Duke ITAC - September 7, 2000 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - September 7, 2000 Minutes


September 7, 2000

Attending: Ben Allen, Pakis Bessias, John Board, Dick Danner, Nevin Fouts, Ed Gomes, Alan Halachmi, Patrick Halpin, Donna Hewitt, David Jamieson-Drake, Betty Leydon, Roger Loyd, Melissa Mills, Caroline Nisbet, George Oberlander, Lynne O'Brien, Mike Pickett, Robert Wolpert

Visitors: Dave Kirby, Chris Meyer, Rob Carter, Billy Herndon, Bruce Cunningham, Kathy Pfeiffer, Ginny Cake

Review of Minutes and Announcements:

  • minutes of August 10, 2000 were approved with no changes.
  • Betty Leydon announced that the Security Officer position (to replace Charlie Register) will be posted soon and if there are no internal candidates, there will be an external search.
  • She also announced that a subcommittee will have a Security status report within 2 weeks.
  • Betty informed the committee that Mike Pickett will be working halftime in the Provost's office in the role of Instructional and Research Technology Support.

Site Licenses Update

    2. how to better inform faculty about site licenses and the process of requests, updates, etc. and
    3. how to get faculty more effectively and efficiently involved.
    • A request is made
    • A committee reviews the request -- examining who it would serve, platform requirements, financial consideration and implications (cost, annual renewal, technical support requirements, funding mechanism)
    • A mail-to to the owner of the software package
    • A link to the 'process page' -- how to get new software, etc.
  2. Ginny Cake led a discussion regarding

    She reviewed the current process of acquiring a site license:

    It was suggested that we need a process that everyone knows about so they can give input.

    Lynne O'Brien stated that there needs to be a way to inform faculty what we have, where to obtain the software and the support needed.

    The mechanisms being used now to disseminate information are the OIT Site License web page and the Glove Box News.

    It was mentioned that there also needs to be a mechanism to assure that software is still needed.

    A suggestion was made to assign an "owner" to various software packages. This would provide a mechanism for contact related to certain such things as continued need, updates, product information, etc. Also, this person could potentially have more leverage with vendors.

    David Jamieson-Drake brought up the issue that certain software is available at different places such as OIT and the Computer Store and at different prices. He stated that an explanation of the differences is needed to remove the confusion. For instance a University site license may be more expensive than if a license is purchased through the Computer Store. Microsoft software is such an example. A suggestion was made to do a better job of education at the Computer Store as to where software is available at better prices, etc.

    Several agreed that lists of OIT and Computer Store software (licensed and unlicensed) needs to be coordinated in some way.
    Lynne O'Brien suggested something like a portal for Faculty Resources where this kind of information could also be posted.

    Having discussed issues related to site licenses, the group was brought back to the topic of 'how to get faculty more involved.'

    Since the Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) Committee is comprised of faculty from across the University and Medical Center, there was a suggestion that this committee might be a part of the review process for academic software and its potential use in the University and Medical Center.

    Web page suggestions:

    This discussion was brought to a close to move to the next topic.


    • Collect feedback and have plan for resolving issues
    • Suggestions should be send to registrar@duke.edu
    • Next spring an assessment will be done for making changes in the summer
  2. Kathy Pfeiffer reported that, while there were some glitches, overall the new SISS registration system was successful. She stated that a meeting is being setup to review all the events and deal with the problems in preparation for the next registration period.

    She indicated that the implementation of the Charges/Billing was not completely satisfactory. They will be working on some performance issues as well as the challenge to stabilize the system and complete the ones not implemented such as Students Affairs and CE.

    Chris Meyer reported on the technical aspects. He stated that they did not encounter problems that couldn't be fixed in a relatively short time. They do not want to change too much at this time. Since the system involves balancing a 5 layer technical architecture the plan is to proceed cautiously and work on enhancing performance rather than making major changes. He reported that the base software is performing well.

    He stated that the configuration provides for 150-180 concurrent users. This was seen as the better threshold at this time rather than opening it up to more users and having potentially more problems.

    A suggestion was made to try and refresh often the permission numbers being taken and the available seats.

    It was reported that the student body seemed happy and willing to deal with the glitches.

    Robert Wolpert asked how improvements were to be made to the system and how users can be involved.

    These points were offered:

Other Business

    1. Rob Carter discussed 3 issues involving security:

    2. Security issue with ACES
      People are failing to logout properly and if multiple browser windows are open, closing one does not terminate the ACES program. This problem was resolved by changing the way the 'Logout' button works. It now causes the browser to forget the users information. Continued testing will be done.
    3. On September 6th RSA Security announced that they had relinquished the algorithm to the public domain. Therefore, we may be able to use more software such as Nifty Telnet (an SSH client). Telnet will soon be turned off, but FTP will still be available. Announcements as to when Telnet will be turned off will be posted in the Glove Box News as well as on the Telnet boxes.
    4. Security for CourseInfo
      Better security for Course Info is needed because authentication is not encrypted. Snareworks is being used but it does not solve the server issue. The Enterprise version of CourseInfo may solve the encryption problem better.
  2. Security Update

The meeting adjourned at 5:30 pm.