ITC Meeting Minutes

January 31, 2005  3:00-4:30

In attendance were: Dennis Aebersold, Robert Kelly, Robert Dougherty, Adam Westerman, Cheryl Carney, Burr Milsap, Donald Maletz, Sarah Robbins, Mike Sewell, and Deborah Trytten.

Absent: Nick Hathaway, Fran Ayres, Dimitrios Papavassillou, Hunter Crowther-Heyck, and Matthew Matos.


Approval of Minutes

The December minutes were approved with one change in wording and a notation.  The sentence: “Much of this cost and inconvenience will fall on departments and colleges” will be replaced with “Some of the inconvenience will fall on departments and colleges”.


With these changes the minutes were unanimously approved as written.

Anti-Virus Software

Also a notation will be added to the December minutes to see further discussion on this issue.  Since December, a mechanism for this distribution has been selected (SMS push to the Sooner domain). This mechanism will automatically delete the old virus detection software and install the new software for all computers installed in this domain. Users with computers in other domains (and at home) will have to manually update their software.


The new software is anti-virus, intrusion detection, intrusion prevention, firewall,  and contains an incident response management console. This is a more comprehensive software package. Symantec tries to get out updates on Day 0 of attacks. This software and delivery mechanism will work on Macs, Unix systems, as well as Windows systems.

Meeting Times

Two ITC members cannot meet at this time, however there were no other times when all members could meet.  Every week night has conflicts for at least one member (and since schedules for these times have not been collected it is likely there are others). Several members have child care responsibilities that will preclude early morning meetings. Members who cannot attend this meeting can send a representative, ask to receive digital audio files for the meeting, read the minutes, or resign from the committee, at their preference.


Nathan Kula has left OU.  The Student Senate will be asked to provide a new student representative to ITC.

Default Spam Processing

By default, spam detection is not  turned on in pop email accounts. Users that do not clean spam out of their pop email boxes have accumulated gigabytes of spam which has to be stored and backed up daily.  Approximately half of the email messages that arrive daily at OU are spam.


At the present, spam detection is turned off by default. Only 2000 students have taken the time to turned on spam detection. This is greatly increasing the expense of running the email system. IT would like to turn on spam detection by default. Email that is identified as spam will be placed into a folder. If the email in this folder is older than 28 days, it will be automatically deleted.  This gives users four full weeks to identify email that has been mistakenly labeled as spam, and will greatly reduce the cost of running the email system. Users will still have the option of turning off spam detection.


This issue is a procedural issue, not a policy issue.  ITC does not usually enter into procedural affairs in IT.  However, we are willing to support this procedure with the following resolution.


The Information Technology Council agrees that the default setting for spam detection in the pop email system should be on. This will lead to better service for all email users on campus.


This resolution was unanimously approved by the ITC.

Spring Cleaning of Email

IT is going to start a “Spring Cleaning” campaign.  The amount of storage that email requires is growing by terabytes per month. IT is trying to avoid instituting email quotas by asking users to voluntarily clean up their email accounts.  This issue should be brought to the Faculty Senate for communication to faculty.


During the December meeting, Deborah said that mass email did not require the OUMM label. This is incorrect. The email policy requires that internal mass mailings be identifiable from the subject header. The specific title “OUMM” is not dictated by policy.


Students continue to complain about receiving too much mass email. Many of these complaints go, unfairly, to Public Affairs. Public Affairs is no longer sending out mass email. The President’s office, the Provost’s office, Colleges, and Departments do send out mass email.


Perhaps the policy should be updated to require specific subject headers indicating the source, and the fact that it is mass email (such as CoEMM for College of Engineering mass email).   This policy is one that will be integrated into the single policy document to be created by ITC later.


A very literal interpretation of the policy is that “University” email is only that coming from Public Affairs. This is a very small number of messages a year. While this wasn’t what was intended in the policy, it is a legitimate interpretation of the existing wording.


The idea of sending a reminder to the Faculty Senate or the Dean’s Council was rejected.


We decided to let this issue drop for now, but will reconsider this issue when the IT policies are integrated in the coming year.

Course Management System Task Force

The task force is currently testing the Desire2Learn course management system in a fourteen course test. This is a young company that has been adopted across the State of Wisconsin.  Running Blackboard and WebCT simultaneously is becoming cost prohibitive, as both companies are rapidly increasing costs.  This system is both feature rich and highly usable. People who have been involved in testing the system are very impressed with Desire2Learn.


The size and stability of the company was questioned.  Desire2Learn is one of the top five course management vendors, but is a relatively young company. It is always possible that a technology company may go out of business and leave customers stranded.  This risk is unavoidable, even if we stay with Blackboard and/or WebCT.


In the previous month, the task force had voted to move to Blackboard 6.1 for Fall 2005. It seems likely that this decision will be reversed shortly in favor of Desire2Learn. If Desire2Learn is adopted, it is likely that the system will be it brought on campus. This will avoid state wide internet system interruptions from interfering with the course management system.  This change could occur as soon as Fall 2005.


The importance of minimizing the number of course management system changes was discussed.  These changes are very expensive for faculty members who have heavily invested in this technology.  The necessity of sharing responsibility with IT for these important decisions was discussed.  ITC has had several members on this task force, and should stand behind IT if there are difficulties during the transition period.

Provost’s Advisory Committee on Classroom Renovation

The Dale 116 renovation was discussed.  The IT setup in Physical Sciences 330 is a prototype for these new classrooms.  Five more classrooms will be renovated over the summer.

Vision Task Force

This discussion was tabled for the year.  It will be resumed next year.  Next year, the ITC may nominate people for this committee, including people not on ITC.

ITC Chair for 2005-2006

Deborah will not Chair ITC next year. The Chair is required to be a faculty member. We need to consider who will take on this responsibility for next year.

Guide for Services

Matt Singleton will provide the IT Guide for Services for next month.

Web Policy Task Force

Robert Kelly distributed the latest version of the web policy to the committee.  Some changes made by the task force since the last ITC meeting. 


Information in the fund raising section needs to be verified. A definitive source has not been found. Legal Counsel will review this section.


Talent release forms have not been found online. We will try to find these forms from resources in the College of Engineering.  Campus Communicators is an organization that may be helpful in finding these forms.  Public Affairs is another possible source.


The necessity for using email addresses for policy issues that do not collect a lot of traffic was discussed.  For example, the security email alias gets a lot of email.  Policy related email might get lost in this box.


Mike Sewell will talk with Dave Malone at the OU Foundation to clarify the Fund Raising section of the policy.


The ITC voted to send this policy on to OU Legal Counsel for an initial approval so that it can be completed and approved this year.

Policy Integration Task Force

The Web Policy Task Force will be repurposed to integrate existing IT related policies into a single document.  Robert Dougherty and Sarah Robbins will be added to this task force.