The provost utilizes the Information Technology Executive Committee (ITEC), staffed by university officers, to establish and maintain policy for and oversight of the IT environment at the University.
Information Technology Executive Committee (ITEC)
The ITEC is chaired by the Provost. Voting members of the ITEC consist of the President’s Cabinet, including the Provost, and the chair of the College IT Administrators Council (CITAC) who shall be invited to cabinet meetings for ITEC–related agenda items.
A quorum shall consist of ten voting members that shall be necessary for action. Items are to be decided by majority vote of the quorum. In the case of a tie, the vote shall be determined by the vote of the chair. In the case of a tie where the chair does not vote or abstains, the motion shall fail.
Additional attendees may be invited to specific ITEC meetings, so as to facilitate the conduct of ITEC’s business.
Several Change and Reform recommendations call for a variety of actions related to information technology. In particular, AS.09, reproduced verbatim under IV below, calls for an information technology strategic plan. Closely related is AS.08, reproduced under III below, which calls for the development of information technology principles. This document is an initial step in the process of addressing these recommendations.
Information Technology Planning Principles
This document in its present form is intended to serve as a set of guiding principles to be observed in the strategic planning process for information technology at CSU. This process includes:
- Preparation of a strategic plan with full campus participation
- Ratification of the plan by the Council of Deans and the CSU executives
- Implementation of the plan
- Annual revision of the plan, again with campus participation
These principles will be augmented and refined throughout the planning process to result in the information technology principles called for by AS.08.
The Academic Imperative
Information technology must support and enhance the teaching, learning, research, scholarship, artistry and public service activities of the University.
This information technology planning process will concentrate on strategic, not tactical, issues and is instigated primarily as a result of Change and Reform recommendation AS.09. Other Change and Reform recommendations speak to information technology planning issues, in particular AS.08, AS.10, AS.11, AS.12, AS.13 AS.14 and AS.21 and will be considered in the planning process. Some of the issues raised in these recommendations are tactical and, as such, are being addressed currently.
The plan must document information technology needs both present and future and must call for arrangements to meet these needs, including what will be central responsibility and authority and what will be unit responsibility and authority.
The plan must concentrate on what must be done. As a practical matter the plan may also offer guidance as to how the specifics of the plan are to be implemented. However, for the most part, how the specifics of the plan are accomplished must be left to the units charged with implementing the plan.
The plan must concentrate on projects to be completed in a four year time frame as contrasted with an emphasis on on-going activities. However, the plan may recognize on-going activities that must be modified, instituted, or discontinued.
The information technology planning process and the plan itself must support and integrate with the University Strategic Plan and the University planning and budgeting process.
Lastly, as with any planning, the plan and the process must be flexible enough to accommodate the unpredictable influences of change and opportunity.
The plan must strike a balance in several dimensions, e. g., needs of various constituencies, central standards and core services in a decentralized computing environment, budget realities, personnel considerations, organizational arrangements, CSU role and mission, CSU history and tradition. The plan must detail an operating environment that strikes an appropriate balance in covering fundamental issues through a central structure, yet allows individual academic faculty discretion.
The plan must detail the emerging need for policy and procedure to recognize and deal with information technology related issues such as privacy, security and copyright as well as issues raised by recent state and federal legislation.
The plan must specify organizational arrangements that will:
- Result in on-going full participation by information technology management at the college level and at the vice president level.
- Take full advantage of the existing Information Technology Executive Committee (ITEC) as well as the Information Technology Area Directors (ITAD).
- Put in place an administrative mechanism to study the issues of organization among information technology units and recommend reorganization to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
The plan must articulate and require support of and adherence to a comprehensive set of technical standards. These standards are provided by 1) federal and state laws and regulations, 2) international standards organizations, and 3) university policies, procedures and practices. Standards are necessary to assure enhanced utility while recognizing the limitations of resources. Such standards must provide clear guidance to both centralized and decentralized decisions and expenditures. These standards must also recognize the need for individual academic faculty to acquire hardware and software beyond the standards.
The plan must assure individual day-to-day information technology decisions that:
- Adhere to standards related to core services and basic configurations
- Select off-the-shelf solutions
- Avoid beta tests not consistent with implementation goals
- Emphasize ease of use
- Favor solutions that are field upgradable, modular and scalable
- Opt for flexibility
- Consider cost of ownership and replacement
- Require that gifts in kind be consistent with university plans and are fully costed
- Provide for reliability, backup, disaster recovery, and appropriate redundancy
- To the maximum extent possible, standardize hardware, software, and protocols on the desktop workstation
- Keep abreast of and take into consideration future improvements and developments in information technology
The plan must call for the establishment of arrangements that will:
- Identify opportunities and possibilities for cooperation, coordination and commonalty of solutions
- Insure maximum compatibility of information technology facilities
- Provide ample opportunity to collectively influence local decisions
- Maximize commonalty of hardware, software, protocols, etc.
- Share knowledge and experience and avoid repeating mistakes
The plan must foster mechanisms to establish continuous replacement funding for all information technology facilities and equipment. In particular, the plan must recommend ways for units to level information technology expenditures based on reasonable equipment replacement schedules and annual replacement expenditures based on those schedules. The plan must define the unit responsible for implementing these schedules.
The plan must define those infrastructure facilities that are necessary for full support of information technology activities. For example, Change and Reform recommendation AS.12 calls for the central funding, development, maintenance and management of the CSU data network including LAN’s.
The plan should recommend that information technology resources, facilities and services be provided with little or no dependence on cost recovery.
The plan must define a set of essential information technology services that will be available free of charge to all students, faculty and staff. This set of essential services must be provided in a barrier-free and ergonomically safe environment.
The plan must detail the need for information technology related training for faculty and staff, as called for by Change and Reform recommendations AS.08 and AS.21.
The plan must recognize the need for increased outreach activities and must call for the provision of information technology facilities, resources and services to off-campus constituencies based on their overall priority for the University.
The University level administrative systems, including the Financial Reporting System (FRS), the Human Resources System (HRS), the Integrated Student Information System (ISIS), and the Campus Information System (CIS), require replacement when their respective life cycle ends. An integral part of the information technology planning activity, called for in the recent campus change and reform exercise (AS.09), will be to define the overall direction of campus administrative applications and the process and methodology to be used in future administrative application replacements.
The plan must define an operating environment that makes a clear distinction between facilities and services that are provided and managed centrally and those that are not provided or managed centrally.
For core facilities and services that are provided and managed centrally:
- Costs must be covered centrally, and authority and responsibility must be central.
- Central services must include data and video with service to the wall plate as required.
- Buildings connected to the campus communications system would be a central responsibility.
- Design, implementation and management of the campus data communications network (both internal and external to the campus) must be included in the central utility model.
For local facilities and services that are not provided or managed centrally:
- Cost are not covered centrally.
- Hardware and software standards must be observed.
- Downloading of software and workstation configuration selection must be available from a central source.
- What capabilities are required to access centrally provided services (CIS, HRS, WWW, email, etc.) must be specifically defined in a lay person type approach that is consistent with hardware and software standards.
Periodic Reporting and Review
The plan should identify those departments and colleges that are to provide annual reporting of information technology activities. This report should be brief but should include:
- Unit mission statement
- Current information technology activities
- Future information technology activities
- Information technology budget
- Information technology support staff
Further, the information technology units (e. g., IS, ACNS) should receive a comprehensive review on a five year basis of the type envisioned in 3AS.04.
Information Technology Principles (3AS.08)
The Vice President for Research and Technology should develop a set of specific principles that will govern decisions regarding information technology infrastructure, applications, training, and support issues. Procedures should be established for the adoption and implementation of the principles on a university-wide basis.
Specific Objective: Develop a set of basic underlying principles on which individual technology decisions can be made that are in conformity with university-wide technology objectives. The ultimate aim is to guide the University toward the utilization of technology as a means to create administrative operating efficiencies. It may be useful to direct these underlying principles toward three specific areas:
- Infrastructure, which describes the type of equipment the University uses, the operating software that runs on them, and the communications networks that provide connectivity between individual pieces of equipment.
- Applications, are the specific computer programs used to organize data and provide management information to assist in the administration of the University.
- Training and Support, encompasses the methods used to train users of information technology and provide ongoing support.
The development of principles should be a community activity reflecting broad university representation. To facilitate a more effective use of technology to achieve institutional goals, local technology decisions must be made consistent with university-wide principles.
Strategic Plan For Information Technology (3AS.09)
Based on the established principles, the Vice President for Research and Technology should design and implement a long-term strategic plan for the use of technology on a University-wide basis. Such a plan should guide the leadership, management and coordination of information technology to further the mission and goals of the University.
The plan should include:
- Recommendations for realignment of current administrative structures, including lines of reporting and scope of responsibilities, to facilitate institution-wide policy-making and guidance in the strategic use of technology
- Identification of the Vice President for Research and Technology as the person responsible for providing leadership in technological planning
- A focus on technology as a tool for or means of achieving institutional goals, rather than an end in and of itself
- The integration of instructional technology as a tool for meeting the instructional goals of the University
- Specific identification of the extent to which decisions and guidelines should be made on a centralized v. decentralized basis
- Broad-based input and participation on the college and unit level
- A plan for funding and allocation of resources to support University-wide technology goals
- A plan for providing ongoing training and support
In the development of such a plan, it is critical to obtain broad-based academic and administrative participation and input, including at least the Council of Deans from an academic standpoint and the Technology Area Directors for technical expertise. The plan should be prepared in a time-frame that will permit it to be implemented for Fiscal Year 1997-98.
The ITEC’s scope of authority includes:
- Information Technologies, such as:
- Computing (mainframes, servers, desktop computers, applications, etc.)
- Communications (voice, video and data)
- Instructional Technology
- Information Services
- Information storage, back-up, archival and preservation
- Information Technology infrastructure
The ITEC is responsible for information technology policy at the University. The ITEC is also concerned with technology change as it affects instructional methods, research, outreach, and administrative processes.
The ITEC receives input directly from the ITEC Advisory Council (IAC). The ITEC also seeks input and counsel from various other sources such as the Council of Deans, Faculty Council and its committees, various other CSU committees (Associate and Assistant Deans, Campus Administrative Advisory Group, etc.), technology managers, and interested and qualified individuals. Normally, the ITEC approves information technology policy for the University. Where policy requires approval by the President and/or the Board of Governors of the CSU System, the ITEC will consider the policy, and forward a recommendation to the President for elevation to the Board.
Finally, the ITEC develops and maintains an information and instructional technology vision for CSU which is integrated with the university strategic planning and budgeting process.