Information Technology Council Meeting

12/10/04

 

Present:            Jan Fox, Mike McCarthy, David Johnson, Tom Hankins, Jody Perry, Dennis Prisk, Herb Karlett, Arnold Miller, Layton Cottrill, Don Combs, Sarah Denman, Monica Brooks

 

Review of Minutes:       Voted and Approved

 

Jan

Fox:                 Updates:  There is real concern with the state data network.  The last time it was bid was in 1991 and it had gone through continual update without being bid.  It was at the point that all e-rate for K-12, the public libraries, and health care in the clinics would be eliminated if that had not been bid properly.  This is a huge issue.  Right now, instead of going out as an RFP,  it is going out as an RFQ.  (Request for Quotation).  This was the only way to get the contract out in time or they would have lost 9 to 13 million dollars of federal dollars coming in to the state.  It has to be totally completed by January 20.   It was first written as a one year quote but has now been changed to a two year quote. Verizon controls the main part of the state. There are some other providers like Frontier and they have their own contracts.  If that would were to change substantially, a lot of our video links could have issues and data circuits could have some problems.  It is possible to get a piece of contract, unlike getting the whole state, a company could get one of the four Latas.  It is possible to have multiple vendors winning the award.

 

On screen is the website for the State Information Technology Council.  I chaired the technology standards group last year.  We approved, using federal guidelines for GIS.  This was holding us back in the state.  There are also a lot of policies that will be posted on Internet access, new accessibility standards for visually impaired, issues on how to deal with  third party contracts and how or if we are allowed to post third-party company names.  For example, we had someone work on our Master Land Use plan, we are legally allowed to post the contractors name and a link to their site.  There will be a will be a direct link to this page off our ITC page.

 

Governor Wise signed an Executive Order last month dealing with the grid computer network.  The grid computer in Fairmont is using the large grid which basically uses unused cycles on computers and combines them to form a super-computer.  This Executive Order research at state institutions or private companies will be allowed to use state machines that have been approved.  Some state computers with the exception of machines that hold health care or secure data.  They offered up access to anyone in the state. 

 

We had the Computer Research Conference about a month ago.  We brought in Third Frontier Network from Ohio.  They have agreed to let us on that network and we are actually working on a White paper to come up with costs for sustainability.   They want to see that regionalism and connections of different networks. 

We are also working with Ohio Link for the Library like we did with Pennsylvania.   In addition to research, connecting these networks from an educational perspective really has benefits and would also give us a redundant back end in case the there is a problem with the state network.

 

I will chair the state ITC this coming year. 

 

Governor Elect Manchin did form a technology transition team.  One of the members will be coming to see me next week. 

 

UPDATES:

 

David

Johnson:           We are working on the website.  We are trying to improve the look and we are now seeking input from different departments.  We are working on a redesign for next year.

 

Regarding the State network. In the past, West Virginia has done well in getting grants for setting up video with K12.  This year Southern was funded through the federal government.  We have no idea what Southern is doing.

RESA I received money from Verizon and the Benedum Foundation to set up a network of 24 schools.  The difference with what they are doing is they have built a parallel infrastructure which bypasses a lot of barriers with the state infrastructure. 

This provides tight internet protection.  They are very interested in connecting up with Marshall and looking at actually trying to connect a direct pathway that they would pay for additional bandwidth. 

There are two grant sources we are looking at right now.  RESA I is southern part of state.  One of the sources is with the Department of Agriculture; another source is rural utilities. 

Per Don Combs:  We will be sending a class to Logan from Pt. Pleasant this semester (LE 308). 

 

This has been a painful semester for WebCT/Vista.  We have had problems in last two weeks with anyone taking a quiz from off campus.  The problem was hard to identify and it took several weeks to identify and fix the problem.  The problem was isolated to the load balancer on the big server.  There are other issues that we are still working on with WebCT.

Per Jan:  As we go into the web form of Banner, we need to be aware that everything will be more complex in terms of tracking.  There is no one place to look for problems.  Every piece has to be looked at.  All of the products that are web centric are seeing the same type of problems. 

 

One of the areas we are looking at is Hosting; we are currently hosting with Glenville, and Southern as a pilot.  We are doing this as a state initiative with the three host institutions being WVU; Fairmont State and MU.  We have had to come up with common guidelines so that we set a level playing field so everyone would understand that they would be getting the same services regardless of which institution they went with.  All three institutions will adopt these hosting guidelines and pricing that would apply across the board.  This will clarify what they have to have at that site to do hosting.  They have to have an administrator and preferably a web designer.  It is committing us to providing training to the administrator; it is giving them the option for other sorts of training at an additional cost.  This document defines the administrative rights; it defines the amount of space that would be available on the server; and it clarifies that they have to have their license paid up with the HEPC and we identified costs.  The costs we identified are based on real numbers and are competitive with WebCT’s hosting costs and WVNet’s costs.

 

This will go back to WVVLN and then go before HEPC board. 

 

Arnold

Miller:               During the regular service outage on December 19th we will be totally blacking out the machine room for installation of a power increase.  From 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. we will be totally out.  The phone system will be up and running. 

 

Jan

Fox:                 There is an issue we need to go through with Facilities relating to disaster recovery.  Due to turnover in personnel over the years, there are certain instances where no one has passwords for various areas of the buildings.  We want to make sure everyone knows codes and is comfortable with the process before we stage a real test.

 

 

Arnold

Miller:               We need to set up a team to make sure we are ready for a disaster recovery test.  We need to decide who should be involved.

 

Please let us know if the outage on the 19th will cause an difficulties.

 

The phone situation with the medical school is now an issue.  We have run fiber to Cabell Huntington Hospital and now the clinical portion of the medical school is online.  We want to bring them back on to our phone system.  There are 30 or 40 4-digit phone extensions that are hanging up the conversion.  The easy way to make this change is to go to five digit local dialing by adding a 6 at the beginning of all numbers.  The concern is the confusion of adding the extra digit.  It is best to bring the med school back under our umbrella; the volume and income would be good for us.  The Medical school has made a commitment bring the new building onto our system.   I need to know from you whether we are to go to 5 digit dialing or do something with the 30 or 40 numbers that are causing the problems.  I am working with Jim Schneider at the Med School.  The council agrees to resolve the 30-40 number issue and has asked for the list of the extensions.

 

The building wiring is moving ahead.  We are on schedule with that.  We are meeting this afternoon to discuss room issues with the remaining buildings.

 

Don

Combs:            When we put in the lab in Logan, we did so with some dated machines with a grant from Arnold.  I need to replace those machines.  I will put something together to send to Sarah

 

Arnold

Miller:               Regarding the other remote sites, the grant money is gone.  The equipment we have at those sites and the ongoing costs of the internet and maintaining the sites needs to be taken over by someone.  We have been absorbing some of the costs to keep the sites open.  We are trying to get people to take on these sites to maintain them.  Per Jan: we need to come up with a priority list to determine whether these sites are beneficial to the university.  We need to go down the list to determine what sites we want to maintain.

 

BOC Contingency Plan

 

Jan

Fox:                 Per Sarah:  The Deans have some concern about the “contingency” issue.  When will we be in a position where we really don’t need a contingency plan because of equipment problems?  Per Arnold: we have the interim piece of equipment in place and have seen some improvement, but we are still seeing some delays, overall.  The Registrar’s office is fairly comfortable with the improvements.  This weekend we are loading an extract of the Banner image onto this new system.  We will not be ready for the start up of the Spring semester, but will possibly be ready to bring it up over Spring Break. If not, we will definitely bring it up during the summer to be ready for Fall.

Per Sarah:  By Fall 2005 we will be going to total on-line grade submission.  We are going to be doing block registrations prior to orientation.

Sarah wants to know ahead of time if there is anything we need to do to speed up process for Spring Break.  Suggest names be attached to the different levels listed in the document.

Voted and Approved

 

Business Strategies

 

Jan

Fox:                 This is more of a strategy instead of a policy.  This is really a first read to make sure we get enough feedback and further discussion.

 

Per Sarah, we need to discuss extended hours for certain offices during critical peak registration times.

 

Rate Schedule

 

Jan

Fox:                 We had a user on the Outlook web server using 10% of the entire Exchange box, he had so much storage. I am asking for an adjustment to the rate schedule to be able to charge $125 for Outlook Exchange heavy users.  

Voted and approved

 

 

HIPPA - Informational

 

Mike

McCarthy:        E-mail and computer communications with protected PHI:  This policy states that there will be no electronic transmission of electronic PHI except in the instances of approved exceptions in advance.  The default policy is that we don’t do it, unless there is an exception.  If an exception is needed, the HIPPA security officer (me) should be contacted.

 

Cabell Huntington has hired a new CIO.  We have had a couple of meetings.

Every six months or so Cabell and Med School meet to discuss possibilities of a common registration process.  There are problems with trusting the data and demographics with data and coding, especially with insurance companies. 

 

Jan suggests that Mike become a part of the state organization dealing with HIPPA issues.

 

Information Access Decommission Procedures for Workforce Termination

 

Mike

McCarthy:        We need to determine how we deal with information obtained and maintained by terminated employees.

Arnold hopes to have university recommendations for email retention and account retention at the January meeting.  This is a sticky issue in that the university as a whole does not have a document retention policy.

 

Adjourned