For university wide installations (as we are planning) having a "site wide" administrator that is able to delegate administration on a departmental level would be great, yet it would be much nicer if we had a general solution that allowed easy delegation. In the setup we are thinking about Sloan would be the equivalent of one of our faculties and as it stands we are planning to abuse the "department" function and call faculties departments. Eventually it would be nice if we had the option of assigning a faculty administrator, a department administrator, and maybe even a subject administrator. Actually being able to add new levels of administration rights at any time for groups of courses/communities would be nice. This is a very important design element... and it does not seem like an element that is specific to dotLRN.
Creating a general clean approach to this problem will be important. Like Dan, I found it odd that something like this would be a problem, I thought OpenACS is very capable in the assignment of rights and in the creation of new roles. Is it because departments and subjects have nothing to do with OpneACS groups? When are we going to see some technical documentation?