Financial Administration

Learning and Information Technologies Development and Integration (G42)

Revised: July 1994


  1. Background

    This policy paper establishes a framework to support development of integrated learning and information technologies (L&IT) involving multiple institutions of the UW System. This is accomplished through systemwide plans, policies, and technical compatibility standards for administrative common systems, library automation, distance education technology, physical and facilities aspects of telecommunications, and voice/video/data networking.

    This will require broad campus level participation. To that end, this policy paper establishes an L&IT Executive Council (LITEC) and provides general guidelines for the LITEC role in systemwide L&IT planning and coordination. LITEC will offer a collective forum for computing, video and voice technology matters of common interest in areas such as libraries, computing service, distance education, instructional media, student services and business operations.


  2. Constraints

    In addition to the policies and procedures set forth in this paper, the management of learning and information technologies is subject to the following:

  3. Policy

    It is the objective of the UW System to most effectively leverage the technologies needed by UW System institutions to fulfill their primary missions of instruction, research and public service, as well as their related support activities. To derive maximum benefit from integrated L&IT on a systemwide basis, it is the policy of the UW System to work toward maximum availability and interoperability of technologies across the UW System, and to achieve that end by broad campus level participation in the development of systemwide plans, policies and standards.

    1. Responsibility for Systemwide L&IT

      The Board of Regents reviews an annually updated systemwide L&IT five year strategic plan. This strategic plan will provide a broad, holistic vision of technological possibilities, and will help to lead and coordinate cooperative, integrated learning and information technology efforts. The plan will reflect cognizance of individual institutional plans as well as external and global factors.

      System Administration's Office for Learning and Information Technology (OLIT) is the primary advocate and advisor to the President of the UW System, the Senior Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs and Administration, and other System Administration personnel on learning and information technologies, and provides general leadership of strategies and activities relating to systemwide and intercampus L&IT.

      To ensure a breadth of expertise and perspectives, the President will appoint a systemwide Learning and Information Technologies Executive Council to assist OLIT in reviewing systemwide L&IT policies, plans and standards, and in related recommendations to the Senior Vice Presidents and the President. This Council is advisory, and will focus on recommendations in three specific areas: systemwide strategic planning; intercampus technical compatibility standards; and advice to System Administration on L&IT related initiatives. The Council's membership will be constituted as follows: the Associate Vice President for L&IT (Chair); two Vice Chancellors; representatives of such campus constituencies as the campus computing directors, library directors, distance education coordinators, student affairs officers, business representatives, and faculty; System Administration departments of Budget Planning and Capital Budget and Architectural/Engineering Services; and three additional members representing a diversity of areas. In addition, the Educational Communications Board, the Department of Public Instruction, the Wisconsin Technical College System and the Department of Administration will be invited to appoint ex-officio members. System Administration staff will be invited on occasion as topics require, to provide staff support on discussions involving standards, administrative systems, instructional technology, facilities infrastructure, budgeting, library automation and purchasing. Appointment terms will be three years, staggered with about one third of membership rotation each year. Membership will require active participation.

    2. Planning and Coordination

      The Learning and Information Technologies Executive Council (LITEC) will assist OLIT in the overall coordination and integration of systemwide L&IT related policies, plans and standards. In particular, in preparing the annual systemwide plan and report to the Board of Regents, LITEC will become familiar with the comprehensive plans and needs for information technology of all UW institutions. In addition, LITEC will advise System Administration on initiatives relating to L&IT plans, policies and standards. The UW President and Vice Presidents will approve the Systemwide Strategic Plan for Learning and Information Technology, and will review System Administration allocations of funds for L&IT related activities in comparison to that plan. The Plan will address the full range of L&IT applications and will cover such resources and services as technical and user support staff, hardware platforms, network facilities and management systems, applications software, administrative data assets, desktop information technology tools and L&IT facilities. LITEC will assist OLIT by advising on plan content and format to assure utility at both the institution and systemwide level.

      LITEC will provide advisory input on priorities for systemwide funds and funding initiatives supporting learning and information technologies. This will encourage coordination between L&IT related programs and consideration of technical standards and strategic plans in systemwide matters.

    3. Standards

      OLIT will assure a technical infrastructure is in place to aid programmatic collaboration between UW institutions, and with other agencies and states. OLIT will administer a systemwide process for interinstitutional technical compatibility standards. These standards will facilitate inter-operational compatibility between separate facilities. The standards will also facilitate network maintenance, capacity planning, workload scheduling, and other network operations management functions.

      OLIT will involve LITEC in the development and review of systemwide standards in areas with multi-institutional impact. The Standards Committee of the Information Technology Management Council (ITMC) will provide in-depth technical expertise in recommending and developing standards. Institutions are encouraged to adopt any additional internal standards, consistent with overall systemwide technical standards, as may be needed for intra-campus interoperability. Standards will be developed within and across all learning and information technologies in priority order according to a standards development timetable administered by OLIT, with advice from the ITMC Standards Committee.

      Suggested standards can be proposed by any UW individual or group. OLIT will ensure that LITEC, all institutions, and other appropriate interest groups or experts have an opportunity to comment on proposed standards. Draft standards, plans and recommendations by LITEC will be discussed with the Chancellors and distributed for institutional review and comment. Final approval of systemwide L&IT standards will then be made by the President, on advice of the Associate Vice President for L&IT. OLIT will make available a comprehensive repository for systemwide standards and advise institutions on standards compliance.

      OLIT will coordinate the UW System's standards program with external agencies such as the Department of Administration, the Educational Communications Board and recognized standards setting bodies.