UW Information Technology

Moving Forward initiatives for FY 2019 to support the work of the University, organized by UW-IT’s seven strategic goals.

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Enable Innovative Teaching & Learning

Helping students get into high-demand classes

New analytics in MyUW Course Dashboard will address the issue that high-demand courses can reach capacity during registration, yet end up with openings later. The analytics will assist instructors in determining the number of additional seats they can make available after a class is full, helping students get into popular courses.

Improving accessibility of course materials in Canvas

A new tool called Ally improves the accessibility of course materials in the UW’s Canvas learning management system. Ally provides alternate formats, including audio, electronic braille, and text readable by a screen reader; checks content for accessibility issues; and offers tips to instructors for making content more accessible.

Enhancing teaching and learning with advanced analytics

The Learning Records store, a new datastore and platform, will allow the UW to use advanced analytics to better support student and instructor success. It will offer authorized users data from Canvas, Poll Everywhere, MyUW and more, and provide dashboards and reports that show student engagement and learning outcomes.

Mapping course prerequisites

A new Course Prerequisite Map will allow students to view prerequisites, discover other courses and programs that are related to a course, and chart the most direct degree paths. The goals are to support student interests, shorten time to degree, and reduce loan accumulation.

Increasing diversity in engineering research centers

A newly funded project for improving diversity in National Science Foundation-funded projects, “ERC-INCLUDES,” is being led by UW’s Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology (DO-IT) Center in cooperation with the UW’s engineering research center, Center for Neurotechnology.

Making learning more accessible

A new Access CyberLearning program fosters partnerships between researchers, technology developers and instructors to design welcoming and accessible learning technologies and teaching strategies. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program is led by UW’s Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology (DO-IT) Center.

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Support World Class Research

Expanding support for UW research computing

Support for research computing at the UW is expanding thanks to $2 million in annual funding to assist researchers in the use of data science methods and tools, state-of-the-art research computing and consulting to help identify the best platform and tools for researchers’ particular research needs. Funding will also support researchers in using public cloud computing platforms and Hyak, the UW’s on-premise supercomputer managed by UW-IT, as well as data science resources offered through the eScience Institute.

Exploring artificial intelligence and machine learning cyberinfrastructure

To remain competitive in future research capabilities, UW-IT is partnering with UW departments to explore the use of a powerful form of hardware that underlies emerging artificial intelligence and machine learning workflows. These subsystems, graphical processing units (GPUs), can integrate with the Hyak on-premise supercomputer to accelerate research projects.

Enhancing research computing consulting

Tighter integration between research computing consulting services for cloud computing, data science tools, high performance computing methods and on-premise supercomputing will provide UW researchers with the expertise they need to choose the best research computing options, along with specialized support.

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Modernize Information & Business Systems

Gearing up for Finance Transformation

UW Finance Transformation is in its Readiness Phase, a period of time dedicated to refining the scope, schedule, budget and ultimately building the roadmap and vision for the full transformation effort. Workday Financials was chosen as the enterprise system for this multi-year initiative, which will transform the UW’s finance business processes and policies, and modernize its financial and supply chain systems. UW-IT will play a key role in integrating Workday Financials into remaining systems, integrating new data into business intelligence and analytics services, and providing strategic input into the overall design.

Enhancing Knowledge Navigator

UW-IT will continue to partner with finance subject area experts to build out new Knowledge Navigator content in support of the UW Finance Transformation. Knowledge Navigator is an online tool that helps users make sense of UW data.

Supporting UW Physicians and Northwest Hospital’s adoption of Workday

UW-IT is supporting the staff at UW Physicians and the staff at Northwest Hospital & Medical Center in their transition to Workday for HR and payroll functions.

Making admissions data available

Admissions data will be added to the Enterprise Data Warehouse and UW Profiles institutional dashboards as part of an effort by UW-IT and partners to enhance enrollment management data and analytics.

Expanding Curriculum Management

The UW Curriculum Management system (UW CM) will be further expanded to iteratively support program management processes, offering improved efficiency and transparency over paper-based processes. A new tool will source directly from UW CM to produce the three University Catalogs, replacing highly manual processes. Further efforts include encouraging units to source lists of the University’s academic programs directly from UW CM, enabling a more consistent and improved student experience.

Improving financial aid

UW-IT will modernize the core systems and processes that enable budgeting and packaging of student financial aid awards, which will allow the UW to more nimbly and effectively provide financial support to students throughout their educational journeys.

Streamlining undergraduate admissions support

Paper-based admissions processes for transfer and post-baccalaureate students will be streamlined and digitized under the next phase of the Undergraduate Admissions Modernization project.

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Provide Access to Excellent Infrastructure

Refining system to block spam calls

A new system UW-IT created to block the thousands of junk phone calls coming into the UW is being enhanced with better monitoring capability to block the intrusive calls.

Upgrading Wi-Fi

UW-IT will continue to implement major upgrades and expansions of Wi-Fi to meet ever-increasing demand for fast, seamless performance at all UW campuses and UW Medicine and South Lake Union locations.

Streamlining the delivery of applications like Identity.UW

By adopting more automated engineering practices, UW-IT will streamline how key applications like Identity.UW are built and delivered, simplifying operations and increasing responsiveness to University business needs.

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Enhance Collaboration

Supporting food-insecure students and helping reduce food waste

To reduce food waste and address food insecurity, UW-IT and the Any Hungry Husky program are collaborating on a tool to let campus event organizers notify students about leftover food. The tool will also allow anyone with a UW NetID to sign up to receive email and/or SMS (short message service) notifications, connecting food-insecure students with leftover food that would otherwise get thrown out.

Supporting IT collaboration and professional development

To promote collaboration, information sharing and professional growth among the University’s IT professionals, UW-IT will continue to support the Leadership Development Program, IT communities of practice, the UW TechConnect annual conference, and quarterly Tech Talks.

Enhancing emergency preparedness

For better coordination of UW business continuity and disaster recovery efforts, UW-IT is facilitating planning summits that bring together UW Bothell, UW Tacoma, UW Medicine, UW Emergency Management and UW-IT to develop a common strategy, toolset and terminology.

Improving IT governance efficiencies

Efforts are underway to increase the effectiveness of the University’s IT Governance structure, including broadening membership, improving communication between the three boards and enhancing engagement. These improvements were recommended by board members during a 2018 evaluation, which also found the current structure is working well, and is highly valuable in informing the University’s IT strategies and priorities.

Ensuring high performance connectivity for K-20 schools

To ensure continued high performance, key infrastructure supporting Washington’s K-20 Education Network is being upgraded. The network, which is managed and operated by UW-IT, provides robust Internet connectivity to hundreds of schools, colleges and libraries across the state.

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Reduce Enterprise Risk

Modernizing global research and education networking

The infrastructure that supports high-bandwidth, high-capacity networking for research and educational organizations will be modernized by UW-IT in partnership with the Pacific Northwest Gigapop, a nonprofit organization providing high-capacity networking for educational organizations throughout the Pacific Rim.

Enhancing network security

To protect personal and UW data from malicious attacks, UW-IT will deliver the third phase of network port blocks to stop incoming hostile traffic. Little or no impact is expected for the majority of network users.

Upgrading the tool for UW  crisis communications

UW-IT will implement a new mass notification system as a back-up for UW Crisis Communications team notifications and coordination.

Upgrading the asset management system database

Users of UW’s fixed-assets management application, OASIS, will get better performance and improved file downloads from the system through a new database platform. UW-IT will move OASIS from its legacy database to Microsoft SQL Server.

Promoting IT security through Advocates program

To foster a culture of information security, the Office of the Chief Information Security Officer will create a new community of Information Security Advocates across the UW. These advocates will promote IT security best practices to help mitigate risks and threats to institutional data.

Improving critical systems’ resilience

To support improved resilience, UW-IT and UW partner organizations are evaluating enterprise business continuity and disaster recovery planning systems to provide better data integration, risk management and planning and testing of major critical systems and applications.

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Advance Operational Excellence

Expanding UW Connect subscription service

Offer a basic functionality version of UW Connect so that small IT and non-IT departments at the UW have a cost-effective help ticketing option. This supports continued growth of UW Connect as the common platform for a consistent user experience.

Improving the customer experience for system interruptions and service status

UW-IT’s eOutage Alert service, which notifies customers of service interruptions and outages, will be improved with upgrades that include providing flexible options for notices and status, a more intuitive user interface, and system automation.

Enhancing UW-IT’s Service Catalog

UW-IT is developing an intuitive, actionable and searchable UW-IT Service Catalog to better serve the UW community. The project includes extensive user experience research and testing to ensure the catalog will be a valuable resource.

Improving UW-IT services through actionable data

UW-IT is using UW Connect Service Management metrics tools to measure the quality of its service delivery and to develop improvement plans.

Updating the UW’s telecommunications core

UW-IT will evaluate, choose and implement a technology that provides a more future-proof core infrastructure for the UW’s telecommunications needs.

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