Duke ITAC - June 27, 2002 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - June 27, 2002 Minutes


June 27, 2002

Attending: Ed Anapol, Landen Bain, Mike Baptiste, Pakis Bessias, John Board, Wayne Miller (for Dick Danner), David Ferriero, Nevin Fouts, Tracy Futhey, Ed Gomes, Patrick Halpin, Alfred Trozzo (for Paul Harrod), Billy Herndon, David Jamieson-Drake, Roger Loyd, Melissa Mills, Kyle Johnson (for Caroline Nisbet), George Oberlander, Lynne O'Brien, Mike Pickett, Rafael Rodriguez, Mike Russell, Molly Tamarkin, Clare Tufts, Fred Westbrook, Robert Wolpert

Guests: Ginny Cake, Paula Loendorf, Tallman Trask

Call to Order: Meeting called to order 4:05 pm

I. Review of Minutes and Announcements:

  • Jim Roberts' responsibilities change
    Jim has been promoted to Executive Vice Provost. He will be taking responsibility for the Student Administration Systems, which include the PeopleSoft system.
    The registrar's office will still be involved in the process, but Jim will take the leadership role. This is a change in how we currently provide PeopleSoft services He will also be in charge of academic space planning
  • Speech recognition trial
    Paula Loendorf who runs the Communications Center is looking for volunteers for their speech recognition trial.
    The communication center answers the main telephone number for Duke, as well as the paging and emergency code calls for the hospital. At times, customers have experienced longer queue times than before, so they are looking at how they can use technology to assist them and have shorter queue times.
    They are going to do a speech recognition trial where you say the name of the person or place you are looking for and it then transfers you to that number They have identified a speech recognition system that they think will work well, but would like feedback and users response to it.
    Right now they are testing on a trial basis and need volunteers to test the system and give reactions to the technology or any other ideas you may have If you are interested, please send e-mail to Paula Loendorf at loendorf@duke.edu
  • ADSL services
    Duke has had contracts with GTE, now Verizon, which started about 4 years ago when there were no other remote access options, such as Time Warner Cable Modem.
    The contract comes to end this summer, and upper management started talking to Verizon. The initial idea is to bring the service to an end and have a virtual private network to get a Duke IP address.
    The contract period is up at the end of August and will then be renewed month by month, until Duke ends the service.
    Right now, we are not adding any new subscribers, no new orders will be accepted for Duke ADSL. The service will not be turned off until all the logistics are worked out.
    Please send any issues/questions, or if you see this as a major concern to: angel.dronsfield@duke.edu
  • It's Melissa Mills Birthday - Congratulations

ITAC report to ECAC & OIT Annual Report

Robert Wolpert

Information Technology Advisory Council (www.oit.duke.edu/itac/) 2001-2002

ITAC supports the academic mission of Duke University and the appropriate use of information technology through the following:

  • Advising the VPIT/CIO on IT issues such as computing, telephony, video,and the web, and on wider policy issues strongly affected by IT such as security, privacy, distance learning, electronic media, and intellectual property
  • Working with faculty members and the VPIT to develop and keep current a strategic plan for IT that embodies a vision for how the university can employ IT to support its academic mission
  • Advising on policies, procedures, and standards for IT at Duke
  • Ensuring the Duke community is kept informed about IT issues and initiatives, and providing a channel to bring the concerns and suggestions of Duke faculty, students, and staff into the university's planning and evaluation processes
  • Reviewing and reporting annually to the VPIT, senior leadership, Academic council, and the Duke community on the status of IT at Duke and progress toward goals and objects

Committee members are chosen for their knowledge and understanding of thefollowing:

  • Contemporary and emerging IT
  • The university's mission for outstanding teaching, research, and health care
  • Current strategic planning priorities
  • The broad spectrum of needs and interests within the university community
  • The need for effective stewardship of scare resources


ITAC membership included representatives of the dean of each college and a balance of faculty members, students, administrators, and staff

Topics considered in 2001-2002 included:

  • Wireless networks: access, roll-out strategy, and security
  • Mass electronic communication (group e-mail) guidelines
  • IT planning process: What's next
  • Security planning and activities
  • SAP updates
  • Remote access updates (RoadRunner, ADSL, modems, etc)
  • Cluster upgrades and Site licenses
  • Recommendations for student and cluster computers
  • Software for students
  • Napster, KaZaa, and other P2P services: strategies for coping
  • Directory services
  • SISS faculty views (teaching and advising) and other SISS issues
  • Continuing migration toward SSH and related security issues
  • Curriculum 2000 updates and Discussion (Dean Robert Thompson)
  • Annual Report - CIT (Lynne O'Brien)
  • CourseInfo upgrade discussion, policy discussion
  • Overview of Tivoli and current status
  • (Re)organization of the Duke Web - discussion (David Jarmul)
  • Questions about emergency of 802.11a, 802.11g wireless - should we rush?
  • Beginning of school year update (Jim Rigney)
  • Updates from IVY+ and Educause quarterly meetings
  • Provost Peter Lange - Questions and Discussion
  • EVP Tallman Trask - Question and Discussion


It would be nice to not to be reactive, to anticipate issues, look over the document and see if there are gaps, and think of emerging issues that will be important for the next year

There will be a conscious refocusing of OIT to academic issues, this will be reflected in ITAC membership in adding more faculty members

Roger Loyd: What is the difference between this and what you put out earlier?
Robert Wolpert: It is nearly the same document, results to ECAC and OIT are fairly similar.

Discussion of goals for next year:

Tracy Futhey- What would people like to see on this list next year?
David Ferriero- Technology planning and new facilities

Tallman Trask - In the past things have been put where they are convenient, they are trying to do a campus utility plan for the decade - so that we can see where everyone is going and make sure it will all work together, it may cost a little more to do it, but it is better to do it right the first time

John Board - What is the provision of services in all the building? Network kit, Wiring kit for Classroom, Lab, etc. We may want to revisit that question, It maybe time for a campus-wide revision for what the kit should be

Mike Baptiste - Technology changes very fast, it would be good to have a chance to review plans and see if they needs changing

Tallman Trask - The recommendation is that this group thought it was import that technology plans be approved by OIT since everyone goes on a different path right now

Mike Baptiste- Yes, there is only an informal process right now

Melissa Mills - Make sufficient provisions for power, not having sufficient air conditioning, having space to put all machines, equip, etc.

Molly Tamarkin - Recommendation that OIT have oversight with new construction is great, they also need to all have oversight over the building renovations as well

Kyle Johnson - Bundle up needs and see if there is a way to bundle machine room needs

John Board - ITAC didn't seem to talk about users this year, Need to talk about quality of support, areas across campus and the support that is available to them and how we can equalize things

David Jamieson Drake - Look at the end user perspective - End users confronted with access problems, like no global passwords, and they are using Lotus Notes, they sometimes have dempo ids, etc. They have to change all their passwords, its getting ugly from an end user perspective

John Board - Would like to see a hit list of support issues that are most important to the users

Roger Loyd - What can we take off the agenda? Extended announcements may be able to get out in other means in order to preserve time to discuss policy, other issues, etc.

Robert Wolpert- Maybe some of the announcements could be put on a website, etc?

Tracy Futhey- Topics felt more like long discussions

Kyle Johnson - Might be helpful to get information out ahead of time?

David Jamieson Drake - Need to talk about things ahead of time and then have a discussion afterwards.

Robert Wolpert - Keep items on table when they are fresh, not packaged

Pat Halpin - Look more strategically where we can intervene with users, Assess impact of new hires, Sharing resources - Time to intervene is at time of hire - if we don't intervene at beginning, it is too late, Need a checklist Deans, etc. can use, go to OIT, what is the impact of this faculty member or issues that might arise?

Robert Wolpert - All of the Deans are ex-offico, but how can we get the Deans and IT representatives together? Should it be at ITAC or through another group?

Pat Halpin - If there was a process, wouldn't it be on case by case basis

David Ferriero - Like to talk more about Goal 6

CITIE report

Michael Pickett

    • 2.7 - Haven't made as much progress as maybe could - David and his team have expertise in this..What does it really mean? Rules are changing on the provider side and the user side, as well as the legal side,
    • Mass storage - learned a lot there...It has been a failure as well as a success... There have been more grants allowed because of mass storage... but still working on making access easy - Bill Rankin and Rachel Brady working with cluster computing
    • 2.20 - Centralized support - Users of supercomputing..People using small amount of computing to those using large amounts, Have heard they felt comfortable with resources at NCSC as long as it is free/low cost, lots interested in cluster computing, at NCSC the data is taken care of, people didn't have to wait in line, data backed up
      Robert Wolpert - The group is self selected, if they are not happy, they leave so the fact that lots that are happy enough with what we have may be misleading, If they are not happy, they do their own thing
    • BlackBoard - 600 courses, could do all courses if wanted to
    • Not pursuing online classes for undergrads
    • We have made a pretty good start but there is still lots to do

    ITAC - CITIE and Academic Technology Subcommittee

    I. Purpose:

    Duke's IT community is comprised of many distinct groups, each with a purpose of furthering the university's educational goals and each with different perspectives and experiences on how that can best be achieved. This distributed and very heterogeneous environment has great advantage in generating innovation all across the campus, for those distributed units. That distributed innovation can also generate huge advantages at the university level if the best opportunities can be identified and appropriately targeted.

    The original CITIE (Computer and Information Technology Intensive Environment) Steering Committee served this purpose during the past year, spurring discussion about appropriate uses of IT to support Duke's Academic Strategic Plan. This subcommittee will replace the CITIE steering committee in identifying, evaluating, proposing and overseeing initiatives that advance Duke's use of IT throughout all aspects of its academic mission and further the goals of the university strategic plan.

    II. Members

    Members will be appointed to a one-year term. The need for continuing the committee will be reviewed at the end of each academic year.

    For effectiveness, the committee will consist of no more than 13 members. It is recommended that membership be representative of the seven schools with both faculty and IT professionals represented. Membership should include representation from other important, related steering committees, including ISIS, CIT, and various college computing steering committees. It is not required that all committee members have high levels of IT experience.

    After the first year, members will rotate off as appropriate to meet the evolving needs of the committee and those of the membership. Members may be reappointed. The chair of the subcommittee will be appointed by the VPIT.

    III. Initial (6 month) Goal and Timeline

    August -

    • Review initial work of CITIE Steering Committee
    • Work with CIT, OIT, and schools to create plan for measuring progress of initiatives
    • Draft university plan for computing facilities and classrooms (hardware, software, support)


    • Identify strategies and initiatives that encourage and support faculty to combine research into the classrooms.
    • Determine factors for reviewing/updating decision on laptop ownership


    • Draft recommendations on student laptops for 2003
    • Identify and publicize best practices for technology-assisted learning in the classroom, outside of the classroom and at a distance.

    First year of CITIE and where to go from here

    Michael Pickett's comment's: Spent most of the year trying to figure out what the CITIE acronym stood for. Handout used at ECAC was handed out. It goes into the plan and where we have made process and where we haven't.

    Goal 6 - 5 year plan

    Trying to figure out what we meant by use of academic technology.. A lot of debate with CITE and deans, etc. as to what are we really talking about, what do we really want to do? What do we want to use technology for?

    3 months ago we discussed values and principles that will drive the initiative We didn't want to waste money, or just throw money at things, didn't want to do things just do things for show...

    Spent time talking to DSG about issues such as laptops and wireless computing Spent time with A&S computing

    There were 3 different CITIE committees

    1. small committee - The CITE Academic Technology Planning Committee:

      Put together straw men ideas to take to CITIE steering committee, used to do legwork, gather input from other schools

      Examples from planning committee:

      • should we require students to have laptops - Instead, the Duke Technology Advantage program came out of it
      • Lynne O'Brien- how we support faculty, faculty fellows program, faculty showcase
      • How to make better use of technology- within OIT, implemented student training program in Academic Technology Services group, so faculty can say they need students to have training on a certain application and it can be made available
      • Identify what incoming students know and don't know - Dean Thompson put together an assessment, found out a lot of students are coming in with a lot of skills
    2. CITIE Steering members appointed by Deans or Provost
    3. CITIE Sponsor

    Comments on Status of Academic Technology

    Activities in the Strategic Plan "Building on Excellence" (pdf) May 1, 2002


    Melissa Mills - graduate students are ordering Beowulf clusters on their own - We don't know what they are doing, they need to be put in touch with Bill Rankin.
    Should there be an approval method to say - look they ordered this cluster - is it approved?

    Robert Wolpert - Have best practices

    Molly Tamarkin - There needs to be a way of increasing support, but that will increase cost, how can support be funded? Maybe through grants?

    David Jamieson Drake - How much of the money goes to IT support?

    Molly Tamarkin - Some would say none

    Melissa Mills - We need education of Deans

    Pat Halpin- Looks like most items are largely in progress, but never complete, we keep adding more issues on, list will continue to get longer and longer over time and never complete

    Tracy Futhey - We might need to formalize how we deal with handoff - do we put on OIT to produce, the subcommittee would plan, not implement

    Robert Wolpert - The proposal is to turn CITIE into an ITAC steering committee. How will members be appointed?

    Tracy Futhey - We would want to get Dean input for that

    Mike Pickett - That is how the CITIE steering committee was made, Deans and Provost made recommendations, then other people were also brought in

    There is a large overlap between CITIE committees and ITAC membership

    Does this look like what we want to proceed with? Should we proposed members and bring back to the next meeting?

    (The sheet of who is/was on the CITIE committees was passed out )

    Robert Wolpert - This needs to be a very high level group looking at where we are going as an institution with academic technology, not a technical group

    Tracy - overlap between CITIE and ITAC is good, but don't want same constituency on every committee, do not want to create a self selecting sample...

    Mike Baptiste - There needs to be a technology planning part of CITIE, how to bring academics and technology together. How will it affect the infrastructure, etc.. Technology people need to be well informed .

    Molly Tamarkin - if it is an ITAC subcommittee - that is way we could keep informed

    Clare Tufts - Where is the teaching faculty in all this? Need to make sure those in trenches with students in classrooms are involved.

    Nevin Fouts - Want teaching support and teaching faculty's input

    John Board - The same comments have been raised about ITAC as well, It is very difficult to get representation

    Mike Pickett - We will come back with list of people - if you have suggestions email them to Tracy or Mike or Robert If you have changes to charter please also let them know

Telecommunications update

    • Technology dimensions - way things were priced, funded,etc
    • Customer behavior dimensions
    • Vendor issues
  • Rafael Rodriguez

    Duke has a class 5 switch, like the ones that run telephone companies, capacity to run a small city or town. Also have 75 other back end switches or PBX's, some which are very old. Large amount of different equipment - large cost involved when working with different systems.

    Recommendation made by an outside consultant to move to an enterprise solution, but they forgot to mention to do that you have to replace all telephone sets.

    From the technology view - What can we do, We talked to the CEO's of vendors to get better pricing

    Wanted to simplify the landscape on backend systems, get down from 75 Plus to 2 standards - 5e and G3

    Needed to optimize at the department level - try to standardize as much as possible. stopped ownership of dept doing own deals - took over ownership, prices, etc and simplified the way costs were allocated and tracked

    Tracking that information and can benchmark against industry standards - where it makes sense to standardize and where it doesn't

    Multi year contract with GTE for long distance services, cell phone services, data services, network, They did an RFP and awarded the contract to Verizon, got reductions to cost on data network, local telephone charges, LD -

    Simplify the landscape - at the time we weren't sure how quickly technology would move, like voice over IP, etc.

    Put together a plan, how do we migrate from 75 to a more rational number?

    Doing same thing with datacommunications side, recognizing there are multiple communities... student, research, health providers, etc.. what makes sense from a business plan, technology plan, etc?

    Working with Tracy to bubble issues to the higher level people who need to be involved

    Once you lock in on plan, get funds in place and implement plan better deals from vendors

    Management letters in place in the Health System, Tallman Trask will be implementing with Deans in departments as well


    John Board - What is 75 down to?

    Landon Bain - One important note is that the number has not grown, we have made additional purchases and had we not been doing this, it would be well about 75 now.

    Robert Wolpert - Does the new upgrade pricing for 5e improve services to get phone lines faster, move faster, etc

    Rafael - Not sure about specifics, but looking at operations, where can we streamline and take necessary items out

    Molly Tamarkin- there seems to be a decrease in revenue on lan line phones

    Robert Wolpert - I think everyone is seeing decrease because of cell phones and phone cards

    Mike Baptiste - Worked for Nortel for 7 years, Nortel's drive has been to kill switches to move to packetized voice.. are we concerned if lucent might do same thing and we won't be able to add new features?

    Rafael - all boxes will be paid off in 3-5 years

    Mike Baptiste - voice over IP, are we preparing for it in closets?

    Rafael - Voice over IP carried on backend, have to be prepared for it, same wiring used for phone or data

    John Board - Is there a summary of consolidated cellular, etc.

    Rafael - Will get it

    John Board - Phone plans seem to be good, but then later are obsolete by market

    Rafael - That is why there are different plans for different constituencies. There are also policy issues to consider about telephony

Other Business


Meeting adjourned 5:30 pm