Council receives IT projects update

Chief information officer Jim Kurtenbach gave a brief overview of several "enterprise" (university-wide) projects that information technology is involved in during the April 6 Professional and Scientific Council meeting.

"We have a lot of very large enterprise projects going on and we're very determined to do it better than any other campus ever has," he said.

"We have to improve our technologies and our business processes to move into the future and to be a successful university and stay state of the art," he said.

Enterprise project updates include:

  • Smartsheet (work management platform): Obtained a discounted price for individual users
  • Identity and access management: Signed contract with Okta to provide individuals with secure access (logins) to campus systems
  • Workday: Implementation under way for financial, human resources and student information systems
  • Learning management system: Vendor finalists selected to replace discontinued platform (Blackboard Learn)
  • Emergency alert system (ISU Alert): Researching products to replace or renew expiring license
  • Telephone communications: Standardizing campus phones with unified system

"What we're always looking at is what's best for our customers. Our whole existence in technology is to make everyone successful," Kurtenbach said.

"It's going to be a multiyear process and I keep asking for everyone's patience and everyone's ideas, because there are going to be fits and starts as we try to move from a 43-year-old system to state-of-the-art software and services."

Transportation and parking update

Randy Larabee, chair of the university's transportation advisory council, presented an update on his group's work.

He said the council received a charge from senior vice president for university services Kate Gregory to expand its role to get involved with "all matters pertaining to the movement of people and vehicles to, from and around campus."

Issues the transportation council is considering include:

  • Changes for free visitor permits (more than 7,600 issued since last April)
  • Repairs for the Iowa State Center parking lots (which need about $20 million of work)
  • Charging to park in the Iowa State Center lots
  • Restricting campus traffic with additional gated roads
  • Addressing mobility concerns
  • Addressing parking shortages (additional lots, parking ramps)

Larabee also announced that the council is recommending no increase in parking rates and fines for the next fiscal year.

"The bad news with that is it means we're deferring some stuff in the future," he said.

New committee

Council members voted unanimously in favor of creating a new standing committee for equity and inclusion. The committee, chaired by the council's vice president for equity and inclusion, will include council members (president, president-elect and past president) and appointed P&S staff.

The approved bylaws language (PDF) charges the committee with advising the university president and administration on diversity, inclusion and equity issues. It also states "planning, analysis and policy as it pertains to these issues will be addressed and shared."