Academic and Information Technology Council

Role statement

The role of the Academic and Information Technology Council is to:

  • Assist in the development and continuous revision, as appropriate to changing needs, of the University’s strategic plans for information technology (IT), including computing, telecommunications and multi-media;
  • Facilitate the location and implementation of the technology faculty use to solve problems (current or future) in the areas of teaching, research and service;
  • Assist in the identification of technology needs of faculty;
  • Develop and recommend needed policy revisions and new policy proposals relative to academic IT (Note 1);
  • Coordinate the application and review process for distribution of funds earmarked for academic and administrative IT;
  • Ensure appropriate coordination and participation by working closely with ad hoc and standing committees in colleges, departments and other university units dealing with campus IT.

The work of the council is accomplished through its standing and ad hoc committees, which act on behalf of the council, subject to review by the council.

It is suggested the following matrix be used to guide the activities of the council:

Communicate and coordinate faculty
technology needs 
Provide education for the use of
Review technology opportunities       
Finance technology (to include costs
for maintenance and security) 
Support infrastructure* development
and application 
*Infrastructure includes such things as email; phones; accounting (e.g. project support); data storage; security;scheduling (class offerings/times provided in advance).

Note 1: Academic Information Technology Policies are those which directly affect the work of the faculty in teaching, research, and service. Examples include policies surrounding the Elearning system, use of information technologies for funded research, faculty home pages and course pages, policies for distribution of student tech funds among the colleges for the operation for instructional labs, and policies regarding classroom technology.

Elearning Standards

Relationship of AITC to the Office of Information Technology

The Office of Information Technology will consult with the Academic and Information Technology Council while developing other information technology policies, as appropriate. This consultation will be at the draft stage whenever possible. Other consultative groups may include, but are not limited to the following:

    • Local Area Network Managers in the various colleges and administrative units
    • Provost’s Council, which includes the provost, vice provosts, and deans
    • Academic Forum, which includes college and departmental academic administrators
    • University Advising Council
    • Collective Bargaining Units
    • Employee Associations (Professional Support Staff Organization and Administrative Professional Association)
    • The President’s Senior Leadership Team
    • Western Student Association and Graduate Student Advisory Committee
    • PeopleSoft Change Control Committee
    • Student Information System Integration Team
    • Other groups, as appropriate

    The Academic and Information Technology Council will have two representatives on the Campus Security Committee.  These representatives will be chosen by the council. This is a committee that has representation from various vice-presidential areas and which formulates information security policies for the University.

    Charges 2019-20

    In addition to its specific responsibilities listed in the Academic and Information Technology Council’s role statement and the work of subcommittees if such exist, the Faculty Senate Executive Board charges the AITC to consider, as a committee of the whole or through the appropriate subcommittee or task force, the following issues:

    1. Review the scope and description of the council’s role statement and assess the effectiveness of the council’s practices. Address any continuing or outstanding issues or initiatives as directed by the Faculty Senate Executive Board.
    2. Explore and report on ways to more directly incorporate the insights gained by college Information Technology managers and potential intersections between WMU research and technology offerings into the strategic planning and policy review processes.
    3. Serve as a consultative body on security policies, continue to evaluate data security and existing policies related to mobile devices.
    4. Develop best practices for advancing shared classroom instruction and collaborative projects between multiple University sites include Webex.
    5. Continue membership and participation in the Elearning Change Management and Education Technology Committees. Include reviewing new standards for Elearning.
    6. Work with existing campus groups and offices to examine and monitor W-Exchange.
    7. Work with existing campus groups and offices to examine and monitor the WMU website and address improvements in the search function.
    8. Work with the Student Information Team to have "preferred name" used in Banner.
    9. Review and make recommendations about the scope of two-factor authentication.
    10. Assess and report the need for distributed testing centers throughout the colleges.
    11. Engage the University in the use of virtual reality.
    12. Explore potential intersections between WMU Waldo Library and technology offerings.

    Approved by the Faculty Senate Executive Board on Aug. 2, 2019

    NOTE: The AITC will seek information from the Office of Information Technology to maintain communications with that office on issues directly related to it. Council recommendations are to be submitted to the Executive Board in the form of a memorandum of action (MOA) on which the recommendation(s) is/are stated. Any draft MOAs requested by the Executive Board should be submitted using the MOA template.

    The AITC chairperson shall provide a written report of the council’s accomplishments and progress for the year; list the above charges noting each item’s progress and current status; any other activities undertaken; and draft charges for the 2020-21 academic year, no later than June 30, 2020.

    Click here for a printable version of the AITC 2018-19 Charges