TAC MINUTES: 4 August 2020


Approval of June Minutes - Upon motion made and seconded, the June 2020 Minutes were approved as presented.

NOTE:  There was no meeting scheduled for July 2020.


Old Business  - None



New Business 

  • SPP, ITPro, SLAs, DocuSign, DeComm request - cradle to grave and transference


TAC members discussed having SPP data automatically passed over to IT Pros and vice versa (bilateral). TAC asked if there might be ways to better utilize the system availability tab for patch scheduling, about the possibility of automating SLA renewals based on new data added to SPPs, and better utilization of electronic signing via DocuSign.  



  • Vulnerability management   


The quarterly vulnerability scans are using a new interface for vulnerability reporting. The interface allows individuals to track vulnerabilities and remediation progress for their systems. To access this, you will need to login to the vulnerability scanner and access your remediation projects. Instructions are located at https://wiki.vcu.edu/pages/viewpage.action?spaceKey=INFOSEC&title=Projects



TS Updates

  • Canvas  - This will be a standing agenda item until May 2021



  • Blackboard will be retired after the spring 2021 semester. 
    • Blackboard will no longer be VCU’s Learning Management System after Spring 2021. 
    • Course creation in Bb (using the Faculty Course Creation Tool), as well as enrollments, will remain the same for Fall 2020. Spring 2021 is anticipated to remain the same.
  • All courses have been created in Canvas for convenience, but students can’t see them automatically.
    • Because of this, you may notice a duplication of courses across Blackboard and Canvas. Students will not be able to see the courses in Canvas unless instructors publish those courses.
  • Third-party tool integrations 
    • Learning Systems is in the process of incorporating centrally-funded and supported tools into Canvas for Fall 2020. 
  • Next, the team will be integrating top-demand tools that are in use by many faculty and departments.
  • There will be greater Canvas adoption and more training will be available for those who haven’t had a chance to attend. The website will announce all face-to-face and online training that is available https://learningsystems.vcu.edu/canvas/
  • Canvas Con 2020! - Free, online global conference on October 15th. Register now!


  • Proper Use NOU   


Some users have selected preferred names that contain special characters.  A filter will be used to remove these preferred names replacing them with a “null” or empty field.  This is being done to prevent problems with downstream systems that can not accept special characters.  The filter runs every 30 minutes.  




On August 10, Collaboration Services will migrate all Google Hangouts users to Google Chat. Google Chat has been available for some time; however, the inability to chat outside the domain (with students) caused us to delay a complete rollout. Since this feature has been added, we will migrate all users to Chat on Monday, August 10. This is seamless in the web browser, Chat simply replaces Hangouts. Hangouts users on smartphones will be prompted to install Google Chat.



  • Trello Survey  


Departments have been surveyed to gauge interest in various tools for project management, Trello being one of those tools.  Results will be available later this fall. 



  • VCU Mobile Sign-On 


The Remember Me process is now in full use.  A single log-on will hold for 8 hours.  If you encounter an app that does not work correctly, please let Scott Davis know. Work is underway to incorporate health checks (under WorkReady) into VCU Mobile.



  • VCU Portal / Modo Version 


A new portal preview will be available to use in 2 weeks.  Once issues found during the two week trial period are addressed, the new portal will be released (October).



  • Cherwell HR System Pilot


The HR Cherwell system went live July 22nd as a pilot for VP Administration units. HR and IT are currently training the distributed HR analysts throughout the department to prepare them for the full rollout of the system on September 16th. At this time all of VCU will have access to submit HR requests via the HR Cherwell portal.  

Other Business

  • IT Career Communities Update


New terms started in July.  First meet-and-greet will be 5 August at noon.  The ITCC will be rolling out a  mentorship program this year.




TAC members requested that a list of time frames for when you will lose access to things be included in the new process so that students who graduate or withdraw are at least aware they will lose access to things at some point.  Sam Kennedy requested additional feedback.  



  • Update on HEETF 2020-21


All submissions are in and the meetings of the committees are scheduled. Under normal circumstances, the committees meet to recommend awarding to a set number.   At present, however, no allotment has come from the State.  This year, Committees will use last years’ numbers to do this if we hear nothing from the State ahead of scheduled meeting times.  Requests are in and Committee meetings will commence soon. We are expecting to hear from the State when the General Assembly meets.



  • Remote Proctoring Workgroup


After meeting with Dr. Savage, the executive director of the AltLab, we will evaluate and purchase a proctoring tool.  Academic Technologies is part of his workgroup and we will coordinate efforts.


  1. Blackbaud 

Though we had no legal responsibility to do so, VCU sent out a notification to our constituents that Blackbaud suffered a ransomware attack between February and May 2020.  Blackbaud negotiated with the hackers and arrived at a settlement.  Due to the scale of the breach, we decided to alert our constituents. VCU will follow FERPA guidance with regard to alerting students.  Universities are coordinating a response.


NEXT MEETING:  1 September 2020