Duke ITAC - May 3, 2001 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - May 3, 2001 Minutes


May 3, 2001

Attending: Pakis Bessias, John Board, Ken Hirsh (for Dick Danner), Edward Gomes (also subbing for David Ferriero), Brian Eder (for Nevin Fouts), Pat Halpin, Donna Hewitt, Ken Knoerr, Roger Loyd, Melissa Mills, Kyle Johnson (for Caroline Nisbit), George Oberlander, Lynne O'Brien, Mike Pickett, Rafael Rodriguez, Mike Russell, Edward Shanken, Chris Cramer, Rob Carter, Todd Orr, Ginny Cake, Jen Vizas, Suzanne Maupin

Group e-mail

The recurring subject has come up again for an update on the status of the group e-mail policy. A review was requested by ITAC on the policy as it was written and revised. Betty submitted it to senior officers for approval. The Health System has endorsed it with some minor changes. Betty's view is that this is an active policy.

Acpub student e-mail choices

    • High - All efforts will be made to resolve issues swiftly. OIT has in-depth knowledge of software. Documentation is provided online.
    • Medium - Reasonable efforts will be made to resolve issues. OIT has general knowledge of software. Documentation may be available online.
    • Low - OIT has limited knowledge of software.
    • Unsupported
  • OIT looked at choices of e-mail packages from a support view. (support of existing/current versions, vendor etc.) There have been very few changes over the years. Currently there are 4 levels of support for software packages. They are as follows:

    See also the OIT list of SUPPORTED SOFTWARE for MAC and PC.

    Currently supported are Notes, Mulberry, Netscape Messenger, Eudora, Outlook/Outlook Express, Pine and Simeon (soon to be dropped). OIT would like the number of supported packages to be reduced. Most students are using either Outlook/Outlook Express, Pine or Mulberry. Mulberry is the package distributed on the OIT SWAT CD.

    Question: What are people using? Should we say we support any IMAP client? Since a large group uses outlook, should we expand the support of outlook to high support?

    Ken Knoerr: Admin was pushing notes, since they were using it. If Outlook is a reasonable alternative, then it should be supported instead of Mulberry. The interface on Mulberry isn't good at all.

    Ginny Cake: Mulberry usability issues have been improved since it was originally reviewed. Take a look at the release that is being distributed.

    It was stated that Fuqua uses Novell GroupWise and Perkins supports Outlook and Lotus Notes. There are also the issues of security with Outlook. Patch levels must be kept up. Issue of integration of e-mail and news readers is an issue for students, in addition to security.

    It was suggested that maybe ITAC should have a regular review of e-mail packages. Today's discussion was to review the packages and the process for determining the supported packages. OIT should increase their level of support for Outlook, and produce information on the security issues involved with using the package. Maybe Arts & Sciences and OIT (or any other department) can share support and test information all packages that are currently available on the cluster machines.

Enterprise Directory Update

    • Distribution of locators to Durham Regional and Raleigh Community staff to solicit updates and privacy preferences.
    • Addition of individual entries, including name, title, department, office information, e-mail, fax, pager, and voice mail for Durham Regional and Raleigh Community staff. (Current directory has blue pages, but not white for RCH and DRH.)
    • Addition of several automated scripts to achieve spelling and format improvements in directory information, especially blue pages and overrides. (The scripts report names shortened due to payroll length limitations, invalid e-mail addresses, misspelled streets, titles, and departments.)
    • Implementation of a new method of distributing departmental locators, soliciting, and confirming changes to the "blue pages".
    • Implementation of a new process for improving accuracy of faculty emeriti content.
    • Directory Firewall-Like Security
      • directory access control facilities that enhance the basic access control provided by a directory server
      • control access to entries based on LDAP authentication, IP address, domain name and other criteria
      • provides limits to the number of connections established between LDAP clients and the LDAP directory server
      • time-out inactive clients to keep connections available
      • prevent "denial of service" attacks and "flood attacks" of the LDAP servers
      • prevent 'trolling' the directory for email lists
    • Replacement of the online PH directory service with LDAP to PH gateway. (End-user interface will not change. PH will access LDAP instead of the current QI database. This change will eliminate the need to maintain multiple online directory databases.
    • Addition of area codes to LDAP and the current printed telephone directory (10-digit dialing has been announced for the Triangle area beginning in February, 2002.)
    • Implementation of Oblix Publisher to automate paging lookup and transmission and enable enhanced reporting for authorized users against the LDAP directory.
  • Suzanne Maupin gave an update on the new implementation strategy. The presentation showed which databases are used to feed the master database. A phased approach has been taken for the deployment. The initial phase, populating an LDAP structure with current directory information from PeopleSoft, legacy payroll, and overrides, was completed almost two years ago. Phase 2 is scheduled for August 2001, in time for the new 2001-2002 directory.

    Phase 2 includes the following: (Taken from Suzanne's notes for clarity)

    By August 2001, the LDAP directory will work with all supported e-mail packages (Notes client will have to be version 5). The directory will have been populated with all people related to Duke (except alumni), will honor all FERPA preferences for students and all privacy preferences for employees and contractors, and will support enhanced search capability and automated paging.

    Phase 3 of the directory implementation will use automated connectors between the Directory and SAP, PeopleSoft, DukeID, Enterprise Messaging (Notes, GroupWise, acpub email), DEMPO, and AMCOM, is based on the same schedule as SAP HR/Payroll go live, currently scheduled for 1st quarter of calendar year 2002.

    Questions regarding alias searching came up.

    The issues on listing from searches are client dependent.

    Can the directory be used for electronic signatures?
    Issues surrounding this will be to work on LDAP authentication. Keith working on the issue of authenticating against the directory. This should be available by 2002.

    How much hardware is needed ?
    New hardware will be needed (1 more directory server, sun boxes).

    How do you deal with faulty data being fed from feeder databases?
    Access to legacy systems and contact with maintainers of data stores is made to correct discrepancies.

    Is the system being sized to deal with increase in load?
    The system is very scalable.


    1. Implement SAP HR/Payroll for Duke University and DUHS
      • Non-compensatory payroll already in production
      • Payroll clerks/hiring managers trained this summer on new forms/business processes
      • SAP planned to go live in January 2002 for all Duke employees
    3. Rollout of R/3 as University's financial management system and eliminate legacy systems
      • Incorporate functions of legacy systems (Impress Cash, Library A/P, work orders accounting)
      • R/3 financial management for University and Medical Center schools and departments. Phased rollout.
      • Currently rolled out to "early 50" key business managers in schools and larger departments
      • Eliminate mappers that support 200 financial feeder systems.
    5. Final stages
      • Provide summarized financial data in Oracle tables/views for analysis with any query tool.
      • Will meet needs for ad hoc query/analysis that R/3 doesn't provide
      • Beginning requirements analysis for similar decision support database for R/3 procurement data

      Hardware issues - are we dealing with increased load issues on current systems?
      2-month testing will be done to test the load requirements.

      What's the process for eliminating mappers?
      Process is on going to create an integration standard for departments. Allow them to develop an interface to SAP system to integrate their output to the SAP data system.

      Security issues - dempo vs acpub for kerberos security?
      Acpub is the preference. OIT is going to set up accounts on the university side using acpub ticket generation. Financial information is secured at the company code level, which means all users in duke code 0010, have view access to all financial information. Users are required to sign a confidentiality agreement to use the system.

      Training - technical training for support staff is an issue?
      Training is available for staff using the system, however a training seminar for IT support staff beyond user training has not been developed. The issue will be examined.

    6. Questions:

  • Has been in production as the ledger of record for 2 years for the financial system. All purchasing goes through SAP. Implementation efforts are in place to expand to the University side of the enterprise. Perkins Library A/P is moving to using SAP for check writing on May 7. Other parts of the implementation efforts are as follows.

Student IT Skill Training

Students need to do more with IT skills that they may not have. OIT wants to develop a program for training students. There will be a phased approach for developing a training model. A draft of the model was distributed to the committee for review and suggestions.

The model covers the following:

  • IT Core Competencies
    • Establish Core competencies
    • Communicate competencies to students, parents faculty and staff.
  • Technology Assessment
    • New student required to take technology assessment.
    • Assessment will determine students expertise base on core competencies
    • Score will determine recommendations for training
    • Required level of proficiency by end of first academic year
    • Students can reassess their proficiency at any time during the year
  • Technology Boot Camp/Orientation
    • Ideally, summer training
    • Students receive their laptop, attend workshops. Workshops include care of laptops, connecting via DukeNet, wireless technology, printing, AFS, security, Blackboard, Office applications, web publishing, etc.
  • Training Curriculum
    • Technology workshops thoughout the year
    • Web-based learning programs
    • Tutorials and manuals available electronically
    • A library of CBTs will be located in university libraries, resource centers and help desk for checkout
    • Dean of Arts & Sciences and CIT will work with faculty to incorporate use of technology in various Writing 2000 assignments


Who should OIT reach out to? How can we get information on what the IT core competencies are?
CIT advisory board would be a good source. To gauge this requires some assessment tool. DSG reps thought a required assessment tool should be put in place for incoming students. Make it part of the class requirements. Set up a technology boot camp for new student orientation. Put a training curriculum in place. Deans from Eng, and A&S would decide on what the curriculum should be and OIT would implement it. OIT hopes to have a reasonable set of training tools, but this is a new processes.

What do students who've been through the system view as what they needed to know?
There have been some surveys that indicated what they needed. OIT will try to create a more formal survey.

What % of students need IT training?

Other Comments:

  • Can we get faculty to provide the IT requirements for their courses?
  • Provide a link to where they can get the training.
  • Basic operating system and command line skill is lacking.
  • Graduate students need to be evaluated, and addressed in a training curriculum.
  • How about appropriate use of technology?