Retreat To Move Forward, Part II

My notes from the GPS Retreat on January 14, 2013.
  • Knowledge + Practice = Competence
  • Marginalization occurs when the individual cannot change and the culture is not open. Here's the environment in which gangs thrive because no one goes unclaimed for long.
  • We're not aware of our own culture the way a fish doesn't know from water.
  • Culture tends not to explain itself.
  • We all act normal and natural; it's just that normal and natural vary by culture.
  • Make an assumption of positive intent.
  • Build a bridge by connecting with another's sense of values.
  • The Art of Intercultural Competency
    • know as much about the other
    • know what informs you
  • Falsehood that if I change I am not being authentic to myself.

The Backend

All this is stored in a FileMaker database. Emily can use this interface to oversee, override or edit entries.

What the Evaluator Sees

This is what the evaluator in the Office of Admissions sees:

What The Submitter Sees

Here are a series of screen shots showing what a student who submits a course for approval will see:


I installed the Hyper Cache plugin on the Satellite and measured improvements on WebWait.

  1. Before activating Hyper Cache
  2. After activating Hyper Cache
  3. After placing define('WP_CACHE', true); in the wp-config.php file
  4. After clearing cache in Hyper Cache settings.
Open the LCTL database. carla_delete01.jpg On the Courses Tab, switch to list view by clicking the List button in the formatting bar. carla_delete02.jpg Find for "Yes" in either the "Revision?" or "Delete?" fields. carla_delete03.jpg
  1. Pull down the Scripts menu to "Set Confucius Institute Hours..." ci_resource_center01.jpg

Process Online Request

Follow these instructions to process requests submitted through the Confucius Institute Resource Center. Orders submitted via the web land in the Confucius Institute Resource Center database and appear on the Requests tab.

  1. Match the borrower. Users submit orders using their email address. If their email address matches an email address in the borrower table, the user's name and address automatically fill. If the email address does not match an email address in the borrower table, they may still be a valid borrower but used a different email address on the online form. Use the Borrower ID drop-down list to match the request with a valid borrower. If the user is a new borrower, follow the guidelines for setting up new borrowers.

  2. Print Fulfillment List and gather materials. The Fulfillment List shows all the items and their shelf location. Use this list to gather the materials. Many items have multiple copies so take care to match the ID on the list with the ID on the item.

  3. Turn the request into a loan. Click the button to turn the request into a loan. The database creates a new loan and inserts the borrow information. Notice the loan references the online request number so you can always tell what loans originated as online requests.

  4. Add the materials to the loan. Add the materials to the loan as you normally do by scanning the item's bar code label. The database will alert you if you add an item that is not on the request.

  5. Print the receipt.

  6. Print a borrower label.

  7. Assemble and stage for shipping. Package the materials and receipt in a shipping envelope. Affix the borrower label.

  8. Ship item.

  9. Complete the shipping information. Record the courier and tracking number in the database. This will be used for tracking the package and will be sent in the confirmation email.

  10. Mark the request as shipped. Click the the button to mark the request as shipped will update the status and insert the current date in the shipped date field.

  11. Send email confirmation. Click the button to prepare a confirmation email.

Remove a Book from Circulation

Here's how to mark books as "damaged" or "missing" and take them out of circulation without having to delete the entire asset's record in the system.

Select the appropriate value from the Condition value list.


Click the green button adjacent to the status field to toggle whether the asset is out of circulation. Taking a book out of circulation removes it from search results in the online catalog.


Intranet: Close-Out

Sure there's more to do but I'm closing out the Intranet project and opening a new project as Phase II.


I spent a whopping 350 hours since April of 2010. Uffda. But look at the result.


Grubstake for Stakeholders

These are ingredients of a successful project. We tend to follow a process that blends Project Management phases with the Software Development Life Cycle lightly seasoned with User Experience protocols.

As a consequence, the following are not pure examples of the form. They too are hybrids — our process flows look kind of wireframey — but they work for us because we're small, we fill multiple roles, and urgency trumps formality.

Statements of Work (SOWs)

Process Flows


System Maps


Close-Out Meetings

User Access

Here are the areas within the WordPress administration and which roles can access them.

Area Editor Author Contributor
Posts Yes    
Categories Yes    
Tags Yes    
Conference Rooms Yes    
Documents Yes    
Knowledge Base Yes    
Media Yes    
Comments Yes    
Users Yes    
Polls Yes    
Analytics Yes    

User Roles

These are the stock WordPress roles and how we're using them.

Administrator - Full access to everything. Dean's Office communications staff and IT will share the credentials to the sole administrator account.

Editor - Can create and publish their own posts plus edit and publish other people's posts. Can view analytics data plus work with Conference Rooms, Documents and the Knowledge Base. This role is assigned to Dean's Office communications staff.

Author - Can create and publish their own posts plus edit and publish other people's posts. These are key contributors in the various units.

Contributor - Can create their own posts and submit them for publishing. This is the majority of GPS staff.

Subscriber - Can read posts and make comments. We're not using this role but it may come in handy if we want to grant access to someone outside GPS (Robert Jones office? General Counsel's office?)

Chip Chip Hooray!

To the tune of Folsom Prison Blues:

I hear that Chip's retirin'. He's biking down the road.
And we're just trying to pay him all the thanks he's owed.
Well he's been with Global Campus, now the LAC.
I'll miss him 'round the office. He was always nice to me.

Credit Card Authorizations

Greg Miller spoke at a recent web standards meeting. Funny guy, which you wouldn't expect from the Manager of PCI DSS Compliance. I guess you need a sense of humor to marry the vast accounting network at the University with the willfully misleading banking industry while abiding heaps of regulations and consumer protections.

What I Learned and I Hope I Got This Right

  • DSS = Data security Standards.
  • PCI = a counsel consisting of VISA, MC, AmEX and Discover who set policy for credit card authorizations. The counsel owns the credit card number and the associated data regardless of the issuing institution.
  • Wells Fargo Merchant Services is the University's Merchant Bank with whom we have an entitlement account.

We must be PCI compliant always always always or we can be hung out to dry. A single breech or incident, no matter how minor, must be reported by law. Law also dictates the consequences and remedies. You must hire an independent Quality Security Assessor. You must notify card holders. You must track down the 20% of card holders who may have moved. You must pay two years of credit monitoring. IOW, it adds up fast!

My Take-Aways

  • I will not touch a credit card or someone's credit card info.
  • I will use for online credit card transactions.
  • I will not use Pay Pal or this funky Square Up thingy.
  • I understand that EFTs are bad because transactions don't come with data indicating what UofM account the funds should be deposited into.
  • For event registrations I will use RegOnline or CCE who are entitled to their cut and may not meet every last need I have.
  • I will trust that the University responds to trends and consumer expectations but has to balance risk and regulations.