Virginia Tech®home

University Data Governance Council (UDGC)

Introduction

To enhance our reporting and data analytics capabilities and to enable informed decision-making, Virginia Tech is actively evolving our ability to manage, maintain, and fully utilize institutional data. In furtherance of this objective, the University Data Governance Council (UDGC) was established in August of 2020.  For the 2021-2022 academic year, the UDGC has designated three working groups to focus on the following data governance topics:

  1. Data Access, Risk, and Compliance
  2. Metadata and Data Dictionary
  3. Data Literacy, Training, and Tools
For more information about UDGC activities and outcomes of the 2020-2021 academic year, see the VT Daily News article dated September 17, 2021
 
August 4, 2021

News

The first academic year of the UDGC’s work has concluded with a number of completed projects and some which will be ongoing. A Progress Report for the 2020-2021 academic year is available here. Comments, ideas and input from the University community is welcome.

Deliverables from 2020-2021

  1. An inventory of existing VT policies that relate to data and a gap analysis of where policy or standards are lacking,
  2. A simplified, streamlined version of the 17-page Administrative Data Management Standard; focusing on administrative data domains, trustees, and stewards. This is published at https://it.vt.edu/resources/policies/adms.html and is designed to clarify who to contact for which types of data,
  3. A survey of VT data stewards that was used to create an inventory of data, its source of record, and current practices.  This resulted in systems of record data from over 20 administrative areas and departments, currently available for review by request (available for access by request only as it contains sensitive information about data systems).  This data collection and inventory is ongoing and we encourage data stewards throughout Virginia Tech to participate. Please contact udgc-chairs-g@vt.edu to request access or to learn more.
  4. An inventory of existing metadata practices and data dictionaries that was used to develop a summary of existing practices at VT as well as recommended next steps
  5. A survey of departmental IT managers and others, resulting in a list of data analytics tools currently in use, as well as a summary of related training needs and recommended next steps
  6. A draft of a “Guide to Data Protection for Data Trustees and Stewards” that codifies consistent data access requirements and request processes and identifies needs for new or modified policies, standards and guidelines.  This is currently a draft and would benefit greatly from input from university data trustees, stewards, and data users. Please view the Google doc here, and provide comments or edits as desired.

This progress report and deliverables was submitted to the sponsors of UDGC, Cyril Clarke, Executive Vice President & Provost, and Dwayne Pinkney, Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer.  The UDGC welcomes input, comment, ideas, and suggestions from the University community on this report and all other activities of the Council.  Please contact udgc-chairs-g@vt.edu to provide input.

Purpose

The council is charged with providing overall direction and strategic guidance to the University’s data management and analytics efforts by endorsing policies and practices that affect the production, quality, usability, and security of data used throughout the university. This group has strategic responsibilities to develop university data definitions, data policies/ best practices, and to inform requirements about storage architecture as well as data access and sharing.

In doing so, the council aims to ensure that data, reports, and analytics are reaching the people who need them; are easy to consume, understand, and manipulate; and are effectively informing (and used to inform) institutional and departmental decisions. This group, comprised of Data Trustees or Stewards of key data domains, will lead a collaborative effort to effectively share data across functional areas through the establishment of processes to identify institutional data needs, provide access, and ensure overall data consistency and integrity within a unified “University Data Commons”.

Members of the Virginia Tech community may view the council’s Charter, Roster, and other details by logging in using the “Council Details (VT login required)” button, above.  The UDGC welcomes suggestions, ideas, and input from the Virginia Tech community. 

Please use this Google form to submit your questions or comments.

Scope

Examples of the types of data that are generally within the council’s scope of consideration are:

  • Data the campus possesses about any Virginia Tech person; i.e., staff, faculty, students
  • Data about University facilities, finances, curriculum, student life, transportation, etc.
  • Datasets that are purchased by the University (as allowed by the Terms of Use)
  • Other data the campus possesses relevant to its operations and management
  • Data collected via survey research methodologies for institutional functions or purposes

Examples of the types of data that are generally outside our scope of consideration:

  • Research data under the purview of IRB regulations
  • Protected Health Information (PHI) governed by HIPAA, or individually identifiable health information in campus student healthcare facilities

Reporting

This council serves in an advisory capacity to the Executive Vice President & Provost and the Senior Vice President for Operations and Chief Business Officer (SVP CBO) and is not a part of university governance. The council is co-chaired by Scott Midkiff (VP for IT and CIO) and Don Taylor (Executive Vice Provost). The council includes the participation of rotating representatives of academic Dean or Institute Director positions as desired as well as an Advisory Board of subject matter experts. Support is provided by the VPIT & CIO’s Office / Division of Information Technology and by Academic Decision Support.

This council serves in an advisory capacity to the Executive Vice President & Provost and the Senior Vice President for Operations and Chief Business Officer (SVP CBO) and is not a part of university governance. The council is co-chaired by Scott Midkiff (VP for IT and CIO) and Don Taylor (Executive Vice Provost). The council includes the participation of rotating representatives of academic Dean or Institute Director positions as desired as well as an Advisory Board of subject matter experts. Support is provided by the VPIT & CIO’s Office / Division of Information Technology and by Academic Decision Support.

UDGC reporting structure