CIS minutes 2019 11

A meeting of the Committee on Information Systems (CIS) was held Wednesday, November 6, 2019 from 12:30-2p in Library 143. The attendees were:

  1. Stefano Costanzi (CAS)
  2. Nancy Davenport (LIB)
  3. Terry Fernandez (OIT)
  4. Reuben Jacobson (SOE)
  5. Kiho Kim (CTRL)
  6. Stefan Kramer (LIB)
  7. Patrick Jackson (SIS)
  8. Joseph Mortati (KSB)
  9. Rick Semitian (SPExS)
  10. Scott Talan (SOC)
  11. Mauro Tiso (CAS)
  12. Stef Woods (CAS)
  13. Brian Yates (CAS)
  14. Bobby Zitzmann (AUSG)
  15. Guest: Mike Piller (Senior Director, Academic Technology, Library)

The following items of business were discussed.

General: The October 2019 minutes were approved. The Committee elected Brian as Vice-Chair.

Upgraded Classrooms: Mike Piller briefed the Committee on the problems and potential solutions with respect to information technology and physical plant issues in classrooms, event spaces, and other meeting and performance spaces across the university.

There is interest in establishing a single, central entity for reporting and solving problems in teaching technology and physical plant issues. The Library noted that it is not equipped to handle specialized spaces such as theaters (Katzen and Greenberg) and labs built for specific purposes (SOC).

There also is interest in standardized hardware available in AU spaces for teaching, learning, and meeting.

Funding for maintenance of technology was reviewed several years ago by the then-Provost and Registrar. Funding is not a base item, but instead is established separately in each budget. Funding is now on the order of $200K annually, although it used to be several million dollars. Partnership with Sony helped contain costs for East Campus and the Hall of Science some, and that may or may not continue.

One strategic imperative is how to improve space across campus. This is led by KSB’s Maureen Breslin. There needs to be a reasonable picture that looks at the issues through more than just what’s centrally-scheduled. A suggestion was raised to include Laura Ragusa and Jim Merrifield in these discussions.

Mike noted that WCL is completely independent, and the Library has two full-time and two part-time staff in SVB to handle classroom concerns.

Mike supported having CIS make recommendations in the coming months related to this and how classroom issues can create disparate experiences for faculty and students. The Committee discussed the need to improve communication between campus offices and schools, establish baseline funding to cover maintenance and replacements, consolidate some processes, and impose some standards. CIS does not need to wait for a new COO before making these recommendations. We can work online to draft recommendations for discussions at future meetings.

CTRL Request re Faculty Software Budget Allocation: Kiho explained that CTRL now has control over a considerable budget for software allocation for faculty teaching and research. He said would appreciate guidance for specific responses to faculty recommendations for software purchases. He wondered whether CTRL was the best entity to make decisions on faculty requests for software, given how CTRL’s mission has changed. This does not fall within OIT’s purview since OIT doesn’t handle academic technology. Mary Clark and Kiho would like to shift the decision-making out of the hands of one or two people, establish a clear process, and increase transparency. They thought CIS might assist with this.

Kiho shared that schools contribute $19-20K to the faculty software budget with an additional $138K coming from CTRL. On average, CTRL receives 10 requests a year for $15-20K. CTRL would still write the checks, but asked if CIS would be willing to establish some general rules or suggestions.

There ensued considerable discussion of both recommendations for specific types of software and of the possibility of developing general policies, principles, or rules for CTRL to following in responding to faculty requests. These included possibly prioritizing open access software, faculty software vouchers, learning how other universities make these decisions, determining which software is integral to a course or department, deciding if the standardized suite is sufficient; and favoring software that could be installed on VCLs.

Discussions ensued as to whether this responsibility falls within the Committee’s purview and if it does, what the Committee’s role(s) should be. In previous years, CIS received applications for faculty software requests and issue grants up to $10K. Karen Baehler, Faculty Senate chair, believes that this does fall under CIS’ mission. Some members agreed, while others feel as though this is beyond CIS’ scope. Additional concerns were shared about the changing membership, how some schools and departments have greater representation on CIS, and how accepting this role could prove difficult and time-consuming for future members.

The Committee voted in favor to continue these discussions and decide whether CIS should help CTRL respond to faculty software requests.

Recruiter: Brian will meet with Ann Parambil, Associate Director of CRM Product Management, about the Psychology Department’s concerns about Recruiter. He will report back and will schedule meetings involving user representatives from major teaching units.

Slack/Teams: The Committee discussed the need to work outside of our monthly meetings as we prepare possible recommendations regarding upgraded classrooms and brainstorm approaches to CTRL’s request. Brian demonstrated the functionality of the channels that he set up on Slack, and members shared their thoughts on the platform. We also discussed the listserv’s strengths and limitations. Kiho shared that Teams is free, supported by Microsoft 360, integrates Skype, and has worked well for CTRL. Teams also is the platform that AU has chosen and supported. Brian offered to set up Teams and channels for the Committee.

The meeting was adjourned.


Minutes, October 16, 2019

A meeting of the Committee on Information Systems (CIS) was held Wednesday, October 16, 2019 from 11a-12:30p in Library 143. The attendees were:

  1. Stefano Costanzi (CAS)
  2. Nancy Davenport (LIB)
  3. Terry Fernandez (OIT)
  4. Jennifer Gumbrewicz (by phone)
  5. Patrick Jackson (SIS)
  6. Kiho Kim (CTRL)
  7. Joseph Mortati (KSB)
  8. Rick Semitian (SPEXs)
  9. Scott Talan (SOC)
  10. Mauro Tiso (CAS)
  11. Stef Woods (CAS)
  12. Brian Yates (CAS)
  13. Bobby Zitzmann (AUSG)
  14. Guest: Jim Merrifield (CAS, Director, Facilities Administration & Information Technology)
  15. Guest: Zach Prichard (SOC, Technology Manager)
  16. Guest: Laura Ragusa (SOC, Assistant Dean, Budget and Technology)

The following items of business were discussed.

General: The September 2019 minutes were approved.

The Committee approved the bylaws. The bylaws have been forwarded to Faculty Senate for final approval.

Thanks to Mauro and Brian for their willingness to run for the Vice Chair role. Online voting will continue through Friday, October 18th.

Upgraded Classrooms: Upgraded classrooms and event space involve the upgrade and maintenance of A/V technology, rugs, furniture, whiteboards, painting, and accessibility. Lead, asbestos, mildew, and mold abatement and removal also fall under this category.

The Classroom Improvement Committee (CIC), chaired by the Registrar, designated classrooms as locally-controlled versus centrally-controlled. From a funding standpoint, all classroom improvements/equipment/furnishings for centrally-controlled classrooms are funded through one budget allocation to the CIC. Funding for improvements/equipment/furnishings for locally-controlled classrooms is the responsibility of the controlling unit. On February 21, 2018, Jim Merrifield contacted Vi Ettle in the Provost’s Office to inquire how the policy would impact the outfitting of CAS rooms that were previously covered by AU.

Jim, Laura and Zack shared how this is an issue for CAS and SOC in particular. CAS and SOC are responsible for locally-controlled classrooms and event space without the budget and resources to handle complaints, upgrades and maintenance. Laura shared that these upgrades include much more than just the purchase and maintenance of specialized technology required for SOC classrooms.

Laura shared that the RISE initiative rightly eliminated lab/tech fees for students, and that AU had agreed to give schools the money. However, the base hasn’t increased from the initial budget cycle, and schools are now receiving less money than they need.

SOC has six-seven full-time staff members and 30 student workers to staff McKinley and computer labs. CAS has two full-time staff members for A/V and classroom support, and one full-time staff member for Katzen. CAS and SOC split the game lab. There is a question as to who will handle these things for the new Hall of Science.

KSB and SPEXs have a revenue-centered model in which they are responsible for rooms, but not technology.

The Library is responsible for all classes not under local control. Kogod has invited the Library in to make classrooms meet that standard. Nancy reported that the Library isn’t getting extra money to maintain the most-used building on campus, MGC. AU A/V does respond to faculty calls, even in locally-controlled classroom space. Nancy noted that there are some things in standard classrooms that are interchangeable, while others (theaters, labs, etc.) are so specialized, that the Library can’t manage them easily.

Committee members noted that it’s tough to know whether a room is locally or centrally-controlled.

There was a shared concern that planning and budgets need to be more forward-thinking and less reactive. There appears to also be a need to communicate clearly who controls what and determine the available resources. Technology, money and staff need to be built into workflows.

One question was whether locally-controlled classrooms are about scheduling or what’s in the room. There is never the case in which only one type of pedagogy is used in a classroom.

Terry suggested the possibility of service-level agreements/MOUs to define roles and responsibilities. These agreements would improve communication and be a constant when staff changes. These agreements could address the expectations and possible roles for the Library, Facilities and Risk Management.

Jen suggested that we come up with a plan to figure out what’s next and how we best can serve students. The Vice Chair will set up a shared document with questions and recommendations in advance of our next meeting. The hope is that CIS makes a recommendation on this issue this semester.

Blackboard Photo Rosters: Joseph discussed the history of the Blackboard roster. 95% of students have an image in BB. There is an option to include their ID photo, an uploaded photo, or opt out of having a photo altogether. Joseph showed the members his own roster binder in which he cuts and pastes photos for all of his classes himself. He has found this useful in helping students to feel welcome, and he adds their year and area of study to the page. JHU and UMD provide these printed photo rosters to their instructors at the beginning of each semester.

Stefano clarified that pictures are uploaded on Blackboard twice a year so first-year students won’t have photos in the beginning of the semester. Mauro commented that the Blackboard roster is not updated enough so that students may be listed on the roster who have dropped/withdrawn from the class.

Patrick shared that Canvas had a default photo option pulled from the other university system. He said that discussion boards featured a thumbnail photo much like Facebook. Canvas has the option to have a personal profile page or individual instructors can request that for students using Blackboard. Bobby noted that it’s not widespread for students to know about these things so it should be clearly communicated with them. Joseph said that these printed rosters could be sent to faculty who don’t use Blackboard and won’t use Canvas robustly.

Rick expressed concern that photos might go to an outside vendor and wondered whether that would be a problem for DACA students.

Stef indicated concern that photo rosters could lead to grading bias and recommended that there be some suggestions for how to use these rosters appropriately, if they are provided to faculty.

Should the Registrar take the initiative on this issue? Is this a matter for University Counsel to weigh in on with respect to DACA students?

Terry commented that WCL has provided photo rosters to faculty in the past, but noted that law school exams are graded with student ID numbers, not names.

We discussed how follow up might be appropriate with the Registrar, once that office is fully staffed. Rick will follow up with Mary Clark to determine the parameters (possible DACA or privacy concerns). Mauro will follow up with Scott Vanek to determine how long it takes for Blackboard to sync with the Registrar’s rosters in Colleague and any alternative options.

Recruiter: Brian discussed the numerous problems his department has encountered using Recruiter for graduation admissions. Recruiter is arduous, clunky, and has limited functionality in terms of searching for applicants and sharing notes between reviewers. Stefano and Jen agreed that Recruiter is difficult to use with Jen noting that her program prints out PDFs of the applications and only uses the system to enter decisions. Brian will follow up with Chris Wilkins, OIT Director, CRM Systems, to express concern about Recruiter and learn about possible alternatives.

HTML Banner: Terry reported that the OIT has been evaluating possible additions to spam filters to prevent phishing emails. This request came from the administration after several employees received phishing emails, followed the instructions in those emails, and ended up sending their paychecks to fraudulent accounts. OIT conducted a pilot program for a month in which an HTML banner is placed on all emails that are sent from an account without an address. The pilot was found to work well. Members expressed the following concerns: 1) how many emails faculty receive from non-AU email accounts; 2) that this might be stigmatizing to faculty who use non-AU email addresses; and 3) that this still might not be effective in stopping phishing. We also discussed whether trusted users could be flagged, and whether this would have any impact in day-to-day communications.

The meeting was adjourned.

Upgrading and upgraded classrooms

This is, hopefully, the start of a between-meetings-of-the-CIS conversation about upgrading classrooms.

At our most recent, 10/16/2019 meet, we discussed several classroom characteristics that could fall under the category of “upgrades,” including:
a) physical plant upgrades such as sockets not coming out of walls and carpet not pealing up from floors,
b) projectors, screens, and WiFi working consistently,
c) computers and computer-projector communications working consistently, and
d) standardized integrations of computers and projectors built into classrooms.

I’m wondering what I’ve missed in the above list, who is responsible for each, who has the budget for each, and the priority each should have relative to others in terms of attention from those responsible.

But your thoughts?
– Brian

Minutes, March 28, 2018 (Approved)

A meeting of the Committee on Information Services was held on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 from 1:00-2:00 PM in Library Room 150. The attendees were:

  1. Robert Adcock (SIS)
  2. Stefano Costanzi (CAS)
  3. Michael Fernandez (LIB)
  4. Katie Holton (CAS)
  5. Billie Jo Kaufman (WCL)
  6. Joseph Mortati (KSB)
  7. Rick Semiatin (SPEX)
  8. Sarah Menke-Fish (SOC)
  9. David Rose (CTRL)
  10. Nancy Davenport (LIB)
  11. Alan Issac (CAS)
  12. Stef Woods (CAS – by phone).

Minutes of the February meeting were approved unanimously.

The Committee reviewed and discussed the responses regarding the committee’s communication with the Office of University Registrar concerning the new grading platform and its functions.  After detailed discussion.  Stefano prepared a brief response requesting “custom” work be considered for “review” pages. This is particularly helpful for large glass grading purposes to prevent errors and to also request all schools be a part of any future testing before official roll-out.

Much discussion ensued regarding continued technology needs in classrooms. There has been some progress, a plan and funding appears to be on target for centrally controlled classrooms. There are issues of some other classrooms that have little or no technology. These rooms appear under School/Dean controls. The deans would need to request those $ from the provost.

There are some particular difficult situations for Fall 2018, when many sections of complex problems will be offered. Many of those sections are being taught in dorm rooms and the technology may not be adequate.

The committee would like for the OUR to consider when assigning rooms to go to a two-step approach much like what occurs for science labs.

If a professor requests technology for their teaching, add that need to the overall seat need.
There appears to be high tech teachers who don’t get assigned rooms with technology and folks who do secure high tech rooms who don’t want them.

The committee is interested in a complete inventory of all rooms available campus-wide for teaching now that the build-out of “new spaces” are complete.

The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will take place at 11am on April 18, 2018 in Library 150.

Minutes, February 21, 2018 (Approved)

A meeting of the Committee on Information Systems (CIS) was held Wednesday, February 21, 2018 from Noon to 1:00PM in the Training & Events Room of the University Library.

The attendees were:

Robert Adcock (SIS)

Stefano Costanzi (CAS)

Michael Fernandez (LIB)

Terry Fernandez (OIT)

Billie Jo Kaufman (WCL) by phone

Joseph Mortati (KSB)

Rick Semiatin (SPEX)

Stef Woods (CAS) by phone

Alan Issac (CAS)

David Rose (CTRL)

Nancy Davenport (University Library)

The minutes of the November meeting were approved unanimously.

There was a discussion on “rebalancing” CIS.  There appears that after careful review, there is no need to rebalance.  The committee expressed agreement with the current structures and transition going forward.

If anyone from the committee is interested in serving as Vice Chair of the Senate.  Lura Graham is collecting nominations.  You may self-nominate or nominate another.  The nomination and a brief bio needs to go to Lura.

Other information shared from the Senate is further adjustment to the SET; they are looking at a shorter version and another pilot. New questions will be more course based and less personal preferences.

The Senate continues to review Human Resource interest in “background checks” for faculty positions. There is significant discussion and some “push back”.  There is also a discussion regarding “sexual consensual relations” language especially “while enrolled in classes”.

The Committee hosted Jill Klein.

Jill shared information on how some changes have evolved.  There was discussion about various gaps.  They realize things are not perfect but there is intention is to reach out to faculty and this committee going forward. Although renovations to CTRL are underway, there aren’t any changes as to the workshops and support that CTRL offers faculty. The hope is that faculty who are able will utilize the renovated CTRL space for coffee, conversation and collaboration.

There are wide varieties of devices on campus and some software needs create issues.

CIS will make efforts to send representations to ATSC.

There was discussion about grade input and other issues regarding the new grade features. Rick will prepare an official recommendation regarding these issues for committee approval via email. Once approved, the recommendations will be presented to the Faculty Senate.

The next meeting will be March 21, 2018.

Minutes, November 15, 2017 (Approved)


A meeting of the Committee on Information Systems (CIS) was held Wednesday, November 15, 2017 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM in Library 143.

The attendees were:

  1. Robert Adcock (SIS)
  2. Stefano Costanzi (CAS)
  3. Michael Fernandez (LIB)
  4. Terry Fernandez (OIT)
  5. Katie Holton (CAS)
  6. Billie Jo Kaufman (WCL) (by phone)
  7. Joseph Mortati (KSB)
  8. Rick Semiatin (SPEX)
  9. Stef Woods (CAS)
  10. Alan Isaac (CAS)
  11. David Rose (CTRL)

 The following items of business were discussed.

Chair Stefano Costanzi opened the meeting with approval of the minutes.  The minutes from the October 20, 2017 were approved (

Katie Kassof, Instructional Technologist and Learning Space Designer, and Ciel Bailey, Assistant University Registrar joined us for the entirety of the meeting. Committee members introduced themselves

Katie Kassof reported that after three years of working hard, AU is almost finished modernizing all scheduled classrooms. SIS and Beeghly Hall will be completed in Summer 2018. AU recognizes the need to move from analog to digital, provide wireless presentation capabilities, and support devices going forward. Modernization includes taking out the old and putting in all new cabling, new digital HD projectors and screens, new cameras and recording devices, and new capabilities.

If spaces aren’t centrally-scheduled classroom locations (like many rooms in Battelle, those rooms will not automatically be upgraded. Individual departments can decide to fund modernization with consultation from the Learning Space Design department. Updates typically range between $17,000-20,000. The timeline is typically a few days, but some spaces can be partially updated.

Katie Kassof noted that the Learning Space Design department looked at the tech innards of each space and tried to meet teaching needs. Design decisions came with faculty feedback and understanding of the problems. For instance, most faculty want to use both the projectors and white boards so projector screens have been moved off center. With that said, every room can’t fit every person. And, newer buildings also have to serve the needs for deans, departments and non-teaching needs.

Alan Isaac reported on the findings from the survey of AU faculty on their software needs. Faculty have noticed a big difference in the upgraded rooms. Katie Kassof and Ciel Bailey provided suggestions for future survey questions. Ciel Bailey also discussed how the Registrar looks beyond the number of seats in a room when assigning classroom space and noted that faculty can determine whether a classroom meets their needs via 25Live. If 25Live does not have the necessary information, faculty can call A/V to determine room capabilities or request specific technology needs. For example. there are portable VCRs and DVD players that can be brought to individual rooms upon request.

Stefano Costanzi recommended that we consult our own faculty as to their needs, meet as a committee, and push forward specific items to Faculty Senate. The Committee concurred, and we will use our February meeting to identify problems and what to address.

There will be no meetings in December or January. Stefano Costanzi will send out an email with Doodle polls to determine the best meeting times for our three meetings in the spring.

The meeting was adjourned.

MIT: “Information Technology, the Network Society, and the Global University” open, online, free course this autumn 2014 at MIT OCW-centric World University and School

“Information Technology, the Network Society, and the Global University” –

an open, online, free course meets this autumn 2014 at wiki CC MIT OCW-centric World University and School … on Saturdays from 11am-1pm Pacific Time.

“What is information technology, broadly conceived? How did it develop? Who did it? What has been the process of diffusion into the economy and society? How and why did the Network Society take shape? What of the implications of networks in the Information Age? In this course, we’ll analyze the interaction between society and contemporary information technologies, in a multicultural and comparative perspective. In doing so, we’ll examine what data and evidence are in the social sciences, how it is used, and how it is interpreted.”

In the second half of the course, we’ll explore starting an all-language, MIT OCW-centric university and school, World University and School, asking further (in the context of the first half’s focus on how the information revolution emerged), and in terms of questions about agency (from a Castellian perspective), in what ways to grow this conversation remarkably and flourishingly on the internet? In what ways can WUaS build on great universities in innovative ways? And what are some of the inter-lingual implications of this? We’ll also problematize the 9 main areas below at WUaS –  And we’ll develop your questions into course themes.

Library Resources:
Nation States:
You at World University:
Educational Software:
Hardware Resource Possibilities:
World University Music School:
World University Foundation:

This class is synchronous …

on Harvard’s virtual island (get an avatar)

and in Google + group video Hangouts at WUaS (get a G+ Profile)

on Saturdays for 2 hours from 11a-1p (Pacific Time) beginning Saturday, September 20th, to get familiar with the two main information technologies, and with the course conversation beginning on September 27th.

This course will only meet in the autumn at World University and School.

[If people are interested in distant time zones, we’ll explore changing the course’s scheduling].

See this link for this course –

Come join the “Information Technology, the Network Society, and the Global University” conversation!

Email for further information.

Especially if you know another language, or are in a non-US country, but can’t participate in the course, please add your name to the World University and School mailing list –

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