Updates from
the Associate Vice President for IT and CIO

March 2018

Identity assurance pilot starting in March: IT Services, in conjunction with the Research and Education Federations group (REFEDS), has been working on a new framework to provide identity assurance, or the verification of a user’s identity, for researchers participating in research projects outside of the University of Chicago. Starting in March 2018, UChicago is piloting the new framework. The goal is to provide the University’s researchers with better access to national and global projects, such as at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational- Wave Observatory (LIGO). By providing this higher level of assurance, UChicago research faculty will be able to fully participate in research efforts around the world.


Microsoft’s Vice President of Worldwide Education discusses digital transformation: In February 2018, University of Chicago faculty and IT staff discussed digital transformation in education with Anthony Salcito, vice president of worldwide education at Microsoft. Salcito shared Microsoft’s experience of how educators across the globe are being enabled by digital technologies to increase the impact and scope of education. A group including Borja Sotomayor, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science; Bill Rando executive director of the Chicago Center for Teaching; Cole Camplese, associate vice president for information technology and chief information officer; and others, offered UChicago’s views on learning and the impacts of digital technology in the research institution.


App created for incident reporting to help staff with lab safety: In 2015, Dr. Daniel Rubin, Assistant Professor of Anesthesia and critical care director at The University of Chicago Medicine, approached IT Services for help in creating an app to allow staff to immediately report safety incidents with photos and the option to dictate comments. After the app was released, incident reporting increased in the department. Larry Hill, senior associate vice president for strategic initiatives contacted Dr. Rubin, and with IT Services help, created another version of the app to be used University-wide for reporting lab incidents. As part of the UCAIR (UChicago Accident/Incident Reporting System) program, this work makes incident reporting simpler and robust by providing more data to the medical center and University staff charged with campus safety.


Monitoring unit expenses made easier: A Standard Budget Report (SBR) for budget analysts and financial managers has been made available. The report enables users to analyze actual expenditures mapped to the University’s new budget model for any period of the fiscal year. The SBR summarizes the expenditures at the unit level with a breakdown to individual line item charges. The report is available to all authorized users of the financial data warehouse using Business Objects. Each office can now benefit from the ability to frequently monitor expenses in their units based on the categories defined by the budget office, and in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).


Amazon Web Services holds first campus day: In February 2018, Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosted the first of many planned monthly visits to the University of Chicago campus to offer informal consulting and training opportunities. There were open lab sessions and opportunities for individuals to meet with an AWS senior solutions architect, on specific topics or for consultations. These sessions are designed to help faculty and staff learn more about AWS and what AWS has to offer in support of teaching, learning, and research.


Student Information Analytics system receives enhancements: The Student Information Analytics (SIA) system has been enhanced with a new dashboard and access model. The dashboard tracks and analyzes the degrees awarded to students who are graduating, and can list students who have graduated during all quarters of an academic year. The dashboard includes many options to break down data by plan, plan-type, gender, degree, and to pivot the data as desired. It also provides details on each graduate, including those with multiple majors or concentrations. Additionally, the process to authorize users in the SIA system has been improved. New roles have been created in the system to provide appropriate levels of access for each user, adding additional flexibility to view and complete reporting tasks.

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Updates from the Associate Vice President for IT and CIO – March 2018