Office of Learning and Information Technology
University of Wisconsin CIO Council
June 19, 2008
CIOs and their Representatives
* by teleconference
Todd Bailey of OPAR explained the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) initiative whereby institutions create five page college portraits that contain consumer-focused information. The UW System institutions were early adopters of the VSA in November 2007. Since early January of 2008, there have been teleconferences with contacts at each UW System institution. The goal of the VSA College Cost Calculator is to change erroneous perceptions on the part of the general public and give a rough estimate of college affordability, not including any aid that might be given on a case by case basis. VSA provides a PHP-based calculator, which has raised concerns at some institutions in regards to security and accessibility. UW–Madison has created its own calculator. Both are freely available for the UWS institutions to use and modify to create institution-specific calculators. A couple non-PHP calculator developments are in the works within the UW System, especially one from UW–Platteville.
Results of the recent NSSE surveys at each campus will be displayed on each institution's five page portrait, as well as other internal and external measures.
Ed Meachen sent a brief report to Rebecca Martin explaining that perhaps half the normal number of people will attend EDUCAUSE this year. Those who were identified in Meachen's report are able to go ahead and register for EDUCAUSE.
Jack Duwe distributed draft documents from a working group that is looking at methods for distributing materials to employees at all the UWS institutions. The working group used a business requirements process to evaluate the current situation and the needs. The documents will be taken to the Service Center Advisory Committee. Interim solutions are being developed for items that are informational in nature to all employees and don't contain any personal information. To accomplish this, either the IAA directory would have to be populated with employee email addresses or information would need to be posted in campus and systemwide portals. In the longer term, there need to be solutions for sensitive information and confirmation of delivery through institutional spam filters.
In the past, the model has been that the UWS institutions own their employee contact data. Ed Meachen suggested that the model may transition toward more UWSA ownership of the information. Bruce Maas suggested that guiding principles be developed to shape the discussion.
Ron Kraemer pointed out that many official messages are not digitally signed and yet they ask for sensitive information, which makes them hard to distinguish from phishing schemes.
Lorie Docken reported that the HRS project is in week 14 of the fit-gap analysis process. The remaining fit-gap session will be in mid-July and will focus on the planning and budgeting module which is part of the enterprise performance management suite which the UWS owns but has not yet implemented.
The fit-gap sessions haven't provided enough detail to turn into a project plan. Hence, Elise Barho has proposed an "inter session" process from now through September to model a base system and gap fixes using representative UWS data. The CIBER consultants will be involved and the PeopleSoft Setup Manager tool will be used do the configurations. A Microsoft Project Plan will be created to manage the effort. The User Productivity Kit will be used to document the inter session. The scope of the inter session includes only HR benefits, payroll, and absence management. The full HRS project will be much larger in scope.
The project team is discussing the approaches that will be used to make decisions regarding the larger gaps in a timely fashion. A project decision council has been informed as a sub group of the steering committee to undertake a pilot process for identifying who needs to be involved in the various fit-gap decisions in terms of feedback, involvement and notification. The council will meet on a weekly basis for the next several months. Kathy Pletcher will represent the CIO Council.
Ed Meachen expressed concern that some of the large decisions will be difficult to make expeditiously even with the training efforts of the project decision council. Nevertheless, this process is much improved over the previous HR project.
The various gaps have been allocated to HRS team members who are working with the CIBER consultants to analyze and document the options and costs. Six Sigma tools may be used to aid in objectively making decisions regarding the options.
At the end of May, CIBER did a routine quality assessment review of the project. The fit-gap process has been very labor intensive and not always congruent with CIBER's standard methodology, which has created some tensions between the consultants and the project team. The inter session activities will bring the overall process back in line with the CIBER methodology at the required level of detail.
At this point, it is not clear whether the RFP for implementation should focus on finding a strong partner with a methodology or just specific expertise. The overall framework of working with a 15-institution system needs to be made clear to potential bidders.
Ruth Ginzberg distributed updated faculty/staff and student FTE counts for Microsoft licensing purposes. In previous years, many of the part time faculty were recorded as part time staff due to challenges in interpreting the various categories of UWS employment. Consequently, there are changes in the counts that will probably result in better pricing for most of the UWS institutions due to the pro-rations of part-time faculty versus part-time staff.
The Autodesk contract price is going up significantly. However, students will be able to download a one-year working copy on their personal laptops or desktops for course work. The pro-ration of costs to each UWS institution will be distributed shortly. Two waivers for multi-year contracts will be submitted in an effort to get more favorable pricing.
The current ImageNow contract has expired. Institutions that need additional licenses in the short term can either do their own sole source procurement for under $25,000 or wait for UW–Madison's RFP for an ongoing contract with a volume based discount.
A few UWS institutions are concerned about price increases for the Sophos antivirus software now that it comes with extra, but perhaps unnecessary, features.
The CIO Council would like to be copied on the Oracle and other bills that are sent to the CBOs, preferably early in the fiscal year. Sometimes, the CIOs are charged without ever seeing a copy of the bill.
A UWS webinar for DBAs on the new Oracle products and functions was recommended. Another possibility is to have a DBA breakout group at the November ITMC conference. There is a UWS Oracle email list that could be used to communicate information about training activities.
Ruth Anderson reported that Oracle has spent a couple days with the UWS reviewing the functionalities of all of the modules included in the contract. The modules appropriate to the basic SFS will be moved to the fit-gap analysis because not all of their capabilities are being exploited. The vendor list needs to implemented along with certain additional modules.
Kathy Pletcher commented on the good end-of-semester performance that was noted by faculty. The upgrades to version 8.3 have gone very well.
The D2L company's additional contract proposals for remote hosting, e-portfolios and a systemwide learning object repository won't be pursued at this time.
Most recently, Blackboard has filed a contempt of court action against the D2L company for selling the version 8.3 product that allegedly knowingly infringes on their patent.
The Learn@UW Steering Committee will meet at the end of July to consider the report of the e-learning strategic planning group.
Alan Foley reported that the e-learning strategic planning group, and anecdotal reports from the UWS institutions, have raised the interest level in e-portfolio functionality and a learning object repository (LOR). The LOR interest is being driven by the increased use of content elements in multiple courses, as well as the desire to reduce the redundant storage of common elements in multiple course sites. The LOR market has effectively stalled and the available stand-alone products are complex. D2L's product has look, feel and integration in common with its learning management system. It can also search across external repositories and share UWS content with them. It is a viable option for the UWS at this point.
A group may be formed to undertake getting a UWS LOR pilot underway within the year. At this point, there are a lot of unanswered questions regarding hosting, integration, etc.
The e-learning strategic planning group is interested in getting functions deployed more quickly because delay tends to result in individual institutional efforts that are subsequently difficult to pull together. In particular, a multiplicity of LORs would be difficult to integrate down the road.
Bruce Maas suggested taking a systematic look at requirements before locking into a vendor solution. UW–Milwaukee already has capabilities with its Xythos file storage system that they would like faculty to use as a basis for all file sharing purposes, including those that might feed a LOR. Without going through a requirements process, there is not a common understanding or vocabulary.
Chris Ashley asked for feedback on the draft UWS Data Protection and Access Policy that was circulated to the CIO Council in May. The policy says the UWS institutions are custodians of the data for their respective students and employees. The Council expressed concern that this wording could impact the operations of OPAR, DOA and other UWSA and government offices. If there is an assumption that a central office can use data for reasonable business purposes, that wording should be included in the policy.
There was also a concern regarding the reference to data as institutional property not owned by the individual. A person's identity is owned by the individual and institutional data is just a representation of that identity. However, in various legal contexts, data is considered property, e.g., the UWS owns the data property that is put into vendor supplied systems. The concept of the UWS institutions servings as custodians rather than owners of personal data may be preferable.
Bruce Maas complimented Chris Ashley for developing a document based upon guiding principles. Another draft based upon the Council's comments will be circulated. The following steps will be to circulate it to the CBOs and other stakeholder groups. It will likely be a UWSA policy that doesn't require approval from the Board of Regents.
Jim Lowe distributed preliminary information for a UWS security and privacy retreat in the late summer or fall timeframe to look at common initiatives that can be undertaken without additional staff resources. A likely deliverable would be a briefing paper to share with CBOs, provosts and chancellors that outlines the responsibilities of the different campus stakeholder groups, e.g., IRB, registrars, HR, legal, IT security, internal audit, etc. The UWS institutions typically have a number of people responsible for various aspects of privacy. Council members volunteered a number of staff members to participate in a planning group. Additional recommendations of people from outside of IT are welcome.
Ed Meachen reported that the IT strategic plan proposal was approved by the Board of Regents with little comment. The nine points that need to be reported were discussed at the March CIO Council meeting.
Dashboards were prepared for the board for the six major UWS IT projects that are underway.
Kathy Pletcher gave an update on Learn@UW and the status of the Blackboard lawsuit against D2L.
Chancellor Carlos Santiago gave a presentation on UWM's research agenda that was well received.
A UWS group of largely student affairs staff are meeting to discuss non-academic transcripts for students. Ed Meachen has suggested that they look at e-portfolio products. There are also proponents of other types of products.
Employers are interested in competency measures as opposed to a list of courses taken. This kind of information is typically communicated in a resume, but resumes are self-generated. Presumably, an official competency based document would carry more weight with employers, but the question remains as to who would certify its accuracy.
Various institutions have had efficiency efforts underway for some time and others may have been proposed at the CBO teleconference this morning.
The next meeting of the UWS CIO Council will be on July 17, 2008 in Madison. There will not be an August 2008 meeting. Meeting dates, the directory of UW CIOs, and CIO Council meeting summaries are available at: www.uwsa.edu/olit/cio/.