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Minutes provided by Sue Ellen Richey, Recording Secretary*

Committee Graphic

February 20, 2007

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:   MAURICE LEATHERBURY (for PHILIP TURNER), CHAIR, PATRICK PLUSCHT, TIM CHRISTIAN, ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, JOHN HOOPER, SCOTT WINDHAM, GINNY ANDERSON, SARA WILSON MCKAY, JIM CURRY, JENNIFER LAFLEUR (for GUILLERMO OYARCE), STEVEN KING, CHRISTY CRUTSINGER, DON GROSE, UWE ROSSBACH NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:  CHARLIE ANDREWS, MAURICE LEATHERBURY, PHILIP BACZEWSKI, SUE ELLEN RICHEY (Recording Secretary) MEMBERS ABSENT:  JOE ADAMO, CENGIZ CAPAN, MARGARET AMBUEHL, LOU ANN BRADLEY, JUDITH ADKISON, BRUCE HUNTER, JON NELSON, ROBERT NIMOCKS, RAY BANKS, BOBBY CARTER, ABRAHAM JOHN, RAMU MUTHIAH, JOHN PRICE GUESTS PRESENT:  JIM BYFORD, CHARLOTTE RUSSELL, TROY JOHNSON

The minutes of the January 16, 2007 meeting were approved with the following correction:  Page 2, remove the word “that” from the sentence that reads:  Tim Christian reported that the Standards & Policy Planning Group is still looking at the Computer Use Policy.

Horizon Wimba Live Classroom product demonstration

Patrick Pluscht presented a demonstration of the Horizon Wimba Live Classroom product.  There was some discussion following the demo in which it was stated that Horizon Wimba is capable of hosting many classes at the same time, and that UNT has contracted for 1999 simultaneous users.  A question was raised about the company’s arrangements for back-up of their system, and their disaster recovery plan.  It was pointed out that the product was purchased for use not only by faculty, but by researchers and administrators.  It was recommended that for best results a headset or stand-up microphone should be used, rather than use the built-in microphone on a laptop.  There was a question raised about whether or not classroom support would be required, and Patrick stated that he didn’t think that would be involved in the use of this product, since professors will use it from their home or office.  It was pointed out that there are tutorials available for learning how to use the product, but that for the most part it is quite intuitive.  It was also noted that the Wimba product does not meet the University’s internet delivered course delivery guidelines for providing access to deaf students.  Patrick asked those who are interested in trying it out to send him their EUID and a password that would be used only for this product and he would set them up to try it out.  Maurice Leatherbury reported that he used the product for a tele-conference meeting recently and it worked quite well.  Patrick showed how to run through the “set-up” of the product in order to demonstrate the various security measures that are used by Horizon Wimba.  In response to a question about ownership of the class content, Patrick replied that the content of any class belongs to the participant in the class, and the faculty presenter.  There was a suggestion that a privacy statement be automatically added to each presentation. 

Patrick announced that there will be another demo of Horizon Wimba Live Classroom on Thursday, Feb. 22, in Chilton Hall, Room 245, at Noon.  A representative of Horizon Wimba will be there.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team***   

Philip Baczewski reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team that this committee met on February 2 and 16.  On the 2nd, Steve Vocelka reported that electricity will be down for 12 hrs on 2/24/07 in GAB 5th floor for scheduled power maintenance. This will affect the CITC 5th floor machine room areas and the CAS server room. All Central IT services will be down with a few exceptions.  The work is in preparation for installation of a backup power generator for Central IT resources.  Also at that meeting, Chris Strauss and Don McClure, assisted by Richard Sanzone, provided an overview of the proposed organization of the new Remedy/ITSM 7 call tracking system and demonstrated ticket creation and routing under the proposed organizational scheme.  Additionally, the group discussed plans for implementing Office 2007 and Windows Vista. Some areas indicated they might roll out Office 2007 as soon as the Fall 2007 semester. The Outlook 2007 client may also be required to support the migration to the Exchange 2007 mail system.

At the February 16 meeting of DCSMT, Jason Myre discussed the effect of the implementation of the earlier daylight savings time on GroupWise calendar appointments. After the time change, appointments may be off by an hour if they were created before the application of the patch supporting the new daylight savings schedule (last November).  Charlotte Russell presented an overview of CITC pandemic planning, and the group received updates on the 2/24 scheduled power outage (including the fact that mail routing will be up during the outage), the Remedy upgrade project, Office 2007 and Windows Vista issues, and Horizon Wimba live classroom  security issues.  The next meeting of DCSMT is scheduled for March 2.

Maurice Leatherbury announced that he would be sending out a message to UNT staff about the new date for the start of Daylight Savings Time, and the possible ramifications of that change to computerized calendaring.  He suggested that everyone watch their calendars and make sure they are correct after March 11th , and suggested that when people send appointments that they send a note along with it warning the recipient to check for the daylight savings time change.

Maurice also announced that on February 24th from 7pm to February 25th at 7am, all central computing systems will be taken down for the purpose of upgrades in the power supply for them.  He noted that there is a Benchmarks article that gives all the details of this.

Learning Enhancement Group 

Patrick Pluscht reported for the Learning Enhancement Group that they are concerned with how to go about selecting the path for UNT’s learning systems beyond Vista 3, which is the version now being used.  Everyone is very unhappy about WebCT not attending to problems that are brought to them.  The committee has been looking at where they will be 18 months from now, and he estimates that to select a new product and migrate everyone to it will take at least that long.  At the present time they are developing a plan for choosing the new product, and they have asked the Learning Enhancement steering group to assist; they also plan to include faculty, staff, students and administrators in this process.  Patrick brought a proposed charge to his committee before the Council, as follows:

The Information Resources Council charges the Learning Enhancement Planning Group to evaluate Learning Management System (LMS) options to replace WebCT Vista 3.0 and make a recommendation to the IRC by the end of 2007 with final approval of the selected LMS to be sought from the Office of the Provost. 

Patrick moved that the IRC grant this planning group the charge as stated above.  Uwe Rossbach seconded the motion.  There will be a vote on this motion at the March 13 IRC meeting.  It was suggested that Patrick work with Purchasing from the very beginning of the acquisition of the new product, in order to make sure they are in compliance with Purchasing rules of procedure.

EIS Planning Group 

John Hooper reported for the EIS Planning Group that they have had their kick-off meeting of staff from HSC and UNT who will be involved in the upgrade of EIS Learning Solutions, Oracle and Solaris, as well as a hardware refreshment.  John assured everyone that there would not be a lot of dramatic changes to the system.  They are continuing to work on the CRM module implementation.  For status of the upgrade process, anyone can go to www.EIS.unt.edu and see timelines and information about the upgrades.  There is also a calendar on that site that will show planned downtimes in the production environment.

Standards & Policy Planning Group 

Tim Christian reported for the Standards & Policy Planning Group that they are revising the Computer Use Policy and plan to bring it to the IRC at its March 13th meeting.

Student Computing Planning Group 

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported for the Student Computing Planning Group that the planned Ruckus presentation to the SGA was cancelled when UNT was closed for inclement weather.  To date, that presentation has not been rescheduled.  Elizabeth reported that she attended the IT Peer Review meeting and noted that there were a lot of students present.  She made notes of their comments and as a result, she has had some informal discussions in the General Access Labs and with Philip Baczewski.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:30 pm.

March 13, 2007

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:   PHILIP TURNER, CHAIR, PATRICK PLUSCHT, TIM CHRISTIAN, ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, ROBERT JONES (for JOHN HOOPER), RHONDA ACKER (for SCOTT WINDHAM), JIM CURRY, GUILLERMO OYARCE, STEVEN KING, ERIN MURRELL (for CHRISTY CRUTSINGER), UWE ROSSBACH, CENGIZ CAPAN, MARGARET AMBUEHL, LOU ANN BRADLEY, PAUL HONS (for JUDITH ADKISON), BRUCE HUNTER, ROBERT NIMOCKS, RAMU MUTHIAH, WIL CLARK (for JOHN PRICE) NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:  JOE ADAMO, CHARLIE ANDREWS, MAURICE LEATHERBURY, PHILIP BACZEWSKI, SUE ELLEN RICHEY (Recording Secretary) MEMBERS ABSENT:  DON GROSE, GINNY ANDERSON, SARA WILSON MCKAY, JON NELSON, RAY BANKS, BOBBY CARTER, ABRAHAM JOHN GUESTS PRESENT:  JIM BYFORD, SCOTT POWERS

The minutes of the February 20, 2007 meeting were approved with a note that in the designation, Daylight Saving Time, there is no “s” on the word Saving. 

Distributed Computing Support Management Team***  

Philip Baczewski reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team that at their March 2 meeting, Tom Anderson and Keith Cullum of Dell, Inc. were in attendance to provide a current overview of Dell's printing products. Also discussed at that meeting were a review of the GAB power outage, GroupWise Daylight Saving Time issues, a GroupWise Instant Messenger bug, Course Management System issues, CBT software availability, and security incident reporting.  Additionally, it was requested that DCSMT investigate deployment of MS Office 2007. A working group was appointed, with Uwe Rossbach as its chair, to identify issues involved with rolling out Office 2007, and develop one or more scenarios outlining how a rollout could be accomplished in a coordinated and efficient way. The next meeting is scheduled for March 16.

Learning Enhancement Planning Group 

Patrick Pluscht presented the proposed charge to the Learning Enhancement Planning Group, which had its first reading at the February meeting, and called for discussion and vote.  Discussion followed during which Patrick stated that he hopes to have a decision made on what product to use by July or early August and move forward with implementation as soon as the purchase has been negotiated.  The current version of WebCT Vista that is being used is not the latest version, and WebCT is not willing to fix anything in this version.  For users who do not move to their later version, support will diminish.  Patrick stated that it is hoped that conversion to a new product or later version of Vista be accomplished by December of 2007.  In answer to a question from Robert Nimocks, it was stated that the system that replaces WebCT Vista will be a real course management system.  Patrick reported that a survey has been sent out to the planning group members asking them to weight the criteria to be used in deciding on a product; and a separate features survey will be sent out to faculty and students to see what features they would like to have in the new product.  Robert Nimocks commented that the Health Science Center has not been able to get people interested in the current system.  Patrick invited HSC to appoint a representative from their school to serve on the Learning Enhancement Planning Group.  Dr. Turner noted that there are 50,000 enrollments on Vista this semester, and also added that they are trying to be very conservative about changing and are waiting until the latest possible time to do so.  Following the discussion, the proposed new charge was approved.

Communications Planning Group

Lou Ann Bradley stated that the Communications Planning Group has not met, therefore, she had no report.

EIS Planning Group 

Robert Jones reported for the EIS Planning Group that the teams have worked very hard to make the needed changes to the computer system to adapt to the early change to Daylight Saving Time.  Projects the EIS group is currently working on are:  1) beginning the implementation of the Cognos performance and planning software that the Budget Office will primarily be using in order to streamline the budgeting process for the university.  They anticipate that they will be working with consultants to kick-off that implementation during this budget year so that it will be ready for full use by the next budget year; 2) Learning Solutions upgrade is underway;  the first week in April resources will be devoted to that implementation; and 3) CRM project, as it relates to Graduate Admissions is on track to begin at the end of April.  In response to a question from Uwe Rossbach about EIS compatibility with IE7, Robert stated that PeopleSoft has certified IE7, and he has been using it to test it and has discovered no issues or problems with the new version.  He said he would work on getting an official notification of this out to the campus.  Patrick noted that WebCT has not yet certified IE7.  Cengiz Capan asked if student advising tracking is included in the CRM project.  Robert stated that the initial implementation would be for applicant and prospect tracking in the Admissions office.  Cengiz stressed that graduate student advising tracking is a huge need by academic departments and he urged the development of this in EIS.

Student Computing Planning Group 

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported for the Student Computing Planning Group that the SkillSoft CBT courseware has been loaded, and it is believed that it interfaces with PeopleSoft.  Tim Christian reported for the Standards & Policy Planning Group that the Office of Internal Audit has made some recommendations for changes to the Computer Use Policy and his group is working on those revisions.

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner expressed concern over the move to Office 2007 because of questions she will be asked at new student orientation sessions regarding what type of computer and software need to be purchased by parents for their students.

Some questions were raised about the Office 2007 product, and concerns expressed about its feature changes.  Elizabeth said she would distribute a list of all the training courses that are available through SkillSoft for Office 2007.  There will be training on Sharepoint, a new feature of Office 2007, in October of 2007.

Migration from GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange

Maurice Leatherbury reported that he and his staff had met with Dell regarding the planned migration from GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange, as well as a change from Novell Directory to Microsoft Active Directory.  It is now clear that there is a need to accelerate the plan to tighten up the campus network by setting up the firewall so that the default is to deny everything instead of accepting everything.  CITC will be asking the Communications Planning Group to help with establishing a different way of managing the access to UNT’s network from off campus.  The Intrusion Detection system will be used and network managers will be asked to identify what protocols they are using, so that plans can be made to allow that kind of use to go through the firewall.  Long term, CITC wants to have a dmz (area outside of the firewall) which will allow anybody to put anything up; which will require a lot of extra planning.  In addition, they will be putting up vpn to allow access into the campus for those protocols and ports that are known to need  protection from outside.  Maurice explained that there is a lot yet to be done. 

Cengiz Capan expressed his concern over the rising cost of all of the technological improvements that have to be done.

Joe Adamo further explained that there have been recent problems with the firewall going down due to a software bug within the Juniper firewalls.  Datacom is working with Juniper, at their highest technical level, to resolve the issues.

Staying within the law

Maurice further reported that CITC is testing a CopySense device that supports the blocks of the transmission of copyrighted materials from campus.  There will be some changes to the network and it looks like the device could be turned on within the next month.  The RIAA is stepping up pressure on college campuses and is sending out a new wave of subpoenas against students who use campus networks to distribute copyrighted materials. There are some policy issues to deal with in regard to enforcement methods.  The device will be used primarily in RESNET but could be used across campus later. The device will be able to discern the difference between legal and illegal downloads. 

Joe Adamo added that Datacom is running a device that is actively detecting rogue wireless access points and will be sending out notices of shut-down through Housing.  Rogue access is considered a security incident.  Joe clarified that if a student in a dorm is using a laptop with a MAC airport and is wirelessly accessing the network it is considered rogue access.  The computer must be attached to a wall outlet in the dorm room.  Wireless access is, however, available in common areas of dorms.

It was noted that there is a new Cell phone Policy in effect, due to a significant amount of cell phone use abuse.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:00 pm.

 


* For a list of IRC Regular and Ex-officio Members click here.

***DCSMT Minutes can be found here.

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. The schedule can be found here. All meetings of the IRC, its program groups, and other committees, are open to all faculty, staff, and students.

 

 


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