Committee on Information and Communications Technology
Annual Report – 2007-2008


The  Committee on Information and Communications Technology was created and met for the first time this year.  Members include:

George Hripcsak, P&S
Sharyn O’Halloran, SIPA , Committee Chair

Nancy Friedland, Hist & Human, n-s

Hatim Diab, SEAS

Joseph Dubin, CDM
Ellen Murphy, SCE

Kay Achar, A&S, n-s
Ellen Binder, A&S, n-s
Candace Fleming, CUIT, n-s

Stephen Negron n-s


The Committee focused on three major topics for this year:


Nomenclature on ID cards

The Committee reviewed the progress and deliverables of the capital project that replaced all ID cards on campus with new ID cards that:

  1. Eliminate use of Social Security #s on the cards,

  2. Improve the integration of security and management of access privileges, and

  3. Provide the foundation for new services such as flex $ that can be used with selected vendors off campus.

The Committee advised that the new common nomenclature of “Employee” on the ID cards did not meet faculty needs.  A number of additional meetings involving the Provost’s office, Human Resources, the ID office, CUMC, CUIT, Barnard, and Teachers College resulted in adoption of the recommendation to migrate back to “Officer” and “Staff” nomenclature for Columbia University and to other, comparable nomenclature acceptable to the affiliated institutions.  A separate report has been submitted detailing these recommendations and action plans.


Priorities and capital needs for IT

The Committee also reviewed the various initiatives underway relating to Information Technology and requests for future investment.  In particular, the Committee discussed:

  1. Rollout of Electronic Document Management technology supporting Accounts Payable (completed spring 2008) and Purchasing (to be completed summer 2008), replacing obsolete technologies and facilitating streamlined administrative processes

  2. Planned technical upgrade of the PeopleSoft HR application (to be completed winter 2008)

  3. Initiatives in process to update technology infrastructure including upgrade of database technology, replacement of obsolete backup technology, enhancement of security controls, and initial implementation of disaster recovery facilities

  4. Additional required infrastructure investments, for example to replace the current obsolete telephone equipment, to upgrade the capacity and reliability of the data network, and to increase the capacity of the data center, servers and storage

The Committee acknowledged the need for continued and increased investments in IT infrastructure and applications to assure acceptable ongoing operations and continual improvement in Columbia University’s leverage of technology.


Next-generation course technologies

The Committee on Information and Communications Technology sponsored a joint meeting with the Education and Libraries Committees.  The three Committees:

The Committees endorsed the proposed move to the new Sakai Course Management and Collaboration platform to replace the current end-of-life technologies and to meet the increased needs of faculty and students for additional features in such areas as file management, testing and grading, blogs/wikis/chat, calendaring, and student/faculty portfolios.  The Committee on Information and Communications Technology recommends that this proposal be prioritized high as the Administration evaluates candidate information technology investments.

The Committees also nominated representatives to continue meeting with the Classroom Strategy Task Force on an ongoing basis.

Candace Fleming
Vice President - Information Technology (CUIT)