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Meeting Minutes

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Meeting Minutes for May 12, 2003

A meeting of the University Information Technology Advisory Committee was called to order at 3:06 p.m. on May 12, 2003, in the 4th floor conference room of Cabell Library. Dr. Robert Mattauch, co-chair, presided. Members present were Dr. Lynn Nelson, Ms. Fran Smith, Dr. James Shultz, Ms. Veronica Shuford, Mr. John Ulmschneider, and Mr. Mark Willis. Dr. Timothy Broderick, Dr. David Sarrett, Mr. Carl Gattuso, and Dr. Phyllis Self were absent. Mr. David Litton, Director of Information Technology for Health Systems, was also present.


Minutes were approved as prepared.

Before proceeding with Item II on the agenda, Dr. Mattauch asked if the recommendation to establish a task force to create a University-wide copyright policy to guide our compliance with the Teach Act had been done. The answer is, yes, a draft has been completed, and recommendations have been sent to the provost and vice presidents.

Dr. Mattauch stated that the new UITAC web site ( designed by Kari Scott, Dr. Self’s assistant, looks great.

Mr. Willis told the committee that the Council of Presidents review of the Higher Education IT Plan is moving very aggressively toward VITA, Virginia Information Technology Association. Higher Ed should be exempt from VITA.


Mr. Willis stated that Mail2 had a major e-mail system outage recently. There were 11,000 accounts (half of them active) with about 7.5 million pieces of e-mail that had to be restored. This process took up to 16 days to complete. Although all e-mail was recovered, it made us aware that something needs to be done to prevent a “repeat performance”.

E-mail had NOT been declared mission critical prior to this outage. However, it is now apparent that e-mail is VERY critical to users, and they want it brought back immediately when it goes down. Mr. Willis stated that Lotus Notes has a mirroring system, and we will be mirroring all the disks in the future, as well as evaluating the entire mail system. Lotus domino infrastructure is being considered for the storage system. The intent is to bring everything onto one platform. The transition could possibly take place over the Christmas break.

In addition, there are some things that need to be done on the policy side. A lot of people are using e-mail as their file system, and 60% of the mail is over a year old. We will need to take a look at the management end and propose a policy to clean up mail. Some suggestions are:

1. E-mail should be wiped away after a certain length of time
2. Storage quotas need to be implemented and enforced - ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of mail being stored

Mr. Ulmschneider commended Mr. Willis for the great job his area did during the outage.

Mr. Litton stated that HIPPA will be very restrictive on e-mail. Someone asked if we needed to be more secure with the health systems e-mails, and if the VCU medical center should draft a policy about what is or is not allowed over email. Mr. Litton said such a policy is already being prepared. The committee felt that it would be very helpful to have a copy of the policy, and Mr. Litton said he would try to get one sent to UITAC. Mr. Litton asked for comments from the committee after they reviewed the policy.


Mr. Willis distributed a handout which included a list of the 2003 agency ITSP (IT Strategic Planning) milestones and an outline of the Commonwealth of Virginia IT Strategic Plan Part I Requirements. The State IT Plan is to be submitted in three parts. ONLY Part I, which is due on May 21, applies to Higher Ed. Part I consists of four parts – Agency Profile, Agency Strategic Direction, IT Vision and Strategies, and Major IT Projects and Procurements >$1 million.

The slate of IT projects to be considered (which includes administrative systems replacement, telephony system replacement and becoming a member of the National LambdaRail consortium) will be taken to the vice presidents on Monday, May 19, 2003. If they approve the slate, UITAC will support it.

Mr. Willis explained that the National LambdaRail (NLR) initiative is a national initiative among research universities and organizations for a new experimental network for research activities.

A motion was made and seconded that “UITAC has heard the plan of IT and is not only impressed with the steps in place but also with the specific plans envisioned and is in support of it.” The motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Willis provided the committee with an outline for a proposed plan for review and approval process for major IT projects. The following questions should be asked if we decide that a review and approval process for these projects is needed:

What is the impact on other units in technology?
What should come under this review?
The process mechanics need to be defined - AIT and AT should define this.

Question was raised about whether or not UITAC should be in the approval process. It was suggested that maybe a report could be given at each meeting and the committee could review 3 projects a month. It was also suggested that, rather than approval of the project under review, UITAC could provide an indication of what type of support would be needed. Maybe the charge to the committee needs to be revisited. An IT procurement cannot be done in isolation because it has impact on other areas.

It was decided that the review process document will be re-worded, and, on a monthly basis, a small report will be coming to UITAC regarding IT projects under proposal.


Mark distributed a handout regarding the Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GBL) Act. The GBL Act requires financial institutions to take steps to ensure the security and confidentiality of customer records such as names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. Ms. Connie Davidson is coordinating the University’s response to this which is due May 23. The handout was submitted to prepare the committee for what was coming.


Dr. Mattauch advised the committee that it was time to discuss UITAC’s Annual Report for 2003. He asked Mr. Willis to put together a list of what we have done this past year and present it to the committee.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:25 pm.


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Last Modified August 21, 2003
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