We are in a time of staggering change. New educational and business models are redefining the academy, and OSU is itself redefining the model of a 21st century land grant university. OSU must have a technology ecosystem that not only enables scholarship and learning, but creates an environment in which innovation and academic excellence thrives.
With our five year Strategic Plan, we envision a robust, scalable, and adaptable IT ecosystem that:
We invite you to learn more about the IT Strategic Plan and the high priority projects in development that will help us fulfill the University's core goals.
We are in a time of staggering change. New educational and business models are redefining the academy. Learners increasingly scrutinize the cost and value of education and employers increasingly scrutinize our graduates' capabilities. OSU is itself redefining the model of a land grant university.
Through innovation in education such as Ecampus, through scholarship in the atmosphere, under the ocean and in the forest canopies, from our Cascades campus strategy to our ambitious Asia strategy, and most importantly, in our widespread human engagement, we have grown beyond our Corvallis and Extension Service homes to become a University without boundaries. Technology makes this possible.
To solve the world's most pressing problems and to deliver a world-class education that prepares our learners to succeed in their careers, OSU must have a technology ecosystem that not only enables scholarship and learning, but creates an environment in which academic excellence thrives. The imagination and innovation of OSU's students, researchers, instructors and staff is unbounded, and we envision a virtual ecosystem that allows this creativity to flourish.
This multiyear plan is foundational to the technology building blocks essential for OSU to compete as a top tier land grant university, realistic in both our ability to execute and to the fiscal resources available, and relevant to the mission and goals of Oregon State University.
Technology, which permeates every aspect of learning, scholarship and community engagement, is undergoing staggering change as well. The rapidly evolving IT ecosystem beyond the campus – from massively scaled computers to mobile devices, as well as online experiences like Amazon and Google services – has changed the ease of use and functionality people expect from technology.
Here are four major expectations that must shape how we provide IT services. We expect our community to be able to...
To enable these new ways of working, we must change OSU's information technology practice. Rather than directly managing the end-user experience as we have done for the past 30 years, the University's responsibility is to provide the enabling technology framework that makes it possible for the learner, scholar and administrator to have the technology experience that best meets their needs.
To best serve its students, faculty and staff, support its education, research and outreach missions and position itself as a top-tier land grant university, Oregon State University will develop an IT ecosystem that is robust, scalable and adaptable as technology evolves. This IT ecosystem will be functional, easy to use and provide access from anywhere, at any time, on any device or platform.
To meet the goals presented in the strategic plan, Information Services, in collaboration with and in support of OSU partners, will complete a set of initiatives outlined below. These initiatives span foundational improvements to the technology infrastructure and progressive developments that further the University’s mission.
It is essential to OSU’s future success that the University’s money stay in its mission. Across all areas of progress, Oregon State must shift the value and innovation curve for technology, lowering costs and risks related to contract lock-in and local limitations, while simultaneously improving the services and functions offered. Hence, these initiatives are undertaken with a view to long-term sustainability and affordability.
The scope of these projects is defined and planning is underway to determine level of resources, timing and dependencies. The outcome of planning will lead to a final decision about whether to proceed with the project. In some cases, resource allocations, scope, and deliverables may be refined prior to project kickoff.
These projects are undergoing market evaluation, requirement gathering, and in some cases, technology prototypes, to understand our options and choices. The summary of investigation will lead to a decision about whether to proceed to a planning stage.
There are areas of technology enhancement that have the potential to bring value to OSU. We’re not actively working in these areas, but have our eyes and ears open toward marketplace developments and innovation at other institutions.
OSU's IT ecosystem must allow us to compete successfully as a top-tier teaching and research institution. Foundational improvements to this ecosystem will provide the essential technology components needed so that we can operate systems and services, connect people to each other, and enable them to succeed in their education and scholarship. We must achieve sustainable technology and funding for essential services, and assure they are delivered securely and reliably. read more »
In addition to foundational improvements, OSU must progress with technology in support of educational, research and community engagement priorities. Progressive projects provide an adaptable and evolving technology framework that enables our community to innovate in education, research, outreach and operational practices. read more »
University Partner Projects
Technology is a part of nearly everything that happens at OSU, and from time to time projects that are not specifically about technology improvements require an extraordinary investment of time and engagement from the technology staff, and commitment of resources toward technical progress.
Foundational initiatives are essential to OSU being able to compete successfully as a top tier teaching and research institution. At present, OSU has critical gaps in the necessary components of an effective information technology enterprise, as well as areas of instability. Closing these gaps requires that we institute substantial improvements by making some tough decisions to abandon some historic practices.
The first essential, foundational initiatives are to develop financial structures that reduce risk and support OSU priorities:
Second, data is a strategic asset of the University, but only to the extent it is available, true, and actionable. We will create a comprehensive set of management data reports and dashboards that speak to the overlapping contexts we must manage – financial, educational, space, research, people, etc. – and simplify system to system access. This strategy helps us answer the compelling and complex questions related to understanding our progress, and improves the University’s ability to manage its programs.
Third, we must provide a technology framework that enables the innovation in the University’s administrative, instructional and research practices. We must put in place the necessary architectural underpinnings to manage identity and access to data and systems.
Fourth, we must shift the value and innovation curve for technology, lowering costs and risks related to contract lock-in and local limitations while improving services and functions offered.
These changes can lift OSU’s technology profile to the level, quality and sustainability needed to compete successfully against our aspirational peers. Successfully implementing these changes will require substantial shifts in technology programs, staff skills, and funding models.
OSU's success requires that we track progress and understand outcomes. Our ability to do this requires that data be available, true, and actionable. This initiative applies to all business systems and data at OSU, whether managed in IS, business units or colleges. Hence, this endeavor supports all aspects of the enterprise: research growth, student success and financial stability.
Through the CORE (Cooperative Open Reporting Environment) Information Initiative, we will provide access to data to inform work decisions for every level of University employee. This large and complex undertaking will develop over several years.
|Deployments: new ODS; prototype reports and dashboards|
|Release CORE reporting site & RAP Report|
|Implement SRP (date TBD)|
The risk to OSU for not doing this project is that we continue to do "business as usual" -- our current laborious efforts to accurately report and assess progress are inefficient and insufficient.
The risks to success include: ongoing funding for project components; data quality and the associated need to revise business processes; community acceptance of openness in data availability; and a common commitment amongst colleges and business units to the success of the endeavor. Support from the Provost Sabah Randhawa and VP for Finance and Administration Mark McCambridge is in place and lowers the risk of failure, but true success will require wide support from the OSU community to treating data as a strategic asset, assuring its quality, and assuring it is appropriately protected.
OSU's essential systems support the educational, research, and community mission of the University. Developers spent thousands of hours of writing a vast array of interfaces that move data between systems. These interfaces were usually completed by different people, using different tools, with varying levels of effort to sustain these interfaces. Our evaluation of data integration tools has proven that the introduction of an industrial-strength middleware toolset can dramatically improve how data is managed between systems.
We can rapidly build/replace existing data interfaces in a fraction of the time it took to originally build and sustain these very same data interfaces. We can then extract, load, transform, merge, monitor and proactively manage how data propagates between systems at OSU/OUS. We can build data warehouses or extend data warehouses with data from a wide array of data repositories using this data integration tool set. We can also support the rapid deployment of new systems (on premise or cloud solutions) using these tools. We can utilize pre-fabricated connectors available from software companies and the user community to sustain the ease of data integrations. Furthermore, we can also design tool kits that allow others to rapidly build their own integrations and bring those into a central data management console for monitoring and error management.
|Build first integrations|
|Define operational procedures and policies|
|Release first Jasper/Talend toolkit|
|Develop / migrate old interfaces|
Standardizing training and administrative tools will allow IS to maintain continuity in our overall approach to supporting any OSU-owned computing desktop, including Community Network customer devices, shared computer lab workstations, and laptops and tablets available via our equipment checkout. While the use cases of these environments vary, the common factor remains that they all involve the management and support of OSU-owned computers that require the same operating systems and deployment of a specific set of software packages.
Student Computing Facilities, Community Network, and equipment checkout merged under the same divisional umbrella in late Fall 2013. This realignment aligns our desktop computing strategy and allows us to coordinate desktop and tablet management. We will develop and implement standardized platforms and processes based on operating systems for imaging and maintaining these computing environments for our users. Standardizing our approach, including the tools we use to administer service and the training necessary to support our clients, helps to ensure that IS maintains continuity in our overall approach to supporting any OSU-owned computing desktop.
|Service Unit Realignment|
|Develop Mac OS Strategy|
|Plan Desktop Computing Management Strategy|
Identity and Access Management is a critical underpinning to all initiatives, as it provides secure personal and role-based access to systems, services and data. It supports student success by allowing easy access to innovative tools for classes and for tracking student progress, supports research growth through fostering collaborative work, and reduces the risk of data loss through security breaches, adding to our financial stability.
Provide a robust and well integrated infrastructure to identify people and allow access to systems, services and data. This includes both University-wide access rights as well as services to allow colleges, departments and groups to easily and securely create privileges. Join InCommon to allow inter-institutional access for students and researchers.
|Proof of Concept|
The University is impeded in its research growth, student success projects and business efficiency by not having an adequate identity and access management system in place. Competing priorities could pose a particular risk.
Jon Dolan, Director, IT Infrastructure Services
Data is a strategic asset to the university, and our IT infrastructure must support the secure processing, transmission, and storage of our data. Private data must be protected from inadvertent exposure. Data quality is tantamount for our research mission as well as our desire to enhance business efficiencies. Our reliance on data to accomplish our work requires that it be available when needed.
To fulfill this mandate, Oregon State University established an Office of Information Security charged with the development of an information security program. The OIS is conducting a security risk assessment as a first step toward formalizing an information security program. A risk assessment will provide us with the information to ensure that our security initiatives are addressing the largest security risks to the organization.
The framework chosen by the OIS for our security efforts is the Consortium for Cybersecurity Action's (CCA) 20 Critical Controls for Effective Cyber Defense. The 20 Critical Controls enable us to build upon the combined knowledge of actual attacks and effective defenses from top experts within the Information Security community and has proven its worth as a practical, cost-effective way to reduce security risk.
Using the 20 Critical Controls as the program framework, the risk assessment process is simplified; a gap analysis will be performed, beginning with the OIS itself, eventually moving on to other university systems based on criticality and risk profile.
With foundational improvements underway, we are well positioned to work on progressive initiatives that will allow substantial progress toward achieving OSU’s goals for excellence in learning and scholarship.
Technology can be transformative in the University’s success. OSU has extensive technology resources and expertise, but the degree to which these resources actually enable progress toward the University’s Strategic Plan depends on how well we choose priorities and effectively use the technology. There are two key factors for success:
The technology strategy at OSU must be embraced by the University as a part of its overall strategy. Everyone has a role in achieving success.
High speed network connectivity is essential for OSU researchers to share very large data sets and collaborate with both on campus and national research partners. Work in all scientific disciplines is more and more dependent on large data sets and research areas such as Genomics, Climate Science, and general Biological Science are now regularly working with data at the Terabyte and Petabyte scale. In order to effectively share this data and participate in these fields of study, the capacity of our underlying network must grow by orders of magnitude.
OSU will create a dedicated research network designed to fulfill the architecture and performance requirements for integrating with federal research networks, with a 100 Gbps connection between OSU Corvallis and Internet2, 10 Gbps connections at a minimum to major off-campus research sites, and 40 Gbps between campus data centers and major laboratories. As the national vision for research network architectures has been aligned with the emerging network technologies being adopted for computing clouds--OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking--the research network will be a testbed and model for the University's Data Center and Enterprise networks.
|NSF Grant Awarded|
|Initial Vendor Evaluation|
|Onsite Equipment Evaluation|
|Implement Phase I Equipment|
Plans for the research network need to take into account plans for the overall OSU Network including upgrades and re-architectures planned to better meet the University’s needs, along with potential to incorporate Software Defined Networking technologies into the Data Center in support of Virtual Server and Storage systems.
As Oregon State University redefines the model of the 21st century land grant university, we are actively assessing our methods of instructional delivery and the tools needed to help faculty deliver quality instruction and to help students meet desired learning outcomes. Following a faculty and administration survey and investigation of educational technology trends at peer institutions nationwide, Information Services is embarking on a comprehensive review process of learning technology platforms that will engage the OSU teaching and learning community. Such a process will enable us to select a system or build a portfolio of applications that best serves OSU's needs for innovation, flexibility and performance.
OSU will create an RFP and evaluation process that will solicit broad vendor and community participation. At the end of the process, OSU will have developed a transition plan to the selected Learning Management System. That system will align with teaching and learning expectations, have the power and flexibility to meet diverse needs, and leave our communities well positioned to adopt and integrate innovative solutions to support communication and collaboration.
|Evaluate Vendor Proposals|
|"Live" Sandbox Evaluations|
|Publish Transition Plan|
Failure to provide OSU faculty and students access to rich learning environments.
Students and faculty are best served by being able to access OSU software for teaching and homework from their own computers, as well as from multiple OSU-managed computers on campus, by leveraging the use of an OSU-owned software license from either device. IS aims to provide for this ability while remaining in compliance with vendor licensing agreements, and to evaluate software license usage university-wide in order to make decisions that are fiscally sound and support our curricular needs.
IS will take a leadership role in evaluating software license usage across the university. A crucial component of this role is reaching out to both academic and business units to investigate where consolidation of software is feasible. The purpose of this work is to take advantage of any potential reductions in software licensing.
IS will also work with our software vendors to ensure our licensing agreements are in compliance. We will investigate how we can offer our software licenses through virtual means to support a user's ability to access an OSU-owned software license through either a personally-owned or an OSU-owned computer.
|Gather Software Usage Metrics|
|Evaluate Licensing Options|
OSU students, faculty, and staff expect to be able to use cloud-based productivity services and tools, such as Google Apps and Office 365, for academic and research collaborations. These tools and other cloud-based services align with IS’s strategic direction to provide students, faculty, and staff with the ability to access their information, share their files, and collaborate with others from any device, anywhere they can access the Internet.
OSU implemented Google Apps for Education during the Summer 2013 term for the purpose of offering a suite of cloud-based collaboration tools for the entire OSU community. Additionally, in Fall 2013, IS began a collaborative effort with the College of Business to test a Microsoft Office 365 pilot implementation during Winter 2014. The purpose of this pilot, which will be conducted with a specific number of carefully chosen business classes, is to gather information that will help guide our decision-making and lay a course for a potential campus-wide offering of Office 365.
In alignment with the 2013-18 IS strategic plan, our intention is to offer these and other cloud-based tools and services in a thoughtful way that is driven by business analysis and product research. Our intention is to create a professional faculty position that can be dedicated toward performing the necessary work to own the management of these tools and services, as well as perform the necessary work that will ensure the appropriate tools are available to meet the specific needs of OSU's students, faculty, and staff.
|Planning, Office 365 Test|
|O365 Pilot in COB|
|Evaluate O365 Pilot Results|
|Identify Productivity Tools Service Owner|
Failure to make these services available in the cloud and appropriately support them presents several risks for OSU:
This administrative page provides information about the project structure and processes. Information for customers can be found at oregonstate.edu/main/online-services/google-apps-for-osu.
Information Services (IS) provides ONID email and file storage services for students and employees. Following an investigation by the Google Apps Task Force and subsequent input from campus groups, the Vice Provost of Information Services and the Information Technology Steering Committee launched the Google Implementation Project in January 2013.
For Phase I, the Implementation Team is tasked with enabling Google Apps for Education for all members of the OSU community. Implementation shall occur in the 2013 calendar year under the University's formal agreement with Google. The implementation is being made in consultation with key groups across campus and in consideration of evolving contexts, particularly the needs of users.
The purpose of the implementation is to:
Google Apps for Education
During Phase I, Google Apps for Education will be made available to OSU employees and students via CAS authentication, using existing ONID login credentials. Additionally, a six month opt in period will allow students and employees to provision Google Mail and migrate any email from the ONID email server to Google. A major outreach and training component will communicate the change to the community and documentation will be developed as needed.
Services Affected, Services Not Affected
ONID email services for students will be migrated to Google late in December of 2013, at the end of Phase I. ONID email services for employees will continue to be routed through the OSU-hosted ONID server unless the individual employee opted in to Google service.
Email addresses are not changing; email sent to valid @onid.orst.edu and @onid.oregonstate.edu addresses will still be delievered to the user's mailbox. ONID mailboxes hosted at Google will continue to use the @onid addresses – they will not use gmail.com addresses.
No other ONID services will be affected; access to ONID file space, ONID class groups, and other ONID services will be unchanged. No non-ONID services will be changed, e.g. Exchange-based email and calendaring services associated with @oregonstate.edu accounts will not need to be migrated.
|Feb. 2013||Project start|
|March 2013||Peer institution consultation
Project plan and finalized scope
|April 2013||Launch communications and outreach campaign|
|May 2013||Launch training series|
|May 30, 2013||Launch pre-sync email migration process|
|July-Aug, 2013||Enable Google Apps for OSU for the entire OSU Community
Enable opt-in email migration tool
|Summer 2013||Ongoing training and outreach|
|Fall 2013||Ongoing training and outreach|
|Nov. 2013||Recommendations for Phase II|
|Dec. 2013||Migrate all ONID email to Google
Sunset ONID mail services
|Executive Sponsor||Lois Brooks, Vice Provost for Information Services|
|Project Sponsor||Lucas Turpin, Interim Director, Technology Support Services|
|Project Manager||Hollie Pitts, Enterprise Computing|
|Technical Lead||Andy Morgan, Enterprise Computing|
|Communications Lead||Mike Hinds, Information Services|
|Lead Trainer||Rich Giesige, OSU Computer Helpdesk|
|Consultants||Dann Cutter, Hatfield Marine Science Center
Doug Weir, College of Business
Chris White, University Housing & Dining Services
Please note that this page described the foundational planning and recommendations for providing Google services to the OSU community. This work was completed by the end of 2011. For a description of the year 2013 implementation of Google, please see the Google Implementation project page.
Many colleges and research units have expressed a strong interest in moving to Google tools, particularly as Google apps are already in use for teaching and learning. However, strong concerns have been expressed about the purpose, the legal issues, and the operating realities of adopting Google tools at a university level.
With this in mind, Lois Brooks, the Vice Provost for Information Services, convened a task force representing a broad cross-section of the university to explore the interests, issues, practical concerns, and technical concerns associated with adopting Google tools. The task force's ultimate charge is to offer a proposal for what services, if any, OSU should move to Google.
The task force considered the issues described above and learned from the experiences of schools that have already adopted one or more Google tools. The task force was required to justify proposed action, note any objections and concerns, and recommend any legal, policy, or management review, as needed.
Following the recommendation, campus stakeholders including the Faculty Senate, Disability Access Services, and ASOSU will have the opportunity for input. A formal review will be conducted by a legal and policy team and by IT governance committees, and a final decision on any recommendation would be executed by the IT Strategy Committee and subsequently the Provost's Council.
The Google Apps Task Force completed its work and recommended that OSU formalize an agreement with Google that would transition student (ONID) email to Google and allow faculty/staff the option of using Google Apps, but pend this agreement until Google Apps are ADA compliant. The Committee also recommended that University Records Custodians determine what data can be stored/shared via Google Apps and what data should not, under any circumstances, be transmitted or stored via Google Apps.
The Records Custodians are reviewing policies and identifying changes, as well as needed guidelines, that are necessary to implement Google Apps.
The University's website is based on the Drupal open source content management system. Drupal is playing a growing role as a core platform for sustaining and building campus communication and information services. In this role Drupal must be secure and fault-tolerant, and developers must be able to quickly add high value features and upgrades in response to new and changing campus needs.
Information Services will redesign Drupal's infrastructure onto dedicated web servers to automate and manage configurations and to optimize responsiveness, security, upgrades, and development processes. We will also improve migration processes and prioritize content types and features that meet broad needs and speed up migration across units. We will expand the OSU Drupal community to optimize planning and best practices.
|Site Development & Migrations to Drupal 7|
|Begin Drupal 8 Development|
Even as Information Services proceeds with the Foundational and Progressive initiatives, operational effectiveness is crucial for the way we deliver existing services. More details will be released about these initiatives as warranted.
The bulk of our operations focuses on maintaining, optimizing, and upgrading existing services. Here's our list of key upgrades and implementations in 2013 and 2014.
On August 2, 2012, the Vice Provost of Information Services, Lois Brooks, formally launched a process to define Change Management and Incident Response practices for Information Services. The goal of change management is to increase awareness and understanding of proposed changes across an organization and ensure that all changes are made in a thoughtful way that minimize negative impact to services and customers, while the goal of incident management is to respond to incidents effectively.
The outcome of this process will be an operational framework that all parts of the organization will follow. A Change Advisory Board shall define roles and responsibilities; ensure documented processes for planning, execution, validation, documentation and communication; and develop response processes to unplanned outages.
Per VPIS direction, a task force chaired by Jon Dolan (Director, Network Services) and Kent Kuo (Director, Enterprise Computing Services) developed policy that:
Both the Change Management and Incident Response Policies were formally adopted on December 5, 2012.
Any change to an IT system shall be categorized as a Standard change, a Significant change, or an Emergency change, and units within Information Services shall follow both organization-wide defined processes and additional processes defined by the applicable unit within IS.
The Incident Response policy applies to all service-affecting incidents involving IT services provided by OSU Information Services. This policy does not apply to Security Incidents, which are covered by the Information Security Manual section 502: Incident Response and Escalation.
The Change Advisory Board convened in December, 2012 and began drafting appropriate processes for changes and incidents. As basic processes are defined, the CAB will begin performing its function as a change review body even as it continues to define and refine change processes.
For Academic Year 2014, board membership is as follows.
Information Services is managing, or has managed, the following technical implementations in 2013 and 2014. Updates are posted on an ongoing basis.
|Library Rotunda wireless improvement||Dec|
|Master Calendar launch||Mar|
|Office 365 evaluation||Mar|
|Student Counter Check||Mar|
|Blackboard sp13 upgrade||12/22|
|Terminal server expansion / upgrade||12/14|
|Migrate all student email to Google||12/30|
|Time & Attendance - final implementation||6/16|
|Data Integration Tool selection||July|
|SMS & Computer Helpdesk consolidated service point||7/29|
|Google Apps for OSU launch||7/31|
|Turning Point upgrade||8/2|
|DegreeWorks 18.104.22.168 Upgrade||8/18|
|Banner 8.8 Upgrade||9/2|
|Blackboard sp9 Upgrades||9/15|
|Phone trunk migration||5/21|
|Voicemail upgrade to Unified Messaging||5/28|
|ONID mailbox pre-sync to Google for students||5/30|
|Exchange email archiving||6/1|