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Data Governance Operational Committee Charge Letter

(Original on UW Executive Office letterhead)

September 23, 2019

Data Governance Operational Committee
Ann Nagel, Associate Vice Provost and Institutional Privacy Official, Academic & Student Affairs, chair
Dori Bloom, Senior Computer Specialist, College of Arts & Sciences
Doug Divine, Director, DATAGroup & Global Operations Support, UW Finance
Richard Fenger, Assistant Director, Decision Support Services, ORIS, Office of Research
Alice Few, Data Analyst, Institutional Research, UW Tacoma
Helen Garrett, University Registrar, Enrollment Management
Rachel Gatlin, Executive Director for HR Benefits, Analytics & Information Systems, Human Resources
Tonya Greer, Information Architect, Business Intelligence and Information Technology, UW Facilities
Shelley Kostrinsky, Assistant Vice Provost, Academic Personnel
Kay Lewis, Assistant Vice Provost for Enrollment and Executive Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, Enrollment Management
Karen Matheson, Reporting Application Manager, Integrated Service Center
Yanko Fernando Michea, Director, Information and Learning Technologies, College of Education
Bart Pietrzak, Director of Enterprise Analytics and Reporting, UW Information Technology
Adrian Sinkler, Director, Office of Institutional Research, University of Washington Bothell
Daniel Summy, Manager Data Architecture, Office of Planning & Budgeting
Keith Van Eaton, Metadata Manager, UW Information Technology
Michael Visaya, Assistant Vice President for Information Management, University Advancement

Marisa Nickle, Sr. Director, Strategy & Academic Initiatives, Office of the Provost/Academic & Student Affairs

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for your willingness to serve on the University of Washington’s Data Governance Operational Committee. We are charging the Operational Committee with executing comprehensive data and analysis strategy for the University, with the ultimate goal of creating and fostering a best-in-class environment for data management, architecture and ultimately, institutional analysis. The scope is limited to academic, research administration, and business data, and excludes patient data. Though this Operational Committee will convene on an ongoing basis, the executive office will annually review the charge and membership to allow for updates based on evolving needs and emerging strategies.

There is increasing demand for and reliance upon data and analysis for decision-making at all levels of the University’s organizational structure, including alignment with evolving data structures as enterprise resource planning systems are replaced and new systems are implemented. Current and anticipated structures and data-analysis capabilities are not adequate to meet increasing and evolving demands. The University must therefore address its weaknesses in data governance. This in turn requires the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy, to include objectives, timelines, and resources.

In 2006, a Data Management Committee was formed and over time its scope expanded to providing “support and advice regarding the administration, access and use of UW data.” In 2017, a Data Governance Task Force was charged with revisiting the UW’s data governance model and the following year a Data Governance and Analysis Committee reviewed and confirmed the Task Force’s recommendations. Based on these recommendations, we are creating a new two-tiered, tri-campus governance structure with a Steering Committee responsible for developing a strategy and an Operational Committee responsible executing on the strategy. Together the two committees will oversee and implement short, medium, and long-term deliverables in the areas of data governance, data architecture and data resources, and data analysis.

The main areas of focus of the Operational Committee include intake, prioritization, and identification of shared solutions to systemic problems, and support for outreach and education. It will also involve charging short term task forces to research, analyze and assess solutions as well as close collaboration with the Steering Committee and other data responsible groups. The group will respond to requests from the Steering Committee on efforts of institutional importance as well as those brought to the group by data custodians or other data owners, other data-relevant groups, or other data responsible groups. The Operational Committee will triage and as needed escalate competing priorities across UW units to the Steering Committee.

As you undertake this work, we ask that you work on behalf of the UW as a whole, including all three campuses; that you incorporate perspectives of executive leadership, academic schools and colleges, faculty, student government and a range of data owners; that you represent all areas of data in scope; and that you draw from intellectually diverse perspectives. We also ask that your work promotes informed decision-making and shared solutions, that it creates buy-in and enables positive culture change, and that it applies experience and expertise to ensure data strategies come to fruition.

The objective and tasks of the Operational Committee, in order of priority, is as follows:

1. Data Governance

Governance involves the organizational structures and processes through which the University decides how data are processed. It also involves the definition and prioritization of future data, infrastructure, and analysis needs.

The Operational Committee is tasked with:

  • Applying the strategies founded by the Strategy Committee to making operational decisions that support the cohesive use of data across the University.
  • Developing and managing an intake process for prioritization of requests that arise from other data responsible groups.
  • Developing an online resource that supports communications for data governance and the management of data across all three campuses.

2. Data Architecture and Data Resources

Data architecture defines the environments in which data governance, data assembly, and data analysis take place.

The Operational Committee is tasked with:

  • Updating the current data management documents, including relevant Administrative Policy Statements, the UW Data Management Standard, the existing Data Management Committee Guidelines, and the UW Data Map.
  • Recommending to the Steering Committee how best to redesign the data access and data management model, with the goal of supporting strategic data decisions.
  • Identifying shared solutions for priority efforts handed down from the Steering Committee.

3. Data Analysis

Data analysis involves the translation of data into actionable information. It requires the identification of analytical needs and the services to address them.

The Operational Committee is tasked with developing strategies in the following areas:

  • Identifying where across the organization enterprise data analytics and analysis is currently happening and the current scope of these functional areas.
  • Propose a framework for moving toward the most cost effective and efficient means for these resources to be organized and deployed in order to maximize the effectiveness of these processes.
  • Acting on priorities developed by the Steering Committee for pursuing high-impact areas for analytics and expert analysis, based on the specific needs, requirements, and benefits thereof. Such areas may include student success and retention, academic programming, and operational reports involving personnel data, budget variances, and compensation forecasting.

The Operational Committee is also tasked with identifying and/or proposing resources needed for accomplishing the above tasks and helping the University meet the evolving demands for data governance, data architecture and resources, and data analysis.

Marisa Nickle, Sr. Director of Strategy & Academic Initiatives in the Office of the Provost will work closely with and support the chairs of the Data Governance Steering Committee and Operational Committee to launch this effort, and align strategy and work of the two committees. Ann Nagel will attend the Steering Committee as an ex-officio member and liaison between the two committees.

Thank you for your willingness to serve the UW community in this important capacity.


Ana Mari Cauce
Professor, Psychology

Mark A. Richards
Provost and Executive Vice President
Professor, Earth and Space Sciences