Information Technology Council Meeting

October 20, 2003, 3:00 p.m.


Attendance: Fran Ayres, Burr Millsap, Dan Hough, Deborah Trytten, Robert Kelly, Hunter Crowther-Heyck, Mike Sewell, Terri Pinktson, Jim Gardner, Promode Verma


The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. The minutes of the meeting of Sept. 15 were discussed and approved after some minor corrections.


The committee discussed topics for discussion at the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. Deborah Trytten suggested discussing the policy documents that had been brought forward. Frances Ayres asked the classroom subcommittee if they had issues to bring to the faculty senate. They did not at this time. The issue of Blackboard and Web CT was discussed and Deborah pointed out that any discussion of removing one of these was very politically sensitive.


Fran Ayres brought up the discussion regarding mandatory password screen savers. The consensus was that this is good practice but that there should not be any mandatory policy. The possibility of suggesting to IT that communication of “best practices” for computer security to the OU community would be a good idea. No specific recommendation was made as to how the ITC should communicate this to IT.  Various means of notifying people were discussed.


The issue of charging of services to users from IT was discussed. There have been complaints from faculty about unexpected charges for fixing viruses on computers. The issue was that when there are viruses the computer needs to be rebuilt to prevent damage to the system. Also the issue of backups was discussed. Arts and Sciences bought faculty computers and the issue was about the quality of backups.


Robert Kelly discussed backups in the Provost’s office. They save all work products in a work sharing system in XP and email is all on the Exchange server so that all files can be restored and failure on one computer does not lead to loss of data. He suggested that other areas might want to implement such a system.


Fran Ayres distributed an email from a student that complained about failure to follow mass email policies. Deborah said that she anticipated that the email about OU Mass mail should be coming out shortly and that this should correct the problem. The student also raised some technical issues. It was decided to refer the student to IT for these issues.


Mike McInerney had asked the ITC to consider recommending something about spam filters. This issue was discussed and the concern was that legitimate mail would be screened out as well.  Possible fixes include adding a “spam” prefix and educating users.


Deborah Trytten presented policy subcomittee documents. There were three policies: The Password sharing policy. The password sharing policy is the same and is approved with legal council.  Deborah Trytten said that legal council had approved the policy subject to ongoing review by the ITC.  The password sharing policy was passed by the ITC.


The second policy discussed was University Email notifications. Deborah Trytten presented the draft of the policy making email an official means of notification. Considerable discussion focused on whether the policy was that email was an official means of notification or the official means of communication. The issue of forwarding email to another account was discussed. Also discussed were means to notify people who don’t have ready access to email. It was agreed that supervisors should post notices for staff without access to email. After considerable discussion it was agreed that the policy subcommittee would revise the policy and it would be brought up at a future meeting.


The committee also brought up the possibility of requiring that OU email be used for university business.  Deborah Trytten raised the issue of whether using non-OU email was a concern with violating HIPAA and FERPA.  The concern was that forwarding email might violate HIPAA and FERPA because non-OU mail is not as secure as OU mail.  It was agreed that the policy subcommittee would talk to legal council to see what they think.


OU mass mail was also discussed. This was already an approved policy but was never announced to faculty or staff. IT plans to begin to enforce the policy. It was agreed that it would be announced via email from IT.


No other subcommittees had any issues to report.  The issue of a Tulsa meeting was discussed. Fridays seem to be the best. We need to find a time that people can come. A meeting in December after the semester was over seemed best. Pramode Verma pointed out that having a meeting in Tulsa was important from a perception point of view. The meeting adjourned at 4:10 p.m.