Office of Learning and Information Technology


University of Wisconsin System CIO Council Meeting

October 13, 2011





Draft CIO Operating Procedures

NetPlus Services from Internet2

WiscNet update

BCCB Grant update

Tour of UW-Whitewater’s Data Center

Procurement update

IAM update

PKI Rollout

Provisioning to Support eBenefits Self-service for New Employees

D2L update

UW System Growth Agenda Grants Program
CSRG Retreat update

ITMC Fall Meeting update

November 16th CIO Meeting





CIOs and their Representatives


Nancy Crabb
David Dumke (on phone)
Nick Dvoracek
Chip Eckardt (on phone)
Lee Goldesberry

Marsha Henfer
David Lois

Bruce Maas (on phone)
John McCarragher

Ed Meachen
Kathy Pletcher
Elena Pokot
Stephen Reed (on phone)
Mary Schoeller (on phone)
Mike Sherer (on phone)
David Stack (on phone)
Doug Wahl

Lorie Docken (on phone)

Ruth Ginzberg

Chris Holsman

Derrian Jones (on phone)

Paul Moriarty

Brian Remer

Michael Schlicht




Draft CIO Operating Procedures

Before the meeting, David Stack and John McCarrahger submitted a draft of new CIO Council Operating Guidelines based upon the Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries (CUWL) Operating Procedures, but without formal committees and extended membership.


Nick Dvoracek recommended that the guidelines explicitly mention learning technologies and media services. Although CUWL has an Executive Committee, one is not needed for the CIO Council because it operates by consensus, is not usually involved in generating new project proposals to the Common System review group, and relies upon support from Ed Meachen’s office to organize meetings and agendas. However, having a few officers for the CIO Council would open up professional development opportunities. A chair of the CIO Council would also be viewed as more of a representative of the University of Wisconsin System (UWS) institutions, rather than being as closely tied to UW System Administration (UWSA) as Ed Meachen.


It was agreed by consensus that the CIO Council should elect a chair, vice chair and secretary. The officers should not include anyone serving in an interim or acting capacity. A nominating committee comprised of Kathy Pletcher, David Dumke and Marcia Henfer will put forth a slate of candidates to begin serving in January.


Meanwhile, the draft CIO Council Operating Guidelines will be updated to reflect the discussion.


NetPlus Services from Internet2

Bruce Maas explained that newly announced Internet2 services are built upon their existing NETplus framework. Internet2 is in the process of deploying a 100 gigabit national network, which is an increase from the single or multiple 10 gigabit circuits that are used today. In the next 1.5 years, a pilot group of research universities will connected to the new, faster network via the OpenFlow ecosystem which provides for greater software control of the network to allow, for example, production and research applications to co-exist. The greater bandwidth will make cloud services, such as the hosting of a PeopleSoft instance, more feasible.


The new Internet2 services include Box, which is similar to DropBox, and HP Infrastructure as a Service. These services and more are expected to become available in a short timeframe. To take advantage of these services, institutions will need to be members of both Internet2 and the InCommon Federation and will need to pay additional fees that are expected to be competitive compared to hosting similar services on campus.


Ed Meachen recommended that EDUCAUSE 2011 conference attendees take the opportunity to hear Larry Singer from HP discuss these new services.


David Lois noted the potential challenges for regional networks, and their broad constituencies, to gear up to participate in these services. Conversations are underway between WiscNet and Internet2.


WiscNet Update

Dave Lois reported that WiscNet is still in the midst of litigation. Responses to the motion by WiscNet and the other defendants to dismiss the suit are being prepared. If the motion to dismiss is not granted in mid November, then the original proceedings will continue early in 2012.


The upcoming audit of the university’s network management may not get underway for some time.


The UW chancellors discussed the provisions of the state budget that will impact networking and IT collaborations and expressed grave concern about the impact of the legislation on all aspects of their universities.


BCCB Grant Update

Brian Remer reported that once NTIA gave the go ahead to lay fiber after the environmental assessment was complete, the Building Community Capacity through Broadband (BCCB) project encountered a shortage in the supply of fiber optic cable until early 2012. Therefore, conduit was installed instead which will allow the actual fiber installations to take place in the winter. Conduit installation in the Chippewa Valley and Superior communities is largely complete. The Platteville and Wausau communities are near to releasing their procurements.


By some nominal measures, the project is behind schedule, but it is well ahead of other initiatives across the country and is projected to be on target by the end of funding cycle.


Tour of UW-Whitewater’s Data Center

Before lunch, Elena and Nick Ciesinski gave the CIOs extensive tour of UW-Whitewater’s impressive Data Center.


Procurement Update

Ruth Ginzberg reported on the upcoming change to the Microsoft reseller vendor which DOA will be announcing shortly.  There will be a 30 day blackout before campuses will be able to order from the new vendor.  If campuses need additional licenses during the blackout period, they can be downloaded from Microsoft’s portal.  Also, UW-Madison has additional licenses which can be purchased by UW institutions.


Ruth also reminded the CIOs that the UW System contract (09-2058)for networking products is expiring at the end of January.  She earlier distributed a list of manufacturers currently represented on the contract to the CIO maillist.  She would appreciate input from users of this contract to determine if there should be changes or additions to the list.  Any other general comments or suggestions about the usefulness of the contract, how it might be improved, etc. would also be appreciated.  She asked that the distributed document, which includes space for comments, be shared electronically on the campuses.  The forms should be returned to Melissa Viken ( in the Procurement Office before the end of October.


Ruth also reported on a VMWare issue.  There was a recent press release from OARnet (Ohio’s version of WiscNet) related to the recent renewal of their VMWare Enterprise license.  OARnet has committed to a large upfront investment and is re-distributing that pre-purchase cost through individual license and maintenance sales to Ohio campuses (2 and 4 year), Ohio State agencies, K-12 education and health care providers in Ohio.  Ruth and Bruce have investigated their licensing arrangement and OARnet’s membership includes a larger number of institutions and agencies.  Given their size, OARnet is in a better position to offer a savings in the licensing of VMWare.  Wisconsin’s spending on VMWare licenses is approximately $600,000 annually.  If the CIOs should get a sense of any major VMWare purchasing request, let Ruth Ginzberg know about it.  Additional UW System procurement activity includes a couple of library RFPs, the planning for a new budget system, and an SFS upgrade.


Identity and Access Management (IAM) Update

Chris Holsman provided an update on the Identity and Access Management Roadmap, and specifically, on the following IAM services:


Provisioning – IAM processes account creation and management for applications, such as HRS.  For HRS Release 2, there are known requirements, along with changed requirements and new requirements.  An example of a change requirement is in the area of security where an employee had a different job but the same role and access requirements.  Testing for eBenefits included a complete end-to-end system test.


Person Hub – A problem with data quality was not anticipated and there have been significant issues with dual records with transposed numbers.  The tactic is to work with the Human Resources staff on each campus to make sure they are deliberate when entering information.  Dave Dumke asked if there were any error reports available which the campuses could use to follow up on the problem.  Chris agreed to check with the Help Desk about tracking data they may have.


Access Management – The Auth Hub will be retired in mid-2012 when the 36 applications that use the service are migrated to Access Management.  The major users include Learn@UW which will migrate in a few months.  Another major user is SFS which is being piloted on a couple of campuses and things are going well.


Supporting Infrastructure – UW-Madison has purchased Oracle Identity Analytics which is a stand-alone tool and will provide audit information for HRS.  A consultant will be used to train UW security staff.  There are also plans to upgrading Oracle Identity Manager in the future.


In addition to reviewing the IAM Roadmap, Chris also reported that work has begun to relook at IAM governance and move to a steering committee model.


PKI Rollout

Chris reported on the UW digital ID service.  A self-service workflow utility has been deployed for certificate request and retrieval and has been available as of January 2011.  It includes administrative check points for identity proofing and final authorization and a user interface has been abstracted from the vendor product to the extent possible.  It is available system-wide at  Also a central repository of knowledge base articles for support purposes was deployed as of January, 20111 and it is available at  As of July, 2011, a local registration authority (LRA) has been identified to administer the service on each UW System campus, completed July 2011. Remaining exceptions are UW-Oshkosh and UW-Superior.  A self-service renewal mechanism was incorporated into the certificate issuance utility as of September, 2011.  Activity continues in the following areas:

·         Investigation of integration/utilization by shibboleth (WebSSO) for purposes of system-wide certificate based authentication

·         Investigation of automated certificate revocation based on University business process

·         Undergo security audit to identify and verify target LOA

·         Track and evaluate the evolution of the InCommon certificate service.


Provisioning to Support eBenefits Self-service for New Employees

Chris Holsman and Derrian Jones discussed the request from the Service Center about provisioning accounts for new employees 30 days before their start date.  Chris reviewed a survey sent to the campuses asking the following four questions:


1.    Does your campus generate, issue, and communicate UW System Portal login usernames to new employees 30 days prior to their job start date?

2.    Does your campus allow new employees to activate (create a password for) a UW System Portal login username 30 days prior to their job start date?

3.    When does your campus upload employee usernames to IAA/Person Hub?

4.    Will your campus authentication service allow new employees to successfully login to the UW System Portal with their username 30 days prior to their job start date?


Currently, the provisioning is done by the Service Center 7 days before the start date to accommodate HR and they would like to extend the time to 30 days so new hires can take advantage of eBenefits Self-service.  CIOs are encouraged to complete the survey so MILER can complete its assessment.  Kathy Pletcher noted that there will be a need to change local account provisioning processes and she too encouraged the CIOs to respond quickly to the survey.


D2L Update

Ed reported that starting on September 15th, the Learn@UW service has been intermittently subject to brief episodes of disruption in functionality.  Users receive an error message when attempting to access or use the service when the issue occurred.  These events typically last 10 to 15 minutes and users may need to re-authenticate in order to use the service.  The Learn@UW Utility team installed an update containing the recommended patch to the production database servers on October 11th and since that time there have been no more problems.  The Learn@UW Utility team continues to monitor the situation and inform the Site Administrator community and stakeholders as developments continue.


UW Growth Agenda Grants Program

Ed reported that Mark Nook, the Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, has distributed a draft RFP for the UW Growth Agenda grants program to the Provosts.  All of the academic grants, including those for curricular redesign, are being packaged into grants totaling $2 million dollars.  A portion of the grant money will be allocated for professional development and system-wide meetings.  Approximately $1.5 million will be available annually to fund a “big idea.”  Ed suggested a grant application which uses technology to enhance student learning and outcomes would be compelling.  The grant application would need to come from a campus and he suggested a 3 year grant of $500,000 could make a difference.  A “big idea” grant could be leveraged to obtain additional funds.  As of yet, the subject matter of the grant, along with the criteria for awarding the grant, are not known yet.  Academic Affairs has discussed criteria and the document has been sent to the Provosts for comments.  Mark Nook will make the final decision on which grant applications are funded.


Common System Review Group (CSRG) Retreat update

Ed briefly updated the CIOs on CSRG’s retreat which was held in Madison on September 20th and 21st.  The CSRG engaged in an in-depth discussion of what UW System does around large common projects.  There was strong agreement that the direction UW is going with common system projects is the correct one but that there needs to be flexibility within common systems to provide latitude for individual campuses, especially in relation to academic systems.  Debbie and Ed are working on a report to Michael Morgan on the CSRG’s response to the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on the Role of UW System.  The main message of the report to Michael Morgan will be to not take apart the Common System initiative.


Future CIO Meetings

The CIOs were reminded that, if a November CIO meeting is needed, a video conference will be held on Wednesday, November 16th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 


The December CIO Council meeting will be held on the Thursday, December 15th at UW-La Crosse beginning at 10:00 am.






Meeting dates, Directory of UW CIOs, Meeting Summaries: