Minutes March 16, 2015 (Approved)


A meeting of the Computer and Information Systems (CIS) Committee was held on Monday, March 16, 2015 at 10:30 AM in the Library Conference 306 Room. Attendees were:

Sonja Walti (SPA), Chris Simpson (SOC), Sarah Snyder (SIS) Alayne Mundt (Library), Allan Isaac (CAS), Amin Moshemi (CAS), and Joseph Mortati (KSB; took minutes)


Office/productivity software update
Student Pictures on Class Rosters
Student websites and G: Drives
Fall Elections and Member Representation
Mobile Labs (not addressed)
Social Media Policy (not addressed)


Co-Chair Chris Simpson opened the meeting by reviewing the agenda. The following topics were then discussed in order:

1.    Co-Chair Joseph Mortati briefed the committee on the work he and Brian Yates are doing with regard to office/productivity software options and how this relates to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). The plan is during the April 20th meeting to show the committee a draft of the decision matrix (i.e., if a course allows for more than one software option, the matrix would step the professor through the decision process) and the various options consisting of:  Virtual Computing Lab (VCL), equipment rental from the Library, brand-name, and open source. This list will include laptop and mobile options.

2.    Student Pictures on Class Rosters. Terry Fernandez gave an update that Randy Saba (Director, Student Information Services) is pursuing two options to add this functionality: 1) custom development within Blackboard and 2) increasing the size of current avatar images in Blackboard (these small thumbnails are not useful for placing a face with a name).

3.    Student Websites on G: Drives. Terry Fernandez requested inputs on the ongoing migration from Novell to Active Directory and OIT’s proposal to move from the current G: Drive to Google Drive. This is in response to the fact that the current purge processes deletes all students’ documents from their G: Drives after the students have graduated and the next Fall’s add/drop period has passed (to check to see if the student is still active). Additionally, the G: Drive has a www folder that posts documents to a URL but the student does not have access control for this. OIT and CIS agree that the retention period is too short and the lack of selective access is an issue. One proposal is to use Google Drive, which offers 15 GB of storage, has a synch function to other devices, and provides selective web access (e.g., a student could choose to share documents with another student, a professor, or a group of students). There are some FERPA privacy issues with this approach.

This prompted Alan to ask about the implications of AU policies about which Google services can be activated for students, given the proposed move of student web pages to Google Sites. For example, Alan’s request that students be able to turn on their pictures for interactions in his Google discussion group for a class was denied. How does this picture policy affect the ability of students to display a picture on the profile for their website?

4.    Elections for the Fall Term and Representation Challenges. Co-Chair Chris Simpson discussed these two issues in the context that different CIS member selection processes (some are appointed some are elected) and term lengths (1- to 2-years) makes continuity and succession a challenge as well as ensuring proper representation.

a.    After discussion, the Committee unanimously agreed that the current tripartite leadership structure (3 co-chairs) should remain, that there should be a May Meeting during which 2/3 co-chairs should be elected by the current committed members, and the final 1/3 co-chair should be elected during the first Fall 2015 meeting when all the new members will be seated.

b.    After discussion, the Committee was unable to agree on the best way to ensure effective follow-up between meetings and to ensure members are sufficiently prepared for future meetings. This needs further discussion.

5.    Co-Chair Sonja Walti added that CIS Annual Report, a summary of committee meetings, issues, resolutions, and cross-functional activities, is due by the end of semester. Co-Chairs Chris Simpson and Joseph Mortati agree to put this together and Sonja agreed to find and post previous years’ reports on the CIS website.

6.    With time close to expiring, Co-Chair Chris Simpson moved to request agenda items for the next meeting (Monday, April 20, 2015 at 10:30 AM); the following items will be considered:

a.    Revisiting the CIS Mission (i.e., something along the lines of a “clearing house” or “information funnel” for information-systems related issues of interest and importance to the University community.

b.    Terry Fernandez mentioned the Tech Survey Summary, an annual fall semester benchmarking effort for core information services (e.g., identifying if current levels of support are sufficient) as a tool CIS could use in identifying and prioritizing issues for the next year.

c.    Co-Chair Sonja Walti added that Mike Piller, Senior Director, Academic Technology University Library, will be attending the next meeting.

There being no other business to discuss, the meeting adjourned. The next CIS Meeting is Monday, Monday, April 20, 2015 at 10:30 AM in the Library Conference Room.