IT Governance

University Information & Information Systems (UIIS)

Name

University Information & Information Systems (UIIS)

Reports To

President’s Executive Committee

Purpose

UIIS makes recommendations to PEC on strategic directions for university information and information systems. Institutional data, records, and information (collectively referred to as “information”) and the information systems supporting that information are strategic assets for the University of Alberta; therefore, appropriate governance for management and use of these assets is critical. Information, its privacy and security, and the information systems supporting it are tightly interwoven.

This committee provides a single forum for the discussion of the intersecting issues in these areas. The high-level purpose of the committee is to guide the development, implementation, operation and continuous improvement of the governance of information and information systems. In part, this will be accomplished through two sub-streams – one focused on assessing university needs for information and information systems, and one focused on implementing information governance best practices. The high-level purpose of the committee is to guide University information policy and oversee the development, implementation, operation, and continuous improvement of the systems required to meet the institution’s information needs. This will be accomplished by bringing together experts and stakeholders focused on implementing information governance best practices, and on assessing institutional needs for information systems.

Specific roles of the committee include:

  1. Identifying and educating data stewards.
  2. Providing oversight of information and information systems, as well as their security and risk management.
  3. Developing, reviewing, and endorsing policies and procedures for information and information systems.
  4. Championing the information technology long-range plan (developed by the Vice Provost and Associate VicePresident (Information Services & Technology)), including approval, monitoring progress, and resolving issues. This includes proposing projects and investments that align with the long-range IT plan, and/or are visionary.
  5. Prioritizing centrally funded projects brought forward by the IT steering committees.
  6. Ensuring information and information systems are consistent, stewarded, and that personal and other sensitive information is protected.
  7. Promoting the accessibility and transparency of information.
  8. Reducing duplication of information and information systems, realizing economies of scale, and ensuring business continuity plans are in place.
  9. Encouraging single sources of truth, innovative use, sharing of information, and commonality of core information systems platforms. This includes working with business units to ensure data in any system of record is up-to-date, complete and correct.
  10. Raising the quality of university information and information services, adopting best practices, and complying with audit requirements (internal and external).
  11. Ensuring a cohesive and coordinated approach to information and information systems that aligns with and supports institutional goals.
  12. Ensuring that materials from all campus units relevant to the historical record of the university are retained and subjected to archival processing and procedures.

Activities of the committee may include:

  1. Actively monitoring the governance of information and information systems, including risks and opportunities both within and outside the university, and advising university senior leaders on such matters.
  2. Establishing simple, flexible and principle-based processes to support the governance of information and information systems.
  3. Endorsing university policies and procedures supporting governance of information and information systems, for approval by executives or other governance mechanisms (e.g. General Faculties Council).
  4. Approving frameworks, standards, processes and tools that enable strong stewardship, and consistent, trusted, protected and accessible information and information systems.
  5. Establishing working groups as necessary to address and manage information and information systems governance issues, priorities and projects.
  6. Providing a two-way mechanism for communicating and gathering feedback (e.g. a reporting structure and/or communication plan) about information and information systems initiatives across the university.
  7. Proposing projects and investments that align with long range information and information systems plans, the Academic Plan and/or are visionary.

Out of scope:

Personal communications and research records/data (subject to the University of Alberta Research Policy and its associated Procedures) are outside the scope of UIIS.

Research repositories (data, preprints, postprints, etc.) operated by the University of Alberta Libraries.

Collections--digital and analogue--under the purview of the University of Alberta Libraries.

Monitoring, Advising, and Escalating

The committee will be expected to monitor, advise, and/or escalate to PEC:

  • the performance levels of key metrics and progress of major projects.
  • the alignment of the university's information policies and information systems architectures with academic and business goals.
  • the annual level of IT spending from the University's operating budget.
  • the acquisition and divestment of significant information and information systems-related resources.
  • risks and opportunities for decision or information.

Membership

  • Associate Vice President (Disclosure, Assurance, and Institutional Research) – Co-Chair
  • Vice Provost and Associate Vice President (Information Services and Technology) – Co-Chair
  • Vice Provost (Learning Services) and Chief Librarian – Co-Chair
  • A senior representative from each of the following large information technology units:
    • Facilities & Operations
    • Finance & Administration
    • University Relations
    • Advancement
    • Office of the Registrar
    • Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Four senior Faculty representatives as per the categories that follow. The four Faculty representatives will be chosen by Deans’ Council. (Note: Limit of one representative per faculty.) Faculty representatives will stand for a two-year period:
    • "Large" faculties: Arts, Science, Engineering, Education, Agriculture Life and Environmental Sciences.
    • "Small" faculties: Business, Augustana, Nursing, Rehabilitation Medicine, Kinesiology Sport and Recreation, Campus Saint Jean, Law, Public Health, Pharmacy, Extension, Native Studies, Graduate Studies and Research.
    • Faculties whose graduates typically have a professional designation or certification (for example: lawyer, pharmacist, certified accountant, professional engineer, nurse, teacher, etc.): Law, Pharmacy, Nursing, Business, Engineering, Education, Rehabilitation Medicine.
    • Faculties whose graduates typically do not have a professional designation or certification: Arts, Science, Agriculture Life and Environmental Science, Augustana, Kinesiology Sport and Recreation, Campus Saint Jean, Public Health, Native Studies, Extension, Graduate Studies and Research.
  • Vice Provost (Learning Initiatives)
  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Director, Information and Privacy Office
  • University Records Officer
  • University Archivist

The co-chairs may invite additional guests to committee meetings, to provide additional expertise or perspectives as required. These guests may include, for example, data stewards, representatives of any working groups, administrators of university information systems in any unit, or experts from inside or outside the university.

The committee will be supported in its activities by working groups struck to address specific questions, and bring recommendations back to the main committee. It is envisioned that there will be two distinct types of working groups as follows:

  1. Information governance – specific issues, including review and approval of data definitions, and changes to existing data definitions.
  2. Strategic information system needs of Faculties and central units. This would include recommending changes to information system architectures.

Working groups on information governance will focus on issues pertaining to specific areas of information. As each working group is struck, membership will be drawn from the relevant Data Stewards, or their designate. Members will receive voting privileges in the working group on those matters. These working groups will be chaired by the Associate Vice President (Disclosure, Assurance, and Institutional Research) or delegate. Information system implications from recommendations of information governance working groups will be discussed by the larger committee to ensure systems governance principles are applied.

Working groups on information systems will consist of four senior representatives from the Faculties as noted previously. In addition, each working group will include representatives, as required by the nature of issues under discussion, from university units such as the Office of the Registrar, Facilities & Operations, Human Resources, IST, etc. All members of a working group will receive voting privileges in the working group. Information systems working groups will be chaired by the Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (Information Services and Technology) or delegate. Information governance implications from recommendations of information systems working groups will be discussed by the larger committee to ensure information governance principles are applied.

Quorum and voting

Quorum requires a majority of the voting members.

All meetings will have official recommendations made available to the university.

Recommendations will be voted on, with a majority required to pass a motion.

Meetings

Face-to-face five times a year (September, November, January, March, May) and as needed. Email and/or conference calls may be needed for urgent matters.

Communications

Annual summary of activities to PEC

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