ACEC FY2021 Final Report

ACEC FY2021 Final Report


Chair: Angela Rathmel, Libraries (2021)
Mathew Jacobson, Film and Media (2021);
Hong Vu, Journalism (2022);
Phillip Wedge, English (2022);
Zsolt Talata, Mathematics (2023)
Scott Cossel, Libraries (2023);
Adam Mansfield, Legal Services for Students
Student:   Addison Henson (Undergraduate) ;
Pamela Johnson (Graduate)
Ex-officio:    Mary Walsh, IT Services;
Jeff Chasen, Associate Vice Provost, Compliance


Standing Charge

Monitor current and proposed policy concerning security of information, intellectual property rights and responsibilities, and other matters relating to information technology. Identify issues for which policy should be developed or revised. Report issues and any recommendations for action to SenEx. (ongoing)

FY2021 Special charges:   

  1. Follow up on how the pandemic response went and implications for online instruction in the future – will this produce a future push to offering online instruction? If so, what are the implications for faculty and staff?   
  1. Follow up on Library concerns around situations in which a vendor notifies KU that a user has been abusing their service by downloading too much material.   

Membership: 1

Charges. 1

·        Email to the cloud migration. 2

·        IT governance. 2

·        Security and Unemployment Fraud. 2

·        LMS switch from Blackboard to Canvass. 2

·        New position: Director of Academic Technology. 2

·        Classroom updates. 2

·        Accessibility and new Ally tool 2

Special Charge 1 – Pandemic Response. 3

Special Charge 2 – Policy on Excessive Downloading. 3

Appendix A.. 4

Appendix B. 8

Appendix C. 10

Standing Charge

Monitor current and proposed policy concerning security of information, intellectual property rights and responsibilities, and other matters relating to information technology. Identify issues for which policy should be developed or revised. Report issues and any recommendations for action to SenEx. (ongoing)

The committee met a total of four times and unfortunately was not able to generate student participation in any of these meetings. 

 The committee’s progressed on its standing charge primarily in response to the CIO’s reports, which covered the following areas:

Meeting Minutes 10-02-2020

The email migration to the cloud began in October 2019 with the KU IT team accounts as proof of concept. We followed that effort with staff and faculty until early March. At that time the project was placed on hold because of the turmoil caused by the pandemic. Migration resumed in late April. All staff and faculty were migrated by the end of May 2020; students and retirees were completed by August 2020. The project was officially closed in October 2020.

Tom Roderick provided a PowerPoint presentation on IT Governance (Appendix A)

According to data tracked and compiled by HR (provided by Mary Walsh), KU tracked 1,611 incidents of KU employee (faculty and staff) impacted by this scam 655 incidents in CY 2020 (3/1/20 – 12/31/20) and 956 incidents in CY 2021 (1/1/21 – 3/31/21). Given the number of employees experiencing false unemployment claims, committed expressed concern about IT Security , need for clarification and campus-wide communication.  Both HR and KU IT generated campus-wide communications on the following dates.

      • HR - Wed 6/17/2020 4:18 PM
      • HR - Mon 10/5/2020 9:25 AM
      • HR - Tue 3/2/2021 1:42 PM
      • KU IT - Mon 10/26/2020 12:10 PM
      • HR - Fri 1/29/2021 3:50 PM


Jeff Chasen reports this problem not limited to Kansas, but other states, primarily public employees.  Problems likely result of antiquated state unemployment system.  This situation is an example of why IT Governance is important.


Meeting Minutes 02-18-2021 CIO Report (See Appendix B)


Meeting Minutes 02-18-2021 New Business

Mary Walsh provided an update on IT’s prioritization of accessibility and a new tool called Ally  that integrates with Canvas and BB.  With this tool user will be able to translate language and formats of posted content. Version of Ally for web which will help with website -- Sunflower CMS -- migration.  The committee inquired about population numbers served by the tool, acknowledging challenges in self-reporting accessibility. Mary provided a snap shot of stats from Andrew Shoemaker citing:

    • ADHD – 391
    • Learning Disability – 188
    • Mental Health – 311
    • Medical – 166
    • Visual impairment – 24
    • Autism – 44
    • Mobility – 25
    • Acquired Brain Injury - 29



Special Charge 1 – Pandemic Response 

Follow up on how the pandemic response went and implications for online instruction in the future – will this produce a future push to offering online instruction? If so, what are the implications for faculty and staff?   

Overall the committee felt the need to more narrowly define the scope of this charge, or alternatively the need to expand the governance resources with which to address the charge, as such an assessment may include a survey of IT support, views of online teaching by the faculty and students, online synchronous vs asynchronous instruction, implications for evaluations, how shift might produce a future push to greater offering online instruction, and much more.

Given the limited time to address these, the committee used its standing charge to limit the scope to the evaluation of policy.  The committee recommends identifying policies (existing and new resulting from these changes) An initial list of relevant issues and policies is included (Appendix C), which could be followed and evaluated in the coming year.

Mary Walsh also provided a report on use of CARES and SPARK funding to provide laptops and “hotspots” for internet access to faculty, staff and students.  This report might be off by a handful, because a student might not have actually picked up the device, or it was shipped out, and never accepted and shipped back.

  • Faculty and Staff
    • 459 hotspots
    • 50 laptops
  • Students - 392 total applications requesting technology.
    • 171 requests for laptops
    • 282 requests for hotspots (those two numbers do not add up to 392, because some applications requested both laptop and hotspot).
    • Of those 392, we approved 324 applications, declined 59 applications.
    • Of those 324 approved applications
        • 152 were approved for laptops,
        • 227 were approved for hotspots (again, does not add up to 324 because of some applications requesting both). 


Special Charge 2 – Policy on Excessive Downloading

Follow up on Library concerns around situations in which a vendor notifies KU that a user has been abusing their service by downloading too much material. 

Angie Rathmel reported that the library has been reporting and tracking these occurrences since 2006.  During that time there have been 58 total cases reported from 27 different publishers.  In the past 4 years, there have been 31 cases from 12 different publishers, with repeat incidents from the following publishers:

  • American Chemical Society (4)
  • Annual Reviews (2)
  • American Physical Society (4)
  • BioOne (2)
  • IEEE (6)
  • Taylor & Francis (5)

Of the 31 cases only 11 investigations were completed to the point of effectively determining the cause and remedy.  All 11 occurred in the course of scholarly activity with 5 of the 11 scholarly uses involving citation management programs (e.g. EndNote).

The committee reviewed the messaging from the libraries to the user in the course of such incidents, which cites KU’s policy on appropriate use of license resources . The intent of the review was to make recommendations for potential changes that would address the following goals:

  • Identify researcher needs triggering these incidents that could be supported by the libraries or other campus partners without violating policy.
  • Identify scholarly uses that could be used to influence publisher policy.
  • Identify any other relevant policies that may need review or inclusion in this process.

Libraries messaging change has not had the opportunity for testing (no incidents since). Given the focus on the pandemic, the committee has not fully completed this charge.  Should the committee continue to address this as a special changes, the following potential actions could be pursued:

  • Identify additional opportunities for communicating the policy when new hires come through the onboarding process and by providing annual reminders University-wide.
  • Identify additional useful metrics for understanding frequency of triggering activities from other sources.
  • IT and Libraries working committee take this issue under consideration, and as IT policies on this matter are reviewed involve ACEC in revision process.




Appendix A




IT Governance and Service Experience

Smaller, focused, scaled for developing

Ideas behind IT Governance

  • Framework and structure for decisions, strategy, and prioritization
    • Appropriate planning for core IT services
    • Efficient review of services for feasibility and security
    • Aligns effort with KU strategy
    • Appropriate use of KU funds
    • Stewardship of IT resources
    • Transparency, involvement, and communication
  • Applied across an enterprise or institution
    • Services-based
    • Encompasses projects, policies, processes
  • Ultimately it benefits KU, not individual units / departments.
  • IT Projects is the easiest way to begin implementation



How will KU and IT do this

  • IT Services: The core IT services which support KU
  • KU strategic initiatives: How IT services align with KU strategies
  • IT Spend / Funding: How funds being spent
  • Partnerships: Working together for the benefit of KU
  1. Solidify internal processes
  2. Build partnerships


IT Projects Review Process


IT Leadership




sequence, approve


IT Operations


LoE, timelines, and




Architectural and


Security Review


Develop Business


Case / Justification


Sponsor Requests




Smaller Projects are


removed from process


Project is approved


Communications updated








  • Phase One – Internal Processes (Fall 2020)
    • Working to stabilize Project review process
    • Partner with KU Procurement on reviews
    • Develop communication methods using web and Teams
  • Phase Two – Campus Inclusion (Spring / Summer 2021)
    • Development of ‘Service Experience Councils’ – Build membership of campus representatives
    • Assign objectives to Councils
  • Phase Three – Review and Expansion (Fall 2021 and on-going)
    • Bring in KU Executive-level decision making
    • Review structure, make adjustments, add new functionality






























Appendix B

CIO Report for Meeting Minutes 02-18-2021

Microsoft Teams



Walsh, Mary Theresa    2 months ago

To all,


Thank you for the opportunity to provide an update to the ACEC group, Angela.  If this looks acceptable to you, I will insert it into our MS Teams site.  Here are some of our most time-sensitive updates:


Director of Academic Technology update

First, I would like to share with the committee that KU IT has created a new position, Director of Academic Technology, to better lead and support the academic mission. After a thorough and thoughtful search, I am excited to share with you that John Rinnert has been selected for this position and has stepped into this role as of January 11, 2021. My sense is that John’s technical expertise, his focus on customer service, and his extensive experience working with KU faculty and staff has put him in an excellent position to support and serve our community. I would like to introduce you to John at our next meeting and provide additional details regarding John’s focus and goals. He will be directly overseeing our Classroom Support, Educational Technology, and Media Production Studio teams.


Canvas update

Our current learning management system (LMS), Blackboard, is hosted on premise and will be end-of-life in 2024. Because of this we are forced to move to a cloud-hosted option, which is a multi-year process. We presented the options to the Academic Systems Steering Committee (ASSC) in November 2020, and they voted unanimously to move forward with Canvas as our next LMS. ASSC Chair Caroline Bennett and I then presented the recommendations to KU’s Deans and Vice Provosts on Dec. 8 for their approval, and we asked that they send us input for early adopters to use Canvas in spring 2021. We also presented to the Academic Change Management Committee (now being folded under the Unified Command Structure) and Sanjay Mishra and Lua Yuille, both meetings resulted in approval to move forward.


In December, KU signed a contract to begin using Canvas as of January 1, 2021. Our KU IT teams have been working with the vendor, Instructure, for technical readiness. At the same time, the ASSC has reviewed and selected courses to participate in a spring 2021 early adopters phase. Here are the main areas that are advancing rapidly:


Technical readiness: As of today, our Canvas LMS instance is set up, that is the structure is in place and we can begin configuration. We have integrated single sign on. KU IT has convened a working group to focus on this implementation that includes KU IT Educational Technology, the Center for Online and Distance Learning team, and our technical teams that provide course and enrollment data from Enroll & Pay, course materials from Blackboard, and integrations for learning tools and other supporting software. We are working through some data transfer issues between Campus Solutions and Canvas that we expect to have resolved by early next week.


Integrations: We are working quickly to integrate the course tools that the early adopters submitted as being extremely important, including Zoom, Kaltura, and VoiceThread. Our communications team is working on a website to provide more information about what will be available in Canvas for the coming semesters. In addition, we are reviewing anti-plagiarism software options as Blackboard’s SafeAssign tool is a proprietary option that doesn’t integrate with other LMSs. We have opened an RFP to provide a comprehensive review of these solutions. We are focused on completing the RFP and making the decision on this software tool within the next three weeks.


Early adopter courses: We are on schedule for a spring early adopters phase. Our deadline to receive volunteers for spring early adopters was Monday, January 4. From there, the ASSC reviewed and selected courses to participate in the spring. Instructors were notified yesterday (Tuesday, Jan. 12) in regards to their addition to the spring pilot and provided online training options. We are working to have these spring courses ready and available in Canvas by Monday, Jan. 18, which will allow early adopter instructors to begin preparing their courses working with their support teams that consist of members of KU IT Educational Technology and the Center for Online & Distance learning.


Communications plan: David Day is working on a communications plan both for the early adopters and the overall Canvas rollout. We are planning for the creation of a website,, which will feature information, timelines, etc. to help instructors with their migration.


Long-term planning for Canvas:

Our first priority has been getting the system ready and supporting our early adopter instructors for spring 2021. We believe this will enable us to get timely feedback on how to support more instructors with the transition, as well as have embedded expertise within academic units moving forward. Once the spring semester is underway, we will be doing more campus outreach regarding this transition, which will most likely take multiple years to complete.


Other updates:

In addition to the aforementioned updates, we are on track to complete the installation of fully integrated audio and video in 56 classrooms to support hybrid learning, and our teams are prepping all classrooms in use for spring (based on scheduling data). We have completed additional wireless infrastructure in high traffic outdoor areas, as well as the Mississippi Garage to support COVID testing and student WiFi use. We are continuing our student technology lending program, which provides the opportunity for students to borrow a laptop and/or hotspot, until the end of the spring semester.


Thank you for your time, and I look forward to connecting with you at the next meeting and introducing everyone to John.


Warm regards,




Appendix C
List of Issues related to KU Policies for Special Charge 1 – Pandemic Response

  • Review current policy on online learning and instruction (pre-pandemic)
  • Courses and testing proctored through Zoom taken from A&M -- to be as close to in person as possible.
  • Synchronous vs asynchronous instruction, as well as attendance and challenges of internet access time zones
  • Liberal policy on attendance and late work, at what point are students taking advantage? Some risk with policy for mandating Zoom recordings (see Edwards campus, potentially to the Lawrence campus).
  • Intellectual property forbids recordings except for your own studies and not for sharing.
  • Syllabus policy requires written permission to record.
  • Performance rights for the online course recordings. For this reason, some are moving lecture recordings to YouTube (they own it) rather than using Kaltura (KU owns it).
  • Policy for emergency switch to online, what triggers it?
  • Instructor evaluations (online), revisions to policy too hasty. This should rather be reconsidered more thoroughly as in-person evaluation policies were.
  • Capitalizing investment in the online instruction for other populations. There could be many opportunities for making the course accessible and flexible, even more profitable.
  • Consider how the workforce at large has changed -- working online and the expectations this presents to student workers and staff proving academic and administrative support.
  • Pandemic response did not just effect online instruction -- what about ACEC-related responses to service and research?
  • Acceptable use of KU Resources for those working remotely.