ctcLink Reference CenterResourcesGovernance ctcLink Operational GovernanceOverview of Strategic Technology Advisory Committee (STAC)

Overview of Strategic Technology Advisory Committee (STAC)

Purpose: This guide is intended to provide an overview of the second layer of ctcLink program governance, the Strategic Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) :

  • How the group originally formed
  • What the scope of responsibilities are for the group
  • How the group makes decisions and their voting protocols
  • How Enhancement Request are escalated from the Working Group to STAC
  • How STAC decisions are appealed to WACTC-Tech
  • What decisions have STAC made since their evolution into the Operational Governance model
  • What the group's new charter looks like

Audience: All ctcLink system users

History of STAC (during ctcLink Implementation Phase)

In Spring 2018, the WACTC Tech directed that a Task Force be formed, consisting of representatives from across all of the WACTC Commissions and the State Board (SBCTC), based on recommendations by Ryan Carstens (a consultant to the SBCTC). The focus of this work was to address the following:

  • Definition for "core technology.”
  • Annual "Dynamic" Strategic Plan for Technology Implementation, including a multi-year list of major platforms/solutions in queue for consideration and implementation.
  • Process for annually updating core business and educational needs and potential technologies to meet those needs.
  • Process for studying and implementing technology platforms/solutions to augment the core infrastructure.
  • Process for defining and maintaining secure and reliable data integration among the components of the state core technology infrastructure.
  • Process for identifying appropriate funding, support, training, and sustainability models for each technology.
  • Process for ongoing assessment of the technology and data infrastructures.
  • Governance structure to support the above.

STAC used to be called the Strategic Technology Planning & Governance Task Force.

Current STAC Structure

The Strategic Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) serves as an advisory resource and coordinating body for the Washington Community and Technical Colleges (WACTC) presidents regarding system-wide technology planning, selection and investment decisions. This committee advises the WACTC Technology Committee (WACTC-Tech) and as of May 2022, serves in a leadership role for ctcLink shared governance.

Its primary responsibilities are to:

● Facilitate a process of continuous strategic technology planning and proactively recommend relevant technology strategies to support WACTC and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) priorities;

● Facilitate inclusive IT governance processes that formalize a clear, transparent and equitable decision-making process for all stakeholders;

● Evaluate and recommend potential enhancements and improvements to state-wide enterprise systems as well as funding mechanisms and/or purchases within the context of the strategic plan, and determines criteria for decisions.

STAC Membership

The Committee is comprised of 25 voting members representing WACTC Commissions, SBCTC, and Standing Sub-committees of STAC:

Voting Members

WACTC Commissions (16).  Commissions may select who they wish to be a representative.

Each Commission can have two voting members on the STAC:

  • Business Affairs  
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Technology  
  • Instruction
  • Public Information
  • Research and Planning
  • Student Services
  • Diversity and Equity Officers (DEOC)

SBCTC (6). The SBCTC Chief Information Officer is a voting member (1) and may select up to five Subject Matter Experts from the SBCTC to be voting members, with consideration given to the following areas of expertise:

  • Guided Pathways
  • ctcLink Support
  • Ed Tech
  • Data Governance
  • IT Security
  • Accessibility

Standing Subcommittee Chairs or designees (3).

  • CATO (Accessibility)
  • ETAG (Educational Technology)
  • ctcLink College Collaboration Group  

Non-voting Members

Ad hoc attendees may be invited to attend meetings and participate in work groups as needed.

Terms

Committee members may serve multiple years, but must commit to an initial term of at least two  years, with endorsement from their commissions, presidents and/or supervisors. Due to the  strategic nature of the work, there is a benefit in having long-term membership and staggered  succession planning, so there is continuity in representation.

Member Selection

Recruiting of committee members will be done by the STAC co-chairs through Commission  Chairs. Commissions may use their own methods of selecting representatives, but are  encouraged to select individuals who have a strong interest in technology, governance and equity as well as the capacity to commit  time for committee activities. SBCTC subject matter experts will be invited by the SBCTC Chief Information Officer.  Each standing subcommittee will designate a member to serve on the STAC.

Member List

Leadership

The committee will be co-chaired by the SBCTC Chief Information Officer (or designee) and a college commission  representative who has served on STAC for a minimum of one year and voted in by the other  committee members. Preference of co-chair selection should be given to an IT Commission member to assure accountability and alignment with WACTC-Tech goals.

STAC Scope of Responsibility

The Committee provides recommendations and operational resolutions to WACTC and other  system governance bodies.  

Individually, Committee members:

  • Understand the implications and outcomes of issues, proposals and requests considered  by the committee and represent them to system stakeholders;
  • Communicate the values and principles of technology planning and procurement to  system stakeholders;
  • Describe and explain the structure of the Committee and the implications of its work to  stakeholders;
  • Assist system governance bodies in framing requests for new projects and technologies  that fall within the scope of the Committee and the Strategic Technology Plan;
  • Represent emergent interests and needs of Commissions and the WACTC system to this  Committee.

In practice, this means that members must:

  • Attend scheduled meetings. If an individual member is regularly unable to participate in scheduled meetings, it may become necessary to identify a replacement for those who cannot attend consistently. If needed, action will be taken based on the recommendation of the STAC co-chairs and a vote by the full committee.
  • Review available materials before meetings and be prepared to discuss and vote;
  • Work to develop collaborative decisions regarding issues that are escalated to the Advisory Committee from Subcommittees, Work-groups, and Commissions;
  • Develop recommendations and decision packages for consideration by WACTC-Tech;
  • Organize discussion and information gathering about Committee initiatives and proposals  in Commissions and other work-groups as needed;
  • Report on the progress of Committee initiatives and recommendations to appropriate  stakeholders.

The Committee will meet once per month, or as required. An annual calendar of the meetings  will be developed and communicated to members and posted on the College System & SBCTC  Calendar.

Co-chairs facilitate meetings and create the agenda. Committee members are present at the  agreed-upon location or connected via telecommunications. Requests to the membership for any  new agenda items will be made a week before the agenda is due to be published. Minutes from  the meeting will document decisions and/or recommendations.

Communication between meetings will take place on a closed mailing list or in meetings of ad  hoc work-groups of the Committee.

Agenda items for the meeting may originate from WACTC-Tech or any committee member.  Items may also be requested by designated Subcommittees and work-groups of the Committee.  For any voting decision there must be a quorum as defined below.  

The following should be included in meeting agendas:  

  • Introduction of any new members or guests
  • Review/approval of previous meeting minutes
  • Old business/action item follow-up
  • New business and consideration of new requests or issues
  • Planning and study sessions (as needed)
  • Wrap up, summary of action items for the next meeting

Quorum

This STAC is composed of 25 voting members. 13 voting members in attendance constitutes a quorum, of which seven must be representative of the colleges.

Voting Process for STAC

STAC follows Roger's Rule of Order, with members making a motion to state the decision up for vote, and another member to second the motion.  A vote is then taken and recorded in the meeting minutes.  Votes are distributed as defined under the Committee Membership section. A two-thirds majority vote of the quorum will constitute a final decision.

How Enhancement Requests Reach STAC

Enhancement Requests are first reviewed and decided upon by Working Group.  If Working Group does not feel it can reach a decision, that decision can be escalated to STAC.  If the request involves a budgetary commitment that exceeds the existing State Board resources, then the Working Group will make a recommendation to STAC relative to their position on the request and STAC may approve if within their scope, or may escalate to WACTC-Tech if costs warrant presidential involvement in the budgetary decision. STAC will also review appears on Working Group decisions, as outlined in the Working Group appeal process.

All historical and current Enhancement Request submissions are recorded and made transparent in the ctcLink Reference Center, under Governance:  Enhancement Request Status

Appealing STAC Decisions

Appeals to STAC recommendations and decisions can be brought to the Committee by:  

  • College Presidents
  • Commissions
  • ctcLink Working Group
  • SBCTC Leadership  

The appeal must be sponsored by one of the Committee members. If sponsored, the person or group appealing must provide written documentation to include:

  • Why the appeal is compelling.
  • Any budgetary and cost/benefit impact of the appeal.
  • Why alternatives are not possible and why reconsidering the decision is the only  available option.

If the appeal is sponsored, the written appeal goes to the Committee co-chairs to be placed on the  next agenda for discussion and decision. The sponsor may invite the appellant to the meeting.  An appeal can be denied, upheld, or it may not be  resolved. Appeal requests are reported to WACTC-Tech, which has the prerogative to review the  decision or simply let the decision stand.

Current Initiatives/Projects

The Strategic Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) serves as an advisory resource and coordinating body for the Washington Community and Technical Colleges (WACTC) presidents regarding system-wide technology planning, selection and investment decisions. Currently the committee is working on the following:

Current Initiatives/Projects

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