Survey Glossary (CDS 2021)

You can view definitions by hovering over underlined key terms within the online survey, or you can view all terms at once in the list below.

  • Academic technology and support (IT service)

    Ensuring that physical classrooms, specialized learning environments, and virtual learning environments (e.g., immersive learning, augmented reality) are suitably equipped and functional to meet the needs of the education experience.

  • Administrative and business (IT service category)

    Services that support the administrative and business functions of an institution. Includes business capability and process automation, financial and procurement systems, human resource systems, library systems, and student information systems.

  • Administrative unit (multi-campus system)

    The system or central office in a multi-campus organization.

  • Alumni and advancement (IT service)

    Alumni portals and offerings that support university and college advancement and development.

  • Alumni or advancement office (functional unit)

    An administrative unit that manages activities related to alumni engagement and/or donor relations.

  • Artificial intelligence expenses

    Includes expenses for the integration of AI capabilities or products (for example: natural language processing [NLP], cognitive systems, and analytics) into applications, systems, or bots.

  • Assessment systems and learning analytics (IT service)

    Support for assessing learning outcomes and learning analytics.

  • Athletics (IT service)

    Athletics administration, recruiting, procurement, and ticketing systems.

  • Athletics department (functional unit)

    An administrative unit that manages the university's athletic teams, staff and resources.

  • Auxiliary systems (IT service)

    Support for auxiliary or ancillary campus systems, activities, and operation. Might include legal management, childcare, mail services, recreation services, art collections, etc.

  • Business Analyst

    Staff member responsible for creating, enhancing, and documenting maintainable analytical solutions in solving strategic problems for a business unit, department, or school. May lead or assist in gathering stakeholder requirements, translating those requirements to technical solutions, and providing support for application enhancements and products. May work with outside vendors in developing solutions. Collaborates with stakeholders in communicating solutions and iterating on project efficacy. (This professional job description courtesy of CUPA-HR).

  • Business capability and process automation (IT service)

    Practices, frameworks, and technologies that automate, improve efficiencies, and measure the effectiveness of business processes. Includes IT service management; ticket management; operations, business, sales, and marketing management platforms; document and signature management services; customer relationship management; job scheduling; and workflow management.

  • Business continuity and disaster recovery (IT service)

    Business continuity consulting and planning, as well as disaster recovery planning, including disaster recovery exercises and execution.

  • Campus site

    A campus site refers to a non-temporary physical location or campus associated with a single educational institution. Campus sites may be academic or administrative in nature and are considered distinct if they are physically located beyond a reasonable pedestrian commuting distance (e.g., 5 or more miles apart).

  • Center for teaching and learning (functional unit)

    A unit dedicated to providing resources and assistance for faculty and other instructors at the institution.

  • Central IT

    The centralized IT services and support organization reporting to the highest-ranking IT administrator/officer in the institution.

  • Central IT capital expenditures

    Expenditures to buy, install, maintain, or improve an institution's information technology fixed assets, such as equipment or systems (including cloud-based systems or offsite server space). Generally, these assets exceed an established "capitalization" dollar threshold and are expected to provide service for more than one year.

  • Central IT functional responsibility

    The institutional units or departments for which Central IT is responsible for their functioning. By "functional responsibility", we mean that central IT does more than provide IT services to those units. For example, at some institutions, central IT primarily funds, organizes, staffs, and delivers services for the university library.

  • Central IT one-time expenses

    Expenses for services, activities, or things that are not expected to re-occur on a regular basis and do not fall under the institution’s typical operations (central IT operating spending) or capital expenditures. (Expenses of this type include unforeseen expenses that were not necessarily budgeted for).

  • Central IT operating expenses

    Expenses for providing regular, ongoing infrastructure and services necessary for the operation of the institution (e.g., annual software contracts, utility payments, maintenance agreements, supplies, vendor payments, and other expenses for daily activities to keep central IT running).

  • Central IT services

    End-to-end IT services that deliver value to customers, typically not identified by specific product or application names. A service combines people, processes, and technology to provide outputs or results that enable business capabilities or an end user's work activities and desired outcomes.

  • Central office

    In multicampus university or college systems or community college districts, the central office is a central administrative unit headed by the chief executive officers of the system or district. Most central offices include a central IT organization, some of which provide a wide range of services to individual campuses and some of which focus on coordinating the activities of IT organizations on the campuses.

  • Cloud-based services expenses

    Includes expenses for storage, compute, networking, security, and other monitoring services provided via a public cloud tenancy (examples include, but are not limited to, AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform). Does not include SaaS expenses outside of a public cloud tenancy.

  • Communication and collaboration (IT service category)

    Services that facilitate institutional communication and collaboration needs. Includes conferencing and telephones, email and collaboration services, media and audio/visual, and web services (including both internet and intranet web services).

  • Conferencing and telephones (IT service)

    Telephony, including voice/VoIP, teleconferencing, and web conferencing hosted either in cloud or on-premises.

  • Consortia

    Membership-based groups of institutions defined by a common characteristic or interest.

  • Continuous improvement and innovation (IT service)

    Consulting unrelated to a specific technology service, such as business process streamlining, business relationship management, and business analysis.

  • Data center services (IT service)

    Strategy, planning, architecture, and operation of physical and virtual data centers, including on-premises, remote, and cloud-based data centers.

  • Data, reporting, and analytics (IT service)

    Business intelligence platforms, data warehouses, dashboards, analytics tools, transactional reporting, operational data stores, and data governance when offered as a service.

  • Data Scientist

    Staff member responsible for analyzing complex data and providing data-driven advice for their unit. Manages statistical data and creates predictive models based on their unit's needs. Possesses advanced analytical skills, as well as oral and written communication abilities. Processes research information for easier consumption and transforms it into actionable plans. Provides value to their unit through findings and thoughtful insights. (This professional job description courtesy of CUPA-HR).

  • Database Administrator

    Staff member that maintains effective and efficient operation of a computer database. Ensures database runs properly, keeps database current, makes access readily available and timely, and formulates and designs new database applications. Makes decisions regarding procedures for set up of, access to, and operation of database. Refers decisions relating to major policy changes or the purchase of new software to supervisor. (This professional job description courtesy of CUPA-HR).

  • Database Management (IT service)

    Hosting and administration of databases, physical and virtual.

  • Degree of centralization

    A measure of the centralization of an institution's IT staff and resources based on the proportions of IT expenditures in central IT as compared to elsewhere in the institution.

  • Desktop and mobile computing (IT service category)

    Services that support access and use of community members' devices and related peripherals. Includes desktop and mobile device support, printing and related services, and software and applications distribution.

  • Desktop and mobile device support (IT service)

    Support for all types of end-point devices, including laptops, desktops, mobile devices, and related peripherals that are not in the printing service. These devices might be personally or institutionally owned (including loaner equipment) and might be part of a shared pool or a computer lab. Includes support for the associated operating system, hardware, and systems that provide enterprise management of computing devices.

  • Digital accessibility (IT service)

    Assessing or enabling accessibility of academic software, enterprise applications, or electronic/digital resources. Might include accessibility reviews, defining standards, analysis, or end-user training/awareness.

  • Distributed IT

    All staff with IT responsibilities who do not report to the CIO and all resources that are not within the CIO's purview (including decentralized IT). The CIO often has some level of authority and/or responsibility over the distributed IT services.

  • E-portfolio management (IT service)

    Creating and managing e-portfolios, including the consumption or use of e-textbooks and other online self-curation.

  • Email and collaboration services (IT service)

    Electronic message, information sharing, productivity, and integrated collaboration suites used to facilitate interactions between individuals and work groups as they create, share, and exchange information. Includes services such as email, calendaring, productivity suites, file sharing, instant messaging tools, and web-based collaborative platforms used strictly for collaboration.

  • Endpoint detection and response expenses

    Includes expenses for technologies, products or systems focused on detecting and investigating security threats by real-time monitoring of endpoint data.

  • Exchange rate

    Because all financial data in CDS survey modules are in U.S. dollars, participants outside the United States are asked to provide the conversion rates from local currency to U.S. dollars.

  • Facilities management (IT service)

    Support of room and facility systems, including event management (room management, hotel, concierge, seating, conference registration, etc.), mapping, building security, safety and risk management, dining systems, point of sale, transportation, laundry, and parking systems.

  • Faculty information systems (IT service)

    Administration and maintenance of faculty administration, review, and promotion and tenure systems.

  • Financial and procurement systems (IT service)

    Administration and management of financial services, procurement, travel, budget, vendor relations, and equipment purchasing systems.

  • Fixed-term employees

    Nonpermanent staff employees working for the institution for a specified purpose and for a specified period of time (e.g., limited positions, temporary employees, one-time funding positions, labor for specific one-time projects, one-time staff supplementation, etc.).

  • Full-time equivalent (FTE)

    A combination of full- and part-time personnel (or enrolled students) into a single measure as determined by formula. For nonstudent personnel counts in the CDS, please calculate FTE based on a 40-hour work week over the course of the full FY (or approximately 2,080 hours per year). For student employees, the following methods may be used to calculate this number: (1) If you know the total number of student worker hours allocated to central IT during the fiscal year, divide that number by 2,080 (number of hours/year based on a 40 hour work week) OR (2) If you know the total number of dollars used for student workers, divide that number by the average hourly wage and then divide the result by 2,080.

  • Hardware lifecycle services (IT service)

    Purchasing consultation, hardware procurement, device refresh, leasing, and technology recycling.

  • HIPAA compliance status

    An institution's designation for adhering to HIPAA regulations.

  • HIPAA covered entity

    A health care provider, health plan, or health care clearinghouse. When an institution provides health care to students in the normal course of business, such as through its health clinic, it is also a “health care provider” as defined by HIPAA. If an institution also conducts any covered transactions electronically in connection with that health care, it is then a covered entity under HIPAA. (see https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/covered-entities/index.html; https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/faq/518/does-ferpa-or-hipaa-apply-to-records-on-students-at-health-clinics/index.html)

  • HIPAA hybrid entity

    A single legal entity that is a covered entity; whose business activities include both covered and non-covered functions; and that self-designates the health care components that it provides. Covered functions include functions that make the entity a health plan, healthcare provider who transmits any health information in electronic form, or healthcare clearinghouse under HIPAA. To qualify as a hybrid entity, an institution must properly distinguish and identify which functions within its purview are covered functions and which ones are not. The entity must then designate those covered functions with HHS to achieve hybrid entity status. (see https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/faq/522/can-a-postsecondary-institution-be-a-hybrid-entity-under-hipaa/index.html)

  • Human resource systems (IT service)

    Administration and management of core human resource systems, including recruiting, position management, performance review, workforce development, and time and attendance. Might also include payroll and benefits administration systems.

  • Identity and access management (IT service)

    Identity and access management, including accounts, authentication, access, and role-based provisioning at the enterprise level.

  • Information desk (functional unit)

    A service that provides general support to the institutional community that may or may not provide IT help desk support.

  • Information security (IT service category)

    Services that provide security, data integrity, and compliance for institutional activities. Includes identity and access management, security consulting and education, incident response and investigation, and security policy and compliance.

  • IT communications and documentation (IT service)

    Development and delivery of IT communications related to delivery of IT services. Might include communications related to system changes, service offerings, or service outages (planned or unplanned). Functionally, might include maintenance of support documentation and/or the service catalog.

  • IT professional services (IT service category)

    People-based services that support the management of IT for the institution. Comprises consulting services not related to specific services identified in other categories. Includes enterprise architecture, continuous improvement and innovation, digital accessibility, IT communication and documentation, IT service delivery and support, portfolio and project management, and training and outreach.

  • IT service delivery and support (IT service)

    Includes design and maintenance of the capabilities, tools, and service points needed to deliver IT services or provide end-user support. Includes service desks, call centers, and online support delivery. Might include concierge support or special event service delivery.

  • IT strategy, governance, and enterprise architecture (IT service)

    Enterprise-level strategy and planning.

  • Infrastructure (IT service category)

    Foundational services that support the operation and management of the enterprise IT environment. Includes data center services, database management, network and connectivity management, and server and storage management (including on-premise, remote, and cloud-based data centers).

  • Institutional research (functional unit)

    A institutional unit whose work supports administrative decision-making and planning in areas including admissions, financial aid, student success, recruitment, institutional staffing and finances, and others.

  • Instructional technology and design (IT service)

    Ensuring that faculty and other course creators have the knowledge and assistance they need to optimize their effectiveness in using teaching and learning technologies, including e-text development and online course development.

  • Integration services (IT service)

    Consultation and integration services, when offered as a consolidated service.

  • Lab management systems (IT service)

    Recording and tracking lab experiments, equipment, and specimens.

  • Learning management (IT service)

    Offerings that relate to the management of academic course materials (e.g., videos, documents, spreadsheets) and that facilitate teaching and learning using online portals. Includes learning management systems and other learning platforms, as well as services that provide on-demand, usually modular skills-based learning to employees and/or students.

  • Lecture capture (IT service)

    Recording, storing, editing, and publishing lectures.

  • Library (functional unit)

    A library associated with an institution whose purposes include supporting student learning and research by university faculty, staff and students.

  • Library systems (IT service)

    Administration and management of systems that provide access to local and remote information in support of teaching, learning, and research. Includes acquisitions, catalog, circulation, serials, a public user interface, interlibrary loan, discovery tools, and infrastructure services specific to library systems.

  • Mass communications and emergency notifications (IT service)

    One-way communications and emergency communications to the entire campus or other defined groups. Includes campus alert systems, broadcast email and text messaging, electronic newsletter distribution, enterprise mailing list management, and digital signage.

  • Media and A/V (IT service)

    Broadcasting, live streaming, video recording and media production. This area includes audiovisual-related event support.

  • Medical and health systems (IT service)

    Systems and technologies in support of clinical processes, including health record management, pharmaceutical data, medical appointment scheduling, and residency placements.

  • Medical center or hospital (functional unit)

    An institutional unit that provides hospital and/or medical services, is associated with the academic institution, and usually supports the institution's medical school through training and research.

  • Monitoring and alert management (IT service)

    Monitoring of IT services, including the underpinning technologies.

  • Multicampus system

    See system

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) expenses

    Includes expenses for electronic authentication methods in which a device user is granted access to a website or application only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism.

  • Network and connectivity management (IT service)

    The architecture, installation, and operation of infrastructure items required to offer network connectivity, such as network cabling, routers, and firewalls. Includes connecting devices (including Internet of Things devices) to the network, network access management, securing access to networks, and appropriate authentication (e.g., network registration systems, VPN, and NAC).

  • Outsourced/Outsourcing

    Refers to services purchased from external providers (i.e., what you pay someone else to do). Examples include externally provided help desk, data center, as well as associated one-time project costs and professional services.

  • Polling and surveys (IT service)

    Polling and survey offerings used to solicit feedback from a group of individuals for academic or business purposes. Includes application-based, online, and device-specific polling or survey systems.

  • Portfolio and project management (IT service)

    Project portfolio management and related project management services.

  • Technology associated with printers and copiers, such as copy, scan, fax, and print. Includes supporting technologies such as copy centers, print quota systems, 3D printing, and other replicating technologies.

  • Prior fiscal year

    The most recent fiscal year ending before September 1. In the United States, most higher education fiscal years end in May, June, or August; accounting practices vary internationally.

  • Professional development expenses

    Expenditures to support staff development and/or training through either formal coursework, conferences, or informal learning opportunities (including associated travel expenditures).

  • Professional schools (functional unit)

    Academic degree-granting programs that prepare students for careers in specific fields, such as law, pharmacy, business, and others.

  • Research (IT service category)

    Services supporting the institution's research activities, including advanced or specialized storage and applications, research data services and software, and lab management systems.

  • Research administration systems (IT service)

    Systems used to secure and facilitate research funding and compliance.

  • Research data services (IT service)

    Support of the data life cycle, including data creation; discovery and collection; analysis and visualization; storage, backup, and transfer; and research data policy compliance.

  • Research Software (IT service)

    Software package management, research software development, research software optimization or troubleshooting, workflow engineering, containers and cloud computing, securing access to software, and software associated with physical specimens.

  • Research support office (functional unit)

    An administrative unit that provides resources related to grants, research funding, and other administrative or operational support related to research activities at the institution.

  • Research-specific computing and applications (IT service)

    Computing and storage resources that support research that uses specialized or highly intensive computation, storage, bandwidth, or graphics. Includes advanced or specialized applications, such as plotting, visualization, modeling, rendering, animation, graphics programming, and image manipulation.

  • Secure computing (IT service)

    Offerings that provide a secure computing environment for end users. Includes network security, system security, application security, and threat monitoring and management.

  • Security consulting and education (IT service)

    Security assessment, education, and awareness of campus security requirements, policies, and guidelines. Includes contract reviews and risk assessments.

  • Security incident response and investigation (IT service)

    Offerings that respond to, remediate, and seek to prevent security incidents and vulnerabilities.

  • Security policy and compliance (IT service)

    Offerings relating to institutional policy or compliance guidelines and requirements. Includes support for audit processes.

  • Server and storage management (IT service)

    Provisioning, hosting, and administration of physical and virtual servers and related storage. Includes the maintenance and provisioning of core storage capabilities such as server storage and database backups.

  • Software and applications distribution (IT service)

    Distribution, installation, and troubleshooting of software and licenses via media, online methods, and license servers. Includes both cloud-based and desktop software.

  • Student employee FTE

    See Full-time equivalent (FTE).

  • Student information systems (IT service)

    Admissions, enrollment, registration, orientation, financial aid, student accounts and collections, advising, and career services systems.

  • System (multi-campus systems)

    A multi-campus organization with two or more institutions of higher education under the control or supervision of a common administrative governing body. Governing bodies generally have the power to act in their own name, to hire and fire personnel, enter into contracts, etc. A coordinating body without these powers or a section of a state agency usually would not be considered a system office. (see http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/glossary/)

  • System institution (multi-campus systems)

    Refers to a single institution within a multi-campus organization.

  • System institution/administrative unit (multi-campus systems)

    An institution of higher education within a multi-campus organization that also acts as the administrative unit for the multi-campus organization.

  • Teaching and learning (IT service category)

    Services providing instructional technology and resources directly supporting teaching and learning. Includes learning management systems, instructional technology and design, assessment and learning analytics, lecture capture, and polling and surveys.

  • Training and outreach (IT service)

    Developing, delivering, or coordinating end-user technology training for applications and systems. Functionally, might include organizational change management and/or development and delivery of digital literacy campaigns.

  • Underrepresented groups

    Refers to groups of the population that have historically held a smaller percentage of professional roles within a field or institution as compared to the percentage of that group in the overall population. Examples of the characteristics these groups are based on include, but are not limited to: race and/or ethnicity, sex and/or sexual orientation, religion, disability status, and veteran status.

  • Web services (IT service)

    Content management systems, portals, web hosting, web analytics, user experience design, and URL management. Also includes website and mobile application development.