Minutes of the April 30, 2008 meeting of the
Committee on Information Technology
Present: Paul Escott, Jonathan Christman, Wei-chin Lee, Luis Gonzales, Anne Bishop, Rick Matthews, Susan Smith, Jeff Muday, Delphine Masse, Jolie Tingen, Jeff Muday
The first agenda item was an updates on previously discussed projects.
Jolie said that she is working on a Blackboard survey for the Babcock and Law schools. She also mentioned that the Law School was having a problem with multiple course sections and Banner. She recruited Jon Christman and Susan Borwick to look at Moodle and is forming plans for faculty to look at Sakai this summer.
Rick said improving campus security policies will take some time. He said that the CIT wrote a strong policy ten years ago on ethical computing use. However, tools to detect attacks have improved. There are new issues regarding the landscape of providers and ownership of data. In the current policy, IS polices the network and the Provost will judge violations. Creating a new policy to cover the broader issues such as monitoring bites per second, a continuum of snooping, etc, will require considerable work from IS this summer. IS will work with and educate the CIT on tools available, options, risks, etc. Rick said that the more things that can be handled in an operational way is best. Paul asked what kind of security issues are going to the Provost; music pirating? Rick said music pirating violations are operational and handled by RIAA. IS e-mails and calls students to notify them to turn in their computer to remove violations. Rick said that IS turns off network access if the student doesn’t show up within a period of time. In addition, a letter is sent to the Dean of the College about the student violation. Rick said there had been seventeen new requests and thirty over the weekend. He said that he thinks that the RIAA has changed their monitoring practices. Paul asked again what will keep the Provost busy regarding security violations. Rick said that considering new tools for monitoring the network and security may keep the Provost busy regarding new security policies. He said that another related security concern is the WFUGuest wireless system. This has been discovered by Winston-Salem. It’s fast, it’s high quality, and it’s free. Paul asked about better web mail. Anne said better web mail is available through the Microsoft Exchange server but it isn't available for the whole campus. Rick said that Exchange is too expensive. Delphine asked if we can go back to not using Exchange and get better web mail. Anne said that we went to Exchange for calendaring. Jeff said we need a hybrid system. Rick agreed with Jeff that the campus needs a hybrid system. He said that there’s not a serious competitor to Exchange for network calendaring. Rick also said that it’s a small population for those who need someone to manage their calendar. He said that Outlook e-mail is highly inferior to Thunderbird. Delphine asked about more space for e-mail attachments. Anne said IS is working on it. Anne said that IS needs server space. Delphine said that many students have full mailboxes because e-mail quotas are so low. Rick again said that IS will be working with the CIT regarding new campus security policies next semester. Wei-chin asked about a review period. Jon mentioned that privacy is also a part of the security policy. The campus security policy will be very different than a corporate policy. Balancing compliance and adverse legal action, with an individual’s right to privacy will be key. Rick said that IS will have legal look at the new policies.
Jeff said there are no Gmail project updates. He said he is hoping the security group will allow him to run a small Gmail pilot. He suggested that we could learn how Gmail could be used for calendaring and perhaps we could bypass Outlook. However, by moving student content off-site, there are retention, ownership, and legality issues. Jeff wants to run a Gmail pilot with graduate students. Jeff observed that Gmail could buy the university time to put another system in place if the final decision is that all e-mail should be housed on campus. He also said that WFU e-mail identification for life is a good thing. Anne said that Advancement dislikes the Gmail idea. Jeff said that students aren’t using their WFU e-mail address. He said that we can have multiple mappings and advertisements can be avoided with Gmail. We can’t afford to fall behind by not looking at Gmail and Google's offerings. Delphine asked if there are problems with people posing to be students because they have an .edu e-mail address. Rick said we should think about student e-mail carefully. Delphine also mentioned that she has concerns in using a .edu e-mail address because a potential employer may think she is a student. Jeff said Northwestern had to think about how they identified students because the address would be used for life. Rick will follow-up on the status of the Gmail project.
The second agenda item was the Annual Report. Luis distributed the report to the committee earlier via e-mail. No one had additions or corrections to the report.
The third agenda item was the election of a new committee chair. Wei-chin nominated Jonathan Christman to be chair next year. Jonathan nominated Hugh. The committee voted. Luis tallied the votes and announced that Jonathan Christman is the new CIT committee chair.
The meeting adjourned at 3:36 pm.