Duke ITAC - September 20, 2001 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - September 20, 2001 Minutes


September 20, 2001

Members Attending: Ben Allen, Ed Anapol, Landen Bain, Mike Baptiste, Pakis Bessias, Dick Danner, Ben Donally (Nicholas School of the Environment), Angel Dronsfield, Brian Eder, Stephan Galla (Fuqua), Ed Gomes, Patrick Halpin, Billy Herndon, David Jamieson Drake, Andy Keck (Divinity), Melissa Mills, Caroline Nisbet, George Oberlander, Lynne O'Brien, Mike Pickett (Co-Chair), Rafael Rodriguez, Fred Westbrook, Robert Wolpert (Chair).

Guests: Jocelyn Bailey, OIT-MCIS; Ginny Cake, OIT; Rob Carter, OIT; Chris Cramer, OIT; Steve Woody, DCRI, Suzy Johnson, OIT.

Call to Order: Meeting called to order Robert Wolpert at 4:05 p.m.

Review of Minutes and Announcements:

  • No one had any corrections or changes to the revised minutes of September 6, 2001.
  • Chris Cramer gave an update on the Nimda worm. Around sixty Health System and campus machines had been infected. Chris is working with Bob Currier and Health System security staff to ensure that infected machines are quickly moved off of the network.
  • Mike Pickett reported that the State legislature's new budget cuts supercomputing at MCNC/NCSC by around $5 million. It is believed that the MCNC board may help to reduce the impact of the cut by giving supplementary funding from the endowment. Schools and MCNC will have to review the impact of the cut to see if additional action will need to be taken to address the shortfall.
  • Landen Bain reported that a candidate for the CIO position visited here Wednesday, September 19. The Search Committee has reviewed all resumes that were submitted as a result of advertisements. By the end of October, the Committee plans to have 3-5 names to Dr. Trask.

Draft Guidelines for Computer Systems Administrators:

    1. Are SA's given permission to open files? and
    2. Should we require SA's to make decisions?
  • Robert Wolpert reported that the first draft was intended to help systems administrators (SA's) know how to react to requests to access or remove information in user accounts.

    Chris Cramer reported that the steering committee felt that it was difficult to know how to address the different situations with staff, faculty members and students.

    Questions were raised about the extent to which we label data personal or university property?

    Landen Bain stated that he did not get a sense that the Committee specified in the guidelines anything about offensive matters.

    Chris Cramer responded that certain space on the web is personal and some is business. Where do we draw the line?

    Mike Pickett's analogy was "how do we handle a situation where there is an envelope that is marked confidential and is opened by someone who should not have opened it?"

    Rob Carter asked how does a SA know when to step over the line, whether it is corporate or personal?

    Robert Wolpert responded that we have not said that a SA can tell a supervisor that they won't do what they are told.

    Mike Pickett said that SA's execute requests for higher-ups.

    George Oberlander said there are two issues to look at.

    Landen Bain responded that he hoped to empower SA's under pressure to make decisions and to have confidence they have backing.

    Dick Danner said that he is finding analogies difficult to think about. If the Provost wants something removed and goes to a SA, the SA has to do it. The SA should not feel that he could ignore a request from his superior.

    Mike Baptiste asked if a R.A. could open a student's file. Caroline Nisbet responded "no". The steering group agreed to consider the discussion and to bring back a revised draft for consideration.

    There was no further discussion on this topic.

Email topics - virus/spam filtering, mass mailings

Rob Carter reported that several mass mailings were sent to the Duke community from Dr. Trask about the tragedy that happened to our nation on September 11. The mailings used addresses in the Duke phone book and that there may be some users who have not specified an email address. It was important to President Keohane and Dr. Trask that the messages get out fast. After rebuilding the mailing tools, 27,000 messages were delivered in 43 minutes. The messages were sent using a shared office return email address so that Dr. Trask would not receive any responses to him directly. There were approximately 6,000 bounced replies from bad email addresses or vacation messages.

Rob also reported that we are now doing virus filtering through the email gateways. Messages being received are being inspected by the McAfee system. If a virus is attached, a message is sent to the recipient and back to the sender letting them know the message has a virus. A copy of the message is quarantined and a copy can be received if requested.

Brian Eder asked if there is some way to include small mail servers on campus?

Chris Cramer responded no, but we can set up instructions on the web.

Rob reported that we are still implementing standard spam filtering through our gateways. They are releasing support for SIEVE where users can block messages from coming in. Users can identify whom they want or do not want to receive mail from.

Researching IT topics using Gartner services

Jocelyn Bailey reported that the Duke/Gartner Relationship has expanded this year. The focus is higher education and healthcare technologies, programs, and services. Jocelyn demonstrated Duke's Gartner IntraWeb service showing various ways to search for reports. Jocelyn is working with Ginny Cake of OIT to help introduce this service to the Duke community. Jocelyn will assist ITAC members in obtaining Garter information that they cannot find on the Duke Gartner web service.

The Duke-wide intranet access is: www.gartner.oit.duke.edu.

Jocelyn Bailey can be contacted by email at jocelyn.bailey@duke.edu.

Meeting was adjourned at 5:25 p.m.