March 9, 2016

SAC welcomed Mur Muchane, Associate VP for Information Technology and CIO as well as Emily Neese, Associate VP for Strategy and Operations in Administration Office to discuss the state of technology at Wake Forest as well as Innovation Quarter updates.

Guest Speaker:  Mur Muchane, Associate VP for Information Technology and CIO

Mur is new to WFU and has been here for just over one year. He comes to us from Davidson College where he was the CIO for 10 years and Director of Academic Technology prior to that. He is currently a WFU Parent.

Information Systems Goals:

Identify gaps in university technology capabilities: (3 phases) The department has been working with Phil Goldstein and MaryBeth Baker, who are consultants working to help us improve everything we do.

Seek ideas and opportunities for improvement: We have engaged the campus community in many discussions asking for areas where people would like to see improvement in IS services.

Through campus engagement we have gotten invaluable input via:

  • advisory groups
  • faculty
  • deans
  • departments
  • students
  • librarians and ITGs
  • administrators all over campus, etc.

Where are we now? We’ve finished phase 1 (assessment) and we’ve put our findings into 3 categories: foundational capabilities, strategic enablers, and organizational capacity

Foundational capabilities

  • Network – we’re in good shape as it pertains to our wired network, however there is concern around the state of our wireless network and the number of devices being brought to campus that need wifi. We have revamped all residence halls with stronger wifi. We are also concerned with outdoor wireless. There is no intentional outdoor wifi on campus – though there is bleed-over from inside the buildings. There is a basic expectation for outdoor wifi.
  • Storage and backup solution – we lack a cloud-based solution for personal storage and backup. The implications of this are not good as it puts institutional data at risk. We are hoping to change this and more efficiently work with computer exchange and distribution.
  • Identity management – we have a partly deployed system, and are working to finish this solution. This is critically important to keep us functioning and functioning well.
  • Servers – our data center is in great shape in alumni hall.
  • Email and Calendar – single cloud-based solution, working very well.
  • Voice communications/phone system – the Nortel system is approaching end of life, and we see an opportunity to transition to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which is already being piloted by many folks on campus.
  • Business continuity – limited plans – this is our data backup center. We have a good data backup center located at A1A downtown, but we need a stronger failover solution.

Strategic Enablers:

Academic – We have great technology support all over campus – we have our service desk, the school of business help desk, the ITGs, etc. We could do a better job working together with all of these groups. We’d like to be better coordinated.

Administrative – Our core ERP (Banner) is not meeting the needs of our campus.

Banner HR and Finance systems have huge capability gaps that require lots of add-on solutions. It is a huge effort to maintain Banner, and there are significant manual processes, paper based processes around Banner that hinder productivity. Furthermore, Ellucian’s future is uncertain.

Options for improvement of our ERP:

Upgrade banner to incorporate currently unimplemented functionality, which would entail a new user interface and require more add-ons.


Replace Banner for HR and Finance with Workday. According to Gartner and expert analysts, Workday is currently the only option offering the most current technology delivered from the cloud for higher ed.

Our Evaluation process:

We extensively engaged the campus community, who assisted us in defining requirements, including four days of structured software reviews with vendors. We held extensive conversations with other higher education institutions who went through similar processes, and we analyzed costs and productivity gains.

Options analysis: after extensive conversations, the campus community came to a consensus to recommend Workday. The Board of Trustees endorsed moving forward.  In the interim we are working on how to implement and must choose a firm to eventually help us implement a product. We also must figure out what teams on campus will help us implement the product.

Moving to Workday would mean we would be joining some great universities like Brown, Carnegie Mellon, Yale, Wellesley, Vassar, ASU, Ohio State, Bucknell, Georgetown, Babson, etc. It’s also used in the private sector by Google, SAS, Lenovo, Visa, BB&T, Bank of America, Netflix, LinkedIN, etc.

[Videos shown about Yale and Broward’s implementation and use of Workday.]

Implementations at other institutions have taken 18-24 months, with staggered phase-in typical.

Guest Speaker:  Emily Neese, Associate VP for Strategy and Operations in Administration Office, WFU alum, and WFU parent.

Innovation Quarter: currently houses BioTech place, Bailey Park, Inmar, 525@Vine, Rails to Trails, Bailey PowerPlant, Flywheel

Research Park – Old Reynolds buildings downtown are being refurbished/renovated. WF BioTech Place is being built in a building where Camel cigarettes were made in the early 1900s.

The idea for Innovation Quarter came about roughly a year ago. A number of programs are already downtown. Building 60 is a U-shape and the School of Medicine will occupy half of the building. A new engineering program (along with other WFU programs) will be housed in the other half. Emily shared artist/architectural renderings of what the buildings, green-space, and courtyards will look like.

Strategic Rationale:

  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration
    • Could we create programs that would allow us to collaborate with the School of Medicine?
    • Elevate WFU’s reputation?
  • Could we minimize impact of increased enrollment on reynolda campus?
    • Enhance Reynolda Campus; reduce science building crowding; enable renovation of Salem Hall
  • Could we have a stronger community presence?
    • Pro Humanitate engagement downtown
    • Contribute to growth and attractiveness of Winston Salem
  • Generate financial margin
    • Attract additional highly-qualified students
    • Collaboration with medical school faculty
    • Attract new partners, employers, and donors to WFU and Winston-Salem
  • Hiring and graduate school trends
    • STEM, Data Analytics, Arts/Innovation, Entrepreneurship

Who is going down there (in various stages of approval): all very lab intensive

  • Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Recovery (MedChem) – has been approved
    • BS in Chemistry
    • Concentration in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery
    • Administered by Department of Chemistry
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) – will go next week before faculty before a vote
    • new degree
    • BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    • Co-administered by both Biology and Chemistry
  • Engineering – still awaiting approval
    • Major: BS in Engineering (optional Biomedical Engineering concentration)
    • Minor: Biomaterials Science
    • New department within College of Arts & Sciences

Program Distinctives:

  • Liberal arts emphasis in program and curricula design
  • WFU experience beyond Reynolda campus
  • Pro Humanitate themes as we prioritize events, participation and community-facing programs
  • Innovative and creative spaces for faculty, student, and alumni use
  • School of Medicine faculty involvement enhances ongoing collaborations
  • “Arts Corridor” adjacency – engage arts, humanities
  • Interdisciplinary research and teaching to help minimize silos

All of this was contingent on getting approvals for the three academic programs. We have to be done renovating/building by Dec. 31, 2016, in order to use the historic tax credits that are paying for the large majority of this project.

Other academic programs under consideration:

  • Global Public Health
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Visual Arts/Design, Historic Preservation

As of right now, there will be no residential presence for our students downtown. Taking a “wait-and-see” approach; too much risk right now with information they have

It is estimated that when complete 10,000 people will live and work in IQ.

Projected Timeline:

February 2016: construction documents were completed

Spring 2016: academic approval process continues;internal communication plan launched; and recruitment of class 2020 begins

June 2016: School of Medicine moves into building 60 North

January 2017: WFU classes begin in building 60 South

Standing Committee Report-outs:  


  • Facebook SAC page coming soon
  • Bring-a-Friend (SAC members, please try to bring a friend to next and all meetings!)
  • Monthly newsletter may have been filtered into Spam folders (check there if you didn’t get it last week – contact Jennifer Abbinett or Sarah Wojcik-Gross)


  • Sent out save-the-date for June 9th for the Staff Picnic
  • Olympic theme
  • Location: BB&T Stadium (rain or shine)
  • Partnering with Thrive and the Pro Humanitate Committee
  • Will have 4 different cuisines in the concession areas, working restrooms, lots more parking, shuttles, etc.
  • Be sure to RSVP to sign up for headcount

Fringe Benefits

  • Benefits Fair is May 3rd
  • Open Enrollment is May 2nd through May 6th
  • HR update in April we won’t know rates, premiums until May


  • Nominations are happening now through next Wednesday, March 16th,
  • 13 open positions this year
  • Elections start on the 28th

Professional Development – no report

Pro Humanitate

  • Partnering with Events committee to do special olympics at the picnic to talk to us about their annual events
  • Chaplains Emergency Fund will talk to us about their needs and how we can help.
  • Advancement will lend us a huge WF board where we can place canned food for the Food Bank; we’d like to have a different non-profit every month in Benson to tell us about how we can help.

Work-Life Balance – no report

Outside Committee Report-outs: 

Capital Planning Advisory Committee – no update

Faculty Senate

  • There has been an update on background checks for new faculty. Traffic transgressions wouldn’t prevent a faculty from being hired. The Provost would be consulted before a faculty is turned away due to a bad background check.
  • Eligibility audit – the vast majority of respondents were still eligible.

Parking & Transportation – no update

Tree Advisory – no update

DIPC – no update

Finance Advisory – no update

Raffle Winner of Coffee Coupons from Campus Grounds: Ellen Meachum


Category: Minutes