Information Technology Council
Feb. 16, 2004

Attending: Fran Ayres, Greg Heiser, Burr Millsap, Terry Pinkston , Robert Kelly, Matt Singleton,  Jim Gardner, Deborah Trytten, Tom Ray, Dan Hough, Eddie Huebach, Hunter Crowther-Heyck, Craig Cochell, Pramode Verma

The minutes of the Dec. 15 meeting were reviewed and minor corrections suggested. A  motion was made by Dan Hough and seconded by Hunter Crowther-Heyck.

The issue of copyright violation policy and plagiarism was discussed. Greg Heiser was asked to discuss the issue from his perspective. He commented that he thought that the issue of copyright violation and plagiarism were not as related as might appear. He pointed out that it would be possible to commit plagiarism by buying a paper, and yet might not be violating a copyright if they paid for the right. The issue of copyright violations arose from a concern with music being downloaded illegally. Greg said that we do not do a lot until students get in trouble. When a student downloads music they have their computer shut down and must go to Legal Council and sign a document. He noted that we don’t have any specific information session focusing on copyright violations. Greg brought the IT sheet that is given to incoming freshmen. This tells students how to set up their email account, buy computers etc. However, there is no information given to students telling them not to violate copyright policy and not to download illegal music. The University College also does not provide any warning to students or information about copyright law. Deborah Trytten commented that in her department (Computer Science) the biggest problems were  with  international students, many of whom did not understand U.S. copyright laws. Greg meets with orientation for International students and provides some information about legal issues but indicated that his talk is short and that the students are receiving a lot of information.  Greg also said that there should be more information provided under the TEACH act regarding fair use of information. He said this was needed for our distance education programs.

The conclusion was that both copyright and plagiarism are important issues but that they probably should be separately addressed. Discussion focused on whether there should be some mandatory training or simply provide information to students.  It was also pointed out that even among faculty views about what constitutes plagiarism are not uniform. Faculty are often unclear about copyright policy as well.

The motivation for this discussion was that the Provost had noted that Michigan Tech had mandatory training on copyright violation and suggested that perhaps OU should be doing something.  The committee had a lengthy discussion about the issues of copyright and plagiarism and it was decided that an attempt would be made to come up with a proposal for notifying students about copyright violations.

We moved on to the email as an official means of communication policy. Deborah presented an update of this policy. The revised policy emphasized students more than faculty. The policy subcommittee asked for approval by the committee as a whole. Fran Ayres recommended approval of the policy and Burr Millsap seconded the committee. The policy was passed by the committee as a whole (attached) and will be forwarded to the staff and faculty senates.

Deborah then brought up the issue of charges for IT services (See attached for questions). She commented that charges seemed high. IT staff explained the charges for services and indicated that they did not think that charges were excessive. IT also explained their service agreement for providing IT support, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Two colleges, Engineering and Architecture have contracted with IT to support their IT. These colleges provide a flat fee and received college level service. IT can provide better service by knowing better what their staffing needs are. IT asked whether charges seemed less exorbitant given the explanation. Faculty views were that while explanations seemed reasonable that departments do not necessarily have money to pay these fees. IT also said that units were free to use services outside of the University. However, it was noted that although people had set up their own wireless systems that these “rogue” systems tend to interrupt other systems in units and usually had to be disabled so setting up one’s own wireless system should be strongly discouraged. It was also suggested that IT needs to provide better communication about the cost of their services to the University Community.

A final item related to an email that was sent as a mass mail sent from the Bursar’s office but was not sent through the OUMM system. This was noted by Dan Hough. Some discussion ensued regarding the email. It was decided that the email would be sent to Loretta Early and Dennis Aebersold.

The meeting date for March was set at March 22. Also discussion was focused on the Tulsa meeting and a date was set for May 3 to meet in Tulsa.

University Email Notifications  (Draft 12-15-03)

In order to assure timely and efficient communication, the University establishes email as an acceptable means of official communication.

All University students and faculty will be assigned an official University email account. Official University communications will be sent to this account. Email sent to this account is expected to be read in a timely fashion.

Faculty may assume that a student’s official University email is a valid mechanism for communicating with students registered in their classes. Faculty who rely upon electronic communication with students in their classes will specify their requirements in the course syllabus.

Disclaimer: Account holders who choose to have email forwarded to another email address do so at their own risk.  An account holder’s failure to receive or read in a timely manner official University communications sent to an official email account does not absolve the account holder from knowing and complying with the content of the official communication.

IT Services

IT is now charging campus entities prices for services that exceed the fair market value of these services, as summarized in the table below. This is a concern on two fronts:


IT Price

Fair Market Value

Wireless Access Point



Network Drop



Rebuild Computer



Which services are provided to campus as part of IT’s budget and which are individually charged to units? How is the decision made about which services are free and which are not?

What pricing formula is IT using to determine the cost of these services?

There is an apparent conflict of interest between charging such high prices for rebuilding computers and network security.  The more secure the network, the fewer computers would need to be rebuilt (which would cut off the revenue that comes from rebuilding computers). How is this conflict of interest being managed?

Where is the IT Guide to Services that summarizes the services available and lists costs? The newest one we can find is 2002-2003.