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ITPG Meeting 2009-10-15

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Date and Time: 
October 15, 2009 - 9:00am - 11:00am
Cheadle 5123

Administrative Items

  1. Minutes of September 17th meeting posted on 9/22/09.

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. None

Discussion Items

  1. Comments on RUAC Fee for Fiscal Year 2009-2010
    2. FAQ:
  2. UCSB Learning Center & UCSB Alert Update – Mark McGilvray
  3. Campus Calendaring Issues/Futures – Jamie Sonsini
  4. Update on L&S Instructional Technology Enhancement Initiative – Alan Moses

Call for Agenda Items

Upcoming Items

  1. November – Update on Identity Management/ Authentication – Arlene Allen

Present: John Ajao, Arlene Allen, Sean Bennett, David Bosso, Polly Bustillos, Ted Cabeen, Michael Colee, Ken Dean, Saturnino Doctor, Doug Drury, Ann Dundon, Matthew Dunham, Kirk Grier, Chuck Haines, Karl Heins, Richard Kip, Tom Lawton, Aaron Martin, Mark McGilvray, Elise Meyer, Steve Miley, Bruce Miller, Alan Moses, Mike Oliva, Ben Price, Tom Putnam, Fuzzy Rogers, Andy Satomi, Glenn Schiferl, Deborah Scott, Chris Sneathen, Jamie Sonsini, Chas Thompson, Paul Weakliem, Jim Woods.

Administrative Items

Minutes of the September 17, 2009 ITPG meeting, posted on 9/22/09, were approved.

Informational Items

L&SIT (Chas Thompson): Come over to see new building.

Student Affairs (Deborah Scott): The campus has pulled the plug on Project SAIL. Now the project team needs to regroup to determine what the campus can afford to do, but we still must get off the mainframe.

Physics (Glenn Schiferl): Next week Physics will be updating the Antivirus software on every machine.

Housing & Residential Services (Saturnino Doctor): Facilities Management will now start using the H&RS workorder system (a system that H&RS has been using for 10 years).

Information Systems & Computing (Arlene Allen): The rain has produced more leaks in the SAASB roof. IS&C is working on three major initiatives:

  1. The Identity Management replacement system, which has a goal of being implemented before the end of this calendar year.
  2. Mainframe processing at UCOP. Currently most of the effort is being handled by UCOP staff plus consultants.
  3. The North Hall Data Center project, in which their current task is to vacate the IS&C equipment.


Communications Services (Bruce Miller): Larry Peterson, a 23-year employee, is retiring on the VSO program. The ITPG was also advised that Jim Corkill sent a memo to DLIST-L on 10/8 stating "…the IRS has granted permission to the University to suspend implementation of the new cell phone policy, effective October 1, 2009, until January 31, 2010."

Office of Information Technology (Elise Meyer): We’ve been given the go ahead to proceed with some infrastructure work for New West Campus.

L&SIT (Alan Moses): L&SIT will have an open house soon.

SIS&T (Mark McGilvray): Following their annual tradition, Student Health updated their electronic record system right before the start of Fall classes; however, this time they encountered 10 major defects. Lesson learned: Do testing before you roll into production.

Economics (Mike Oliva): Economics is in the middle of a huge transition to move their email from their own server to an IC server. They are also implementing a new website with a php and mysql backend – it is slicker but slower.

Instructional Computing (Matthew Dunham): They are in the final stages of rolling out a remote data center; i.e., moving half of their ESX cluster to the Life Sciences Building.

Information Systems & Computing (Jamie Sonsini): They have taken on support for Extended Learning Services in their move from off-campus to on campus. They have also gone from 22 servers (for 45 people) to 4 boxes w/6 servers and moving to thin clients on the desktops.

Instructional Computing (Steve Miley): GauchoSpace statistics for Fall 2009: 49 departments, 600 courses, 35% of all enrollments. The new Waiting List application was used by some classes. The course crashers process is designed but needs to be implemented.

ICESS & Crustal Studies (Mike Colee): Still proceeding with ICESS & Crustal Studies merger. Mike is hoping to come to conclusion with a recent RAID failure.

ICESS & Crustal Studies (Aaron Martin): They’re getting used to a new building, and there is a learning curve with a more complex networking environment.

Computer Science (Richard Kip): Still heads down from the start of Fall Quarter.

Information Systems & Computing (Kirk Grier): They acquired Prism Software’s DocSystem to use on the mainframe to produce pdf files in parallel with printing physical output. They plan to install the software this week, and have a prototype service by the end of this month or next. Based on budget considerations, they plan to eliminate physical printing by end of this fiscal year, which syncs with the termination of the 3-year lease on their printer which ends in September 2010. After initially seeing no decrease in printing output when the GLO went online, they are now starting to see a reduction in physical printing.

Institutional Advancement (Polly Bustillos): Their major project is their move to Phelps before the end of the calendar year.

Math (Fuzzy Rogers): He has now taken on system administrator duties for Pstat too. There was a Matlab license update yesterday morning, and he hasn’t heard that there were any problems. Math has 3,500 students in an online homework system (Webworks), with 10% of the students crashing.

Office of Research (Chris Sneathen): They are busy processing the stimulus awards with their accompanying strenuous reporting requirements. Their original plan was to add features to Orbit to capture this data. Currently they are pushing out the requirement to departments to upload their own reports, but they aren’t getting consistent results, so they are going to try to pull it back in house.

CIO Report
Tom Putnam

In order to turn ITLC discussion about projects that we ought to be doing into projects that we are actually doing, UCOP has hired project manager Ramon Lim. He will be visiting all campuses this Quarter. The first project getting action is email. An email task force is forming that will include Directors, Health System representatives, helpdesk staff, outsourcing and strategic sourcing experts. They will be looking at defining requirements and legal issues. UCOP has a contract with Google for student email, and Davis has done it. Google hasn’t given us contracts that are acceptable for faculty and staff email, and there is also interest in supporting former students. Why? Cost savings, scalability, and having someone who has built in redundancy and cheaper storage. Is this worth doing? There is worry about data security and e-discovery issues, even if we operate under our rules, not theirs. Some felt the problem isn’t email, it’s not enough staffing to make sure that we are doing all the right things. Others felt that email is hard. The system-wide group researching this will start up in December. UCSB or departments may choose not participate. This should be a future agenda item for the ITPG.

A new system-wide group is forming, the Electronic Accessibility Leadership Team. The ITLC is looking for accessibility advocates to serve on this group (not necessarily tech people). Mark Grosch and Andy Satomi were mentioned as possible nominees for the campus. On a related note, all universities received a letter from the National Federation of the Blind, expressing concern that we may adopt e-books that aren’t accessible, or materials on GauchoSpace that aren’t accessible.

CISO Report
Karl Heins

An online tutorial to provide general security training for staff is another step closer to being completed.

The risk self-assessment process has started. A template has been developed and tried w/one department. Look to be doing that with all departments with restricted information. If you want to get your department moved up faster in that process – talk with Karl.

There was a peer review of a department’s firewall setup. There was feedback provided to both the to department and reviewers.

Karl is starting to look at scanning and encryption software. Fast performance is needed to use these tools in a forensic analysis.

The ECP committee is moving forward with quick changes to the ECP that would allow security professionals do their job and still comply with the ECP. The draft is not yet ready for review, but talk with Karl if you have issues that you would like addressed in this revision. The focus of these changes is on administrative access and scanning for security or semi-security reasons. Kevin Schmidt and Meta Clow are part of the committee. The longer-term process will redefine privacy issues. There should be a full review further on.

Be aware if you see anything unusual in your logs. If you have any questions, or see something unusual, talk with Karl.

Subcommittee Reports

Backbone Engineering Group (BEG)
Glenn Schiferl

The standards document is still being reviewed in-house by the consultant.

Security Working Group (SEC-WG)
Karl Heins

There was discussion at the last meeting about a wireless cesspool, i.e., an untrusted network, that could be used for wireless guests. There were some good ideas proposed, and Kevin is looking at them. On a similar topic, there was discussion of providing web-based authentication to wired connections. The reason for both: guests may not be secure.

Web Standards and Content Working Group (WSG)
Hank Ratzesberger

The WSG is planning training activities, including an Introduction to Web Security session on November 3, and an intermediate-level Web Applications Security Workshop on November 18.

Meta Clow is developing a draft privacy notification statement regarding personal and general data collection by UCSB websites. She is aiming to make the draft statement available for broader feedback by the end of the calendar year. This will be incorporated into the UCSB Web Guide.

ITPG Communications
Ann Dundon

The committee is looking at using Drupal as a web-based tool for communications, and is in the process of defining functions and features to address communication needs for the ITPG. They hope to demo the site at the next meeting.

Liaison Reports

Information Technology Board (ITB)
Bruce Miller

Arlene presented costs of shared data centers.

Ron and Marc looking at UCLA’s Financial Information System

Academic Technology Planning Group (ATPG)
Alan Moses

There was a request for gathering information on tools and options and presenting it to support faculty researchers. As a follow up on Steve’s meetings on collaboration last summer, the group was asked if we had a sack of money would that be enough. Alan noted that UNC had a good example. There is potential synergy with the ITPG communications group effort.

Enterprise Information Systems Planning Group (EISPG)
Deborah Scott

They are working on how to modify their charter, and what they want to do and accomplish in the next year. Ron Cortez talked about the UCLA Financial Information system. UCLA is coming next Tuesday for a demo. There will be transition costs, etc. This is just in the early investigation stage.

There is extreme risk for SIS and FIS, but the budget is bigger concern.

Cyber Infrastructure

This group hasn’t met yet this academic year.

They have a charge from the Vice Chancellor of Research to come up with operating models: possibilities of residency in the North Hall Data Center, how do you pay for it, who pays for it? If you will be putting equipment into the renovated Data Center, what services would you be interested in seeing, and what costs might be acceptable? Should this be a 24/7 data center? They need more input from residents.

What are the technical issues for system administrators? What are the faculty issues?

VCR wanted to expand the number of faculty sitting on the Cyber Infrastructure committee and turn it into a North Hall Data Center Steering committee.

What is the best forum for participating in these discussions? One can always talk with Arlene Allen, Jeffrey Barteet, or Paul Weakliem. The suggestion was to have an open discussion. Last year there was a discussion that included 15 research system administrators. There was a suggestion to cross-post the invitation to CSF and to invite faculty too. One role ITPG can play is testing the market for various models. It was suggested that, for departments such as IC that have built their own datacenters, it is hard to get engaged with the North Hall Data Center project. Cost targets need to be developed to allow for cost analysis, e.g., cost to build vs. rent, or cost to move vs. rent. What are the campus policy and political issues? It was decided to continue discussion in workshop; Arlene to plan. [Note: such a discussion occurred on 10/28.]

Action Items


Discussion Items

Comments on RUAC Fee for Fiscal Year 2009-2010
RUAC Fee Proposal (doc)

There was a question about the proposed SSN and credit card scanning software, since credit card processing is tightly controlled by accounting. The answer was that what is being proposed is not a PCI (Payment Card Industry) process but rather a way to determine if credit card information is inadvertently being stored on campus systems. Use of such scanning software depends on the ECP, so the proposal includes funding of the licenses and training, but not actually running the scanning software.

There was a comment that the proposal was not clear that there needs to be a change in three years. Given the economic forecast, there will continue to be pressure to keep costs down. The recommendation was to explicitly state that the fee will go up.

There was a request for a copy of the complete proposal made to the Income & Recharge Committee.

There was a request for further definition of what's in the RUAC cost, and those things are split.

UCSB Learning Center & UCSB Alert Update
Mark McGilvray

The UCSB Learning Center

Mark made a presentation on the UCSB Learning Center (pdf) to the ITPG. The Learning Center system was first implemented in 2007 by UCOP, with UCSB going live December 2008. It is hosted outside UC by Sumtotal. We were at version 7.6, but we are now testing 8.2, with plans to go live mid-Nov. The initial project team includes Human Resources, Environmental Health & Safety, Housing & Residential Services, IS&C, and Student Affairs. Current course offerings include: all HR courses, contracts and grants courses, H&RS courses, EH&S courses, SCUBA, with Accounting courses being added in Jan 2010. There is a plan to bring other departments into the Learning Center in Jan 2010. The recent Sexual Harrassment Training was run through the Learning Center.

Be aware that most users won’t be able to log in because of their pop-up blockers. Users will authenticate with their UCSBNetIDs, although the system actually uses the 6-character UCnetid (via cheesy federation).

Courses are currently specific to each campus, but could be shared. There are 30 courses online at UCSB (100 by June). Karl’s staff information security training tutorial is going to be in system. Courses can be created with any type of SCORM-compliant tool. To develop the security training course we are using Adobe Captivate; a more expensive option is Articulate's e-learning software.

The system has a variety of reporting capabilities: a manager can assign training and track it, or you can do training on your own, and hide it from your manager.

UCSB Alert System

This fall GOLD asked for cell phone numbers and they acquired 6,000 from 24,000 students. Students can opt out. Costs to the campus to date are $100,000. To get removed from the system, users needs to un-enroll themselves or send a note to helpdesk. If the campus sent out 30,000 text messages to carriers directly they would block us. So we have to go through an aggregator, which gives 100% delivery to the carriers, but it costs. Police dispatch sends out messages. [Note: on 10/19 there was an event that made use of UCSB Alert.]

Campus Calendaring Issues/Futures
Jamie Sonsini

Jamie attended the October 2009 Roundtable of CalConnect, an Internet Standards organization. For talking points of this presentation, see CalConnect October 2009 Roundtable Highlights (doc). This group recently published a new standard for content, and is now working on standards on time zones.

In Aug 2013 our current Oracle product will go off support.

There was a discussion of whether the current Calendaring service had been a success or not. There are currently 3,000 users of this system. However, there is talk that people are interested in moving to Exchange to gain use of collaboration tools. It was recommended that Jamie should survey the campus to find out what people are currently doing, and then form a group to look at where we want to go, and put together interoperability practices. This may or may not include cross-calendaring. Instead, there are different levels of scheduling: drop item in calendar, free-busy checking, and/or full visibility. [Note: Jamie sent out a survey note to CSF and ITPG on 10/22.]

Update on L&S Instructional Technology Enhancement Initiative
Alan Moses

As of the beginning of October, L&S has an approved Instructional Technology Enhancement Initiatives Fee. This fee will be used to support the following:

  • Web-based instructional tools and materials.
  • Classroom presentation and interaction.
  • Computer-enabled instructional labs.
  • Cnline access to academic advising processes.

Since this is a "Materials" fee, it constrains use of funds. The four Deans have the money, plus there will be a technical coordination group to coordinate with other efforts. Alan will be meeting with service providers. On Oct 26 at 2:00 there will be an information meeting in the UCEN Flying A room for faculty. Alan will invite the technical coordination group later that week. He will talk with departments or faculty. No one will force the faculty to do anything. L&S will start to bill the fee in Winter 2010 for all L&S courses.

Upcoming Items

  • November: Update on Identity Management/Authentication (Arlene Allen)
Learning_Center_Status_9-29-09.pdf548.04 KB
CalConnect-Oct09.doc42 KB