R341, Computing Systems Program

R341, Computing Systems Program

R341-1.Purpose: To provide guidelines for the coordination, cooperation, planning, and sharing of institutional computing resources and expertise for the benefit of the institutions in the System of Higher Education.


 2.1. Utah Code §53B-6-101 (Master Plan for Higher Education)

 2.2. Policy and Procedures R343, Information Management


 3.1. Optimization of System Computing Resources

 3.1.1. Computing resources within the System of Higher Education shall be managed for optimal cost effectiveness at the System level. Optimization shall be keyed to the essential purposes of the System of Higher Education (i.e. teaching, learning, research, and community service), not to computing resources per se.

 3.1.2. Insofar as system-wide optimization requires any member institution to incur higher costs for the benefit of the System as a whole, such costs shall be particularly identified and reported to the Governor and the Legislature as part of the annual budget.

 3.1.3. Exceptions to the system-wide optimization rule may be made after a showing of cause.

 3.1.4. The System of Higher Education encourages the development of cost-effective forms of instructional computing.

 3.2. Statewide Planning, Coordination, Cooperation, and Sharing: System institutions shall plan, coordinate, cooperate and share, where feasible and appropriate, in the acquisition of hardware, software, and networking capabilities, the development of computing processes, the training of computing personnel, and the analysis and correction of computing problems. Committees with representatives from the various institutions shall be established to facilitate coordination and sharing as follows:

 3.2.1. System-wide Information Technology Strategic Planning Committee: Institutional CIO’s or Information Technology Executives and the representative of the Office of the Commissioner share expertise and work together on strategic technology issues and, where feasible, implement common cooperative plans for the good of the entire system.

 3.2.2. Information Management and Data Definition Committee: Institutional representatives and the Office of the Commissioner recommend common definitions, additions or deletions to the core data elements listing, which data elements should be warehoused at the System level and which at the institutional level, definitions for computational procedures for accumulating data totals, report and analysis formats and templates for use in providing requested information, and oversight maintenance of a data element dictionary. (See R343.)

 3.3. Systems Development and Review Procedures: The criteria of need, usefulness and cost benefit, quantified in economic terms, will ordinarily be applied to problems and their proposed solutions. However, strict demonstration of cost benefit may not be required if the nature of the problem resists accurate plausible quantification. Institutional operating policies should provide for these exceptions, particularly in the research and instructional areas.

 3.4. Management of Automated Data Processing Systems: Management of computing resources within the System of Higher Education shall be according to the role assignments of the several institutions. Within each institution, operational control should be vested at the level nearest the user of such services, subject to overall cost effectiveness, availability of professional competence, and compliance with established policies and procedures. It is the intent of the Board that all students within the System have access to computing, consistent with the role assignments of their particular institutions.

 3.5. Fiscal Control of Automated Data Processing Activities

 3.5.1. Computer centers of each institution within the Utah System of Higher Education shall be operated as service centers, taking into account federal regulations and established funding practices relating to service departments. Specific subsidies for stated purposes may be allowed; any such subsidies shall be described and accounted for.

 3.5.2. Each computer center shall provide, upon request, a list of available services, and a schedule of rates, and a brief explanation of how the rates were set. Established rates shall apply equally to all units of state government, except that a standard overhead charge may also be made to users external to the institution and a subsidized service may be charged at full rate. Each institution shall establish the priority of use of its computer networking equipment.

 3.5.3. All ADP services provided to users external to the institution, where permitted under R555, Providing Facilities, Goods and Services in competition with the Private Sector, shall be rendered in accordance with the terms of written agreements between the providers and the users specifying the costs and the services to be provided, and such agreements shall be entered into prior to the rendering of such services.

3.6.  Acquisition and Disposition of Automated Data Processing Resources

 3.6.1. The several institutions within the Utah System of Higher Education shall generally carry out ADP resource acquisition in accordance with the executive and administrative powers vested in the institutions by State law and the policies of the Board, subject to applicable law. When particular benefit may be gained thereby, the Board of Higher Education may choose to exercise its own contractual powers on behalf of any or all member institutions.

 3.6.2. Competitive bidding and evaluation of bids for the acquisition of ADP resources within the System of Higher Education shall be conducted according to the total cost of ownership least-total-cost principle, taking into account all identifiable costs and benefits, not merely the bid price. Benefits should be keyed as closely as possible to the essential purposes of higher education (teaching, learning, research, and community service); and due consideration should be given to the difficulty of quantifying certain aspects of educational value.

3.7. Technological Advancement and Development: The Office of the Commissioner shall monitor and periodically assess opportunities for applying the research and development capabilities of the Utah System of Higher Education to the system-wide need for Information Technology advancement.

 3.8. Security, Privacy, and Freedom of Information: All ADP activities within the Utah System of Higher Education shall comply with the Government Records Access and Management Act and other legal requirements relating to the security, privacy and freedom of information.

Adopted September 26, 1972; amended May 29, 1974, July 23, 1974, August 1, 1978, and November 8, 2002.