Office of Learning and Information Technology

Untitled Document

UWS CIO Council Meeting
June 20, 2012
Madison, WI

 

Attendees
Baseline Security Requirements
HR Process Related to Social Security Numbers
Two-factor Authentication
SFS Upgrade
IT Implications of UW Flexible Option
UW Service Center Roadmap
Procurement Update
Recommendations for Key Note Speaker for Fall ITMC Conference
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) for Faculty/Staff
Campus Telecommunications Initiatives
CIO Council Leadership
Networking Update
2013-14 MOR IT Leadership Program
Business Intelligence Core Team

Attendees

CIOs and their Representatives

Guests

Rajeev Bukralia
Lorie Docken
Jacques du Plessis
Nick Dvoracek
Chip Eckardt
Mohamed Elhindi by teleconference
Marsha Henfer
John Krogman
David Lois
Bruce Maas
Elena Pokot
Jim Rink by teleconference
David Stack (reporting)
Sue Traxler
Doug Wahl
Ilya Yakolev

Ching-tzu Chien
Mark Clements
Andrea Deau
Ruth Ginzberg
Larry Henderson
Laura Kite
Paul Moriarty
Ed Murphy
Michael Schlicht
Diann Sypula
Stefan Wahe
Peter Zuge by teleconference

 

 

Announcements
Lorie Docken introduced Sue Traxler as the new CIO and Assistant Vice Chancellor of IT at UW-Platteville.

Baseline Security Requirements
Mark Clements explained that many small changes have been made to the draft document since it was last presented to the CIO Council. It is intended to be a useful tool for baseline analysis. As such, it may not fit any institution specifically. Although not explicitly stated in the draft, it will be up to each UW System (UWS) institution to determine how well the requirements match their capabilities and needs and to document any variances. Bruce Maas explained that UW-Madison is looking to engage closely with their internal auditor when the institution accepts additional risks. UW-Milwaukee is not comfortable with calling the document as a set of requirements if that is not its purposes. Other CIOs prefer to have the word requirement in the title because that gives them more leverage for implementing good security practices at their institutions.  Elena Pokot expressed concern that the draft does not explicitly allow for different levels of security for different classes of users, e.g., students versus professional staff.

The document covers access control, physical security, networks, servers, applications development, mobile computing, BYOD, processes and the role of the Information Security Officer. David Lois suggested that the different sections be labeled as to who or what they affect. Several members of the Council were concerned about the specific limits and timeouts mentioned in the access control section because of conflicts with Human Resources (HR) and academic policies.

The draft presumes that the UWS institutions have central systems for event logging and vulnerability scanning. These are available at no cost through UW-Madison. Additional input from networking professionals was recommended for the networking section of the document.

The security recommendations for applications development may pose challenges for legacy web applications. At a minimum, their should be efforts toward incorporating enhanced security considerations into new developments.

Those who use their personal devices to access University data must take responsibility for doing so in compliance with the recommendations. This will require policy initiatives at the UWS institutions and a strategic view of mobile development so that confidential data is not delivered to personal devices in a form that can be saved. 

The next round of revisions to the document will be made at the July Technology and Information Security Council (TISC) meeting before the Lockdown conference. The document may serve to inspire discussions as to which services could be offered centrally for those institutions that choose to buy in.

HR Process Related to Social Security Numbers
Peter Zuge cited the example of a Human Resources email message regarding criminal background checks that looked suspiciously like a phishing scam. Zuge forwarded a draft of recommendations that will be considered at the next TISC meeting and welcomes feedback in the meantime. John Krogman explained that student services professionals are largely aware of these issues, but the same sensitivity may not exist in some of the other business areas of the UWS. TISC representatives will be asked to report on their campus policies regarding the breadth of background checks.

Two-factor Authentication
Stefan Wahe reported that for six months Ching-tzu Chien has been distributing bi-weekly status reports on the multi-factor authentication effort. From now on the reports will be copied to the CIO Council. Wahe explained that the original plan to utilize USB tokens did not pass usability testing by the core team and the sponsors. Therefore in the spring, Lorie Docken and John Krogman proposed with using one-time passwords (OTP) instead. There are two OTP vendors on state contracts.

Vendor selection is proceeding in parallel with the proof of concept. The procurement costs appear to be less than with the original solution. Funding is available from the Common Systems Review Group (CSRG) and UW Digital ID project. Budget implications for the UWS institutions include:

  • Appointing Local Registration Authorities (LRAs) at each institution for distributing certificates and syncing mobile devices. The level of effort is expected to be similar to the current UW Digital ID project and require less 100 hours per year depending upon the number of HRS professionals at the institution
  • Equipping institutional help desks with documentation from the UW Digital ID project so they can aid in triaging local issues. There is a MOR Associates IT Leadership Program (ITLP) project team that is working to quantify this effort.

OTP deployment will begin in September. It will not be optional because of interest on the part of the Legislative Audit Bureau. The initial focus is on the HR System (HRS) and the Shared Financial System (SFS) and the project will not consider extensions to local campus applications at this time. Elena Pokot and the rest of the CIO Council expressed the desire for a solution that will scale to meet local campus authentication needs as well, especially for the student information system.

SFS Upgrade
Diann Sypula explained that SFS works with both internal UWS ERP systems and as well as external partners including banks and the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA.) SFS is currently running PeopleSoft version 8.9 and PeopleTools 8.4.9 and will be moving to PeopleSoft 9.1 Feature Pack 2 and PeopleTools 8.5.2.

The upgrade will be a major effort and include more functional considerations than previous technical upgrades. The goals are to:

  • Focus on delivered functionality versus customizations. The process will review each customization, establish its business need and replace the customization with delivered functionality (if possible) or eliminate the function if there is no business need.
  • Streamline business processes and leverage additional functionality to alleviate end-user pain points.

A Voice of the Customer (VOC) program was initiated to:

  • Understand the business processes of the UWS institutions and other stakeholders
  • Discuss new and existing SFS functionality
  • Visit all institutions, and meet with key end users and stakeholders to ask four questions regarding each business process:
    • How does this business process work within SFS at your institution?
    • What works well with this business process?
    • What pain points do you have with this business process and what could be done better?
    • What customizations/interfaces/bolt-ons exist for this process?

The VOC program identified customer concerns regarding:

  • Slow system performance
  • Paucity of standardized documentation
  • Under utilization of delivered functionality
  • Inadequacies in the SFS security request and provisioning process

The VOC program led to a change management plan designed to help the customers feel secure and:

  • Provide a positive upgrade experience for end users
  • Develop a plan for end user communication and involvement
  • Obtain institutional buy-in on the upgrade scope and standard processes
  • Prepare users for new functionality and standard business processes
  • Perform Institutional Readiness Assessments
  • Ensure minimal business disruption at the institutions at go-live

In response to customer requests, the project team will also:

  • Improve SFS-related process and training documentation
  • Produce standardized documentation
  • Coordinate the creation of training materials
  • Determine a documentation location strategy
  • Update and modernize the UW System Administration (UWSA) SFS Website

The project began a year ago and has successfully completed the fit-gap, design and build phases.

Progress to date includes:

  • Elimination of 118 out of 377 customizations (31%)
  • Implementation of 52 new pieces of functionality from both versions 8.9 and 9.1 as well as new modifications that improve 43 business processes
  • Completion of the exit criteria for system test with 100% of tests on time and 97.4% passed
  • Creation of a new website for improved delivery of project materials, business process documents, and training materials
  • Enhancement of business process documents (108 total)
  • Creation of new training materials for each business process

The project is now in the midst of integration testing which will be followed by end user testing and training. The team is also getting underway with a readiness assessment for the deployment that includes a survey, monthly leadership outreach to the UWS institutions, informal project management office conversations with key stakeholders and site leaders, and the engagement of a third party to do a review of the overall system functionality.

In most cases, the financial professionals will be the only ones impacted at the UWS institutions. At a few institutions, additional workflow for purchasing is also being deployed. A user-friendly journal entry tool developed by UW-Madison is also available to any institution that is interested. The WISDM financial reporting system will remain largely untouched. In response to a request from Ilya Yakolev to keep the institutional help desks appraised of the project status, Sypula will send a schedule and a list of site leaders to the CIO Council.

IT Implications of UW Flexible Option
Lara Kite explained that the UW Flexible Option will offer self-paced, competency-based instruction and assessment. The program is not aimed at traditional college students. The target audience is working adults. Market research indicates that there are 750K Wisconsin residents who have some college credit but not degrees.

The Flexible Option is being built from a student-centric point of view that will include:

  • a unified student experience across the UWS institutions
  • increased access to quality education via a self-paced format
  • proactive student support through an “intrusive” advising model
  • employer value through graduates who have competency-based mastery of outcomes

Students participating in the Flexible Option can start in any month of the year and work at their own pace. Credit will be earned by assessments rather than by completing courses. Students will attain mastery rather than earn letter grades.

The IT implications of the Flexible Option include:

  • rolling start times instead of fixed semesters
  • pre-admission assessments
  • individual learning plans for each student
  • students signing up for one to three month subscriptions instead of paying for credit hours
  • multiple financial aid disbursement times
  • enrollments varying on a monthly basis

The five initial academic programs scheduled for fall of 2013 include four at UW-Milwaukee and one associates degree from the UW Colleges. Additional programs from UW-Milwaukee, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Madison and UW-Parkside are tentatively planned for fall 2014.

Early feedback regarding accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission is positive and will lead to Department of Education (DOE) engagement for awarding financial aid on an assessment-only model. The College of America has already gone this route and received approval from DIE.

Marketing and processing of student applications is slated to begin mid-November and the first students will likely begin interacting with academic content and assessments in January 2014.

Ed Murphy explained that the UW Flexible Option will require centralized UWS technical systems that interact with systems at the participating institutions, including:

  • Student Information Systems for both the interim (UW Colleges PeopleSoft) and the long-term
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Document management
  • Learning platform (programs will launch with D2L in fall 2013)
  • Learning analytics
  • Assessment management
  • Student identity verification
  • Integration
  • Reporting
  • Identity & access management
  • Web sites, portals and mobile apps

Students will apply using the existing UW System e-App. In the short term, data will flow first to UW Extension and then to the UWS institutions for the completion of registration, bursar and other functions.

The UWS institutions will receive information pertaining only to the students who are admitted through the e-App, not those who have applied but were not admitted.

The Council raised questions as to how access to computers labs, software and other resources will be granted. Kite explained that the policies that were set up many years ago for distance education students will be utilized. The Council members expressed concern that due to low demand there may not be implementation processes for these policies at the UWS institutions.

Because various manual accommodations and work-arounds will need to made, each program will have an enrollment cap of typically less than a dozen for fall 2013. The caps will increase slowly.

The IT activities that are focused on long-term solutions for some 18-24 months in the future include:

  • Requests For Information (RFI)
    • Demonstrations of 5 CRM and 5 SIS solutions
  • Requirements Gathering
    • Input from the UWS institutions and UW Extension
  • Requests For Proposal (RFP)
    • CRM and SIS
  • Interim Solutions

The Council members were not comfortable with what they were able to learn today about the IT implications of the UW Flexible Option. For example, Ruth Ginzberg noted that software licensing terms and costs are often based upon student counts at the various UWS institutions. Elena Pokot invited Kite and Murphy to attend the July 18th CIO Council teleconference.

UW Service Center Roadmap
Larry Henderson listed Oracle’s technology trends that he has observed:

  • PeopleSoft workflow
  • PeopleSoft end-to-end processing
  • Social media for e-recruiting, etc.
  • Growth in mobility, especially internationally
  • Big data

The HRS roadmap focuses on the post-implementation challenges of the Human Capital Management system in the areas of policy, process, people and technology. A project management discipline is being employed to:

  • Implement new billing policies
  • Redesign the four processes that have the most opportunities for error
  • Recruit new supervisors and to bring staff skills to a higher level.
  • Migrate the technology to support a person-centered view as opposed to the underlying design of the legacy system

Business process re-engineering efforts are underway in conjunction with UW-Stout and UW-Parkside to demonstrate that information can flow directly into PeopleSoft rather than being captured on paper.  

Procurement Update
Ruth Ginzberg explained that there have been numerous communications with Adobe to reconcile how much money is currently being spent on their products across the UW System on an annual basis. Until that is determined, the UWS won’t receive a quote for an enterprise license.

Negotiations continue on the Microsoft EES agreement. Ginzberg has not found any university system that is getting better pricing than the UWS. Microsoft can give the UWS institutions informal price estimates if needed. The EES agreement will include terms and conditions for Office 365. Ginzberg recently distributed information via email regarding the purchasing of Surface tablets.

Other recent developments include:

  • Pamela Beetham has been hired as a new contracting specialist.
  • Contract renewal negotiations continue with Desire2Learn.
  • The RFP process to acquire new back end software for the UWS libraries is getting underway.
  • State Senator Sheila Harsdorf is the incoming chair of the Midwestern Higher Education Contract (MHEC) Commissioners.
  • UW-Eau Claire is interested in purchasing the AT&T Campus Guide mobile application framework that UW-Stout already acquired via a simplified bid. A participating addendum to the Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA) contract is being sought.

Bruce Maas reported that both Inside Higher Education and the Chronicle of Higher Education have published articles regarding a position paper written by the provosts of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) that pertains to learning and the necessary infrastructure. The CIC provosts initially charged their CIOs to provide input on the the document, but the CIOs went further and submitted an ambitious proposal to retain control of the technology behind teaching and learning, similar to the formation of Internet2 some twenty years ago. In contrast, the scholarly publishing industry was ceded to the private sector many years ago and now higher education institutions pay to both create and consume content.

The CIC CIOs have proposed a Coalition for Online Teaching (COLT) that would include:

  • A national scale content repository under faculty control
  • An infrastructure for teaching and learning systems which could include components of many public, private and open sources
  • A service architecture that includes the Open Learning Analytics framework as a vital design component

UW-Madison will not be in the first wave of participating institutions because of the amount of change currently happening on that campus. COLT will likely be formed under the NET+ initiative of Internet2.

Recommendations for Key Note Speaker for Fall ITMC Conference
The IT Management Council has funds available for to bring in a keynote speaker for the fall conference and is looking for recommendations. Suggestions included:

  • A presentation on COLT
  • A representative of Internet2
  • The Chief Technology Officer from Sears regarding big data.

Additional suggestions should be forwarded to Doug Wahl or Chip Eckardt.

Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) for Faculty/Staff
Ilya Yakovlev enquired about BYOD efforts at the UWS institutions. UW-Eau Claire requires a PIN for access to Microsoft Exchange access. They use the Lab Anywhere virtual desktop environment to provide applications on any device because of software and licensing issues. Consequently, one general access lab has been closed already and two more will be closed this summer. The labs will be repurposed as high tech coffee shops and collaboration spaces that have an academic look and feel.

UW-Madison continues to work on gaining the Governor’s approval for a Box.Net contract through NET+ as an alternative to such consumer products as Dropbox. Since Internet2 lets contracts to their suppliers without public competition, states such as Illinois and Wisconsin need special approval from their governors or legislators to buy their services.

Campus Telecommunications Initiatives
Ilya Yakovlev inquired about efforts to deploy new telecom technologies. UW-Whitewater has deployed Cisco Voice Over IP (VoIP) on a campus-wide basis with the permission of DOA. Current pricing for VoIP services through the State’s primary telecommunications vendor appears to be more costly than land lines. UW-Madison is working to expand cellular coverage across the campus via an outdoor Distributed Antenna System (DAS) from Crown Castle because many people are choosing to no longer use desktop telephones at all. UW-Stevens Point is seeing a new revenue stream from their Verizon DAS. At UW-Oshkosh, some faculty are no longer being provided with desktop phones and are being advised to use their personal cell phones for communications. Perhaps a telecommunications breakout group can be scheduled for the next ITMC meeting.

CIO Council Leadership
Because it is the end of the fiscal year, this is Elena Pokot’s last meeting as chair of the CIO Council. The UW System Administration staff provide significant support to the Council and they tend to be more aware of what is happening across the UWS than institutional CIOs. Therefore, a co-chair structure for the Council is proposed that would include both a member from UWSA and an institutional CIO. The structure would include a vice co-chair from a UWS institution who would step up to the co-chair position the following year. Jacques du Plessis recommended defining a structure for the co-chair relationship so that items don’t get dropped. To date, Lorie Docken and Paul Moriarty have been responsible for meeting logistics, agendas and guests. The institutional chair has provided a campus perspective and taken responsibility for running the actual meetings.

Mohamed Elhindi has been the chair elect in 2012-13, but he has concerns about being able to serve next year. Therefore, UW-Stevens Point CIO Marsha Henfer volunteered to serve as co-chair for 2013-14 along with Lorie Docken. UW-Eau Claire CIO Chip Eckardt will serve as vice co-chair and become co-chair the following year. David Stack will continue to serve as secretary.

Chip Eckardt noted that Council attendance is typically higher at the in-person CIO Council meetings that are held in Madison versus those that are held at other UWS institutions. In Madison, there are also people from other UWS offices who can easily join the meetings as needed.

Jacques du Plessis, who is also at his last meeting, noted that structured meetings have certain benefits but other venues, such as retreats or unconferences, are also worthwhile. Sue Traxler reported that the private colleges in Minnesota hold meetings that are a hybrid of the two approaches.

A new UWS Senior Vice President, David L. Miller, is starting on July 8th and Bruce Maas suggests a deeper level engagement with him and the other senior executives, especially on the academic side of the organization. John Krogman recommended that social events precede the in-person meetings. Chip Eckardt suggested that the CIOs that sit on other committees make regular reports back to the CIO Council.

The consensus is to have more face-to-face meetings in Madison with a once per year unstructured meeting at a campus for a day and a half during the summer. The proposed CIO Council meeting dates and locations for 2013-14 will be reconsidered.

Networking Update
There are two challenges from other vendors to the broadband networking RFP that was awarded to WiscNet. DoIT is in the process of developing responses. No contract with WiscNet can be executed in the meantime. Due diligence has been taken to not negatively impact any network customers during the transition.

2013-14 MOR IT Leadership Program
Lorie Docken will send an email message requesting IT Leadership Program participants for next year and for institutions to host the cohort meetings.

Business Intelligence Core Team
Lorie Docken will email the agenda for the July 29th meeting of the Business Intelligence (BI) Core Team to the CIOs and CBOs. The meeting will be available in both in-person and videoconference venues. In the morning, Oracle will share their perspectives on Business Intelligence and two UWS institutions will describe their projects. The material may be of interest to CBOs and others. Bruce Maas reported that Kathy Luker will be working with his office to create a data governance framework for UW-Madison.

The members of the CIO Council thanked Elena Pokot for her year and a half of service as the first chair of the CIO Council from a UWS institution.