Academic Computing and Electronic Communications (ACEC) Final Report FY2022

FY2022 Standing charges

Charge 1

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)


  • In his meeting with the ACEC Committee, Scott Hanrath reported KU Libraries has a membership in the HathiTrust Research Center and is exploring ways to provide Text Data Mining services to KU researchers through the library, but it is at a preliminary stage. He said it is “on our radar” but cost is an issue.
  • John Rinnert reported to the Committee about a new e-portfolio tool called Portfolium in Canvas. This provides students and faculty a chance to showcase work produced in Canvas, including student portfolios for resumes. But its primary purpose is to aid in the Assessment and Accreditation process. Portfolium will allow instructors to label assignments that fit course goals and outcomes through a “one click” process. This framework will allow instructors, departments, and schools to match assignments to outcomes and collect ungraded, anonymized student work for assessment.
  • The committee met with Jeff Chasen from HR as well as 2 members of the IT group, Jake Coffman, interim Chief Information Security Officer, and Daniel Gross, IT Engineer, to discuss why HR sends personal information, particularly KU faculty and staff contract offers, via e-mail. Chasen said he believed HR was correct in sending such information via KU e-mail to KU addresses, since each person has to log on to the KU system to access the e-mailed documents. Gross and Coffman discussed some of the difficulties in moving to a different option such as encrypted e-mail. At the end of the meeting Mary Walsh committed to exploring other options, such as using MyKU to distribute confidential documents such as contracts. This subject might warrant a specific charge for next year’s committee.
  • A committee member raised the question of how instructors or the University can enforce rules regarding the reproduction and publishing of course materials by students via the internet. We were not able to address this issue this year, so that might be considered as a specific charge for next year.

FY2022 Specific Charges

Charge 1

Review progress and timeline of the move from Blackboard to Canvas. Prepare a report that include comments from the early instructors already using Canvas. What has their experience been thus far.


  • John Rinnert reported to the Committee at each meeting regarding the transition from Blackboard to Canvas, with 38% of courses in Canvas in Fall 2021 semester. 63% of students had courses in both LMS systems in the Fall. Rinnert reported some faculty who had put much time into building their Blackboard platforms found it difficult to transition to Canvas’s different platform because they needed to build them differently in Canvas. Most negative student feedback was regarding frustration about having to use two LMS systems. Mid-semester and end-of-semester survey results from the Spring 2021 early adopters of Canvas can be found in Appendix A (4-36).
  • The Committee revisited this issue in the spring. John Rinnert reported 60% of Spring 2022 courses are now in Canvas. IT surveyed instructors at the end of the Fall 2021 semester and found those who responded (12.5% response rate) gave positive reviews of Canvas, though some features from Blackboard are not available so far in Canvas. Fall 2021 survey results are available in Appendix B (37-61). Rinnert reminded the Committee that Fall 2022 is the last semester Blackboard will be available as an LMS platform at KU. He encouraged everyone to transition to Blackboard soon. The ACEC Committee should continue to monitor transition to Canvas in Fall 2022.

Charge 2

Seek inclusion of the ACEC Committee in the IT Governance. Working towards being involved before decisions are made.


  • Tom Roderick, IT Associate Director, met with the Committee in the fall to discuss how IT Governance is structured at KU. Roderick reported that IT Governance is in the process of building a three-tier system (Executive, Strategic, and Operational Levels). There is a formalized annual review process utilizing service councils for campus-wide feedback. Currently, six councils are planned—ASSC (Academic Services Steering Committee), Administrative and Business Service Council, Infrastructure Service Council (launching in 2022), and Research (plan to implement in 2022), and a Research Technology Working Group, which they hope to adapt into a governance group. Roderick reported there was faculty representation on the ASSC Committee and on the Administrative and Business Service Council (one faculty rep). IT CIO Mary Walsh encouraged members of the ACEC to join her Strategic Council, an advisory group outside of IT Governance that advises it. Committee member Scott Cossel expressed interest in taking part. A PowerPoint outline from Roderick’s presentation is included in Appendix C (62-65).

Charge 3

Continue follow up on Libraries policy on Excessive Downloading in the following ways:

  1. Identify additional opportunities for communicating the policy when new hires come through the onboarding process and by providing annual reminders University-wide.
  2. Identify additional useful metrics for understanding frequency of triggering activities from other sources.
  3. IT and Libraries working committee take this issue under consideration, and as IT policies on this matter are reviewed involve ACEC in revision process.
  4. Contact the Libraries Committee Chair to consider how/if the Libraries Committee can be involved and provide an annual update.


  • The ACEC Committee met with Scott Hanrath, Associate Librarian and Associate Dean, Research Engagement, regarding the libraries policy on Excessive Downloading. Hanrath presented a PowerPoint regarding this issue and talked with the Committee at length regarding Standing Charge #3. Hanrath explained that the Excessive Downloading policy is a part of the broader Library policy regarding Acceptable Use, which is governed in part by the library’s agreements with third-party publishers and their proprietary concerns regarding “systemic or excessive downloading.” He reported there have been no cases of “excessive downloading” in the past year at KU. Hanrath said the library has modified its “template language” regarding a notification to users of publisher concerns regarding this issue, but they so far have not needed to send this notification to any user. He suggested that some of the ACEC Committee’s charges regarding this topic involve changes that do not seem necessary at this time. A PowerPoint outline of Hanrath’s presentation is in Appendix D (66-68).
  • The ACEC Chair, Phil Wedge, contacted the Libraries Committee Chair regarding Specific Charge #3, and she reported that her committee had not been given a Charge regarding this issue. Should Governance wish to continue exploring this issue, perhaps it should draft charges involving both committees on this issue.


Appendixes A-D (pdf)