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IT Senate


September 23, 2014

Members present:  Mark Pershouse , Matt Riley, John Thunstrom, Mark Grimes, Roger Maclean, Matt Riley, Manu Samuela, Jennifer Sauer

Members excused: Allen Szalda-Petree, Judy Fredenberg, John Greer

Members absent: Aaron Heiner, Art Held

Ex-officio members and staff present:  Antony Jo, Bob Hlynosky, Barb Seekins, Gordy Pace

Call to order

Mark Pershouse called the meeting to order at 3:35


Jesse Neidigh moved that minutes from the June 3 meeting be approved. Roger Maclean seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


UM minute – IT focus

  • Jesse Neidigh shared that a number of IT employs have graduated from the MOR IT Leadership Program, some on the local level and a few from a national program. IT Senators John Thunstrom and Jesse were in the national program where they interacted with colleagues from New York University, Boston College, University of Texas, Clemson University and Call Berkeley. Antony Jo, who participated in the local program, agreed that it was a great program that brought people together from central and distributed IT. It has led to new initiatives, better communication and better collaboration. Matt pointed out that one initiative coming out of the training will be an unconference on campus in January, 2015.

  • Matt announced that the modular data center (TMUs) that we talked about for the last year and a half will be complete in the next four weeks. The units are in place near the heating plant. Matt will begin communication with people on campus to talk about opportunities that the space offers for high-performance computing.

How meetings will run in 2014-15

Mark Pershouse said that the CIO will serve as co-chair of IT Senate this year and going forward. Mark said he thinks that having a faculty or staff member in the office of chair brings an edge to the group and helps get the work of IT Senate out to campus. It helps tie the groups work into shared governance with faculty and staff senates.

Mark P. says he wants change the agenda. Information items will have a written report in the agenda provided a week in advance. Efforts will be made to make language more understandable to members who aren’t IT staff. He expects committees to present action items, but speed up meetings by pushing information items into the agenda in a written form.

Matt raised the question about what to do for a chair-elect. He suggested alternating between faculty and staff for the co-chair. Matt said he had no problem if the co-chair was always a faculty.

Jesse suggested waiting until December to elect a chair-elect since we’re still bringing in new members. Matt agreed to wait until the next meeting to make a decision.

Antony Jo asked about the possibility of the Tech Partners representative becoming a voting member. Mark proposed making that an action item at the next meeting.

IT Senate needs to replace two ASUM representatives, the Staff Senate representative and one faculty representative in the humanities.

Reports of standing committees and Tech Partners 

Enterprise Applications committee

Jesse reported that the committee had a request from Foundation/Alumni for client management system. Committee reviewed and recommended approval of purchase. It was an expedited request.

Mark P. brought up enterprise purchasing of 3D printers in professional schools as an example of where opportunities exist for coordinated purchasing. Bob Hlynosky said said Business Services should also try to catch those opportunities. Tech Partners is another avenue where there is conversation across sectors and departments.

Jess said we should follow up with Alumni to find out about their experience with filling out the form.

Mark Grimes suggested developing a "wish list" for technology like Amazon.

Architecture and Infrastructure committee

Tony Jablonski is no longer on IT Senate, but Mark P. will talk to him to see if he will continue as committee chair.

Communication and Collaboration committee

Roger reported that the committee did not meet during the summer. Matt volunteered to serve on the committee.

Tech Partners 

Antony Jo reported that the next Tech Partners meeting will be the first Tuesday in October.

Topics discussed at the last meeting included:

  • Accessibility training is being offered to all IT staff members to assist with implementation of the new Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility (EITA) policy.
  • There was discussion about Charter’s change from analog to digital. Some contracts with vendors on campus were cut.
  • There was a question about whether email encryption would be a priority of IT Senate. Matt responded that there was an opportunity with Office 365. He said he was not in favor of encrypted email campus-wide we don't want to give impression that email is safe for sending protected information.

Banner governance discussion

John Thunstrom provided background information about the Banner module group (Mod Squad) that includes representatives from end-user offices and provides coordination of Banner operational issues like downtimes and new releases. The Banner coordinator (vice Diane Norem) is the defacto lead of that group. John says he feels comfortable representing the group on IT Senate, but he could see where they would rather have someone not in IT representing the group.

Matt reported that the VP council wants more transparency about Banner priority decisions. There’s no governance overlap with the Mod Squad group. He is hoping a relationship can be developed between IT Senate and the Mod Squad. John T. said he supports a collaborative experience that addresses University-wide priorities rather than sector or departmental priorities. He added that it may be appropriate to have new Banner coordinator be an ex-officio member of IT Senate.

There was interest in further discussion about banner coordinator position and conversation about where it reports. Mark P. asked for an information share at the next meeting. John suggested inviting Rosie Keller to talk about it.

IT Senate assessment and activities

Matt reported that Faculty Senate’s ECOS has asked for better assessment of IT Senate activities. They would like to see a synopsis of what the IT Senate discusses and recommendations for the year with a report back to the campus so they can understand what we talked about and what kinds of actions were taken. Matt suggested we should consider adopting some of the formatting ECOS uses in their assessment.  

The meeting adjourned at 5:06 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Gordy Pace