DUKE ITAC - May 13, 2004 Minutes
May 13, 2004
Members present: Ed Anapol, Mike Baptiste, Pakis Bessias, John Board, Paul Conway, Dick Danner represented by Wayne Miller, Brian Eder, Nevin Fouts, Tracy Futhey, Michael Gettes, Patrick Halpin, Paul Harrod represented by Alfred Trozzo, Billy Herndon, David Jamieson-Drake, Kyle Johnson represented by Tim Bounds, Melissa Mills, George Oberlander, Lynne O'Brien, Mike Pickett, Molly Tamarkin, Robert Wolpert
Guests present: David Menzies, OIT; Ginny Cake, OIT; Kathy Pfeiffer, ADS; Sue Jarrell; Ben Riseling, ONC; Phil Lemmons, ONC
I. Review of minutes and announcements:
Mike Pickett reminds members of the Calendaring Exploration Presentation from Meeting Maker from 2-4 tomorrow.
II. Internet2 meeting overview
by Michael Gettes
The Mozilla foundation (12 to 14 people plus about 35 people who are core developers) made a presentation. This organization is developing Firefox, ThunderBird and the original Mozilla client. When you look at these applications you see an underlying platform with many capabilities and interoperability with other languages. The Mozilla platform is not well known. Mitchell Baker and Mike Shaffer presented to architects from various schools and security people belonging to MACE and SALSA. The meeting was long, but all good.
Michael feels the Mozilla platform is the last, great hope for true cross-platform development. It is meant to be platform neutral. Michael says he is a fan. He is happy to talk to anyone who wants to know more about it. Unfortunately, the documentation at this point is rather thin.
Then there was the Real-Time Communications Summit (RTCS). Groups are coming together to do real-time protocol discussion within RTCS.
Rest of the meeting was about Shibboleth. Lots of people are implementing Shib and making it happen.
While not at Internet 2, at a CSG meeting we discussed Chandler. It was intended to have new point releases of Chandler about every three months. The next release has been delayed until October. They are rethinking open standards and giving it higher priority. This is a big win. Rather than two versions of Chandler it looks like there will be only one version that will do it all from enterprise-wide to individual.
Robert Wolpert asks if there is a date for Chandler when it will be such that we can look closely at it. Michael says there may be development releases this fall.
III. Draft data policy
by Michael Gettes
The intent behind this policy is to develop rules for accessing identity management information. We thought there should be a more generic policy for accessing university data in general.
Robert Wolpert reminds members that this is a draft. It is in its early stages.
Tracy says we want to make sure the intent is in line, we will wordsmith it later.
Melissa Mills asks for clarification, could the data recipient give data to a subcontractor? Yes.
Paul Conway says there is much data that is not to be shared with the public. Who decides what is confidential and what is not? This is not faculty data because faculty own that. We’re talking about work for hire data. We need to protect that.
John Board asks that since most of these things are probably covered under various units, what is the role of the generic policy?
Michael says this started out to protect the identity management data and it grew when we asked, what else needs protection?
Lynne O’brien asks who signs this and when? If I sign it now to get data, do I have to sign it again to get the same data next spring?
Brian Eder suggests the team review the various unit access policies that are out there now.
Nevin suggests defining more clearly what data is covered. As it is written now, the role a person plays can change and this could be confusing.
Mike Baptiste says the enterprise directory has a lot of info, but most of it is public. Do we have to get into it and classify what pieces are public and what are private?
Chris says this is intended for non-public data.
George Oberlander says we need more guidance on what constitutes “due diligence.”
IV. Student rosters, photos, and gradebook
by Kathy Pfeiffer
Projects in the SISS world include pictures of students also available with their class rosters if deemed worthy. We talked to the Provost and other groups about this and they were all for it. We’ll be working with the identity management group, OIT, and others to get this together.
We just started thinking about this and there are a number of issues to get through. If you have any comments or feedback I would like to hear it.
David Jameson Drake suggests that groups across campus be included in the early scope of the project.
Wayne Miller is curious about the data source. Where is this coming from? The Law School does not have such data.
Tracy says given that we already have information in the Duke Card directory, we want to get the rosters out quickly and add things later; however, she adds that we want it quickly, but we don’t want to compromise too much on the quality.
Robert Wolpert asks if there is an estimate for how long this will take.
Kathy says no there is not. Ideally this would be up by fall, but we haven’t developed a simple and solid plan yet.
Chris says a lot depends on whether we can access the data we have or do we have to migrate it into SISS.
Mike Pickett asks if the product we seek is physical paper with ID/pictures on it so an instructor can take it to class, or is it an online file? The answer is both.
Pat Halpin asks about working with Blackboard. The team is meeting with the Blackboard folks tomorrow to discuss the project.
Kathy also talks about adding a module to Peoplesoft called Gradebook which is an online grading piece for faculty. Duke did purchase the module. This summer there will be a pilot in the School of Medicine, but there will be representation with the Registrar’s office and others to assess it’s effectiveness. We will be able to give you an update this fall on how it worked. We hope to develop an interface between Blackboard and Peoplesoft so there will not have to be double entry.
Wayne suggests that the project have a text format import. This will be necessary.
Kathy concurs that this is a good idea.
V. Senior Directors search update
by Billy Herndon, Mike Pickett
Sr. Director of Communications and Infrastructure search is in phase II. 39 candidates were reviewed, 4 were interviewed over the phone, 3 were interviewed on campus. The next step will be to bring them back in to talk with more in the next week or two.
Sr. Director for Academic Services and Technology Support, this position reports directly to Tracy and includes research computing and developing a more coherent academic services presence. The Help Desk, Desktop Support Services, some communications will report to this person. 90 people applied. We interviewed 5 over the phone. 2 were invited to campus. We are leaning toward one and we hope to have this wrapped up next week.
Robert Wolpert asks when will they show up if everything goes well.
They will be here this summer we hope.
John Board asks if ITAC can see a new org chart of OIT as it will be when things settle, because he feels lost about how the group is organized.
VI. Common Solutions Group meeting update
by Mike Pickett
CSG meets three times per year. Traditionally have a full-day workshop then a half-day workshop. This year the long workshop was on research computing in which there is lots of interest. Many people contributed what they were doing at their individual universities.
Some interesting themes that emerged were a stronger commitment from NFS, the idea of having shared clusters with no chargeback, how do you equip the faculty to use these cluster computing resources, and more. USC had built a thousand computer cluster. Lots of universities were throwing a lot of CONDOR out there. The idea of a CONDOR worm was a frightening idea.
Robert Wolpert asks if the USC 1,000 machine cluster came from research faculty or administration? Mike says a little of both.
The next workshop was on authorization. Authorization is what you can do and authentication is who you are. Sanford demoed some of what they have done with something called Sanford Authority System. It was basically a central repository of authority applications that can be shared across a network.
Paul Hill from MIT talked about the Microsoft world authentication manager. This is something we need to keep an eye on. Also, things are coming together with PKI.
Robert asks if there were any research things that others were doing that we should be thinking of doing?
Mike says the idea of having the Sr. Director to handle academic computing and research computing is an important step.
VII. Portal update
by Ginny Cake
The undergraduate portal was approved to continue. We will meet with the professional and graduate schools to see what we can do together by next spring.
We requested the provost assign a functional owner of the portal. Deb Johnson has been assigned that task. Tracy will assign someone to be the technical owner.
There are a lot of extra features we would like to implement. We will be encouraging the freshmen to use this in the fall. The upperclassmen can use it but they are less likely to change their computing habits.
Robert Wolpert asks if there will need to be some investment in the portal infrastructure to continue. Yes.
Many groups around campus are interested in making the portal a jumping off point for information at Duke.
John Board asks what features will be added to the pilot project to make it more functional this fall.
Blackboard, ACES, and Webmail will be worked on. Certain things are buried so deep in SISS that students won’t do them. We hope to have some of those things closer to the top level when they are relevant. These kinds of things will be seasonal.
Molly asks if graduate students will be able to use the portal this fall. Yes, anyone with a NetID and password can use the portal.
Tracy says we need to be careful about conveying the idea that the current portal will serve everyone, including graduate students, because different groups need different information or a different presentation of the information.
VIII. Other business