Updates from
the Associate Vice President for IT and CIO

February 2017


IT Rationalization project drafting cost-savings business cases: With data collection from Updates from the Associate Vice President for IT and CIO February 2017 29 academic and administrative areas (over 90% of the total in-scope units) completed, IT Rationalization business cases are now being drafted to outline areas of impact for both service improvement and cost reductions through efficiency and IT modernization across campus. The IT Rationalization business cases will help IT Services and IT and University leadership identify projects with the greatest positive impact to campus—projects that are also best positioned to be successfully accomplished—in such areas as infrastructure transformation, enhanced end-user support, and classroom audio visual optimization, among others.

New database enables HR analytics for the president and provost offices:
The Office of the President and the University Budget Office gained significant benefit using a new human resources (HR) reporting database designed to provide monthly vetted snapshots of HR data for the development of analytics around populations such as tenure-track faculty, full-time staff, students, and others. The database streamlines the process of studying individuals who fall into multiple categories (e.g. administrative and academic), and provides detailed analysis for internal and external studies and compliance purposes.

Deployment of Office 365 email service:
Approximately 100 second-year law students working in the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic received the first deployment of Microsoft Office 365 email service on campus this quarter. Email correspondence between students and clients are now archived in a centralized repository which simplifies requests related to casework from previous years. Over the next year, Office 365 email, calendaring, and related productivity applications will be deployed to all University faculty, students, and staff.

Two-factor authentication for protection of patient records:
IT Services collaborated with Chicago Biomedicine Information Systems (CBIS) to increase protection against unauthorized use of the University of Chicago Medicine’s network and applications by incorporating two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA provides an additional layer of security to usernames and passwords. In addition to protecting institutional data, 2FA also increases the protection of personal information for faculty, students, and staff at the University.

Successful first quarter transition to Canvas LMS:
Winter 2017 was the first official quarter for the transition from Chalk, Blackboard Inc.’s Learning Management System (LMS), to Instructure’s Canvas LMS. 237 courses are now being delivered through Canvas, which is approximately 15% of the total courses planned for transition. With early adoption led by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the University of Chicago Law School, and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, faculty and students in those schools now have access to an LMS offering a more intuitive user interface, integration with other commonly used applications, availability of mobile applications, and 24-hour support. The goal is to have all courses moved from Chalk to Canvas by Summer Quarter, 2017.

New reporting system streamlines work of institutional biosafety administrators:
The University’s Institutional Biosafety Compliance (IBC) administrators leveraged the new Automating University-wide Research Administration (AURA) data warehouse module to streamline operations, monitor compliance, and satisfy internal guidelines for research compliance. New standard and ad-hoc reporting has been incorporated to identify the use of specific agents and assess training requirements in preparation for IBC committee meetings.

Piloting new high-performance network access for researchers:
New technologies are being piloted within ScienceDMZ, the University’s research network environment, to enhance the performance and scalability of the network infrastructure. These new technologies will, later this year, position the ScienceDMZ with the ability to meet the rapidly expanding needs of researchers while ensuring the continued viability of the UChicago research network for the future.


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Updates from the Associate Vice President for IT and CIO – February 2017