Minutes, November 18, 2015 (Approved)

A meeting of the Computer and Information Systems (CIS) Committee was held on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 in Library Classroom 306. The six attendees were:

Kara Andrade (Graduate Leadership Council)
Nancy Davenport (Library)
Stefan Kramer (Library)
Carl Levan (SIS)
Joseph Mortati (Kogod; took minutes)
Sonja Walti (SPA)


Co-chair Joseph Mortati brought the meeting to order, the sole order of business being a briefing by Dr. Sharjil Hasan, Director of the Project Management Office (PMO) in the Office of Information Technology at American University, on the planned Email Migration Plan for Faculty and Staff (see related PowerPoint file ‘Email Campus Presentation – Final’ in the Media Library section; note: since this file is confidential, it was uploaded to a section that requires login).

The decision is to use Office 365 for Faculty and Staff, replacing Lotus Notes; students will remain on Gmail. This was a University decision based on OIT recommendations and several options were considered, including: upgrade Lotus Notes, Office 365, and Gmail.

Implementation Timeline

Voicemail will be replaced with AVST (http://www.avst.com/solutions/featured/voice/voicemail.asp) between December 2015 and February 2016.
Email pilot implementation will run March to June 2016.
Data Migration of Email/Calendar/Files will run May to October 2016.
End User training will run April to October 2016.
Go-live will be sometime mid-summer or early fall.


Q: Will there be cross-platform document sharing?

A: No, but Office 365 is integrated with: Dropbox, Box, and Google Docs. This means documents can be saved and synced with multiple platforms but not all platforms can be synchronized. OneDrive may be an option but the net effect is that faculty may have to use multiple platforms to store data.

Q: Are there any plans to migrate students to Office 365?

A: No.

Q: A current limitation of faculty on Lotus Notes and students on Gmail means that neither can see the other’s calendar and/or send meeting invitations. This necessitates emails to determine when both parties are available, which is not a scalable solution. Will Office 365 support calendar sharing/invitations?

A: This functionality is TBD.

Q: What about video conferencing capabilities?

A: Skype for Business is included with Office 365 so the current mix of technologies (GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect, etc.) will no longer be needed.

Q: What about IP concerns and changes to privacy issues (e.g., who owns the data in Contacts – the faculty or staff member or the University?).

A: Google scans emails and sells some information as well as not guaranteeing that data are stored on servers in the US. Microsoft does not scan emails and guarantees data will be stored in the US and the user owns it.

There being no other business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned. There is no December meeting.

Minutes of November 4, 2015 Virtual Meeting with Dr. Terry Flannery, VP of Communication

Attendees: Terry Flannery, Barbara Emshwiller, Carl Levan, Sonja Walti, Kara Andrade, Joseph Mortati


  • edu began with an app approach but was too difficult to maintain due to different devise and OS.
  • Students were polled to get an idea of what content was most needed (e.g., bus schedules, library, menus).
  • Currently, tablet + mobile = 25% of all traffic; expected to be 50% by end of 2016 but most content is not mobile-friendly.
  • Most of our direct competitors are not yet mobile-friendly but we need to improve.
  • Who has moved to mobile-friendly? jhu.edu is an example and it focuses on undergrad student prospects with the themes of “show don’t tell”, avoid clicks to content (use scroll instead), and simplify search.
  • To give an idea of scale, AU’s CMS has 46,000 pages.


  1. Maintain page rankings for mobile use.
  1. Better user experience: audience-driven, focus on most visited pages and first landing page.

Current Status

Halfway through 3-month development of first 15 pages, which are enrollment-related.

January 2016 Master Template, then a 4-8 month implementation schedule.

Beyond 8 months, the following approach will be used:

  • If content has not changed in <2 years, it’s not a candidate for conversion.
  • AU Portal needs an infrastructure change (it’s based on Microsoft SharePoint).


Q: Will AU provide an opportunity to choose ‘Do Not Track’ prior to beginning collection of data on visitors to AU websites? What about GPS or other location data?

A: While the site will not know who or where the user is, it will know if the device has been to the site before. However, there is no current plan for retargeting; if this were to change, it would require a change to the Privacy Statement.

Q: Have 3rd Party stakeholders (like Wiley) been involved in the planning?

A: They are not currently stakeholders; Terry Flannery to add to stakeholder list.