The current interfaces work relatively well, but are expensive to maintain. Only seven of the UWS institutions are using the e-grading interface.

The SAIP is a series of standard interfaces for version 9 of Campus Solutions. A three phase proposal for funding the replacement of the current interfaces with SAIP has been submitted to the UWS Common Systems Review Group (CSRG):

  1. The assessment phase would run from April through early summer to determine the feasibility of SAIP for replacing the existing interfaces.
  2. The pilot phase would continue through the fall semester and involve up to three UWS institutions running the SAIP interfaces. A selection is being made now from the institutions that have volunteered. It appears likely that UW–River Falls, UW–Stout and UW–Green Bay will be chosen.
  3. The migration phase would run from spring 2011 through mid summer 2012 to migrate the remaining UWS institutions At that point all of the UWS institutions except UW–Stevens Point would have e-grading capability.

A successful migration would result in a return on investment in just a few years. SAIP may also provide real time transfers of rosters instead of the current, nightly runs. Tom Jordan noted that there is additional functionality in SAIP that could aid with various provisioning tasks, although implementing those functions are outside the scope of this project.

Stimulus Measure for Broadband Networks

Ed Meachen reported that coordinating the information from the four participating communities has been challenging. The Community Area Network (CAN) strategy is gaining national traction. David Lois reported on positive discussions with the MERIT network in Michigan and described their desire to connect to Wisconsin. Meanwhile, it is likely that the Governor will announce the success of the BadgerNet Converged Network proposal for stimulus funds. Ron Kraemer reported that the Northern Tier network is starting to build multi-state partnerships. The Google fiber CAN project is interesting but vague and thus does not overlap with stimulus funding opportunities.

HRS Data for Campuses via Person Hub

Keith Hazelton explained that a Person Hub (PH) is the part of a Operational Data Store (ODS) that carries information about people. Use of a PH is chosen versus a warehouse for different purposes. Everyone agrees that the UWS institutions need HR person data:

  • The Human Resources System will be the authoritative source for faculty and staff data
  • For faculty, staff and students, institutional identity and access management systems must:
    • create local accounts and credentials
    • control access to institutional services and resources
    • provision person data into institutional applications that insist on a local user store
    • configure and customize institutional applications based on person attributes

At issue is where these systems should get the person data. It is desirable to avoid feeding this data directly from the HRS transactional system because:

  • It is widely assumed there would be negative impacts on performance.
  • One interface would be required for each connected system, i.e., a hub and spoke style architecture. Each interface (spoke) would need periodic maintenance and upgrades.

If data is not fed from the main transactional system, the choices are either a Person Hub or a data warehouse. Each has different characteristics. A warehouse is analogous to a records storehouse or archive and therefore well suited for applications that:

    • require historical, time series data
    • accept data in batches
    • deliver data in batches
    • are not required to be operational 24 x 7

A Person Hub is like a digital scoreboard and therefore more appropriate for applications that:

    • require data at a point in time
    • require data that is near real time
    • have to work at all times, i.e., 24x7
    • support the current work in progress

Kathy Caya described the HRS/PersonHub/Institutional interfaces using the same diagram that was shared at the last CIO Council meeting. The overall process will be that:

  • Staff at the UWS institutions enter data into HRS.
  • A subset of the data flows into the PH which redistributes it back to institutional systems.
  • The credentials and email addresses are returned from the institutions to the PH and then to the Identity and Access Management system (IAM) and HRS.

Once data is entered into HRS, event triggers will look for changes in tables. When the triggers fire, the data will be copied to a set of staging tables within HRS. A scheduled process will run on the Identity, Authentication and Authorization (IAA) side of the process and use the data to populate the PH. A set of triggers on the PH will publish a notification to the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) that new person data is available. The UWS institutions will subscribe to one or more web services on the ESB to get the data.

One major ESB web services will be a "person service" based on the functionality that is provided with the Campus Solutions product. Since job information is not included in this service, a second service will be developed to provide it. The UWS institutions will be able to subscribe to these services to consume changes when they are published. Project plans and charters for these services are being developed. Testing could begin as early as late spring.

Today, most of the UWS institutions use MILER interfaces to feed data pertaining to everyone at the institution from their PeopleSoft Student Systems into IAA. That might be changed in the future because a smaller amount of data is needed in the PH for employees as compared to students to expedite access to HRS and other common systems, such as WISC and D2L.

Chris Holsman reported that a basic set of data elements has been determined for the IADS feeds that has been approved by the IAA governance group. Approval of the inclusion of any additional data elements would have to go through the IAA governance process.

UW–Whitewater is currently consuming data for account provisioning from their existing HR system and is concerned about not having access to enough data elements for account provisioning, feeding door access systems, etc, in the future. This may also become an issue for other UWS institutions as new institutional systems are deployed. Distributed IT systems in campus departments should rely upon central, institutional data systems rather than local authorization systems. Therefore, the UWS institutions need to be able to acquire additional data elements in a timely fashion. The current plan is that all approved data elements will be provided to all of the UWS institutions. The institutions can choose whether to consume each data element or not. Other alternatives can be discussed outside of this meeting.

HRS Project Update

Lorie Docken distributed a sample, prototype scorecard for the HRS project deliverables that are expected from the UWS institutions, including their due dates. Each month the Change Management team will ask the institutions to self report on their progress against the scorecard. A monthly roll-up of all the institutional scorecards will be prepared. Brad Krause will brief the CBOs on this new process. The Shared Financial System (SFS) team has a similar list of deliverables that needs to be merged with the campus deliverables.

The second Huron Consulting quality assurance assessment of the HRS project was performed in December and responses from the HRS project team were prepared and approved in January. The assessment focused on five areas:

  1. completion and closeout of the design phase
  2. proactive management of the build phase
  3. staffing
  4. testing approach
  5. third party software selection

Much of the development work is currently being done off-site through the end of the fiscal year, so a transition plan is needed to move the knowledge to UWS resources. The development will be unit tested before leaving the off-site location. There will also be a certain amount of system testing before it is transitioned. The next quality assurance review will be in April and functional testing will begin in July.

Ed Meachen and certain members of the HRS team will make visits to the UWS institutions beginning next week with UW–Whitewater. The group would like to meet with the institution's chancellor, provost, CBO, CIO, HR director and HRS site leader.

Service Center 2.0 Working Group

John Krogman and Ed Meachen reported that the purpose of the Service Center 2.0 Working Group is to develop estimates for FY 2011 and FY 2012 that will be given to the CSRG budget group next week. The working group will also consider how to transition from the current Service Center to the new one . One component may be the hiring of consulting assistance focused on organizational change management to examine the duties of current staff and the potential duties of staff in the future. It has been confirmed that UW–Madison will run the new Service Center.

Retention of Campus ID/Password for Portal Access

Jack Duwe reminded the Council of the need to provide retired and terminated staff with access to the UWS portal for such things as earning statements. Experience has shown that the need for access drops to zero a couple years after an employee leaves UWS service. This requires that campus IDs and passwords remain active. However, it does not mean that campuses need to provide local institutional services, such as email, to former employees.

Most of the UWS institutions originally designed their processes such that user accounts automatically came with certain services, such as email. The UWS institutions are in the process of separating authentication from authorization in their local processes. If the UWS institutions are not able to do this, then institutional HR departments may need to provide paper statements to retirees.

Tom Jordan reported that UW–Whitewater will rely upon their password reset policies to ensure long term access for former employees. When UW-Milwaukee terminates someone for cause all access is typically taken away immediately and the HR office has to employ manual workarounds. At UW–Green Bay, the HR office will serve those who call for statements more than 30 days after their employment ends.

Student Engagement Portfolio

Cynthia Graham described a day-long UWS workshop earlier in the week that examined academic transcripts, co-curricular transcripts and hybrids of the two. The UW System Administration (UWSA) is not promoting a particular software package for co-curricular transcripts. Presentations were made to the workshop attendees that covered the current d2l e-portfolio project as well as CollegiateLink, OrgSync and StudentVoice for detailing aspects of a student's non-academic interactions at the institution. UWSA is offering grants for seed funding for institutions to try co-curricular e-portfolio applications. They are also helping groups start e-portfolio initiatives, either with or without d2l.

Bruce Maas stressed the importance of clearly labeling the efforts as pilots without a guarantee that the pilots will turn into production systems. At UW–Milwaukee, the process for selecting software is driven by requirements, not just previous familiarity with an application. Pilots should help an institution determine their actual requirements. Ed Meachen noted that the term e-portfolio covers many different purposes in peoples' minds. Therefore, an institution could wind up requiring students to learn and use multiple products. Cynthia Graham will look at those who have applied for UWS grant funds and encourage the recipients to dialogue with their institution's CIO and explore licensing terms that extend beyond a single institution. Grant applications are due March 3rd and decisions are expected to be made by mid April.

Procurement Update

Ruth Ginzberg reported that updated rebidding is getting underway for contracts for Verisign authentication software, storage backup and recovery hardware and the Systimax solutions. Purchasing agents and CIOs will be emailed to solicit their requirements for these products prior to the rebidding.

Long standing waivers for such items as software and hardware maintenance on existing equipment are also being processed. The UWS institutions need to make sure that applicable items that have been purchased at their institutions are on the waivers.

Acquisition of the SAIP interfaces are in process with the assistance of the state Department of Administration (DOA).

Cloud Computing Update

Bruce Maas reported on the EDUCAUSE/NACUBO workshop that was held last week to identify key issues related to cloud computing. A white paper will be distributed soon. The unanimous conclusion was that the current cost and procurement model for IT systems is unsustainable. The current procurement model does not benefit the vendor community either. Individual institutions are negotiating separately with vendors which runs up overhead costs for procurement activities and the services of legal counsel. Higher education needs to engage with vendors as a community through the brokering of services and consortiums. Internet2, NACUBO and EDUCAUSE will start to build a framework for further work, especially around issues of trust and IAM. It was noted that there is not a professional association of chief academic officers, which makes it difficult to engage them in IT procurement issues. David Lois reported that the StateNets group is also focused on cloud computing issues such as storage and alternative data centers in some pilot projects.

UW Law Days Conference

Chris Ashley reported that the UW Law Days 2010 Conference will be held March 9 - 10 at the Manona Terrace, It will have three tracks of sessions and will cover a number of IT related issues.

SmartPhones Discussion

Chris Ashley reported that most of the legal issues have been resolved regarding the provision stipends to employees for the use of smartphones for unclassified staff. The stipend must be reasonably related to the outlay on the part of the employee. Bruce Maas concurred that processing a reimbursement costs more than a stipend. Different staff roles require devices with different capabilities, i.e., members of an emergency management team probably need a smartphone for its data capabilities. Jose Noriega reported that people are switching to personally purchased smartphones and then asking how to hook them up to their institutional account. Today, UW–Parkside is piloting the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) for a few individuals. UW–Milwaukee is taking the hard line that its email and calendar services work with most devices other than Blackberry so a BES will not be implemented unless a department pays all of the associated costs.

Security is a concern on personal devices and user education is key. The BES records all of an individual's personal information that is transacted through it which turns the personal data into state property and available for open records requests. People also need to be aware that the work they do on their personal devices can become state records.

Gartner System-wide Membership

Ed Meachen distributed a proposal from Gartner before the meeting that would give one person at each UWS institution access to their research database.

Executive Videoconferencing Update

Ed Meachen reported that a small group is developing requirements for videoconferencing that are focused around the needs of the chancellors and other campus executives as a way of achieving efficiencies in travel. At next week's chancellor's meeting, the attendees will be scattered among three high definition videoconferencing machines in separate rooms of the Pyle Center as a way to simulate holding a meeting by videoconference. David Dumke noted that the UWS institutions will have to support the chosen equipment, not UWSA, and different institutions have already made vendor choices. Questions were also raised regarding how much or how little the equipment might be used and the possibility that conversations will be overheard by people not usually in attendance at chancellor meetings. Meanwhile, UW-Madison is planning to install two Cisco telepresence units in the new Discovery Center building.

WiscNet Board UW Seat

Kathy Pletcher will not be standing for re-election for the seat that is designated for the UWS. Ed Meachen will likely run.

HEUG Board

John Krogman distributed lists of those thought to be attending the Oracle Higher Ed User Group (HEUG) conference. Tom Scott will not longer be on the HEUG board but Steve Hahn is a candidate from UW–Madison. The electorate is comprised of the people registered to attend the conference.

Next CIO Council Meeting

The next CIO Council Meeting will be on March 18th; possibly a teleconference.

The April CIO Meeting will be during the afternoon of April 20th after the ITMC Conference.


Meeting dates, Directory of UW CIOs, Meeting Summaries: