Duke ITAC - November 10, 2005 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - November 10, 2005 Minutes


November 10, 2005

Members present :


Start time : 4:06 p.m.


I. Review of Minutes and Announcements:

  • Microsoft Select License

    Tracy Futhey - Jim Rigney reports some process on ongoing discussions w/Microsoft to allow us to sell student select licenses to faculty and staff. We now have the addendum in hand that allows us to do that, we can do individual sales to faculty and staff. I would invite Jim Rigney into the room for a licensing conversation to answer hard questions.

    John Board – An announcement from Pratt IT...early this week, Mike Baptiste left Pratt. The school will be doing something somewhat similar to Arts & Sciences, wherein the next person will have a joint reporting relationship with OIT and Pratt, details to be worked-out later.

  • Job Search Updates

    Mike Pickett – Regarding the position for Associate Dean for Arts & Sciences Information Systems and Technology. We have three finalists; scheduled for interviews next week and early following week.

    Robert Wolpert – Does that include tech people from schools and departments?

    Mike – Yes, staff plus individual department people.

    John – Do we have quick timing on the hire?

    Mike – If one is deemed worthy, we will progress quickly, we’ve found an office spot for them.

    John – Any other searches?

    Mike – Nothing to report.


II. Faculty survey results - David Jamieson-Drake

John Board – There was an extensive survey done of faculty satisfaction, a few of questions were about IT. David has been authorized to release results of a portion of the survey, other groups will be disseminating other aspects of the survey.

David Jamieson-Drake – We administered the survey last spring. A similar one has been administered at Stanford, and is being considered at other schools. We have been working with other schools to see about making the survey usable by other institutions. We received a response rate of over 50% - 55% response rate overall, 52% Medical Center, 60% campus. (Presentation followed.)

Molly Tamarkin – when was the survey given?

David – April of this year, March and April.

John Board – It seems Pratt faculty are happier at home than at work.

David - Younger faculty seem to have higher expectations of IT than older faculty; that might be so, but scanning all the answers, junior faculty would report more positive feelings in general. We Did all the schools, but I’m only showing Pratt today; in every case, we tried to drill into information to see what’s going on. What’s not here is the Medical Center. It turns out when you look at school by school comparisons, in addition to Pratt, the other division that showed up was basic sciences in the Medical Center, they were significantly less happy, non tenured faculty in basic sciences are more happy.

Robert Wolpert – Research faculty are not on this track.

David – Right, most of the research associates are in clinical division.

John – What’s the state of this data?

David – There’s a faculty group chaired by Nancy Allen, eight faculty reviewing this, will get rest to them by next week. Nancy is giving the report to Faculty Council in December, focus on diversity issues.

Tracy Futhey - No longitudinal data available first time?

David – The first time we did this, years ago did an IT survey, the data was presented here in ITAC, wording is close enough this time.

John – Will we be comparing this with peers?

David - Yes, we will be able to contextualize ourselves w/competitors.

Robert - People with more money are more happy; for Deans to make decisions, it would be helpful to know how spending is done.

David - Ivy+ would be the group to approach.

Tracy - Stanford and MIT compared all their services and costs in an informative way over past couple of years. At the last CSG meeting there was a demo; made it clear of haves and have-nots; don’t know how easy it would be to repeat presentation or info. I’ve asked Angel Dronsfield to look into it; would be happy to invite Stanford or MIT person to attend.

David - We see this as a long-term effort; being asked to do it again by other peer institutions. We want to get a set of like schools on a regular basis to continue to do it. We worked w/Academic Council to do survey, will work with them again.

Tracy – It might be interesting to correlate data of support people in those schools, may be pretty obvious correlation of people in each group.

Molly – The more interesting is ratio of IT staff to user.

Mike Pickett – Will send data to David.

III. Introduction to Julian Lombardi, AVP of Academic Services and Technology Support: Early observations about Duke and service trends - Julian Lombardi

John Board – It’s time for the ritual hazing of the new guy. We are thrilled to welcome Julian Lombardi to Durham, he has been in North Carolina before after a foray in Wisconsin. We looked a long time to find the right person, we ask new hires to come in and get early observations, early things to try to accomplish.

Julian Lombardi – I have been here three days, part of one day being taken up w/orientation. I haven’t had a lot of time to walk around, spending next couple of weeks and months listening, walking, meeting people. I am extremely buoyed by the excitement from everyone about the possibilities of technology’s impact on academic enterprise. People have grabbed me, pulled me into offices. Right now they want to engage in possibilities; educational technology is the most visible aspect right now, I’ve met with Lynne O’Brien, had some initial observations to support teaching and learning on campus. Also I’ve been hearing about research computing or support for research activities, that distinction is there because research does involve much more than what has been supported by IT organization. Also communication collaboration technologies aside from hardware, where the central IT organization can play a constructive role for bringing the larger community together. My goal initially is to just listen; to do anything other than that would be foolish. I look forward to building relationships with everyone.

Robert Wolpert - Where are you?

Julian - Second floor of the ATC; I am at julian@duke.edu.

[Unknown speaker] - Coming from your previous job at Wisconsin, was there something good you did there that Duke should know about?

Julian – IT services at Wisconsin about 7-8 years ago went through major restructuring, major IT organization was born, brought together from all these pieces on campus priding itself on lack of central authority. That idea of a campus that’s a federated association of many different IT organizations was what Wisconsin had experience with. Tremendous progress was made involving the broader community, not an idea of imposing centralized solutions for sake of imposing them. We looked at types of needs, found the right balance for economy of scale, have respect for needs for services that can’t be met by central support, knowing that building wider communities is where ideas and opportunities are discussed in wider form, then they come to point where implementation is intact. People aren’t surprised, know what’s going on at early stages; sometimes great successes at Wisconsin.

John – That is very much in the spirit of how Duke does business.

Julian - Another aspect is institutional support for innovation, recognizing that IT is not set in stone, look at lifespan of 3-4 years. The idea of knowing what’s going to happen in the future is absurd; how do you manage changing environment effectively and efficiently, knowing all the while you won’t know where you’ll end up, that’s key.

IV. Strategic planning for technology at Duke - Tracy Futhey

Tracy Futhey – We had John Simon here a couple of months ago talking about strategic IT planning. The university plans develop from each individual school, that’s getting completed right about now. In addition, a series of university-level working groups are being established on what is seen as multi-unit priorities, levels of evaluation. Many touch on the technology world; instructional technology, high-end computing, there’s another on technology in the arts and humanities. All of those have potential impact, ITAC will have an opportunity to weigh-in as they progress. Others have IT elements, but aren’t focused specifically on IT; those are all scheduled for completion in the March time frame. In addition, the Provost charged me with a strategic plan for technology at Duke, not OIT; this is a critical distinction. In order to achieve that and not have it be an OIT plan, we have asked many to participate, weigh in on infrastructure support plan. We have established eight small working groups; distinction between which are small and which are large, are these things OIT will be a primary deliverer or these things that are institutional.

The eight working groups include: academic & research support; communications infrastructure; enterprise systems; IT security; business continuity and disaster recovery; IT facilities; departmental support; and web activities. Working groups with specific understood scopes and missions and where OIT is the primary service provider are relatively small and include groups like communications infrastructure and enterprise systems. Others such as web activities, departmental support, and academic & research support are larger groups with a much greater level of participation from outside of OIT. These eight groups are launched and within a month will be coming back with drafts on issues and in February coming back with their final recommendations. Between mid-February and mid-March we will be synthesizing the results into our IT submission to the Duke strategic planning process.

I've asked Marilyn Lombardi to coordinate these Duke-wide IT strategic planning efforts and to sit in on the meetings of all groups. Marilyn joins us most recently from University of Wisconsin- Madison, where she was a senior strategist responsible for planning and special projects. Before that she was on the faculty at UNC- Greensboro.

Robert Wolpert (to Marilyn Lombardi) - Any initial impressions of Duke University?

Marilyn Lombardi – I can see interdependencies being thought-through at high level at meetings, lots of planning going on.

John Board - One of the big challenges for the technology plan is it will have to resonate with plans of various schools.

Marilyn – I hope to be ex-officio on some of the other university groups.

V. Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and the potential impact on Duke - Chris Cramer

John Board – The FBI wants to watch our internet connections; what do we know as of November ‘05?

Chris Cramer – The interesting thing about CALEA, we don’t know a lot right now, which is also one of the most frightening things. It’s a ten-year-old law, primarily intended for L.E. to have better access for wiretapping; the FCC and D.O.J. decided they needed to expand CALEA to cover VoIP; the whole data network thing, maybe do that as well. The law has not changed, just regulations surrounding the law.

John - When did this hit universities?

Chris – September.

Tracy Futhey – on September 23. Something happened in August, but it didn’t hit the Federal Register until September 23.

Chris – It’s good to note that a lot of us looking at law that is CALEA, the law almost specifically exempts universities.

Tracy - This has been under discussion since 2004; Educause, which lobbies on our behalf, has been out there working, trying to get an agreement from the government to continue the exemption.

Chris – It’s been said it could cost higher education $7 billion to comply w/CALEA, this could be true. What exactly is required of us is not known; if it’s currently within our technical abilities, it’ll be a low cost. But the great fear being circulated is whether campuses will have to replace their entire network infrastructure, possibly something not available yet. The exact amounts not known yet; there are a handful of questions that would determine if we’d have to replace our entire network. If we decided an individual needed to be followed around campus while he roams, it’s not clear if we’d have to pass that data to officials off campus in real time. It’s not clear whether we’d have to monitor communication between individuals on the same switch; one of the things that is in there, if the university provides a central encryption facility, we would have to clear up data before passing it along. The original law grandfathered in old equipment, but we have no information about what it will mean for networking equipment; original exemption was in law, not regulations, regulations was not in regulations. Duke and other universities will need to have a 24/7 contact point for receiving wiretapping requests; to say Duke would have to be able to respond to wiretapping request would have to be answered in real time. This is a rather large mandate for something we as a university are already pretty good at.

Tracy - There is a period for comments to the FCC; presumably that they might have an understanding of how this applies to universities. Cornell has submitted comments around civil liberties and potential negative impact on research; Duke will probably submit some comments in advance of this signed by President Brodhead; I will see a copy before it’s signed.

Ken Hirsh - Is litigation being considered as a group?

Tracy – The American Council for Education has set themselves up for that on behalf of higher ed, and there are a couple of other groups which may be lining-up. I should note that with my NLR hat on, we are preparing to do a filing and ask for exemption for these reasons.

[Unknown Speaker] – With regard to the Medical Center, are we going to have this affect HIPAA law?

Chris - My suspicion is that CALEA is to have infrastructure in place to support wiretaps; it’s understood how HIPAA, FIRPA and wiretapping orders intersect.

Tracy – This is coming out as an administrative ruling coming out of the FCC instead of Congress; since this is such a big shift as an administrative act, there is significant pressure mounting to have Congressional hearings and the associated legislative oversight over the proposed change.

George McClendon – We’re beginning to understanding wiretapping in shared medium; when they quote wiretap data, they’re only going to look at specific packets and not others?

Chris - The way order would have been served before now, would have involved FCC, etc. bringing in own equipment and looking at specific packets and dropping everything else. Is it ports, Mac addresses, transmissions, etc.

VI. Duke email alias: proposed revisions in process & policy - Chris Cramer

John Board – We have had an e-mail alias system for several years with some growing pains, have had some ad-hoc groups, we’re going to hear now where does it stand.

Chris Cramer - This is specific to e-mail alias system. What we have now is about 10 years old, implemented in Duke unique ID system, old enough that only way to authenticate yourself to it is through SSN, date of birth and full name. The system needs to be moved from unique ID, looking at migrating into ID management system as a whole. The old Duke unique ID-based system has a lot of manual effort involved. If you want to delete your alias, it has to be queued up and someone needs to decide to allow it; has to be manually approved; we need something more automated. Right now, alias system has potential to fail if someone tries to create an alias; Mike Smith, when come across a new one, tries diff things; if it can’t find a good substitute, will fail. What we’re trying to do is not let it fail and let someone come back and change it. Another issue is manual intervention for deleting alias; somewhere along the line came the requirement that a student has an alias; if a student tries to delete an alias, the Help Desk e-mails them and says you can’t do that. They can change one, but not delete one. A major concern is one with the manual process. If you want to change your alias, someone has to review the request. If you are trying to change it to something which does not resemble your name, the request is blocked. We are looking at getting rid of the “make your alias look like your name” requirement. One issue is impersonation, the other is the issue of trying to hide identity. The current thinking is that hiding identity is not a significant issue; e-mail is not authenticated as it is.

John – The system can process something, but can produce a report so someone could see something of concern; what is rate of operations?

Chris - Probably on the order of one a day, not a massive volume of requests; handful a day; we have cases of impersonation already. A student created a facebook entry for Brodhead, for example.

John - IT people shouldn’t be people making determination; right now, implicit request alias resembles the name, is it an issue of obscene strings.

Chris - We have the obscenity issue with websites. People can put obscene material online and as long as it is not illegal, we don't remove it. We also don't put manual or automated processes in place to check the validity of a website before it is published.

Robert Wolpert - The only issue is receiving an e-mail if it’s intended for someone else.

John – As the community of people with Duke e-mail addresses has exploded, fewer and fewer with common names run out of options, it will get worse unless some are retired or recycled; if you can’t get a sensible permutation of your name, should we open it up?

Chris - If they’re going to change their alias, will it be a reasonable permutation? What do you really want to be known as; aliases are recycled six months after people leave.

Tracy Futhey - Absent some particular action/comment here today, you’re moving ahead?

Chris – I would like to move ahead.

End time : 5:30 p.m.