Minutes - April 2013

April 9, 2013

Members present: Matt Riley, Loey Knapp, Mark Grimes, John Greer, Jesse Neidigh, Judy Fredenberg, Manu Samuella, Tony Jablonski, Art Held, Roger Maclean, Aaron Heiner, Sean Schilke

Members excused: Sandi Nelson, Jennifer Sauer, Eric Reimer, Allen Szalda-Petree

Members absent: Erika Noble, Mark Pershouse,

Ex-officio members and staff present: Adrian Irish, Ian Robbins, Ed Johnson, Gordy Pace

Call to order

Loey Knapp called the meeting to order at 3:33


Loey Knapp introduced Matt Riley, UM’s new Chief Information Officer. Matt officially began his duties on April 8.

Loey also introduced people from IT Staff ambassadors attending the meeting: Mac McComas, Dan Grogan and Joe Allred, as well as Stan Harris, who serves as ACIO for Network and Telecom Services.


Roger Maclean moved that minutes from the March 12 meeting be approved. Judy Fredenberg seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


UM cyberinfrastructure plan

Loey reported that there are a couple big things happening related to UM’s network. The first is an Internet2 planned 100G from Chicago to Seattle that will pass through Montana. Zayo will be the vendor on the project. Zayo has agreed to provide good pricing to any Internet2 member. That is how we are doing the state 10G backbone. This complete Internet2’s national infrastructure.

The network is great until we get to the building level. That’s our next step. We are focusing on grants and other funding to go into the building level. We had four buildings converted from 10Mb shared, so we’re at least at 100Mb in all buildings, but not where we need to be.

This year through the EPSCoR project, we’ve connected to Miles City data center and have connected four community colleges and tribal colleges to the Northern Tier. We’ve made the border network redundant. We added route reflectors to make routing more efficient. We have ordered an upgraded firewall. We upgraded Helena and Western to 100M and Tech to 1G. The biggest issue is Missoula College West and Lubrecht Forest, which are at 1.5M. We have not figured out a solution for that yet.

We have just ordered redundant core routers for the internal network, making it more resilient. The data center is funded and going to the Board of Regents in May. We’re going to work to put together a coherent story and try to get this through.

The big issue is at the building level. What we’d like to see, especially for research, is dual 10G to the building and 1G to the desktop. No building is at that level. Two grant proposals have been submitted to address upgrades in a few buildings. If people see opportunities for grants, let IT know.

Unfinished business

IT Architecture and Infrastructure committee proposal

Tony Jablonski reported on amendments made to the committee structure based on discussion from the March meeting.  The committee charge
was clarified and membership composition was changed to include 3-4 representatives from distributed IT.  

Loey asked about topics committee would tackle. Tony explained that this was the first of the standing committees to be formed and will be looking at the IT infrastructure across campus. Not just central IT, but looking at where we can find efficiencies by working together. The committee is not yet formed, but Tony has received suggestions for who should be on the committee, and has heard from people who have an interest in serving on the committee.

He expects to form the committee within a month and meet through the summer. One task will be to continue some of the mapping that was done as part of strategic planning, including looking at data centers, virtualization and back-up strategies across campus.

Jesse Neidigh moved to accept the committee charge and structure as amended. Art Held seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Student technology assessment committee report

Jesse Neidigh shared a draft survey designed to ask students what their priorities are. The group came up with 10 areas from the IT operational plan and will ask students to priority rank the four highest priorities. The group hopes to survey students before the end of the semester.

The survey was designed with the help of two student focus groups. Those students helped to pare down and reword options.

John Greer pointed out that the option “More tech lounges, like in the UC” needs to add accessible power. He also pointed out that the option “Consistent use of the UM online educational resources (Moodle) in all classes” includes a list of things that are not in Moodle. After some discussion, John suggested changing the wording to something like “consolidate UM online educational resources in a single system like Moodle.”

Sean Schilke suggested adding more something about more access to power outlets in classrooms. Jesse suggested that could be added to the option “Adequate classroom technology in every classroom.”  

Jesse said the group wanted to keep the survey short and quick. If we decide we need more analysis we can follow up later. There will be an option for students to add something that's important but not on the list.

Matt Riley asked if it was going to be apparent to students that what isn't prioritized may not get done? Jesse said that in the opening statement that all of these initiatives are things we are planning on doing. It’s not that they won’t get done. They just won’t get done first.

The goal is to get an audience by end of the week with IRB and maybe get the survey out to a sample size of 3,500 students the week of April 15 so it’s in the field 2-3 weeks before students start focusing on finals.

New business

IT decision-making principles

Tony Jablonski explained background of initial proposed principles. They were intended to be something people could react to.

Matt Riley questioned whether the second principle should be split into to since it presented two ideas that are contradictory—promoting efficiency and fostering innovation. Gordy explained that that was intentional to encourage people to think about ways to achieve both rather than sacrificing one for the other. Art Held suggested flipping the order of the two ideas. Others agreed to that idea.

Art Held also suggested that there should be an additional principle to promote consensus among IT across campus. Jesse Neidigh asked how the consensus idea would help with decision-making. Judy Fredenberg suggested that concept of consensus is beyond everyone agreeing. Consensus comes from "have I been heard?” It's so important that you come to the table and be heard. Division comes when people feel that no one strived to reach consensus. Goal is to come together as a group - in order for this to succeed - we have to all come and be respected and strive to reach some consensus as a group.

Art added that he would add that unanimity is not a requirement, but an expectation of process. It goes back to the infrastructure and architecture committee including distributed IT people so that when things come out of that committee, they already include representation and cross opinions.

Matt Riley suggested that it was a good test of the committees that come out of this group--is it going to feel like the consensus that you described?

Ian Robbins suggested that there was a need for something that addresses scale or magnitude of decisions being made. Gordy suggested that that need was addressed with bullet 1 where we always point to strategic plan.

Loey mentioned that in the budget committee, there is a clear prioritization of what's good for students and what's good for academics. She asked if people felt that any particular constituent on campus should be prioritized. Judy said it’s hard to prioritize by constituents. A faculty project may be geared to enhance the instruction or outreach experience.

Gordy shared a comment from Barb Seekins concerning the word "promote" accessibility, suggesting the word should be “require.” The decision made to change the word to "address."

Judy will send language to Art regarding consensus and then they will pass wording on to Gordy for inclusion in the principles document.

Formation of committees

Loey raised a question about whether the IT Senate would bring up issues or designate them to committees to work on issues which then bring them back. Matt said he would love to hear from this group about priorities, which could perhaps be done at a “plus-1” meeting at the end of April or early May.

Loey pointed out that the IT Senate is also now the strategic planning group, and that an assessment of this year’s activities is due within a month. In addition, an operational plan for next year needs to be put in place. An additional meeting could focus on the formation of critical committees to deal with the strategic plan assessment and operational plan and other critical issues.

Gordy will schedule an additional meeting for either April 30 or May 7, depending on which date works best for members of the Senate.

Professional development

Manu Samuela presented about the Administration & Finance Tech Team.

Outline of Manu’s presentation 

Loey asked Aaron Heiner from Intercollegiate Athletics to present at the next meeting IT.

Meeting adjourned at 4:59.

Minutes submitted by Gordy Pace