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ITPG Meeting 2009-08-17

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Date and Time: 
August 17, 2009 - 9:00am - September 17, 2009 - 11:00am
Cheadle 5123

Administrative Items

  1. Minutes of June 15th meeting posted on 8/11/09.
  2. Minutes of July 20th meeting posted on 8/11/09.

Informational Items

  1. Member Announcements
  2. CIO Report  - Tom Putnam
  3. CISO Report - Karl Heins
  4. Subcommittee Reports
    1. Backbone Engineering Group (BEG)
    2. Security Working Group (SEC-WG)
    3. Web Standards and Content Working Group (WSG)
    4. ITPG Communications
    5. Others
  5. Liaison Reports
    1. Information Technology Board (ITB) – Bruce Miller
    2. Academic Technology Planning Group (ATPG) - Alan Moses
    3. Enterprise Information Systems Planning Group (EISPG) -Deborah Scott
    4. Cyber Infrastructure

Action Items

  1. Change of Meeting Date - It is proposed that meetings be moved to a day other than Monday. It has been suggested that Thursdays would be a better day. The Chancellor’s Conference room is available the 3rd Thursday’s of the Month at 9:00-11:00 for at least the next 3 months. While there is obviously no perfect time, does this present any major conflicts?
  2. ITPG Draft Charter Document –
    Review, comments, and if no major revisions, approval for forwarding to ITB (next ITB meeting August 18th) Some specific discussion items that were identified:
    1. Student Membership – The draft proposes that membership is open to “the campus community” not specifically to “faculty and staff.” We are also suggesting that liaisons to pertinent student groups be solicited.
    2. Voting Requirements – the draft proposes “self assessment” as a voting requirement. A 25% meeting participation requirement has also been suggested. Note also, that an annual review of the Charter and procedures, 3 months prior to elections, is proposed.
  3. Creation of a Communications Subcommittee – It is proposed that a subcommittee be formed to assist in identifying tools and procedures to improve the online communication and collaboration capabilities of the ITPG.

Discussion Items

Call for Agenda Items


Present: Arlene Allen, Ted Cabeen, Saturnino Doctor, Doug Drury, Ann Dundon, Randall Ehren, Kirk Grier, Chuck Haines, Karl Heins, Richard Kip,Tom Marazita, Aaron Martin, Mark McGilvray, Steve Miley, Bruce Miller, Mike Oliva, Tom Putnam, Andy Satomi, Glenn Schiferl, Kevin Schmidt, Henry Shatavsky, Heidi Straub, Chas Thompson, Paul Weakliem, Jim Woods.

Review of Meeting Notes

Notes from the June 15, 2009 and July 20, 2009 ITPG meetings were approved with no comments from attending members.

Member Announcements

In an effort to create a framework for sharing IT information, ITPG chair Bruce Miller asked members present to give a brief report on current IT projects, initiatives, problems, or staff changes in their departments. The guidelines were:

  1. Announcement should be 2 minutes or less.
  2. Quick follow-up questions are acceptable, but if the item turns in to a discussion, it should be moved to the "Discussion Items" section.
  3. Members are asked to state their name and department.

The group agreed that these updates would be a valuable addition to monthly ITPG meetings, and those making reports invited listeners to contact them with any questions about their projects. A summary of the reports follows.

Communications Services (Bruce Miller): Communications Services is developing a consolidated summary phone bill for distribution to departments. Because the Computer Center is shutting down its large-scale centralized printing operation, Communications Services is looking into outsourcing bill printing. It is considering plans to reduce paper consumption by not printing call detail records, which are already available to users online.

Online records remain available for about two years. It was noted that departments who need to retain call detail records for longer than that period would have to print out the records themselves.

Records retention was proposed as a discussion topic for a future ITPG meeting.

Special Projects (Mark McGilvray): A new interface is being built that will allow the two-year-old UCSB Alert system to capture student cell phone numbers directly from GOLD, the student online data system. Hitherto, UCSB Alert has only been available to students who manually subscribe for cell phone notifications.

The UC Learning Center, part of a UCOP project to deploy the SumTotal Learning Management System for training and employee development on all the UC campuses, is moving forward at UCSB. The project team's main goal at present is to contact departmental training coordinators and help them convert their existing training material for use on the Learning Center system.

At UCSB, Human Resources has already adapted a number of their training courses to the Learning Center. The UC system-wide ethics and sexual harassment prevention training tutorials were also delivered through this system.

Housing and Residential Services (Saturnino Doctor): Housing's Business and Financial Planning unit oversees the campus implementation of the KRONOS time and attendance system. Admin Services, Accounting, Business Services, Human Resources, FM, and the Campus Police have been incorporated into the system, which replaces paper timesheets with automated online tracking software. The system now has an interface with the campus Payroll Personnel System (PPS).

VPN Server (Kevin Schmidt): Problems had been discovered regarding the evaluation Cisco ASA VPN server. The ASA might not be an appropriate replacement VPN server.

Since the primary concern about the current VPN server involves the lack of a 64-bit VPN client, new efforts were undertaken to locate a suitable 64-bit client. Such a client has been found and is undergoing testing, and should be available by the end of the month. The objective is to have a viable client available for fall quarter.

IS&C (Arlene Allen): Transfer of mainframe processing to UCOP will be completed by the end of August. IS&C is eliminating provision of large-scale central printing services to the campus.

A message to the ITPG and CSF mailing lists is being drafted to propose an open meeting on the status of the Identity Management project.

The last ITLC meeting featured the following topics: Architecture, Identity Management, the Electronic Accessibility Initiative, Shared Data Centers.

Physics (Glenn Schiferl): Physics Computing Services has installed a new VoIP phone and voicemail service for Physics users. Faculty are pleased with the new system, which has been in place for five months; delivery of voicemail messages via email is especially popular. The department anticipates a positive ROI on the system after about two years.

Computer Science, ECI (Richard Kip): Computer Science has recently completed version 2.0 of their LDAP authentication project, using an implementation of openLDAP with a CakePHP Web interface wrapper.

CS Computing Services has also built a Web application for faculty recruitment.

CNSI (Paul Weakliem): CNSI has applied for a grant to replace its Dell Cluster with new machines.

LSIT (Chas Thompson): LSIT is relocating to HSSB.

IS&C (Kirk Grier): The mainframe cutover to UCOP is scheduled for Sunday, August 23, 8:00 a.m.-2 p.m. After the conversion, a 25-45% delay in broker performance is expected, but this should not affect the end user. Anyone interested in helping test mainframe performance is encouraged to contact Kirk.

The Computer Center is also working on migrating away from printing. Output would be delivered to "virtual" output bins, from which users would retrieve PDF print images.

Chemistry and Biochemistry (Ted Cabeen): The Chemistry and Biochemistry department is converting to a VoIP system. The department keeps its 893-prefixed telephone numbers. Like Physics, they expect to break even on their investment in about two years.

Institutional Advancement (Heidi Straub): Institutional Advancement offices currently in Hollister Research Center will be relocating to the Graduate School of Education area.

ISBER (Randall Ehren): Preparing to redo ISBER's firewall, Randall is working with Kevin Schmidt and Karl Heins on a firewall peer review project. Randall considers the peer review process a good opportunity for small IT shops contemplating any kind of systems upgrade.

Academic Pesonnel (Andy Satomi): Academic Personnel has expanded its automated faculty merit and promotion case processing application beyond the ladder faculty group to include appointments case processing, with the first appointment case being processed online this month.

Economics (Mike Oliva): Economics is moving to IC's email system, and implementing wireless.

Information Systems (Doug Drury): Information Systems has been moved out of OIST/IS&C and into Administrative Services. One of their primary goals is to help Admin Services achieve consistency across the division.

Instructional Computing (Steve Miley): Steve has been asked to develop a web-based online course waiting list. The project is scheduled to be rolled out on September 10. Among other features, the system will automatically check pre-requisites for students signing up for a course waiting list. A specification will be developed that will allow the system to be integrated with the new SAP Student Information System acquired by Student Affairs.

Since the previous email-based wait-listing system was cumbersome, Steve anticipates that expectations for the online system will be unusually high.

Other members observed that Chemistry, Economics, and Computer Science all have their own internal systems for managing course waiting lists.

Marine Science Institute (Jim Woods): MSI has begun using ITWorks grant management software in place of the GUS accounting system. They are also using Coupa purchasing software to make the processing of MSI low-value purchases more efficient.

CIO Report

Tom Putnam reported on the following topics.

New Student Information System: Student Affairs has acquired SAP's Student Life Cycle Management software to replace its existing student information system, which is over 25 years old. The new product has a mature service-oriented architecture, which will make it easier to build interfaces with other systems on campus.

ITLC: Among topics addressed at the last ITLC meeting was a status update on the Shared Data Centers project. Plans are moving forward to make regional centers at San Diego and Oakland available by next year. UCSB's own data center project may be slowed but will not be halted by current budget cuts.

An email survey completed recently showed that about 20% of the universities responding have switched their student email services to Gmail, but only about .2% (including Stanford and the University of Minnesota) have done so for faculty and staff email service. If UCSB were to do the same, it would be much more efficient to do so on a campus-wide rather than department-by-department basis, because the latter would require setting up separate domains for each department.

There has been some discussion of amending the UC charter to create a student technology fee structure.

The project for upgrading the campus backbone to 10GB/s is moving forward. Kevin Schmidt added that the existing 1GB border links will need to be reorganized in anticipation of the backbone upgrade.

CISO Report

Karl Heins reported on the following Information Security topics.

Social Security Numbers Survey: In the wake of a data breach at UCLA, the California Legislature asked for a UC-system-wide study of best practices for the protection of Social Security numbers. A survey has gone out to UCSB departments to determine who stores SSNs and, if so, how they are protected. Survey responses are due by Friday, August 21. Karl is interested in feedback from all IT departments, even if they did not receive a survey form.

Berkeley Data Breach: Last week UC Berkeley reported a minor data breach in its Journalism department. Four hundred names linked with SSNs were potentially exposed when it was discovered that a Google search located a viable user ID and password on a Chinese server.

Information Security Training Tutorial: Karl is adapting an online information security training tutorial developed by UC Irvine for use at UCSB. When it is complete, the tutorial will be made available for testing through the UC Learning Center.

Electronic Communications Policy: A UCOP committee, including three representatives from UCSB, is working on updates to the ECP, especially in the areas of HIPAA regulations and monitoring. There is also a longer-term project in place to make more substantive changes to the ECP.

Subcommittee Reports

BEG (Glenn Schiferl): Work is nearing completion on a new document defining the campus Communications Infrastructure Standards. The BEG is meeting this week to go over final revisions for the resulting documents, including:

  • Master Plan: Boilerplate documents that will be made available to vendors/contractors during the bidding and draft design phases. These documents will contain the rationale for the implementation of standards.
  • Minimum Standards: Detailed specifications for minimum standards for communications infrastructure wiring and construction.

Security Working Group (Kevin Schmidt): At its last meeting, the SecWG focused on the following:

  • ECP Updates.
  • DNS Filtering: The aim is to provide more centralized DNS service on campus, with an XML-based interface.
  • Edge Security: Security analyst Andrew Bowers is drafting a research report on requirements and best practices for edge security at other UC campuses.

Web Standards Group (Ann Dundon): At its last meeting, the Web Standards Group reviewed the training initiatives the group has staged in the past three years for campus Web practitioners, including workshops on Web standards, Web accessibility, and Web applications security. In the hope of being able to continue providing this service to the campus, the group is seeking support from the OIST to assist with the costs associated with putting on these workshops.

Action Items

ITPG Meeting Dates: The group approved a change of meeting days to the third Thursday of each month. Since a preference was expressed for 1.5 hour meetings, the new meeting time will be 9-10:30 a.m.

ITPG Draft Charter Document: The group approved the draft ITPG Charter document with one amendment, that the Membership section be changed to read "Membership of the ITPG is open to the campus Information Technology community." Members were satisfied with the existing language defining voter eligibility. [See approved ITPG Charter (pdf).]

Communications Subcommittee: Bruce called for the creation of a new communications subcommittee to "assist in identifying tools and procedures to improve the online communication and collaboration capabilities of the ITPG." The OIST is in the process of building a Drupal Web site to host its public information, and would also like to make the site a home for ITPG and its subcommittees to use. Among its other duties, the Communications Subcommittee will act as a focus group for the development of this site.

Bruce also expressed the hope that the subcommittee would define its own charter, following the subcommittee requirements outlined in the new ITPG charter, and bring forward other recommendations about how subcommittees should operate.

Bruce Miller, Jim Woods, Elise Meyer, Ann Dundon, and Randall Ehren volunteered to be members of the Communications Subcommittee.

Items for Future Discussion

Bruce identified the following topics that arose in the course of the meeting as candidates for reports/discussion at upcoming ITPG meetings:

  • Records Retention
  • VoIP Deployments
  • The UC Learning Center
  • The Kronos Time and Attendance System
  • LDAP Integration
  • SAP Student Life Cycle System: why it was selected, roadmap for deployment
  • Printing

Other Business

Tom Putnam reported that the ITB asked for help in defining an appropriate process for scrutinizing the revised RUAC proposal. In particular, they would like to consult about what services should be covered under "security." ITPG members suggested that the question, together with the draft proposal, be circulated to the ITPG mailing list for feedback.