University Information Technology Committee

Minutes

February 7, 2003

 

 

 

Present:           Jan Fox, Gary Anderson, David Johnson, Matt Christian, Tom Hankins, Mike McCarthy, Frances Hensley, Donna Spindel, Arnold Miller, Monica Brooks

 

Jan:                 I have discovered that first Friday meetings are a problem for Sarah and Layton in that the meetings conflict with another meeting on their calendar.  I will look at your schedules for another Friday.  If Friday's are bad for everyone I'll look at other days and if you have preferences, please let me know.  There will be a change because we need Sarah and Layton here.

 

Review of Minutes – Approved as amended.

 

Updates:         Since we met last, we had a major failure of the SAN.  This is our main storage device.  It is an efficient way of holding mass amounts of data.   A part failed that impacted our main and redundant system. The system is on maintenance contracts, but was purchased 18 months ago and the part was no longer made.  Because of that, Dell flew in their top engineers and more than $80,000 of equipment just for the temporary fix.  They had to take all of those servers and put backups on every single one.  We had replaced WebCT server over Christmas and it started having problems too.  The Dell representatives provided a brand new SAN, one that we could not have afforded originally.  It was the worse equipment failure I've ever experienced.  They also changed out our WebCT server with a brand new machine.  Per Arnold:  The lost e-mail from January 13 is more than likely permanently lost.  We have tried numerous hours of recovery, but can't seem to recover it.  Dell has given us new warranty on new server recently installed.  The call home feature of the new SAN, notifies MU technical staff if a problem is detected.  This is the second issue we’ve had with a company having something under contract.  The other issue was at RCBI we had the microwave under contract. It failed and Avaya could not provide a backup.   From a legal perspective, I would like to include Layton on how we deal with this type of problem.  Dell went way beyond what any vendor has ever done for us.  The new machine costs $200,000 more than original SAN.   The engineers were here for two weeks working on problem. 

 

Regarding state issues, I am the higher education rep on the State ITC committee.  One of the things they have been dealing with is from WVNET.  There is a RFI for a new internet bid to try to get one additional internet band width to get the price down and get additional quality of service.  There are huge issues with the telecom contracts, data contracts, voice contracts and a whole series of other contracts that end either now or in 2005.  This means all of our ATM costs, our 800 service costs which end this June and are really high at about 10 cents a minute and they are looking for better prices.  They are also looking to try to bid out the entire network.  There’s a real uncertainty on how the network will be managed.  We may see increased prices of 10-20 percent in telecom costs in the next year or so.  We have brought our telecom down to bare minimum.  We did review of the entire telecom and turned off every circuit that wasn’t needed; converted every converged every circuit that we could onto the ATM network and saved enormous amounts.  We have been operating off of the grants for ATM, we were saving this institution about $200,000 a year for the last 3 years.  The grants are now gone, and we are going to start seeing the costs. 

 

Another thing I need to update you on are the new HIPPA guidelines.  Since our last meeting Mike, had an email policy issue and I brought it up at the State ITC meeting.  They had this guy named Chuck Mason call who has been hired by the state to deal with any HIPPA policy issues.  He was here yesterday.  He is willing to share templates, policies and anything he has that will assist us and the Med. School concerning HIPPA compliance.  The Med. School is up for accreditation and we need to make sure all policies and procedures and training for the Med School are compliant with HIPPA.  We have set up a HIPPA listserve and Chuck Mason will be forwarding stuff to us via that listserve.  There are a number people on campus that should be aware of HIPPA guidelines.

 

The Vista contract has been sent to Attorney General's office, but we haven’t received word of whether or not it has been signed.  If it would be signed today, we have meetings set up with Fairmont and WVU for next week to start discussing timelines.  We would then start meeting with the Executive Committee on this campus and then the sub-groups.  

 

David:              WebCT is back up and running the way it's supposed to.  We are going to make every effort to give as much notice as possible of any future take downs for maintenance. 

 

The video network is going well.  Monday nights have been our only problem. 

 

I am meeting with the Accord folks today.  QOS is running everywhere except on the Accord. 

 

We are running at the bottom of the manpower level to support what we have going on.  Our focus is that we are going to have to look at some of the rooms that need repair.  Unfortunately, due to cutbacks, things are not going to be put back together the way they are now because we can’t maintain the complex systems that are in some of these rooms.  We are going to have to change some of our configurations to simplify what instructors are used to having.  We may have to change make- up of some of the rooms. 

 

Arnold:             There is a tremendous back log of comp time from the Systems Group that we are going to try to work off as soon as possible with as little interference to operations as possible. 

 

We have two of the Crossroads Grant sites up and running at Logan and Mullins.  A third site will be probably be ready next week at the Gassaway Baptist Church.    We wanted to get something in Flatwoods, but couldn't find a site.  We are still looking in Teays Valley, but haven’t found a location yet.   

We have funding to keep the sites going until July of 2004 with federal funding; after that we have to decide if we want to maintain those sites or move them somewhere else.

 

The Disaster Recovery Plan will be a big push in the Spring to be ready to go in the June time frame.  Everyone has heard me talk about this several times.  There needs to be something backing up what we put on paper.  Allen is coordinating the Disaster Recovery Plan for all of IT.  I am working on the Computing Services portion.

 

There is a running controversy regarding the e-mail policy on campus.  We restrict the size of emails to 5 mg to stabilize the mail system.  size of attachments coming and going to stabilize mail system.  If we open the email up to larger attachment size, it can cause delays in the system.  It can also open us up for the Nile service type of attacks that could shut us down completely. 

 

Jan:                  I have researched major research universities and found that all of those I researched had limits of 5-10 megabites on their faculty.  It is the policy of those universities to publish materials on a personal web site and emailing the URL to the publisher.  We have never heard of a publisher having a problem with acceptance of materials, but apparently someone on our faculty is having difficulty sending something to a publisher. 

 

Matt:                The original issue was where the publisher was sending the material back in pdf format for changes.

 

Jan:                  The state is in negotiation to purchase Acrobat from WVNET contract.  We have been allowed to use thesis and dissertation portion.  The contract is also stuck in the Attorney General’s office, but Adobe will not sign the WV96. 

 

Gary:                We have received a bunch of e-course applications and are trying to get the courses ready for summer.  Dolores Johnson has offered to teach Eng 101.   MTH 123 and 130 are ready to go and are being offered this semester.

 

Monica:            The Library has resurrected the idea to work on an online certificate program for public libraries in conjunction with the Community College and the Library Commission.  TTC has been working on market analysis and doing background stuff with curriculum development.  The Library Commission reinstituted their Institute.  Years ago they used to have it here; they’ve been having it at Jackson’s Mill and now they are having it at the Mining Academy and I am teaching for them.  If this flies, we may be successful in a couple of years of being the first to have a certificate program for non-MLS people working in public libraries.  Other states have done this as a way to insure that public library personnel have the skills they need to run their library.  This is not an affront on the MLS because many of these individuals only work in small library in rural areas, but they still need to know how to operate a library. 

 

Donna:             We have finished the reorganizing of the Online Development Committee.  Gary’s committee is extremely busy now because we have had many courses submitted for review. 

 

 

Jan:                  There is a question as we look at the numbers for all forms of Distributed Education.  Last year, the number was over 6,000 students participating in at least one form of Distributed Ed.  The number is growing.  The concern is, in Summer School that is a heavy T-course delivery and any cutback in summer school will affect T-courses, however e-course enrollment may go up. 

 

TELECOM POLICY:

Arnold:             There have been no changes made since the last time this was reviewed.  The substance has not changed.  Basically this is a summary of all Policies and Procedures related to Networks and Telecom combined.  We need to do something about getting those two units merged and working together.  No discussion on the policy.  Voted and Approved.

 

POLICY 13

 

Gary:                I have an issue with the changes David made after our meeting.  He has taken out all committee review of e-courses by the committee.  I foresee major problems if there is no final review before a course is put out there to the public.  For many students, the e-course may be the only contact a student has with Marshall University.  South Charleston feels that from a Dean’s perspective each department should have complete review of each course.  Gary feels that e-course content should go through department for content, and then go through other review by the e-course committee.  Technical review should go through the same review as a normal course through curriculum committees.  

 

Jan:                  I have concern over the coding of various courses.  We have no control over courses that are coded neither as e or t courses, but are taught online anyway by professors trying to play games with the naming of their courses. 

 

Sarah has asked that a departmental technical person be included in review process at the department level before the course is submitted to the committee for final review. 

 

Monica:            Suggest that everyone go through the process of converting t- courses to e-courses.  It was very helpful to her as an instructor in that many technical issues were raised that she would not have considered in creating her course.

 

Gary:                On page 4 or 5 the portion on Course Content – the course content paragraph has been struck.  That needs to be in there regarding the only difference between online course and campus course.  Even though it is worded in a later paragraph, I want it in there twice for clarity.  Everyone agrees.

 

Jan:                  We agree that we want to take the course approval process back to version mailed on 30th.  All e-courses and t-courses that receive stipend (original wording should stay)  Everyone agrees. Vote on changing verbiage as Gary suggested to change back to original approval process.  Voted and Approved.

 

                        Second vote is to put Course Content paragraph back in.  Voted and Approved.

 

Gary:                Editorial change on page 6 need to strike the work “internal” in all places. 

 

Jan:                  Sarah's request to add an Instructional Technologist at the Departmental level is Voted and Approved. 

 

BOC SECURITY POLICY ADDITION

 

Arnold:             This committee has already approved the Information Security Policy.  We are in the process of trying to clean this up and get a final version together.  The BOC committee wants clarification of term “background check” in the policy.  My answer was “I think it is up to the owners of the information to determine what sort of background check needs to be done to deal with specific information”.  Does the Marshall application question about past felonies, etc, comply with background check. 

 

                        My assumption is that the owner of the information determine what background check is.  We need to establish if the state security template meets our needs.  We probably need something more stringent.  

 

Jan:                  We need a base level of what is required by HR for background and then determine what is required by various departments for background. 

 

The Interim Policy is in place at this point.  But we will make changes to the Policy for the final version as issues occur. 

Proposing change in paragraph dealing with “application” now proposing that it become the “person or persons ultimately responsible for the collection, the maintenance, the distribution and integrity of data associated with a major component or module”.   Everyone agrees.  Voted and Approved. 

 

Voted to accept change on definition of Information Owner as it is up to the owners of the information to determine what sort of background check needs to be done on those individuals that deal with specific information”.  Voted and Approved. 

 

Second issue regarding clarification of it is up to the owners of the information to determine what sort of background check needs to be done to deal with specific information

 

Mike:               I have emailed the HIPPA information to the list regarding the revised email policy

 

Jan:                  Be sure to check your schedules for the next meeting

HIPPA will be first on next agenda. 

 

ADJOURNED