Minutes, September 28, 2016 (Approved)

A meeting of the Committee on Information Systems (CIS) was held Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 4:00-5:00 PM in Library Room 115. The nine attendees were:

  1. Stefano Costanzi (CAS)
  2. Terry Fernandez (OIT)
  3. Stefan Kramer (LIB)
  4. Sarah Menke-Fish (SOC)
  5. Joseph Mortati (KSB)
  6. Lindsay Murphy (CTRL)
  7. Sonja Walti (SPA)
  8. Stef Woods (CAS)
  9. Chenyang Xiao (CAS)

Former Co-chair Joseph Mortati brought the meeting to order and the following business was conducted:

  1. For the benefit of new members, a brief review of the Committee’s charter and previous engagement on information systems-related issues was done (e.g., Social Media policy, accessibility, copyright and intellectual property, email conversion, research databases, and student pictures on class rosters). To recap, the Committee has the following responsibilities:
  • to maintain liaison with the Director of the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning;
  • to maintain liaison with the University Librarian concerning plans and programs, and, in cooperation with the library, to assess the varying library needs of undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty and examine the adequacy of the delivery of library services to students and faculty, in particular facilities, budget support, staff, and cooperation with the Washington Research Library Consortium;
  • to maintain a liaison with the Office of Technology (OIT) concerning plans and programs, and in cooperation with OIT to assess the varying technology needs of the university and to make recommendations on those needs;
  • to maintain a liaison with the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning to assess and make recommendations on technology needs related to the teaching and research support and services provided by that office; and
  • as appropriate, to report its findings and recommendations to the Committee on Academic Budget and Benefits, including recommendations about long-range financial planning.
  1. Due to timing issues of new CIS members being appointed after the end of the Spring 2016 term, the committee was chair-less so after a brief explanation of the circumstances, Joseph Mortati moved to vote on new co-chairs for the 2016-2017 Academic Year; he and Stefano Costanzi were unanimously elected.
  1. A letter drafted by Alan Isaac regarding committee inputs on the AU Experience, a holdover item from Spring 2016, was reviewed and the committee agreed that we need to see the current version of the AU Experience as it may have changed since the Spring. Stef Woods pointed us to the latest version: http://www.american.edu/provost/gened/upload/Reimagining-General-Education-5-4-16.pdf and that Cindy Bair Van Dam and Jessica Waters are the General Education Implementation task force co-chairs.
  1. The question of integrating new technology into classrooms, specifically smartphones and tablets was discussed and a robust discussion was had, reflecting the different views of the members and with the dividing line being the contention between such devices being a distraction vs. a learning aid. Lindsay Murphy cited Educause (educause.edu), a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology as a potential source of information regarding best practices, assumptions, and learning outcomes. While this is an issue for which CIS can add value, Chenyang Xiao expressed reservations about promoting best practices or “how to” approaches not being under the purview of this body so the discussion redirected to the line of creating a flowchart or similar aid to guide faculty when considering integrating new technology into the classroom. Joseph Mortati mentioned there is precedence for this as CIS created and distributed a decision-making flowchart regarding software options for faculty (attached). Additionally, after the meeting, Lindsay provided the following link at a starting point: From Distraction to Engagement: Wireless Devices in the Classroom.
  1. Stefan Kramer pointed out the Academic Technology Steering Committee (ATSC) which holds monthly meetings regarding Information Systems but from the Provost’s perspective and our committee is obligated to send a representative. Joseph Mortati will work with Mike Piller (ATSC Chair) to ensure we have representation.
  1. Sarah Menke-Fish pointed out that with the migration of faculty and staff voicemail to a new platform, some users have not yet setup their mailboxes (the old ones were not migrated to the new system) resulting in callers not being able to leave messages.
  1. There being no other business for the good of the order, the meeting was adjourned.