Duke ITAC - September 24, 1998 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - September 24, 1998 Minutes


September 24, 1998

Attending: Ed Anapol, Landen Bain, Pakis Bessias, Chris Cramer (for John Board), Kevin Cheung, Jim Dronsfield, David Ferriero, David Jamieson-Drake, Kyle Johnson (for Caroline Nisbet), Jason Kreuter, Betty Le Compagnon, Roger Lloyd, Melissa Mills, John Oates, Clark Smith, George Oberlander (for Bill Scarborough), Rafael Rodriguez, Leslie Saper, Robert Wolpert

Visitors: Ginny Cake, Rob Carter, Jim Coble, Dawn Hails, Ken Hirsch, Catherine Peshkin, Stacy Rusak

Review of Minutes and Announcements

Melissa Mills had a correction to the minutes related to departments' ability to customize the document imaging software. She will submit the change via e-mail.


Rob Carter announced changes to the list processors. Long term plans include combining Majordomo and List Proc. The first step has been taken with the purchase of a new server that will run List Serve. This is an ongoing process and will take some time to complete. When completed performance will be enhanced. The estimated time frame is:

  • Phase 1: 3-4 months for List Serve to be implemented and be used for creating new lists
  • Phase 2: 3-6 months, all new lists will be created on new server
  • Phase 3: 6 more months to move all existing lists

Rafael Rodriguez announced that the Computer Store has new prices for computers from Dell and IBM. Jim Rigney is still working on the web site for ordering computers and expects it to be ready in 6 weeks or so.

A new ITAC member, Clark Smith was introduced. He is a graduate student in Mechanical Engr. and represents GPSC.

Back to School Efforts Update

Kevin Cheung reviewed SWAT: 670 freshmen were helped on the first day, 366 more during first two weeks. Most have Win95 (422 freshmen), 247 Win98 (200 on first day), 4 NT, 39 MAC (37 on first day), 8 Win 3.1 (4 on first day). Students appear to be following our recommendation.

Ginny Cake discussed the computer orientation program. About 90 sessions were conducted, 1100 freshmen registered, 950+ attended. Received positive feedback from the students, asked if these orientation sessions would continue to be offered, some upperclass students asked if they could attend. The staff volunteers enjoyed participating. Some computer savvy students would like to be able to opt out of the orientation.

Kyle Johnson conducted some of the orientation sessions, he was by himself in most of the sessions and recommended additional support in the future. The sessions focused on computing at Duke and included basics, e-mail, printing, DUNK, Helpdesk, other Duke resources.

Robert Wolpert asked if it would make sense to have two different offerings, novice and experienced. Ginny answered that it probably would and that she would review this for the future.

Ken Hirsch discussed the Law School orientation program.

Betty Le Compagnon asked that someone from the Library be included in the computer orientation review and future planning.

Ginny attended the new faculty orientation, they were interested in computer orientation, remote access, modem pool, ADSL.

Ginny also reviewed Helpdesk activities, call volume doesn't seem to go down from year-to-year, regardless of what we do. Helpdesk statistics include: 3490 calls in first two weeks, 14 sec. average time to answer, 3.3 min. average call duration. DUNK has received 676 hits per day. There are 4531 ResNet IP addresses registered to date, about 79% of resident students are connected to Dukenet.

Mellisa asked if the DHCP statistics are a snapshot in time. Kevin answered that this is the number of IP addresses registered in the DHCP database.

George Oberlander asked if Ginny is looking at using CBT training materials for future orientation sessions. Ginny is working with HR T&OD, the electronic training efforts haven't gotten off the ground yet, but may by next year.

Ginny asked that anyone having problems with ADSL contact her directly, especially if it is down more than not.

Technical Architecture Standing Committee Review

Rafael presented a review of the Technical Architecture Standing Committee's (TASC) activities. TASC's charter and membership, architecture papers, working papers, and meeting minutes are available at http://www.oit.duke.edu/architecture/.

TASC's focus has been on Duke's global IT architecture issues, concentrating on security, enterprise directories, and the network.

Security has been a significant focus of activities to date. Users need multiple Ids and passwords for various systems and enterprise applications. There is a need to improve user authentication to simplify access to applications and enhance security. Kerberos is used widely in academia, but not elsewhere. Industry is moving to digital certificates. TASC is proposing that Duke start with Kerberos as a base, then move to DCE and be able to use digital certificates. Enterprise applications being deployed: SAP, PeopleSoft, Notes, Web --should be addressed. A family of products from Transarc has been identified. Interest in having a single signon for the various enterprise systems is increasing. For example, MCIS has received many requests for single signon from physicians and TASC is working with MCIS toward accomplishing this goal.

TASC's security proposal has been reviewed by technical staff and by Internal Audit.

TASC's second area of focus has been enterprise directories. There are too many people databases at Duke. TASC has developed a set of fundamental requirements for people directories. These are available on the TASC web site. The next step will be to move from requirements to specs. Rafael encouraged members of ITAC to provide feedback to TASC's proposals and working papers.

The network has been TASC's third area of focus. This includes network practices and directions (for example, IP only), remote access, Resnet upgrades (which were completed last summer). The focus has been on the enterprise network server, access, redundancy. Work is just beginning. A concept paper is available on the TASC web site.

Kyle asked what the timeframe was for an IP only network, if we have the resources. Rafael answered that a timeframe has not been set, TASC is trying to identify the impediments. This is being addressed now at the global level, rather than segment level.

Melissa asked what the enterprise server would be used for. Initially it will be used for project enterprise. We have to be careful in choosing what goes there.

SISS Admissions Demo

Stacy Rusak, Catherine Peshkin, Dawn Hails gave a demo of the admissions functionality of the PeopleSoft SISS software. This included four main panels that provided demographic information, application data, and recruiting information.

David Jamieson-Drake pointed out that students and faculty would use a web browser to access SISS, while admissions officers would use the PeopleSoft client.

Melissa commented that PeopleSoft looked extraordinary and praised its richness of information.

Robert Wolpert noted that it is harder to break your own rules when you move from paper systems to electronic ones. Are there examples for admissions? Stacy answered that this is probably true, it will be more apparent later. They are committed to changing business processes.

Kyle asked if individual departments will be able to configure their own checklists (a feature of SISS). David answered that this was possible and that they hoped to be able to deploy this in the future, concentration is now on core functions.

David Jamieson-Drake posed the question: how much will departments give up their individuality, having developed specialized homogeneous systems? Ken noted that departments may not have to compromise too much since PeopleSoft has considerable functionality.

Clark Smith asked if there were additional system components that the SISS project staff would like to see. Alumni and development were mentioned in response.

Clark also asked if access would be given to other departments. David Jamieson-Drake answered that access would be given to aggregate data, but not necessarily individual student data and discussed the reporting and query capabilities available with SISS.

Robert asked that since Admissions is the first point for capturing data for many at Duke, will this help to simplify data updates. David Jamieson-Drake answered that this is definitely the goal, though we do not have the central people directory services at Duke yet. Rafael pointed out that we will need integration between SAP and PeopleSoft.

David Jamieson-Drake noted that the legacy systems were oriented toward undergraduates and asked if this would be the same with SISS. Catherine answered that the configuration was done so that the system should be graduate student friendly, too.

The graduate student application process was discussed. Pakis indicated that the Graduate School will be online in fall 1999 and is looking to the experiences of Admissions to help chart the path. One good thing is that everyone will be accessing the same data instead of using their own isolated systems.

Stacy, in response to a question about the ability to include pictures in PeopleSoft, said that this can be done but that Duke does not ask prospective students to provide them.

David Jamieson-Drake noted that there is interest in using scanning technology to capture handwritten documents, such as letters of recommendation.

Pakis asked about end user training.

A company was hired for training. Some users were excited by SISS, others were anxious. There are still some training issues.

Other Business

Betty mentioned that there were plans to change the meeting times for next semester. She will elaborate in an e-mail message to committee members.