Office of Learning and Information Technology


UW System CIO Council

September 18, 2003
Pyle Center
Madison, WI


APBS Update
New Organizational Structure
Conversion from IADS
Briefing on IT Plan and IT Survey
IT Plan
IT Survey
D2L Update
Service Level Agreement
DOA Procurement and and Wisconsin's 21st Century Education Network
IAA Update
ECAR Subscriptions
Enterprise Content Management
Next CIO Meeting


CIOs and their Representatives


Mark Anderson
John Berens
Joe Brown
Dick Cleek
Nancy Crabb
Al Crist
Joe Douglas
David Dumke
Jack Duwe
John Krogman
John McCarragher
Jim Lowe
Ed Meachen
Bill Meyer
Kathy Pletcher
Elana Pokot
Gary Smith
David Stack (reporting)
Annie Stunden
John Tillman

Lorie Docken
Ken Ebbe
David Hart
Bob Jokisch
Margo Lessard
Paul Moriarty
Brian Remer
Michael Schlicht
Bill Scheuerell
Hal Schlais
David Wirth

APBS Update (Margo Lessard)


The Common Systems Review Group decided that the Kronos project would come under the aegis of the APBS Steering Committee. The Steering Committee subsequently decided that since Kronos was the pre-existing software of choice at the time of the Lawson RFP, it was appropriate to bring in a third party to evaluate its status and resource implications. A statement of work was posted on the IT vendor list, and the only replies in the first round were consultants without Kronos experience. Kronos also replied. Therefore, the Steering Committee decided to go out a second time with more specific requirements. The results have come in, but a selection has not yet been made.

New Organizational Structure

A new organizational structure for HRIS has been approved by President Lyall and announced by George Books on September 8, 2003. The goal is to bring together the operations and policy staff to accomplish a shared vision. Sue Chamberlain will be assuming the Assistant Vice Presidency. She has very good contacts both inside and outside the UW System.

Position descriptions are being developed for national searches for the deputy and daily operations manager position that reports directly to Sue Chamberlain. Below the manager will be six leads of functional areas. Position descriptions for those positions are currently being written with the goal of recruiting them by January 2004. The organizational structure is meant to be horizontal, not vertical. Margo Lessard will be a Special Assistant reporting to the Assistant Vice President. Reporting to the Technical Unit Lead will be the DoIT technologists who will remain in DoIT and be assigned to the project, like they are now. Altogether, the reorganized structure will encompass some 40 positions, of which perhaps ten to fifteen will be new FTEs.

The entire organization will be under the aegis of UWSA and all the staff will be housed together. It will be responsible for all of the systemwide functions that the UWPC currently handles. UWPC staff members were asked to indicate their interest in working for the new organization. Selections will be based upon individuals' skill sets. Care will be taken when working through those changes because the UWPC is still running the current operations. Because of the new structure, SFS will support the business functions for this new unit instead of DoIT.

Conversion from IADS

This fall, there will be three rounds of testing the conversion from IADS to Lawson. The UWS institutions are being asked to verify the converted data against their local "sources of truth", whether those be IADS or shadow systems. Margo Lessard talked to the CBOs who agreed they would help in supporting extra staff needed for those efforts. If there are discrepancies between what is currently on the campus shadow systems and IADS, the data will have to be corrected in IADS because that will be the source for the conversions to Lawson.

David Hart is chairing an overall look at the interoperability and interfaces between all of the UWS Common Systems. He is particularly concerned about integration between APBS and PeopleSoft SA, even though integration won't be funded from the APBS budget.

Kathy Pletcher noted that UW System institutions may be keeping some data elements locally that won't fit into Lawson, and they will need to figure out workarounds. From the campus perspective, the process of generating the "Red Book" won't change until the budget system is redesigned.

An amazing amount of work has been put into the data warehouse, which should be essentially complete by the end of this year. The Lawson enterprise reporting tool has been purchased. The APBS Core Team will not be providing a lot of reports. Their priority will be on generating external reports for fiscal liabilities, insurance, etc.

Briefing on the IT Plan and IT Survey (Ed Meachen)

IT Plan

Ed Meachen will not be giving an IT planning report to the Board of Regents in October because the format of their meetings has changed. As the CIO Council has discussed previously, the creation of the plan needs to be rethought in light of the high level planning exercises being undertaken by the regents and chancellors. The goal is to help inform their planning by sending them a flow of information that will likely be delivered in February 2004.

Based upon recommendations from the CIO Council, a draft grid was prepared that shows how students and faculty have been impacted by IT over over the years. Ed Meachen would like suggestions and anecdotes for the matrix. A report outlining the value of IT investments will be more challenging to produce. Data from the private colleges indicates that the percentage of IT spending as part of the campus overall budgets has not increased over the last 10 years, which is contrary to most people's assumptions. Efforts are underway to examine at how the percentage of IT spending has changed within the UW System over time.

A whitepaper by Don Norris has been published as an ECAR report that urges focusing on value for investment instead of return on investment. Annie Stunden noted that the hidden IT infrastructure costs behind the visible services are significant, and increasing, e.g., securing the vulnerabilities the Microsoft operating systems.

IT Survey

The UW System did not do a student/staff IT satisfaction survey last year. It would be useful to know which IT investments are well placed, as well as where further investments are needed. A list of useful higher ed IT surveys was distributed. UW-Madison still does its own annual survey (see Several campuses have completed the EDUCAUSE survey. The OLIT office will talk with Cal State about their systemwide survey. Dick Cleek, David Dumke, and Joe Brown will examine existing surveys and draft a new proposal in time for the next CIO Council meeting.

D2L Update (David Wirth, Hal Schlais)

There are even more courses running in D2L this fall than anticipated, e.g., UW-Whitewater has over 200 courses instead of the 100 they expected. Students in the UW Colleges who use both Blackboard and D2L report that they prefer D2L. Many faculty started afresh when building courses in D2L, instead of just converting their Blackboard or WebCT courses. There have been only 41 calls to the central help desk for the 700+ courses that are up and running.

Service Level Agreement

There is not yet a signed Service Level Agreement between DoIT and UWSA on behalf of the UWS institutions. The Hosting/SLA Subcommittee has been meeting on a weekly basis since May. Their work was informed by the Library Hub Agreement, Gartner Group recommendations and's with external partners. The primary objectives, that were formulated by Ron Kraemer, are to:

  1. establish clear understandings
  2. state the responsibilities of the partners

Many campus visits, a help desk survey and a D2L workbook were used to solicit advice from the partner institutions. A "near final draft" was submitted to Annie Stunden and Ed Meachen on September 12 for their comments. The SLA group will convene again this afternoon to incorporate their feedback, as well as the feedback of the CIO Council. The goal is to have it completed by October 1.

Because it didn't seem appropriate, all references to integration have been taken out of the SLA, and a separate document will be prepared later in the fall. The uptime targets have been revised to 98%. The notice for non-renewal by either side has been lengthened to six months. Some campuses will receive central help desk support 24 hours per day, other campuses will support their own students during business hours and then refer them to the central help desk at off hours.

John Krogman noted that issues of performance are more important than uptime, especially for campuses that have chosen to cap their WiscNet bandwidth at a plateau. Even though D2L doesn't require much bandwidth, there is no way to selectively accept that traffic from off campus. Similar concerns will arise for APBS traffic and other centrally hosted systems. Different UWS institutions are capping at different levels of bandwidth in proportion to their student population. Some don't cap bandwidth at all, or only cap residence hall bandwidth. David Wirth reported that the performance and uptime of the Learn@UW servers will be benchmarked and reported.

There is an agreement on the overall budget for the first and second years. It is difficult to predict costs beyond that.


A plan will be formed in October for integrating D2L to PeopleSoft SA and LDAP at the UWS institutions.

The D2LLO group is building tutorial learning objects describing how to use D2L. Their website is being managed by UW-Whitewater. The objects are all SCORM compliant. A demonstration will be given at the Joint Conference later this month.

DOA Procurement and and Wisconsin's 21st Century Education Network (Brian Remer)

DOA Procurement

Ed Meachen recently sent DOA a letter stating that the UW System was no longer interested in being a partner in the "WENCC" RFI proceedings. Neither the state agencies nor the UW System really trust each other to run a shared network. The State is interested in maximizing the federal e-Rate grants they receive by including video in the network. (e-Rate funding doesn't benefit the UW System.) School district superintendents are getting their networking from BadgerNet at highly subsidized rates, and are probably unaware of the underlying business processes, tradeoffs and complexities. Those subsidies come from the Universal Service Fund and TEACH, which is the State's version of e-Rate.

The RFI makes references to UW System campuses and UW Colleges as possible participants. It asks the vendors to explain how they will position their POPs at UW System campuses. It also asks the vendors to explain how they will handle Internet 2. It doesn't address lambdas at all, and fiber cable in only a cursory fashion. Since the functional and technical RFIs have no actual provisioning power, a specific RFP will be let and bid on a lowest cost basis. Wherever possible, WiscNet is trying to raise the issues of vision and the incorporation of new technologies.

David Lois and the WiscNet staff have been on the road holding regional versions of an open WiscNet board meeting. He will also give his presentation at the Joint Conference later this month. WiscNet wants to be the integrator of educational services, whereas DOA wants a telco to be the integrator and owner of those services.

IAA Update (Bill Scheuerell)

At the last CIO meeting, the 22nd draft of a policy document was circulated. Ed Meachen will work on launching an advisory group of seven individuals including registrars, CIOs, and representatives from HR to hone policy recommendations for the Common Systems group regarding how the data will be used.

An error handling web site needs to be set up, and data collected from six remaining institutions to complete Phase 2. At that point DoIT will have essentially completed their contracted work. Bill Scheuerell and David Alarie will meet tomorrow to discuss the implementation of the authentication hub for Kronos and possibly D2L.

Since the demands that will be on IAA when applications start using it are unknown, it is difficult to project the amount of hardware FASTAR will require.

ECAR Subscriptions (Ed Meachen)

Through volume purchasing, the cost of EDUCAUSE ECAR subscriptions can be discounted by 20% off of the subscription rates of $3,500 for comprehensive subscribers and $5,000 for participating subscribers, which includes passes to the symposium (see Jim Lowe reported that the ECAR reports are valuable and focused on education, which makes them different from the Gartner contract, which is up for renewal in the fall. The OLIT office will survey campus interest in participating in one or both of these services.

Enterprise Content Management (Ed Meachen)

UW-Eau Claire, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison are looking at enterprise content management systems (CMS). UW-Milwaukee is planning to eventually convert its campus web site from static pages to content that can be pulled out of a repository. Jim Lowe reported that one of the difficulties is defining content management systems because the term means different things to different people. At UW-La Crosse, they are seeing interest from their news bureau. UW-Madison also has a couple groups looking at CMS. The CMS market is constantly shifting and prices vary widely depending upon whether the system includes the web, workflows, document management, etc. In early 2004, the three campuses will do a presentation for the CIO Council.

Next CIO Meeting (Ed Meachen)

There will not be a CIO meeting in October. Instead, Ruth Anderson has arranged for Sheri Bokowski, a top level Microsoft higher education representative, to visit on October 14th. A few CIOs will be invited to meet with her, either in person or via teleconference.