Office of Learning and Information Technology
University of Wisconsin CIO Council
March 20, 2008
Regent Street, Madison, WI
- UWSA IT Security Audit
- Campus Solutions Executive Committee Proposal
- Campus Solutions 9.0 Working Group Update
- Oracle Academy Working Group Update
- HEUG Alliance Conference Report
- Procurement Update
- ePortfolio Project Update
- D2L Update
- HRS Update
- ITMC Summit Update
- Operational Excellence and Efficiencies
- IT Strategic Plan Template
- Meeting Dates
CIOs and their Representatives
Ed Meachen explained that the UWS IT Security Audit began about two years ago, but was suspended for a period of time. The draft document will make a number of campus policy recommendations to the Board of Regents. The document could use some updating and inclusion of systemwide collaborative efforts. A campus response is being prepared at UWM by the Internal Auditor and the IT Security Coordinator. Ed Meachen will ask for a little more time for the CIO Council to also make a response.
Jim Lowe recommended that a group be formed to look at the security policies at the UWS institutions. He recommended systemwide online training for endusers. UWM has found that it is often preaching to the choir but not getting the attention of those who run systems in some of the functional units, schools and colleges. John Krogman and others suggested that having the Board of Regents behind an initiative will carry more weight than just the local IT shop. UW–Whitewater is going to have units that want ERP data sign a release form for the registrar.
Ed Meachen explained that there have been discussions over a long period regarding the possible creation of a governance group for the overlapping areas of student systems, e.g., the MILER and FASTAR budgets. However, there has not been overall guidance for the data elements, data mapping and interfaces. Some of these issues are not primarily IT issues. A proposal for membership and responsibilities for a governance group was distributed. One responsibility would be to manage the roadmap for what is left of the MILER initiative since the completion of two major waves of student system implementations.
The Oracle Business Intelligence Insight process pointed out the need for improved, real time understanding of UWS student data beyond what is currently provided via CDR and TIS. The OPAR and Student Affairs staff need to be engaged, as well as campus representatives, to weigh in on common data definitions. Lisa Wheeler would like to see more specifics regarding the purpose, scope and authority of a governing body–perhaps from UWS Academic Affairs.
Ed Meachen reported that one of the Advantage Wisconsin working groups surfaced the need for better collection and understanding of student data to help the UWS reach its goals for student retention. Jack Duwe explained that OPAR was initially formed to create an internally consistent database to determine cost per credit, a process which covers many different functions. However, data for long term tracking of students after they leave UWS is lacking. John Krogman explained that the initiative for the voluntary reporting of accountability will lead to significant efforts to report data that currently isn't being collected or disseminated. Bruce Maas would like to see proper budgeting for the project and ongoing oversight, even if there are no new funds and the project is dependent upon the reassignment of existing staff.
Ken Splittgerber recommended starting with an effective communication plan which would make the other efforts easier. Ed Meachen will initiate discussions within UWS Academic Affairs to define initial, attainable outcomes. One strategy would be to launch a smaller group to oversee the current operational projects and another to look at the longer term infrastructure needs for the goals of Advantage Wisconsin.
John Krogman reported that a couple teleconferences have been held to discuss how to assist campuses with upgrades to Oracle Campus Solutions 9.0 and to cover for the loss of attendance at the HEUG Alliance Conference. A two-day workshop was considered, but there are concerns that it might compete with WHEPSUG. Instead, a one-day, video conference "collaterals" type event with presentations from Northwestern University and Oracle was proposed for May 1 with invitations going to Marquette University and the technical colleges. Specific upgrade topics could be addressed during follow-up sessions over the summer.
Bruce Maas reported that the staff at UWM want to attend both venues and suggested inviting Indiana University as well. Their upgrade has gone very smoothly. Ann Marie Durso reported that a number of institutions have done very effective productivity customizations in version 9.0.
Bruce Maas reported that University Information Technology Services (UITS) and the School of Information Studies (SoIS) at UWM have formed a strategic partnership regarding curriculum issues. SoIS is UWM's most innovative school in regards to using technology and adapting to the marketplace. The Oracle Academy curriculum for enterprise applications was shared with the SoIS dean. He would prefer to deploy the curriculum via distance ed, which is their strength, instead of in-person, as designed by Oracle. The Oracle representative is looking into whether the company might be amenable to this approach. Because of time constraints, it is not possible to deploy the first round as a credit course. The next step is for the UWM parties to meet with Ed Meachen and Tom Scott.
Lorie Docken reported on a few major themes from the HEUG Alliance conference. The University of Central Florida was very encouraging about using the e-procurement module in a higher education environment. The Ohio State University talked about the development of their enterprise data warehousing environment which is staged from 2005-2012. iStrategy Solutions provides an analytical reporting tool that the University of Michigan is using to create modules around the Human Capital Management (HCM) system. The overall take away is that the UWS has to get a handle on the requirements for reporting .
Elise Barho spent the majority of her time following the HCM track. Three different presenters all talked about creating essentially the same sort of bolt-on for budgeting and planning.
Ruth Ginzberg reported that conversations with Apple have been positive. At first, Apple decided they only wanted system level agreements that presumed systemwide control, not campus level agreements. Thanks to the efforts of representative Bob Boyle, Apple has subsequently agreed to have both system level and campus level agreements. The UWS now has the opportunity to design a model campus level agreement. Those who are interested in participating in a working group should contact Ruth Ginzberg. If institutions already have satisfactory agreements with Apple, they don't have to change.
Meanwhile, the breadth of the current WSCA contract is being investigated. If it is deemed to be too narrow, other forms of procurement authority, such as a waiver for Apple-only products, may be pursued.
Wireless Contract Exceptions
Ron Kraemer and Ed Meachen proposed to State of Wisconsin CIO Oskar Anderson that the UWS report aggregations of exceptions to the wireless contract on a quarterly rather than a case by case basis. UWSA Legal Counsel believes that the Board of Regents has delegated authority for IT matters, but it is not clear how far this authority extends to procurement vis-a-vis the state's mandatory contracts.
At UW-Green Bay, there is interest in a systemwide purchase of the judicial affairs module that plugs into the RMS Residential Management System. UW-Eau Claire is doing a bid that includes RMS.
UW–Madison is looking at options for an ImageNow contract that range from a single department all the way up to a systemwide contract. If a systemwide contract is negotiated, some of the UWS institutions are interested in a rebate or credit for their recent purchases.
The general waivers for hardware, software and classroom equipment are due by Friday.
Jack Duwe heard a report that DOA is planning on re-upping the Vendor Management System for IT contracting because they haven't heard any negative feedback. The Council members report that the top end of the rate structure is too low to procure consultants for Oracle and other ERP systems. Several of the UWS institutions are looking for consulting help with Oracle Student Administration, but the Oracle company will not provide consultants at the rates specified by the contract. Individual waivers for each engagement may need to be sought. Very large projects, such as IBIS or HRS, don't have to use the contract because they can go out on an RFP.
The practice of one institution piggy-backing on another institution's contract was looked by DOA and they are comfortable with how the process is being used despite some rumors to the contrary.
Please send Lori Voss suggestions of topics that should be addressed at the ITMC meeting.
Dave Dumke reported that the University of Minnesota feels that they have developed an eportfolio solution that can meet the needs of most academic disciplines. The product has different wizards that allow the front end to be tailored for different departments. UW–Stevens Point and FASTAR have installed the product, but it has heavy Minnesota branding within and is tightly integrated with Minnesota's website services. An open source version with easy branding capabilities is needed.
A teleconference with the project lead indicated that they are planning to go this direction in a summer release of version 5.2, but don't currently have funding for developing the open source version beyond this point. Ed Meachen explained that he and Alan Foley have discussed potential partnership opportunities with Minnesota. He will inquire about a demonstration for the ITMC conference in April.
The Council members expect that pressures for eportfolio solutions are building within their institutions. They would like to see the requirements that were defined for the Minnesota project. Requirements for the UW System may ultimately need to be defined as well, which would involve the Learning Technology Development Centers. Meanwhile, UW–Stevens Point will plan to put up version 5.2 and continue its campus pilot.
Alan Foley reported that the UWS is in a holding pattern as a result of the 60 day stay of the court injunction against the D2L company. D2L is pushing customers to upgrade to version 8.3 which they believe does not infringe upon Blackboard's patent claims. The version 8.2.x upgrades that were planned for Learn@UW for the early summer are off the table because they are considered to infringe upon the patent. It is necessary to install version 8.2 to get to 8.3, but it is not allowable to run 8.2 in production.
Version 8.3 cannot even be installed until both D2L and Blackboard experts determine that it doesn't infringe on the patent claims. Therefore, version 8.3 may not be installed in beta test at Learn@UW until early April. The 60 day injunction expires on May 11th, which would presumably put the D2L company in contempt until version 8.3 is installed after the end of the term.
Communications are taking place with the D2L company, other D2L customers, and their respective lawyers. None of the other large clients can make the upgrade to version 8.3 within the 60 day stay.
The planning assumption is to go to version 8.3 in May and try to work out any performance issues during the summer to be ready for the fall semester . Getting students to just log into Learn@UW for a few seconds in advance of the fall semester would help with startup performance.
A work group has been engaged since February in planning for improved end of semester performance. A key individual at D2L has left and progress is not going as quickly as desired. Lessons that were learned last semester, such as suspending integration, will be undertaken to try and mitigate the problems.
Lorie Docken reported that the HRS fit gap processes began last week. The sessions were broadcast to the UWS institutions via WisLine Web. Feedback from the institutions will be used to recast the overview sessions scheduled for April 22 and 23 that will support fit gap process sessions 2 and 3.
Communication plans are being developed. Five of six team leads are in the process of being hired. The recruitment for the sixth is about to be redone as a national search. Work on change management and training requirements will begin soon.
An RFP for an implementation partner will be explored to procure Oracle expertise at certain points in the process.
Steve Lipshetz, a continuity consultant with Alliant Energy, will be the keynote at the ITMC conference on April 21-22.
Ed Meachen attended the CBO teleconference on the topic of Operational Excellence and Efficiencies. Volunteers were solicited to participate on a working group to identify a project, perhaps something that builds off of UW-Madison's efforts. Ed Meachen expressed the interest of the CIO Council in being involved.
Ed Meachen provided a draft of an IT strategic plan template to the CIO Council for discussion. It was based upon a summary of the existing campus IT strategic plans. The Wisconsin legislation that requires the submission of campus IT strategic plans to the Board of Regents calls for the identification of proposed information technology development projects that serve the institution's business needs. The Council discussed the level of detail required for an annual report given that some projects might be conceived and completed within a year. Some 80% of all IT work at the UWS institutions probably falls under the rubric of maintenance and support as opposed to IT development projects.
Ken Splittgerber explained that the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) model defines a major initiative, or project, across its entire life cycle. The major campus initiatives were conceived in connection to the missions of the institutions. The only projects that are clearly IT driven are infrastructure projects that support the overall business of the institution. There are initiatives at the UWS institutions to investigate, for example eportfolios. These are not mission critical projects.
By consensus, a list of strategic plan elements will be submitted to the the Board of Regents for approval in June. By December 1, 2008, the UWS institutions will need to submit to the OLIT office IT strategic plans that contain those elements and that have either been approved or are going through their local governance processes.
The next meeting of the UWS CIO Council will be on the afternoon of April 22 after the ITMC conference. Meeting dates, the directory of UW CIOs, and CIO Council meeting summaries are available at: www.uwsa.edu/olit/cio/.