Office of Learning and Information Technology

UWS CIO Council

December 17, 2009

Madison, WI


CIOs and their Representatives Guests

Nancy Crabb
David Dumke
Jack Duwe
Chip Eckardt
Ron Kraemer
John Krogman
David Lois
Bruce Maas
Ed Meachen
Erich Matola
Jose Noriega
Elena Pokot
Stephen Reed
Brian Remer
Mary Schoeller (via teleconference)
Ken Splittgerber
David Stack
John Tillman
Doug Wahl

Maria Alverez-Stroud
Bob Denton
Lorie Docken
Ruth Ginzberg
Steve Hahn
Keith Hazelton
Chris Holsman
Brad Krause
Paul Moriarty
Doralyn Ratzlaff
Brian Remer
Mike Sherer
Andy Taylor


Erich Matola was introduced as the new CIO of UW–Platteville.

HRS Data for Campuses via the PersonHub

Chris Holsman and Keith Hazelton provided an update on the Identity and Access Management (IAM) project which has two major components: identity management and access management. The former accomplishes role-based provisioning using Oracle Identity Manager and has been in production, but without customers, since August. The access management component has Shibboleth identity providers for the UW System (UWS) institution running at UW–Madison (except for UW–Whitewater which runs their own). All instances are production ready. A test instance of Oracle Access Manager is running and the next step is to put it into production. It will initially be used to provide authenticated access to two systems: the Human Resource System (HRS) training instance and Hyperion interactive reporting using a new connection between Hyperion and the Oracle Access Manager. Hyperion reporting will go live in the spring.

The Shibboleth software for identity federation allows a person to use their local login credentials to gain access to resources hosted by somebody who doesn't know them. It is time to give this UWS service a name, perhaps the Wisconsin Federation Service (WFS), and make it more widely known. It is not necessary for each UWS institution to become a member of InCommon to participate in WFS. The CIO Council was comfortable with the suggested name.

There are challenges in getting data out of the HRS system and back to the UWS institutions. Discussions at the fall ITMC meeting showed that the UWS institutions are currently getting the data in a number of ways, some of which entail double entry into campus student information systems which then become local authoritative sources. The team is interested in discussing options for automating the processes with both the CIO Council and technical representatives.

A spreadsheet of the campus contacts was distributed for review. Another spreadsheet from Kathy Caya from MILER was distributed that listed the data elements that the different UWS institutions would like to receive from HRS. The technical variations across the UWS institutions present challenges.

HRS is the authoritative source for faculty and staff demographic information that gets sent to the person hub (formerly known as IAA) which then feeds the identity management system which feeds data back into HRS to create accounts for people based upon their roles. People will then be able to use the access manager to log into HRS and other applications.

In addition to these closed loops there is the need to push data to various systems at the UWS institutions from both the person hub and the identity management system. The HRS and IAM staff are concerned about how many interfaces might need to be built and supported and whether or not these should be UWS Common Systems.

Many UWS institutions use the PeopleSoft Student Information System (PS SIS) as their institution's person hub to drive the creation and deactivation of local accounts, perhaps via Active Directory (AD). UW–Whitewater uses PeopleSoft HR instead of AD. UW–Eau Claire and some other UWS institutions create new, open-ended accounts for incoming faculty and staff before the individuals have signed their employment contracts. This creates another wrinkle that may not be accommodated in the new HRS. Often the funding information for a position is not known until well after the decision is made to hire an individual. Positions and funding sources can be managed separately within the new HRS system.

Data need to be re-provisioned for people whenever there is a change in their records, e.g., to ensure their access to the correct buildings via security systems. Systems at the UWS institutions will need to "listen" to a "channel" for demographic account changes. Data such as email addresses need to be sent from the institutions to the HRS system, probably using the same supplemental feed mechanisms as today.

UW–Stevens Point and UW–Stout may want faculty and staff data to flow directly from IAM into their Active Directory systems. Transactional data from the HR systems will also have to flow back and forth to campuses via other mechanisms. Neither of these challenges is included in the scope of the HRS project and the granularity of the interfaces will determine the costs that will be proposed to the Common Systems Review Group for the coming fiscal year. Ideally, only one or two common feeds, i.e., PeopleSoft and AD, will suffice for most or all of the UWS institutions.

Student employees will also be in the HRS system, which may introduce a level of complexity in matching their employment and academic records. All of a student's records should have the same System-wide Publicly Visible Identifier (SPVI) but indicate different roles.

Funding requests to the UWS Common Systems Review Group (CSRG) are due a week after the next CIO Council meeting so Keith Hazelton and Chris Holsman will return for an update in January. Meanwhile, the CIOs need to discuss these issues with the stakeholders at their institutions.

HRS Success Factors

Brad Krause and Doralyn Ratzlaff reported that the HRS project's price tag, timeframe and scope have been widely discussed. This new exercise is attempting to define what project success will mean to different groups, e.g., controllers, provosts, the HR community, CIOs, etc. The information that is collected will be put into a database and reported to all of the stakeholder groups to enable them to see when successes are reached. The information will also help in the go-live determination. The CIO Council members suggested the following success factors:

  • Successfully generate reports to the federal government on behalf of UW System Administration (UWSA)
  • Successfully generate reports of information for use by UWSA staff in conducting analyses, especially using longitudinal data
  • Eliminate duplicate data entry and shadow systems
  • Allow employees to see and change their own information
  • Stay within budget
  • Enable paperless attendance reporting for academic staff
  • Enable paperless workflows, i.e., not passing pieces of paper for multiple signoffs
  • Employee knowledge of what information is available through HRS so they aren't tempted to develop stand-alone, shadow systems
  • Quantifiable improvements in security
  • Effective training and documentation for employees.

Additional opportunities to share success factors with the team will be provided.

HRS After Go-live

Ed Meachen reported that discussions are underway to decide the size and scope of the next UW Service Center, including where it will be located and where it will report, so that a budget can be requested through the CSRG. These decisions are not within the scope of the HRS project budget.

An outstanding issue is determining where someone should call if they have a technical issue using HRS; is it their campus IT help desk or the Service Center's technical help desk? It was suggested that there be consistency with the process that is used by Learn@UW, i.e., a shared campus/central model depending upon whether the campus help desk is open. The use of the DoIT Help Desk at UW–Madison also is suggested so that the issues all get tracked in a single system and knowledge base. In the latter case, there may be difficulty in getting local issues passed back to the campus. Addressing this issue is within the scope of the project.

HRS Update

Lorie Docken distributed a copy of the October 2009 HRS and HRS/SFS Interface project reports that Tom Andres provided to the Board of Regents (BOR) Business, Finance and Audit Committee. Staffing challenges remain both in terms of hiring new staff and diversion of existing staff attention away from HRS to support legacy operations, e.g., the implementation of furlough processes. Closer alignment between schedule progress and budget will be calculated and included in future reports. The template includes the sub-projects that are underway as well as those planned for the future.

Stimulus Measure for Broadband Networks

Maria Alverez-Stroud is the project manager for developing a federal broadband stimulus grant proposal that has wide spread support across UW Extension, the Educational Communications Board (ECB), several UW System institutions and five local communities. The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) and the Governor's office are being kept informed of the process. These stakeholders are interested in piloting Community Area Networks (CANs) within different types of communities. The team has visited five communities and discussed the possible roles of UW Extension and the local UWS campuses. The goal is not to come to the community with answers, but to help create a plan under the umbrella of Building Community Capacity.

The five targeted communities, which all have strong UWS presence, are:

  1. Superior
  2. Platteville
  3. Eau Claire
  4. Wausau
  5. Menominee Nation

The full proposal will be a package of three components:

  1. infrastructure and middle mile
  2. sustainable adoption
  3. public computer centers

Not every community will participate in all three portions and each community will need to bring forward a 20% funding match.

David Lois reported that a number of communities are moving forward already even before any grant funding has been received. A grant would be an important component of the overall strategy, but not the total picture. WiscNet is available to work with CANs that are not included in the list of communities above.

Future UW Network Strategy

Ed Meachen distributed a projection of the BadgerNet Converged Network (BCN) connections through FY 2012. UWSA uses funds to pay for the BCN connections to UWS institutions from the WiscNet backbone. The UWS institutions do not pay any BCN costs directly. This model becomes unsustainable in the future unless costs are reduced as part of a federal stimulus grant to BCN. There is still no word whether the state's BCN grant proposal has been funded. Having fewer UWS institutions connecting to the BCN would also reduce the costs.

The potential of using teleconferencing and web conferencing systems for meetings was discussed. There is probably not a business case for implementing high-end telepresence systems between the UWS institutions in the near future.

Service Center Portal and Campus Feeds

John Krogman reported that the Service Center portal ( for providing earning statements to employees is live for all UWS institutions. Therefore, the Service Center doesn't see a long-term need to continue providing feeds of earning statement data to those institutions that generate on-campus email earning reports to each person. The Service Center would like the CIOs to discuss with their institution's HR staff the discontinuation of these feeds.

SIS Executive Committee

Ken Splittgerber reported that the SIS Executive Committee was not successful in getting all of the UWS institutions ready for implementation of the PS SIS general ledger interface to the UWS Shared Financial System (SFS). At the last WHEPSUG conference, a working group formed that consisted of representatives from the five UWS institutions that are concerned about the lack of expertise to address a failure of the interface they currently use. There is no funding available for a new interface and the SFS team is tied up with working on their interface to HRS. The SIS Executive Committee will endeavor to obtain additional documentation on the existing interface from the author.

Hyperion Update

Andy Taylor reported that the first test migration to the new Hyperion version was run and reviewed with campus testers from late October thru November 2009. No show stoppers were found and it is believed that most (if not all) content will be able to be migrated automatically. An issues list was formed and the contents are being addressed by the technical team and the consultant.

On-site Oracle administrator training has been scheduled for January 11th and 12th at UW–Madison and for January 14th and 15th at UW–Eau Claire. As of today, there are still 10 open seats for the UW–Eau Claire session so it will be relocated to the UW–Madison venue to reduce the overall costs for all attendees.

Communication with UWS institution representatives has been working well and there are no reported migration issues as of the December 18 Business Intelligence Core Team teleconference.

From a technical perspective, the project is matching the administration structure between the old and new environments and working through noted issues from the first test migration. Hyperion will be the first system to use the new IAM infrastructure. Recommendations for the length of dual system availability still need to be determined.

Training classes are being set up for administers (see above). A working group with representatives from UW–Eau Claire, UW–Madison and UW–Milwaukee is developing a web tutorial concept to be rolled out to all the UWS institutions that will focus on changes that have occurred since 1985. Meanwhile, demand is building for advanced training on the new tools to leverage available features.

The upcoming schedule includes:

  • December 2009
    • Re-run test migration with updated administration structure/issue resolution/IAM in place
  • January 2010:
    • Campus re-testing in migrated environment to validate changes
    • Evaluate test results to determine if one final test migration is required (if yes, re-run final test migration)
    • Provide communication plan for production migration
    • Administrator training January 11th and 12th at UW–Madison
  • February 2010:
    • Production migration the week of February 15th that will require involvement by the UWS institutions. The delegated campus migration representatives will be communicating with necessary campus staff. The amount of effort will vary by institution. A communication plan is being drafted to help assist the migration reps at the institutions.

CSRG Campus Charges

Andy Taylor reported that the CIOs should have each received a custom Excel workbook for their institution via email within the last 24 hours for reviewing the anticipated CSRG charges. Questions about the costs of the different systems or feedback on any issues should be raised within a month. Clearing accounts have been set up at each UWS institution into which the institutions can disburse the funds for collection in late January.

UW System Procurement Update

Ruth Ginzberg reported that there is a Skillsoft contract for outsourced, online training on the UW–Madison Office of Human Resource Development website. It appears to be working and the CIOs did not see a need for a system-wide contract.

There is a need for a policy regarding sensitive information residing outside the University's servers, i.e., outsourced or cloud computing. In a number of instances, UWS attorney Chris Ashley has aided in drafting outsourcing contract language to mitigate potential exposure in the case of egregious problems. There is currently no general UWS policy language for inclusion in contracts or methods for determining whether a school/college/department has entered into such an agreement. Bruce Maas will attend a 25 institution NACUB/EDUCAUSE joint session in February that focuses on these issues and that will issue a report. He recommends that the UWS institutions prepare a position paper in advance of that meeting.

Contracts are nearly finalized with with Arctic International for nonresident alien tax processing and Timelink for time clocks.

Vendor representatives have been pitching the the UWS CBOs on the need to purchase consulting services to conduct Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance gap analyses. There is no interest in doing a UWS contract, so the institutions that feel the need for such services should engage their own providers.

UWS Academic Affairs is interested in subscriptions to research grant information databases that would be open to all of the institutions.

An RFP committee is looking at software for managing student participation in overseas programs.

There are ongoing conversations with Qualtrics about ADA issues and the use of screen readers with their online survey tools. The company may provide functionality to turn on and off Section 508 compliance on either a per user or campus-wide basis.

The Microsoft Campus Agreement is up for renewal in August. Another meeting will be held at UW–Madison in January. UW–Stevens Point will be providing Microsoft with a technical architecture and list of only the licenses they believe are necessary.

There is interest in a UWS license for event management software for student unions.

When multiple campus licenses are swept up into a UWS contract, different DOA rules apply to the larger purchase than to the individual purchases, which makes the effort difficult. A new simplified procedure will be tested.

Work is underway on the Emerald and Blackwell library contracts.

Scheduling a UWS CI Day

Steve Hahn is the Principal Investigator on a proposal that was sent to Internet2 for support to hold a UW System Cyberinfrastructure Day (CI Day) at UW–Milwaukee along with web feeds of the plenary sessions. He expects the proposal to be one of the awardees. He and David Stack will talk with the program manager on Monday afternoon. The focus of the event will be to lower the hurdles for faculty to use high performance computing and cyberinfrastructure in their research.

The Council discussed possible spring dates and encountered numerous mandatory furloughs at the UWS institutions in late May. One possibility is to hold both the May CIO Council meeting and the CI Day at UW–Milwaukee on May 13th and 14th respectively. This option will be discussed with the program manager.

Next CIO Council Meeting

The next in-person CIO meeting will be January 21, 2010 in Madison.


Meeting dates, Directory of UW CIOs, Meeting Summaries: