ITAC Meeting Minutes
April 24, 2014 Minutes

I. Announcements

Introduction of Ian Sanderson, Vice Dean for Research Informatics with the School of Medicine.  He is chairing or sponsoring a group like ITAC within the School of Medicine.  John Board and Mark DeLong are also members of that group.

Today Durham passed the resolution that allows the city to sign the agreement with AT&T to bring gigabit fiber to Durham.  For the 6 NCNGN municipalities, Raleigh and Winston-Salem have already been taken care of, Cary will go this evening.  Chapel Hill and Carrboro are still outstanding.  Expected to have 5 of the 6 communities (not Durham) will have some neighborhoods covered by the end of the calendar year.  Because Durham is a new build, it will happen by mid-2015.  Still waiting to hear about what Google’s plans are for the area.

II. Agenda Items

4:05 – 4:25 – Dr. Trask

What it is: Each year ITAC has a chance to hear from selected senior leaders.

Why it’s relevant:  The OIT function reports through Dr. Trask, and he provides significant guidance for the IT domain. ITAC members should bring questions you might have for Dr. Trask. 

Questions and Comments:

We could be doing a better job as a committee of disseminating the information we get during these meetings with the rest of the Duke community.  OIT used to send out a newsletter that some faculty members read.  Should we utilize The Chronicle for this purpose?

A lot of student communication happens via Facebook.  The cellular update that happened earlier this year was something that could have been distributed more widely across campus, but it really just ended up being via word of mouth.  Maybe selectively invite chronicle reporters to the meetings depending on what topics will be discussed.

The “scariness” of the internet is ever increasing.  How are we are going to deal with it as an institution?  What investments are being made?  Legacy machines across the university are still running Windows XP.  Buying insurance against breaches?  It was investigated and is very expensive.  Current policy insures Duke against fraudulent electronic transfers.  The institution is covered, but individuals are not.

Are we doing any benchmarking with regards to security against other universities?  Yes, we do.  We compare favorably how well we do with the money that we have currently invested.  A lot of universities have experienced breaches so it’s a widespread problem that everyone has to deal with.  Some of what we have that some other universities don’t have is the highest level of governance participating in and supporting security efforts.  Additionally, there is a good network across the schools that are part of the security liason.  It’s not clear that additional staffing substantially reduces the incidents of security breaches.

Is the .edu domain targeted more than others?  Not necessarily, but you don’t want to be the weakest target.

Need to keep pressure on our vendors to keep their products up to security standards.

Is redundant fiber going into the buildings on Research Drive?  No current policy regarding this.

4:25 – 4:45 – Undergraduate presentation, State of IT, ITAC Student Representatives (10 minute presentation, 10 minute discussion)

What it is: ITAC Student Representatives from DSG will present on the state of IT from their perspective.

Why it’s relevant: Feedback from the students allows IT representatives to hear firsthand the challenges that students face on a regular basis. This information can help set goals and priorities for various IT projects.

What has worked well?

  • Happy with software offerings, dedicated page to Adobe alternatives
  • Innovation Co-Lab
    • 3D printing
    • Spanner API (Duke Schedulator)
    • Connecting students together
    • Duke Mobile updates
  • Fix My Campus Facebook page (moderated by a DSG group)
    • Duke Cell update was posted to this page
  • Office 365 transition was fantastic, went really smoothly
    • Staff and students at the desk were really prepared
    • The few complaints that occurred were fixed quickly without too much downtime
    • Fix My Campus was used
    • Students would like Office to be offered (collaborative documents)
  • Wi-Fi is great overall, some scattered complaints
    • Downtime during Hack Duke in Fall
  • Duke Alerts
    • Comfort level with testing of alerts

Areas for improvement:

  • MatLab
    • Up to 1 minute between keystrokes when logging in remotely to Teer machines
    • Identify and improve latency during high usage periods
  • No guest login in Duke computer labs (Duke Splash)
  • Network access limited to 1 hour at a time
    • Problematic for extended events like Hack Duke
  • Security
    • Multifactor is great, but students weren’t well informed about it
    • Heartbleed awareness was great, Devil Print is still down, should have recommended that students change all their passwords (possibly via Duke Alert)
  • Sakai
    • When you click to log out it asks you if you’re sure.  Even if you click that you want to stay logged in, it logs you out anyway.  Either remove that confirmation page or make sure that it does what it says.
  • Duke Cards
    • Chips in all cards
  • E-Print
    • Would like to be able to send STL files 3D printers on campus
  • Energy Monitor website would be good
  • Calendar
    • Would like to be able to easily import other calendars into Office 365
    • Would be more useful if you could tell when people are available
    • Public/Private settings

Outstanding questions from Students:

  • Duke Card vendors and related features (e.g. API for Duke Card statistics)
  • Cell infrastructure
  • ACES hub with functional back button

Questions and Comments:

Is there an OIT contact for Fix My Campus?  Depending on what the issue is, it would get routed to different people in OIT.

Who can contribute to Fix My Campus?  It’s open to anyone that has a Facebook account.  Should Faculty/Staff have a similar outlet?


May be some benefit in posting positive updates to the Fix My Campus page, incentive for more people to use it.


4:45 – 5:30 – End of the semester reception