Duke ITAC - November 1, 2007 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - November 1, 2007 Minutes

ITAC minutes
November 1, 2007


Start: 4:05

Attendees: Parkis Bessias, John Board, Bill Cannon, Tammy Closs, Gene Galin, Ken Hirsh for Dick Danner, Nevin Fouts, Tracy Futhey, Michael Goodman, Billy Herndon, Rick Hoyle, Edward Gomes for Deborah Jakubs, Bob Newlin for David Jamieson-Drake, Pranay Jinna, Alvin Lebeck, Roger Loyd, Robert Nau, Tim Bounds for Caroline Nisbet, Terrance Oas, George Oberlander, Lynne O’Brien, Mark Phillips,Rafael Rodriquez, Molly Tamarkin, Trey Turner, Justin Wickett

Guests: Julia Trimmer, Steve Toback of OIT, Blyth Morrell of OIT, Steve Williams of OIT, Mohammed Jamal – graduate student, Rob Carter of OIT, Jackie Gottlieb of the School of Nursing, Klara Jelinkova of OIT, Kevin Miller of OIT, Bob Price of OIT

Minutes and Announcements

John Board introduced Steve Williams to the group.

John Board talked about the amount of spam Duke was stopping before it hit Duke email users.
There were 1.4 million spam messages per day last year. There were one million spam messages per hour this year as of last month.

Tracy said that the amount of spam getting through could it be worse.

Klara Jelinkova pointed out that there were 13 million spam messages per day in September.

Her group is working on repelling more and more spam messages while the volume of spam keeps going up. There is a huge amount of audio spam that is starting to hit the web.  Klara’s is group is continuously fine-tuning the spam filters.  Klara’s group is the first line of defense for most other groups within Duke.

Terry Oas asked why Google did a better job.

Klara said that Google and Yahoo use higher filter thresholds.

Terry asked if the increase in spam is due in part to the visibility of your Duke.edu address.

John Board asked if in the future Duke OIT should ratchet up the filter settings.

Klara noted that this could be done if a greater amount of spam sneaked through.

New graduate student members of ITAC were introduced.

Faculty Database Update
Presented by Billy Herndon and Julia Trimmer


Billy Herndon’s group has started consolidation of three databases at FDS, FMS, FPS etc.

Julia Trimmer has been doing a lot of work with community stakeholders to assess their needs.

Julia said the group will be ready to formally introduce the project in January. They are working within the framework of the institutional IT strategic plan. Julia is manager of faculty data systems. This is a provost-approved position.  The project goal is to consolidate all the databases.  The project will build on the best aspects of existing system and fill in the gaps. There are three advisory groups. Advisory groups meet as often as once every week.  

There is a management team that handles appointments and promotions.

There are two kinds of faculty data – 1) Appointments and appointment data; 2) Professional interests

There are also two faculty profile systems.

The fifth data system is FSP, which contains employment data.

There are of course problems with five data systems. This includes duplication of effort. There are consolidation nightmares because not all the databases match completely. There is also a problem with integrating customized database applications with PeopleSoft, etc.

Strategy for addressing the problem of consolidating all the databases -
1) Set up one reporting repository
2) Maintain appointments to FPS
3) Professional development reporting

FMS is used for campus appointments, FDS is used for campus activities and FReD is used for SOM activities.

Duke will keep all the systems in place.  These will be used for feeding other systems.  The major goal is to integrate into one system.

John Board asked how Billy’s group is maintaining the database during this process.

Julia said that the update is being done manually.

In phase 2, after adding faculty records (APT) to SAP, Billy’s group will develop functionality to manage faculty records in SAP. FMS and FPS will be retired.

Terry Oas asked if research data will be maintained.

Tracy said there are two different sets of records that are maintained. Some records are maintained by the institution. Another set of data maintained individually.

The third phase will develop a method to feed all data into one data repository.

John Board asked if faculty data will be morphed into the new system.

Billy Herndon said the conversion would include the most functionality

Terry pointed out that as an early adopter of FReD (Faculty Research Database) he experienced it’s inability to handle meta-text.

Julia said that they have added this ability.

Terry asked if Billy’s group has itemized how this data is used.  There is a need to reuse so much data for multiple research proposals.  It is a massive waste of time.  He recommended that Billy’s group contact key people to get feedback on the kind of information they really need. It is surprising how much information and research agencies need.

John Board said that many thought this was a way to populate faculty web pages.

Julia said one goal is to be able to deliver data in many ways including Web services.

Billy said that in one of early discussions with end users expressed a serious need for data availability in various formats.

John Board said this should not be a big problem since most of it is “public” data.

Billy added that he hoped to store the public data in one depository with many different flavors of output.

Terry said that data needs are not being met on the School of Medicine side.

Billy Burton said they were presenting results to Dr. Trask and Tracy in the next two to three weeks.

Email autoForwarding
Presented by Rafael Rodriquez and Mark Phillips


Rafael explained the context in which email autoforwarding was brought up.  It is important to ensure that Duke is a good steward of information and safeguards information while providing access to the appropriate people.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) went into effect in 2003. Duke is more concerned about protecting patient information.

Technology has changed the environment.  For example, there are over 1,100 blackberries.  Multiple blackberries are lost every month.  Duke wishes to delete private information on missing blackberries.

Since HIPPA came into place it is important to protect data and sensitive  information, which has to be encrypted.  Duke has put the emphasis on individual responsibility.  Duke provided training to individuals about handling sensitive information.

Duke implemented Tumbleweed software that protects “sensitive” information.  Sensitive information is not sent via email. Instead, a URL is provided in your email that you can go to retrieve sensitive information from.

Many people were auto forwarding.  Duke had security concerns.  The policy is to not permit “all auto forwarding” outside of Duke medicine e-mail accounts.  A notice went out stating that Duke’s policy is that  you cannot auto forward sensitive information.

There is no way to technologically encrypt a text message over paging systems.  You can only provide minimal information.  You can only use last four digits of a patient's social security identification number.  

Mark Phillips mentioned that the biggest concern is sending data from a known environment to an unknown environment.  Auto forwarding eliminates decision-making.  You cannot forward e-mails on an individual basis.

Terry asked about old e-mail accounts.

Rafael responded that internal e-mail is encrypted.  In Duke’s Lotus Notes system most are Duke Medicine users., with some university users.  University users do not have to conform to the auto forwarding policy.

Terry asked about Duke affiliated users.

Klara said that in identity management system to track its affiliation that could be implemented.

Terry noted that most Duke affiliated e-mail users are campus users.

Rafael stated that IT is not a policy maker.

Terry asked if Duke Email users could be divided between those who deal with confidential information and those who do not.

Rafael stated that this issue is beyond just HIPPA information, it is about confidential data.

John Board mentioned that Duke University is also looking at auto forwarding policy concerning confidential data.

Tracy said that since there is no policy in place we can assume people are auto forwarding their e-mail messages.

Klara noted that searching is an issue for people using webmail versus mail clients.

Update from the Blackwell Interactive web group
Presented by Blyth Morrell and Stephen Toback


Due to test technical difficulties, John Board suggested that Stephen and Blyth introduced themselves.  Stephen is the senior management of Blackwell Interactive.  Blyth Morrell is manager.

Blyth has been working for the School of Arts & Sciences' Web Solutions Team (WeST) for seven to eight years.  Stephen Toback was technology director for DisneyToon Studios in Burbank, California.

The total number of staff is at 5.5 people.  There are currently three open positions.  It is difficult to find good people.  Blackwell Interactive has launched 12 websites and has booked 5000 hours of work.  Blackwell interactive has been low key about announcing their group.  The group will be releasing their budgeting information in January.

John Board asked about using prescreened outside contractors.

Blyth says retaining ownership when working with vendors works well.  There are problems when individuals deal with outside vendors on their own.  This includes outside sourcing.

John Board asked what Blackwell Interactive’s queue is like.

Blyth mentioned that they are under strict orders to meet customer needs within established timelines.  They are using outside sources to meet deadlines when necessary.

Blyth mentioned that there is an element of user education involved.  They need to make customers aware of what is involved in designing a good website.

Stephen mentioned that the group does throw small projects to outside vendors to get an idea of what scope of work they can handle and who is good to work with.  

John Board asked if the presentation will include budget numbers

Stephen said that they would provide an hourly rate.

Molly Tamarkin mentioned that she got a message to hire Web developer at a quarter time rate.  She mentioned that this project might actually be a good thing for Blackwell to do versus hiring a part-time web developer.  

Tracy mentioned that some departments may have a site and just need someone to maintain it for them.  

Molly added that there are unexpected costs and these costs include maintenance fees.  Some of the maintenance of these sites may need a lower tier of support.  

Stephen mentioned that they have booked 1100 hrs of maintenance.

Terry mentioned that they have spent large dollars on external developers who do not do a good job and cost bigger dollars to clean up.  How do people know that Blackwell Interactive exists?

Stephen said that they are keeping it low key until they are ready to take off early January.

Terry asked Rafael if the School of Medicine is planning to use Blackwell interactive.

Rafael mentioned that the Dean's view is that web development money comes out of individual departments.  Sith has asked the Dean to fund a web development position.  The position was approved, but withdrawn.

Terry asked if it is realistic for only one person to be able to meet the web development needs of the school of medicine.

Rafael mentioned that it is a way to start.  If you really want that common look and feel, you need to be centrally run. The content of the website has to be part of a family without each site having a cookie cutter appearance.

Terry went on to say that there is no economies of scale using individual web developers.  Blackwell could actually do these services and provide an economy of scale.

Rafael noted that he is not set up for a job shop environment.

John Board mentioned that right now every school does something different.  John Board asked Nevin from The Fuqua Business School what they are doing.

John Board mentioned that right now every school does something different. John Board asked Nevin from what they are doing at Fuqua.  Nevin stated that web design support comes from a central web group within the marketing and communications department.  This group is part of the overall technology function at Fuqua.

Rafael asked how this group is funded. Nevin remarked that the Dean funds the central web group.

Terry asked if this is a reasonable solution.  Nevin mentioned that this solution works for the business school."

Nevin informed John that there is a group inside marketing in the technology department at the school of business.

Rafael said that we could be confident that Blackwell interactive can do a good job.

Billy mentioned that Blackwell interactive took on some arts and science work.

Tracy recommended possibly hiring for the average workload and going outside for peak demand periods.

John Board asked what the Law School was doing.

Ken Hirsh said that they did a major redesign of the law school website and use Blackwell Interactive to do the work.

Molly mentioned that Arts and Science were funding many of the projects through a central area.

Blyth mentioned that Blackwell Interactive has designers to work closely with Duke customers to provide a Duke version of websites.

John Board mentioned that he heard that of a couple of things that you are involved with in your office

Dr. Lange

John Board started off the conversation with Dr. Lange about the personal use of Duke resources.  John mentioned that there were some discussions about this matter at the last ITAC meeting.  The preliminary discussion at the last meeting was about what is and is not acceptable use.  For example, no commercial use of Duke resources is a definite no.  

Dr. Peter Lange added that if Duke observed someone abusing the personal use of Duke resources Duke was going to stop you.

Dr. Lang thought it would be a waste of time to write a policy that will not be monitored, policed and enforced.  Maybe you cannot start a company to sell stuff.  Faculty are always starting companies to sell consulting services.  Students certainly do start companies to sell stuff.

John Board noted that with election campaigns coming up are there any specific things that we need to concern ourselves about.

Peter Lange said that each faculty member has been told what they can and cannot do if they are running for office.  

Duke personnel is allowed to create website for a nonprofit.  However hosting it on a Duke webspace is not an acceptable practice.

Dr. Lange mentioned that this was not a big concern because Duke has not seen the high level of abuse of the privilege.

Terry asked is a web site can reside on duke.edu servers and not have a Duke at EDU website address.

The answer was yes.

Tracy mentioned that there is a process in place to monitor this kind of thing. Using a URL listed as duke.edu/~charity is a concern.

Peter Lange went on to say that there is a police versus fire alarm approach to misuse of Duke resources.
Duke takes the fire alarm approach on regulation.  

Terry asked if Duke needs to have regulation behind a fire alarm.

Dr. Lange said you can't do departmental endorsements and funding of political ventures.  

Terry asked if possibly Duke can detect the problem before it became a big problem we should consider it.

Kevin Millar mentioned that Duke OIT can identify the top users by bandwidth usage.

John Board proposed that the ITAC group would probably want to get into specific details at a later meeting.

Peter Lange noted that he was curious about something.  He is on a board.  One member is from UNC and wants to attend UNC meetings via videoconferencing.  This UNC board member says he could save about $260,000 a year by doing so.  Does Duke have a real good strategy about how to use these technological resources?

Tracy asked Stephen Tobeck to discuss the videoconferencing services that Blackwell Interactive offers.

Molly mentioned that the software that Blackwell Interactive’s Digital Media Services uses is ahead of what most departments use. There is also a high $7,000 hardware cost.

Stephen said that if this is important to Duke and this is something that Duke should fund.

Tracy stated that it doing increasing videoconferencing use depends on having enough videoconferencing points within and outside the Duke system to make it cost effective.

Undergrad student Justin Wickett mentioned that he is working with DSG to livestream content and make it available with via low-cost options.

Terry Oas mention that he uses Illuminate equipment to do videoconferencing.

Stephen noted that Blackwell Interactive was looking at different levels of videoconferencing services.

Meeting adjourned 5:30 p.m.