Office of Learning and Information Technology
University of Wisconsin System CIO Council Meeting, August 18, 2011
University of Wisconsin System CIO Council Meeting
August 18, 2011
HRS/Service Center Update
High Definition Videoconferencing
Learning Management System Report
Blackboard Collaborate Roll-out
BCCB Grant Update
MOR Leadership Program
November CIO Council Meeting
CIOs and their Representatives
Elise Barho and Bob Lavigna reported that the second phase of the Human Resources System (HRS) rollout will deploy eBenefits which will provide self-service capabilities for new hires when they are choosing their benefit plans and for all staff during the annual open enrollment period for benefits. The eBenefits functions for new hires are currently being piloted by UW-Oshkosh, UW-Green Bay and UW-La Crosse. Some of the UW System (UWS) institutions have asked that the pace of change slow down a bit and that resources be focused on stabilization of the existing benefit processes rather than the roll out of additional functionality.
The deployment of the Talent Acquisition and Management System (TAMS) for recruiting new staff is on target for implementation in the first quarter of 2012. However, a consequence of the state budget process is that as of July 1, 2013 the UW System will not be participating in the Wisconsin classified personnel system. Therefore the UWS has to develop its own, separate capabilities. Meanwhile, UW-Madison will be developing its own personnel system. These changes will impact the scope and functionality of TAMS because it is not yet clear how the UWS will set its HR policies and make its personnel decisions.
New process metrics are under development. Next week, a new dashboard widget will track the number of missed payments that may be the result of either issues with the HR System or issues at the UWS institutions.
The EDT table that provides an interface between HRS and the Shared Financial System needs to be cleared and reloaded back to the deployment of the HRS system due to changes in the tuition remission process. The cleanup will go through October/November which will impact research effort reporting at UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee.
The HRS team has observed that many issues involve the adaptation to new business processes at the UWS institutions. There are a number of reports that are produced on a daily basis that should be examined at each institution in a timely fashion, e.g., new hire holds, because the institutions own the hiring process. Another function that needs to be handled at the institutions is determining which job should pay overtime to a person who works multiple jobs.
The HRS campus engagement effort sponsored a summit last week for 300 attendees that included representation from all of the UWS institutions. The day and a half event was composed of facilitated dialogues with the attendees, not presentations. There were opportunities for the institutions to share their best practices. The event evaluations were generally positive and notes, action items, survey results will be published shortly. Process improvement groups will be re-formed to help the institutions make the best use of HRS rather than continuing their legacy practices. One and a half day help sessions are being held at the UWS institutions and some of the larger entities within UW-Madison.
Some 25,000 help desk tickets have been submitted since the HRS go-live and the urgent tickets are being triaged for high priority service. Within the next couple months, each institution will be provided the opportunity to view progress the that is being made on their tickets.
The increased employee insurance premiums mandated by Wisconsin Act 10 have presented challenges in the funding of twelve months of benefits for those who are on nine-month appointments but everyone’s benefits will continue without interruption.
UW Colleges/Extension: An initiative is underway to delegate more control over revenues and hiring tp the 13 UW Colleges campuses which has put pressure on the development of business intelligence and real-time reporting. They are implementing the Class Climate course evaluation product and there is push-back from some faculty in regard to moving to a web-based rather than a paper-based process. They will be installing an emergency notification system by mid October. The backup and recovery costs charged by Bucky Backup have become prohibitive due to the data volumes so they are developing a storage area network solution in conjunction with UW-Eau Claire or UW System Administration. The ROI will be under two years. Their equipment in the Pyle Center is at the far end of the UW-Madison chilled water loop, which can be problematic, so a backup chiller is being pursued. They are putting full time staff back on the service desk instead of students. There have been separate budgets for hardware, systems and staff for UW Colleges and UW Extension. To simplify, everything will be moved to the UW Extension side of the house with yearly transfers of S&E funds.
UW-Eau Claire: A new student center is opening in April, and ground will be broken for a new child care center in September. A mobile app will be in the Android store this week. They will be rolling out new versions of Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager and the latest version of Nightwatchman for PC energy management. The lab virtualization project has unexpectedly resulted in faculty and staff using desktop software via iPads in addition to serving students. The VBrick video conference management system is being upgraded so that faculty can record and post their own classes and presentations on the web. Another small data center is being opened and they are working with Camera Corner to upgrade the technology in classrooms to exclusively support digital media, i.e. no VHS tapes. They are converting their foundation system to Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge and migrating off of a homegrown parking system.
UW-Milwaukee: As the interim CIO, John McCarragher is building new understanding with the campus administration. They are piloting 802.11n wireless in the center of the campus with the support of Educational Technology funds. The wireless pilot will also allow for one-hour access to the Internet by guests on campus. The provost is enthused about the deployment of eduroam. The UWM Mobile app has been released for the iPhone and the Android with is focused on services for students, including links to the PeopleSoft Student Information System, computer lab availability, campus shuttle buss locations and the availability of machines in laundromats. They will be working with Milwaukee County to possibly leverage the technology to their busses as well. The backup data center is about to come online and SunRay kiosks in building hallways will be replaced with iMacs.
UW-Oshkosh: There have been upgrades to Oracle 11 and PeopleTools 8.5. They took the systems down for five days to replace all of the hardware. They are searching for a director of administrative computing and have a number of other unfilled positions that will lead to a restructuring of the organization. An intranet project is under development for a system for scheduling events and facilities in one place rather than through several disparate systems. A new academic building is nearing completion with 32 general access classrooms and various departmental labs. All classrooms will have dual 16x9 projectors that project onto white-painted walls above the whiteboards.
UW-Green Bay: Ubiquitous wireless is being rolled out, including the residence halls, with funding from the provost and the chancellor. The project will finish by the end of spring semester and will use Aruba technology. Another initiative is the goal of providing 100% instructional technology availability in all learning environments. MediaSite lecture capture is being expanded from a pilot to widespread availability. As iPads become more prevalent, more efforts are being made to support faculty including wireless connections to projectors in the studio arts building. The backup data center is nearing completion and there will be a fiber connection to St. Norbert College for off site backup. Library renovations are in the planning phase. They will host the Board of Regents meeting in October.
UW-La Crosse: Wireless authentication has been revamped to make the network easier to use. A mobile application has been released. An assessment of the status of PeopleSoft will be conducted and a roadmap developed for the future. Seybold card scanning services are being deployed. A model for the support of iPads will be informed by their previous experience as a laptop campus. IT support and services that have been distributed across campus are being gathered under one umbrella. A new help desk will open at the end of the month. Full time staff will be on the front line, not students. A Web Help Desk system will allow people to open and track their own tickets. The CIO will spend four hours working at the help desk each week. In the new academic building, there will be departmental printers instead of network printers in each faculty members’ office.
UW-Parkside: Before the meeting, Jose Noriega reported that they are setting up the network infrastructure for the new Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities. UW-Whitewater is assisting in the project. They are also replacing their existing Blackboard-based campus door access control system with new PERSONA-based access system. UW-Green Bay has been helping plan the implementation. They are also implementing Digital Measures' ActivityInsight to manage information pertaining to faculty productivity, assessment, and accreditation.
UW-Platteville: Effort is being put into retaining positions and making some net gains. They are re-implementing the PeopleSoft Student Administration System to fix some of the initial errors and add new functionality. They are also implementing business intelligence capabilities. An RFP for a new modular, mobile data center will be released shortly. It should be more efficient and environmentally friendly than a traditional data center. A new Active Directory domain is being built and synced with the existing directory system.
UW-River Falls: They are completing the web site redesign that was begun last year and are moving to Microsoft Exchange for faculty and Microsoft Live! for students. They will transition the Peoplesoft Student Administration System from Unix to Windows and are using differential tuition funds to upgrade learning spaces.
UW-Stevens Point: The campus website will be converted to an externally facing marketing site by the end of summer using Sharepoint. Authenticated users will be able to see internally facing services in a later phase. They are deploying a content management system with consistent branding within SharePoint. A sensitive data protection initiative is systematically examining computers in major university offices in conjunction with the users of the equipment. The effort will expand to faculty workstations in the fall. A high availability project has deployed a new storage area network with failover capabilities into another data center; a new edge router in expectation of redundant fiber via a conduit to the city fiber; additional redundant fiber on campus; redundant domain controllers; and Exchange replication at UW-Eau Claire. Wireless has been deployed to all residence halls.
US-Superior: Recruitments are underway to replace retirees. A number of people with PeopleSoft knowledge have left. About half of the faculty are moving to a brand new academic building. A broadband grant is funding a four-mile fiber loop within the community. They are hosting the Board of Regents meeting in April.
UW System Administration: Recently a disaster recovery tabletop exercise was conducted in conjunction with the UW-Madison police. The IT staff heard what services were the most important to the people in UW System Administration. An after action report will be submitted to the Legislative Audit Bureau and the recovery plan will be updated. The Transfer Information System phase 4 was tested with UW-Madison as the receiving school for students from the UW Colleges, Madison Area Technical College, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Nicolet Technical College as the sending schools. The next phase is implementation of transfers from all of the UWS institutions to UW-Madison. In the following phase the WCTS institutions will also be sending student information. Then, other UWS institutions will be set up as receiving institutions. They are implementing the push of software updates to the workstations within UW System Administration. The Wisconsin GI bill has changed rules for reporting information on, and providing services to, veterans.
UW-Stout: A new data center is under construction because of cooling issues in the IT building. They are working through the Level of Assurance 2 Credential Assessment Framework. They are also developing a strategy for mobile devices. All but two residence halls are completely wireless. They are finalizing the campus website redesign which includes an intranet and are in the process of forming a community area network.
UW-Whitewater: The server virtualization project is almost complete. They are starting the transition of the PeopleSoft system to linux in a virtualized environment. They are also starting a desktop virtualization project to provide terminals in general access computer labs as well as providing academic software to students using laptops and at home. The persistent virtual environment should help faculty sync their files after doing work offline. Virtualization, Windows 7 and new back-end storage with data de-deduplication are being implemented simultaneously. The web content management system is being transitioned to Ingeniux and a new campus web site will be launched in April. Most freshman classes make extensive use of D2L but not all students are ready to work in an online environment. Mandatory technology training will be given to all students.
Mohanmed Elhindi recommended hosting CIO Council meetings at different campuses. Ed Meachen would also like to discuss that and other possibilities for CIO Council meetings.
All of the equipment has been procured to enable the chancellors and other groups to hold meetings via high definition videoconferencing. However, the equipment is not yet installed at all of the UWS institutions.
Lorna Wong reported that the LMS Exploratory Task Force’s work spanned from September 2010 to July, 2011 as part of a due diligence effort in looking at the LMS market before the next D2L contract renewal. The task force had four charges:
1. Study the status of the current LMS (D2L) at UW campuses
2. Scan the current LMS environment
3. Scan the emerging technology trends
4. Make recommendations to the Learn@UW Executive Committee and the UW System CIO Council
The task force
met face-to-face at least once per month and held additional conference calls as needed and formed four subgroups:
1. Faculty Needs Assessment
2. Student Needs Assessment
3. Emerging Technologies
4. LMS Landscape Scanning
The task force activities included:
· Studying current literature and expert opinions
· Exchanging ideas with peer institutions
· Engaging an external LMS consultant for expert opinion
· Studying results of recent student surveys
· Studying results of the April 2010 Learn@UW April faculty survey
· Conducting a small survey among the Learning Technology Development Council
A final report draft was delivered to the Learn@UW Executive Committee at their August meeting. A final report will be widely distributed pending final approval by the Executive Committee.
The Service Center Executive Committee is interested in doing a low-cost pilot of learning analytics to build a set of requirements. It is important the instructors realize that there are no plans to move away from D2L.
Lorna Wong thanked the CIOs for appointing official contacts from each institution for the Blackboard Collaborate product. The group of contacts has recently met several times and should be quite familiar with the product, its administration and support. The training sessions have been archived for future reference.
Version 11 of Collaborate was released in the middle of July and is being rolled out for the UWS institutions within D2L for the fall semester.
Given that there is no Shibboleth authentication for using Collaborate outside of D2L, most institutions have decided to proceed slowly. UW Extension ICS will be the central manager for the administrator accounts at each UWS institution. A meeting between Blackboard and the UW System IAM staff regarding the development of Shibboleth authentication will be scheduled for the near future.
Chris Liechty reported that the Technology & Information Security Council (TISC) met in August and will meet again at the ITMC meeting this fall. Meanwhile, a subgroup will be looking into mobile device security. The Credential Assessment Framework security standard will no longer be the primary mechanism for securing access to restricted data in HRS. Instead, the UW Digital ID project will provide certificates for those who access the HRS database. Council members reported that many people will want to access HRS information from off campus and via personal devices including iPads. The Council recommended the establishment of a reasonable mechanism for allocating certificates to the UWS institutions since the certificates were purchased with Common Systems funds. Lorie Docken will follow up on this request.
A number of UWS institutions are pursuing the InCommon Silver standard for securing credential stores. Mark Rank and Tom Jordan will schedule an October level-setting webinar for the UWS institutions. Elena Pokot recommended a similar approach for providing training for InCommon Service Providers.
David Dumke suggested that the TISC review all security related budget requests that go to Common Systems to validate that they are reasonable for all of the UWS institutions. John Krogman will be coordinating all of the presentations to the Common Systems Review Group that involve staff from UW-Madison.
Mary Scholler recommended a future discussion on implementing inCommon in small environments.
Each UWS institution will complete a template that describes how they are protecting the six elements that are defined as restricted data.
Ruth Ginzberg reported that the annual Microsoft Select Agreement renewals and verifications are about to be finalized. The Campus Agreement contract with Microsoft is linked to the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s contract with the reseller. There have been issues with the reseller bidding out fulfillment services to distributors as required by the contract and a conference call among all the parties is scheduled for later today.
A meeting for UWS representatives and the Microsoft executive team will be scheduled during the fall EDUCAUSE conference.
Adobe Acrobat fill-in-the-blank forms that allow data to be saved have new licensing requirements if more than a certain number of forms are created. The CIO Council recommends switching to different technologies, such as BP Logic or Microsoft Word forms.
A letter was sent to the UWS chancellors outlining new purchasing options that are available under Wisconsin Act 32. Certain clarifications will be forthcoming.
Dave Lois reported that litigation is in process with the Access Wisconsin coalition that is suing the University of Wisconsin System, WiscNet the Department of Transportation and the fiber installation contractor who are all partners in a federal broadband grant.
Also at issue is the ability for the University of Wisconsin System to participate in any sort of IT consortium that extends outside the purview of the university and research after July 2013. Potential impacts on the missions and operations of each UW System institution will be catalogued.
An audit of the legal status of WiscNet is due during January 2013.
Ed Meachen and David Lois reported that the Building Community Capacity through Broadband grant is proceeding and is on schedule.
Ed Meachen is collecting a tally of the number of participants from each UWS institution in the next round of the MOR leadership program. Names of participants will be collected in the next couple weeks. UW-Green Bay, UW-Superior, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison will host four of the five sessions.
The November CIO Council meeting will be rescheduled to coincide with the ITMC meeting that takes place on November 7 and 8 in Stevens Point.
Meeting dates, Directory of UW CIOs, Meeting Summaries: