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NANSLO RDN Governance and Management - 1206

Page history last edited by ron.evans@nic.bc.ca 7 years, 6 months ago

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NANSLO RDN Governance and Management Model


(RDN = RWSL Distributed Network)   


This page defines a proposed governance model for the NANSLO RDN.  At the April 2012 face-to-face meeting in Boulder it was explained that NANSLO could remain under WICHE where WICHE would have jurisdiction over all NANSLO spending.  At time of writing this seems to be the best way to start out and would allow the NANSLO organization to grow and mature under the WICHE umbrella.  When the NANSLO RDN has matured to the point where it makes sense for it to become an independent non-profit organization in its own right the link with WICHE can be dissolved, but there is no need to rush that transition at this time.  With this in mind, governance structures are defined here in a way that would allow them to evolve to an independent NANSLO organization when the time comes, but for (at least the near term) these structures would remain under WICHE jurisdiction.


As the funding from the original NGLC grant comes to an end, the NANSLO Project must evolve into the NANSLO RDN and (even while under the wing of WICHE) must begin growing the network as a near-autonomous organization designed to set its own policies and procedures.  To this end, the NANSLO Project Advisory Board will become the NANSLO Board.


NANSLO Organization and Administrative Branch


NANSLO Board (NB):

(Until the NANSLO RDN becomes an autonomous non-profit organization in its own right, the NB's decisions will be recommendations to WICHE.)  The NANSLO Board is the primary governing body of the NANSLO RDN.   It is made up of one representative from each institution that is hosting an RWSL node on the network (Tier 4 Institutions) and one academic representative elected from each Discipline Panel. 


The Executive Committee: The NB will elect three or five of its members (depending on the over-all size of the NB and at the discretion of the NB) to serve as the executive committee.  One member of the executive committee will be elected as chair and one as vice chair.  The Chair will Chair all NB and Executive Committee meetings and in the chair's absence the Vice Chair will perform this function.  The Executive committee will serve as the executive branch of the NANSLO organization.  The Executive Committee will also make rapid decisions when the full board is not available.  Decisions thus taken are interim until such time as the full NANSLO BOard can ratify them.


The NANSLO Board will make all pecuniary decisions for the NANSLO RDN (until autonomy is achieved these will be recommendations to WICHE).  The NANSLO Board employs the RDN Coordinator, who will carry out the directions of the NANSLO Board.  (See below)


The standing sub-committees of the NANSLO Board will be the Executive Committee, the R&D and Technical Standards Committee (RTC), the NANSLO Finance Committee (NFC), and the various Discipline Panels (DPs) (These are defined below).  The NANSLO Board may strike other ad-hoc committees as required and define their terms of reference as required.  Based on recommendations from its standing committees, ad-hoc committees, the RDN Coordinator, and its constituent participating institutions the NANSLO Board will approve the Policies and Procedures required to implement and maintain a robust responsive NANSLO RDN.  They will also be the final arbiter deciding which labs will be developed for RWSL mediation based on input from the standing committees.   The NANSLO Board will approve the letting of all contracts and is the final arbiter on who fills each contract as required and funding permits.  The NANSLO Board will ratify all agreements with external organizations.


The NB will set membership fees annually to offset NANSLO organization administrative costs.  It will also establish hourly usage rates with input from the Finance committee and the RTC committee.


The NB will host an annual conference and general meeting that rotates among the various participating institutions that will allow all participants to meet face-to-face to conduct the business of the NANSLO RDN and to allow a forum and show case for new remote lab pedagogues and technologies to be presented.  This must be a cost recovery conference and a conference organizer who reports to the RDN Coordinator will be hired to oversee it.


NANSLO Coordinator: This person will be an employee of the NANSLO Board and answer directly to them.  His/her job will be to implement the policies, procedures, and directions of the NANSLO Board and manage the NANSLO RDN on a day-to-day basis.  In addition to administrative skills this person will also have enough technical skills to understand and direct over-all technical aspects of the NANSLO RDN.  It is expected that this position will grow into the administrative arm of NANSLO.



Remote Lab Services Broker (RLS Broker): While the NANSLO RDN is small, this role will be performed by the NANSLO Coordinator.  When the RDN has grown large enough, with NANSLO Board approval, a Remote Lab Services Broker will be hired to perform these functions.  The Remote Lab Services Broker will report to the NANSLO Coordinator and will be the contact person for all remote lab services being made available and being received via the NANSLO RDN.  The RLS Broker will arrange institutional level scheduling of remote lab services.  The RLS Broker will forward all RLS transactions to the Financial Officer for payment or invoicing.


Annual Conference Organizer: This will be a self funding position that reports to the NANSLO Coordinator.  The person who holds this position will organize the annual conference and general meeting.


Web and Communications Manager:  This role will initially be played by the NANSLO Coordinator.  When the NANSLO Board deems that the network has grown to a size that can support this position it will approve the hiring of the Web and Communications Manager who will report to the NANSLO Coordinator.  This person will manage the NANSLO Web presence and facilitate all internal NANSLO Communications.  These duties will include helping the Discipline Panels maintain the Peer-to-Peer Exchange.


NANSLO Finance Committee (NFC):

The NANSLO Finance Committee will be a sub-committee made up of NANSLO Board members.  It will track the budgetary state of the NANSLO RDN and recommend on financial matters.  It will also be tasked with tracking and recommending funding opportunities to the NANSLO Board and with keeping a database of these opportunities for NANSLO organizatioin participants and prospective participants.  It will seek out and recommend funding possibilities to the NB.


Financial Officer: The Financial Officer reports to the Finance Committee, keeps the NANSLO books, pays all invoices with NANSLO Board approval, sends out all invoices, and works with the NANSLO Coordinator to recommend budgets to the NANSLO Board.

























































NANSLO Technical Branch


R&D and Technical Standards Committee (RTC):

The RTC reports to the NANSLO Board and will be made up of an RWSL Tech representative from each RWSL serving institution. (Tier 4 institutions)  The RTC will recommend to the NANSLO Board the technical standards that all RDN participants will adhere to so that RWSL node hardware, software, and labs are shareable and compatible across the entire NANSLO RDN (including the technical specifications of the scheduling solution that will be adopted).  The RTC will review technical standards on a bi-annual basis and recommend their modification in a way that allows the NANSLO RDN to remain up-to-date, but that will minimize the financial burden on participating institutions to purchase new hardware and software.  The RTC will also oversee the RWSL Tech and User Support Network and receive feedback from them.  Upon request from a Discipline Panel (DP), the RTC will provide written technical input to the DP including technical implications and cost estimates with regard to which new RWSL labs the DP might recommend to the NANSLO Board for RWSL mediation.  The RTC will oversee the network wide scheduling solution through the scheduling manager.


Scheduling Manager: This role will be performed by the NANSLO Coordinator until the NANSLO RDN is large enough to support this position independently.  When the NANSLO Board determines that there is enough cash flow to support this position, then this position will be filled.  The Scheduling Manager will install, maintain, and operate the NANSLO scheduling solution.  The technical aspects of this position will report to the RTC and the non-technical aspects will report to the NANSLO Coordinator.



Technical Researcher: From time to time the RTC will, with NANSLO Board approval, contract a technical researcher to do the work of determining the technical specifications and cost of changes to existing RWSL Labs and and of proposed new RWSL Labs.  These will be short term contracts.


RWSL Tech and User Support Network (TUS Network):

This network will be made up of RWSL techs from RWSL serving institutions and will share expertise across the entire NANSLO RDN.  The TUS Network will report to the RTC.  There will be 2 levels to this network; a network for techs supporting techs, and a help desk to support RDN users.  All RWSL Techs will be supplied with modern internet communications services so that there can be continuous communications between various RWSL Techs in real-time.  This will facilitate the day-to-day operations and problem solving required to operate the NANSLO RDN.  The members of the TUS Network will have ready access to RDN Scheduling and be able to re-route student usage on the fly should a particular RWSL node go down unexpectedly thus making the NANSLO RDN a robust remote lab sharing service.






NANSLO Academic Branch


Discipline Panels (DP)

The DPs report to the NANSLO Board.  There will be 1 DP for each discipline that utilizes NANSLO services.  Initially this will be a DP-Physics, DP-Biology, and DP-Chemistry, but additional DPs can be created as other disciplines begin using NANSLO remote lab services.  The DPs are made up an academic discipline representative from each participating institution, including those institutions that are strictly RDN service consumers. (Tier 3 and 4 institutions.  Each Discipline Panel will elect a chair who will chair all discipline panel meetings and sit on the NANSLO Board.


The DPs will review the pedagogical implications of remote labs and recommend learning outcome standards, so that courses using remote labs and the individual labs will be of high academic quality and have the highest probability of achieving and maintaining accreditation.  The DP from each discipline will also, after consulting with the RTC, recommend to the NANSLO Board which new RWSL labs should be developed. 


New RWSL Lab Proposals Process: The representatives of a DP will bring their suggestions on which new RWSL labs they would like to see developed.  After coming up with a detailed list of proposed labs they will consult with the RTC to find out the technical implications of each desired lab and the cost of development.  Using this information they will develop a short list that they will recommend to the NANSLO board.  The NANSLO Board will look at budgetary constraints, proposed new labs from other DPs, and other relative factors and then approve the development of those labs that will meet criteria that they will have developed (and update from time to time) and that meet budgetary constraints.  The NB will request proposals from Tier 4 institutions to develop the RWSL mediated labs that have been approved and award the contracts for the development of each lab to the institutions best suited for their development.  The NANSLO Coordinator will oversee the contracts.  (While under WICHE, WICHE will give final approval for funding and contractors based on NB's recommendations.)


Instructional Designer:  The instructional designer reports to the NANSLO Board, but works closely with the Discipline panels and their curriculum writers to make sure all NANSLO produced course-ware adheres to accepted distance educational standards and has the same 'look and feel'.  Initially this will be a part-time as-needed position, but will become an on going position (probably less than full time) as soon as the NANSLO Board can confirm that there is enough cash flow to support this role as an on-going position.


Curriculum Writer:  Each Curriculum Writer reports to a particular Discipline panel.  Curriculum writers are content specialists who may or may not sit on their particular Discipline panel and are hired, with NANSLO Board approval, on an as-needed basis.  The length and size of the contract will be dependent on the volume of curriculum writing required.


Peer-to-Peer Exchange

This will be an on-line forum where all NANSLO RDN participating institutions can discuss academic matters relating to NANSLO remote lab services.  All participating institutions and their faculty may participate.  This forum will be operated and monitored by members of the discipline panels, but all faculty from participating institutions will have access and participation rights.  Faculty of Interested institutions may monitor the Peer-to-Peer Exchange.





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