Office of Learning and Information Technology
University of Wisconsin CIO Council, June 23, 2011
University of Wisconsin System CIO Council Meeting
June 23, 2011
Service Center/HRS Update
WiscNet – BCCB Grant Updates
Report on D2L Visit
Technology and Information Security Council Update
President’s Advisory Committee for UW System Administration
MOR Leadership Presentation
New Student ID Requirements for Voter ID
Elluminate and Student Identity Issue
Future CIO Council Meetings
CIOs and their Representatives
Ruth Ginzberg by teleconference
Bob Lavigna reported that last week the UW System (UWS) Chief Business Officers (CBOs) identified a list of their concern regarding the Human Resources System (HRS) and a formal response is being prepared. HRS is a complex system that is being implemented in a multi-institutional environment. Payroll is especially complicated. Colleagues from outside the UWS say that today’s challenges will be a dim memory in 6-12 months after HRS is stabilized and optimized. However, HRS is working and people are getting paid. Some 98% of checks have been issued on cycle.
The HRS team appreciates the sharing of issues and concerns from the community. Stabilizing HRS is challenging and will take some time. Although there is no “silver bullet” solution, there is a focus on resolving the issues that have been documented and that are being addressed by the Service Center, DoIT and the HRS Project teams.
In some cases, the Service Center response times are too long and the questions are getting more complex and taking longer to research. However, a higher percentage of the Tier 1 inquiries are being dealt with immediately than was the case previously. The Service Center is analyzing the tickets to identify overarching themes.
Although project communications have not always been effective, there are now twice daily messages.
Elise Barho explained that with regards to training, the HRS team is challenged by the “creativity” that people at the UWS institutions are exhibiting in using the system. The staff at the UWS institutions are asking for training at deeper levels, i.e., they now want to know why things are occurring. The team will touch base with each campus for 1.5 hours every month to discuss whatever issues are important to the institution. The attrition of experienced HR employees at the UWS institutions is also impacting the project.
Payroll is being processed correctly, but it is not a simple task, especially the processing of furloughs, which will likely continue through July. Another challenge is the time it takes for payroll data to be entered at the UWS institutions. Initial feedback from the UWS institutions with respect to time entry recommended that individuals record their actual time each week for subsequent entry and validation. In practice, that is proving to be too time consuming and some campuses are asking for the ability to only process exceptions to regular schedules.
One way in which PeopleSoft is significantly different from the legacy system is that the results of entries are not seen immediately until batch processes are run on the back end. When people don’t see the results of their changes, they tend to generate repeat entries that create multiple transactions that need to be subsequently undone. This is an issue of training and having a conceptual understanding of how the system works as well as an opportunity for possible improvements in the transparency of the processes. Once employees are entering their own time through the self-service functionality, this may relieve some of the burden, but it will introduce changes in the workflow. There will likely be a summit held in early August to define what success means to the UWS institutions.
Another issue is that the recording of encumberances in SFS is lagging the payroll transactions. This is being corrected and the controllers are receiving regular updates.
A tremendous number of people have recently retired across the UWS because of the state economy and they are making creative contributions to their Tax Sheltered Annuity accounts that are resulting in many net payroll transactions of less than one dollar.
Finalizing year-end financial transactions for the UWS institutions have been challenging due to the payroll issues that have prevented journals from being closed. Once these are finished in the August timeframe, there will be a pilot introduction of e-benefit and talent acquisition functionality.
Bruce Maas explained that HRS is bringing about a “new normal” state because this complex system will require adaptations on the part of staff at the UWS institutions. Going forward, things are not going to be the same as they were. Consequently, UW-Milwaukee has brought in external consulting help to deal with personnel changes and issues regarding the new work practices and culture.
Ed Meachen inquired about the state of the legacy, supplemental HR systems at the UWS institutions since the HRS deployment. The Council members reported no major issues.
Ed Meachen and David Lois noted the amount of effort expended in recent weeks regarding the telecom and broadband provisions of the proposed state budget. In place of some of the more controversial issues, longer-term provisions were substituted. For now, the UWS institutions do not need to leave WiscNet or other local or national networking consortia. Work can also continue on the committed portions of the BCCB grants. However, the Governor has not yet announced whether there will be any vetoes in the next couple weeks. The proposed budget also calls for an audit of WiscNet by the Legislative Audit Bureau in 2013, which is the earliest it could be completed.
Ruth Ginzberg reported that the Autodesk contract renewal is underway and should be completed shortly.
The overall Microsoft contract is stable, but there are issues regarding transfer of inventory information between the previous and current resellers who were contracted by the Wisconsin Department of Administration. Corrected information is expected from Microsoft soon after July 1, 2011. Renewals are due in August and will need to go through the current reseller. In no case will the UWS find itself unlicensed for use of Microsoft products.
Kathy Pletcher reported that a team from the UWS visited the Desire2Learn company to discuss their product roadmap and develop a list of action items. The company is growing quickly in terms of employees and clients and moving aggressively to develop mobile technologies. The visit included a long session to discuss the provision of analytics capabilities to self-hosted clients like the UWS. Lorna Wong explained that in August, a presentation will be given to the Executive Committee that should also include UWS faculty who are especially interested in using analytics for student success and assessment purposes. D2L has also purchased a lecture capture company as well as a product that can manage media files on the back end of the Learning Management System (LMS) instead of inside each course.
D2L is working on a business model for making e-portfolios available to students via a hosted solution after they graduate and is looking for input on pricing.
The UWS team has had numerous discussions with the D2L company regarding integration of the learning management system with Oracle’s Student Administration Integration Pack (SAIP) for mapping courses enrollements. Oracle will be rebuilding their SAIP product to the new Learning Information Services specification and meanwhile D2L will be analyzing how to meet the complex course mapping needs of the UWS during the coming academic year.
Ed Meachen passed along concerns that have been raised regarding the security aspects of having student data potentially being stored “in the cloud” as part of the integration of Elluminate with D2L. Lorna Wong explained that the only data elements that are saved in the cloud are the participant names that are in the password protected session recordings. In the session export function, there is an option to strip out the participant list. This information has been forwarded to Chris Holsman.
The TISC will be holding an in-person meeting on July 27 in Madison. Mary Schoeler encouraged a Wisline option as well. The agenda will include the status of:
- The Credential Assessment Framework
- The UW Digital ID project
- Security tools used at the different UWS institutions and available through Common Systems
The TISC will also be brought together at the fall ITMC meeting. Participation from the UWS institutions has been good although the group is still in a formative stage.
Ed Meachen reported that the UWS President’s Advisory Committee for UW System Administration met at UW-Stevens Point to hear the various UW System Administration offices describe their functions. His office did not have to attend because the committee already understood the need for central, system-wide IT services.
Jose Noriega explained the format and content of the Maximizing Organizational Resources (MOR) IT Leaders Program. Twenty-five people from across the UWS recently participated in the program over a period of eight months. There are another twenty-five alumni already within the UWS. Six graduates attended the CIO Council meeting:
- Chris Liechty – UW-Madison
- Kika Barr – WiscNet
- Jose Noriega – UW-Parkside
- Peter Zuge – UW-Stevens Point
- Bill Hubbard - UW-Green Bay
- Jeff Bohrer - UW-Madison
The graduates explained that the MOR learning experiences are designed to stretch the participants and are not always comfortable. Some of the content areas include:
- Who you are matters
- What leaders do
- The leader’s toolkit
The program emphasized the importance of putting skills into practice and letting go of techniques that no longer work. The MOR techniques are analogous to a common system for the participants, and perhaps for the UWS as a whole.
Peter Zuge and Kika Barr asked the Council where they think the MOR participants’ skills can be leveraged at their institutions. Bruce Maas said he anticipated a significant return on investment from the program and noted the engagement of Kika Barr and David Crass on the broadband issues in the proposed state budget. Barr suggested that the semi-annual ITMC conference could be a venue for building a leadership track within the UWS.
Peter Zuge recommended that the CIOs hold the attendees accountable for practicing what they have learned. David Dumke inquired how the program could be broadened without sending everyone in the UWS through the program a few at a time. Jose Noriega explained that the group has already reached out to another institution that has developed an abbreviated version for their local use. David Lois noted the differences between being a leader versus being a leadership trainer and recommended that a larger critical mass of alumni should be formed. Kathy Pletcher recommended that another system-wide cohort be sent next year.
Ed Meachen and the other MOR graduates acknowledged their appreciation of Jose Noriega’s participation in the program.
Tom Stafford’s memo to the Chancellors regarding the voter ID provisions of 2011 Wis. Act 23 was distributed.
The July 21st CIO Council meeting is tentatively cancelled. A teleconference will be held if necessary.
The October CIO Council meeting was originally scheduled for the 20th, but will be rescheduled for the 13th to avoid conflicting with the EDUCAUSE Conference.
Meeting dates, the directory of UWS CIOs, and meeting summaries are available at: www.uwsa.edu/olit/cio/.