Office of Learning and Information Technology
UW System CIO Council
April 17, 2003
- Desire2Learn implementation
- Purchasing update
- Downloading of copyrighted video and music
- Telecommunications language in budget bill
- UW Processing Center update
- WENCC update
- WiscNet annual meeting
- Next CIO Council meeting
CIOs and their Representatives
Update from Meachen, Wirth and Pletcher
The UW System negotiation team made a site visit to Desire2Learn (D2L, www.desire2learn.com). The essential contract has been negotiated and signed. There will likely be a separate memorandum of understanding regarding future strategic partnerships. High profile success on the part of the UWS will bring more customers to D2L and allow the UWS to become a national training center. D2L regards UWS as a leader in e-learning.
At this time, the primary issues are implementing D2L and migrating from Blackboard and WebCT in a 15 month timeframe. Both the implementation team and the staff at the institutions will need a lot of support.
Ed Meachen has talked to the chancellors and vice chancellors, and their concerns are similar: cost and faculty reactions. The implementation team expects the conversion to be a good process because the LTC staff are very excited and supportive of the D2L product and its functionality. The Common Systems Review Group also unanimously endorsed the choice of D2L.
A draft memo outlining the formation of the implementation team and a steering committee was discussed. David Wirth has put together an implementation team, but there also needs to be a steering committee to manage funding and policy decisions for, at least, the time period of the implementation. The steering committee will touch base with the CIO Council and the vice chancellors to ensure that there is high level buy-in on issues that may change the project's scope. A similar organizational structure has worked for other projects. The CIOs on the steering committee are Jim Lowe, Annie Stunden, Joe Douglas, Kathy Pletcher and Ed Meachen. A couple vice chancellors will also be invited to serve, as well as Dean Alan Hartman of UW-Oshkosh.
Annie Stunden suggested that someone from outside the UW System Administration run the steering committee on a rotating annual basis. The CIO Council asked Kathy Pletcher to be the chair for the first year.
Ed Meachen recruited David Wirth (firstname.lastname@example.org) as the project manager of the D2L implementation team. The first meeting of the implementation team was held on April 10, 2003, and included the chair of the e-learning site administrators and the chair of the LTDC. Considerable coordination will be needed among all the stakeholders to convert the existing courses by next summer. Training will be crucial. Pilot courses are planned for both summer and fall 2003. David Wirth is meeting weekly with the UW-Madison technical team, and will soon begin meeting with dot.edu at UW-Milwaukee. Service level agreements will be struck between each campus and the utility. D2L has identified three project managers to work with the UW System.
Subcommittees are being identified to manage the project within the categories of:
- technical issues
- functional requirements
- hosting and service level agreements
The first training goal is for the LTDC representatives and e-learning site administrators at each campus to attend train-the-trainer sessions within the next two weeks. D2L will provide an ASP server for them to use after the training. A central repository for training materials will also be developed.
The CIO Council members are interested in the integration of D2L with their account management systems and Windows Active Directories. Technical specifications need to be provided to the campuses in short order.
The proposed implementation timeline is:
- April 23 through May 2 - Initial training
- May 9 - Completion of workbooks that solicit technical information from each campus
- May 15 - Courses selected for the summer pilot using the D2L ASP.
- June 15 - Courses selected for the fall pilot using an interim DoIT configuration of a single web server and single database server
- October 2003 - High availability clustered environment available for mass conversion of courses
- Spring 2004 - Courses running with full DoIT configuration of multiple web and database servers
- Summer 2004 - All courses converted to D2L
There will be a central D2L web site for public documents and team collaboration. The CIO Council would like the site to include all announcements, requests for information, requirements, priorities, etc. When the site information is updated, announcements should be sent to the CIO Council.
Faculty are already looking to develop courses in D2L, rather than a product that has a short life span. Limited capacity will be available for course development in the ASP environment. Meanwhile, UW-Milwaukee will be implementing a clustered environment for dotedu's non-UWS customers in the summer 2003 timeframe.
Report from Teaching & Learning âUtilityâ Planning Group (Annie Stunden)
The CIO Council's strategic Teaching & Learning Utility Planning group met yesterday. It included Mike Bestul, David Dumke, Jim Lowe, Joe Brown, Joe Douglas, Kathy class=SpellE>Pletcher and Annie Stunden. The group contributed input toward the formation of the D2L steering committee, and discussed the role of David Wirth vis-a-vis the UW-Madison implementers.The group nominated Jim Lowe to serve on the D2L steering committee.
Most open source software programs actually come with licenses, sometimes simply click-through licenses, that need to be read and followed. For example, some open source licenses may require that copies of any programs that are developed using even a piece of open source code be contributed to a public archive. Also, there is no protection for copyright infringements that happen in the development of software with stolen code. On the other hand, the open source communities tend to be very responsive to fixing problems.
The incremental license costs for the Shared Financial System are increasing in the short term, but there will also be a drop in the maintenance costs. It is not yet clear which of these changes, if any, will be passed along to the UWS institutions.
The current PeopleSoft contracts do not include either a grants management module or a budget development module, although some institutions are interested in such systems.
An e-payment contract was awarded to an set of vendors. The Collaterals group is looking at consolidating behind one or two vendors to potentially save costs in licensing and implementation. Most campuses are interested in Touchnet and Cybersource, who will be presenting at the April 25th Collaterals meeting. Video links to the conference can be set up through the Pyle Center.
A summary of the options that are on the table, without participation from UW-Madison, was emailed to the CIO Council yesterday. There are two leasing options and two ownership options for the rest of the UW System institutions as a whole, as well as one leasing and one ownership option for individual institutions or federations of institutions.
The current Microsoft contract says that the Corecal licenses for students are leased, not owned by the UW System. Every student's Exchange email box needs a client license unless the student is using an institutional computer or connecting to a server where they don't need to authenticate, such as a web page server.
There are pros and cons for the UW System as a whole in regards to standardizing or not standarizing on Microsoft products systemwide. UW-Milwaukee's Computer Science software testing class is currently comparing StarOffice to Microsoft Office.
The discussion will continue at the May CIO Council meeting.
Recently, there was a case where the recording industry went after Verizon as an Internet service provider to learn the names of subscribers who were downloading copyrighted media. The recording industry's case was successful in New York, but it is now on appeal. Subsequently, the recording industry has gone after four students that were operating large scale file sharing networks within their residence halls at various universities. As long as the UWS institutions are following appropriate DMCA procedures, and being responsive to inquiries from the copyright holders, they won't be liable. It is important to let students know that file sharing is a violation of both copyright law and acceptable use policies.
The University of Chicago has a web site that offers instructions on how to disable the peer-to-peer file sharing features of various programs at http://security.uchicago.edu/peer-to-peer/no_fileshare.shtml.
The Department of Electronic Government is interested in agencies experimenting with voice over IP telecommunications, however they do not consider VoIP a valid alternative for state agencies. At this time, the UWS institutions are not bound by GAPP 20a (www.uwsa.edu/fadmin/gapp/gapp20a.htm). However, in the 2003/05 Biennial Budget, there is a revision of the telecommunication exclusion. DAO representatives will be invited to a CIO Council meeting to discuss the potential of VoIP within the UW System.
There are about 52,000 UW System employees paid each month during the academic terms, of which some 20,000 are student workers. In 1997, the UWPC purchased an enterprise labor management product, which is currently called Workforce Center, from Kronos, Inc. The goals of the project are to collect employee time and attendance data and apply the UW System's business rules in order to generate a database that will drive payroll processes and allow for other analyses. The choice of Kronos was a bet on the company, which has held up well even during the dotcom debacle.
Since 1997, the Kronos product has been developed to meet the needs of the UW System. Version 4.2 has been operational in the UWPC production environment since February 1, 2003 for student payroll entry, supervisor approval, and the printing of paper summaries that are the short term equivalent to timecards. The Kronos system enables students to report hours against multiple jobs.
In the overall scheme, HR managers and supervisors create appointment information in the system either via web browsers or via 3270 terminal entry through IADS. The data are imported into the Kronos database. Employees, supervisors and payroll coordinators use either web browsers or time clocks to input and approve time and attendance data. The data are then exported in batch to the UWPC payroll and leave systems.
Don Miner is chairing a committee that is looking at the issues of implementing Kronos for classified employees, which include listing the employees' supervisors and selecting from over 100 pay rules for different types of appointments. A prototype system is under development. Three rules for the Kronos implementation have been:
- install no software before its time
- install no software before people are ready to use it
- always be able to go backwards
The Student Appointment Payroll System (Rel 3.1.1) and Kronos (Rel 4.2) are currently going through growing pains. Kronos is only currently supported for Internet Explorer 5.5. It will run under Netscape 6.1, but that is not recommended. Kronos release 4.3 is targeted for June 2003 and will include an HTML version which will run on Macs and other browsers. Some of the remaining issues include:
- slow response time for the Student Appointment Payroll System
- firewalls slowing down Kronos response time
- load balancing of the Kronos web servers impacting response time
- campus web cacheing masking the IP number of the device the employee used to punch in
- necessary workarounds to enable payroll coordinators to manage more than 1,500 employees apiece
In 1997, a $2.72M budget was adopted for the Kronos project. The budget amounts that were pro-rated to the campuses have been paid over seven years. The current budget will run out at the end of fiscal year 2004, at which point most of the development and conversion will be done. Funding is needed for fiscal year 2005 and beyond. A budget proposal will be created for the Common Systems group by the end of the month.
Dick Cleek reported that there has been an APBS scope change, which was approved by the APBS steering committee, that says APBS is authorized to build their own front end for the manual entry of employee time data. At issue for APBS is whether it can be guaranteed that Kronos will be live on all of the campuses sufficiently in advance of the APBS go live date of January 2005. The CIO Council raised a number of questions regarding the coordination of the rollout of Kronos vis-a-vis the development of a separate data entry mechanism within APBS. These questions will be addressed at the May CIO meeting.
Ed Meachen has been serving on the Wisconsin Education Network Collaboration Committee (WENCC) working group of education executives from UW System, the technical colleges, and K-12s to discuss replacing the interactive, full motion, analog television portion of BadgerNet. The WENCC group has already done user focus groups and surveys. Only about 4% of instruction is done via classroom to classroom interactive remote television technology. The WENCC business case is described at: http://www.teachwi.state.wi.us/WENCC/wencc.html
Since all networking is clearly moving to IP, there will not be a need for separate data and video networks in the future. DEG is looking to initiate an ongoing RFI process in the May timeframe which will yield a description of a new service, which will then be put out to bid. One of the purposes of the bid is to provide an educational data networking for all Wisconsin schools, even though WiscNet already does this as a cooperative of the educational players. A better alternative, from the UW System point of view, is to add interactive television to WiscNet's current offerings.
The WiscNet annual meeting and technology conference will be on May 5-6, 2003 at the Manona Terrace in Madison. Details can be found at the WiscNet web site, http://www.wiscnet.net.
The venue for the next CIO Council meeting will be arranged via email.