Minutes, January 20, 2016 (Approved)

A meeting of the Computer and Information Systems (CIS) Committee was held on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 1:00 PM in Library Classroom 306. The six attendees were:

Terry Fernandez (OIT)
Alan Isaac (CAS)
Stefan Kramer (Library)
Carl Levan (SIS)
Joseph Mortati (Kogod; took minutes)
Chris Simpson (SOC)
Amy Taylor (WCL)
Sonja Walti (SPA)
Chenyang Xiao (CAS)

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

1. A motion to approve the draft minutes of the previous meeting’s was made and approved.

2. The Committee recapped the success of the student roster pictures finally being available in Blackboard. A big thank you to our own Chris Simpson and others who doggedly pursued this initiative through many hurdles!

3. Terry Fernandez of OIT gave a very informative presentation on the “Assessing IT Survey Outcomes – Preliminary Analysis of AU’s Higher Education TechQual+ Survey Results”. This survey rated IT services by 2,240 total respondents at AU from faculty, staff, and students and was very similar to the survey done at the following 23 institutions:

Auburn University University of Central Florida
Boston University University of Florida
Clark University University of Georgia
Georgia Southern University University of Idaho
Harvard University University of Memphis
Miami University – Oxford University of North Carolina – Greensboro
Pacific University University of Tennessee – Knoxville
Pepperdine University University of West Florida
Portland State University Virginia Commonwealth University
Saint Louis University Washington State University – Vancouver
SUNY University of Buffalo Wayne State University
Texas A&M University

There are 13 core IT service outcomes (a few supplemental questions were added that were unique to AU) that are standardized across every participating institution and grouped together into the following distinct core commitments:

• Connectivity and Access
• Technology and Collaboration Services
• Support and Training

AU performed better than our peers in six of the thirteen areas, including:
Having adequate wireless coverage.
Having adequate cellular coverage throughout campus.
Getting timely resolutions to user problems.
Having knowledgeable IT support staff.
Receiving understandable IT communications.
Getting access to training or self-help information that increases my effectiveness with technology.

During her presentation, the following points were made:

• AU has two Internet Service Providers (ISPs) of equal bandwidth capacity; in the past year there have been no service outages.

• The survey results contained some mixing of issues due to question structure (e.g., the question about Classroom/Space asked about both “availability [classroom availability is not an IT issue] and technology” in the same sentence).

There being no other business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 1:00 PM in Library Classroom 306.

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.

Minutes, October 21, 2015 (Approved)

A meeting of the Computer and Information Systems (CIS) Committee was held on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 in the Library Conference Room. Attendees were:

Nancy Davenport (Library)

Terry Fernandez (OIT)

Stefan Kramer (Library)

Carl Levan (SIS)

Joseph Mortati (Kogod)

Chris Simpson (SOC)

Amy Taylor (WCL)

Items Discussed:

Joseph clarified the idea behind the “clearinghouse” concept:

It is an intake body/mechanism for various technology issues in the community.

Q’s include: which entities may be impacted; what resources should be brought to bear?


-what software options are available for faculty?

-trying to get class roster pictures on blackboard


Minutes need to be approved for:

May 2015; September 2015.

Amy moves that we approve.

Chris seconds the motion.

All in favor.

Minutes are approved.


Now the meeting moves to databases/datasets.

The meeting is turned over to Stefan.


In some cases databases are a replacement for what used to be in print, such as full-text journals.

The Collection management team and subject librarians make these decisions.

We have 528 current subscriptions (some are freely available but it is helpful to users for the library to aggregate their availability)

Databases are housed on the web servers of the vendors; vendors give us access.

Restrictions are that we limit use to campus community or some subset thereof. Some are seat licenses.

Web-based access is all that is required and there is proxy server access for users who are off-campus.

You may need other software to download data. Those are now marked with an excel icon — about 70 databases have this option.

Licensing is provided by large vendors who offer customer support, such as Ebsco or Proquest or Springer.

Well-greased machinery to take our payments. Lead time can be as little as days or can be weeks.

The consortia is looking at an informational baseline for all students in the consortia. Are there databases that 8 libraries can fund that 9 can use? Are there discounts that a consortia could obtain by negotiating together?

We currently don’t share databases among the consortia. Each individual library has a separate subscription. If Georgetown has something that we don’t, and vice-versa, then you have to go there to access.

There are a few databases that the UL and the Pence Law Library purchase together.


Acquiring datasets is pretty new to the library.

We have a server, and when datasets are licensed we put them on that server.

If freely available, we wouldn’t put them there.

Megan maintains a subject guide of geospatial datasets.


Chris – these datasets can be enormous. And even if publically available, the dataset might not be useable by normal people. Download sequence can be complicated, etc. It really makes sense for an institution to provide a selection of basic datasets for reliable handling by users, even if they are freely available.


Stefan – sympathizes with the problem. If we want to take this on, we would need a larger operation to make this happen.

Other questions: what is the official source? What are conversion issues?


Chris – if we are focusing on a project, such as the one for community-based research, then would it be possible for selected datasets to be made available? Metadata? Tips on how to use to make them more user friendly? Much more limited and focused approach to a general problem.


Nancy – students have not asked for this yet. The scholarships for community-based research are given to incoming freshman.

We could talk to the advisor for this program and find out what they are doing. Do we have any kind of data that might be useful to them so that we can teach them to use it early in their careers?


Joseph – could Megan be a guest speaker at one of our meetings?


Terry – We could meet in the lab.

Stefan will check on the lab’s schedule.


Stefan – we have a couple of databases that have geospatial information. SimplyMap; PolicyMap; and SocialExplorer.

Datasets – we buy files that are delivered to us. SAS, SPSS, .txt, and we put them on the server that we have through WRLC, our consortium.

We have the files on this server, and we have a record in our library catalog of these files. A catalog record is for one item, but the datasets have multiples file and descriptions. We are trying to work on how to make this metadata available. It is a work in progress.

Some problems with buying datasets is that they are not set up to sell to universities. This is not just a challenge when working with small businesses but also with foreign governments.


Carl – can there be some kind of proactive work so that every AU researcher doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel?


Stefan now addressed our open data portal.

It’s a place where AU faculty can share, publish and visualize their research data.

Future discussion -what do you think of this? is it useable? would you put something there?

Carl – what are the advantages of putting datasets here rather than on a personal account?

Stefan and Nancy – institutional responsibility for maintaining the data; can also point back to you.

Chris – there are always tradeoffs and working through them is something we can do.

Also, monetization issues. Has AU explicitly agreed not to monetize it?


Terry requests that we host someone who will talk to us about the email migration. We will attempt to schedule this for our November meeting.


Roster update: Blackboard determined that they needed to do custom level work to display the student’s pictures on roster. They have given a quote. Now working with the purchasing department. Price tag is $10,000. Request was for it to go through Blackboard because it was the approach that OIT recommended at the time. That’s where it is now, in purchasing.

Minutes, September 2, 2015 (Approved)


A meeting of the Computer and Information Systems (CIS) Committee was held on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 10:30 AM in the Library Conference 306 Room. The 10 attendees were:

Sonja Walti (SPA), Chris Simpson (SOC), Amy Taylor (WCL), Stefan Kramer (Library), Terry Fernandez (OIT), Chenyang Xiao (CAS), Carl LeVan (SIS), Lindsay Murphy (CTRL), Kara Andrade (Graduate Leadership Council; via Skype), and Joseph Mortati (KSB; took minutes).

Agenda & Notes

Co-Chair Chris Simpson began the meeting by welcoming the newest members to CIS: Chenyang, Carl, Lindsay, and Kara. The following items were discussed in order:

1. Availability of members. A sign-up sheet was circulated to capture each member’s availability for a monthly meeting.

Action: Joseph Mortati will follow-up via email as to which days/times work for all members.

2. Committed Responsibilities. Co-Chair Chris Simpson briefed the new members that our committee has multiple responsibilities for: liaison, assessment, oversight, and recommendations (see https://blogs.library.american.edu/cis/about/ for details). However, we do not have ownership of issues nor do we have a budget so Co-Chair Joseph Mortati then discussed the concept of the committee serving a “clearing house” for information systems-related issues that are of importance to the AU Community (e.g., issues addressed by the committee were student pictures on Blackboard rosters and software options for instructors).

Use of the term “clearing house” proved confusing and raised a considerable amount of debate, including the risk it could lead to perception that we are a document repository, tech support group, or a forum for technology gripes, none of which is part of our charter. During our October meeting, this term should either be clarified or replaced.

3. Acquiring Datasets. Carl LeVan then raised the issue that acquiring datasets is a very fragmented process. Stefan Kramer added that AU has an open data portal (https://opendata.american.edu/) that has only seen limited use. Since this issue falls under our charter, it should be researched and discussed at the next meeting.

Action: Joseph Mortati to follow-up with Stefan Kramer about how the Library acquires and maintains database subscriptions.

4. Site Licenses. Chenyang asked if CIS should determine which applications the University has site licenses (enterprise or per-seat) and what the process is for renewing or new purchases of such licenses. This issue sounds appropriate for our charter so it should be discussed at the October meeting.

With going over the end of allotted time, the meeting adjourned at 11:45 AM. The next CIS Meeting will be in October but the date/time is TBD based on member availability.

Minutes, May 4, 2015 (Approved)


A meeting of the Computer and Information Systems (CIS) Committee was held on Monday, May 4, 2015 at 10:30 AM in the Library Conference 306 Room. The 9 attendees were:

Sonja Walti (SPA), Chris Simpson (SOC), Amy Taylor (WCL), Alan Isaac (CAS), Nancy Davenport (Library), Stefan Kramer (Library), Brian Yates (CAS), Terry Fernandez (OIT), and Joseph Mortati (KSB; took minutes)

Agenda & Notes

Co-Chair Joseph Mortati began the meeting by reviewing the following agenda:

1. Approval of minutes (see https://blogs.library.american.edu/cis/category/minutes/)

Minutes were approved via a voice vote.

2. Hails and Farewells, constitution of new co-chairship

The Committee welcomed new member, Stefan Kramer, from the Library, taking over for Elaine Mundt. Welcome, Stefan. Brian Yates will be stepping down as a CAS Representative and we thank Brian for the great ideas and energy he brought to this body.

The Committee had previously-agreed to maintain its three co-chairperson structure. Current co-chair Sonja Walti stated her desire to remain a CIS member but wants to step down as chair. Current co-chairs Chris Simpson and Joseph Mortati requested to run for reelection and Amy Taylor requested to run for the vacating co-chair seat. All three were elected unanimously.

3. Update on the student roster pictures

Co-chair Chris Simpson explained that a request for larger photos than the current thumbnail-sized ones that can be manually uploaded in Blackboard was made to the Faculty Senate but was not accepted because it conflicts with the original wording for the requirement. It appears that the smaller photos will be used but this is significant progress on an issue the Committee has been shepherding for almost a year.

Additionally, Terry Fernandez gave the following update from the Blackboard Project Manager on 4/21/15:

A meeting was held on 4/7/2015 to discuss the best means to extract the photos from cCure [student photo database of record]. It was confirmed from IST that there is a built in manual functionality to extract the photos needed. Once explained, we were able to extract the photos necessary (just OIT members for now) for testing purposes. A script has been created to map the photos to their respective AU ID and Blackboard primary key. We are currently waiting for the translation file from Blackboard to be created. Once completed, we will started testing.

4. Update on software options

Joseph Mortati briefed the Committee on the work Brian Yates and he did on providing a set of draft principles for faculty members to use when determining which software options are available and appropriate for their situation. This led to a lengthy (30-minute) discussion on the following:

Current Course Standards: can courses be more device-agnostic
Preferences (student and faculty): how much should faculty software preferences dictate student hardward choices
Instruction Effectiveness: e.g., what is most important – instruction on a specific application or learning to work with multiple apps and Operating Systems?
Future Growth

A discussion of the Virtual Computing Lab (VCL; https://vcl.american.edu/Welcome.html) was also done with the caveat that the Lab was originally intended to be a virtual substitute for Computer Lab space.  Alan Isaac asked whether the use VCL can remove the need for teaching units to impose OS requirements on their students (esp., Windows vs Mac). Likewise, Alan Isaac pointed out that perhaps course standards requiring a specific application for all students might be limited to introduction courses but higher-level courses might have more flexibility for file types.

Time did not permit a final set of principles but two steps were agreed-upon:

a. This is issue is one that is potentially useful to the entire teaching community and should be picked up again in the Fall 2015.

b. Perhaps an Ann Ferren Conference Panel could be added on this subject (note: while this conference routinely has panels that discuss new technologies, it does not have a panel to address the software options specifically).

5. Review draft of annual CIS final report (assign responsibilities for drafting)

Co-chair Chris Simpson circulated a printed draft of the Annual CIS Report of activities for the current academic year. He listed the following as key items:

a. Participation in AU Budget Planning
b. Participation in Social Media Planning
c. Advancing Faculty Priorities
d. Faculty Senate Tasks
e. Liaison on AU Computing and Information Services Policies and Procedures

The expiration of time prevented a complete discussion of all these items but Chris will provide the draft report via the CIS listserv for additional committee input.

There being no other business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 11:40 AM. The next CIS Meeting is TBD but will be early in the Fall 2015 Semester.

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 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.

Minutes January 26, 2015 (approved)

A meeting of the Computer and Information Systems (CIS) Committee was held on Monday, January 26, 2015 at 10:30 AM in the Library Conference 306 Room. Attendees were:

Sonja Walti (SPA), Chris Simpson (SOC), Sarah Snyder (SIS; new member), Alayne Mundt (Library), Amy Taylor (WCL), Nancy Davenport (Library), and Joseph Mortati (KSB; took minutes)


Approval of minutes of past meeting
Senate Faculty Items Updates
Office/productivity software options
Social Media Policy


Co-Chair Sonja Walti opened the meeting by reviewing the agenda and asking for a vote to approve the December Meeting Minutes (which passed unanimously). The following topics were then discussed:

1. CIS currently has meeting scheduled on Monday, May 18, 2015, which is after graduation. There was some discussion as to the utility of a meeting after graduation as not everyone can attend but that having such a meeting during a lull in campus activity could allow greater focus and put the Committee in a good position to pick up business in Fall 2015. The agreement was to leave the meeting on the schedule for now and revisit at a later date.

Senate Faculty Updates – Co-Chair Chris Simpson then gave thorough and detailed updates on items 2-6:

2. Student Pictures on Class Rosters. Terry Fernandez (OIT) is working on this issue and the thing impeding progress is that this issue affects multiple departments (Registrar, OIT, Blackboard); there is not a funding issue, however.

3. Conflict of Time Commitment. The language surrounding this is being updated and there is an effort to improve data collection.

4. Final Exam Conflicts. The Registrar is required to notify professors about students who are scheduled for 3 final exams in the same day so that alternative arrangements can be made. While this should be doable via query, the current data structures do not support this.

5. Video Conference Management. The University is considering a replacement or augmentation of Panotpo to include both presentation and content storage capabilities. One example being considered is Kaltura (http://corp.kaltura.com/), which was recently acquired by Blackboard.

6. Remote Proctoring of Students. The requirement to remotely monitor students came to ATSC from two sources: 1) Online Courses (how do we know the person completing the assignment is actually the student or not?) and 2) Accreditation Purposes.

7. Co-Chair Joseph Mortati briefed the Committee on software options for commonly-used office/productivity tools (Word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentations). This is part of a larger Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) issue (Chris Simpson gave a historical perspective that only a few years ago there was a plethora of mobile devices and no one could have foreseen all the impacts that has had). However, regardless of BYOD and any University-wide software acquisitions/standards it’s clear that faculty would benefit from knowing what options are available (PC, Mac, Open Source) and at what price points. Joseph and Brian are co-owners of this.

8. CIS website Updates. Co-Chair Sonja Walti briefed the website (https://blogs.library.american.edu/cis/) needs to be updated with meeting times and minutes.

9. University Web Steering Committee. Sonja and Chris mentioned this body that oversees web policy in regard to Provost (Registrar activities) and Americans with Disability Act (ADA) website compliance, known as “508 Compliance” (see http://www.section508.gov/ for details).

10. Social Media Committee Policy (Provost). The Committee discussed the fact this Committed (of which CIS Member Brian Yates is a member) provides University policy in this area (see http://www.american.edu/policies/upload/Social-Media-Guidelines.pdf for details). It’s relevant to CIS because it affects language that could be used in syllabi.

11. CIS as an “Information Exchange”. The final item to be discussed was the idea that our Committee, due to its multiple roles for: liaison, assessment, oversight, and recommendations (https://blogs.library.american.edu/cis/about/) may want to consider formalizing this role (i.e., looking at the various, open issues discussed to-date and focus on a few, key ones).

There being no other business to discuss, the meeting adjourned. The next CIS Meeting is Monday, Monday, February 16, 2015 at 10:30 AM in the Library Conference Room.