Office of Learning and Information Technology
UWS CIO Council
June 18, 2009
- Learn@UW Steering Committee Summer Retreat
- CUWL Summer Retreat
- Stimulus Measure for Broadband Networks
- Campus Updates
- HRS Update
- Procurement Update
- SFS Interface Project Update
- IAM Update
- October and November CIO Meeting
- Next CIO Meeting
|CIOs and their Representatives||Guests|
Paul Moriarty introduced Jose Noriega, the new CIO at UW-Parkside. Brian Remer has returned to UW System Administration from UW–Parkside.
Lorna Wong reported that two years ago the Learn@UW Steering Committee initiated a task force to study the e-learning landscape nationwide vis-a-vis the UW System (UWS) environment. The task force report was submitted a year ago and the steering committee held a two-day retreat at which several action items were generated. A second retreat is planned for July 28-29, 2009. The tentative agenda includes Learn@UW updates, discussion of emerging needs at the UWS institutions and reports from the various e-learning task forces. The retreat participants will include the Learn@UW Steering Committee, representatives from the Learning Technology Development Centers (LTDC) council, some representatives from the UWS institutions and members of the task forces.
The CIOs noted that pandemic planning efforts at the UWS institutions will probably generate increased interest in D2L on the part of the faculty. Lorna Wong noted that the life cycle planning group is looking into capacity planning for such a contingency and discussions are underway with the D2L company. Bruce Maas and David Dumke suggested that institutions look at other document delivery tools in addition to D2L and address the challenge of course documents stored on desktop PCs on campus. Jack Duwe suggested that Adobe Connect and similar tools be considered for delivering online lectures in the event that students are advised not to come to campus. Adobe Connect is hosted at UW Extension (ExtendLMS@ICS) for D2l users, and accounts need to be set up in advance through the institutional site administrators.
Lisa Jewell reported that two Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries (CUWL) working groups have been formed:
- Resource Discovery Exploratory Task Force (based upon a similar initiative at UW-Madison)
- Library Management Systems
Voyager has been the online catalog for the UWS since 1998. The vendor is developing a new product, so now is a good time to start investigating everything that is available. Therefore, CUWL is planning to engage in strategic thinking about overall priorities at a two day retreat. The agenda will include progress reports from the two working groups as well as small group discussions regarding shared collections, digitized collections and new business processes. On the second day of the retreat, the directors will re-examine the CUWL vision and strategic directives and develop long and short range plans. The directors will be surveyed regarding their local needs prior to the retreat. A proposal will likely be developed for the Common Systems Review Group (CSRG). There is a library system placeholder in the Common Systems Roadmap for the 2011 timeframe.
Bruce Maas noted that the UWS bookstores are starting to adopt and sell e-textbooks and engagement and involvement from the libraries would be welcome.
There is a central fund for buying subscriptions to electronic journals that are shared across the entire UW System. In addition, each UWS library has its own collection budget, which is often used to share in consortial purchases with certain other UWS institutions. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently rebid their BadgerLink contract which includes some popular undergraduate titles.
The Council encouraged the re-introduction of a library funding DIN (Decision Item Narrative) into future state budget cycles.
David Lois reported that the national National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) stimulus program will be funded at about $4B. The grant rules are expected to be released around July 1 and there will likely be 60 days to submit proposals. Therefore, preparations are already underway. WiscNet staff are traveling to encourage grassroots efforts to develop Community Area Networks (CANs) throughout the state. Assistance from the UWS CIOs is important for engaging local stakeholders. Forming new CANs and extending the existing CANs are both important.
The community constituencies that are hearing about the local aspects of the GoGig vision, and are being encouraged to:
- name their local CAN
- create a local email list
- identify local community anchor institutions
- develop five prioritized rollout phases because not all institutions will be connected in the first round of funding
Another round of community visits will take place in July to ask the communities if they want to be written into the GoGig NTIA proposal.
The NTIA proposal may be written by UW Extension because of their presence in 72 counties. The Wisconsin Educational Communications Board (ECB) may be willing to contribute their Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) spectrum to support wireless efforts. The NTIA is looking for testbeds in preparation for a possible future national broadband initiative. Conversations are also underway with the technical colleges and the Wisconsin Office of Recovery and Reinvestment. The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) is also interested in submitting a proposal to buy down the costs of the BadgerNet Converged Network (BCN) contract for public schools and libraries. Perhaps these efforts should be combined into one proposal because they are inherently synergistic. Ed Meachen has talked with representatives of state charter schools who are enthusiastic about a proposal. Further discussions will be held with public libraries. At the BCN advisory committee meeting later today, DOA will be presenting more information on their proposal.
There are weekly meetings of leaders from the UWS Office of Learning and Information Technology (OLIT), the UW–Madison Division of Information Technology (DoIT) and WiscNet to discuss new developments. A few chancellors will be engaged as well.
UW Colleges/Extension is about to award a rebidding of the implementation of Active Directory and Microsoft Live. They are upgrading to Oracle Campus Solutions v 9.0 at the end of the month. Implementation of the G3 student registration and management system for UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee is being delayed until January 1. They are looking at a replacement for the Peopleware event management system for the other UWS institutions. There will be an enterprise sharepoint implementation over the next 18 months across all 72 counties. A web re-design is in process for all of UW Extension and UW Colleges. About 100 servers have been moved to a new data center that is running VMware on HP blades.
UW-Eau Claire is implementing Campus Solutions v 9.0. The admissions module will go live in August. Most reporting will be through Hyperion. The provost has formed a new campus security committee. They are moving the remainder of their departments to the CommonSpot Content Management System (CMS). They may roll out the 64-bit version of Windows 7 this winter. A SharePoint rollout continues to be successful. Use of Live Meeting is expanding exponentially and the faculty are happy with it. The rollout of e-forms routing and workflow continues to move forward. UW–Eau Claire will be leading the implementation of the HRS Talent Acquisition Module (TAM) for all of the UWS institutions. They will continue support of the module in the post implementation phase of the HRS project. Three general access student computing labs, representing 24% of the total number of lab computers, are being closed as a consequence of budget reductions.
UW-Green Bay welcomed a new chancellor on June 1. A new provost will start in July. They are have begun work on a new five-year technology plan. There is campus interest in business process efficiencies such as: e-payment, workflow tools, e-forms and web content management. There is interest in more technology for classrooms and teaching, which is expensive to install, support and replace. A third of the faculty/staff and lab computers are being replaced according to the standard cycle. Faculty are starting to express interest in Turnitin, smart boards, lecture capture, digital asset management, photo archives and e-portfolios. They will upgrade to Campus Solutions v 9.0 in July and will soon upgrade to version 7 of Xythos, which is being effectively used for document sharing by search and screen committees. They are also updating ImageNow and the remote desktop software for the student computing labs.
UW-La Crosse has a provost and vice chancellor who are supportive of technology. Budget issues have absorbed much of the mindshare on campus, including responding to the recent external review of IT. The Qualtrics online survey software is being very well received. The email system is being re-evaluated. They are moving ahead with pay-for-print in the student computer labs and re-evaluating classroom technology standards. Online courses are expanding and they may re-organize support for learning technologies. They are looking into web content management and a re-design of the campus web environment. Seats in student computer lab have been reduced by 10% and they are moving to unattended operation of all labs except in the library. Starting July 1, all new searches for vacancies have to be done through the PeopleAdmin system. The Campus Solutions project is transitioning into production mode. Wireless coverage is being expanded. A large, new academic building is under construction that will include $3M for new technology due to the competitive bidding environment. A new stadium is open. The total cost of the network is being calculated so that Auxiliaries can pay for their share of the usage. The Storage Area Network (SAN) and VM environments are being expanded. A SQL environment is being created. The data center is at capacity.
UW-Madison will soon have a new provost. The campus has identified over 40 strategic planning initiatives for consideration by 10 working groups. A pilot inventory project will help identify IT costs for the benefit of the deans. DoIT is working to develop a CAN in the local community dubbed the Madison Unified Fiber Network (MUFN). DoIT is about to recruit 30 people to support the UWS Human Resources System project. There is a campuswide license for ImageNow. A major upgrade to the wireless network is process. They are near agreement with Google on the use of wisc.edu sites for Google apps and Google docs. A common scholarship application will give students information on all of the opportunities available to them. On July 11, power will be cut for about 30 minutes in the main data center so that facilities staff can inspect fuses in preparation for HVAC and generator upgrades. They are working on how to implement furloughs in the payroll system in about two weeks even though all of the policies haven't yet been determined.
UW-Milwaukee is going to completely unattended student computer labs as a result of the budget situation. A new Library Learning Commons will open in the fall and will have the only staffed computer lab. The campus has been approved for $240M in building expansions. Some 50 new research faculty are being hired with funding from a $10M DIN, but there is no data center space or campus staff available to help them with research computing. IBM will be providing staff services to the engineering college. An outside review panel has issued a report on an incident that led to a 4-day outage of email and calendaring for 25% of the campus users. It identified underlying funding challenges. N1H1 pandemic planning efforts included IT and one of the challenges that was identified was a multiplicity of provisioning models for IT in different schools and colleges. At the start of the fall semester, a calendaring subscription center will make focused event calendars available to faculty, staff, students, parents and the community. The goal is to keep freshment highly organized from their fist day on campus. Central IT is involved in orienting new freshmen and their parents. Five Exchange and three Groupwise email/calendar services have been migrated to Zimbra. The level of attention that was required for calendar power-users was underestimated. Planning for the 2nd data center is at the 35% review phase. It will be a 2,000 square foot box within an old manufacturing facility. Only power and cooling for two of the six rows will be brought online at the start. As faculty bring in research servers, it will be inexpensive for them to add capacity. They are also looking at a proposal from a company to build a large, energy efficient data center next to the Milwaukee power plant. They are piloting dimdim for synchronous communications for meetings as UWM spreads throughout the city since Adobe Connect can only be used for academic coursework. They have been in discussions regarding security initiatives with UW-Stevens Point. A Qualtrics rollout is going well.
UW-Platteville is dealing with road construction that is impairing access to the campus for new freshmen. The good news is that new conduit is being installed as well. The CIO position is open for recruitment. Projects for the summer include: distributing VoIP phones to the final third of the campus, implementing Campus Solutions, upgrading Novell identity management, expanding the SAN and deploying VM. A process is in place for evaluating email and calendaring. The ResNet and Help Desk groups are working together more closely. The IT governance structure is being re-considered. They are working with the city and the school district on CAN efforts.
UW-Stevens Point is rolling out a Sharepoint collaboration infrastructure for the fall. They are working on a project to image unstructured documents that will integrate with Sharepoint. They are kicking off a data protection initiative that will include: scanning of all workstations on campus, whole disk encryption of laptops, cleaning up forms and processes that collect sensitive data and having employees sign confidentiality agreements. Construction projects will start soon for a new waste management center and laboratory, a new residence hall, a residence hall renovation and a new classroom building. Lecture capture technologies are being considered. A proof of concept project is underway for virtual desktops, including a remote computer lab, via VMware's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). They will continue piloting e-portfolios in the fall.They have rolled out the power management software product Verdiem for all 2,500 PC university desktop computers. An external review of IT is slated for the fall.
UW-Oshkosh is working on a web redesign project with workflow capabilities and an emergency response system. They are shifting more resources to instructional design. They have replaced several application developers who retired. Wireless coverage is being expanded across campus and additional network connectivity is needed across the Fox River. Construction of a new academic building will start in late summer. A new cable television contract has been signed. They are re-evaluating the campus email system and developing new security policies. Usage of Turnitin is growing. A faculty technology conference is held twice per year. Adoption of student response systems (clickers) for classroom use is low, but podcasting is taking off. ImageNow will be upgraded in July.
UW-Parkside will have a new chancellor on August 1. The conversion to Campus Solutions v 9.0 is slated to be finished by the end of August. Local requirements for HRS are being defined. The third year of the computer replacement program has been somewhat trimmed as a result of the budget situation. A large Citrix deployment is going well. Network switches are being replaced and will offer gigabit to the desktop. The wireless infrastructure is being re-vamped. iStrategy is being deployed for business intelligence. SAN capacity is being increased and the computing center is piloting SharePoint. The Help Desk operations are being improved. A learning technologies group is being formed to enhance support to the faculty. They are considering standardizing audio/video support for classrooms. The Qualtrics initiative will be taking advantage of training opportunities from the vendor.
UW-Stout has just filled the last two open dean positions. A new science wing will open by September. The student center is being renovated, along with residence halls. They are on time and on budget for the Campus Solutions upgrade and are implementing an RDS warehouse which is being eagerly awaited by the campus community. They are also updating ImageNow and piloting the e-signature workflow for budget transfers. Wireless coverage is being expanded into the residence halls. A wireless mesh is being deployed outdoors, especially for sporting events. Only have about 15 general access computers remain due to the student laptop program. About 3,500 new and 3,500 one year old laptops will be deployed by the fall. The campus website is undergoing a comprehensive redesign.
UW-Superior will cut over to Campus Solutions version 9.0 in July. The campus portal will be dropped. About half of the departments have converted to the CommonSpot CMS. The first server virtualization project will begin soon. Equipment has been purchased for deploying Exchange. They are working on a new budgeting process that will hopefully protect technology and admissions. The number of academic departments is being reduced from 17 to 12. The library renovation will be completed in August. A new student center is slated to be finished in October. A new academic building will include a second data center and new offices for IT staff.
UW System Administration has developed a total compensation estimator that can aid in recruiting new employees, especially those who are coming from environments that may pay higher salaries but have lesser benefits. They are also doing a similar product for evaluating accumulated sick leave and how long it might pay for health insurance after retirement. They are re-engineering the infrastructure for the student credit Transfer Information System (TIS). Email and calendaring are being converted to the Zimbra collaboration suite. An online procurement card application system is being implemented for quicker turnaround than the current paper process.
UW-Whitewater has a new college of business building about to go live. It will include a lot of new technology, including telepresence equipment, due to the competitive bidding environment. Wireless coverage of the dorms is almost complete. Emergency response technologies are being deployed in layers. A new fire alarm system will include messaging. It will be interconnected with the VoIP phone messaging system. A digital signage system will also be interconnected. There are currently about 500 VoIP phones on campus. The MediaPlace video conferencing system is being used more by faculty. InCommon federation authentication is being implemented. Google has been selected for alumni email. Ingeniux has been selected for web content management. A new campus event calendar system is being deployed. The e-portfolio project is being expanded to include faculty professional development collaborations. Turnitin is used widely and is being integrated into D2L.
Ed Meachen shared the monthly dashboard report that was developed in conjunction with the Human Resources System (HRS) Service Center Executive Committee. It covers several key evaluation criteria within each of the following areas:
- Project Management
- Change Management
- Business Processes
There have been staffing challenges as the project has ramped up. There are currently some 40 UWSA employees on the project. Earlier this week there was a meeting of all of the team members at which each team lead gave an update. Additional space needs to be identified for the project staff. There have been successful campus site leader meetings and introductory training materials are under development. Over half of the as-is business process workshops have been completed. Some development is being outsourced to the Accenture development site in San Antonio. A security plan is being developed.
Ruth Ginzberg reported on staffing and training challenges within the procurement office. Three Requests for Proposal (RFPs) are currently the street related to the HRS project:
- address management
- foreign national taxation
- time clocks
The South Central Library System contract for delivery services between the UWS libraries will be renewed, but there will be no service on the day after Thanksgiving.
The D2L contract has been signed after 10 months of negotiation.
The UWS Microsoft negotiation team met last week to have a high level discussion regarding UWS concerns over the costs of Client Access Licenses (CALs) and virtual use of computer labs by students when the labs are closed.
Glen Nelson reported that a team is focused on the integration between HRS and the Shared Financial System (SFS). It is estimated that thousands of hours of work will be entailed from both technical and functional perspectives. Support has been garnered from the controllers' offices at the UWS institutions to identify team members who can devote time to the project.
One goal of the integration effort is that definitions of the UDDS (Unit/Division/Department/Sub-department) fields will be applied consistently across the entire UW System. However, some of the institutions have a one-to-one relationship between a UDDS code and a fund, e.g., a sub-department might have one UDDS code for fund 101 and another UDDS code for fund 136. Since some non-HRS ancillary systems at the UWS institutions may pull parts of the UDDS codes for internal purposes, such as billing, those systems will have to be modified to match the new UDDS structure by 2011.
Keith Hazelton and Chris Holsman discussed Identity and Access Management (IAM) integration for systems like SFS. Person data from authoritative sources will go into IAA, which is expanding to include additional "person-hub" functionalities, then to the Oracle Identity Manager (OIM), which will be the key element for provisioning and de-provisioning access, and on to SFS. When the OIM pulls data from IAA and finds a new employee it will trigger the creation of an employee account and roles in SFS, e.g., for travel expense reporting. Business administrators will be able to assign/request new roles via the OIM for staff who have taken on new responsibilities. De-provisioning people when they lose their role or status will be handled via OIM workflows that are driven either manually or by policy. Oversight functions include regular reports to supervisors/administrators regarding the permissions of their employees.
Demonstration testing has shown that the connector between the OIM and SFS needs customization for the UW System. There are currently some 300 roles defined in SFS, which is a lot to manage, especially if many are minor, campus-specific variations of other roles. There are certain master files that are used by many business processes that cannot today be found in any centrally accessible file, e.g., who is someone's supervisor? The council recommended that Dave Dumke, the controllers and security professionals work on simplifying the role definitions.
HRS will require a more complex IAM structure than SFS because HRS is both an authoritative source for, and a consumer of IAM data. HRS source data will be staged and linked into either IAA (for UWS) or UDS (for UW–Madison) and then into the OIM for provisioning accounts. User accounts, roles and person info will flow from the OIM back into the HRS. The HRS functionality will be exposed through self service web applications that are protected by the Oracle Access Manager which handles authentication functions for the self service URLs. The Oracle Virtual Directory will pass authentication requests to the respective campus and send the needed identifier back to the web application.
Testing of the various components will begin in the September timeframe.
The October 15 meeting of the CIO Council will be cancelled. Instead a short meeting will be held after the October ITMC meeting. The November meeting will be, at most, a teleconference from 8:00 - 9:30 am on November 19th.
The next meeting of the CIO Council will be July 16, 2009 in Madison. The starting time for future CIO meetings in Madison will be adjusted to 9:00 am to avoid conflicts with other teleconferences.
Meeting dates, Directory of UW CIOs, Meeting Summaries: