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Data Governance

Institutional data are an important strategic and ever-growing asset of the University. Data Governance is the coordination and collaboration of people, processes and technology across the University to manage institutional data—a framework that establishes overarching principles and guidelines to inform policies and procedures to manage data acquisition, classification, accessibility, integrity, security, retention, disposal and privacy. Essentially, it is central to knowing where, when, with whom and how we share and store data.

Institutional Data Definition

All data that is created, owned, received, stored, or managed by Villanova University.  This includes all data that the University is legally or contractually obligated to secure. 

Institutional Data includes all forms of information, records, or documents in paper or electronic format, including but not limited to word-processing or portable document format files, spreadsheets, databases, e-mails, web pages, images, and videos.  Institutional Data does not include documents, records or other data owned by members of the Villanova community that is for personal use or otherwise unrelated or incidental to any business or educational purpose of the University. 

Institutional data, that is currently under the scope of the data governance policies, is defined as administrative, academic and data gathered through University administered surveys predominantly used for administrative reporting and decision-making purposes.

Exclusions:

  • Faculty scholarly research data (Notwithstanding the exclusion of faculty scholarly research data under this Policy, researchers should keep in mind that such data may still be governed by other contractual or legal obligations of the University).
  • Any health, advising, disability or any other data that are governed by stringent confidentiality and privacy policies

 

Objectives:

  • Establish a culture of data stewardship, data sharing and data-informed decision making
  • Enhance data quality through the creation of a sustainable central data environment and standardized data definitions
  • Promote consistent practices and adherence of data standards and policies across business areas and colleges

Guiding Principles:

Our vision is that the data governance process will help enable the following:
  • One source of truth
  • Analytics and reporting based on accurate and reliable data
  • Promote operational efficiency and consistency
  • Better transparency and accountability
  • Mitigate risk related to data management and access
  • Ensure privacy and confidentiality
  • Ethical use of data
  • Improve user experience and agility
  • Compliant with federal and state regulatory requirements
  • Change Management

Entities Responsible/Impacted

Any individual who interacts with any University administrative data systems—enters data, manages, curates and uses it for reporting, planning and/or decision-making.

Data Governance Ecosystem:

Diagram depicting the Data Governance Ecosystem and the continual interrelationships of people, processes and technology.

The Data Governance Ecosystem depicts the continual interrelationships of people, processes and technology—the Data Governance Committee comprising of the Data Governance Board and the Data Stewards Committee are responsible for developing and maintaining the standards and the policies that will help guide the set-up of the centralized data environment, and how data is managed and consumed by the various university constituents.

Data Governance Framework:

Diagram of Data Governance pyramid hierarchy


Roles,  Responsibilities and Membership

Data Governance is a University-wide initiative sponsored by the Provost, on behalf of the Presidentresponsible for overall project prioritization, approval and funding as well as ensuring project resources are available for meeting project goals and timelines.

Membership:

View the Office of the Provost website.

Comprised of the senior leadership of the University, the President’s Cabinet are Data Trustees who have planning and policy-making responsibilities for Institutional Data and ensures that effective data management principles are created and applied to University data, reviews and offer feedback to data standards and policies for effective use, maintenance, retention and protection of University data drafted by the Data Governance Board, and recommends to the Board of Trustees for approval. The Cabinet is responsible for overseeing the establishment of Institutional Data management policies and procedures, and for the assignment of data management accountability. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Establishing the importance of data as a strategic University asset 
  • Understanding University’s data infrastructural needs and requirements
  • Addressing and assisting in the resolution of data governance issues including questions of stewardship, access and the appropriate use of data
  • Sponsoring and overseeing priority university data projects and services 

Membership:

View the University Leadership.


Comprised of Data Domain Trustees and key data users, members of the DGB are senior manager level employees who are responsible for the content of information systems at the University and who liaise between colleges/departments/units and IT. They drive the data management and quality recommendations for specific subject areas. 

The data domain trustees have subject matter expertise in administrative, financial and technology issues. They serve as coordinators of data sources, security, accuracy, and ensures best practices are implemented across the University. The data domain trustees also manage the authorization of data access for both data stewards and data end users. 

Data users who sit on the DGB are active participants in the university data governance structure but are not responsible for information system content. These data users share responsibility for the stewardship and protection of institutional data and accountability for the appropriate use and dissemination of data. The Data Domain Trustees implement policy as established by Data Trustees, assign Data Stewards, and serve as the first escalation point for problem/policy resolution from the Data Stewards. The Assistant Vice Provost for Decision Support and Data Integrity sits on the DGB and acts as the liaison for this group with the President’s Cabinet.

Responsibilities include: 

  • Shaping and maintaining the data strategy for the University that balances the needs for data availability with data quality, security, privacy, and confidentiality
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance by recommending, and overseeing, as appropriate, the development and implementation of data related policies, standards and procedures
  • Recommending education and training initiatives regarding operational data stewardship roles and responsibilities
  • Ensuring that data access processes are clear, accessible, and communicated to all users across the University  
  • Serving as the first point for escalation and potential resolution of issues uncovered by Data Stewards 

Membership:

Office of Decision Support & Data Integrity 

  • Trina Das, PhD, Assistant Vice Provost
  • Sarah Lodise, Director of Data Governance and Data Integrity

Student Domain

  • Enrollment Management – Catherine Connor, Vice Dean
  • Admissions – Candice Keith, Director of Admissions Operations
  • Registrar – Pamela Braxton, Registrar
  • Financial Aid – Amanda Constable, Director of Financial Assistance
  • Athletics – Lynn Tighe, Sr. Associate Athletic Director
  • Bursar – Charles Hoffman, Bursar
  • Student Life – Tom DeMarco, Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President
  • Career Services – Kevin Grubb, Executive Director of the University Career Center/Assistant Vice Provost for Professional Development
  • Library – Millicent Gaskell, University Librarian

College Domain

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – Edward Fierros, PhD, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Villanova School of Business – Wen Mao, PhD, Associate Dean
  • College of Engineering – Andrea Welker, PhD, Associate Dean
  • Fitzpatrick College of Nursing – Anne Fink, PhD, Assistant Dean
  • College of Professional Studies – Susan Leighton, Assistant Dean of Academic Programs
  • Charles Widger School of Law – Michael Risch, JD, Vice Dean

Administrative Domain

  • Office of the Provost – Timothy Hoffman, Vice Provost, Finance and Administration
  • Office of the Provost – Kristy Irwin, Associate Vice Provost, Online Programs
  • Office of the Provost– Amanda Grannas, PhD, Vice Provost & Chief Research Officer
  • Office of the Provost – Randy Weinstein, PhD, Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning
  • Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – Alex Iannucci, PhD, Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives
  • University Advancement – Michael Zellman, Executive Director of Advancement Services
  • Finance – John McLaughlin, Assistant Vice President
  • Controller’s Office – Sarah Caffrey, Controller
  • Human Resources – Raymond Duffy, Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officer
  • Office of Strategic Planning & Institutional Effectiveness – James Trainer, PhD, Associate Vice President and Executive Director
  • Office of General Counsel – Hedya Aryani, Associate General Council
  • University Compliance – Leyda Benitez, University Compliance Officer
  • Office of Internal Audit – Courtney Henry, Chief Internal Auditor
  • University Information Technology – Carol Coupet, Assistant Vice President, University Information Systems

Data Stewards are typically operational managers in a functional area with day-to-day responsibilities for managing business processes and establishing the business rules for the Transactional Systems. Data Stewards are appointed by the respective Data Domain Trustees. Data Stewards managing a segment of Institutional Data and have responsibility for approving access requests and maintaining controls over access to their assigned segment of Institutional Data. DSC reviews the operational effectiveness of Institutional Data management policies and procedures and makes recommendations to the Data Governance Committee for improvement or change.

Data Stewards should have formal accountability for:

  • Ensuring that data are produced following the business rules for this data
  • Making certain that the data they produce are entered into the system in a timely manner
  • Notifying appropriate people when data are updated, when data has not been received, or when data accuracy provides low levels of confidence
  • Acting as liaison with end users, if while using and/or accessing data under the new policies and procedures that they identify data errors or irregularities
  • Identifying data discrepancies and implementing corrective measures to maintain accuracy of institutional data
  • Creating and updating the data dictionary that includes data fields, descriptions of data, sources of data and how data is typically used
  • Ensuring that data affected by system additions or changes is accurately noted in the data dictionary and properly evaluated for integrations across software tools
  • Training and providing expertise on data definitions for the success of reporting on data and interpreting published data
  • Ensuring  proper handling of requests for data access, retention and disposal. Requests can be around specific data types, which could be subject to various and at times, conflicting requirements that would be vetted through DGB
  • In conjunction with UNIT, providing systems and data training for end users related to their areas of responsibility

Membership:

Office of Decision Support & Data Integrity 

  • Trina Das, PhD, Assistant Vice Provost
  • Sarah Lodise, Director of Data Governance and Data Integrity
  • Tim McMahon, Data Intelligence Analyst

Student Domain

  • Enrollment Management – Melissa Gerding, Director of Technology & Business Analysis 
  • Admissions – Melanie Egan, Director of Technology for Admissions 
  • Registrar – Susan Morgan, Director of Technology for Student Information 
  • Financial Assistance – Stephen Magliocco, Director of Technology for Financial Assistance
  • Retention and Graduation – Brian Galloway, Director of Student Retention Services 
  • Career Services – Andrew Mazar, Associate Director of Digital Media & Assessment
  • Student Life – Nick Tumolo, Associate Dean of Students
  • Athletics – Jennifer Brophy, Director of Academic Support for Athletics 
  • Library – John Banionis, Metrics & Assessment Librarian

College Domain

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – Ashley Leamon, Assistant Director of Technology & Operations
  • Villanova School of Business – Jennifer Whinney, Assistant Dean of Accreditation & Strategic Initiatives / Evan Daney, Associate Director of Enrollment Operations
  • College of Engineering – Laura Matthews, Manager of Academic Policies and Procedures 
  • Fitzpatrick College of Nursing – Sharon Roth-Defulvio, Technical Coordinator / Anita Burry, IT Projects Coordinator
  • College of Professional Studies – Tara Gallo, Manager of College Operations 
  • Charles Widger School of Law – Matthew Saleh, Assistant Dean of Admissions / Susan Mesick, Registrar

Advancement

  • Advancement – Emily Marshall, Associate Director of Advancement Services / Sandy Upton, Associate Director of Development Operations

Finance Domain

  • Controller’s Office – Aaron Silverman, Financial Systems/Reporting Analyst
  • Provost – Jeffrey Palmer, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Finance 
  • Human Resources – Maura Ewing, Director of HRIS 
  • Research – Moira McAndrews, Director of Grants and Contracts

Office of Strategic Planning & Institutional Effectiveness

  • Kathleen Nazar, Director of Survey Research / Stephen Sheridan, Director for Accreditation, Accountability & Assessment

University Information Technology (Data Custodians)

  • Toyin Joseph, Business Intelligence Architect / Doudou Tian, Application Architect

Data Custodians

Data Custodians are are information technology experts assigned to each transactional and reporting system which maintains Institutional Data. They oversee the safe transport and storage of data, establish and maintain the underlying infrastructure, and perform activities required to keep the data intact and available to users. In addition, Data Custodians are responsible for working with Data Stewards and the Office of Decision Support and Data Integrity to develop automated processes which identify erroneous, inconsistent, or missing data.

Data End User

Data Users are individuals who access Institutional Data to perform their assigned duties. Data Users are responsible for safeguarding their access privileges, for the use of the Institutional Data in conformity with all applicable University policies, and for securing such data.  Data Users have responsibility to think critically about the information and evaluate the accuracy of information available.  Data discrepancies and inconsistencies should be reported to the area Data Steward.  Data users must comply with all university requirements, policies, procedures, and contracts.  Includes students, faculty, visiting faculty, staff, volunteers, alumni, persons hired or retained to perform work for the University, and any other person extended access and use privileges by the University under contractual agreements or otherwise.  Employees who are Data Users relinquish university data when employment ends

Office of Decision Support and Data Integrity (ODSDI)

The Office of Decision Support and Data Integrity shall be responsible for working with the appropriate Data Stewards to develop definitions of commonly used terms and will define how official University metrics are calculated. Further, in the course of its work, the Office of Decision Support and Data Integrity will typically discover data discrepancies and inconsistencies and will promptly report such to the appropriate Data Steward for resolution.

Comprised of support business areas such as University IT, University Compliance, University General Counsel and Internal Audit.

Three working groups comprising of the data governance board members are currently working on the following policies:

  • Data Classification – Pending approval
  • Data Integrity and Integration – Pending approval
  • Data Access, Usage and Sharing – Pending approval