February 13, 2014
Members present: Matt Riley, Jesse Neidigh, Erika Noble, Art Held, Tony Jablonkski, Judy Fredenberg, Mark Pershouse, John Greer, Roger Maclean, Mark Grimes, Loey Knapp
Members excused: Mariah Williams, Aaron Heiner, Sandi Nelson, Allen Szalda-Petree
Members absent: Jennifer Sauer, Manu Samuela, Eric Reimer
Ex-officio members and staff present: David Devolve for Joe Hickman, Antony Jo, Bob Hlynosky, Adrian Irish, Gordy Pace
Call to order
Matt Riley called the meeting to order at 3:33
Jesse Neidigh moved that minutes from the December 10th meeting be approved. Tony Jablonski seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
UM minute – IT focus
- Art Held reported that the Foundation just deployed SharePoint site for its trustees. It will be used for board packets, voting and discussion groups. It is hosted externally through Microsoft at a cost of $25/month for everyone.
- Robert Squires reported that student employee Aaron Page had a proposal accepted to present at an international conference on accessibility.
- Matt Riley reported that a group of students from a business class have taken on the task of turning the IT Senate operational plan into a project plan.
- Jess Neidigh reported that Student Affairs IT opened a service desk in UC. The service is open 11-5 Monday-Friday and located in old Shipping Express site.
Reports of standing committees and Tech Partners
Enterprise Applications committee
John Greer reported that he has sent meeting invitations for initial committee meeting next Tuesday at 3:00.
Architecture and Infrastructure committee
Tony Jablonski reported that his committee is working with wireless program to make sure it’s meeting the needs to students and faculty. A student survey will be distributed within the next couple weeks. The committee will look at dense power along with dense wireless in classrooms.
Communication and Collaboration committee
Roger Maclean reported that the committee had not met since the previous IT Senate meeting. He also reported that Jesse Neidigh is stepping off the committee to work on the enterprise applications committee.
Antony Jo reported on topics discussed at the last Tech Partners meeting:
- PaperCut update – a group is trying to get the Blackboard piece of it working
- Tony Jablonski gave an update on the data center
- Tom Battaglia provided an update on Adobe licensing. Adobe is switching to a subscription model. IT is looking into an agreement for faculty, staff and students.
- Adrian Irish talked about a denial of service attack in January.
- Tech Partners now have a forum at umt.edu/tpforum. People can suggest and discuss topics and collaborate. People can put up surplus inventory on the board as well.
- Matt Riley provided a Microsoft Premium support update and asked for feedback. Tech Partner will have that discussion in the forum
- Janet Sedgeley provided an Electronic Information Technology policy update. There was a meeting in late January and they now have a new website up at umt.edu/accessibility.
- A recent email from the President triggered a discussion about SPAM filters and how well we’re doing on that front. IT is going to provide a report at the next meeting.
- The next Tech Partners meeting is March 4 at 11 a.m. in UC 326-27.
Matt suggested that maybe there was a way to bridge IT Senate and Tech Partners using the forum. He recommended putting a link to the forum on the IT Senate website.
Focus on the Enterprise Applications Committee
Matt Riley suggested that the scope of the committee’s work might be broader than applications. It may include shared services. He invited discussion from the group.
John Greer asked how we define services. He used SharePoint online as an example of a service that is also an application. He said it makes sense for the committee to look at applications and software services.
Jesse Neidigh pointed out that the charge of committee is to define protocol for acquisition of enterprise applications. That protocol can't be a rigid because it’s going to have different players depending on what it’s going to interface with. We can come up with a framework, but it’s not going to be one rule set fits for every game.
Tony Jablonski suggested that IT Senate should be a place for people to run a process through to make sure the right players are involved.
John Greer pointed to new policy that will require that all software is accessible. How we get engaged with the purchasing process is part of developing the governance process. We also need a definition of what is enterprise software.
Matt said we have something that exists in IT utilities that we can put behind a proposal process. He encouraged the committee to consider the strategic value, the broadness and scope, what might be able to be removed from the campus suite of software because we’re making a change, and a way to prioritize them for IT Senate. He said the infrastructure and architecture committee might operate in similar way. Matt said his goals for the spring would be that we get through this process and to demonstrate that this is the place where this process happens.
Mark Grimes suggested that faculty would be reassured if we knew there was a process that was revisited from time to time.
Matt said there was some low-hanging fruit for the enterprise applications committee. RightNow is sitting on IT utilities. Someone needs to evaluate that and decide whether that is important to the campus. It might be one where we can take something off the table and save the University money. We also have people cued up to have us look at applications.
Jesse asked if there was a list of priorities for the committee yet. He suggested that maybe that should be the first priority, to look at applications that we might be able to reduce.
Erika Noble agreed. She said that the student computer fee committee gets requests for enterprise software. The committee gets requests to fund things that have been rejected by IT utilities, or will be shared with IT utilities.
John Greer said he thought we need some framework to base a decision on first. There are a couple apps out there that could be looked at.
Matt said there are two application purchases we're working on now that fall in this gray space: Qualtrix as a university-wide survey tool, and Box for file storage and sharing. They are cloud based and require a little bit of integration.
Customization/integration requests of Moodle (Robert Squires, SELL)
Robert reported that he has had request from faculty to have certain applications looked at to integrate into the Moodle learning management system. He is interested in exploring how this new governance structure could be used to address those requests.
In the past, it's been addressed through a faculty development advisory committee. He said that was helpful in early days of the LMS transitions, but it is not active group. He said the reality is, when something is integrated into Moodle, it becomes an enterprise application.
Two recent requests include:
- Turn It In plagiarism detection tool
- WebWork, a math homework tool
There is a need to evaluate them on their strengths and whatever criteria they need to be evaluated on. He asked if it makes sense to bring requests through this committee?
John Greer said it should go through committee, but we would have to have some ad hoc membership to analyze some of these pieces. He pointed out that there is a lot of math software in labs. Some standardization would be helpful. The goal not to limit academic freedom, but to have some standardization piece would be beneficial, and we could support it.
Mark Grimes asked how big decisions get made about Moodle, BlackBoard, etc. He suggested it would be fun to experiment with other tools.
Robert said that if we had had a governance structure like IT Senate back when those decisions were made, that's what we would have wanted - transparency in the decision process. We are looking for a way to support faculty when requests come in, and a lean and mean way to evaluate.
Matt said he doesn’t see a recommendation from IT Senate as an end-all thing. It’s just one of the inputs that the provost or president could use to make a decision. But it could be a valuable input. It’s a chance for us to get our two cents in on whether there is value in the decision. I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor. How do we make sure the right people see it before it goes to the President for a decision? I think that’s an appropriate use of IT Senate.
Robert said that what might be helpful from the enterprise applications committee is a simple faculty needs form. Something the committee can get from a faculty member and give a reasonable and quick response to the request, and maybe some documentation about LMS integration requests.
IT Senate professional development
Matt asked for some background on the idea of including a professional development segment in each IT Senate meeting. Mark Pershouse said he had a desire when writing the bylaws to begin an education process to becoming a full-fledged nerd. There are questions about subjects that get lost in the jargon. He was interested in doing something each meeting to bring us up to speed. For example, on the hardware side, what’s the difference between convenience wireless and dense wireless? How is IT organized? How does the IT budget work? He suggested that faculty representatives may come to the table with less power because of the information gap.
Mark Grimes said one of the things that would help address this issue is that he hopes people accept dumb questions about dealing with the background of the issue at hand.
Matt said he would try to line up something for each of the meetings this spring.
Tony suggested providing background on specific things that are on the agenda. Maybe provide an introduction to the subject that we’re going to be discussing would be more appropriate than just saying we need to learn about stuff.
The meeting adjourned at 4:48 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Gordy Pace