Office of Learning and Information Technology

University of Wisconsin CIO Council

March 19, 2009

Conference Call



CIOs and their Representatives Guests

Dave Dumke
Jack Duwe
Chip Eckardt
Marsha Henfer
Ron Kraemer
John Krogman
Ed Meachen
Kathy Pletcher
Elena Pokot
Brian Remer
Mary Schoeler
Michael Sherer
Ken Splittgerber
David Stack
John Tillman

Ruth Anderson
Lorie Docken
Ruth Ginzberg
Paul Moriarty
Andy Taylor


ECAR Data Survey

Before the meeting, Andy Taylor circulated a spreadsheet designed to help the institutions answer the financing questions on the EDUCAUSE Core Data survey that pertain to the value of services received from the UW System (UWS). The spreadsheet outlined the UWS investments in networking and common systems that are not charged back to the institutions.

D2L Course Clean Up

Ed Meachen and Kathy Pletcher attended the D2L Executive Steering Committee meeting last week. At issue is how long courses from previous semesters should be stored and how the deleting of files from old courses should be communicated to governance groups. The Learning Technology Development Center (LTDC) staff members agreed that it would not make sense to purge student contributions to the courses while still holding onto the content provided by the instructor. Therefore, the proposed Learn@UW guidelines say that both components will retained for two years after the course ends. Meanwhile, Learn@UW is piloting the clean up of course files from prior to Fall 2005. The CIOs reported little serious concern at their institutions regarding the proposed plan. The UWS records management group has not yet passed a written policy regarding course retention, and is not likely to do so within the next year.

A Learn@UW status update was circulated that included statistics which showed that fall and spring enrollments continued to grow at about a 6% rate.

IAM update

John Krogman noted that it was clear from the last CIO Council meeting that a federated approach to Identity and Access Management (IAM) is preferred over creating systemwide credentials. Therefore, the DoIT staff are doing further investigation of two approaches:

  1. a virtual directory
  2. a strict identity federation

They are having audio conferences with interested staff from the UWS institutions. There will be a discussion at the ITMC conference in April. A final set of recommendations will be brought to the May CIO Council meeting.

Stimulus Measure Update

Ron Kraemer and Ed Meachen reported that guidelines and efforts for securing federal stimulus funds are still in a formative stage. There will likely be three, distinct grant periods. It appears that the majority of the funds need to be spent by 2012. Although the stimulus bill focuses on non-profits, telcos are able to apply for funding in certain circumstances. It may or may not be necessary to submit proposals through state government.

There will be another meeting of the state working group this afternoon. The BadgerNet Converged Network (BCN) Advisory Group will also be discussing the broadband stimulus measure. There was an informal Public Service Committee (PSC) meeting on this topic at which a few ideas were floated based upon Dave Lois's comments at the last CIO Council meeting. The PSC is interested in extending broadband coverage to communities where there is currently little or none, although most people could theoretically access broadband via satellite or cellular. The PSC has created a survey instrument designed to elicit the broadband needs around the state. The Educational Communications Board (ECB) and the technical colleges have a number of Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) spectrum licenses that could be converted to digital to provide wireless service to underserved areas.

WiscNet Post-Grow Smart Network Costs

Kathy Pletcher and Ron Kraemer reported that after the WiscNet fee proposal was discussed at the February CIO Council meeting, David Lois made some modifications based upon the feedback. He modeled additional charging bands so that the fee structure would be more granular than the original proposal. Regardless of how many bands are actually adopted, the WiscNet Board agreed that the band boundaries would not be hard and fast for an institution that barely made it over the cusp from one level to a higher charge.

Ed Meachen asked Andy Taylor to look at the 10 year growth patterns of the UWS institutions. He found only two campuses that might be in danger of crossing from one band to another in the next 5 years according to the original proposal: UW–Parkside and UW–La Crosse. Ed Meachen assured UW–Parkside that in the unlikely event their enrollment grew sufficiently to nominally put them into the next higher band an accommodation would be made within the UW System. Although UW–La Crosse is much closer to a band threshold, Ed Meachen also assured them that the UW System would find mechanism to mitigate a potentially large jump in fee. If the UWS is committed to making accommodations for these specific campuses, it wouldn't be necessary to modify the original proposal.

According to both the original and modified proposals, the largest fee increases are at UW–Eau Claire and UW–Oshkosh. Unlike other UWS institutions, UW-Eau Claire contracts with a second network provider for redundancy purposes. Ron Kraemer noted that there are WiscNet outages every week that go un-noticed because of the inherent redundancy in the WiscNet architecture. It was noted that since UW–Eau Claire is situated directly on the backbone, they could significantly grow their usage without increasing their costs. The institutions that are on BCN connections don't have that option.

Jack Duwe proposed doing away with banding and instead charging the UWS institutions a certain fee per student per month. Such a scheme would benefit and penalize a different set of institutions. Another suggestion was to charge based upon the total headcounts for students, faculty and staff at each institution. At the next CIO meeting after the ITMC conference, the UW System members who are on the WiscNet board will propose few models that ultimately result in the UWS paying WiscNet the total allocation required from the UWS.

HRS Project Update

Lorie Docken reported that over the last several weeks the Human Resource System (HRS) project has been focusing on change management issues. A memo went to the institution Chief Business Officers (CBOs) on March 6th asking them to be executive sponsors for the institutional portions of the HRS implementations. In addition, Kathy Pletcher will be reaching out to the CBOs individually regarding the importance of change management.

On March 9th, there was a meeting of all of the institutional site leaders to define their roles and responsibilities, including: communication, data collection, data cleansing, testing, security, training, reporting and cut over readiness. Over the next couple weeks, Brad Krause will work with each institution to designate a site leader over the next couple weeks who will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of this work. The site leaders very much want the involvement of their institutions' IT staffs, especially with regard to security and data access and cleansing. IT departments can also bring project management expertise to the efforts. A site leader could work with multiple teams at their institution depending upon its size. Kathy Pletcher reported that there are concerns from different institutions regarding the required resources and staffing, especially given the current recruitment restrictions.

Lorie Docken reported that effort is being put into staffing the HRS project. Most of the functional teams are in good shape, but a couple teams could use additional resources. There is potential for UW–Milwaukee to get involved with the Talent Acquisition Manager (TAM) module in addition to engagement from its technical staff. If other UWS institutions would like to engage their technical staff, resumes should be sent to Lorie Docken. The project leadership will travel to San Antonio to look at Huron’s facility for assisting public sector agencies with software development as an alternative to having all of the consultants on site or off shore.

In May and June, there will be a series of planning workshops designed to engage subject matter experts from around the UWS to confirm the current and future business processes that will determine how the teams approach the design specifications.

Procurement Update

Ruth Ginzberg reported that there will be a teleconference with the D2L attorney at noon today to discuss a few remaining contract issues. She and Chip Eckardt will have a meeting with the UWS Microsoft group this afternoon regarding the renegotiation of the Academic Select contract and the possibility of an enterprise license server.

There was a productive meeting with Oracle yesterday. In the past, Oracle expired all of the previous Customer Support Identifier numbers (CSIs) and people were unable to open cases. It became apparent that Oracle’s intention was to create a new, shared CSI, but that hadn’t happened. Instead, a new set of dummy CSI numbers will be created and people will have to migrate from the old set to the new set. It is not clear if the histories will be migrated to the new, dummy CSIs. Nina Boss will contact the UWS institutions about this process.

RFPs are going out for HRS address cleansing and time clocks.

The UW–Milwaukee RFP for hosted survey services was due yesterday.

Supply Management Update

Ruth Anderson reminded the council that last October she reported the results of Oracle’s software assessment which determined that there was version 8.9 functionality that wasn’t being used. They also identified new functionality in the modules available for eprocurement and sourcing.

During the fall, a business analyst was brought in from DoIT to work with the UWS supply working group. The group consolidated the requirements and detailed the levels of effort that would be involved for various improvements. The requirements are being ranked into a roadmap that will come out in the April timeframe. Some improvements may be simple changes or fixes; others may be more complicated.

Previously, it was suggested that the UWS undertake a vendor management project to address the issue of 14 separate vendor files. There is a possible third party solution which should be investigated. The SFS Executive Committee supports the concept of the project, but the details are still being worked out.

Voice Over IP

Ed Meachen has been informed by AT&T that in their view there is a mandatory contract which states that the UWS institutions that implement VoIP must also use a BCN-provided circuit. The institutions that do not currently have BCN circuits are UW–Madison, UW–Milwaukee, UW–Green Bay and UW–Eau Claire. Ed Meachen would like to see an exception made because this course of action would require the four institutions to buy an additional service that is unrelated to the service they actually want to procure.

This item will be put on the agenda for the ITMC conference and the telephony staff will be invited to attend. Ruth Anderson suggested that the CBO operational efficiency group might be interested in looking at the issues surrounding VoIP.

WiscNet Board Elections

Ron Kraemer encouraged the members of the CIO Council to run for an at-large board seat in the next election. Those who run would have to be the official member representative for their institution. Only one UWS representative could actually be elected to an at-large seat, otherwise there would be a super majority of UWS representatives. Some of the technical colleges are now Sluggard institutions and therefore less interested in participating in WiscNet governance.

April CIO Meeting

The next CIO meeting will be during the afternoon of April 21st at Green Lake after the ITMC conference.

Meeting dates, Directory of UWS CIOs, Meeting Summaries: