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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.  In September of 2020, the UDGC created working groups to focus on the following data governance topics:

  1. Data Access, Risk, Privacy/ Ethics, and Compliance
  2. Data Quality, Integrity, and System of Record
  3. Metadata and Data Dictionary
  4. Data Literacy, Training, and Tools

News

As part of UDGC’s mission to make data standards and policies more user-friendly and easy to understand, the Council has created a simplified, streamlined version of the Standard for Administrative Data Management. The standard itself is a 17-page pdf document with considerable detail, and remains the official governing standard. However, the “Administrative Data Domains” website provides a format that enables quick answers to basic questions like, “Who oversees Alumni data?” or, “Who do I contact to request access to Financial data for a report I am working on?” This new resource was published in April 2021 on the it.vt.edu IT policies & standards website.

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