Information Technology Council 2005-2006

Minutes, Meeting of Monday, November 7,  2005

Members Attending: Deborah Trytten, Cheryl Carney, Sarah Robbins, Jamie Skibsted, Robert Kelly, Mike Sewell, Teri Murphy, Matt Matos, Burr Milsap, Hunter Crowther-Heyck, Don Maletz. Guests: Matt Singleton.

Absent: Dennis Aebersold, Matt Deeg, Nick Hathaway, Dimitrios Papavassiliou

Minutes of the October 3, 2005, meeting were approved (with an amendment of the date for the next meeting, which should read December 5), on a motion by Hunter, seconded by Jamie.

1. Announcements, organizational:

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee has asked for a report on current ITC activities at its November 28 meeting.

2. Guides to Services

Matt Singleton distributed copies of the IT “Guide to Core Services” [GCS] and “Guide to Enhanced Services” [GES] for review and comment. The two guides have been revised since the last meeting and will remain a “work in progress” for the time being.

Among the wide variety of comments, suggestions, and recommendations from ITC members were the following:

Insofar as feasible, differentiate more clearly between the two booklets. Does “enhanced” mean that all issues covered in the GES require additional fees?

The reason for allocation of items to the GCS or GES is not always self-explanatory. Example: long-distance services, an item of importance to students, might be better put into the GCS, which is more obviously targeted to the broader community. Information about the HRMS or CICS systems is inappropriate for the GCS.

Pricing structures in the GES need additional explanation and justification, especially for the most costly items. Items having a high price readily attract criticism. They might better be presented along with an account of the relationship of the charges to the cost of providing the service.

Explain the classroom maintenance system and costs more fully. (This issue applied more directly to the earlier GES version, which included specific costs associated with several classrooms with advanced technology and requirements for special training in its use.)

A more limited version of the GCS, specifically targeted to students, might be useful.

Consider organizing the booklets by general topic rather than alphabetically (e.g., “teaching support services,” etc.).

Explain the high charges for security services. Matt Singleton: there is no central funding for security services. Those units needing enhanced security and firewalls will should expect a charge for these services. Other charges in the GES refer to IT support after a security breach has occurred.

Editorial changes proposed: Clarify the three-tier classification of problems; clarify meaning of “core user”; check and correct issues of style and grammar as noted by Jamie Skibsted.

Information about the itstore should explain the offerings, specifying what software is available at no charge and what requires a payment; the same recommendation applies to the itstore website itself.
If there are over eighty software packages available in the computer labs (GCS, 3), consider appending a specific list.

Each booklet should have a date showing the last updating or publication.

3. Network Policy

Don Maletz reported on the status of the ITC proposed network policy. The version developed by the ITC at its last meeting, in response to criticisms from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, received equally strong criticisms from IT. It seemed best to withdraw it for the moment and look for a more useful approach that has some prospects for passage in the Senate and that will contribute to strengthening the university’s network.

In a recent meeting between Don, Dennis Aebersold, Loretta Early, Matt Singleton, and Mike Sewell, it was agreed to work on developing an improved policy. Suggested was:

a) clarification of exactly what IT means by the fundamental (‘backbone’) network to which a broad network policy would apply;
b) explanation of what specific standards need to be applied by IT to this infrastructure and why;  c) clarification of the value of these standards for maintaining the security and reliability of the underlying infrastructure on which all users, and all sub-networks, rely.

As the current IT security audit comes to a conclusion, IT will develop a framework for documenting and explaining the security threats to which the core network is vulnerable. This framework can be used in developing a revised network policy. A revision must be able to explain to the broader community of users how the policy is of benefit to them. A network policy will be on the agenda for the spring semester.

4. Wireless campus

Matt Singleton reported that recent stories in the OK Daily reflect a formal request from student government for a complete wireless network covering the entire campus. IT is developing a proposal for such a system. The project would likely be expensive, but it will be evaluated against the cost of the slowly expanding piecemeal wireless system to be found here and there around campus. In response to the question: can this proposal be presented to the ITC before it goes to the Daily? Matt said: yes.

5. Difficulties with the Symantec anti-virus program:

Deborah Trytten, Robert Kelly, Cheryl Carney, and Teri Murphy aired a variety of difficulties encountered with the centrally-established settings for this campus-wide Symantec anti-virus software. A particular recommendation concerned flexibility for the user in scheduling the scans.

Adjourned: 5:15 pm.