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Wake Forest University

Committee on Information Technology

Minutes for the CIT Meeting. October 12, 2006

Present: Jonathan Christman, Jay Dominick, Paul Escott, Luis González, Wei-chin Lee, Jo Lowe, Lynn Sutton, Bill Marcum, Delphine Masse, Erik Mitchell, Lee Norris, Cecilia Solano, and Stan Thomas.

Reports

Lee Norris began a discussion on the need for a university security policy and Jay Dominick continued when he arrived.

The 2006 audit by Acudata found that the university does not have enough security practices and procedures, and the existing ones are not sufficiently fleshed out. The university scored 2.5 points out of 4. The absence of a security policy is the norm at institutions of higher education. The report by Acudata made eight recommendations, beginning with a recommendation to develop a coherent and complete security policy. The university has some practices in place, but they do not all follow standard procedures.

Wei-Chin Lee suggested that the university can look at places with the best practices and adapt them. Jay agreed that that was one of the strategies to be followed.

Jay explained some of the issues that a security policy must address. He also said that there would be two groups responsible for this task. One would be an executive committee comprised of the University Vice Presidents and the Provost that would determine what policies need to be created, set the general concepts and then task others to create the policies. A second group would be actually writing the policy. That group would include the chair of the CIT, and one representative from each the business school, Calloway, and the graduate school and others as deemed appropriate to make sure we have the right representation. Jay will probably chair this group. The policy should include at least a description of the policies, where the authority comes from, the scope, a communication plan, appeal procedures, and a FAQ section. As for a time table, the executive committee should start work in January of 2007 and the second group should be done by the end of the spring semester 2007.

Paul Escott asked what action did Jay wanted from the CIT regarding this issue. Jay replied that he would want feedback and the endorsement of the CIT to proceed with this initiative. Stan Thomas moved that the CIT endorsed the need for the creation of this policy. The motion passed unanimously. Cecilia Solano observed that the policy should show coordination between the college and the graduate school.

The second issue discussed was the proposal to move from sendmail and pop servers to Microsoft Exchange. Jay explained that this proposal has been floating around for some time. He added that the software is already part of the license agreement with Microsoft and it is as good as any other packages available in the market. An important advantage is that email will reside in the server instead of being downloaded to the user’s machine when mail is checked. This allows users to check email at different computers and still have all their email available instead of just the email checked in a particular machine. A second advantage is the fact that Outlook provides seamless calendar support for mobiles. A possible drawback is the fact that Microsoft is proprietary and this could limit our options. Paul observed that since we seem to be moving in this direction, we would like to hear from people who have some concerns about this change.

The third issue discussed was the MobileU program. Jay explained that PDAs have been piloted since 2001 in two different initiatives. In the first, the goal was to enhance classroom interaction. Pilot studies have been conducted in some Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, and French classes. The second initiative used PDAs to collect data by a group of students under the direction of Bob Evans. These studies have not produced conclusive results, and this project has had some serious challenges. The idea of packaging PDAs with cell phones seemed promising, but it has not worked as expected. Jay noticed that Cingular has installed equipment and antennas around campus at their expense to improve service. Any student, faculty or stuff member receives a 20% discount on any Cingular service plan through the university, and without the need to sign a contract. None of these incentives has achieved a university-wide level of adoption. Finally, Jay stated that in the next 4 to 5 years, the telephone system will have to be replaced, and the land-line service, which few students use, might not be a reasonable option.

Two more issues were briefly discussed for awareness and for members to think about. First, Jay was asked to confirm that there are plans to make Winston-Salem wireless. He confirmed that such a project is well underway not only for Winston-Salem but for the whole county. The cost will be in the range of 9 to 14 dollars a month per household. One obstacle is permission from Duke Energy to have access to their line poles. Second, Wayne King is co-teaching a course with an officer of the World Bank, thanks to the technology available on campus. Wayne has observed that many professors are not aware of the technological resources at our disposal. Paul asked everyone to think about ways of raising awareness about these resources.

Finally, Jay reported that only nine computers on campus were affected by the recent Lenovo recall on Sony batteries.

Actions taken:

The CIT endorsed the initiative to write and implement a security policy.

The next CIT meeting is scheduled for November 9 at 3pm.

Submitted on October 24, 2006

 


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