Duke ITAC - August 29, 1996 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - August 29, 1996 Minutes

Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC)

Minutes, 8/29/96

Present (in alpha order): Landon Bain, Anne Beckwith, John Board, Dick Danner, Jim Dronsfield, Paul Harrod, Billy Herndon, Betty Le Compagnon, Roger Loyd, Melissa Mills, Steven Natelborg, Caroline Nisbet, Mike Pickett, Evan Scheessele, John Sigmon, Robert Wolpert (chair).

Call to Order.

The meeting was called to order by the Vice Chair, Mike Pickett, at 4:10 p.m.

Review of Minutes & Selection of Scribe.

Mike Pickett called for a review of the minutes. Roger Loyd suggested a change in wording of item #7; specifically, "...the ADSL trials are to be considered a business secret and should be considered confidential information" for reasons of lack of confidentiality once the minutes are posted on the Internet. There was agreement to this idea. Mike said that the minutes would be delayed until the ADSL trials were made public.


The "Systems Integrator" position was changed to "Director of Information Systems Architecture." Both this position and the Data Administrator position were approved by Wage & Salary. Both positions will be posted to Computerworld and The Journal of Higher Education.

Mike Pickett and John Board have been meeting with the IBM consultants regarding the Duke communities, Duke services, and client/server readiness. Between October 1 and October 8, IBM would like to deliver a 3 hour meeting to ITAC to validate their ideas before making them public. While a 3 hour meeting is long, it was noted that the other 5 - 6 universities who IBM has consulted for have all said that the meeting is worthwhile. Other groups that IBM will be meeting with include a group of the faculty, senior administration, the hospital, students, computing power users, and those who consider computing a necessary evil. If anyone has any suggestions for anyone to serve on these committees, they should contact Mike or John.

The SP2 has been placed on order. Expected delivery date is in September. In addition, IBM is offering a 50% discount on any IBM server-based computer from now to the end of the calendar year. Next year there will be a minimum of 45% on orders. John Board inquired how to publicize these specials. CLAC, purchasing, and the business administration (i.e., DAFT users) were offered as suggestions. Betty Le Compagnon will talk to IBM representative, Jim Terry, for a plan of action regarding how to get the word out.

Betty Le Compagnon met with Dr. Trask this morning. Dr. Trask hasn't visited ITAC and would like to do so. Betty will try to see if his schedule will permit him to attend one of the next two sessions. ITAC members should think of questions to ask him.

Oracle Contract Update.

The Oracle contract is signed. The contract allows for a 1,000 simultaneous user license across all platforms: SUN, HP Unix, IBM Unix, IBM MVS, Windows NT, and Novell. The contract allows for individuals, departments, and faculty to bring up an unlimited number of servers as long as the total number of simultaneous users do not exceed 1000. Individuals, faculty, and students, and most departments may obtain a copy of the server at no cost. However, Duke will ask that an request be completed in order to ensure legality, allow updates to be distributed, and follow deployment trends. Institution-wide applications like procurement, human resources, or student systems will need to contribute funds for the site license. Please contact Neal Paris if your department would like to apply for a copy. As the contract has just been signed, we don't have any of the media yet but expect to receive it soon.

In addition, the contract specifies that the Oracle Web Server version 2.0 software is to be accessed for the Intranet, or Duke campus, only. Oracle administration was adamant that this restriction remain. As a result, we did not buy any copies of their Web Server 2.0 product, though individuals and departments can purchase their own copy. Mike noted that a recent review of web server products in Byte magazine showed that there were better products available that cost less than the Web Server 2.0 product.

Draft Migration Plan Discussion.

Last week Mike Pickett distributed a document about migrating off the mainframe onto other technology. Betty Le Compagnon stressed that it's important everyone understand what it is and isn't. It is a way to put something on paper to plan how long it will take and how much it will cost. Billy Herndon emphasized that we continue to look at technology as we learn from our experiences. John Board noted that change is so rapid that it is difficult to predict the future of computing further out than six to nine months. In addition, we should do an efficiency check. For example, questions to ask include if the procurement process was done efficiently and if it took too long. Please e-mail comments on the draft to Mike or Billy.

Draft Computer Use Guidelines - Revised.

Handout: Acceptable Use of Computing and Electronic Communications at Duke University

This handout was created by summarizing the previously distributed 20 page document, and taking pieces of information and guidance from the last ITAC meeting. Considerable discussion pursued about monitoring the content of Duke resources. For example, does Duke have the right to review the content of information if there is a violation? Paul Harrod stated that, per the Board of Trustees, Internal Audit is able to access any records within the University. Jim Dronsfield mentioned guidelines in Telcom: numerical studies (e.g., number of calls per line) are done and wiretapping can be done by court order. John Board wondered who can issue a search warrant. After reviewing the document, ITAC come up with the following recommendations.

  • 1st paragraph, last sentence: Change the sentence to read, "These tenets hold true for all members of the community at Duke."
  • 2nd paragraph, 1st sentence: Change the sentence to read, "Neither the University nor its agents generally restrict the content of material transported across its networks."
  • 2nd paragraph, last sentence: Change "violates" to "violate."
  • 3rd paragraph, last sentence: Add, "appears to" between "violation" and "constitutes."
  • Same sentence: Change "constitutes" to "constitute."
Corrections will be made and resent to ITAC and ECAC. Betty stated that ECAC needs to be confident that they can use this as a guideline; that it can help them deal with the issues they may face. As this will become an authoritative document, once final corrections have been made, this document will be addressed by the University Council.

Draft Strategic Plan Discussion.

Handout: Second DRAFT, Report of the Strategic Planning Committee, dated 08/29/96.

John Board distributed the handout and noted that the ADAC report that was previously e-mailed was not attached to the hard copy. John noted that the changes made to the document were mostly in organization, as opposed to content. John proceeded by reviewing the document, specifically the following:

  • Future planning efforts, section 10, page 16. The final paragraph was added in order to answer the questions, "What should ITAC and the University do about planning computing for the future?" and "Who's overseeing the big picture?" The Strategic Planning Committee is recommending that IT planning efforts require the attention of a committee that is at a higher level than ITAC. After some discussion, there seemed to be agreement that it be an internal group, made up of mostly faculty. One suggestion was adding some additional faculty representation to the working group within SICC. There seemed to be possible needs for consultants as well.
  • OIT, section 9, page 14. A section was added (see paragraph beginning, "As a model...") regarding making sure OIT investigates new technology for the University. Melissa Mills was concerned about issues that come up with ongoing costs that deans are expected to pay for. John indicated that these issues are not the kind of issues with ongoing costs.
  • Student/Instructional Computing, section 6, page 11. Toward the bottom of the page, the proposal reads, "With the university wiring project now underway, this is being updated slightly with OIT taking responsibility up to the faceplate on the wall..." Melissa noted that Arts and Sciences does not always choose to give responsibility to OIT for the electronics in the closet and the wiring to the faceplate. It was agreed that, "offering to take responsibility" might work better.
  • Governing principles for IT reform, section 5, page 8. There seemed to be agreement from Roger Loyd's suggestion that we put the summary in a cover letter. This report will be given to IBM. There also seemed to be agreement that ITAC should do strategic planning at least once a year. This process should continue to be managed and continually coordinated.
Discussion was given toward how we can achieve through communication the same goal of feedback from other groups. As the complete report will be 50 - 60 pages, it was suggested to have the document in sections or volumes.

Putting Cluster Machines on a Depreciation Schedule - Discussion.

John Board mentioned that the goal was to replace one third of the cluster machines each year. However, after the first year, one third of the machines have not been replaced. It was noted that replacing computers should happen over the summer. Another good point was raised that the choice of platforms affect not only what faculty can do in their classrooms, but their research as well.

Further discussion about this agenda item was postponed to the next meeting due to time restraints.

Update from President's Retreat.

Betty Le Compagnon spoke of her two day retreat with the University President and people who report directly to the President. There was a lot of interest in ITAC. The work process redesign area was one of the topics that was discussed. Dr. Trask had presented what work process was and gave an update to what we were doing. As a respondent, Betty stressed that the goals to the process and the criteria against which we can judge our process be identified. Without those in place, how will we know when we succeed and what we are trying to accomplish?

Betty reported that there were very healthy discussions and good conversations. The issues that were brought up were more complex than what they initially appeared. This in turn opened people's eyes about what we're trying to accomplish.

"Permanent Student Phone Numbers"

Jim Dronsfield reported that giving each student their own phone number can be done, but at a considerable cost to Duke. There are only a certain number of lines. An example that was given was a student who has the same phone number for four years. What happens in the summer, when a summer student wants a line?

Telcom has never required students to have an individual line. With the university wiring project, they have the ability to offer a separate line to students upon their request. However, lines can't move. Movement of lines involves reprogramming a switch, keeping records up-to-date for maintenance, and other issues. In addition, call forwarding can be implemented on a line basis. Having two numbers on one line has not been implemented. Jim is willing to provide additional information if needed.

The meeting concluded at 5:35.
Recorder: Steven Natelborg