Minutes, September 19, 2018 (Approved)

CIS Meeting Minutes (20180919)

A meeting of the Committee on Information Systems (CIS) was held Wednesday, September 20, 2017 from 9:00-10:30 AM in Library Room 143. This was the first meeting for the Fall 2018 Semester. The attendees were:

  1. Stefano Costanzi (CAS)
  2. Nancy Davenport (LIB)
  3. Michael Fernandez (LIB)
  4. Alan Isaac (CAS)
  5. Katie Holton (CAS)
  6. Kiho Kim (CTRL)
  7. Joseph Mortati (KSB)
  8. David Spratt (WCL)
  9. Stef Woods (CAS)
  10. Sonja Walti (SPA, standing in for Jennifer Gumbrewicz)

The following items of business were discussed.

Chair Alan Isaac called the meeting to order. The April 2018 minutes were reviewed and approved.

The decision process to select the chair was reviewed and Stefano explained the Senate Faculty process changed to replace CIS’s longstanding three-person co-chair model with a Chair and Vice Chair model, with the Vice Chair assuming the Chair role in the following year.

Since the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 21st (Day before Thanksgiving) will not work for most of the Committee members, the November meeting will be held Wednesday, November 14th, from 9:00-10:30 AM (room is TBD).

Nancy Davenport (LIB) briefed the following items:

  • First floor renovation completed this summer.
  • Library moved to a new library services platform, which has been relatively smooth but there have been a few issues.
  • Ensure hardcopy textbooks have a copy on file with the library.
  • Library is about to start the budget cycle.

Michael Fernandez (LIB) explained he is leaving AU to work at Yale and this would be his final CIS Meeting. We thank Michael for his service and wish him the best in his new endeavors.

Stef Woods (CAS) briefed the following items:

  • Online Leadership Learning Council has been extended.
  • What happened to the pilot implementation of Blackboard Ultra? Xref Scott Vanek’s meeting in October 2017.
  • Nancy to follow-up with Scott and report back prior to our next meeting.

Kiho Kim (CTRL) briefed the following items:

  • All statistics applications except Stata have a university license. For this app, there are per-seat (individual) licenses, which have been issued on an as-needed basis. This sparked a discussion as to which organization – CTRL or individual schools – should be responsible for individual licenses, an issue larger than this Committee. He further explained he can take inputs to the Budget Committee and we agreed this issue needs further discussion at the October CIS meeting.

Alan Isaac (CAS) raised the following issue:

  • Accessibility (508) Compliance (for details, see: https://www.section508.gov/manage/laws-and-policies). The goal is all public-facing documents should be compliant, but this becomes an unbearable burden for certain departments that extensively use equations, tables, and images (e.g., Statistics, Math, Economics). Likewise, instructor and student working papers, some of which are public-facing, are required to be compliant (AU treats this as an accessibly issue). For example, Economics Department uses a non-AU website, LaTeX (a document preparation system; see https://www.latex-project.org/ for details), but some files are blocked from being uploaded due to non-compliance. However, there is no current technology that can quickly and easily convert such content, so expensive manual intervention is required. Alan will provide CIS a summary to of the problems of generating accessible PDFs with LaTeX.
  • The Digital Communication Strategy Team appears to be moving forward without faculty input, which is concerning. How will faculty get timely updates to their working papers (which are works-in-process and may change frequently)? It appears this is an undue burden.
  • Alan proposed CIS send an email to Digital Communication Strategy and a robust discussion followed with Katie Holten and Stef Woods raising the concern that a meeting with Rachel Weatherly (Director, Digital Communication Strategy) should precede an email to ensure the severity and timeliness of the issue is understood. That said, Alan was charged with sending an email to Rachel expressing the desire of CIS to meet with her very soon so that CIS can understand her working group’s activities.

A corollary item arose regarding Graduate Leadership Council and AU Student Government representation at CIS. For the AY 2018-2019, both these positions are unfilled.

With the expiration of time and there being no other items to discuss, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be Wednesday, October 17, 2018 from 9:00-10:30 AM.