Minutes - April 2016

April 12, 2016

Members present: Pope Ashworth, John Greer, Art Held, Scott Holgate, Antony Jo, Roger Maclean, Karen Moore, Jesse Neidigh, Mark Pershouse, Dawn Ressel, Matt Riley, Manu Samuela, Jennifer Sauer, Allen Szalda-Petree 

Members excused: Judy Fredenberg, Stella Phipps, Allen Szalda-Petree

Members absent: Ryann Carlson, Mark Grimes, Aaron Heiner, Nick Hannifin, Eric Reimer, Jennifer Sauer

Ex-officio members and staff present:  Bob Hlynosky, Adrian Irish, Gordy Pace

Call to order

Matt Riley called the meeting to order at 3:34

Matt introduced Pope Ashworth from the Office of Planning, Budget and Analysis as a new IT Senator representing Staff Senate.


March 2016 meeting minutes were approved by consensus.


UM Minute – IT Focus

Art Held announced that the Foundation moved into the Gilkey building the previous week. He said from a technology standpoint it went “stunningly smooth.” Everyone was able to sit down Monday morning and be productive

CIO communication

Matt said that central IT is down more than 12 FTE in this fiscal year. Most of those were attrition, people who retired or left for other reasons and the positions were not filled. It represents more than 20 percent of generally funded central IT staff. He said IT hasn’t let any services go and doesn’t have any less demand, so the team is looking for ways to meet the challenge.

Matt had reported a $227,000 shortfall in the IT utilities budget in the fall. Because of an accounting procedure, that amount has been made up. We are starting FY17 with a $280,000 shortfall and Matt doesn’t know if we’ll be able to carry over an overage from this year.

The Provost’s Office has added Adobe, SPSS, and ESRI licensing to IT utilities. Matt is working on getting Qualtrics and Box into utilities. He also reported that we have replaced Crystal Reports with Cognos Express for essentially the same amount of money, but it’s a product we will use more.

John Greer clarified that the Adobe licenses are for academic uses and doesn’t cover labs. Dawn Ressel asked how academic use was defined. Matt said Adobe makes it difficult to define.

Discussion item

IT Senate 2015-16 annual report

Roger Maclean asked if Matt got any feedback from ECOS or Faculty Senate about last year’s IT Senate report. Matt said he got positive feedback from ECOS, saying it was what they wanted. Matt recommended keeping format from last year and focusing on content.

Matt identified the major themes for the content. The following were identified:

  • IT utilities
  • Policy – only addressed email
  • Data governance
  • Membership
  • Clarification around role of IT Senate and central and other IT units on campus. Senate is place for discussion, shares, feedback, but decision-making is distributed and in central IT.

Matt suggested saving assessment for a 2017 report.

Matt asked for other topics ideas:

  • Roger asked whether we wanted to talk about budget issues and staffing in central IT and the challenges that presents. Matt  said yes, and added that the Educause Core Data Service data is available to help us make comparisons with peer institutions.
  • Jess Neidigh asked about setting goals and priorities for next year, saying that would provide an outline for next year’s report as well.
  • Matt asked if we want to identify issues we think that remain for the campus (opportunities or challenges). For example, there is still work to be done with the IT purchasing process.
  • Dawn suggested that it’s important to remind people of the purpose of IT Senate.
  • Jess suggested exploring perception around the IT Senate charge and changing expectations for a decision-making role. Are we empowered to make decisions? Can we be empowered? Worth looking at during the next year Roger agreed that it’s a good time to do that with several new cabinet members coming in.
  • Matt said we should be sure to link IT Senate to the campus planning committee and be part of University-wide discussion

Reports from standing committees, Tech Partners and Mod Squad

Data governance committee

Dawn reported that data governance in a holding pattern. Committees have not put together and she is not talking to ECOS about the ideas. Dawn said the foundational structure in being put in place for data governance to be successful. A big part of that is the restructuring of OPBA. The majority of time has been focused on budgets, so data governance hasn't been getting the attention it needs. Budget responsibility is moving to the VP for Administration & Finance office and Dawn is creating an institutional research office with 3 components of responsibility: 1) data integrity and standards; 2) assessment, 3) analysis.

Dawn says her team has an idea of how they want to get data governance going. Biggest hurdle is there is a powerful tool that is reasonably priced. It’s called iData Cookbook. The vision is that Dawn's office will create standard reports using the software. The transition to two different offices will happen July 1 depending on if budgets are completed. 

Dawn concluded by saying that the data governance effort has not followed the path that had been laid out, but it is not dead. 

Enterprise applications committee

John Greer said the committee had nothing to report, but it will be working on figuring out how to get ahead of the purchasing process. There are issues with accessibility delays too. Jess added that there needs to be better education and communication about the process. John said that communication has to be done at multiple levels, including Tech Partners level and cabinet level. Matt said that if committee put something together, he would take it to cabinet. John said that was something the committee could work on during the summer.

Communications and collaboration committee

Roger said his report was covered in discussion about annual report. His goal to have draft report ready for review in May.

Mod Squad

Karen Moore reported that Mod Squad has been working on operational issues, web for proxy and testing new Banner XE modules. She alluded to Matt’s earlier comments about staffing, saying that central IT is being pulled in many directions and there are a lot of demands from campus with projects like degree audit, academic planner and all the tools that the Office for Student Success will be using.

Matt commented that we really need to turn over the user interface side of the Banner XE technology. Karen said that they had wanted to put the employee profile into production, but with the benefit choices going on, HR didn’t want to make the change. She hopes to have it live by June 1. 

Tech Partners

Antony Jo reported that Tech Partners had met earlier in the day today. He said the Office of Sustainability is interested in working with Tech Partners to find ways to save energy and be greener. IT does take a lot of energy. There is efficiency to be gained, especially thinking about the 21 data centers on campus.

Central IT announced that several users have large email boxes. IT will be working with those people to reduce size. The issue is with backups. There’s also an issue with outside email and our anti-spam system getting overloaded.

Open forum

Karen Moore asked if we had we finalized CampusM contract? Matt said yes, and that Jeff Abbott is putting together a project team. Karen asked if we were still thinking about an August launch date. Matt said he has told cabinet that it may take longer to implement. After the project team engages with it, we will figure out a date. 

Matt reported that the CourseLeaf web catalog project is underway for the Registrar’s office.  The product will replace our home-built course builder and manual website.

Matt announced two leadership changes in central IT. Tom Battaglia, assistant CIO for Technology Support Services, is leaving April 22. IT is not replacing that position. Tony Jablonski, assistant CIO for Central Systems, is retiring May 6. IT will replace that position in one way or another.

Art said the Foundation negotiating for small number of DocuSign licenses and wondered if IT would share cost. Matt said he wants to see if Foundation can ride on our Internet2 license, which may allow us to move to enterprise license. 

Meeting adjourned at 4:46.

Minutes submitted by Gordy Pace