Minutes - March 2014

March 11, 2014

Members present: 

Judy Fredenberg, John Greer, Mark Grimes, Aaron Heiner, Art Held, Tony Jablonski, Roger Maclean, Jesse Neidigh, Sandi Nelson, Erika Noble, Mark Pershouse, Matt Riley, Manu Samuela, Allen Szalda-Petree, Mariah Williams.

Members excused: Loey Knapp

Members absent: Jennifer Sauer, Eric Reimer

Ex-officio members and staff present: Adrian Irish, Antony Joe, Joe Hickman, Bob Hlynosky, Barb Seekins, Gordy Pace

Call to order

Matt Riley called the meeting to order at 3:32


Judy Fredenberg moved that minutes from the February 13th meeting be approved. Roger Maclean seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


UM minute – IT focus

  • Mariah Williams shared that the ASUM offices now have fast wifi service. Matt Riley said the entire UC has upgraded now. IT will be looking at installing wireless at Lewis and Clark during spring break if vendors can deliver the needed equipment.
  • Matt announced that Qualtrics survey software is now available to campus. There is a support page available on IT website. IT purchased two years of licensing and will evaluate after that to see if the campus wants to put it into utilities. Alan Szalda-Petree said:  “I can't tell you how big of a this is for social science researchers to have the infrastructure necessary to deliver web-based surveys.”

Reports of standing committees and Tech Partners

Enterprise Applications committee

Jesse Neidigh reported for committee. The group met once since the last IT Senate meeting and talked about where we should start with building a framework for enterprise application requests. There would be a form that would be filled out that would be reviewed by the committee and then sent to the IT Senate or to purchasing. We have to figure out what all goes on the form.   

The committee decided to focus on new applications and then go back and run existing apps through the process.

The committee’s role would be as a resource to help departments in the software vetting process. The group is steering away from being part of the selection or purchasing process. The committee would decide if the software request met all of the criteria and if appropriate alternatives were explored.

The committee is still discussing the process in terms of where purchasing gets involved, whether that would be before or after the EAC reviewed the request. Matt suggested that we might want to consider the funding source in the process as well. Jesse said the committee did talk about asking for information about a funding plan. 

Architecture and Infrastructure committee

Tony Jablonski reported that the committee is working on addressing a couple pain points related to the wireless project. The committee will be making recommendations soon about where things should be in the priority list. 

Secondary issue with dense wireless is dense power. The committee put together a short survey for students to make sure we're addressing their primary concerns. The survey will be sent out this week.

Tony said the he is also leveraging the committee to test Box, an online file sharing and collaboration service. UM is able to leverage association with Internet2 to use Box. We have started a 45-day trial and Tony is putting together a representative group to give it a try.

Matt added that we need a way to forklift DFS out. Box can be accessed from different devices and is an upgrade to DFS, which is heading towards a dead end.

Tony explained that DFS is data file share used by a lot of departments. It's an expensive service for us to provide. We recently expanded to 10 terabytes and that space was consumed immediately. Have to find a different way to deal with file sharing and deal with FTP (file transfer). Box has many features that Tony thinks campus would love if they got their hands on it but we want to make sure it will work for us from a security standpoint and general use standpoint.

Matt said that Stanford went from trial to 3,200 users in two weeks with Box.

John Greer asked about a size limit on Box. Matt said that it is tiered by iPeds classification. We have 50 terabytes.

Tony said Box is good for file storage, but probably not media storage.

Communication and Collaboration committee

No update

Tech Partners 

Antony Jo reported that Tech Partners addressed three topics at its last meeting:

  • Matt Riley talked about budget and IT and encouraged members of Tech Partners to share ideas that help with budget issues.
  • John Greer presented on ScholarWorks for use by students and faculty to post research and academic work.
  • John Robinson reported on IronPort spam filter. There will be an instruction page on the IT website explaining how people can report spam.

Tony Jablonski pointed out that since we implemented IronPort, campus hasn't been blacklisted once. IronPort blocks outbound spam.

Operational plan update

Matt reported that the student group working on our operational plan will show us our plan as a project plan in an online format that we can track. The group will then start asking for progress updates and can show graphically where we are.

Matt suggested that the communications committee should spend some time with the group to see how we can put the assessment together. Roger Maclean agreed.

Professional development - IT at UM overview (Matt Riley) 

Matt showed central IT org chart and talked about responsibilities of each area of central IT. He pointed out that there are more distributed IT people than central. Many distributed IT staff are one-off support people. Matt explained that there are different funding sources for many of the distributed IT people.

Matt shared an Educause Core Data Survey report that compared UM to other universities. Among IT at all universities, 58 percent reported increased funding and 25 percent reported decreased funding last year. UM is in the 25 percent. It’s a challenge when other universities are increasing IT funding and we’re going the other direction. Matt said the opportunity we have here is to collaborate more and bring our IT spend down.

Mark Pershouse asked if distributed IT has taken cuts across campus. Matt said that where they can be shown as one of the major units of campus, the answer is yes, and where they are buried in an academic side, no. The University is trying to protect instructional spending as much as it can.

Matt suggested that by cutting central IT but not cutting IT in other place, those places are going to dominate. Next year distributed IT could be a larger percentage and that’s a concern. As we’re talking about becoming more efficient by centralizing, our allocation model favors decentralizing IT in a small way.

GrizCard images discussion

Jesse Neidigh said that the GrizCard office gets frequent requests from campus departments to share student and employee photos with other applications (i.e. Academic Planner). If a student has asked for his or her information to be confidential, there’s no way to do that. The latest request is from Campus Recreation for a system that manages membership and access.

Jesse suggested it was time to look at a campus-wide solution.

John Thunstrom, ACIO for Enterprise Information Systems, said there are a couple different ways images and confidentiality could be managed. To integrate images into Banner would require a modification. The question is what we should do as a policy decision for where we want the images be managed?

Registrar Joe Hickman said we have to be able to tie the confidentiality information to the images. John Thunstrom responded that the easiest way to do that is to bring the pictures into Banner. Jesse asked if the confidentiality indicator matters if the images are only seen by campus employees. Joe said that under FERPA, not all employees should have access to all information. It’s on a need-to-know basis.

Mariah asked if confidentiality information could be pushed to GrizCard. Antony Jo said technically yes.

Matt Riley said that the broad thing the IT Senate might want to think about is that we’re chasing this after the decision has been made to bring a new system on campus. IT Senate is already doing something about this issue through the activities of the Enterprise Applications Committee. We should take this opportunity to check what we’re doing with all systems and make changes where we can and support the need to protect student information. He suggested that perhaps we can build out a data governance model as another component of what the EAC is doing.

The meeting adjourned at 5:05 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Gordy Pace