Information Technology Services
Report to the Board of Trustees June 19, 2013
? Successful U
Information Technology Services
June 19, 2013
(Prepared May 30, 2013)
???? iPads for Athletics ?
Commitment to Excellence
?ITS is finalizing evaluations of current Mobile Device Management systems to ensure complete support is available for University?managed mobile devices. A web portal is in development to provide student athletes participating in the iPad initiative with a single online location for resources and support. By Fall we expect to have football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball all using iPads. Final configuration specifications for the devices and a purchase order are expected by May 31.
?The Successful U application will add several features over the summer. Preparations for roll?out to the new Freshman class, at the New Roo Weekend, are being undertaken.
Work is progressing, through the Office of Strategic Engagement, to involve key community groups in a dialog with UA students using tools provided in the application. Using the application’s social media tools, primarily Twitter, these community?based groups and entrepreneurs can reach users of the application with messages of inspiration, interest in UA student interns, news of community events, and student opportunities.
Data collection of adoption and usage rates, feedback from users and in?application statistics are continuing throughout the summer. Following the Fall re?launch and analysis of these factors, consideration will be given to adjustments of the application and possible direction for Phase II efforts.
?? Undergraduate Admission Application
?Admissions and Enrollment Management along with ITS are investigating methods to provide an improved experience for potential students applying to the university for admittance. The undergraduate admissions form in use today is approximately seven years old and is in need of usability improvements and modernization. Methods to provide this could include engaging a third?party firm to develop and manage the form and/or updating and improving the form that currently is maintained by the University.
Identified improvements include:
? Changing the order of the questions on the form to provide a better flow for the user.
? Adding additional explanatory text to identified areas to better clarify responses.
? Revamp the process to choose a preferred major area of study.
? Request additional demographic data to provide Admissions with increased options for contacting prospects.
? Parent information.
? Cell phone information for candidate with permission
to contact them via text messaging.
? Additional information to identify Alumni dependents.
? Provide the ability to pay Admission fees via
electronic check.
? Add the ability for users to save an application
without completing and allowing them to finish it at a
later time.
? Allow all students to use a single form to apply.
Currently International and Honors students fill out additional forms.
?? Akron Experience
?????Student Relationship Management (SRM)
?New planning tools for Career Development are being used in this year’s New Student Orientation sessions. These tools are intended to:
o Introduce incoming freshmen to Career Planning Concepts
o Provide forms for standardized New Student Orientation advising
o Provide checklists in MyAkron to provide students an ongoing roadmap
New audiences are being introduced to the messaging services within MyAkron. The ability to target messages has been expanded to include Graduate and Law students. The School of Law and the Graduate School are being given access to tools to allow them to push messages and notification to these audiences thus customizing their experience to differentiate them from undergraduate students.
Culture Quest, a part of the Akron Experience, encourages students to discover and explore meaningful connections between scholarly insights and real world problem solving through their sustained and active participation in selected lectures, exhibits, performances, and scientific talks. The program completed its first full year and the Culture Quest committee is meeting to plan the experience for the 2013?14 school year.
?A Request for Information was issued to leading vendors of relationship management applications for higher education to learn how their products might help UA. These products are intended to provide personal relationships and interactions with students through the entire lifecycle beginning with recruitment and retention and after graduation through alumni/ development.
It was determined that the pressure on improving retention was strategically more critical at the moment than recruitment or alumni/development. As a result, a team and steering committee are being formed to support the Student Relationship Manager (SRM) effort with the initial charge of focusing on retention. Temporary projects to provide advisors with a student dashboard showing an overview of each student’s current status/needs and a consolidated note taking application will be created to provide immediate help. An interim solution for an application targeted at retention will be sought. The SRM was formerly reported to the Board as a Constituent Resource Manager (CRM). The name was revised to more accurately reflect the use in higher education.
???? Online Learning (eLearning)
? Quality Matters
? eProcurement Shared Services
Develop Dynamic and Globally Relevant Programs
?In consultation with the colleges, UA’s strategic enrollment services staff has identified a set of programs that are strategically important to the University’s online learning initiative. We are in the process of supporting the curriculum development and approval efforts for the courses in these programs.
We are developing an RFP to seek a marketing and student recruitment services provider that will be dedicated to helping our institution expand enrollment for targeted online educational programs.
Four candidates to facilitate UA’s online initiatives have been invited to campus in June. The search is scheduled to be complete by the end of June in anticipation of a fall start for the identified candidate.
?UA ITS staff hosted the first statewide meeting for the members of the Ohio Quality Matters Consortium to promote
There were 125 attendees
from 40 Ohio institutions.
To date, 14 UA courses have been recognized for their quality by Quality Matters. Three cohorts of Quality Matters in Online Course Design are scheduled for UA faculty in June. To date, this program has been completed by 105 faculty members. Information Technology Services is positioned well to deliver the courses and programs selected by the Colleges and the Offices of Academic Affairs and Student Success.
?networking and idea sharing surrounding our efforts
?to ensure that Ohio’s students have access to online courses
?that are of the highest quality.
?ESM Solutions is used as a way to significantly increase the discounting UA, as well as possibly others in the local geographic region such as governmental units, receives for purchases through an online catalog and ordering solution.
It was determined that the initial implementation of the eProcurement catalog will not be interfaced with PeopleSoft to keep the initial costs low and allow the concept to be tested before making a more significant commitment.
?? Shared Service: Supporting PeopleSoft at LCCC
?? NEOshare ?? The Northeast Ohio Independent Shared Service Center
?UA continues to provide support for Lorain County Community College’s (LCCC) PeopleSoft administrative enterprise application environments of Campus Solutions, Financials, Human Capital Management, and associated application development tools.
QueueTracker: This application is used by both UA and LCCC to direct students to their desired service reducing/eliminating paper forms, wait time, and lines. UA has nearly completed the update to LCCC QueueTracker which includes increased ease of use, added additional services to the students’ menu, and the ability to utilize student ID card readers.
Training: LCCC held query training courses and UA staff also participated.
Development Standards: UA is working with LCCC to assist in bringing custom data tables in line with standards.
?The University of Akron is working with NEOnet, a northeast Ohio shared computing service center that supports regional K?12 school districts, to develop similar services for higher education and government. The combined organization will be named NEOshare. There are two projects that we intend to pilot to prove UA and NEOnet can work effectively together, they are a networking operations center (NOC) and an information technology service desk.
Network Operating Center. UA and NEOnet are meeting with MCPc to seek advice on how to create a successful NOC for NEOshare. MCPc has a very successful NOC service they provide to industry and have agreed to help us develop a similar service for the public sector. NEOnet uses MCPc to supply technical hardware for existing operations.
IT Service Desk. Discussions are underway to determine whether a consolidated IT Service Desk can be created for NEOshare. NEOnet has one in place to support K?12 and UA has one that supports the University, its branch campuses, and PeopleSoft for LCCC. While both provide a common set of services, each uses a different technology.
Hiram College: ITS met with the CIO of Hiram College, Frank Ventura, to present and discuss opportunities available through the shared service and NEOshare. Frank has aggressively moved the technology of the College forward but is seeking partnerships to better leverage existing resources.
???? Desktop Synchronous Learning/Video Conferencing
? Integrator Assessor
Facilitate Faculty Development and Success by Expanding Clusters of Interdisciplinary Teaching and Research
?The CCTC committee membership has been established. The committee has developed and distributed a survey to the UA Community to gather data on functional needs. Faculty and student responses are being incorporated into the requirements document for a desktop videoconferencing system. The plan is to issue the RFP in early June, review bids and interview finalists during the summer months.
This technology will enable instructors and students to be located anywhere as long as they have Internet access.
???The Integrator Assessor team has identified a small handful of pilot projects for a proof of concept. Instructional designers are beginning to collaborate with faculty to define competencies for the Emergency Management project.
The Technology platform team is creating the initial design for the Integrator platform. The team has prioritized platform features into near?term and later?term phases. Desire2Learn (D2L) has responded to our functional specification with their proposed phases. UA’s team will match our identified phasing with Desire2Learn’s capabilities and review those results with D2L.
?? Website Updates
???A website update planning committee has been convened to design and produce updates to the university’s site to provide improved navigation and information for all potential students and parents.
These updates will include: 30?day Implementation
? Organization of the online page
? Provide descriptions of all degrees and courses within
the online page rather than the current method of
having some in the College of Education section
? Home page revisions
? Add a Future Students audience tab to the
“Information for” section on right hand side
? Review existing audience tab language
60?day Implementation
? Revamp “Academics & Majors” page 90?day Implementation
? Get proper “designation” of courses for sorting of course modality and offerings (daytime, evenings, weekend)
? Be able to search for classes on the web similar to the ability to do so on the mobile app
? Consider “Your Degree. Your Way.” as the umbrella for all enrollment at the university; determine the elements that would need to be incorporated into this messaging platform
? Conduct usability testing at the conclusion of the 90? day time period
???? IT Status & Projects
???? Voice Update/Strategy – AT&T contract
? Police Dispatch – 911 Merger
Build and Sustain Vital Relationships and Partnerships
?The new Information Technology Services status page now can be accessed from the IT homepage: as well as through the University’s My Akron portal.
The page is designed as an easy reference for the University community to check the status of IT systems and follow updates during maintenance or outages.
The page uses a green?yellow?red indicator. If systems, for example Telecommunications, Servers, Web Access, PeopleSoft, etc., are out or scheduled to be out for service, the page will indicate the planned maintenance or outage.
Promote Vibrant and Engaging Environments and Facilities
?Telecom is working with AT&T to determine the services and timeline for the implementation of SIP, which will reduce the University’s annual telecommunications cost by approximately $200K. The projected timeline is to have the first phase of the implementation completed by Fall and the total deployment completed by the end of the Spring semester.
?The University of Akron Police Department and the City of Akron Police Department are partnering to share the City’s Computer?Aided Dispatch and Records Management System to track and document public safety incidents.
The project is in the final stages before go?live. Programming work is winding down with User Acceptance Testing scheduled to begin June 3 with training for much of the UAPD staff to be completed throughout June. A go?live date of July 8 has been established to switch to the new system.
Moving the University Police onto the City’s systems will provide a safer work environment for our officers by providing them with more complete information while in route to calls.
Time & Labor Absence Management
University of Akron Foundation
Grants Management Post? Award
Enterprise Architecture
Achieve Measurable Success
?The University is automating the process of time collection for hours by both exempt and non?exempt employees as well as managing the requests for planned absences.
The project is in the final steps for configuring the system based on the requirements that were defined for the implementation. User Acceptance Testing will begin in late June and continue into early August. Campus?wide go?live events will begin in mid?August and continue through late September.
???The University of Akron Foundation is replacing the existing software application it uses to receive monies on behalf of UA and administer them in accordance with donor wishes. The current application is no longer supported and runs on a stand?alone personal computer. The Foundation purchased Financial Edge from Blackbaud. Implementation planning will begin June 12.
???The Grants Post?award application tracks research award expenditures, calculate and process facilities and administration costs, and automate billing to sponsors.
Work continues on updating the accounting chartfields to include the project chartfield required by the new grants management system. This part of the project entails alterations to our budgetary control system which will significantly decrease budget maintenance time. It also includes a realignment of restricted funds between sponsored programs and other externally funded activities which will ease the identification of all research dollars and allow for automated billing in all areas of sponsored programs.
?ITS is reviewing the University’s technology architecture strategy so it can support and adapt rapidly to any needed technology changes.
The next step will be to conduct interviews across campus with leaders of the business units and divisions affected by the enterprise architecture to determine their needs and vision. This project was put on hold until after July 1 due to budget constraints.

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