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IRC News

Minutes provided by Sue Ellen Richey, Recording Secretary*

Committee Graphic

January 16, 2007**

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

Lou Ann Bradley moved for approval of the minutes of the December 19, 2006, meeting; Cengiz Capan seconded the motion and the minutes were approved as distributed.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team***  

Philip Baczewski reported that the Distributed Computing Support Management Team has not met since the last IRC meeting; therefore, there was no report.  That committee will meet next on January 19th.

Learning Enhancement Planning Group

Patrick Pluscht reported for the Learning Enhancement Planning Group that there will be a demonstration of the Horizon Wimba product at the next DCSMT meeting.  He commented that end-user support will come directly from Horizon Wimba after it is installed; Network Managers will do the installation, however.  Patrick said that he would share the WebCT usage statistics after the 12th class day.  In response to a question from Cengiz Capan, Patrick explained that the Horizon Wimba product is available now within Vista, although they are still planning the implementation of the part that controls the administration of the product.  There is a non-disclosure agreement that may need to be signed in order to implement an LDAP authentication scheme for presenters; Patrick has consulted the University Attorneys about this.  There was a suggestion that Patrick demo the product to the IRC after the demo to the DCSMT.

Communications Planning Group

Lou Ann Bradley reported that the Communications Planning Group met, at which time the group addressed the issue of VPN.  Rich Anderson reported to the committee stating that VPN access is going to be critical once the migration is made to Microsoft so this needs to be a component of the migration plan.  Joe Adamo further explained that the basic reason this has to be done is that Novell is currently being used for remote access into the system.  When the move is made to Microsoft the Windows network ports will be turned off at the portal because they are the most vulnerable to hackers, so to facilitate access to drives and servers on campus, it will be necessary to provide a VPN which will give secure access.   Once that is in place, Joe added, then they will implement additional rules on the firewall to protect the campus.    Currently, there is no CITC funding to purchase the hardware and software needed for VPN this year, but the plan is to implement this next year so they plan to apply for funding in the next fiscal year.  In response to a question from Cengiz Capan, Joe Adamo confirmed that the VPN will be available to faculty on their desktops.

AIS Planning Group

John Hooper reported for the AIS Planning Group that they are in the midst of registration, which is a time when the load on the EIS system is the heaviest.  He reported having had a glitch with Web servers, but that everything is working well now.  Current projects are:  conversion from Oracle V. 09 to 10g; conversion to Solaris 10; and a new SAN.  They are approaching a hardware refreshment since the original equipment is coming to the end of life.  In addition, graduate prospecting and recruiting is going on and service vendors are here to help with the upgrade implementations.  John stated that on the application side, they are starting to work on the upgrade to Campus Solutions 8.9.

Cengiz Capan asked if there could be a worksheet screen implemented whereby students could find out how much their registration would cost prior to actually enrolling in classes.  John Hooper replied that he would check and see.  Patrick Pluscht added that it would also be helpful for students to be able to see what books are required for a course they plan to enroll in and how much the books would cost, as a part of that worksheet.

Standards & Policy Planning Group

Tim Christian reported that the Standards & Policy Planning Group is still looking at the Computer Use Policy.

Student Computing Planning Group

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported for the Student Computing Planning Group that they have not met but are waiting for Ruckus to make a presentation to the Student Government Association.

IT Peer Review

Maurice Leatherbury reported that an IT Peer Review group will begin meetings with CITC Directors on Friday, January 19th, with open meetings planned for the afternoon from 2:00-3:30 pm in ISB 201.  He urged IRC members to attend this open meeting.  No CITC staff will be present for the open meetings so that attendees can speak freely.  Maurice asked Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner to invite student members of the Student Computing Planning Group to attend if possible.  Maurice reported that he had sent out a campus-wide invitation on GroupWise.  In response to a question from Cengiz Capan, Maurice stated that the Review group will be looking at everything that pertains to IT.  The group has already looked at the UNT Web site; Maurice has made a presentation to the team leader and has sent the group a document about IT on campus.  Dr. Turner will also be talking with the review group; some network managers will meet with them; however, most of the morning will be spent with CITC Directors individually.  The group will also meet with Phil Diebel for a while.

QEP Faculty forum

Dr. Turner invited IRC members to attend the first QEP Faculty forum, which will be held from 2:00-4:00 pm on February 2, in ISB 201.

University Attorney’s office

The Chair introduced Nancy Footer and Alan Stucky, who were invited to speak with the IRC about Contracts and their processing through the University Attorney’s office.  There followed a question and answer session, summarized as follows:

Q:  Dr. Turner asked if there is a procedure manual or something that would tell people who to submit a legal question to?
 
A:  Ms. Footer answered that they are setting up a website listing the members of  the office staff and telling their area of expertise.  As of today, however, if a contract has to do with research or construction, you could contact Alan Stucky.  To find out the status of any contract, contact Darin Haerle, who maintains a database and knows where things are in the process.  Michelle Williams handles computer security and breaches, and works on issues pertaining to the Teach Act.  Ms. Footer said that people can call or email her if they do not know who else to turn to.
 
Q:  Can an acknowledgement of an inquiry be expected from someone in the Legal office?
 
A:  Ms. Footer answered that their staff has discussed this and said they would like to acknowledge all requests within 72 hours but that won’t always happen.  There simply aren’t enough staff to meet the demand for legal work.  She stated that their staff works hard and long and smart, but the demand for legal work continues to go up, with 1800 contracts being handled by their office last year.  She reiterated that one should expect acknowledgment, yes; but not in the time frame one might expect it.  If someone sends email to Darin Haerle, she will be more likely to respond.  For those who submit a contract with a purchase requisition, it may soon be possible to check the status of a contract through the ePro system.
 
Q:  Is there a possibility that some small dollar items might be exempt from legal review?
 
A:  Ms. Footer replied that they have begun to explore this possibility; however, they are under Board of Regents restrictions and at this point must review everything.  They have re-introduced this suggestion to UNT’s new President, but they will have to be careful where they draw the line.
 
Dr. Turner offered IRC support for making the suggestion to exempt some low dollar items.
Ms. Footer continued that as they look at exempting some contracts, and decentralizing signature authority, a process will have to be created by which people in the organization own their own deals.  She warned that companies today will be looking at contracts they sign with UNT to see if they have had legal review.  When Legal has responsibility for a contract, we are very careful about reviewing it.  She added that it would be helpful if PPS developed a legal office that could handle standard and low-dollar contracts, so she encouraged IRC’s support for that.
 
Q:  Does the UNT Legal Office have positions on legal concepts?
 
A:  Ms. Footer stated that they hope to post some positions on the website eventually.  She asked if the IRC members thought they would be used?  She stated that they don’t have enough staff to do outreach and training, so they keep answering the same questions over and over again.
 
Cengiz Capan stated that a website with frequently asked questions would be useful, as well as publication of information regarding the status of contracts.
 
Ms. Footer continued that they are concerned about privacy and security of information, but they are willing to explore this when they have enough staff to address it.  She believes having this information on a website would be as much of a help to their office as to those who submit contracts for review.  She added that if there are things that would be useful on a website, please let her know.
 
Q:  Joe Adamo asked if there is some sort of “standard” contract that could be used.
 
A:  Alan Stucky replied that they have explored that and have found that the vendor, or the other side, is slower than UNT when they’ve sent a standard UNT contract that has to be reviewed by a vendor before signing.  There are some things that lend themselves to form contracts and the UT system has some contracts they’ve formed up that can be used, so they will address this when they have more staff.
 
Maurice Leatherbury asked how the IRC could help support Legal get additional staff support.  Nancy Footer replied that IRC could just say so to the President.  They believe UNT is prepared to support additional resources, so they would appreciate support for that from the IRC.
 
Q:  Since faculty research is a high priority at the UNT legal office, could software and database contracts that are tied to certain classes possibly be given a high priority also? 
 
A:  Mr. Stucky replied that students come ahead of everything in their office.  Further, they don’t always pick up on items that have a deadline when they come through PPS; but they do flag contracts that have deadlines.
 
Q:  If there is a way some IT staff could help with setting up an automated process to show status of contracts, would you be open to that?
 
A:  Ms. Footer replied that they would be open to that.  Dr. Turner added that he would meet with Ms. Footer to see how this committee could help.
 
Q:  If there is a deadline for getting a contract through the system, how much lead time should be allowed?
 
A:  There is no easy answer to that question.  The Legal Office was close to narrowing in on that but now they have lost a staff member, so she suggested that everyone give as much lead time as they can.  To expect anything to get finished in two to three weeks is unreasonable at this time; on the other hand, more than two or three months is also unreasonable.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:00 pm.

 


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

**Corrected and approved 2/20/07

***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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