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Office of Learning and Information Technology

UW System CIO Council Meeting

February 21, 2013

UW-Eau Claire

UW Portal Update

Mobility Solutions Related to SIS Information:

†††††††† UW-La Crosse

†††††††† UW-Whitewater

†††††††† UW-Madison

†††††††† UW-Stout

Oracle Mobility Solutions

TISC Update

HRS Strong Authentication Update

Common System Budget Update

Learn@UW Update

Adobe Software Licensing

Procurement Update

Oracle Support

Flex Degree Implications for IT

Campus Fiber Replacement Plans


Governorís Budget Proposal


CIOs and their Representatives


Rajeev Bukralia

Lorie Docken

Jacques du Plessis

Nick Dvoracek by teleconference

Chip Eckardt

Mohamed Elhindi

Werner Gade

Tom Jordan by teleconference

Joe Kmiech

Bruce Maas

Stephen Reed

Michael Sherer

David Stack

Doug Wahl

Ilya Yakolev by teleconference

Mark Clements

Chris Liechty by teleconference

Ben Deneen

Ruth Ginzberg

Jim Helwig by teleconference

Tom Jordan by teleconference

Austin Laird by teleconference

Peter Mann by teleconference

Paul Moriarty

Michael Schlicht

Kay Schnur

Dave Schroeder by teleconference

Annette Stratman-Durrer by teleconference

Anand Vangipuram

Stefan Wahe by teleconference

Lorna Wong by teleconference

Chip Eckardt welcomed the CIO Council to UW-Eau Claire and noted that the consultants that support the MOR Leadership group want to touch base with CIO Council at a future date

UW Portal Update

Lorie Docken explained that there is a new effort to incorporate the Blackboard Collaborate tool into the my.wisconsin.edu portal that, until now, has mainly supported the Human Resources System (HRS).

The initiative got underway when Lorna Wong and Peter Mann contacted the MyUW team at UW-Madison about incorporating Blackboard Collaborate as a self-service application in their portal, similar to the existing integration with Learn@UW and Moodle.The University of Edinburgh already had the necessary portlets and shared their code.

Annette Stratman-Durrer explained that the my.wisconsin.edu portal will have a new look. The current my.wisconsin.edu work record tab has 11 portlets that provide primarily HRS functions. The current proposal is to split the tab in two creating a welcome tab that would include the Collaborate portlet and a new work record tab that would contain the HR statements. Campuses would have the option of opting out of web conferencing if they chose to do so. The welcome tab could incorporate future content as well. Campuses that want to add contact of their own into the portal can contact the team.

Portlets can also be accessed via a mobile view from any device. Implementation is planned for later in spring 2013 depending upon the availability of DoIT developers at UW-Madison. Docken is aiding in the creation of a governance structure.

Chip Eckardt inquired if it would be possible to call portlets in the my.wisconsin.edu mobile view via mobile applications developed at the UWS institutions. Jim Helwig replied that this would be possible because the portal already delivers a web view. The uPortal engine can also deliver a mobile app, but that functionality has not yet been explored.

Mobility Solutions for Student Information System

Mohamed Elhindi explained that UW-La Crosse has the goal of making all PeopleSoft Student Information System (SIS) functionality available on a mobile platform. They ran a competitive selection among the offerings of six companies and settled on the HighPoint product that is based upon PHP. A test environment is currently running and HighPoint representatives will visit the campus next week. All development to date has been done remotely. HighPoint has a tight relationship with Oracle and charges a flat fee for the initial development and optional fees for ongoing maintenance. Very little PeopleSoft customization has been necessary and no new hardware has been purchased thus far. A PeopleSoft bundle upgrade was deployed after installing HighPoint in the test environment without any problems. The contract with HighPoint guarantees that their product will work with all local PeopleSoft customizations. There is a social media component that allows a student to recommend a class to a friend. UW La-Crosse is willing to share all of the information they gathered during their competitive bid. Other UWS institutions can take advantage of their contract with HighPoint.

Anand Vangipuram reported that UW-Whitewater is using browser-based mobile applications because the campus has a 50/50 split between iOS and Android devices. They piloted the PeopleSoft Course Browser using the Oracle Application Developer Framework during a two-month proof of concept but decided that the licensing costs per CPU in a VM environment would ultimately be too expensive. They switched to using JAVA-EE and PeopleSoft services deploying to a GlassFish application server. Their application has been in production since August. There are some ongoing performance concerns with the Web Service calls. Their next application will be student grades once a satisfactory authentication technology is identified.

David Schroeder explained that UW-Madison has both Android and iOS mobile apps but because their efforts are funded by Educational Technology Fees they want to go further in providing student access. They also want their campus apps to be interactive and not just one-way pushes of data. Much SIS content is already delivered via the myUW portal through web portlets that can be mobile-friendly. A similar approach is being pursued for other UWS systems such as Learn@UW and the library. Their proof of concept project was a module to deliver authenticated access to final grades via the underlying mobile OS security frameworks. Some additional housekeeping was employed to increase security if, for example, someone were to cancel out of an application. There is a context-sensitive back button that aids in making the environment seamless via custom style sheets. As people drill down they may encounter content that does not have a mobile friendly view, e.g., a PDF of a web statement. The registrar and the myUW team have identified the next targets for SIS mobile web apps including course schedules, course search and course add/drop. The design philosophy is to only use dedicated apps when it is absolutely necessary for performance reasons. Jim Helwig reported that mobile web views can easily be incorporated into other delivery platforms including desktops, laptops and tablets. Bruce Maas explained that in the past 18 months some $300,000 in Educational Technology Fee funding has been earmarked for mobile apps by the campus fee committee because of student demand. There is also a pilot to develop an infrastructure for safely and securely surfacing data out of ERP systems to head off insecure, redundant and inaccurate data releases.

Doug Wahl reported that UW-Stout has implemented AT&Tís Campus Guide mobile app. The overall campus website has been mobile since December 2011. Kay Schnur demonstrated the Campus Guide app, which is hosted by a third party except for connections to ERP systems at the campus. The ability to monitor laundry machines was one of the main drivers for the project. Today, the course function is the most popular, followed by the bus tracker. It is necessary to authenticate to the app, and FERPA restrictions are respected when displaying personal information. Because students are not satisfied with the current D2L app, the development of additional read-only access to Learn@UW functionality is underway. Wait listing, bill payment and textbook rental/purchase functions are planned. Designing and naming the icons is not a trivial endeavor. It took approximately two months for the product to appear in the app stores after the development was complete. Much of the development work was done by the CommonSpot CMS administrator. Tablet, iPad and Windows 8 support are coming soon, as are functions targeted for faculty.

Oracle Mobility Solutions

Austin Laird, Principal Project Manager on the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions team, gave a heads-up on products that are not yet available. Oracle believes in the customer having a choice of device, operating system and development platforms. They want to leverage the Campus Solutions product as the platform for any mobile experience for students by exposing existing functionality starting with smartphones, moving to new browser-based experiences and delivering mobile-optimized web services for key business processes. From there, extensions to other applications and audiences will be possible.

The targeted functionality for Version 1 of Campus Mobile focuses on high volume transactions including:

-†††††† searching the schedule of classes

-†††††† class details

-†††††† enrollment (including add/drop)

-†††††† viewing a class schedule

-†††††† viewing grades

-†††††† push notifications (including grades and waitlists)

-†††††† student preferences

-†††††† shopping cart

After version 1, planned functionality includes:

-†††††† calendar integration

-†††††† viewing of account balance

-†††††† viewing of financial aid status

-†††††† viewing of holds/service indicators

-†††††† viewing of to do items

-†††††† instructor contact info

-†††††† active notification links that launch apps directly from S<S messages

-†††††† additional notifications:

o††† open seat availability

o††† hold/s added

o††† to do/checklist item added

o††† registration open

The goal is to simplify the student experience and make it both personal and immediate. The campus mobile application is delivered as part of the PeopleSoft self-service product. The Application Development Framework (ADF) allows mobile code to be developed once and deployed to both iOS and Android devices. There are no additional licensing fees for ADF or additional web servers required because the applications run on the student phones. If the ADF framework is extended beyond PeopleSoft products, e.g. to transportation systems, there may be additional licensing and hardware requirements.

Interactions with existing campus apps are not possible today, other than launching the PeopleSoft Campus Mobile app from within another app. The Mobile Application will be delivered through the same mechanisms as other PeopleSoft software. Local campus branding is possible before the apps are deployed through the familiar Apple and Google app stores. The app could also be delivered through third party mobile management technologies. Attendees at the Alliant Conference in March will learn more about the product and its roadmap. Another opportunity will be at the UWS Campus Solutions Forum in April.

TISC Update (Mark Clements)

Mark Clements explained that Steve Brukbacher is the current chair of TISC and Clements is the incoming chair. Clements recalled the data protection framework that was presented to the ITMC and CIO Council last November. Work will continue on the document in 2013. TISC is also working on:

-†††††† certificate requests to the Common systems Review Group

-†††††† awareness of cloud security issues

-†††††† multifactor authentication beginning with HRS

The next TISC meeting will be at the end of February via videoconference to recommend a baseline set of security controls for the UWS institutions. TISC will meet again at the spring ITMC conference, on June 18th in Madison and at the fall ITMC conference.

HRS Strong Authentication Update

Tom Jordan recapped the background to this project which is designed to provide strong authentication to the power users of HRS. The plan is to build upon the Wisconsin Federation model with additional hardware tokens that carry digital certificates. There are currently discussions around whether to use USB tokens, smartcards or other authentication technologies. There is a proof of concept pilot of the backend technology underway through the middle of March. Campus piloting will occur from mid May through mid June with deployment from mid July through the end of August.

Questions have been raised about support for mobile devices. The authentication framework doesnít preclude mobile devices, but doesnít explicitly support them either. Use of an institutional IdP is one possibility along with the associated campus policy work. Data gathering efforts identified only 90 mobile users of HRS over two months and many of those were only accessing their own information.

Stefan Wahe reported that the core team has met and the members are committed to developing a solution that works beyond HRS. The sponsors, Lorie Docken and John Krogman, have asked for a decision document regarding the possible form factors. They will take that document to the Administrative Systems Executive Committee on March 12th for a decision on one or both options. Lorie Docken asked for feedback from the Council on their preferred options. David Stack replied that UW-Milwaukee would prefer using cell phones for one-time passwords. Wahe inquired whether the HRS project would then be expected to supply cell phones and data plans to employees. Bruce Maas recommended that the requirements drive the solution. Chip Eckard reported that legacy desktops and laptops only have USB ports. However, tablets typically do not have USB ports and newer devices are coming equipped with smart card readers. Tom Jordan explained that campuses could undertake their own second factor authentication down the road when they are ready. Mohamed Elhindi recommended that the effort push forward with the USB solution because of the short timeframe.

Common System Budget Update

Doug Wahl recapped the role of the Common Systems Review Group (CSRG) and their budget process. The CSRG was created in 1998 to review and set priorities between common systems and to recommend the annual budget to the UWS President and chancellors. The CSRG budget committee makes recommendations to the full group. Submissions for FY14 were received from stakeholder groups in January. Over the next few weeks, the provosts and other UW System councils will be briefed.

The CSRG received 25% more in funding requests for FY14 than FY13. To assess these requests the budget committee developed 6 objectives:

-†††††† Maintaining current operations

-†††††† HRS stabilization and compliance

-†††††† Maintaining a flat budget

-†††††† Investing in student learning and success

-†††††† Completing the Shared Financial System upgrade

-†††††† Investing in the Common Systems roadmap

The budget requests were divvied up into:

-†††††† operations

-†††††† critical path items

-†††††† new projects

Funding support for the critical path items has been recommended while reductions are sought in the other two areas, including delaying all new academic projects that were proposed for FY14. There remains the opportunity for the UWS institutions to collaborate on these projects in a cooperative fashion via an optional system-wide contract outside of the Common Systems budget.

Bruce Maas predicted that a new breed of enterprise systems is coming down the road in the next five years that is predicated on lightweight, non-customized processes. Senior campus leaders donít understand that their decisions drive the high costs of the current administrative applications, e.g., spreading faculty payroll over 12 months. The CIC institutions are having ongoing discussions about these issues. Stephen Reed pointed out that the costs of Common Systems are what they are because of the functionality they are tasked to achieve. Perhaps a system-wide group should make this case from multiple professional perspectives.

Jacques du Plessis noted the parallels to federal budget issues that are shifting the cost burden of higher education to student debt. This is a bubble that will eventually burst. Lorie Docken is optimistic that the Legislative Audit Bureauís report on the UW Service Center may shed light on some of the policies in HRS that add to complexity and cost, e.g., the taking of payroll deductions one month in advance. The CIOs need to give their provosts a consistent message on the UWS Common Systems and the associated business processes and cultures. Next month, UW-Madison will adopt a new structure for making IT decisions. Perhaps a similar model could work at the level for Common Systems. Several members volunteered to draft a document on behalf of the CIO Council.

Learn@UW Update

Peter Mann distributed a document that reported on usage of the Learn@UW service for spring 2013. There has been steady growth including a 4% increase in the number of active courses and a 2% increase in the number of active enrollments. There is anecdotal evidence that instructors are using more complex tools within the learning management system. The grade submission functionality was used by 900 instructors who transferred approximately 75K grades.

The storage solution for the two largest volumes was migrated to Network Attached Storage (NAS) in early January. Anti-virus scanning has been re-enabled on all volumes. The next storage infrastructure upgrade will take 12-16 hours over a weekend in the early summer. After that effort, the remaining storage volumes will be migrated during weekly maintenance windows.

Lorna Wong explained that a major release of the D2L product was expected in the March timeframe, but it has been delayed indefinitely.

Peter Mann explained that the charge of the Learn@UW Availability and Continuity Planning Task Force is to focus on short-term needs to lessen the likelihood of issues that impact the services and to identify viable alternatives should Learn@UW become unavailable. The group is led by David Dumke of UW-Stevens Point. A report is expected by the Learn@UW Executive Committee by the end of March.

The D2L contract ends on June 30, 2013. The new contract will be approved by the Board of Regents at their June meeting. A negotiating team will begin meeting shortly.

There have been recurring issues with Blackboard Collaborate because the vendor has experienced intermittent Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks. There has not been any breach of the system or exposure of data. The vendor has taken some remedial actions already and more are planned for deployment within the next two weeks. Potential changes will be needed to D2L and Moodle as well as modifications to campus firewalls on Saturday March 2. Communications have been sent to the campus administrative contacts. Ruth Ginzberg recommended reporting the attacks to the Department of Homeland Security.

Twelve courses from 7 institutions are participating in a pilot of the Canvas learning management system. The courses are all running smoothly so far and Shibboleth authentication is being tested. A conversation about integrating the PeopleSoft Student Information System with some Canvas clients will begin soon.

Wong hopes that the Media Management Platform project will be funded into the future. There has been a successful two-year pilot of the Kaltura cloud service that included
~500 participants (mostly instructors) who have stored 2TB. Feedback from the pilot coordinators at the UWS institutions indicated that integration with the learning management system is critical.

Adobe Software Licensing

Chip Eckardt reported that the EDUCAUSE community is largely unsatisfied with current Adobe licensing practices and pricing. Usage is way down at UW-Eau Claire. Most of the UWS institutions have found other alternatives for fill-in-the-blank forms. Another concern is the discontinuation of concurrent licensing for Creative Suite in favor of the Adobe Creative Cloud, which institutions judge as prohibitively expensive. The MHEC consortium is creating a group to investigate alternatives. Adobe does not have a licensing program for virtualization because they believe the resulting user experience would be unsatisfactory.

Procurement Update

Ruth Ginzberg is waiting for an amendment from Microsoft verifying the negotiated modifications to the EES agreement.

All UWS institutions are eligible to cut a purchase order and cite Chapter 39 to use the MHEC CampusCloud Hosting services offered via CampusEAI. They also offer cloud storage, virtual machine hosting and web hosting.

Oracle Support (Chip Eckardt)

Chip Eckardt reported that the authorized users of the PeopleSoft SIS support web site need to be reviewed for accuracy by each institution.

Flex Degree Implications for IT

Mohamed Elhindi explained that the UW Flexible Degree is a self-paced, competency-based primarily online mode for program delivery that targets adult and non-traditional students. Funding and program support is provided by UW-Extension. Participating UW institutions will appoint an Academic Director for each Flex Degree option for which they may receive UWS funding along with two .5 FTEs for instructional design and support.

One time startup costs are projected to include include a new Customer Relationship Management system as well as a new Student Information System and the staff to support them. Projections from the financial model show breaking even in several years.

Ruth Ginzberg noted that the Flex Degree program may impact software licensing procedures given the unique status of these students. Elhindi explained that small task forces will delve into the various implementation issues. Interest in offer Flex Degrees varies widely among the UWS institutions. Jacques du Plessis recommended that a representative from UW-Milwaukee be invited to describe the complexities that are being discovered at their campus.

Meanwhile, there are 1,500 enrolled students in the UW-La Crosse proof-of-concept mathematics MOOC that is hosted by D2L. Students from all over the United States as well as other countries are enrolled. It remains to be seen how many will participate actively. The MOOC grants Microsoft training credits, not college credit.

UW-Madison has joined Coursera and five faculty are currently involved in developing the first round of courses. Creating a high quality product will not be inexpensive, at least initially.

Campus Fiber Replacement Plans

Jacques du Plessis reminded the Council that the fiber backbones that were installed at the UWS institutions in the 1990ís are coming due for replacement. He has spoken with Greg Wanek at UW System Administration who said the best option is to proceed campus-by-campus as part of each institutionís planning processes. Michael Schlicht reported that some campuses are benefitting from the current federal grants for Community Area Networks (CANs). The UWS institutions are also taking advantage of construction and remodeling projects to make improvements to their fiber backbones.


Bruce Maas distributed copies of the materials used in two-day training sessions at UW-Madison on the development of business requirements. A few people from other UWS institutions can be accommodated in these sessions. Some 400 people on the UW-Madison campus have gone through the training already. A shorter session may be developed for chancellors and provosts. The presenter may be open to conducting regional workshops as well.

Governorís Budget Proposal

In his proposed budget, the Governor is recommending the continuation of memberships in certain Internet consortia that advance research and education, but explicitly not WiscNet. The permissible memberships would include those that were in place as of Feb 1, 2013. New memberships will require approval by the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

Future CIO Council Meetings

-†††††† March 21st, CIO Video Conference 9:00 a.m. Ė 11:00 a.m.

-†††††† April 30th, CIO Luncheon Meeting in Wisconsin Dells following the ITMC Conference

Meeting Dates, Directory of UWS CIOs, Meeting Summaries: