Dec 12, 2011 Notes

University of Washington Bothell
Technology Advisory Committee
December 12, 2011


Betsy Tippens
Molly Ormsby
Ted Hiebert
Rob Estes
Munehiro Fukuda
Tim Rhoades
Karen Rosenberg (for David Goldstein)
Joe Shelley
Andreas Brockhaus
Brian Fletcher

Communication with the Chancellor’s Executive Committee (CEC)

One of the venues where Betsy takes TAC recommendations is the CEC. If the committee has any comments for the Chancellor during the course of our meetings, Betsy can bring these issues up with CEC.

IT Goals and Projects List

Betsy presented the list of IT projects and goals for the year, organized according to the campus goals and IT priorities. Some of it falls into major topics, such as growth planning, already identified for TAC conversation this year.

Betsy asked if the committee would like a closer look at any of the projects from the IT list. She mentioned the development of proposals for how we support research and grants from a technology perspective as an example. Joe noted that some items on the IT project list will come before TAC as part of the budget proposal process.

Committee Topics and Outcomes

The goal for the meeting was to determine an outcome for each item on the committee’s work plan.

o   Growth planning

We are waiting for the campus direction to solidify on this topic before making specific plans. In current campus thinking, Academic Council will discuss growth-related topics for Academic Services, including technology.

TAC can help with recommendations related to growth. For example, we have a very successful liaison program with Business and CSS that we would like to expand to other academic programs as a way to address a growing need for diversified technology support. Ted suggested expanding the liaison concept as soon as possible.

Outcome: Once campus growth goals are clearer the committee can work on developing a set of specific recommendations related to technology.

o   Hybrid learning strategy

Last year, a TAC sub-committee generated a report on hybrid learning, laying out the issues, challenges, and opportunities. The report is an assessment both of where we are and what would need to happen to reach a particular goal, such as making 20% of our courses hybrid.

Betsy mentioned that hybrid plays a small part in growth planning as a way to maximize space use. But the main driver behind hybrid learning on this campus is based in research showing its pedagogical advantages.

The committee discussed possible faculty incentives for increasing the number of hybrid courses.

Betsy asked if the committee should set up a subcommittee to address this, and it was decided to continue discussions about hybrid issues first. Karen mentioned that the conversation about campus wide learning goals would be helpful to link this discussion.

Joe presented the hybrid learning horizon report and went through the list of technologies. Ted suggested adding virtual environments and augmented reality to the list. Joe will come to TAC for feedback on the scope of each area and to vet a final report.
Outcome: Further committee discussion about hybrid learning, and vetting of the upcoming UW Bothell hybrid learning horizon report.

o   Faculty development

This was mentioned as a priority from last year. Andreas is interested in ways to find funding to encourage faculty to seek development opportunities.
Outcome: The committee will provide input into a new support structure for faculty development. As an example, we could seek funding for stipends for faculty development.

o   Technology-related policy guidelines

The committee recommends that the campus address technology policies and guidelines, particularly in support of hybrid learning, including FERPA, copyright, intellectual property, social networking, etc.
Outcome: The committee will make a formal recommendation for addressing these policy issues.

o   Student support for non-standard technology

Even though IT is focused on technology for the campus, there are still niche technologies that faculty are using on their own. This provides freedom for faculty to explore, but as a result they have to provide support to students for the technology.
Outcome: TAC can release a statement or provide some guidance around how we can help faculty.

o   Rethinking UW Bothell’s technology focus

We talk about being a technology-driven campus, but do we really have the resources to do this? Is there an incongruity between how technology is talked about and how it is actually practiced? Is it in the best interest of the university to describe itself as technologically cutting-edge if we can’t actually do that? The committee worries that students will see through the hype, and suggests that the campus might be able to reframe this so that there is no sense of a false promise. The campus could, for example, focus on creatively using old technology as part of its sustainability efforts.

Possible outcomes
- Suggest technology purchasing alternatives based on fiscal sustainability.
- Phrase technology footprint size questions as a choice.

Other discussion:

As the IRSC liaison, Munehiro mentioned faculty user groups. The IRSC met for the first time last Thursday. But with only 5 or 6 members, they can’t capture the technology needs of each faculty member. Munehiro suggested that IT look at expanding our user group model (such as the group working with digital media) as a way to address issues related to research support, grants, and other technology support issues. 

The IRSC asked about a list of software available for faculty. Joe showed IT’s online list of Windows 7 software and Munehiro thought it would meet their needs. Joe promised to send the link out to TAC members.