Amendment of Inherited State Board Computing Priorities Policy

Date of Notice: 
Tue, 05/12/2015
Legislation, Resolution, or Policy Adoption: 
Current Status: 
Approved on 06/03/15
Section I
1.1 WHEREAS the transition to a new Board of Trustees for the University under the law popularly known as Senate Bill 270 of 2013 removed the State Board of Higher Education as a future source of policies for the University of Oregon; and
1.2 WHEREAS a number of policies adopted by the State Board of Higher Education in the past (including Internal Management Directives and some unnumbered, miscellaneous policies) involve academic matters as commonly understood in higher education; and
1.3 WHEREAS Section 170 (8) of Senate Bill 270 provides: (8) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the lawfully adopted rules and policies of the State Board of Higher Education pertaining to a university with a governing board that are in effect on the effective date of this 2013 Act continue in effect until lawfully superseded or repealed by the standards or policies of the governing board or the university [emphasis added]; and
1.4 WHEREAS State Board unnumbered policy titled “Instructional and Research Computing, Priorities for” adopted by the OSBHE at meeting #509 in Feb. of 1984 is outdated; and
1.5 WHEREAS this outdated policy concerns computing priorities, a matter of clear vital importance to teaching, research, and other academic matters as commonly understood in higher education;
Section II
2.1 BE IT HEREBY MOVED that the policy titled “Instructional and Research Computing, Priorities for” be amended and retitled as follows, and enacted as a regular University of Oregon policy;
The Board approved guidelines to the staff and the institutions in preparing an institutional and then a System plan for implementation of the Board's objectives for instructional and research computing.
1. STRATEGIC VISION. The University System shall develop and regularly update a strategic plan that is designed to place it at a competitive level of computing support to research and instruction.
2. APPROPRIATE COMPUTING SUPPORT. The University shall maintain an appropriate computing environment to support all aspects of the University's mission and to remain competitive in research and instruction.  With respect to teaching, this includes but is not limited to maintaining a suite of instructional software and hardware that will enable the effective use of technology in the classroom and as part of the broader pedagogical goals of education at the University.  With respect to research, this includes but is not limited to maintaining an inventory of research computing infrastructure on campus with an eye toward identifying more efficient use of computing resources for all variety of computing needs, including but not limited to scientific computing, enterprise-level data management, and other research uses.
3. EVALUATION OF COMPUTING RESOURCES. In the development, acquisition, and customization of new and existing computing infrastructure (including but not limited to software and hardware), those managing and purchasing resources should evaluate their systems on the basis of technical performance, support needs, and other usual measures.  In addition, these evaluations should also involve inquiry into, and decisions on the basis of, the social and ethical impacts of computing infrastructure, including but not limited to: privacy, security, accessibility, usability, and sustainability.  This is understood to imply that efforts should be made to develop and acquire systems that are: amenable to or implementing privacy-enhancing and confidentiality-preserving technologies where personally-identifiable data of any kind is at stake, designed with embedded security features, are affirmed by relevant user populations on campus to be more rather than less usable (particularly in the case of instructional computing solutions), and that do not needlessly consume energy.
4. INSTRUCTIONAL COMPUTING PRIORITIES. Faculty making use of instructional software and hardware in their classes shall make use of existing university resources in the case that these are sufficient for their pedagogical needs.  In cases where curriculum and learning needs would be enhanced in significant ways by employing third-party software or hardware, instructors shall make every reasonable effort to insure that the gains from these resources justify any associated expense, and that any such computing resources are employed consistent with university, state, and federal data policies (including but not limited to rules protecting privacy and confidentiality of personally-identifiable information).  In cases of the instructional use of third-party software or hardware, instructors shall be attentive to any additional financial burdens for students required to purchase software and should make every reasonable effort to select systems that do not require students to pay for technology subscriptions, purchases, or licenses.
3. Until entering students have achieved basic computer literacy, institutions should provide such instruction as their priorities dictate, but only from existing or reallocated resources.
4. PERIODIC REVIEW BY UNITS. Institutions Ea     ch school, college, and department should periodically review carefully consider its computing resources and computing support needs, both acquisition and ongoing costs such as maintenance when reviewing their research programs.
5. Baccalaureate computer science programs should be maintained at every System multipurpose institution at a sufficient "critical mass" of students to maintain the quality of the programs. Graduate and research programs should be enhanced at selected institutions as approved by the Board.
6. A minor program in computer science should be available at every System multipurpose institution.
5. FACULTY TRAINING. The development of basic computer literacy on the part of the faculty should be considered an aspect of keeping professional competence ly current and is considered thus a faculty responsibility.  To assist faculty in meeting this responsibility, the University is committed to offering regular training opportunities pertaining to both research-related and teaching-related computing, and considers participation in these trainings a form of service involving a contribution to faculty development.
8. Institutions should encourage, to the extent possible, faculty development of functional computer literacy by including equipment acquisition for faculty use in institutional plans and encouraging faculty to use traditional development paths, such as conferences and sabbaticals, to acquire computer expertise.
9. Institutions should actively examine the use of existing faculty from other fields to teach computer science and should encourage individuals from high technology industries to become adjunct faculty.
10. Institutional computing plans should include a program for the improvement of classroom teaching using new technology.
Financial Impact: 
Cost Neutral
Curriculum & Program Matters Workgroup
Colin Koopman (Associate Professor, Philosophy), Senator & Bruce McGough (Associate Professor, Economics), Senator