Office of Learning and Information Technology
UW System CIO Council Meeting
June 17, 2004
780 Regent Street
- ABPS & IAA Discussion
- D2L Update
- ORACLE Contract
- Moreover Technologies RSS Feeds
- Changes at Learning Innovations
- WEROC Briefing
CIOs and their Representatives
Bruce Maas was welcomed to his first CIO Council meeting as the Interim CIO for UW-Milwaukee.
Margo Lessard reported that the APBS project is very interested in using IAA at the go-live in January 2005. David Alarie reported the status of the campus information feeds to IAA. Five campuses have not yet submitted even the base feeds, but they are on schedule to have them in place by August 1, 2004. Note that on August 20, APBS will go into a parallel operation with the legacy system, and the feeds need to be completed before then. Authentication for APBS will be done similar to the existing Kronos authentication.
For authentication to work, campuses need to provide familiar usernames from one system at each campus. Carrie Regenstein reported that Ed Meachen will send a memo to the Provosts by July 1 requesting feeds of credentials by August 1 and their signatures on a Memo of Understanding regarding the use of the data.
Elena Pokot asked about the case of those student hourly workers who need access to the APBS system, since the student employees won't be in Lawson. David Alarie suggested cross walking to the SPVI, not the EMPLID, and will pursue the question further. Bill Scheuerell recommended not delaying the inclusion of student identifiers in the campus data feeds.
For security purposes, and at the recommendation of the internal auditors, the APBS project wants passwords changed every 90 days. If APBS authentication is accomplished via campus IDs and passwords, that would potentially require changes of on-campus passwords on a similar schedule. One question is whether or not password changes should be required for just the APBS transactional users, or all staff who may use the system in any way, e.g., for self service. Another question is whether password changes should be enforced with technology, or be a work practice at each institution. Some of the institutions prefer to have different layers of security for different levels of access, e.g., personal self service versus an HR staff member.
David Alarie suggested that if the institution password policies satisfy their local internal auditors, those policies should be adequate for APBS. The CIO Council members will be asked to send their campus password policies to Lorie Docken along with the name of an appropriate campus contact person.
Kathy Christoph reported that the 7.3 release of Desire2Learn (D2L) will be brought online between 3:00 pm on August 18 and noon on August 19.
UW Colleges and UW-Superior are the most heavily reliant upon the whiteboard which will not be available for the fall semester. Therefore, Macromedia Breeze Live (see http://macromedia.com/software/breeze/live/productinfo/product_overview/) will be implemented for fall 2004 as a stop gap measure. It will necessarily require a separate login. Ideally, there will be a subsequent transition to a comparable D2L product when it is ready.
The WebCT and Blackboard licenses will expire in two weeks, so all courses that need to run in the fall need to be converted now. It is the responsibility of each institution to determine which courses need to be converted and to request the creation of "IMS packages" for those WebCT and Blackboard courses. Subsequently, the IMS packages need to be run through the D2L conversion process to bring them into D2L. If a course is fairly straightforward, faculty may choose to simply recreate it in D2L.
Nine campuses are already integrating D2L with their student information systems. Seven institutions are actively integrating D2L with the IAA authentication hub. A pilot of integrating grades in D2L with student information systems will be conducted in the fall at UW-Green Bay and UW-Madison. A set of principles have been created in cooperation with the institution registrars. Discussions have begun regarding integration with the Library system as well as potential integration to campus calendaring systems.
Kathy Pletcher reported that the Implementation Team met last Friday and is planning to do a summary write up of the process to date, perspectives from the site administrators and a look to the future. Some sub-committees will probably remain in place, such as training, and other sub-committees will either be phased out or morphed into addressing new issues, such as the archiving of courses.
Hal Schlais reported that a draft of the next version of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) between OLIT and DoIT for the hosting of UWS courses will be reviewed this afternoon. It will include improvements in application support and future integration issues.
The steering committee hasn't met recently because there are few issues and the members are quite busy. The membership roles are being reconsidered as the project matures, for example there is not as great a need for advocacy as there was in the beginning.
Ed Meachen reported that the project is not going to be over budget this year thanks to Learn@UW, David Wirth and all the participants.
Lori Voss reported that the renewal of the D2L license is pending. Better definition of the scope of the license in needed, especially for non-student use, such as internal training of staff and continuing education offerings. The CIO Council would prefer to pay a lump sum license fee and have no restrictions on course attendees so long as the product is university education of some form and the user feeds come through IAA. Some members of the original negotiation team will be engaged to help with the discussion.
Meanwhile, development of an SLA between Learn@UW and D2L is still a work in progress. Funds for the Learning Object Repository (LOR) have been secured, but the software is still in its infancy. The associated contract issues are being negotiated.
Learn@UW will probably host >WiscNet's course offerings once the D2L licensing issues are resolved. Bruce Maas reported that UW-Milwaukee is phasing out the dot.edu utility as of the end of June. A good number of the dot.edu staff have been brought into the >UW-Milwaukee Learning Technology Center. The intent is that the UWM D2L instance will continue to be hosted locally until perhaps the summer of 2005, when it is expected to move to Learn@UW. This fall, UWM will have over 1,000 active courses, so it will take a full year to work through the transition issues. John McCarragher and members of his staff have begun the process of meeting with the Learn@UW staff to outline the transition.
The D2L user conference will be held at Grainger Hall at UW-Madison on August 2nd and 3rd (see http://www.d2l-userconf.org/).
Every other year, information from IPEDS reports is used to calculate "true up" maintenance payments to ORACLE if certain measures of personnel and dollars increase by more than 10%. That process recently showed a 17% increase in faculty and a subsequent increase in maintenance costs of close to 25%. Since these costs are not related to the ORACLE contractual provisions that are under dispute, the bill was paid by UWSA and the costs allocated to the UWS institutions. The CIO Council requested that Internal Audit do a review of the numbers that were reported to ORACLE given that most people believe the numbers of faculty have decreased recently.
Moreover Technologies (http://w.moreover.com/) provides 300 different RSS news feeds that are collated from sources around the world. UW-Stevens Point has used their services for four years as an enhancement to their portal. UW-Stout is considering building the feeds into their course delivery system so that instructors will be able to select news feeds their students. Costs are on the order of $5K per year per campus. David Dumke and Joe Brown will send out links to the CIO Council and perhaps do a presentation at the Collaterals meeting.
Barbara Emil is no longer the head of Learning Innovations (LI) and UW Extension is considering their short and long term future.
Brian Remer, Michael Schlicht and Ed Meachen put together a Powerpoint presentation that will be shown at the Vice Chancellor meeting tomorrow, and subsequently at the Chancellor and CBO meetings.
Until now, WiscNet and DOA have worked in tandem to provide networking. WiscNet provided data networking and BadgerNet provided analog, full motion video. The WiscNet member institutions participated in governance and management of the data portion of the network. For the next generation, DOA has decided to outsource everything, not only the video networking that was running on outdated technology, but also the data networking which was working well. DOA also wants to maximize potential federal government subsidies via the outsourcing arrangement
By the Governor's decision, the UWS can create its own "segment" of a state network. Therefore, the CIO Council has created a vision of the next generation network known as WEROC (Wisconsin Education and Research Optical Cyberinfrastructure). Key features of WEROC will be:
- managed, governed and owned by users
- choice and self direction
- the diverse needs of all the UWS campuses and institutions
- robust, flexible, reliable and scalable
- leveraging the core competencies of vendors and members
- a future oriented business model: continuous innovation and cost competition
The WEROC model will result in increased capacity at the outset and drastically reduce the incremental cost of scaling the network. Action needs to be taken now to remain competitive with initiatives at other states. There are market, technical and funding opportunities available today to enable the UWS to chart a new course in preparation for the recommendations from the Regents' 21st Century study.
The WEROC Policy Council (WPC) is scheduling its first meeting and will discuss potential RFIs and RFPs.