Information Technology Council

Meeting Minutes


September 18, 2008


Present:               Jan Fox, Frances Hensley, Monica Brooks Barbara Winters, Nat DeBruin, Allen Taylor, Karen McComas, John Cummings, Arnold Miller, Lisa Heaton, Ronda Sturgill, Teresa Bolt, Randy Tomblin, Gayle Ormiston, Tom Hankins, Anita Lockridge

Jan:                        Introductions and explanation of ITC committee and web pages.   We oversee policies for the entire university, including the school of medicine.  This year we will be backing out all the Community College references from our policies.  All policies for the ITC are listed on the policies page. 

Updates:  We have had an aggressive summer with updates to the system. 

I have been placed as a gubernatorial appointment representing higher education on the West Virginia Broadband Council.  That is a critical council that’s set forth in legislation, has money and authority over broadband issues in the state.  There are only 7 voting members on the committee.

We continue to have issues with copyright infringement of music, video, not only with students, but also with faculty.  We have a whole web page devoted to copyright.  Review the copyright web page.  We had 18 infringement cases in 2 days last week.  Please make sure you let everyone in your area know about this.  We have restricted bandwidth on peer to peer.  We have put out web pages, announcements on myMU and on the network and put posters in the dorms, and I have done presentations.  The largest percentage of violators is freshmen.  The problem with freshmen is that they have downloaded illegally for years under the radar, but now that they are on our network they get hit because we are a target.    There are two ways the University gets in trouble.  One is because we are an ISP with repeat offenders that have not been addressed.  Second, if faculty/staff get hit, we really get in trouble.  We are only going to see infringements on faculty/staff machines or privately owned student computers because the public labs are locked down.  We need to ramp up our education to students.  This committee has put forth  procedures for dealing with this issue.  We have financial requirements for  students who have to pay to be put back on the network once we take them off for infringements.  Per Allen:  Some schools have subscribed to services to offer music to students for free, but the students continue to use illegal sites because of the selection and video.  I suggest residence hall education presentations to address this problem.  Per Karen:  a workshop on ethics would stress the illegal aspect and the importance of making ethical decisions.

As part of the new Higher Education Act.  There are new restrictions that we have to respond to for copyright.  We have actually done all those; we just have to respond regarding how we have done it.   

Ronda:                  We are starting to review courses that are more than two years old.  We are going to do 25 each semester to get caught up and then get on a rotation basis to make sure the content and quality are still there.

Frances:               I am making notes to talk to Bonnie and Homer about downloading issues at their campuses.

Monica:                We finally have an instructional designer on board.  Today is her second day, but she has hit the ground running.  Laura Little is working with departments to assist them in any way they need to develop on-line material.  It seems more people are using MUonline as a supplement this year. 

Jan:                        One of the things in the Higher Education Act is dealing with the cost of books.  The State of Ohio has made deals with 10 of the largest book publishers to push the on-line offerings and cut a 10% deal for the entire state to help reduce the cost of books.  That may be something we want to consider.

Monica:                We created a new group of librarians that focus on information literacy and embedded librarianship in UNI and other courses.   The way it is going, we may not be able to support demand, and we are already talking to the librarians in Drinko about ways that they can participate.

Barbara:               We had an incident with Biosis about three weeks ago.  We had access to Biosis through a third party aggregator and one day it just disappeared.  There was no notice what so ever.  We had been paying the aggregator on a per-use basis.  In order to replace it, we have to go through Biological Abstracts which costs about $10,000 a year.  This is just an example of what can happen with electronic resources when we go through an aggregator with no guarantees.

Arnold:                 We are rolling out a pilot on Exchange Live to provide an alternative for email service available for students who want to take advantage of this.  This alternative provides all the options that we have as Exchange users.  There are procedural issues to work out, but we are getting ready for a slow roll out to a small group of students.  All of this is outlined in summer newsletters for faculty and students.

Allen:                    We spent the summer working with the FCC on this grant for the Huntington fiber link to Internet 2.  We are close to making progress and getting the RFPs out.  This is a Huntington fiber network that is funded to link the hospitals, the education center at St. Mary’s, and the Medical School campus to Internet 2. 

Wireless 3g services are now available from 3 local vendors for cell phones or notebooks with wireless cell access.

Tom:                      We have been having great experiences with Wimba use in 2 way video classes.

John:                     The new webpage is up, the next layer will maintain the template, but much of it will be driven through SharePoint so we can pass the editing functioning to editors in the various areas.  Per Jan:  We will have to have discussions regarding how we are going to handle SharePoint because the more we put on SharePoint, the larger it grows exponentially, and the cost goes up.


Minutes of February 8, 2008 – Voted and Approved



Jan:                        We now have loaner cameras for students and staff to check out.  This is a way to let students know their rights and responsibilities while using University equipment.  It will go into the fee schedule for late return, loss or damage.  We hope it will encourage faculty and students to use multimedia for presentations, etc.


Jan:                        There is a cost associated with long term sustainability with accepting collections.  We are not a museum.  All collections accepted must have an educational purpose and monetary sustainability.

Nat:                       We have been using this policy loosely as a guideline for showing donors that we need financial obligation from them along with the collection.  It is a good way to set up conversations about the financials of accepting collections.  Anita questions the legality of the signatures (with or without notary) Per Nat:  Collections over $5,000 have to go through the Foundation for appraisal and the gift in kind process.  Most collections that fall under this policy are under $5,000. 

Voted and approved


BOC Social Security Number Recommendation – First Reading

Jan:                        We dealt with SSN being in the system many years ago.  There are still issues with SSN being in the system for Federal reasons for things such as W2s and PARs.  We have purchased the web interfaces, self-service for Banner HR.  They are hoping to get the electronic PAR out, but I’m not sure of the date.  That will help eliminate a lot of the concerns regarding SSNs. 

Arnold:                 We want to do whatever we can to hide the SSN.  What we are saying is that by default no one will be able to view the SSN unless they get permissions from the VP level.  I am still hearing rumors that SSNs are still showing up on reports in various places.  We hope that once we shut this view off, we will find out who is using these for records purposes in their offices.   We are going to mask the SSN on all forms unless given explicit privileges

Once the EPAF happens, it will eliminate the need for the SSN on the paper form.

It will also set a way to shut off other personal information.  Per Jan:  There is a Board of Governors policy from Academic Affairs that helps protect even the actual  student ID number. 

What I need from this committee is if there are issues or concerns with going forth with this.

Jan:                        We are tabling the BOG-IT 5 Online Course Revision until next month.  So, the first reading will be next month. Once we get approval from this group it will have to go to Faculty Senate and then to the BOG.   Per Monica:   We have had issues arise that the policy did not address, including the issue of faculty seeking compensation for a zero credit class.  There was also an issue with second half payment for incompletes.  The President is also addressing the issue of incompletes and we need to incorporate as many scenarios as possible. 

You have been given the current version of the policy and we will have the revisions before next meeting.  If you have other issues that need to be discussed, please bring them to the attention of Monica, Donna or Ronda.  We will be meeting next Thursday to draft the latest version.

We want to make first reading as soon as possible.


Jan:                        SharePoint is a large issue.  I have asked John Cummings to address some of the possibilities for us.  Our plan was to have SharePoint as the second layer a year ago.  We are stable with staffing and feel comfortable to progress with the SharePoint option.  The entire State of West Virginia portal is SharePoint centric. 

John:                     SharePoint was originally used at Marshall as a document sharing tool and we are now starting to move it into more of its content management capabilities.  Our first foray into content management was the FYE site and the One Book site which have been tremendously successful in getting content authoring into the hands of the experts who should be authoring the content.  One of our goals as we roll out the new look and feel of the entire site is to enable that functionality for all departments.  There will be a user education component as we go along. 

Beyond that there is a cost component that has to be addressed.  SharePoint is not an easy system to manage, it requires a lot of manpower, expertise and time to keep it running and the cost of storage space in the SQL Server database.  If you have a five  MB  file stored in SQL Server, by the time it gets encoded and put in the database, you end up with a 15-20 MB file.  In the past we have created with a default of two GB storage space.  As use expands, we need to look at how we do that and put some policies around it.  These are my recommendations and I welcome input. 

SharePoint 2003 was only a document management system.  As it moved to SharePoint 2007 they incorporated Content Management Server component with SharePoint 2003.  Users can now write their own content and have it appear on the public web site.  There is also a review component to make sure changes are not made incorrectly.

Commercial use of SharePoint has really taken off as an add on to hosting plan.  In almost of those you see a default quota of 500 MB ($20.00 as an add on).  In the education world it’s a little more generous and cost effective.  Oregon State University for example offers 1 GB default quota at $12.00 month.  Here we are going to have to provide a base site for departments in terms of document sharing and content management.  We want to walk a fine line because we want to encourage distributed content creation, and we want to get people passionate about taking control of their content. 

Jan:                        We have had several requests for using SharePoint for class participation.  My concern is how it can grow from a course perspective.  We need to discuss and determine if we want it to be strictly an administrative area or if we want to expand into the academic realm.  I would like this group to provide guidelines as to what is posted where. 

We will have to deal with this during this year.


The next time we will be doing e-course discussions and I have asked Jon Cutler to review the Security Policy as an item for review

Allen and I are presenting on cyber infrastructure and the FCC grant at the West Virginia Higher Education Technology conference in Morgantown at the end of the month.  I will send that presentation to the group for review.

CTC issues will be addressed as they apply to our policies.  We will have to back them out of the policies.