Office of Learning and Information Technology
UW System CIO Council
Thursday, September 16, 2010
IT Policy Breakout Group
Broadband Grant Update
Student Information System Executive Committee Update
Human Resource System Update
Service Center Transition Plans
Data Privacy and Security Update
|CIOs and their Representatives||Guests|
Joanne Berg and Janice Ward were introduced as the interim CIOs of UW–Madison and UW–La Crosse respectively.
Lorna Wong reported that D2L has run smoothly throughout the semester startup. Faculty and students from UW–Madison are connecting to D2L via Shibboleth. Implementation of the Shibboleth protocol requires an investment of campus resources.
The Learn@UW Executive Committee's Learning Management System Exploratory Task Force is charged with exploring the current LMS market and investigating the paths of other institutions. It is also following up on the faculty teaching and learning survey that was conducted in April. Overall survey results and a system-wide analysis will be distributed to provosts, CIOs and Learning Technology Development Council (LTDC) members next week. Each UW System (UWS) institution received the responses from its own faculty members last June.
The task force will also inquire as to what the D2L company can do to help the UWS meet its future needs. A report will be submitted to the Executive Committee and the CIO Council at the end of June. The task force is comprised of 10 people including two from Learn@UW, two faculty members, three LTDC members, an emerging technology expert from the ADL Co-Lab and Lorna Wong. The task force plans to convene faculty and student focus groups and to follow the progress of the request for proposals (RFP) issued by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU). The task force is also sponsoring projects to investigate rich media and web conferencing.
The LTDC and the D2L site administrators have been discussing rich media for some time. The LTDC formed a rich media focus group to look at the current practices and needs within the UWS. As of today, most UWS institutions do not have a well defined strategy for video other than use of the services provided by UW Extension. Uploading videos directly to D2L does not work very well. A whitepaper was presented to the Learn@UW Executive Committee last July that recommended an in-depth study and the pilot of a managed video system. Consequently, the UWS is about to start a limited pilot of the Kaltura open source platform across seven institutions: UW–Milwaukee, UW–Whitewater, UW–Stout, UW–River Falls, UW–Oshkosh, UW–La Crosse and UW–Madison. Kaltura shares single signon capabilities with D2L and has a YouTube-like interface. The pilot will likely run through the spring semester. The list of requirements from the whitepaper will be circulated to the CIO Council. Meanwhile, UW–Parkside has considered using software as a service, SaaS, for delivery of short, professionally produced videos on demand.
A task force is developing an RFP for web video conferencing as endorsed by the Learn@UW Executive Committee at their July retreat. The RFP will be informed by the highly successful pilot of Elluminate during the spring semester that involved 50 faculty and 1,000 students. Elluminate is easy to use, is integrated with D2L and has reliable VoIP capabilities. The pilot was extended for another semester for use by all of the UWS institutions. Recently Blackboard has purchased Elluminate and D2L has announced that they will soon be integrating with Adobe Connect. The task force's strategy is to have a small group draft an RFP, requirements and specifications that are focused primarily, but not exclusively, on instruction. The RFP will be released later this semester with the goal of having vendor demonstrations in the January 2011 timeframe. Payment issues still need to be discussed, such as whether or not the selected product would become a UWS Common System and whether each institution would be required to support it financially even if they use another product. UW–Eau Claire and UW–Stevens Point are already seeing enthusiastic faculty adoption of Microsoft's Communicate products that are not integrated with D2L.
A UWS initiative to pursue favorable licensing terms for the Turnitin anti-plagiarism system is underway. Eleven of the UWS institutions have some form of license for Turnitin on either a campus-wide or departmental basis. Most UWS institutions use the originality checking component and others have the entire product suite. There needs to be agreement among the UWS institutions on the components and length of the combined contract. The LTDCs have been polled regarding these questions as well as the source of the funding at each institution. However, not all of the LTDCs have yet replied. The CIO Council is asked to assist in gathering this information. The wrapping of campus departmental agreements into a master license, which will not result in cost increases, will be vetted by UWSA Legal Counsel. It is worth noting that departmental licenses cannot be integrated with D2L whereas a UWS master license could be. The UWSA Procurement Office will distribute information to the CIOs regarding which licenses are in use at their institutions. If asked, iParadigms should be able to provide statistics on the usage of Turnitin components at a particular institution.
Elena Pokot requested statistics for use of the Learn@UW help desk by the various institutions.
Judy Caruso and Gary De Clute of UW–Madison's IT policy office have been organizing a breakout session for the ITMC meeting in October along with Erich Matola and David Stack. In addition to a parallel track, there will be a plenary panel on the policy issues related to cloud computing that will include Chris Ashley, Ruth Ginzberg and Steve Brukbacher. In preparation for the breakout session, an environmental scan survey was distributed yesterday to the CIOs. The session will prioritize policy issues and develop action items. Not every UWS institution has someone responsible for IT policy other than the CIO. Therefore, scheduling advice for the ITMC conference is welcome.
Elena Pokot noted that UW–Whitewater has certain types of IT policies that are not included in the survey list. Judy Caruso welcomed that information in the comment section of the survey.
Andy Lewis from UW Extension reported that two federal grants have been received to support broadband initiatives. The Building Community Capacity through Broadband proposal received about $30M federal dollars for building fiber routes not including local cash and in-kind contributions. The Sustainable Broadband Adoption proposal received about $2.4M federal dollars in addition to matches. The funds will be directed toward five demonstration communities: Superior, Chippewa Valley, Platteville, Wausau and Stevens Point.
The projects have begun building infrastructure pending an environmental assessment of the entire fiber route. The lessons learned from the five demonstration projects will be extended to other communities around the state. The planned leadership development and educational programming will include:
- a webinar series on maximizing broadband utilization
- virtual inventors and entrepreneurs clubs
- increased broadband subscription and effective usage
- video case studies of best practices
- examples of community-developed leadership and education programs
- development of a community broadband assessment tool
Local and statewide awareness campaigns are being prepared.
The BadgerNet Converged Network (BCN) is a privately held consortium of telephone companies under contract to the state. They haven't begun work with the dollars they received in the first round of federal stimulus funding. In contrast, WiscNet is owned and controlled by its members. UW Extension has a historic niche of building organizational capacity to deal with infrastructural needs, such as the electrification of rural Wisconsin communities which were initially by-passed by utility companies.
Ken Splittgerber encouraged the UWS institutions to get started on the 1098-T process. Three institutions, UW–Milwaukee, UW–Whitewater and UW–Parkside, are beta testing the system. By November 1, all affected UWS institutions should submit the first files that are generated by the process that is delivered with PeopleSoft. There will be a WHEPSUG conference session on this project. Timely registration for WHEPSUG is important because attendance is open to people from other states and there will be a cap on registrations.
A group is being formed to look at the current Central Data Request (CDR) interface, initiate knowledge transfer from key individuals and define business needs for CDR as it evolves. There will be a session at WHEPSUG and funding for the effort will be requested from the Common Systems Review Group (CSRG).
Ken Splittgerber would like the names of the individuals who manage the monthly agendas of the SIS steering groups at each campus so they can serve as primary institutional contacts for the Executive Committee. By default, the CIOs are the secondary contacts.
User Acceptance Testing Approach
Anand Vangipuram reported that the User Acceptance Test (UAT) process is approved and will be shared with campus partners tomorrow via a Wisline teleconference. The UWS institutions will require flexibility to do their normal work during the testing process.
The two primary goals of UAT are to instill confidence that the Human Resources System (HRS) will meet user needs and to educate professionals regarding the human capital management functionality. The scope of UAT includes the HRS release 1 components and use of many of the 800 integration test scenarios that cover security, batch processes, external interfaces, integration with other ERP systems, the Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) data warehouse and reporting.
The UAT activities are proposed to take place in four regional groups of up to 35 people each:
- A at UW–Milwaukee
- B at UW–Oshkosh
- C at UW–Eau Claire
- D at UW–Madison
The UWS institutions can choose in advance their preferred group based on the location or dates. There will a UAT kickoff meeting on November 1. The following week the test environment will be prepared. A conference call the following week will provide instructions to the participants that will be followed by a smoke test through the end of the month.
Beginning December 6 at UW–Milwaukee, the first round of testing will be followed by UW–Oshkosh the following week. In January, payroll data will be run for groups A and B.
Beginning January 9, the UAT data will be refreshed and the process will continue for groups C and D.
In February, payroll will again be run at the Service Center followed by a fix cycle through the end of the month.
To ensure that all UWS institutions and modules are covered by the UAT participants, communications efforts will engage Site Leaders, the Testing Group Task Leaders and the HRS Work Process and Analysis (WPA) team.
HRS Supplemental Systems/Interfaces
Jen Brown of Huron Consulting and Darlene Younger discussed HRS supplemental systems and third party interfaces. To date, 18 out of 41 third party outbound and inbound interfaces have been tested. Validation of the actual files will be delayed until the integrated testing phase. Optimistically, all 41 interfaces will be ready for integration testing by the end of the month as part of the 800 integrated test scenarios. Transmission testing for sftp files is underway for both the technical and functional processes. By the fourth iteration of integration testing, entire job streams will be evaluated.
The team has been working directly with the UWS institutions to document and evaluate their supplemental systems. Information previously reported by the UWS institutions has been pulled into a master document. It is up to owners of institutional systems to determine if those systems are shadow or supplemental. The current information has been relayed to the HRS project leadership. A link to the analysis will be distributed next week along with answers to common questions. Initial statistics show 481 objects at UW–Madison and 466 objects at the other institutions. About 26% of the systems were identified as shadow and perhaps up a third can be eliminated after go-live. These estimates will likely change once the institutions experience the UAT.
Data governance policies and procedures will be published later this month and the EPM data dictionary may be available in October. Campus approval processes and options for supplemental systems will be discussed throughout the fall.
There is a supplemental systems website available on the HRS project intranet that contains many reports and resources. The potential next steps include onsite visits after the data dictionary is released.
HRS Security Update
HRS security lead John Kotolski is working with a Security Advisory Group (SAG) that is preparing for UAT and engaging with business process groups to identify how roles will change after the HRS go live. Work with the Identity and Access Management project is wrapping up. New processes will be paperless and quicker. The UWS institutions have taken a healthy interest in data security and determining who can see which data. A security awareness training module is being developed for annual completion by the professionals who access HRS data. The data sanitization initiative is being tested with actual converted data.
The SAG is looking at proposed policies and procedures regarding such issues as:
- location and time access controls
- access processes
- endpoint security
- HRS interfaces
- data security
- HRS security
The initial goal for endpoint security is to set minimum standards that are attainable by all of the UWS institutions. As part of this effort, a template will be circulated to inventory the endpoint security policies and controls that are in place at the UWS institutions. The CIO Council recommended that the template be distributed through the HRS Security Task Leads, and copied to the CIOs, so the responses can be tracked on the project dashboard.
The project will clearly designate which roles have access to highly sensitive data so that requesters and approvers at the UWS institutions can make informed decisions. The roles constructed in HRS will be replicated in EPM.
Bruce Maas and George Watson reported that Huron Consulting Group has completed a detailed analysis of the impacts of process changes and is ready to move into assessing future resource needs of the HRS service center. The project transition phase can be stressful to people because their jobs and roles are changing in ways that are not yet clear. The Service Center's organizational structure and business processes will be transformed to better serve its constituents. A service agreement will lay out the responsibilities of the both the Service Center and the UWS institutions. Over 100 business processes at the Service Center will be affected by the HRS project and the overall workload will be increased due to new processes and the absence of custom functions in the system. A temporary resource advisory committee will initially be chaired by the director of the UW–Madison Office of Human Resources and will map the new roles to the available staff and determine new resources. A similar process will ultimately be used with some of the key IT roles. Huron Consulting Group will also be engaged in outlining the service levels for application support including maintenance, EPM, reporting and new development. Elena Pokot stressed the need for a clear understanding of the responsibilities of the UWS institutions vis-a-vis the Service Center.
Ruth Ginzberg informed the CIOs that the notices which the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) is sending to state agencies asking them to sign up with a Microsoft reseller don't apply to the UWS because Microsoft uses different resellers for government and academic customers. The selection of the academic reseller is underway. In the meantime, new Microsoft licenses cannot be ordered, however the contract allows for software to be installed and run for up to 30 days before it is ordered.
The DOA peripherals contract has expired, so an RFP for a new UWS contract will be let in the fall. Feedback is due before the purchasing conference in November.
Various media are reporting that not all state agencies are in accordance with the provisions of the "Contract Sunshine Act". By agreement, the UWS will fully participate once the system can accept electronic files of data from SFS, not just manual entries typed into a web form.When this functionality is ready, purchases entered into the Shared Financial System (SFS) will be available on a public database. Ruth Anderson explained that the purchase order description field, commodity codes, vendor names and dollar amounts will be publicly available. Jack Duwe noted the potential of HIPAA or similarly protected data inadvertently showing up in the database.
Ed Meachen reported that future funding requests from the UWS Data Privacy and Security Committee that are submitted to the CSRG would likely be more successful if they were tendered with the support of other high level committees. Therefore, in the near term the Data Privacy and Security Committee will report through the Service Center Executive Committee even though the security group will also be looking at other enterprise systems. An HRS data governance model is being developed that will give the Executive Committee policy making authority. The Data Privacy and Security Committee will be valuable for assisting in drafting policies and uncovering gaps across the UWS. Steve Reed stressed the need for consistent representation from the UWS institutions due to the complexities of the issues and multiplicity of stakeholders. There is a balance between having common tools versus common rules or standards. A fuller discussion will be put on the agenda for the October CIO Council meeting.
Ed Meachen called for the submission of the annual institutional IT strategic plans by the end of December. UW–Eau Claire has already submitted their plan. Mary Schoeler suggested that it would be valuable to have a panel of CIOs sharing best practices at the ITMC meeting. Meachen reminded the CIOs that IT projects that cost over $1M need to be managed in conjunction with the UWSA OLIT office to ensure that the Board of Regent requirements are followed.
Nancy Crabb reported that the organizers of the Wisconsin Digital Government Summit on November 30th would like to have a panel of campus representatives reporting on their email systems. She will forward additional information. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin IT Developers Council is interested is collecting information on how campuses acquired their current calendar and email systems.
The October meeting of the CIO Council will be on the 21st in Madison rather than following the ITMC meeting in Green Lake as has been the custom for the last few years.
Meeting dates, the directory of the UWS CIOs and meeting summaries are available at www.uwsa.edu/olit/cio.