Report of the Senate Committee on Information Technology and Services

Senate Agenda - EXHIBIT V - June 19, 1998


SCITS met seven times during the period July 1, 1997 and June 30, 1998. The principal items of business during the year are summarized below.


  1. The Campus Computing Security Subcommittee (CCSS) formed a Code of Behavior for Use of Computing Resources and Corporate Data. This policy addresses the need to clarify the responsibilities of all users who have access to the University's computing resources. The policy also identifies processes by which abuse of the system may be addressed and appeals of disciplinary sanctions can be heard. The Code of Behavior for Use of Computing Resources and Corporate Data was recommended to Senate by SCITS and, with some amendments, approved by Senate (February, 1998) and subsequently the Board of Governors (March, 1998).

  2. The Subcommittee on the World Wide Web (SUWWW) undertook to develop a set of revisions to the University's policy on advertising and commercial activities so as to ensure that this policy, intended to govern advertising in all media and spaces on campus, would extend to address issues related to commercial activities and advertising on University web sites. The recommended changes also proposed that a member of SUWWW sit on the Advertising and Commercial Activities Advisory Committee. These revisions were approved by the Board of Governors in February, 1998.

  3. SUWWW also developed a Policy on Official World Wide Web Sites which outlines how individual web sites published by Western's academic and administrative units and recognized student organizations should be considered official web publications of the University of Western Ontario. The policy was approved by SCITS and forwarded to Senate for information in February, 1998.

Ongoing Issues

  1. On May 13, 1997, SCITS established two committees to consult, plan for and select a new telephony system for UWO. The Technical Committee has identified technical aspects and developed the RFP (Request for Proposal) and RFI (Request for Information) as well as a vendor assessment process. This committee will also review and assess proposals, consult with vendors, receive input from the Users Committee, and make a recommendation on telephony to SCITS. The Users Committee is a broad-based committee established to identify and review functions, services, current and future needs and uses of telephony system and provide input to the Technical Committee. An RFI was produced and issued in March, 1998 requesting information about the current state of private telephone systems and peripherals, including integration with computers and call centres. Eleven responses were received and are being evaluated. The results of the evaluation will determine whether to proceed with a full Request For Proposal to replace the existing corporate telephone system or to engage in a major upgrade of the existing one; the current telephone switch is not Year 2000 compliant and must be replaced.

  2. During the past 18 months, a number of individuals involved with the Research Advisory Subcommittee developed a proposal for a new interdisciplinary program in computational science. The key goals of the program are to provide an introduction to the techniques and methodology of scientific computing and to encourage broad interdisciplinary interactions at both the student and faculty levels. A set of core courses will provide exposure to the key issues and techniques in modern scientific computation. Other courses will be in the student's "home" discipline. The proposal is currently being distributed to departments across campus and will be presented to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for consideration in early July.

  3. Software Licensing. A proposal has been made to create a Software License Database which would be maintained by ITS and which would be Web accessible. With the assistance of the University's Purchasing Department, the Database would include information about existing and proposed site licenses which faculty members would be able to check before purchasing software. The Priorities and Planning Subcommittee has also proposed that a Software License web site be developed in such a way as to assist individual faculty members who may be looking for partners for the joint acquisition of software products. dhe details of the databases, processes and procedures are being worked on over the summer.

  4. Instructional Technology Resource Centre (ITRC). The role of the ITRC is to help faculty members with the creation of on-line instructional content and use of instructional technology. The Centre is to become a dacilitydfor faculty members who wish to learn of available instructional technologies for the development and use of on-line instructional materials. It will also work with other University units, duch as EDO,d to enable faculty members to share experiences in the use of on-line materials and courses and take advantage of existing expertise in instruction and pedagogy within the University.

Robert Wood
Chair, SCITS