Strategic Plan & Projects

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.

Our Five Year Strategic Plan

With our five year Strategic Plan, we envision a robust, scalable, and adaptable IT ecosystem that:

  • gives you access to a rich array of media and applications, anytime and anywhere
  • enables big data that's actionable and true
  • lets you share, discuss, and remix your data using any device
  • shifts the innovation curve for technology even as we lower our costs and risks

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.

IT Roadmap & Operating Plan

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 that further the University’s mission. View the entire list of our initiatives at the IT Roadmap or select a currently active project from the dropdown menu.

OSU communities use technology to learn, create, and innovate more effectively.

We connect people and knowledge to drive progress.


Executive Summary

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.

Community Expectations and the IT Ecosystem

IT Ecosystem

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...

  1. Choose their devices and software. There is no single model of a learner, no single way in which research is done, no single way in which instruction is delivered. With technology scaling from smartphones to massive supercomputers, people should choose technology that best meets their goals and work styles.
  2. Create content and data at ever-increasing rates. As creators, authors and publishers, as well as conductors of vast arrays of instrumentation, OSU's students, faculty and staff are amassing a rich, complex array of media and information, and then sharing, discussing, remixing and reusing that data. IT must enable "big data" across the spectrum from deep science to the performing arts.
  3. Work across multiple communities. As we tackle complex analyses about the success of our students, grapple with scientific questions, and creatively collaborate, people will mix and match use of OSU resources with those hosted by other universities, agencies, and "cloud" providers.
  4. Work anywhere and at anytime. We imagine a technology ecosystem in which a researcher creates her data and publishes, engages collaborators, and discovers new ideas while learning or researching in a forest, field or oceangoing vessel, using technology that fits in a pocket or backpack, as easily as she might use sophisticated systems from her lab or classroom.

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.

IT Roadmap & Operating Plan

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.

Projects Now Underway

Planned or Approved Projects

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.

  • Foundational Initiatives
    • Security risk assessment
    • Network financial sustainability: An assessment of how network infrastructure is funded and an investigation into equitable and transparent funding mechanisms that ensure long term sustainability for the OSU Network.
    • Distributed antenna system to bring improved cellular coverage to OSU: A system built in conjunction with the cellular telephone carriers that ensures appropriate coverage outdoors and indoors as the carriers deploy 4G infrastructure on campus.
    • Network upgrade and fiber infrastructure improvements: Improvements in the underground fiber optic infrastructure on campus to leverage the new redundant network head-end and ensure the ability to grow overall network bandwidth in support of research and education.
  • Progressive Initiatives
    • IT Service Management (ITSM) Enterprise Toolkit: A business case document has been written that describes the current state of our tools for incident and knowledge management and why an enterprise-level ITSM toolkit is being researched for OSU. A single ITSM toolkit will help us standardize our service-level operations, leading to improved management of our support documentation and more efficiently deliver our support.
    • Software in the Cloud: virtual access to software for courses
    • Storage Services: access to shared storage systems
  • University Partner Projects
    • Classroom Building: Providing leadership in the design of formal and informal learning spaces and introduction of innovative instructional technology for the new OSU classroom building.
    • Cascades Campus Expansion: Apply lessons learned from design and implementation work on Austin Hall and The Classroom Building to create cutting-edge learning spaces for the expanding Cascades Campus.

Projects in the Investigation Stage

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.

  • Foundational Initiatives
    • Disaster recovery and business continuity for administrative services: An IT Disaster Recovery Policy and corresponding DR Plan for administrative services will establish the requirements and the steps that will be taken in response to and for the recovery from any disaster, affecting IT services at OSU, with the fundamental goal of allowing basic business functions to resume until such time as all systems can be restored to pre-disaster functionality.
    • Data center improvements: Demand for data center space has far outstriped our current data center capacity and a long term data center plan is needed to balance enterprise and research needs both on site and in the cloud.
    • Trouble ticketing system
    • Middleware: workflow and enterprise technology: establishes a common framework of middleware and application functions that can be used to standardize business applications that exist at OSU, but are currently built/maintained using different tools, programming languages, and technologies.
    • WiFi strategy: A 5 year wifi roadmap will be established to guide investments in the capacity and technology of OSU Wifi to ensure that functional improvements are timely and support the overall University Mission. An outside consulting firm has already been engaged to evaluate our current network and to provide a 5 year technology roadmap that will inform the overall plan.
  • Progressive Initiatives
    • Productivity Tools and Services
    • Next generation business process management: replacing OSCAR
    • Computer lab improvements
    • Learning Outcome Analytics: multi-institutional approach
    • Educational Resource Delivery: across all access points of learning
    • Open Education Content: an institutional approach
  • University Partner Projects
    • Curriculum management system: currently a home-grown application that supports the academic functions associated with the process and approval for the creation, alteration, and obsolescence, of courses and programs at OSU.
    • eProcurement and contract management: provides an online shopping experience for campus clients, approvers, and suppliers, while automating the purchasing, payable, and contracting process.

Identifying Potential Projects

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.

  • Newport campus
  • Staff computer support automation
  • Comprehensive mobile device strategy for engagement and support

About Our Projects

Foundational Initiatives

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 »

Progressive Initiatives

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.

Project Pipeline - Our Process

Identify Need
leads to…
Investigate Options
leads to…
leads to…
Approve & Resource
leads to…

Project Management

Are you managing an IS project?

Start Here

Reference Materials

Resources for IS Project Managers
Project Terminology

Starting IS Projects

An IS project is one that is managed by a person employed by IS.  The project sponsor and project participants may report to other organizations.  

General approach to projects

The remainder of this page provide basic suggestions for organizing projects and how the various tools and templates on this site may be helpful.

IS Projects have different requirements, depending on their size.  Assess the size of your project and its specific requirements here.

Defining and organizing

  Begin any project by identifying the desired outcome.  Capture, as clearly as possible

  • What is to be accomplished
  • By when
  • At what cost

Identify a named requestor or sponsor able to verify what you’ve captured.  As you discuss your project with your sponsor you will want to further clarify the following:

  • Roles and responsibilities.  You can find project roles and terminology described here. 
  • Stakeholders—who else needs to be involved?  If multiple groups need to be consulted or informed, a RACI chart helps clarify interactions.
  • Scope
  • Business case
  • Risks and dependencies
  • Funding
  • Deliverables
  • Flexibility of scope, schedule and resources
  • How to assess completion and success
  • Long term ownership

The point of this activity is to capture the sponsor's expectations in writing so that there is no confusion surrounding what is to be done.  Even for small projects, the Project Description Sheet (PDS) can be used to remind you of areas to discuss and clarify.  You may skip sections not relevant to your project, and take note of items to be defined later.


Once you know what is to be delivered, gather your technical team to determine how to complete the expected work.

  • Outline the sequence of events and people involved to accomplish the objective
  • Get high-level estimates of time and effort directly from the people who will be performing the work.
  • Take note of any key milestones, deadlines and major events.
  • Identify potential risks and dependencies.  Risks that you feel are very likely to occur and have significant impact will benefit from proactive planning.
  • Clarify major handoff points.  When one activity is completed, to whom should it be reported?

You’ll want to think about project communication: who needs regular updates, how often, and in what format. Every project is different.

  • You can see a sample project communication plan here
  • It’s a good idea to ask your project team and sponsor how they want to receive and send communication: Email? Regular meetings? A shared document?
  • Don’t assume people know about their task assignments, who to notify when they’ve completed a task, or much about your project at all.
  • If you’ll be speaking to groups about your project, a slideset providing context about the project’s purpose and status is helpful.  A slide template is available here.
  • Larger projects also involve more communication and may involve marketing, support coordination and training. A template for assessing the type of communication, training and support needed and the information that needs to be conveyed is available here.

Discuss decision making: who should be included in making key project decisions.  Small projects often need little more than quick conversations between a few key people, while large projects may require involvement from stakeholder committees or governance boards.  A RACI chart may help.

Tracking Progress

Keep track of project progress on your project and inform interested parties with regular status updates.  You will need to supply a way for project participants to keep you informed of completed tasks or issues and prepare participants for upcoming activities.  You will also want to establish a spot (such as a shared Google folder, shared drive or Sharepoint site) for shared project documentation. 

Regular communcation is critical at this stage.

Managing Change

As the project progresses, take note of changes to scope, schedule and resources and discuss those with your project team and sponsor, since they may require adjusting project costs, milestones or completion dates.  Unintentional scope creep is most easily prevented by clearly documenting the original goals and noting when and why adjustments occur during the course of the project.

Wrapping Up

When your project is completed, review the list of project objectives with the sponsor and project team to verify that they have been met or to obtain agreement about any items left incomplete.  Transfer ownership of any ongoing support and maintenance to support teams and service owners, as appropriate.

Finally, you will formally close the project, capture key learnings and celebrate the contributions made by the project team. A project retrospective survey will help with this activity.


The IS project management group is happy to help other IS project managers, and we maintain the project section of this web site.  Please contact us if you have questions about managing a project or project information on this site.

Determining the Size of IS Projects

IS project sizing

Use this page to identify the size of an IS project

General requirements for projects of every size are found on this matrix.  Specific requirements for tools and techniques are noted below.

Large Project

Involves many major deliverables and hundreds of tasks and activities

  • Generally takes 6-24 months
  • Generally involves a major change to one or more services (creates, retires or significantly alters an IS service)
  • Impacts all or large part of campus
  • High risk and complexity
  • Requires learning new skills or implementing new technologies
  • Multiple stakeholders with varying objectives
  • May involve one or more sub-projects
  • Cross-functional core team
  • Requires a full time project manager and a sponsor at an appropriate level
  • Typically requires a full complement of project management tools and techniques

Special requirements for large IS projects

  • Assigned to a named IS project manager
  • Assigned to no more than one sponsor
  • A Project Data Sheet (PDS) must be
  • Project status must be updated on the IS project web page at least monthly
  • Project managers must participate in monthly project reviews with IS directors
  • Upon completion, a project retrospective must be conducted and learnings captured

Medium Project

A focused set of deliverables requiring a significant amount of work

  • Generally take 3-6 months
  • There may be multiple stakeholders who are generally in agreement on project goal
  • Some unfamiliar work may be involved
  • Involves a small team of individuals
  • Moderate risk and complexity
  • The project leader role is typically part time and may be played by a technical contributor, with assistance from a sponsor
  • Benefits from a project description document and organizational tools

Special requirements for medium IS projects

  • May be tracked at a departmental level
  • Project Management tools and templates can be used as desired and if helpful

Small Project

A series of steps with limited scope and activities

  • Generally of short duration (<3 months)
  • Normally there is only one deliverable and one major stakeholder
  • Typically require 15-20 tasks to complete
  • Typically involves familiar work and extending functions or features (does not involve learning new technologies)
  • Low risk and complexity
  • Typically lead by a technical contributor and involves limited project management or planning tools

Special requirements for small IS projects

  • May be tracked at a departmental level
  • Project Management tools and templates can be used as desired and if helpful

Project Responsibilities Matrix

Project Responsibilites Matrix

This matrix outlines activities to be conducted for projects of varying sizes and whether those activities are required or optional.  If OSU has tools or templates to help with particular tasks, the tools are listed.  Please note that requirement is for the listed activity, not for the use of the tool or template.

Activity Small Medium Large OSU Tools Available
Provide a clear statement of the problem/opportunity and the solution (project outcome) Required Required Required PDS
Develop clear business justification Optional Optional Required PDS
Ensure project is consistent with direction/priorities in the Strategic Plan Optional Optional Required PDS
Prepare budget and review with funding approval authority, if applicable Optional Required Required  
Document deliverables and significant milestones Optional Required Required PDS
Identify and confirm sponsorship Optional Optional Required PDS
Identify customers, users, and stakeholders Required Required Required PDS
Identify related projects/affected systems Required Required Required  
Identify high-level project risks Optional Optional Required PDS
Define project measures of success Optional Optional Optional PDS
Develop high level project effort estimate and schedule Required Required Required PDS
Identify completion criteria Required Required Required PDS
Identify the project team Optional Required Required PDS
Define roles and responsibilities Optional Optional Required  
Determine communications requirements and approach Optional Optional Required Simple Communication Plan, Support and Communcation Planning
Develop and validate requirements/specifications Required Required Required  
Identify task sequence and dependencies Required Required Required  
Estimate work effort (detailed) Optional Required Required  
Ensure time tracking procedures have been established, if needed Optional Optional Optional  
Identify, analyze and respond to risk Required Required Required  
Manage project issues Required Required Required  
Establish process to manage project change (requirements, schedule, etc) Optional Required Required  
Distribute status updates Optional Optional Required

Update emails

Manage schedule conflicts and resource issues Required Required Required  
Conduct milestone/deliverable reviews, as appropriate Optional Optional Required IS project web page, Project Presentation Template
Manage vendor relationship, if applicable Required Required Required  
Manage vendor contract terms, if applicable Required Required Required  
Develop test plan Optional Required Required  
Create user and support documentation and procedures Optional Required Required Support and Communcation Planning
Determine training and rollout approach, if applicable Optional Required Required Support and Communcation Planning
Measure and monitor cost progress against the budget Optional Required Required  
Ensure deliverables are accepted Required Required Required  
Close out vendor contracts, if applicable Required Required Required  
Capture lessons learned Optional Required Required  
Complete post project survey Optional Optional Required Retrospective Survey Questions
Prepare final summary report Optional Optional Required  
Celebrate project success Optional Optional Optional  

Resources for Project Managers

  Items marked with * are required for large projects

Project Data Sheet (PDS)*

 Used to define the parameters (goals, resources, timeline, deliverables, etc.) of a project

Support and Communication Planning

 Used to assess support, training and communication needs and create plans from those needs

Simple Communication Plan

 Used to list to whom, when, how often and what you will communicate

RACI Chart Template

For clarifying roles and responsibilities when multiple groups or organizations are involved

Project Overview Presentation

 Powerpoint template for describing a project in progress

Sample Survey Questions for Project Retrospective Review

 Questions to ask when reviewing a project


Project Terminology

Terminology Used in IS Projects at OSU


  • A milestone is a reference point marking a significant step or event in the course of a project
  • Milestones are frequently used as checkpoints to mark and assess progress


  • Activity to accomplish an outcome or step towards a strategic initiative.
  • A project delivers a desired quantifiable result within a specified budget according to schedule
  • Once a project's goal is met and the specified result is delivered, the project is complete and ends
  • Projects involve a team (not an individual activity)
  • They are unique activities--not routine or ongoing operations
  • They have a defined beginning, list of deliverables and end
  • The end product must have the potential or capability to add defined business benefit
  • Project begins with approval of scope/schedule/resources and ends with acceptance and closing
  • An IS project is one that is managed by a person employed by IS.  The project sponsor and project participants may report to other organizations
  • Project size definitions

Project Manager

  • Project managers manage and track the execution of a project
  • They work with the project sponsor and key participants to ensure the project is clearly defined, the goals are understood, the resources are sufficient and the timeline is achievable before the project is launched
  • They establish the sequence of required steps
  • They coordinate the resources and track and communicate progress towards goals
  • They provide recommendations and escalate changes and threats to the scope, schedule or resources of the project to the project sponsor
  • They ensure project goals are met
  • They transition delivered solutions to long term owner/support

Project Participants

  • Perform one or more tasks in support of a project
  • May or may not attend project meetings or be regular members of a project team


  • Project sponsors define and support, project managers execute
  • A project should have only one sponsor (multiple sponsors = conflicting definitions and direction) but may have many stakeholders
  • A project sponsor should be at a sufficiently high level to obtain necessary resources and organizational commitment and to handle project-related negotiations and business decisions.
  • A sponsor negotiates agreement on scope with key stakeholders and has the final say on project scope and objectives
  • A sponsor defines the boundaries  of the project
    • What is to be done
    • By what time
    • With what resources
    • Why it is necessary and what it is in support of
    • What will happen after the project is complete (long term support, funding and ownership)
  • Sponsors obtain necessary funding and resources
  • Sponsors work with the project manager to understand proposed changes to the scope, schedule or resources for a project, and approve such changes
  • Sponsors handle escalations and challenges to the project
  • Sponsors approve the project launch and confirm that the project goals have been met upon project completion


  • Stakeholders have a vested interest in the outcome of a project and a voice in project scope and objectives
  • They are consulted by the project sponsor on project scope and scope changes related to their area of interest
  • They are informed about project progress by the project manager or sponsor
  • They contribute project requirements and expectations
  • They generally can allocate resources and set priorities/speak on behalf of their organization


  • A defineable step or activity to be completed
  • Projects are comprised of a series of tasks

Canvas Implementation

Project Manager: 
Lynn Greenough
Status Summary: 

Approx. 522 published sites in W2015; Instructor support for S2015 supplied by TAC and Ecampus; Custom tool developed to add TA and check FERPA training

Academic Technology
Recently Completed: 
  • Communication about entering final grades and access to past-term Canvas course sites has been sent to instructors
  • OSU Canvas administrators adjusted access for key Ecampus staff to make their course and student work more efficient.
  • Ecampus and TAC are offering numerous hands-on workshops, individual help, webinars, and all manner of support and training to instructors.
What's Next: 
  • INTO OSU is required to report attendance data for each IEP and GE class to validate that students are attending at least 70% of every class. An IS team is investigating options for collecting and reporting on INTO attendance data.
  • Vericite plagiarism prevention service under review
  • Publisher integrations are under investigation and will be reviewed by LMS Steering Committee
Friday, March 6, 2015


CORE stands for Co-operative Open Reporting Environment.  The CORE project will implement university-wide reports and dashboards for all OSU employees.  All employees will have access to CORE reports at some level, based on their job family / job classification.  The project will implement a site of available reports, recreating many of the existing data warehouse reports and create new reports for university wide reporting.  The project will implement Ellucian's ODS (Operational Data Store) and EDW (Enterprise Data Warehouse) products for use in reporting.  In addition, the project will develop a new  CORE Data Warehouse for use in ad-hoc reporting as well as implement a new ad-hoc reporting tool (Jaspersoft).  The project will also integrate data from other systems into the reporting tool and the CORE Data Warehouse so more integrated reporting can be achieved.

Status Summary: 

In conjunction with ECS, integrating Nolij data, Housing systems, PeopleAdmin, and new ID Card Center data into ODS.  Working with Risk Managmeent to add their data as well.  Continuing to develop reports - have over 400.  Working on new dashboards for executive management.  Completed 4th week snapshots for Winter Term with processes in place for ongoing terms.   Continuing to work on Jaspersoft implementation.

Project Manager: 
Diana Lindsley
Recently Completed: 

Continuing to add new reports and new dashboards. 

Added ID Card Center data





Information Services, Vice Provost Office
What's Next: 

Working with Enrollment Management, HR, Business Centers and otherr groups on additional reports

Working on integration with  PeopleAdmin, Nolij and Risk Management

Jaspersoft work continues

Friday, March 6, 2015

Drupal 7 Migration

Scope of work:

- Conversion of all CWS hosted Drupal 6 sites to Drupal 7 platform and new optimized architecture

- rearchitecture and consolidation of over 500 production sites to around 60 high levels sites with associated subsites (organic groups)

- Work with high level site owners:

  • to plan site architecture and determine general site structure
  • audit site content to determine special requirements
  • migrate content to a development site and setup basic navigation
  • perform a first pass content cleanup
  • handoff site to site owner for remaining cleanup and validation
  • when site owner is ready, push development site to staging, then production.  
On Hold
Project Manager: 
Jean Waters
Status Summary: 

Project currently on hold awaiting results of web strategy task force. 

Academic Technology
Wednesday, March 5, 2014


IAM is a series of initiatives to improve Identity and Access Management at Oregon State University.  Current initiatives include:

Grouper - Implementation of Internet2's Grouper, which enables departments, institutions and end users to create and manage institutional and personal groups, roles and permissions.  Initial goals include the integration with LDAP, Active Directory, Google Groups and the management of course groups with integrations to Canvas.

InCommon Federation - Integration of OSU's Identity Provider into the InCommon Federation, implementing support for the Research & Scholarship category, and vendor integration.

Account Unification- Reducing the number of Active Directory accounts that a user receives to a single, identity linked, university credential account.

Sponsored Accounts - Implementation of a system to create and manage identity linked university credentials for users who have historically not been eligible for this service.


Status Summary: 

College of Ag completed account unification.  Current unified account total is approximately 1,200.  Recent updates include validating Office365 content.  Process to update office directory data at the time of convergence in testing with ECS.  Critical decision point for UPN (Active Directory identifier) format impacts O365 project. 

Grouper in now in production.  Housing reference data loaded.  Reviewing needs for additional campus reference data to support account unification.

Project Manager: 
Erica Lomax
IT Infrastructure Services
Recently Completed: 

Housing data loaded and PAC12 streaming available for on campus housed students.

What's Next: 


  • Loading of additional reference data and creating AD groups to support account unification.

Account Unification

  • Work with colleges to determine unification needs; continue unification process.
  • Convene Desktop Experience team to have campus wide discussions regarding the impact of managing users and desktops with a single user account.
Friday, March 6, 2015

Office 365

Office 365 is a Microsoft subscription-based offering that allows consumers to work with and collaborate on native Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) in the cloud.  In December 2013, Microsoft launched the Student Advantage Program, allowing any enrolled student from a qualifying campus to download up to 5 free licenses of Office Pro Plus on a PC, Mac, or tablet.  In addition, enrolled students also received 1TB of cloud storage via OneDrive.  In October 2014, Microsoft announced the same benefit for employees of a qualifying campus.  Microsoft also removed the 1TB cloud storage limit, giving OneDrive account users unlimited cloud storage.  Since OSU is licensed for Office 365, this project aimed to enable all enrolled OSU students with the free Office Pro Plus software, including use of OneDrive and Office web apps, by the start of the Fall 2014 term.  The project further aims to take advantage of the recent offering to enable employees with the same Office resources as well.

Status Summary: 

Information Services is refining a campus-wide plan for account convergence.  We conducted individual meetings with 15 departments and colleges during the month of January 2015 for the purpose of (a) communicating the university’s direction with account convergence, (b) explaining why account convergence is a priority, (c) working with our IT partners to finalize and refine a campus-wide account convergence plan, and (d) listening to our IT colleagues to understand their needs and factor in any unique issues that will help us ensure the convergence process runs as smooth as possible.  The goal of this undertaking is to offer a single university credential for each user with the ability to provision common good services through that credential.  With our outreach meetings complete, IS is working with our colleagues in the colleges and departments on both the planning and implementation to converge accounts.  As a common good, cloud-based service, IS's goal is to enable Office 365 (5 free Office Pro Plus downloads, Office Online, OneDrive, etc.) for employees concurrent with this account convergence plan.

Project Manager: 
Scott Emery
Client Services
Recently Completed: 
  • All enrolled OSU students were enabled with Office Online, OneDrive, and access to the free Office Pro Plus licenses before the start of the Fall 2014 term.
  • Outreach meetings to 15 colleges and departments was completed in January 2015 to inform a campus-wide plan to converge accounts, move toward a university credential for common good services, and subsequently enable Office 365 for employees.
  • Office 365 support portal:
What's Next: 

We will continue to work with each college and department individually to converge accounts.  For some colleges and departments, our IAM team is providing the information to guide this process, and in other cases, we are assisting with the actual implementation.  Simultaneous to this, IS is developing an Office 365 employee enablement process.  IS aims to develop a process that allows us to enable Office 365 for employees once their account is converged (rather than waiting until all OSU employees are converged before enabling them).


Additionally, the Office 365 Working Group, comprised of a cross-section of IT stakeholders across OSU and responsible for planning the Office 365 student deployment in Fall 2014, is working on a plan to introduce Office 365 employees.  This includes communications and promotion, training and education, and end-user support.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

OSU Home Page

Central Web Services and Interactive Communications are working collaboratively to create a new home page for OSU.  In addition to the actual home page this project includes the following elements:

  • Secondary Pages: several high level pages, targeting users by audience type.
  • Sites Directory: similar to an A-Z index, this is a curated, searchable list of Sites at OSU.
  • Drupal Theme: a new theme is being created for use by any Drupal 7 site at OSU.  It will be based on the look and feel of the home page and secondary pages.
Status Summary: 

CWS and Interactive Communications held a regrouping meeting in which we looked at and discussed some design changes, a new timeline, and project tasks.  A tentative goal was set to release sometime in April.

Project Manager: 
Matt Hansen
Academic Technology
Recently Completed: 

Final preparations for the site directory page have been made, launch is expected later this month or early February.

Completed an HTML prototype for the structure of the Oak theme.  This includes headers, footers, and a new take on menuing for sites with Organic Groups.

Initial discussions on hosting have taken place at CWS.

What's Next: 

Timeline is still being finalized.

Content is being created/updated by Interactive Communications.

CWS will reach out to SIG for their input on the hosting environment.

Planning to accomodate latest round of design changes.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Research Network

IS, in collaboration with the CGRB and College of Engineering, recieved an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2013 to build a "Science DMZ" . We are now in the process of designing and deploying a network that:

  • Is explicitly designed for high-performance applications, where the science network is distinct from the general-purpose network
  • Utilizes dedicated systems for data transfer
  • Implements performance measurement and network testing systems that are regularly used to characterize the network and are available for troubleshooting
  • Enables security policies and enforcement mechanisms that are tailored for high performance science environments

In support of these goals we are acquiring equipment that offers:

  • High capacity (40 Gbps) to facilitate the fast and efficient transfer of data
  • Next-generation management that focuses on service delivery rather than traditional networking nuts-and-bolts
  • Long term value driven by flexibility and vendor roadmap to stay ahead of curve.
  • A Clearly defined roadmap for expanding to 100 Gbps connectivity while protecting the existing investment

Finally, we will be working with various researchers and groups across campus to ensure successful adoption and integration once the environment and associated tools have been successfully deployed.

Status Summary: 

The first set of equipment has arrived and is in the initial stages of deployment. We are still validating the second equipment order and anticipate submitting to the vendor in mid-to-late March. Implementation is still planned for Summer.

Project Manager: 
Tony Brock
IT Infrastructure Services
Recently Completed: 
  • Grant Awarded (Oct 2013)
  • Initial equipment vendor evaluations (Oct – Jan 2014)
  • Narrowed candidates from 6 to 2 (Feb 2014)
  • On-site equipment evaluations (Mar – Jun 2014)
  • Stakeholder consensus meetings/initial vendor negotiations (Jul – Nov 2014)
  • Finalize vendor negotiations (Dec 2014)
  • Order placed with vendors (Jan 2015)
  • Received initial equipment (Feb- Mar 2015)
What's Next: 
  • Install initial equipment in datacenters (Apr 2015)
  • Install and validate Data Transfer Node (Apr 2015)
  • Install equipment in Dearborn and the buildings (May – Jul 2015)
  • Initiate training and workflow analysis of researchers (Aug - Dec 2015)
  • Collect and analyze feedback from various stakeholders (Jan - Jul 2016)
  • Submit final report to NSF (Aug 2016)
Thursday, March 5, 2015

Service Improvement Project

Purchase software supporting ITIL methodologies and use it to improve business processes and provide IT service to our customers.

Desired results include:
- Clarifying who to contact for support and service requests
- Handling complex service requests without requiring customers to place separate requests to multiple teams
- Reduce unnecessary support interruptions to developers
- Obtaining and using a common, integrated toolset to handle ticketed work throughout IT

Status Summary: 

Discussing contract and licensing options with vendor.  Holding discovery sessions for current services delivered by Information Services, Forestry IT, Ag Sci/ROOTS IT and Extension.

Project Manager: 
Lucas Friedrichsen and Jill Swenson
Recently Completed: 
  1. Provided vendor with expected license requirements.
  2. Hosted drill-down meetings to capture parameters of current services hosted by Central IS, Forestry, Ag Sci/ROOTS and Extension
Client Services
What's Next: 
  1. Document current state of support for incident, service requests and change requests
  2. Develop implementation plan
  3. Finalize contract with vendor
Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Foundational Initiatives

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:

  1. Financial restructuring and investment is required to support continued maintenance and growth of the University network, enable the physical growth of the Corvallis, Bend and Newport campuses, and support the growth in the number of people and complexity of work they do. Network management must be centralized and stable funding secured.
  2. The Technology Resource Fund pays for much of the educational technology at OSU, including classroom technology renovation and maintenance, Blackboard, computer labs and equipment loans, library materials, support for students with disabilities, and pedagogical innovation. The allocation of funds must be realigned to support the University’s goals, and in particular, adequate funding for classroom maintenance must be identified as new buildings open and existing spaces are renovated.

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.

  • The "cloud" – shared, scaled resources amongst university and industry – is a game changer because of the economies provided and the continuing innovation in services and functionality. Higher education is moving aggressively toward scaled cloud services because it radically shifts the cost/benefit curve. Oregon State University must purposefully, thoughtfully and systematically migrate to cloud options, such as the move of student email to Google, to lower costs and improve services to the community.
  • Open source software offers excellent options across the spectrum of our enterprise. These choices are often superior to what is available in the marketplace, particularly when developed for and by higher education, and allows us to break from a cycle of externally driven cost increases. OSU’s wide use of Drupal demonstrates the viability of this strategy. We will purposefully shift toward using open source software.

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.


CORE : Data as a Strategic Asset

Strategic Statement

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.

  • Dashboards will provide summarized, actionable, and easily queried data.
  • A new data warehouse will act as a common repository, collecting data from Banner, college and departmentally based systems, and external resources into a shared, comprehensive data resource.
  • System to system capability will be based on a service architecture that will allow the flow of data to and from Systems of Record of university-level data (e.g. Banner and Blackboard) and Systems of Differentiation of locally-defined college and business unit data, including college-specific accreditation, internship management, graduate admissions, and faculty productivity.
  • Comprehensive reporting in structured formats will include data on enrollment, financials, personnel management, and research productivity.
Timeline - CORE
2013 2014 2015
Fall Winter Spring Summer Fall Winter Spring
Deployments: new ODS; prototype reports and dashboards            
  Beta testing          
    Release CORE reporting site & RAP Report        
      Implement SRP (date TBD)


  • Summarized, actionable data presented through dashboards.
  • Comprehensive reporting in structured formats across the breadth of OSU activity.
  • Common data warehouse to aggregate data from University and college/division level systems. A new data repository structure, using the Operational Data Store and Enterprise Data Warehouse (ODS/EDW) software from Ellucian will be launched. The data structures will be recreated, a comprehensive data dictionary created, and interfaces to access the data into dashboards and reports will be established.
  • System to system integration to allow data to move to where it is needed, facilitating accurate analysis and efficient operations.
  • Policy to enable responsible, open access to data.


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.


  • Oversight: Lois Brooks, Vice Provost, Information Services
  • Governance: Rebecca Warner, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
  • Warehouse & Interoperability: Kent Kuo, Director, Enterprise Computing
  • Data, reporting and dashboards: Michael Hansen, Manager, CORE BIC

Data Integration

Strategic Statement

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.

Timeline - Data Integration
2013 2014
Fall Winter Spring Summer Fall
Install Jaspersoft/Talend        
  Build first integrations      
    Define operational procedures and policies    
      Release first Jasper/Talend toolkit  
        Develop / migrate old interfaces


  • The deployment of Jaspersoft (part of the CORE initiative) will provide OSU a commercial version of Talend that can be configured as our initial production environment.
  • Pilot data integration development
  • Toolkit development
  • Manage the review of all Open Studio data integrations developed both centrally and both other non-IS units. These data integrations will need to be tested and checked-in for a more broad general release
  • Develop operational procedures and policies for how these data integrations will be scheduled, monitored, managed, and supported


  • BI Tools/Data Integration: Michael Hansen, Kent Kuo
  • Data Integration Development: Lance Duddlesten, Mark Baldwin, Eddy Beamer, Annie Leeson
  • Governance: Kent Kuo
  • Oversight: Lois Brooks

Desktop & Tablet Management Strategy

Strategic Statement

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.

Timeline - Desktop & Tablet Management Strategy
2013 2014
Fall Winter Spring Summer Fall
Service Unit Realignment        
  Develop Mac OS Strategy      
  Plan Desktop Computing Management Strategy    


  • Develop and mature our approach for supporting Mac OS computer desktops
  • Mature our approach for Windows OS desktop management
  • Research, develop, and implement an approach for supporting tablet environments, including iOS, Android, and Windows
  • Evaluate needs for other OS desktop environments, including Linux
  • Invest in enterprise-level desktop management software tools
  • Invest in training employees on the use of these desktop management tools
  • Document processes and procedures
  • Develop policy for the end-of-life of operating systems


  • Scott Emery, Director of Client Services

Identity & Access Management

Strategic Statement

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.

Timeline - Identity and Access Management
2013 2014
Fall Winter Spring Summer Fall
Team Formed        
  Preliminary Architecture      
    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

Security Risk Assessment

Strategic Statement

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.

Timeline - Security Risk Assessment
2013 2014
Fall Winter Spring Summer Fall
Develop Policy        
  Staff Training      
    Policy Revisions    
    Gap Analyses


  • Failure to perform this assessment may lead to initiatives that are costly yet are not highly successful at mitigating risk.
  • Inadequate staffing presents a risk that the assessment will provide incomplete, or untimely, data that results in risk not being measured effectively.


  • Dave Nevin, Chief Information Security Officer

Progressive Initiatives

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.

  1. Build the right portfolio of learning, collaboration and assessment tools that enable learner success. Students need to learn from anywhere, at any time, using any device that best meets their needs; instructors need just-in-time information to monitor progress; and OSU needs quality data to measure overall movement toward success.
  2. Revise the current operations of the 3000+ computer lab seats at OSU to an approach that allows students to do their homework for any class from any computer lab seat on campus, or from their own computers. Creating a virtual workspace, this University-wide initiative will remove barriers to students completing their courses.
  3. Support ongoing pedagogical pilots, adoption of new tools that allow more engaging classes and better understanding of learning progress in the moment and over time.
  4. Engage in open content prototypes, shifting beyond the traditional textbook and course reader model to lower the cost to learners and provide a more student-centered educational model.
  5. To best enable growth in the scale and complexity of research, OSU faculty need access to the right technology solutions for their disciplines and research needs, from any location, to enable their creativity and scholarship. In technical terms, the researchers need reliable, secure and substantial network, storage, visualization, telepresence and computational capacity, whether they are in a lab or in the field. Additionally, we must co-invest in high quality data center space to mitigate the power, space and cooling shortfalls 
in many colleges.
  6. Develop a research computing cooperative to allow researchers to easily opt in to shared computer resources to store data, conduct analysis, publish and collaborate. This approach follows the practices of the most successful and competitive research universities, and it has the potential to be a growing, scaling and self-funding sustained resource for researchers.
  7. Improve OSU’s business efficiency in three key ways: by reducing the
cost of transactions through optimized business processes, by making information available to support management operations, and by improving the productivity of the workforce. One by one we must migrate paperbound, labor and error intensive business processes to a streamlined, online approach. This must be accomplished without substantially adding to the cost of University operations; returns on investment should be recouped by lowering the cost of administrative functions.

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 environment requires steady, sustained progress to create a viable framework to support learning and scholarship, improving our processes and gain financial stability.
  • OSU’s success depends on how well we leverage technology to effectively transform learning, research and administration.

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 Performance Research Network

Strategic Statement

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.

Timeline - High Performance Research Network
2013 2014
Fall Winter Spring Summer Fall
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.

Feature Story

NSF Grant Funds Advanced IT Infrastructure Development


  • Jon Dolan, IT Infrastructure Services


Learning Management System Assessment

Strategic Statement

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.

Timeline - Learning Management System Assessment
2013 2014
Fall Winter Spring Summer Fall
Issue RFP        
  Evaluate Vendor Proposals      
    "Live" Sandbox Evaluations    
      Select LMS  
        Publish Transition Plan


  • Deliverable 1 - Several committees and technical resources will participate in vendor proposal evaluations, and the deliverable will be a short list of top candidates.
  • Deliverable 2 - The short list of candidates will be invited to implement their systems in a "sandbox" environment. OSU students, instructors and staff will be encouraged to conduct hands-on evaluation and provide feedback. In addition instructors will be encouraged and supported to teach part or all of a S2014 course in a sandbox environment.
  • Deliverable 3 - Work with the vendor to develop a successful and fully supported transition plan to the selected LMS.


Failure to provide OSU faculty and students access to rich learning environments.

Feature Story

OSU Announces Learning Management System Assessment Initiative


  • Oversight: David Barber
  • Governance: John Greydanus
  • Project Lead: Lynn Greenough

Next Generation Application Delivery: Software Licensing

Strategic Statement

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.

Timeline - Next Generation Application Delivery: Software Licensing
2013 2014
Fall Winter Spring Summer Fall
  Gather Software Usage Metrics    
      Evaluate Licensing Options  


  • Investigate software licensing options for virtualized environments
  • Evaluate software usage metrics to determine which titles to invest in
  • Coordinate and plan with software requesters/users to determine needs and develop a shared understanding relative to software families and ways to better leverage software investments
  • Determine the "best fit" delivery mechanism for delivering software licenses to client-owned computers


  • Audits by software vendors; not complying with vendor software licensing requirements, particularly in virtualized environments
  • Purchasing software license numbers that aren't aligned with actual usage; over-spending
  • Software licensing models that are cost prohibitive to virtualized delivery


  • Scott Emery, Director of Client Services

Productivity Tools & Services

Strategic Statement

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.

Timeline - Productivity Tools & Services
2013 2014
Fall Winter Spring Summer Fall
Planning, Office 365 Test        
  O365 Pilot in COB      
    Evaluate O365 Pilot Results    
    Identify Productivity Tools Service Owner  


  • Implementation of a campus-wide identity management system in order for OSU to sustainably provision cloud-based productivity resources.
  • A holistic approach to our assessment, planning, and implementation, including campus-wide participation from OSU's diverse group of IT leaders and other stakeholders.
  • The creation of a permanent service owner who can research and analyze these resources in alignment with IS's strategic direction.


Failure to make these services available in the cloud and appropriately support them presents several risks for OSU:

  • Lowers the profile and "image" of OSU
  • Negatively impacts our ability to recruit the best and brightest faculty and students
  • Develops a lack of trust in IS's ability to move OSU's technology landscape forward: These tools are already available to users and have been implemented by our peers and other organizations on an enterprise level.
  • Faculty and students are already using cloud-based tools that are NOT under contractual agreement with OSU; this is an ongoing risk
  • Potential loss of data due to information being saved locally and not in the cloud


  • Scott Emery, Director of Client Services

Google Apps Implementation

This administrative page provides information about the project structure and processes. Information for customers can be found at

The Charge

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:

  • enhance collaboration among students, faculty, and external partners
  • facilitate students' personal and team-based calendaring
  • increase "anytime, anywhere" access to well-secured data
  • help achieve lower operating costs for departments, where possible, and
  • provide a foundation for future enhancements to security and OSU identity management

Google Apps Implementation

Current Email Opt-In Adoption

Project Scope, Phase I (through Dec. 2013)

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 and 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 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 accounts will not need to be migrated.

High-Level Requirements

  • Google authentication must use CAS / LDAP for security
  • Must be able to provision accounts automatically
  • Must be able to remove accounts as students leave or when deemed necessary
  • Must recommend ADA compliant tools where native web interfaces do not meet ADA standards
  • Must have support staff trained to be able to serve student, faculty, and staff

Deliverables and High Level Timeline

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

Implementation Team

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

Google Apps Task Force (2011)

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.

The Charge

Google Apps Task Force

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 Process

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.

Task Force Recommendations

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.

Next Steps

  • Follow up evaluation of ADA compliance
  • Campus forums for information and input
  • Referral to IT Governance for review and decision
  • Referral to Provost's Council for review and decision

Task Force Members

  • Michael Henthorne, Student Affairs (chair)
  • Chris Sinnett, Information Services (task force operations)
  • Mike Altimus, Forestry
  • Scott Austed, Agriculture
  • Dennis Bennet, Writing Center
  • Dann Cutter, Hatfield Marine Science Center
  • Ben Danley, Alumni Association
  • Haris Gunati, Disabilit Access Center
  • Rob Holman, COAS
  • Dan Hoynacki, Extension
  • Kevin Hulse, Undergraduate student
  • Clif Johnson, Science
  • Karra Johnson, very recent alumna
  • Roger Leigh, Horticulture
  • Bill Loges, Communication and New Media
  • Jane Nichols, Libraries
  • Robin Pappas, Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Todd Shechter, Engineering
  • Catherine Williams, Information Services

University Website Improvements

Strategic Statement

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.

Timeline - University Website Improvements
2013 2014
Fall Winter Spring Summer Fall
Redesign infrastructure          
  Site Development & Migrations to Drupal 7
    Begin Drupal 8 Development


  • Oversight: John Greydanus
  • Project Manager: Jean Waters
  • Technical Lead: Matt Hansen
  • Drupal Lead: Paul Lieberman


Operational Effectiveness

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.


Change Management & Incident Response

The Charge

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.

The Process

Per VPIS direction, a task force chaired by Jon Dolan (Director, Network Services) and Kent Kuo (Director, Enterprise Computing Services) developed policy that:

  • is based on the ITIL framework for service delivery;
  • is informed by best practices at peer institutions;
  • ensures that changes are not only well thought out and executed well, but documented appropriately for review toward process improvement; and
  • ensures appropriate engagement and communication with OSU and external customers.
Prior to adoption of policy, the task force sought input from IS managers to ensure the draft policy was clear, useful, appropriate, and meaningful, and draft language was changed as a result of feedback.

The Policies

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.

Change Advisory Board

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.

  • Mark Baldwin, Enterprise Computing (two year term)
  • Alec Dhuse, Office of Information Security (two year term)
  • Joseph Duncan, Shared Infrastructure Group (two year term)
  • Mike Hinds, IT Communications (ex oficio)
  • Kirsten Petersen, IT Infrastructure Services (one year term)
  • José Cedeno, Academic Technologies (two year term)
  • Chris Sinnett, Client Services (one year term)

Near Term Implementations

Information Services is managing, or has managed, the following technical implementations in 2013 and 2014. Updates are posted on an ongoing basis.

Grid view | List view (accessible)

Projected Launch / Completion Dates

IS Implementations

Current and Upcoming Implementations

Spring 2014
Nolij upgrade May
Master Calendar launch Jun (?)
Cyder implementation Delayed, TBD
Exchange 2013 Delayed, TBD
Winter 2014
Library Rotunda wireless improvement Dec
Lync 2013 Mar
Office 365 evaluation Mar
Student Counter Check Mar

Completed Implementations

Fall 2013
TouchNet move 11/20
Blackboard sp13 upgrade 12/22
Terminal server expansion / upgrade 12/14
Migrate all student email to Google 12/30
Summer 2013
Time & Attendance - final implementation 6/16
FormFusion Upgrade 7/25
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 Upgrade 8/18
Banner 8.8 Upgrade 9/2
Blackboard sp9 Upgrades 9/15
Spring 2013
eduroam launch 5/13
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