Budget Proposal Narrative Division: Academic Affairs

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1 Budget Proposal Narrative Division: Academic Affairs Big Data/Analytics at Western Statement of Purpose: (What is the problem or opportunity being addressed? How will you address this problem or opportunity?) (Decision Package Criterion 3) The opportunity to design a distinctive approach to educating students in the various aspects of working with large data sets is immediate and pressing. Almost every field of endeavor has increasing access to large, inclusive sets of pertinent data. Whether one examines social sciences such as psychology, sociology, geography and political science; natural sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology, or geology; core disciplines such as mathematics; or professions such as journalism or business, the use of large data sets is becoming pervasive in scholarly, market, or professional research. It is not simply the Amazon.com-type use of personal data to target consumers; it is analysis of the key components of life in efforts to improve its quality and increase our understanding of the world. Students in all these fields and more will need to understand the role these data sets play, their uses, and the ethical issues raised, to be successful in those fields. An increasing number of jobs nationally, and especially in Washington state, will be related to and even dependent upon large data sets. Success in graduate school in some disciplines will be tied to the ability to use large data sets in scholarly research. So the opportunity is in another sense a problem, in that absent such capability at Western, its graduates will be at a disadvantage in their search for meaningful careers in their chosen fields. The Big Data or Analytics area for universities is not limited to such analysis, however. The ability to use large data sets is predicated on programming ability, to allow for generic or specific tools to be created, and on the ability to bring together diverse types of data from diverse sources in a way that can be analyzed. The core areas of computer science and mathematics form the other key to a truly adequate level of knowledge and ability in the Big Data/Analytics area. This area of study is new in higher education. Even ten years ago few people were talking about Big Data and Analytics, although possibilities were beginning to form. Many universities now are launching programs that revolve around large data sets and their analysis. But Western s strengths allow it to take a different approach from most universities that seat their programs in departments such as marketing or computer science. Western s particular strengths in this area, unusual for a comprehensive university, include a large number of faculty across disciplines and colleges working with large data sets; recent hires and plans for further hires in the computational aspects of disciplines, adding analytical strength to an already strong faculty; a history of and interest in working across departments and colleges on programs that benefit students; and an alumni and supporter base that includes people working in this area. The approach we are proposing here does not involve the creation of a University-wide program in Analytics/Big Data. The reasons for this will be outlined below. Instead, it involves capacity building in a number of disciplines to ensure that students in those areas get the combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities that best fits the discipline s needs regarding Big Data. This capacity building has four parts. The first is in Computer Science. This department needs to build 1

2 capacity in Informatics and Data Science to be able to offer students a major, or a track within the Computer Science major. Although this major would build on existing coursework, several courses would need to be created. Included in those would be an introductory course, a twocourse required sequence in Data Science, and sections of four new elective courses offered each year in topics such as Social Network Analysis, Data Visualization, Big Data Tools, and Information Retrieval. Students also would need extra coursework in Mathematics, especially in Statistics. The second part is in Mathematics. The department needs to expand its capacity in Statistics, Calculus, and Linear Algebra to not only operate its own program to graduate students who can work in the Big Data area, but also support the other departments involved in educating students in Big Data-related areas. The Department has proposed a Center for Statistics that will help in this effort, but additional capacity likely will be needed to accommodate the additional students in Computer Science and other departments with both current classes and new offerings applying mathematical concepts to areas such as text mining, facial recognition, and ranking. The third part is in those disciplines where the use of large data sets, whether for scholarly research, strategic decisions, or professional excellence, will be increasingly frequent. This covers the disciplines listed above at the minimum; there is no question other disciplines will be affected as well. Although detailed curriculum planning is in different stages in different departments, it is likely that in some areas, such as business and biology, tenure-track faculty will need to be hired; in others, it may be that funds to cover additional non-tenure-track faculty teaching will be necessary. Costs for ongoing currency of knowledge also will be incurred. Details are in the budget spreadsheet accompanying this proposal. The fourth part helps make Western s approach distinctive. It is our intent to anchor the student experience with cohort-based interdisciplinary courses. At the beginning of programs, such courses might include broad coverage of issues in computer science, mathematics, and applied work with large data sets, as well as ethical issues raised by work with information available in those data sets. At the end of the programs will be an interdisciplinary, experientially based capstone. All interdisciplinary courses may be cross-listed with existing courses, such as the Computer Science required project sequence. Ideally they would be team-taught, increasing the demand on faculty resources. Infrastructure, in the form of the ability to store and analyze large data sets will require rental of space on the clould as well as some labs and some associated software and personnel. In fact, the Western approach that emphasizes experiential learning mandates that such labs be available for class projects and extra-curricular projects likely to come to Western as a result of these programs. More details on these needs are found below. Taken together, these four parts will help Western enhance its services to the State of Washington by increasing its capacity to educate students who will have depth in one or more areas related to Big Data, but who by understanding the broader context will be leaders in their organizations, whether academic, professional, business, or governmental in nature. Anticipated Outcome(s): (Decision Package Criterion 3) 2

3 Outcomes include an additional 35 graduates per year in Computer Science, 30 graduates in Business Administration with a Business Analytics concentration or minor, and graduates in other departments with increased ability to succeed in academic or professional careers. Metrics: (How will outcomes be measured?) Outcomes will be measured by the number of graduates in the programs that specify the reources would increase capacity (Computer Science, Business Administration), the rate and quality of graduate school placements, and the rate and quality of job placements for graduates. How does this project support the University Mission and Strategic Objectives? (Decision Package Criteria 1 & 3) Mission: Western is a student-centered university, with the aim of bringing together people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to develop their potential. A large data set/analytics - related program designed in this way will intentionally bring together students from diverse perspectives so they can learn from each other and from the diverse group of faculty they learn with during their careers. It is an inherently Western approach to education, one that because of the experiential learning opportunities in the interdisciplinary capstone (and likey in other courses and outside the curriculum as well), will enhance the well-being of communities through faculty-student collaboration during students time at Western, and the graduation of people well-grounded in the technical and social/ethical aspects of Big Data. Strategic Objectives: This proposal meets four of the University s strategic goals. The first is to build on Western s strengths to meet state needs. The new programs will target an area of critical need in the state s technology industry. Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are only the largest firms that need employees trained in the compilation and analysis of large data sets as well as employees who understand and can take advantage of those sets and analysis of them. Medical research, an important element in the state, will benefit from scholars who have worked with large data sets in biology, chemistry, and neuroscience, among other areas. These are just examples of the benefits to the state from an investment in this area. Such an investment will assist Western faculty who already possess expertise in this area to provide a deeper educational experience for their students who are interested in pursuing careers in Big Data/analytics-related areas. The second strategic goal is to expand student access to rigorous and engaging baccalaureate and graduate education. This proposal would increase capacity in two key areas, including the STEM area of Computer Science, by nearly 70 students. Also, there will be added capacity in other areas to more fully match the curriculum to the career needs and goals of students in those areas. The interdisciplinary nature of the introductory and capstone experiences will engage students, and rigor is a necessary component of a Western education and will be maintained in these programs. Although the current proposal aims at undergraduates, it is possible that additional curriculum development at the graduate level could occur as a result. The fourth strategic goal is to apply Western s distinctive approach to education in ways that strengthen communities. This proposal will follow that approach in its interdisciplinary elements as well as within the disciplines in giving students the chance to practice what they are learning 3

4 in and out of the classroom with projects coming from community organizations. The work they accomplish will strengthen those organizations and thus the communities to which they belong. The fifth strategic goal is to serve as an institutional model. A Big Data/analytics program as proposed here will be highly unusual in its interdisciplinary elements and will allow other universities to see how beneficial to students such an approach is. In ensuring coverage of social and ethical issues, it contributes to the right sort of effectiveness, as well as diversity and sustainability. What are the consequences of not funding this package? (Decision Package Criterion 3) If this package is not funded, Western is almost certain to fall behind its peers in coverage of the most important emerging area in scholarly research, business, and other organizations. This will lead to a diminishing of student career opportunities in several disciplines, giving students who are interested in those disciplines a disincentive to enroll at Western that would be the opposite of what currently exists. What alternatives were explored and why was this alternative chosen? (Decision Package Criterion 3) Several alternatives were explored during conversations among interested faculty. One was a degree program in Big Data either a major or a minor. Another alternative discussed was a set of completely separate programs. A third alternative was a structure similar to the User Experience Design minor. The first alternative was deemed unfeasible because Big Data as an area is very multifaceted. It has distinct layers, each of which has different requirements for success. Different fields use different methods on different types of data. A single major or minor thus would need to be equally as multifaceted, with an end product that would look like a patchwork, as indeed it would be, with a structure forced on a program that it didn t fit. The second alternative was deemed to be less than optimal. Although many elements of the Big Data area are disparate, some elements are common. It would be inefficient to have multiple offerings of courses in multiple disciplines on similar topics. This situation already exists for some course topics at Western, and it was decided that the number of such course topics should not be increased by a Big Data program. Perhaps more important, again although Big Data as an area of study has multiple layers, in many fields the people involved in those layers must work together. The Western approach of bringing students from different fields together makes sense in this context. Separate programs would bring students together only through serendipity. A coordinated approach, bringing students together intentionally when practical, will increase the students practice in working with people from different layers. The third alternative was rejected partially because of the number of departments interested in Big Data. In meetings of interested faculty, routinely faculty from five or six departments would attend; more departments have expressed interest. A common set of courses among those departments would lack coherence and force students to take courses that might not be necessary for their education in the field. 4

5 Finally, it was seen that Big Data itself is an area with three basic parts. The first two of these parts, programming to design tools and statistical methodology and analysis, are fairly distinct from each other (although mathematics is essential for Computer Science majors) and also distinct from the third part, using tools and data sets for scholarly research and professional activities. The advantages of an interdisciplinary segment of programs across the University were seen to be worth the resources because although distinct, the parts are nonetheless related and students in each part can learn from students in other parts. Therefore, the separate programs with designed points of intersection would best meet student needs. Which units (departments, colleges, etc.) will be involved? (Decision Package Criterion 4) Currently the colleges and departments with expressed interest are (those departments that have actively participated in multiple discussions are starred; this notice should not be used to judge current interest): CBE (Decision Sciences,* Finance and Marketing*) CHSS (Journalism,* PEHR, Political Science, Psychology,* Sociology) CST (Biology,* Computer Science,* Mathematics*) Huxley (Environmental Studies*) List any external advocates. (Decision Package Criterion 4) External advocates incude the major firms working in this area. Visitors from Microsoft, for example, have stated that they would work to provide support, both cash and in-kind, for such a program. Other firms are likely to support the program also, although specific firms have not yet been approached. These firms might be advocates at the state level as well. Individuals also are likely to support the program; one prospective donor has been involved in on-campus discussions. An advisory board likely would be formed to help keep the programs current and provide opportunities for students. Equipment: (For major (>$25k) purchases, please provide the following information.) (Decision Package Criterion 2) Purpose: Labs dedicated to this program may be needed in specific areas, but such areas have not been identified as of this writing. Cost figures are for information. Cost: Design and build-out costs would be approx.. $100,000 to $200,000 per lab dependent upon size and location. Work Station costs including furnishings and computer hardware could be up to $3,000 per seat. Total cost per lab depends upon lab size. 5

6 Software needs are minor costs as most such as SAS Enterprise Miner (Business) and programs available in the cloud such as R, or languages such as Pearl are free for academic use. Podiums for each lab would cost about $10,000 each Operating & Maintenance Costs: Cloud rental and cloud computing time cost about $100 per month per small project. Hence cloud space rental could vary widely depending upon number of enrollees and number of faculty using the cloud for research projects. The complexity of projects is likely to increase over time as data set size is likely to increase and the tools needed to analyze it become more sophisticated. A minimum of $20,000 is estimated to start per year and this could go as high as $75,000 per year. Maintenance costs would be minimal but need to be considered. Anticipated Useful Life: The useful life of lab furniture is likely 10 years. The useful life of monitors in the labs is 5 years. The useful life of computers in the labs is 4 years. Replacement Cost if any: Click here to enter text Space Requirements: (Decision Package Criterion 2) How much new space will be required? CBE and Computer Science require no new space or computer labs under this proposal. Office space will be needed for new faculty. Is appropriate space available on campus? Yes If no, what space is needed and what features must the space have (e.g., fume hoods, plumbing, 3-phase power, etc.)? Click here to enter text 6

7 WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY Big Data/Analytics at Western FY FY STUDENT FTE ( 1FTE =15 Student Credit Hours ) GENERATED FROM PROPOSAL 0 0 Year One Year Two FY FY Employee One Time Recurring Total Total Cost Employee One Time Recurring Total Total Cost Salary & Benefit Information Automatically Populated from Personnel Budget Tab FTE Costs Costs Costs Per SFTE FTE Costs Costs Costs Per SFTE DO NOT ENTER SALARY & BENEFITS DATA HERE Faculty Salaries 4.00 $ 310,000 $ 310, $ 695,000 $ 695,000 Professional Salaries 0.00 $ $ 0.00 $ $ Classified Salaries 0.00 $ $ 1.00 $ 60,000 $ 60,000 Student Salaries (Graduate Assistants, Hourly Student, etc) 0.00 $ $ 0.00 $ $ Benefits 4.00 $ 89,044 $ 89, $ 210,029 $ 210,029 Total Salaries & Benefits $0 $399,044 $399,044 $0 $0 $965,029 $965,029 $0 Enter "Goods and Services" here Supplies and Materials $ 10,000 $ 10,000 $ 10,000 $ 10,000 Professional Service Contracts (please detail below) $ $ Equipment and Personal Technology including new faculty set up costs * $ 150,000 $ 150,000 $ 150,000 $ 150,000 Other Goods and Services (includes memberships, supplies, materials) $ 25,000 $ 25,000 $ 25,000 $ 25,000 Total Goods and Services $150,000 $35,000 $185,000 $0 $150,000 $35,000 $185,000 $0 Enter "Travel" here Lodging $ 18,000 $ 8,000 $ 26,000 $ 8,000 $ 8,000 Automobile Rental $ $ Air Travel $ 18,000 $ 8,000 $ 26,000 $ 8,000 $ 8,000 Ground Transportation $ 4,000 $ 1,000 $ 5,000 $ 1,000 $ 1,000 Other travel costs $ 4,000 $ 1,000 $ 5,000 $ 1,000 $ 1,000 Total Travel $44,000 $18,000 $62,000 $0 $0 $18,000 $18,000 $0 Indirect Costs (Default): Libraries** (Estimated at $10k per faculty member) $ 40,000 $ 40,000 $ 90,000 $ 90,000 Academic Support Services/Student Support Services (3% of Direct Costs) $ 13,561 $ 13,561 $ 30,541 $ 30,541 Institutional Support (2% of Direct Costs) $ 9,041 $ 9,041 $ 20,361 $ 20,361 Plant Operation and Maintenance (3% of Direct Costs) $ 13,561 $ 13,561 $ 30,541 $ 30,541 Total Indirect Costs $76,164 $76,164 $0 $171,442 $171,442 $0 Total Expenditures $194,000 $528,208 $722,208 $0 $150,000 $1,189,471 $1,339,471 $0 * Set up for new Faculty Positions should be included, ranging from $7,500 to more than $75,000, depending on discipline. ** For high cost library services, please override formula and include actual anticipated cost of library periodical and purchases on one time and/or recurring basis. STEP 3 Goods,Services, Other January 10, 2014 the Budget Office

8 WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY BIENNIAL DECISION PACKAGE PROPOSAL Big Data/Analytics at Western Year 1 Year 2 (If Applicable) RESOURCES FY FY Fund 001, General Fund - State $722,208 $1,339,471 Fund 149, Tuition Operating Fees $0 $0 Fund OTHER $0 $0 Total Resources $722,208 $1,339,471 USES (EXPENDITURES) Faculty $310,000 $695,000 Graduate Teaching/Research Assistants $0 $0 Professional Staff $0 $0 Classified $0 $60,000 Salaries and Wages - Total $310,000 $755,000 Employee Benefits $89,044 $210,029 Goods, Services, and Travel $323,164 $374,442 Total Expenditures $722,208 $1,339,471 STAFFING FTE Faculty Graduate Teaching /Research Assistants Exempt Professional Classified Total FTE STEP 4 REVENUE January 10, 2014 the Budget Office

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