Page One

Campus Computing News

Renew PRAS Accounts Now

SirCam Virus, Others Continue to Plague UNT and the World

The SmartForce Server is on Course!

Lab-of-the-Month: SCDGAL

Computer Purchase Information Now Online

ACS Summer News

Migrating Queries from Microsoft Access to an Access Project

Today's Cartoon

RSS Matters

SAS Corner

The Network Connection

List of the Month

WWW@UNT.EDU

Short Courses

IRC News

Staff Activities

Subscribe to Benchmarks Online
    

IRC News

Minutes provided by Sue Ellen Richey, Recording Secretary

Committee Graphic

IRC Regular and Ex-officio Voting Members: Judith Adkison, College of Education; Ginny Anderson, Fiscal Affairs; Donna Asher, Administrative Affairs; Craig Berry, School of Visual Arts; Sue Byron, Faculty Senate; Bobby Carter, UNT Health Science Center; Jim Curry, Academic Administration; VACANT, Student Association, Don Grose, Libraries; Jenny Jopling, Instruction Program Group; Joneel Harris, Administrative Program Group; Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, Standards and Cooperation Program Group; Abraham John, Student Affairs; VACANT,Graduate Student Council; VACANT, University Planning Council; Ramu Muthiah, School of Community Services, GALMAC; Jon Nelson, College of Music; Robert Nimocks, Director, Information Technology,UNTHSC; Patrick Pluscht, Distributed Learning Team; Mark Rorvig, Research Program Group (Acting Chair); Paul Schlieve, Communications Program Group; Kathleen Swigger, College of Arts and Sciences; Philip Turner, School of Library and Information Science and University Planning Council (Chair, IRC);; Virginia Wheeless, Chancellor; John Windsor, College of Business. IRC Ex-officio Nonvoting Members: VACANT, Telecommunications; Bill Buntain, Computing Center Networking; Jim Curry, Microcomputer Maintenance Shop; Richard Harris, Computing Center; Coy Hoggard, Computing Center; Joel Lanpher, UNT Health Science Center; Maurice Leatherbury, Computing Center; Sue Ellen Richey, Computing Center (Recording Secretary). [As of 10/2000]

May 15, 2001

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: CHAIR: PHILIP TURNER, JIM CURRY,  LOU ANN BRADLEY (for PAUL SCHLIEVE), ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER,  JUDITH ADKISON,  MARGARET HUDNALL,  PATRICK PLUSCHT,  JONEEL HARRIS, ROBERT NIMOCKS,  DONNA ASHER, CENGIZ CAPAN, CRAIG BERRY,  DON GROSE,  JENNY JOPLING, RAMU MUTHIAHNON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:  RICHARD HARRIS, MAURICE LEATHERBURY, SUE ELLEN RICHEY  (Recording Secretary)

MEMBERS ABSENT:  KATHLEEN SWIGGER, MARK RORVIG,  JOEL LANPHEAR, ALLEN LIVINGSTON, VIRGINIA WHEELESS,  JON NELSON,  BOBBY CARTER, MIKE IMPSON, GINNY ANDERSON, COY HOGGARD

GUESTS: JAMES STRAWN,JENNIFER LAFLEUR, BETTY TOMBOULIAN

The minutes of the April 17, 2001 IRC meeting were approved with the following correction:

Second to last paragraph on page 2: “Cengiz Capan reported favorable results of an Auditor’s review of the General Access Labs.”

Administrative Program Group

Joneel Harris reported for the Administrative Program Group that she had just come from a meeting with Oracle at which they presented their proposal for the establishment of the technology infrastructure for whatever application-independent Enterprise Information System that UNT may eventually select. Oracle is offering UNT substantial discounts for their database and data warehousing components. In response to a question from the Chair, Joneel stated that UNT would not make the move to Oracle’s foundation piece unless there was certainty that a later purchase would be made of a product that would run on Oracle’s database (which could be SCT, PeopleSoft, or Oracle).

Richard Harris stated that this move would be a commitment to a fundamental change in UNT’s infrastructure, and once the move is made, there would be an incentive to get off the mainframe due to continued expenses in the maintenance of the mainframe. Joneel pointed out that UNT already has a considerable investment in Oracle database licenses and Oracle’s proposal does include a campus-wide site license, as a side benefit.

Joneel reported that the committee was excited to find that companies are coming out with new generation products that are internet-architected and e-business focused. The problem is that every one of them is in its infancy; there is no single vendor that has all of the products and components running in production in higher education. This has set the committee back in their estimation of when a recommendation can be made.

Richard further explained that if it was decided to go ahead with the foundation piece, the datawarehousing, etc., implementing that would take a year or so; by that time, there may be other higher education institutions using the rest of the systems. So they are looking for useful things that can be done to move forward in the interim while the rest of the products are being developed.

Cengiz Capan asked if new staff requests have been included in the planning for the implementation of the Oracle database system. Richard Harris responded that the Computing Center had an increase in technical staff last year; he is aware that a few more will have to be added, for example: a full-time Oracle dba and a backup; a project manager – possibly 3 or 4 fte.There is more concern on the user side as to whether they can provide support personnel. In fact, Oracle recommends 4-6 people from to time dedicated for six months on just the purchasing part of the project.

Joneel further reported that since the last IRC meeting, four different consultant groups have been interviewed regarding the implementation of a new EIS. As a project oversight consultant, UNT has hired a consultant from NCHEMS on a limited scale.

Instruction Program Group

Jenny Jopling reported that Dr. Turner was asked to present a request for the management of the the distance learning and testing facility at the Gateway Center.Jenny said she revised a previous recommendation made by the Instruction Program Group so that it reflects agreement by the Counseling & Testing Services to be the managers of this facility. Dr. Turner will present the revised recommendation to the Provost. Jenny distributed copies of the revised recommendation.

Research Program Group

Mark Rorvig asked Maurice Leatherbury to report for the Research Program Group that the committee plans to meet to consider a request for research programmers.

Standards & Cooperation Program Group,Computer Use Policy

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported that the Standards & Cooperation Program Group met and has finished their draft revision of the Security Policy and when they have finished their revision of the Security Standards document, they will present both for approval by the IRC. Elizabeth deferred to Richard Harris to discuss a suggested revision to the newly approved Computer Use Policy. Copies of the revised policy were distributed. Richard explained that he’d had a meeting with Steve Miller and Donna Asher in Human Resources as a result of a request to extend benefits to surviving spouses of retired faculty members.

The proposed change would be to allow Premium Access Accounts and use of computer facilities by surviving spouses of retired faculty members, together with a note at the end of the document that states “Other remote access accounts, for the benefit of the University, may be approved on an individual basis by the Associate Vice President for Computing and Communications Services.” Human Resources will keep a list of those who are eligible. In addition, it is suggested that a wording change be effected making it acceptable to share remote access accounts with immediate family members residing in the same household. Richard proposed that these changes be voted on today.

In order to vote on these revisions to the policy at today’s meeting, the Chair explained that it would be necessary to waive the rule that a new issue must be introduced at one meeting and voted on at the following meeting. The Chair asked for a motion to waive the rule; Cengiz Capan moved to waive the rule; Judy Adkison seconded the motion and the motion passed.

Cengiz Capan then seconded the proposed changes to the Computer Use Policy. Maurice Leatherbury suggested additional wording to clarify that the account holder of the remote access account should not share their password, even though they can share their account. It was agreed that following the statement regarding sharing of remote access accounts by immediate family members residing in the same household is allowed, the following wording be added: “Account holder is ultimately responsible for the security of his or her account.” The suggested revisions were accepted by a vote of the Council.

The Chair stated that he would present these approved changes to the Vice Presidents and the Faculty Senate.

Distributed Learning Team

Patrick Pluscht reported for the Distributed Learning Team that they have 23 courses under development for web-based courses in addition to those already developed. They have 17 video-conference courses this summer and close to 30 for Fall, many of which are new courses. In addition they have received a memo from the Coordinating Board stating that a state-wide electronic portal to assist individuals who are seeking distance education courses and programs is being created. They are modeling it after the Southern Regional Electronic Campus (http://www.electroniccampus.org/) which was created by the Southern Regional Education Board (http://www.sreb.org/) as a way to share courses back and forth between states that are members of the SRC. They collect from all of the institutions information about each of the courses in order to market them. The web site for this portal is www.collegefortexans.com

June 19, 2001

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: RICHARD HARRIS, CHAIR, LOU ANN BRADLEY (for PAUL SCHLIEVE), SANDRA BURKE (for ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER), JON YOUNG (for JUDITH ADKISON), JON NELSON, MIKE IMPSON, MARK RORVIG, MARGARET HUDNALL, COY HOGGARD (for JONEEL HARRIS), CENGIZ CAPAN, DON GROSE, RAMU MUTHIAH, MAURICE LEATHERBURY (for JENNY JOPLING)

NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: BILL BUNTAIN, JAMES STRAWN, SUE ELLEN RICHEY (Recording Secretary)

MEMBERS ABSENT: CRAIG BERRY, PATRICK PLUSCHT, PHILIP TURNER, JIM CURRY, ROBERT NIMOCKS, DONNA ASHER, KATHLEEN SWIGGER, JOEL LANPHEAR, ALLEN LIVINGSTON, VIRGINIA WHEELESS, BOBBY CARTER, GINNY ANDERSON, PAUL SCHLIEVE, ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, JUDITH ADKISON, JONEEL HARRIS, JENNY JOPLING

GUESTS: JENNIFER LAFLEUR, BETTY TOMBOULIAN, MELODY KELLY, PAM HIGHT

Distributed Computing Support Management Team

Maurice Leatherbury reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team that they have been meeting regularly. He reported that there is a subcommittee looking at MAC OS X and the support issues involved. The subcommittee’s initial opinion is that MAC OS X is not ready for distribution because there are a number of applications on campus that won’t work under it. At the last meeting of the DCSMT, Bill Buntain made a report on the progress of the data communications infrastructure upgrade.

Maurice Leatherbury also reported that it has been announced that UNT is eligible for another round of TIF grant monies; one allocation to be used for general university projects, and another allocation solely for use by the library. He stated that there would be 1.3 million dollars available to UNT. He welcomes input on how best to use the funds and proposals will be considered and placed in priority order by the IRC’s Strategic Planning Committee. To fulfill the purposes set forth for use of the monies, projects will be considered if they fall under the following 4 general categories:

  1. Projects to foster collaboration between UNT and K-12 schools and other universities for teacher training;
  2. Support for distance education;
  3. Data communication and inside-the-walls connectivity;
  4. General computing on campus

Those projects already suggested are:

  1. Put together a number of classrooms each with 25 laptops using wireless connectivity;
  2. Multi-media production workstations;
  3. Training people in distributed education technology as well as technical people in support of network and equipment;
  4. Video-conferencing rooms and equipment (the Center for Distributed Learning has put together a list of items worth $360,000, including two new video-conferencing rooms and replacement of equipment in Chilton Hall and ISB.
  5. DCSMT has been talking about putting in wireless connectivity points on campus (ex: University Union and some large classrooms) where students can connect their laptops.
  6. Providing area Storage Area Network connection to Novell so that students could have larger file space for their own use. (Maurice explained that the Computing Center wants this for use in storage of GroupWise backups, etc., so adding on some additional storage space for students could be included in that project;
  7. Upgrade student computer labs in terms of connectivity; Purchase additional Web CT servers to provide a clustering system;
  8. Purchase additional streaming video licenses
  9. Develop a small video-conferencing center in the ESSC. Maurice explained that the grant proposal deadline is the end of July and that the IRC Strategic Planning Committee will meet prior to that time to prioritize the proposals for use of the funds.

EIS Planning Group

Coy Hoggard reported for the EIS Group that after several vendor presentations and site visits, the group determined that all the vendors whose applications are being considered for use at UNT will support the running of their applications in the Oracle database environment. In fact, some of those vendors support only the Oracle database environment. At the end of May Oracle presented UNT with a proposal to expand UNT’s current Oracle licenses and give us a large discount on their database and selected other products. The administration approved this action; an agreement was signed and a purchase order issued. This was possible due to a 15-day “bailout” provision in the Oracle agreement, which provided time to seek Board or Regents approval for the purchase. Board approval was granted with the understanding that this was just the first step in the process to implement the planned Enterprise Information System at the UNT System institutions. The agreement with Oracle does not indicate a commitment to Oracle applications except for the acquisition of a data warehousing building tool as well as a component called CRM. But the offered price for several products that, including the Oracle applications are “locked in” at the same discounted amount for a period of three years.

Richard Harris read the recommendation that was approved by the Board of Regents:

“The Presidents, with the concurrence of the Chancellor, recommends that the Board of Regents authorize the UNT System to enter into the necessary contracts for the purchase and implementation of the Oracle system as described above. It is further recommended that the Board of Regents authorize the Budget and Finance Committee to approve any additional software and consulting contracts in excess of $500,000 related to the full implementation of the EIS system. All other contracts related to the full implementation of the EIS system may be approved by the UNT System Administration.”

It was reported that the initial expenditure for the Oracle database was $931,800 and that another million dollars is expected to be spent on hardware. Richard Harris stated that it is hoped that the entire project can be accomplished for under $20 million. In response to a question regarding training of existing staff, Coy explained that some training was taking place now but that more intensive training would be planned for a time closer to the actual implementation of the new software.

Standards & Cooperation Program Group

Sandy Burke reported for the Standards & Cooperation Program Group that they did not meet in May or June but plan to meet in July to continue work on the revision of the Computing Security Policy and Guidelines.

There was a short discussion about the use of existing video classrooms and it was reported that the rooms are consistently booked; however it was acknowledged that video classrooms are seen as a bridge to future distributed learning technologies. Departments are encouraged to be cautious in planning any large expenditures in the expansion of existing video classrooms, or development of new ones.

Margaret Hudnall expressed some concern about the use of web based courses to provide high quality teacher certification classes. Her concern was duly noted by the Council.

July 17, 2001

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: RICHARD HARRIS, CHAIR, LOU ANN BRADLEY (for DON GROSE), ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, JUDITH ADKISON, COY HOGGARD (for JONEEL HARRIS), JENNY JOPLING, CRAIG BERRY, PATRICK PLUSCHT, JIM CURRY, DONNA ASHER, ALLEN CLARK (for VIRGINIA WHEELESS), PAUL SCHLIEVE

NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: MAURICE LEATHERBURY, JAMES STRAWN, SUE ELLEN RICHEY (Recording Secretary)

MEMBERS ABSENT: PHILIP TURNER, ROBERT NIMOCKS, KATHLEEN SWIGGER, JOEL LANPHEAR, ALLEN LIVINGSTON, BOBBY CARTER, GINNY ANDERSON, JON NELSON, MIKE IMPSON, MARK RORVIG, MARGARET HUDNALL, CENGIZ CAPAN, RAMU MUTHIAH, BILL BUNTAIN

GUESTS: JENNIFER LAFLEUR

Information Resources Steering Committee, Computer Use Policy

Richard Harris reported that the Information Resources Steering Committee met and reviewed the Computer Use Policy. They accepted the changes that had been made by the IRC but they found another area of the policy regarding computer resources that they wanted to change. The portion of the policy referring to use of computer resources for political or religious purposes was amended to include a reference to the existing policy concerning use of state resources by employees. With that one change, the committee approved the policy.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team

Maurice Leatherbury reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team that C.R. Chevli and Bill Buntain had spoken to the group regarding multicasting and the problems associated with doing that on campus. Tests were planned for the College of Business and Jim Curry’s shop, which have subsequently been conducted with problematic results.Cisco Systems will be consulted about the problems, but it was uncertain whether or not they have been consulted yet.

Maurice Leatherbury reported that about $800,000 has become available to UNT, and after collecting numerous requests for portions of the funds, a meeting was held by the Information Resources Strategic Planning Committee to prioritize the requests. Maurice distributed a spreadsheet entitled (Attachment #1) which shows how the projects were prioritized by the Strategic Planning Committee. Maurice will use this prioritized list when preparing the grant proposal.

Communications Program Group

Paul Schlieve reported that the Communications Program Group has not met but they are still actively evaluating wireless network solutions. It has been determined that a wireless network is desirable and would be extremely useful; however, issues that must be dealt with are security and implementation of security without having to increase staff to support it. They have looked at a Cisco Systems solution that may work, but they are continuing to investigate. Paul explained that College of Education is setting up a wireless network in Matthews Hall and it seems to be working well.

EIS Planning Group

Coy Hoggard reported for the EIS Planning Group that the Oracle software that was ordered May 31, 2001 has been received. Included in this purchase was their Advanced Recruiting / CRM (Constituent Resource Management) and Data Warehouse building and query software. Fortunately, an order had already been placed for a Sun computer because the Computing Center is in the process of migrating some administrative applications from Windows NT running on Intel servers over to Unix (Solaris) running on Sun machines. It is believed that the machine already on order has adequate capacity to support the initial phases of the Advanced Recruiting / CRM and Data Warehousing projects as well as the applications for which it was ordered. That machine has arrived and the process of loading software onto it has begun. Joel Daboub from Undergraduate Admissions and Robert Jones, a programmer analyst in Administrative Computing, are both attending a meeting of Oracle partner schools who are involved with CRM implementation. But the primary focus of the EIS group’s effort is currently on getting the Request for Proposal (RFP) document for the entire EIS software ready for distribution to vendors. The plan is to release the RFP in early August.

Standards & Cooperation Program Group

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported that the Standards & Cooperation Program Group had met to work on a draft of the Security Policy and the Security Guidelines. They will finish the draft in September and hope to provide a reading copy to the IRC at the October meeting.

Distributed Learning Team

Patrick Pluscht reported for the Distributed Learning Team that they have discussed TIF funding opportunities and will meet again Thursday, July 19th.

UNT’s Privacy Policy

Donna Asher remarked that there is new legislation that may affect UNT’s Privacy Policy and asked if the IRC would be dealing with the policies affected. Maurice Leatherbury responded by stating that the new legislature doesn’t change what UNT is already doing, and adds email addresses to the information that falls in the category of private information. Maurice explained that Standards & Cooperation would most likely be reviewing the existing policies in light of new legislation that might affect them.

Miscellaneous Business

Richard Harris announced that unless there were any objections, there would be no August meeting of the IRC.

Richard also announced that there is a TASSCC meeting August 5-8 in Addison if any IRC members are interested in finding out what is going on around the state in other State Supported Computing Centers.

IRC Meeting Schedule

The IRC generally meets on the third Tuesday of each month, from 2-4 p.m., in the Administration Building Board Room. From time to time there are planned exceptions to this schedule. All meetings of the IRC, its program groups, and other committees, are open to all faculty, staff, and students.