Goals Assessment - June 2021

Assess the state of technology available to West Baltimore community residents where UMB is engaged.

Develop and execute a strategy with UMB stakeholders by June 30, 2019, to address any deficiencies with technology to support UMB's health, legal, and social work programs in those areas. 

In an effort to bridge the digital divide, UMB has partnered with Comcast to provide Internet service for up to 1,000 families from 14 different partner schools in West Baltimore. The Internet Essentials program from Comcast offers affordable, high-speed internet, normally priced at $9.95 per month, to low-income households. UMB is covering this cost for students/families in the West Baltimore neighborhoods. 

There are now over 450 low income households with students having access to the Internet that they didn’t have before this UMB/Comcast agreement was established. There will be additional families receiving the benefit of an internet connection in the year ahead. 

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Assess the state of technology available to global communities where UMB is engaged.

Develop and execute a strategy with UMB stakeholders by June 30, 2019, to address any deficiencies with technology to support UMB's health, legal, and social work programs in those areas. 

During the period, CITS assisted IHV, MGIC and other personnel who are based in Africa with video/audio conferencing, e.g. with Zoom. We also evaluated additional video/audio conferencing software for The Center for Global Engagement which was used for a large attendee global health summit. 

Office 365, and specifically SharePoint and Teams, allowed schools and departments to share content with users (internal to UMB and external) regardless of location. Several Teams and SharePoint sites were created/used specifically for international groups/projects. 

Desktop and Computing Support (Technology Operations and Planning) worked with the departments that support global activities.  CITS supports business operations in departments such as SPAC.  SPAC supports research grants and funding compliance, including those for international operations.

Other CITS assistance: 

  • Performed information security reviews of global programs, provided security recommendations to individuals managing global programs and shared tips for securing devices and data while traveling internationally.
  • Enhanced the international travel request and reimbursement system.

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Evaluate annual statistics of network utilization and capacity, and collaborate and coordinate with school and department personnel to make strategic investments.

Evaluate annual statistics of network utilization and capacity, and collaborate and coordinate with school and department personnel to make strategic investments in the network infrastructure to ensure adequate network transmission capacity for innovative research, scholarship and clinical sciences initiatives. 

Network advancements and achievements continued to be made during the period. A campus-wide network replacement plan was developed and the acquisition and implementation of new network switches and wireless access points occurred in schools and departments. The UMB internet and on-campus network has minimized risk by having redundancy, i.e., there are multiple routes to the internet and core network equipment operational in multiple buildings.

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Develop a plan and strategy that would identify and recommend an infrastructure(s) for storing, managing, and accessing research data.

Both the Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS cloud infrastructures are in use at UMB. Training and education sessions are being scheduled to show personnel in schools and departments how to access and provision computing services on both platforms.

Furthermore, UMB and UMMS have signed an agreement with a company called TriNetX. UMB received and installed the TriNetX server that will contain de-identified patient data uploaded from UMMS EPIC. TriNetX and the de-identified patient data will also support the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award that UMB has with JHU. A Data Use Agreement workgroup has been formed to develop authorization procedures for researchers to get access to the data on the TriNetX equipment. 

A Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop will be used to access, process, and store UMB research data in a secure manner. This infrastructure is providing a "safe desktop" experience that researchers in UMB schools and departments can use.

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Leverage the IT Stakeholder initiative, “Expanding Resources for Faculty Teaching and Learning with Technology,” and prepare a report of recommendations.

During the reporting period, a great deal of progress was made in this period by Christina Cestone and those individuals working in the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. Some highlights of accomplishments were:

  • Instructional Consultations and Workshops: 33 activities, 189 faculty
  • Implemented iDesign, an instructional design helpdesk and resources hub, working with the USM/Kirwan Center/CITS
  • Individual course development in the SOL, SSW, Graduate School, SOP, and SOD: 12 new courses; 35 courses re-offered online (25 in the fall semester)
  • Promoted Online Quality Matters Professional Development courses to UMB faculty: 402 total registrants; 87 unique registrants
  • Launched Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) program: 9 GTAs; 12 faculty Launched Professional Coaching Program for Faculty: 37 faculty; 8 coaches 2020-2021 Online Teaching Community: 104 members (34 new since COVID) Built COVID Student Safety Training Course in Blackboard: 7,120 enrolled.

Under the direction and leadership of Dr. Christina Cestone, the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning has identified strategies for professional development and promoted innovative uses of technology in teaching and scholarship within and across UMB schools. 

Contribution to the UMB Mission 

The FCTL supports the UMB mission through specific efforts to sustain educational excellence, and it contributes to the UMB mission in all areas, supporting: student success, research and scholarship, educational inclusivity and diversity, assessment and efficiency, and collaboration. Educational research demonstrates that many learning outcomes are a result of, and correlate to, instructional activities and instructor behaviors. Therefore, the FCTL:

  1. Applies educational research evidence to enhance teaching approaches and assessment practices for student success.
  2. Fosters knowledge about how individual differences strengthen and contribute to exceptional learning environments.
  3. Collaborates with faculty to promote and reward exemplary programs, develop individual instructors, and co-create new programming.
  4. Expands our global education reach through consultation and dissemination of UMB programming to educational partners.
  5. Initiates, guides, and disseminates rigorous educational research and evaluation of our efforts.

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Increase University knowledge of contemporary productivity tools and applications and well as knowledge of information security best practices.

During the past year, there was increased attention and effort given to training the University community to use tools for tele- education and tele-work.

Virtual training opportunities were offered to the UMB community so that employees and students could learn about products like WebEx, Zoom, MS O365, including Teams. The sessions provided insights and highlighted key features and benefits of each product.

A great deal of "hand-holding" and personal one-on-one instruction was provided to not only help people learn and be more effective in the use of tools for tele-education and tele-work, but also for connecting to the internet, using computer software that was installed on their remote devices, etc.

The University community was also educated to use the KnowBe4’s Phish Alert button, which was installed on UMB accounts. It has made it easier for people to report suspected Phishing emails. In addition, simulated phishing exercises were launched and remedial training and education has been provided.              Campus-wide security awareness training campaign continued during this past year and it once again achieved a high completion rate (over 85% of the recipients completed the training).

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Promote knowledge, expertise and career development in CITS by encouraging every staff member to attend at least one professional development opportunity each year.

CITS staff professional development activities did continue to occur during the reporting period, and while a high majority of CITS staff did have the opportunity to participate in at least one professional development/training activity, the number of activities was curtailed and interrupted by COVID-19.

Percent Complete:

Almost 100% Completed/Milestone Achieved (99%)

Expand and promote cultural competence in the Center for Information Technology Services (CITS) by celebrating a climate of diversity and inclusion.

Every year, from FY 2018 to FY 2021, a member of the Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) has delivered a presentation followed by Q&A at a CITS all organization meeting. This is the 4th year that we have had an all CITS organization meeting where there was a presentation and conversation regarding diversity, equity and inclusion and that information was provided regarding the DAC, its mission, goals, accomplishments, and planned events.

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Collaborate with colleagues at USM institutions, other Maryland higher education institutions and K – 12 schools to leverage collective buying power.

Throughout the plan period, UMB collaborated extensively with USM institutions, other higher education institutions, K-12 schools and leveraged the buying power of the Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium (MEEC). IT savings were realized with many products and services.

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Collaborate with UMB and UMCP colleagues to develop and implement a mutual IT strategic plan.

The significant accomplishment that occurred was the completion of the project to consolidate the Kuali Research application for use by both UMB and UMCP. There is now one database instance and common access to the application from both universities. For the first time, the research data for the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park were linked together, and had combined research expenditures of $1.1 billion. This expanded research effort earned a ranking of #14 overall and #8 among public institutions.   

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Partner with Administration and Finance and UMB schools and departments to develop and implement a financial system providing a strategic and streamlined approach to financial analyses.

The new financial system was implemented in October 2019, and since then it has gone through a stabilization period and is continuing to be enhanced. Based on input from the campus community, adjustments are being made to processes and functionality. The Data Analytics Office is enhancing existing reports, developing new ones, and positioning the University to have a successful data analytics program.

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Assessment, Survey, Services

Administer a Center for Information Technology Services (CITS) satisfaction survey in fall 2018 and in fall 2021 and every third year thereafter, to assess the degree to which faculty, staff and students are satisfied with the array of services provided by electronic systems and staff operations so that we can identify areas in which we are succeeding, point to the services we need to improve and highlight the areas in which we need to offer new services.

Assessment of IT Services

IT Satisfaction Survey 

  • An IT satisfaction survey was administered in March 2019 and a report was generated in July 2019.  The following two items provide an important benchmark of IT satisfaction, as recorded by faculty, staff, and students.  
  • The goal was to achieve a mean score of 4.00 or better for each item on the survey. 

 

How satisfied are you that IT personnel take a “customer-oriented” approach to helping you? 

 

    Mean

Satisfaction

     %                  Count

     Dissatisfaction

      %                Count

    Total    

  Count

Faculty/Staff

4.12

      93%

     1111 

       7%

       90

      1201

Students

4.22

      96%

       260

       4%

       11

        271

 

Please rate your overall satisfaction with the IT services you receive.

 

    Mean

Satisfaction

     %                    Count

     Dissatisfaction

     %                 Count

Total

Count

Faculty/Staff

4.07

      94%

       1127 

       6%

       68

      1195

Students

4.14

      94%

         274

       6%

       17

        291

 

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Continue to partner with UMB schools and departments and affiliated entities to assess risks, seek vulnerabilities and recommend solutions and mitigate the risks.

The participants on the enterprise-wide Information Security Collaborative (ISC) group (individuals representing UMB schools and departments and affiliated entities such as UMMS and FPI) have worked well together to assess risks, identify any vulnerability(s) and collectively recommend resolutions to any found vulnerability(s). The participants of the ISC have consistently met either in-person or virtually on a regular basis, typically once per month. The ISC participants share information regarding important IT security topics, such as the value and effectiveness of various IT security tools and technologies and potential threats and the means for effectively addressing them. This collaboration continues and is critically important to the enterprise-wide IT security program.

During the reporting period, new security tools were acquired and implemented across the university to provide enhanced vulnerability scans; for capturing logs of data; and for scanning email attachments. 

In addition, CITS and UMB Schools and Departments collaborated and implemented a new UMB password policy on November 2nd. Going forward, when students and employees next change their UMID password it will be checked to make sure that it meets certain criteria, i.e. 12 character minimum and a quality check conducted by Microsoft. Once changed, the person will have a new non-expiring password. 

Also during the reporting period, work was undertaken to develop an “end point security” solution. The end point security solution will provide secure access to UMB systems and data. 

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Develop a campus-wide instructional technology infrastructure plan.

Due to COVID-19, very little work was done on premises during this period to expand and enhance the technology infrastructure in classrooms. All of the focus was on remote teaching and learning and teleworking. Many investments in technology were made before and during the pandemic to strengthen the remote teaching, learning and working environment. Due to many years of technology investments and work prior to the pandemic and quick action with acquiring additional tools at the beginning of the pandemic, the University was able to smoothly and successfully transition into the fully online world of tele-education and tele-work. 

Many investments and a great deal of work went into enhancing the technology infrastructure in classrooms before the Pandemic hit. The investments in the on-premises classroom infrastructure is now supplemented with investments in technology for remote teaching and learning. UMB now has an exceptional instructional technology infrastructure that spans both in-person classroom instruction as well as the remote teaching and learning. These technology investments allowed the University to effectively teach and learn online as well as to return to campus and use state-of-the-art technology in the classroom.

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Achieve compliance with the latest version of the USM IT security standards and the Office of Legislative Audits information security requirements.

UMB has a strong record of complying with the USM IT Security Standards, and is in compliance with the new version 5.0 of the standards that was recently released. The State Office of Legislative IT auditors have returned to UMB, in fall 2021, to perform their regular review of UMB's compliance with these standards and to check compliance with OLA IT audit requirements. The OLA IT audit performed in 2018 resulted in no IT/IS finding(s) in the final legislative audit report for UMB.

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Coordinate IT Help Desk operations by completing the implementation of the shared ticketing application initiative.

During the reporting period, over 55,000 help desk tickets were received and resolved by school, department, and campus help desk operations using a common ticketing application. 

In addition, through an on-going assessment of service indicators and current operations, new The UMB IT Help Desks transitioned effectively to an entirely online service during COVID. New call center systems were put in place and calls have been routed and answered by help desk staff working in remote locations so that requests could be addressed in a timely fashion. 

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Expand a common communications infrastructure throughout the University.

The use of a common communication infrastructure and tools increased significantly during the reporting period, with the use of Microsoft Office 365, WebEx and Zoom growing exponentially during the COVID pandemic. During the reporting period, there were over 20 thousand active O365 users; over 200 terabytes of file storage in OneDrive; and over 1,300 active SharePoint sites; and MS Teams was being used daily. There were also over 3,000 WebEx and over 8,000 Zoom meetings held every week.

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)

Build-out the identity management infrastructure to maximize user access to systems through the use of a single set of credentials.

The UMB Identity Management System is the repository for all student, employee and affiliate identities, and through the use of one set of credentials, they can access to UMB systems.

Since 7/1/2020, the UMB Identity Mgt. system has been expanded to include the FPI HR system and the SOM Faculty Information System as data sources. The inclusion of these systems help members of our community gain access to services and applications automatically as well as provide more accurate tracking of an individual’s relationship with UMB.

There have been 22 new applications introduced into UMB’s single sign-on environment.

The Preferred Name application was implemented that allows individuals to provide a “preferred name” to be stored in UMB systems.

The Identity Mgt./Directory Services group has continued to be a key technical contributor to the COVID-19 SAFE symptom assessment, testing and data reporting project. 

Percent Complete:

Completed/Milestone Achieved (100%)