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IT Senate


November 18, 2014

Members present: Mark Pershouse, Matt Riley, Judy Fredenburg, Manu Samuela, Cale Patenaude, Jesse Neidigh, John Greer, John Thunstrom, Art Held, Antony Jo, Roger Maclean, Alan Szalda-Petree

Members excused: Jonathan Forrider, Mark Grimes, Jonathon Knudson

Members absent: Aaron Heiner, Jennifer Sauer, Denise Nelson

Ex-officio members and staff present:  Barb Seekins, Bob Hlynoski, Adrian Irish, Bonnie Holzworth for Joe Hickman, Gordy Pace

Call to order

Mark Pershouse called the meeting to order at 3:33


Art Held moved that minutes from the October 14 meeting be approved. John Thunstrom seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


UM Minute – IT Focus

John Greer reported that he was at Michigan State last week for an IT leadership program session and had conversations about accessibility. He said they are behind us with accessibility and struggling with some of the same issues. John has started a collaborative effort with Michigan State. It was nice to see that we are leading on this issue. Mark Pershouse reminded the IT Senate that the group had supported Matt going before the cabinet and saying we really support electronic and information technology accessibility (EITA). Matt said he has discussed it with the President and it is on the cabinet agenda after Thanksgiving.

Matt reported that on Thursday, Nov. 20, there will be a press release that UM will be recognized by University Business magazine as a model of efficiency in higher education for the Ponderosa web template project.

Art Held reported that the UM Foundation and Alumni Office successfully negotiated to buy modules to replace theHarris system. It was one of first purchases to go through EITA process. The two organizations will be rolling out product called Encompass by next August for email communication and the alumni community website.

CIO communication

None - covered in IT minute.

December meeting

It was decided to move the December IT Senate meeting to Thursday, Dec. 11th at 3:30 to avoid conflict with the UM holiday reception.

Reports of standing committees and Tech Partners

Enterprise Applications committee

John Greer reported no progress. Jonathan Forrider from Business Services has joined the committee

Architecture and Infrastructure committee

Matt reported that the committee has not determined leadership since Tony Jablonski is no longer on IT Senate. He added that Tony and Scott Holgate would be offering tours of the new modular data center during the Board of Regents meeting.

Mark P. asked for an explanation of what changes with new data center. Matt said it provides safe space to migrate equipment from Liberal ARts, and great space for research high-performance computing. It’s the most efficient facility of it's type deployed at a university campus in the U.S. For IT, the big change is reliable space, but efficiency is a big story. What's huge for our future is our ability to bring in data center consolidation and research computing.

Communications and Collaboration committee

Roger Maclean said that after the last IT Senate meeting the communications committee initiated a bullet form summary of the key issues discussed. The summary was shared with IT Senators. Roger said he shared it with academic officers and hoped that others shared it with their constituents as well. The committee will continue to do this to inform and raise awareness that IT Senate exists and this is a place where they can come to talk about IT issues.

Tech Partners

Antony Jo reported that Tech Partners discussed a file upload add-on for Qualtrics so people could use it creatively for an application program. The add-on costs $5,000 annually. Matt clarified that Qualtrics is not included in IT utilities. IT footed the bill for two years of licensing to get it going. This spring would be time to assess use and explore how to fund it in the future. All of our affiliates have purchased it as well and benefited because flagship campus purchased it. We're spending $17,000/year for it.

Tech Partners also discussed a change in GrizMart where purchases are flagged for accessibility review if certain Banner account codes are used. Bob Hlynoski said he could provide a list of the account codes for IT Senate. He said purchases will be audited at some point, so he hopes people won’t be miscoding purchases to avoid accessibility reviews.

Data governance discussion

(Dawn Ressel, Associate Vice President, Planning Budget and Analysis)

Dawn’s PowerPoint slides

Dawn thanked the IT Senate for the opportunity to present. She said she hopes there’s an opportunity to work together on a solution to data governance.

She shared a document on best practices in data governance and referenced the Wichita State data governance model.


  • Data Governance is a set of processes that ensures that important data assets areformally managed throughout the enterprise.
  • Data Governance is a control that ensures that the data entry by an operations team member or by an automated process meets precise standards, such as a business rule, a data definition and data integrity constraints in the data model.

Dawn said that a directive from the president says that all official reporting comes from OPBA. That includes for outside agencies for accreditation, peer bench-marking, etc. have to go through OPBA. OPBA’s slogan is “Helping you make effective decisions.” She said that if we don't have good information, we could make decisions that lead us down the wrong path.

The Wichita State model includes three committees:

  • Data trustees (This is upper leadership)
  • Data management committee (the part that's missing at UM)
  • Data custodians (The functional part - Mod Squad at UM)

Dawn said that data reporting tools at UM are difficult to use, so we have held data hostage. She said she wants to start a campaign to free the data. Let’s put together data that makes sense that everybody can use, give them a tool to be able to use it, and let them start managing their areas the way they need to manage them.

OPBA is about to purchase business intelligence software that will allow data accessibility and transparency. We’re going to take baby steps. Her office is working to develop common data definitions/standards to ensure consistent reporting and training staff to enter data correctly. They are also developing edits and process to correct data prior to official reporting

Matt asked what steps Dawn is proposing?

Dawn said OPBA needs to be involved. The best practices document suggests that you need some leader as the champion. That would be step one. After that, it’s a matter of doing inventories of what we currently have and where we have weaknesses. After that, you need to think about a structure.

OPBA is looking at data from all managed data systems.

Matt said it would be great to do all of these things in collaboration between OPBA and IT Senate. He said that now is a really good time to deliver a structure around data governance and a good thing for IT Senate to work on.

Judy Fredenburg suggested that IT Senate needs a representative from OPBA. It was decided to put that action item on the next agenda. 

Open forum

Cale Patenaude reported that the Student Computer Fee Committee is reforming its request process, making it easier to fill out the form and expediting the process. He referred back to Dawn’s presentation and said having data on student usage of technology is huge for the committee to make decisions about where money can go to make the biggest impact. Jesse said the committee is also working on rubric to evaluate requests and make decisions about who gets money. Cale added that the SCF committee is working on annual report so people see where money going and what it being accomplished.

The meeting adjourned at 5:02 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Gordy Pace