Minutes, February 17, 2015 (Approved)

Present: Randy Saba (OIT, guest), Terry Fernandez (OIT) Joseph Mortati (KSB, Co-chair), Brian Yates (CAS/ Psych), Alayne Mundt (Lib), Nancy Davenport (Lib), Sonja Walti (SPA, co-chair), Chris Simpson (SOC, minutes)

  1.  Minutes from the Jan 26 meeting were approved.
  2.  Photos on rosters issue – Terry F & Chris S provided an update concerning an OIT prototype using Blackboard ‘avatars’ as a means of including photos on rosters, correspondence with OIT’s Kamalika Sandell, and Randy Saba’s (OIT) role in coordinating technical aspects of this project. Conversation indicated the avatars were not a satisfactory solution due to their small size. CIS consensus on CIS approval of using AU ID photo databases rather than than Blackboard to fulfill this project conveyed to Randy and Terry F.
  3.  ATSC meeting of 2/13: Sonja attended and provided a short report. CIS agreed to ask ATSC to routinely supply ATSC minutes to CIS in order to improve communication & mutual understanding.
  4.  Report by Simpson that draft AU budget is ‘complete’, according to Provost; goes to Trustees in early March.
  5.  Brief report from AU Librarian Nancy Davenport on main features of Library budget.
  6. Brief report on Faculty Senate ‘Social Media’ temporary working committee; Brian Yates will represent SOC, with Simpson as backup in event of schedule conflicts for Brian.
  7. Renewed discussion of CIS providing “project management/faculty networking/communication center” news & networking for AU Faculty, Faculty Senate, interested staff, interested committees, etc. Agreement reached on referring to this concept as a ‘Clearinghouse’ networked via Listserv or an alternative listserv-type service.
  8. Preliminary discussion on upcoming need to select AY 2015-2016 CIS members & chairs, as well as how to involve AU faculty of Information Services and Information Technology events and policies at AU.
  9. FYI Presentation and discussion with AU Librarian Nancy Davenport on Library plan to digitize all AU syllabi for online use at AU, eventually followed by general accessibility via Washington Research Libraries Consortium. CIS Q&A and feedback expressed overall support; cautions about faculty personal telephone numbers or other private information in syllabi, and concerns regarding monetization of copyrights held by faculty.

Minutes, April 20, 2015 (Approved)

In attendance: Joseph Mortati, Brian Yates, Chris Simpson, Sarah Snyder, Sonja Walti, Amy Taylor, Alayne Mundt, Nancy Davenport, Terry Fernandez

Report from ATSC

Visit by Mike Piller, Senior Director, Academic Technology, and chair of ATSC, oversees BB support center, AV department & classroom technology, library, many of the computer labs

  • Upcoming items for SY 2015/16:
    • Classroom modernization and standardization plan (4-tier system) – will be funded (to be seen at what level)
    • Classroom inventory surveying all classrooms, forming an improvement committee to prioritize classroom renovations (incl. AV)
    • Blackboard: challenge – we’re creating disparate student experiences; we need to enhance LMS, multi-media etc. to our in-house (hybrid/online) students; upgrade to BB – no complaints so far; completely new user interface coming up and rolled out at AU; we’re buying bundles of new systems to augment BB experience, including new content management system, new community system; along with it, key hires to enhance this development
    • Labs towards thin/zero-client devices, relying on virtual computing infrastructure (starting in Anderson); less space for devices, making standing labs available as classrooms outside the time students use it; discussion of a couple of specific challenges
  • How to collaborate between ATSC and CIS: faculty voice on ATSC crucial:
    • Using CIS to a greater extent as a clearing house for news, information (using a platform for it)
    • Consider including a number of pre-defined joint meetings every semester
    • Sharing blogs, are parts thereof, creating joint learning community

Social media: Faculty Senate ad hoc committee (Brian reporting)

  • In response to a request from the Faculty Senate, and with input from Chris Simpson, Brian Yates, and many others, the Social Media Committee has developed syllabus language and other guidelines for pedagogic use and misuse of sharing lecture recordings and other course content. Ongoing education of faculty as well as students about potential uses and abuses of social media for distributing educational content is needed.

Constitution of CIS for next SY

  • Reiteration of our intention to appoint two out of three co-chairs, leaving one to be appointed in fall, once the SY2015-16 composition of CIS is in place.
  • Suggestion: Have a concluding meeting on May 4, including appointment of new chair, approval of remaining minutes, drafting of final report.

Minutes December 1, 2014 (approved)

Attending: Chris Simpson (SOC), Joseph Mortati ( Kogod), Brian Yates (CAS/Psych), Terry Fernandez (OIT), Lucas Regner (CTRL)
Minutes: Alayne Mundt (Library)


Approval of minutes of past meetings
Progress reports on agreed upon focus areas
2 year budget cycle discussion: amend / approve our recommendations and lending our support as needed
Report from the Senate’s Social Media Committee and joint meeting with Senate’s Budget & Benefits
CIS operations: decide on meeting days/times Spring 2015


Approval of November’s meeting minutes (Approved)

Progress reports on focus areas:
-Chris reported on the most recent ATSC meeting.:
-Discussion of Collaborate: Is there an alternative to it? There is no funding for a substantial upgrade for it in this budget cycle.
-ATSC may come up with a packet for professors that explains possible choices that can be used in Collaborate (# of people in sessions, which browser to use, etc.) for faculty to make informed choices to use Collaborate more efficiently.
-Terry reported that OIT has been asked to find 2-3% budget savings.
-Social Media Committee update:
-It was reported that many people wanted to attend the meeting, but there was confusion about the meeting time, hence few people actually made it to the meeting. Issues discussed:
-Those who can’t attend meetings can send replacements
-Use of Gmail
-Social media policy outside the classroom
-Student/faculty social media interactions
-Brian will find more information on future meeting times.

2 Year budget cycle discussion:
-Chris reported that discussions are still underway until February. The main teaching units have submitted proposals. The next step is for the president’s cabinet to make decisions. Our committee’s participation has ended. Chris reported that our committee has done better than in previous years to provide input and support for ATSC and the library: we came up with written recommendations in that we made recommendations for classroom upgrades based on ATSC’s inventory of classrooms.
Library/ATSC initatives of cash allocations for support of the weakest classrooms. Our recommendation went back to the Library/ATSC/OIT.
-There was a question of whether we are committed to Blackboard for the next two year cycle? Yes. It was suggested that our committee may suggest alternative LMS’s. They don’t have to fit into the same mold (e.g. grad vs. undergrad have different needs). Lucas reported that CTRL has been working with some faculty using WordPress customizations for some alternative LMS functions for individual courses. CTRL provides support in terms of setup, but it does require more responsibility on the part of the faculty member/user. Our committee can push for regular, easily accessible presence for faculty to learn about these types of services, ways of staying updated, etc.
-The Registrar keeps and updates the inventory of classroom technology. ATSC is the informal focal point for doing the inventory. Different schools/departments have different levels of control of classrooms. Some are at the school level and some are at the university level. Not just about technology, it’s also qualitative; e.g. classroom orientation to make visibility easier, etc. How does our committee move forward? Stay informed in order to play a roll. Our role is to keep track of this issue, and make sure it’s not forgotten.

Joint Meeting with Senate Budgets and Benefits Committee:
-Chris reported that he attended the joint meeting with the Budgets and Benefits Committee. They asked for our recommendation for one budget request for academic technology. Chris suggested (but not speaking officially for the rest of the committee) classroom technology support. They thought it was a good idea, but this does not necessarily turn into money, however.

CIS Operations/Progress on Spring Meetings
-Spring Semester Mondays from 10:30-11:30 works for today’s attendees, on 3rd Monday of the month in order to sidestep holidays, spring break, except for 1/19 meeting. A May meeting was added on 5/18 after classes end as a constitutive meeting for fall.

Priority projects for fall:
-Identifying an alternative email platform for faculty and staff—Google or Office 365. Our committee will have to weigh in—need recommendations from us about privacy etc. Factors in the decision include cost, whether faculty and students need to be on the same platform. Our recommendation is needed, and there are pros and cons to both.
-Classroom census of academic technology
-LMS: Go with Google, Canvas, or stay with Blackboard?
-Soft vs. hard orientation toward options/policy for Mac vs. Microsoft versions of platforms (Joseph will brief us at next meeting)
-Recommendation for best practices for options and policies for different software/platforms.
-Training for students

Minutes November 17, 2014 (approved)

Attending: Alan Isaac (CAS/Economics), Brian Yates (CAS/Psychology, Amin Mohseni (Cas/Econ), Sonja Walti (SPA), Jason Fabrikant (SPExS), Joseph Mortati

Minutes by Brian Yates


  • Approval of minutes of past meetings
  • Progress reports on focus agreed upon focus areas
  • 2 year budget cycle discussion: amend / approve our recommendations and lending our support as needed
  • Report from Senate, in particular: Social Media Committee and prepare for meeting between members of the Senate Budget & Benefits committee and CIS on Wednesday the 19th at 3:00
  • Report from ATSC
  • CIS operations: additional ATSC representation, someone to update and enhance our WordPress site


  • Approval of minutes from our October meeting was delayed until they are circulated for review.
  • CIS decided to meet December 1, not December 15.
  • Spring 2015 meetings of CIS will likely be on Mondays, likely 10:30-11:30 AM but a Doodle pool will solicit input from more members.
  • Sonja solicited reports from meetings the Senate and ATSC. Sonja reported that students use CTRL for just-in-time training on basic wordprocessing, spreadsheets, and spreadsheets. She noted that Microsoft offers low-level help services, and that ATSC had considered the feasibility of purchasing these.
  • Alan suggested that AU instead develop peer-help for Microsoft Office products. Students could be trained and then paid to provide assistance. (Sonja noted that the training could be tiered, with more expert students handling harder inquiries.) CIS endorsed this recommendation and encouraged its inclusion in budget discussions.
  • Brian suggested that AU not favor one office suite over others. Brian also noted that Macs of all sorts have a free office suite (iWork’s Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) that works on both Windows and Mac computers, and may be easier to use as well as important to support.
  • Joseph noted that the lack of a database app in the Mac suite, like Access, was the issue. Joseph also noted that the Virtual Computing Lab can be used to run all Microsoft Office suite programs.
  • Joseph noted that the Business School had implemented a “soft” requirement for all students to have access to the Microsoft Office suite including Access, and will be implementing a hard requirement for this suite in the Spring of 2015. He also noted that other universities, including George Mason, have formed partnerships with Microsoft to give students free or low-cost access to Microsoft’s Access, Excel, Project, and Visio.
  • Sonja announced that, according to Mike Pillier, an improved version of Collaborate will be part of the upcoming Blackboard upgrade and may obviate the need to use Adobe Connect.
  • Progress report on priorities. Amin said progress was being made on placing student photos on Blackboard for access by faculty. Amin said that faculty websites were being worked on my campus marketing, but that there is as yet no single standard as to what should be on faculty website. OIT will have a new, more customizable template for faculty websites that will not require the need for .html coding for tight control over the website. Alan suggested the faculty templates should pull data from FARS.
  • Brian noted that there was there would be outages of Blackboard 12/19 through 12/22, and that the AU network would be down for maintenance Friday 11/21 10 PM through 11/22 8 AM, and that faculty, staff, and students might find these outages inconvenient.

Minutes constitutive meeting of September 2, 2014 (approved)

Meeting: September 2, 2014, 12-1 pm, Library Administrative Conference Room

In attendance: Chris Simpson (SOC),  Terry Fernandez (OIT), Brian Yates (CAS), Alan Isaac (CAS) – online, Amin Mohseni (Econ/CAS)


Determine CIS membership and preferred meeting day/time
Determine chair/co-chair arrangement, distribute other tasks (e.g. managing our WordPress access and updates, taking and forwarding minutes)
Brainstorming on priorities (see May 2014 minutes for suggestions)



Preferred meeting day/time: Many members who could not attend on short notice at this hour. Based on preferences of those present, no clear meeting time/day emerges. For some, the prior 10-12 Monday meeting time no longer works. Friday may be better. Ideally, CIS should aim to meet before Senate meetings and coordinate its meeting times with those of ATSC.

Determine chair/co-chair arrangement: Those present agree with continuing a co-chair arrangement. A request for additional co-chair(s) will be posted to CIS members. Current co-chairs (Chris, Sonja) are available to continue.

Brainstorming on priorities: Follow-up on past CIS items and requests (photos, access); 2-year budget cycle this year will need to be a priority; LMS; big data policies; MOOCs; allocation system of classrooms/technology

Minutes May 5, 2014 (approved)

In attendance: Chris Simpson, Monica Jackson, Alayna Mundt, Brian Yates, Terry Fernandez, Alan Isaac, Nancy Davenport, Michael Jee, Erran Carmel, Sonja Walti, Craig Hyden (via Skype)

Minutes and CIS constitution for SY2014/15

Approval of March meeting minutes

Approval of April meeting minutes with the following clarification: we had decided not to hold a June meeting

Discussion of how to handle the next cycle’s CIS constitution: Not all CIS representatives for SY 2014/15 have been elected/appointed yet. Awaiting those decisions, it is decided that Chris Simpson will act as the “convener” for CIS until then.

Final CIS Report to the Senate

Chris Simpson, who represents CIS on the Senate, has been asked to report about this cycle’s CIS activities at the Senate meeting of May 7. It is decided to establish a list of items to be reported upon (see draft by Craig under Documents), share those with the Senate, and then finalize the CIS Report to be submitted to the CIS for approval. Items to be included:

Adopted list of items to report on Committee operation and liaison activities:

  • Reference to establishment and use of CIS WordPress site, occasional use of online meeting opportunities using Skype
  • Liaison activities with ATSC, Faculty Senate, CTRL, OIT, OLAC, Library (and its Web Steering Committee)

Adopted list of items to report on CIS topic contributions:

  • CIS request to the Senate (resulting in Senate resolution) to make student photos available to instructors (e.g. via Blackboard, Registrar). TF reports targeting implementation for Fall 2015. Decision: CIS will draft an inquiry with the Senate, requesting that target date to be set for Spring 2015.
  • CIS initiative regarding accessibility of AU website
  • CIS input to ATSC on social media policy
  • CIS input on Adobe licenses for e-portfolios: ND reports that test are being conducted, evaluation not yet available.
  • BYOD: ATSC has taken input up and is testing in the classroom
  • CIS input on and participation in LMS decision

Suggested items for next year’s agenda

A discussion of items CIS should consider taking up next year, yielded the following suggestions:

  • Online learning and related topics:
  • Intellectual property, fair use, scope/modalities of faculty liability regarding copyright infringement
  • Library digital interface
  • CIS participation and suggestions to the planning group for the University Retreat

Minutes December 2 2013 Meeting (approved)

Present: Chris Simpson (SOC), Alan Isaac (CAS), Brian Yates (CAS/Psych), Laura March (CTRL), Michael Jee (GLC), Nancy Davenport (Library), Sonja Walti (SPA), Craig Hyden (SIS), Monica Jackson (CAS), John Smith (WCL), Erran Carmel (KSB), Clement Ho (Library)

November minutes (Sonja)

CIS WordPress Website
Discuss what to ‘publish’ from previous site on our new WordPress site (Craig)
CIS members have no objections to just move former Listserve content to this new Wodpress site

Reports from ATSC (Craig)
ATSC meeting on e-portfolios (examples: repertoire of music students, creative writing). What should e-portfolios serve? Admin, teaching, or service-based learning? Do we need a uniform tool? Do we need a new position? Current intent is to benchmark to later reach a decision. ATSC considerations: Google’s application? (see “Digication”) Other experiments at AU. Moving forward with pedagogical and legal obligation in mind.

CIS discussion: Avoid too centralized a tool. Should be pushed into an existing position (e.g. Career Center, CTRL). Be mindful that contents of e-portfolio is students’ intellectual property. Be mindful of Google’s declared objective to data-mine the information it manages. Has to mesh with AU’s archival system. CIS to put in a vote for WordPress as an e-portfolio (using it is: Harvard, Standford, Georgetown, George Mason).
CIS Decision: Point ATSC to our discussion, considerations, and recommendation.

Report from Faculty Senate (Chris)
Rewriting of committee-faculty relations in faulty manual could be relevant to CIS.

Topic updates: library update (Nancy)
Regarding non-student facing activity to be moved off the Quad, specifically to the law school, when it moves out. This move is motivated by the following question: How can this building best service the needs of students and faculty?
The following services were identified as candidates for a move:
1)    Technical services (buys, processes, makes books available in collection). Needs: space, loading docks, elevators.
2)    Archives and special collections: few use it and those who do, will be able to
3)    Who else is moving there? Should something from the library be moved if so? (e.g. potential of SETH moving there)  library developed relevant ‘if statements’
CIS questions: Do these moves meet the underlying needs of library and affected faculty? Implications for morale? Does it affect library functioning, sense of community? Will video collection move?
Answers: Clear benefit is that more of the library on the Quad with be available to students and staff. Special collections access will be built into that model. Library is very intentional about the model and had examined models in other places. No, video collection will not be moved.

Resolution proposal
Chris proposes for CIS to adopt a resolution called “CIS Resolution on Adoption of Fair information Use Principles”; draft statement is presented to CIS in writing
Motivation: The proposal aims to be the equivalent to a privacy statement of an agency.
CIS discussion: More discussion is needed to cover it all and competently. Examples: What about emails from faculty to program directors regarding a student’s performance? What about library records of a student? Such a privacy statement could make communication about students more difficult. Students aren’t consumers. We should be more deliberate about trying to identify the harms this statement is to address.
CIS Decision: Keep the paperwork on this resolution and return to it during the Spring.

Past business: 2012-13 ATSC final report on BYOD
Monica reports back on how CIS concerns about BYOD statement were finalized in the 2012-13 ATCS report, transmitted from then chair Mary Hanson to Scott Bass on May 2, 2013 (p. 4)
Findings: CIS concerns regarding BYOD were taken into account; CIS will monitor this agenda item and check on compliance with our recommendations