University of Wisconsin–Madison

September 18, 2009 Minutes

Phil Barak welcomed the group. ITC meetings will be held the third Friday of each month. The third Friday in May of this year is a furlough day, which will be adjusted later. Phil has chaired the ITC committee for three years. This is Phil’s fourth and final year. The committee has little turnover this year. New members are Yongming Zhou (faculty, Anthropology), Paul Oliphant (staff, Computer Aided Engr.) and Elliott Rezny (student). Ed Van Gemert is replacing Ken Frazier from the Libraries.

Introductions were made; details are at the end of these minutes.

Business Items

  • Approval of May 2009 meeting minutes with attendance corrections was made. The group is encouraged to review minutes in a timely manner and send edits to Brian Rust and Alice Anderson.
  • Appointment of Campus Planning Committee Representative. Sandra Paske was recommended. A motion was made, the group voted unanimously, and Sandra accepted.

Brief Updates (Ron Kraemer)

  • Madison Initiative and IT Service – on the CIO website correspondence will be posted (partnerships and communication). The focus for round one is increasing faculty in targeted disciplines. The second round, later in November will focus more on IT and partnering with faculty and instructional units to improve the undergraduate experience.
  • Google Apps Update – Ron updated on negotiations with Google regarding terms of services favorable to the UW, addressing concerns over how click-through agreements work and legal vulnerabilities to which the campus is exposed. Gmail and other Google apps are broadly used on campus. When someone is using what we refer to as ‘cloud applications’ and when agreeing to anything, can the University stand behind it? There are only two Google representatives to higher ed for North America. This has resulted in cancelled appointments and delays. Policy guidelines are in place on the website (Judy Caruso coordinated). Google has our red-lined document and we are waiting for their response. When Google.wisc.edu in place (probably by winter break), we can feel comfortable using it. Other concerns include who owns documents/material and the physical place where documents reside.

Rob – Is there a process for the ‘next one’ (Doodle app for example). Doodle is a web tool to coordinate calendars; a license for it is in the works. How do we survey the campus and determine who is using (Basecamp is another example).
Ron – In the strategic plan we are looking at hosted services group (Microsoft, Amazon, etc.) Google is the big one at this time.

Kristin: Is there protection of research and intellectual property rights in the language?
Ron- Google documents are in the hands of Nancy Lynch (Legal) to assure as much protection as possible. We are aware of this issue.

Eric – Will there be guidance to campus students and staff about how to migrate (for those already using Google) to the campus Google?
Ron – regarding transition, these will be different accounts and different domains than those individuals have signed up for already. The integration with NetID and password is being worked on.
Eric – Will collaboration outside of UW Google domain be possible?
Ron –Yes, it will be shibboleth enabled, so partnering across the world will be easier. The entire Google process is more difficult than we anticipated.

  • IT Strategic Plan –We have finished editing 27 charters, and they will be posted on the CIO site in a week. In October different groups and project teams will identify what will happen with these different projects. The plan is to build an interactive web environment to do continuous strategic planning relative to the campus strategic plan (Madison Initiative) in an on-line, dynamic environment.

Q. How many are involved?
A. In the charters, about 300 people, and overall couple of thousand in the process. The issue is how to move things through in a more rapid manner.

  • WiscMail upgrade – WiscMail web client upgrade – a process occurring this summer with students. We worked with Sun to upgrade the web client. There are 3-4 thousand in the pilot now. Through winter break, migration of client will occur. The pilot has gone well. A few bugs, but starting in Oct we are rolling out the client to seven thousand a week, through the holiday break. If you want to get in on the pilot, let Brian Rust or the email team know.

Eric – Are you ready to tell more people to join the pilot?
Ron – entire groups will be migrated. If you have a group, let us know. There is a structured process for bringing in groups. Please do not broadcast, but do advise if you have a group.

Q. How many in the room use the WiscMail web client?
A. 80% (show of hands)

Other announcements (Jack Duwe) – Three accomplishments worth noting:
1. Common Scholarship Applications has been released – lightening the load for both students and support staff
2. Course Guide is making major progress.
3. Approval of HRS budget by Board of Regents was received.

Alice added that both the Scholarship Application and Course Guide have had accessibility in mind in the design, and they have tested it throughout for accessibility with blind students.

John Krogman announced there was a campus wireless network outage yesterday due to human error, and it was corrected. This affected those who were trying to access the network, not those already in.
Q. How many in the room use the wireless?
A. 80% (show of hands)

Lisa: ComETS Clickers SIG reviewed several clicker models and will be changing its recommendation from PRS/eInstruction to iClicker. Beginning in January, 2010, iClicker will be the supported clicker on campus. However, instructors are free to continue using the clicker that works best for their needs. We may want to discuss this here later. More info at http://comets.wisc.edu/clickers/.

Governance of Student IT Initiative Funds (Ron Kraemer)
Over the summer we worked with several groups to discuss the overall governance of student IT funds. This is a 1.5% tuition surcharge, divided among DoIT, Library and others. A group is looking at an initiative to handle as one fund, rather than a dispersed pot of money. The Chancellor, Provost and others are involved in the discussion

DoIT currently surveys students and a focus group to identify priorities to spend the money. The new proposal will include a Chancellor-appointed ad hoc committee with formal faculty and student membership, a chair, and executive committee of administrators (e.g., Dean of Students, Provost). The Charter is not yet completed. The proposal lends more transparency to the use of funds, governance and articulation as to how funds are used. Hope to be completed in October.

Q. Will students make decision?
A. They will be advisory. Groups will be asked to make recommendations. Who does get final say is not yet determined. Ron may decide as chair of this group.

Rob: How many dollars are we talking about and who are the recipients?
A. This goes back to 1992 legislation on how this money can be spent. Primarily funds are for enterprise services (e.g., campus wide computer labs, email, student training, and other technology related services). DIN (decision item number) declares what the money is used for and will guide what groups can do. The scope is $6-7 million a year (1.5% of tuition).

Kathy C. – Student Technology Funds is the name (official name not known).
Ron – Other campuses have Student Technology Fee.

Mike – Will students from all over campus be represented, as there are different needs for different parts of campus?
Ron – Charter will clearly identify who appoints representatives.

Paul – What about the reporting side (as we talked about advisory)?
Ron – Advisory has three responsibilities:
1 – identification of needs,
2 – managing funds,
3 – participating in audit (reporting)

Rob – Does anyone hold these records?
Ron – Budget office has the records from 1992 on. Some are paper.

Ed Van Gemert – Within the last six or seven years, Libraries received payment from the ‘New Technology Initiative Funds’ – it is not automatic. They always have to request and advise how funds are spent. Expenditures always are for technology. Often information embedded in requests is from previous year.
Ron: We probably can do a better job of showing how the money is spent.

Pandemic Planning

Continuity of Operations (John Krogman). DoIT operations are highlighted. We also have furlough mandates, but 24/7 support will be continued. Plans are in place to maintain services. Barbie Stimpson has identified the over 300 DoIT services to campuses, and we have prioritized these in terms of instruction and day-to-day operations (including supporting instruction). We have identified primary, back up and tertiary leads that are to be called on. Guidelines went out to Managers on how to handle day-to-day operations. Also we are reporting on day-to-day basis that is out to HR to track, and assure back up is contacted. Academic instruction is the highest priority. Keep eye on Tech Partners for updates. A Pandemic Planning Formal Plan has been submitted to campus.

If individual units are impacted, utilizing Help Desk (HD) is an option; however folks should make plans for their own pandemic planning without relying totally on DoIT since if staff reduction occurs, it will also affect DoIT, and DoIT’s ability to do backup may be impacted.

Ron – Using HelpDesk as key focal point is essential. Processes will be in place to respond.

JoAnn C – Because of reporting requirements, is there a web-based tool to report uniformly, rather than each Department developing their own tool?
A. MHub email address is where suggestion should be made. EOC (Emergency Operations Center) has been activated.

Phil noted that he is pandemic coordinator for his department. Notification appears to be cumbersome for many departments and units.
Kristen – Is there a centralized reporting system for students? It would be helpful to have this information mapped out to indicate where on campus the concentration is of signs and outbreak are.
Ron – will forward this idea. Residence halls are being reported. UHS receives off-campus reports.
Ivy – Continuation of Instruction has to have a wellness feedback component. Collecting which students and classes are being cancelled, without format or order is what exists now.
Mike – Pharmacy has a separate app for students and faculty to identify who is absent, who has symptoms; one report goes to the Dean, and another part goes to Academic Affairs.
Phil- Is there a web site listing priority of services?
Ron- Academic Technology and all that supports teaching and learning (e.g., Network) is a priority.
We have a listing of services, which is not published, but is available. We want the HD to be the primary contact rather than releasing broad information with specific individuals and priority personnel.

Communications component for campus is priority one, [including WiscChat]

Rob – we need to communicate with DoIT what tools we have identified as communication tools.
Phil – Will DoIT see the IT tools that the units specify in their plans? Ron – Only if they are picked up in the College/School plans. Phil – Those College/School plans may lack the granularity required to make those needs known. Ron – the EOC should be alerted to this issue as to geting Departmental information distributed broadly.

Continuity of Instruction (Kathy Christoph and Jo Ann Carr)
Two websites to track for current updates: http://flu.wisc.edu and

Jo Ann for the ‘Flu Crew’. A couple of items: How to continue to provide instruction with large numbers of absences of students instructors and staff, and How to provide grades if semester shortened (possibly to twelve week). The impact of open book exams? How to be prepared to teach central courses through social distancing?

What is ‘Good enough Instruction’ if the University is closed? Do we video stream all instruction to students? We need to plan on multiple levels; this is a good opportunity to think about innovation in instruction. There is a change in attendance policy – now students are good citizens if stay home when flu-like symptoms are identified. This is counter to the current understanding and policy. Students will be expected to get content and grades. Lecture capture is not possible at this time.

Q. What is social distancing?
A. It is a UW-Madison term for non-face to face interaction. Self-isolation is a term for individuals who are expected to self-isolate when symptoms occur. Social distancing is a broader term for how masses self-isolate. The University can call for ‘social distancing’ when face-to-face classes are cancelled.

Kathy C. reviewed the flu.wisc.edu website. This is updated daily. “Campus Planning Documents” are in the left frame, and will take user to how continuity of instruction will occur. “Preparing” documents will be revised, addressing computer and non-computer access scenarios for continuity of instruction.

TLE.wisc.edu is a site for faculty/staff interaction addressing the teaching community. Plans are being posted along with conversations, and advise on delivery of lectures.

Jo Ann – Three questions: What additional support resources are needed? How should ITC assist in continuity of instruction? What advice for IT shops for triage needs exists? For example, full lecture capture is not a possibility for Education (spaces not available, and high production values not possible).

Eric – A $30 camera can capture. How to distribute? My WebSpace?
Kristin – Audio-only should be considered. Most think of video first.
Kathy C -Audio only is a solution.
Clare – A decision chart is needed on how to make decisions dependant on technology available.
Ivy – In Languages, it is difficult in that audio-only may not be sufficient. Not just equipment is needed, also training for low-level technology. TA’s with workload constraints by contract need to be added to the already complex decision chart.

Kathy – this is a preparation semester. Time to begin thinking about preparing fully.

Katrina- Undergrads often are more tech savvy, how about recruiting volunteers to capture lectures? Students already are prepared and capturing.
Kathy C. – We need to encourage students to assist in all classes; when there are students absent, some students may already doing recording of class for him/her self.

Phil – We need to be prepared to pay student employees to do what needs to be done in emergency situations. Faculty may need microphones delivered by UPS and we will require policies to be flexible for home deliveries.

Kristin: Is there web-based audio recording device to replace technology?
A. Yes there are examples on the web site. For those who are not tech savvy we can encourage uploading lecture notes, using MP3 player, etc.

Eric A. – The campus needs to work toward campus solutions. As a support person, it may be difficult to scale without standards.

Eric: Older technologies may help. Use a telephone conference call – with a bridge. It will require setting up in advance to bridge instructors and student. This is by class size (large lecture vs. smaller classes) for appropriateness. Call in to voicemail lectures.

Phil – Are we expected to muddle through on our own with existing resources, or under emergency circumstances is the Institution willing to consider providing support to continuity of instruction beyond an updated website?
Kathy C. – In discussions that I have attended, there are no extra resources identified; we need to muddle through.

Is additional discussion needed, should a campus investment occur?

Ivy- Again, for Languages, (calculus and other examples), this cannot be done by social distancing with audio or powerpoint only. Added funds will be needed.

Jo Ann – When considering whether a course is ‘essential’, does it means what is required for major, required for other major or required for individuals to graduate? These are determining factors. For example, if one-credit dance needed, it may be essential by one standard but will be impossible to deliver at a distance.

Joanne Berg – How to identify essential courses would have to be answered differently. It is discretionary. We have to start somewhere. Academic departments will need to engage in discussions.

Lisa – ComETS discussed pandemic planning this summer. A virtual conversation is encouraged to identify how to back each other up without relying on DoIT. How to go outside of Departments and form relationships.

Moodle Council