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Meeting Minutes

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Meeting Minutes for August 11, 2003

A meeting of the University Information Technology Advisory Committee was called to order at 3:10 p.m. on August 11, 2003, in the Dean’s conference room at the Lyons Building on the MCV Campus. Dr. Robert Mattauch, co-chair, presided at the beginning of the meeting. Members present were Ms. Fran Smith, Dr. James Shultz, Ms. Veronica Shuford, Dr. Phyllis Self, Mr. John Ulmschneider, and Mr. Mark Willis. Dr. Timothy Broderick was absent and will no longer be attending because he has accepted employment outside the University. Dr. David Sarrett and Mr. Carl Gattuso were absent. Ms. Catherine Bruno, Director of Information Systems, VCU Health System, attended for Mr. Gattuso.


Minutes were approved as prepared.


Since this was the first meeting of the academic year, it is time to appoint new members and select a new chair or co-chairs. The committee also needs to fill two teaching and research positions recently vacated by Dr. Timothy Broderick and Dr. David Sarrett.

The committee agreed to continue the pairing of “co-chairs” for the upcoming appointment because of the flexibility it allows. After some discussion, Dr. Mattauch moved that the committee accept the nomination of Dr. Jim Shultz (the Administrative representative) and Dr. Lynn Nelson (the Faculty representative) as co-chairs, subject to Dr. Nelson’s acceptance. The motion was passed unanimously.

Dr. Mattauch agreed to remain on the committee for an additional year.

The committee was asked to suggest names for the two positions that need to be filled – one faculty from the medical campus and one clinician. Dr. Sicat from the School of Pharmacy and Dr. Dianne Simons from the School of Allied Health, Dept. of Occupational Therapy, were suggested for the faculty representative position and Dr. Michael Edmond from Internal Medicine and Dr. Henry Rozycki from Pediatrics were suggested for the clinical representative position. This slate of recommendations was approved by the committee and will be sent to the Vice President for Health Sciences for consideration after the nominees have been contacted to see if they will be able to serve. Phyllis Self will contact the nominees.

At this point, chairmanship of the meeting was turned over to Dr. James Shultz.

III. 2002-2003 Annual Report

Mr. Willis distributed a draft of the 2002-2003 Annual Report, which was prepared in the same format as last year’s report. Many policy issues and security issues have been addressed over the past year, and some are still in process. Mr. Willis asked for suggestions, revisions and recommendations.

Someone asked if “N/A” means “not applicable,” and suggested that if it does, it should say that. Dr. Mattauch suggested that a notation be made under “membership” that some members are being replaced. The committee agreed that it should be mentioned in the cover letter.

The report will be sent to the vice presidents and the President. The letter of transmittal should come from the 2002-03 co-chairs. A motion was made and seconded to that effect and passed unanimously.

Before proceeding to Item IV on the agenda, Dr. Shultz asked about student membership and if we should pursue it. The committee agreed that we should try to get student representation, and Dr. Self volunteered to work with Henry Rhone on this matter.


-fixes to Mail 1/2
Early last week we had some issues with the Mail 2 system similar to the problem we had in April. The RAID5 disk array did not function properly. The IBM and VCU CC technicians had to trick the system into recovering itself. The outage lasted about 31 hours, mostly at night. The disks for Mail2 are now mirrored providing an additional level of redundancy.

Several issues will need to be addressed regarding e-mail management including:
-archiving policy
A standard archiving time limit will be proposed for mail to be taken off of the system (maybe 6 months to a year) and then it needs to be archived. Users need to have some mechanisms for storage, and we are recommending a central file system or archiving it on your local system. Ms. Shuford volunteered to be the “beta” in this regard and she will work to come up with a policy regarding archiving.

-content filtering
Content filtering is being done on Lotus Notes, especially with regard to the pornographic material that is coming in. Content filtering is a sensitive subject.

-virus protection
Another policy issue relates to Virus. Virus protection is running on all servers (Mail 1, Mail 2, and Notes).

-blocking executable files
It has been suggested that executable files be blocked.

-replacement of Mail 1/2
We are looking at a replacement for Mail 1 and Mail 2.
a. Use Lotus Domino as a single platform for all users.
b. Continue with a Unix system that is vendor supported for student and faculty use.


VCU submitted its IT plan to the Commonwealth Secretary of Technology in July. Three ($1 million+) projects were included:
-Telecommunications Modernization
Modernize the telephony infrastructure and move to a converged network.
-Administrative Systems Replacement
Replace the current SIS, FRS and HRS systems with an integrated package.
Network maintenance and expansion and connection to the National LambdaRail.


At the May meeting, Mr. Willis spoke about the National LambdaRail (NLR). This initiative has moved forward very quickly. The six doctoral schools in Virginia have formed the Mid Atlantic Terascale Partnership to operate a node on the NLR (in Washington). Maryland and DC schools are expected to join as well. VCU has committed $500,000 over five years to support the partnership. The next step will be to develop connectivity to the Washington node. The schools are currently developing options for how to accomplish this. Once connectivity is established, researchers will have bandwidth available that is 50 times our current capacity. This will present significant opportunities for our research community. It was noted that NLR is complimentary to and will not replace Internet2.


Mr. Willis distributed a handout of a VCUnet Firewall Proposed Option and explained the proposal.


These two actions pertain to the digital recording industry. Dr. Self discussed how her office has gotten the word out to incoming students regarding the downloading of music and video files and gave a brief explanation of what the legal repercussions are. She will have more information about this subject at the next meeting.


-Blackboard Upgrade
Blackboard upgrade took place about 10 days ago – no immediate problems

-VCUCard system replacement (Diebold)
The new VCUCard system was implemented the end of last month and we are working through the few problems. The new system will provide better management and services.

E-direct (or central directory services) allows a standard methodology for user authentication. It will have a common methodology – same ID and same password to access everything. Will probably establish stringent requirements for passwords - maybe 7 or 8 characters or a combination of characters and numbers. The tradeoff is that users will only have to remember one password.

-Wireless Security
VPN technology will be implemented this fall to provide authentication and encryption of traffic on VCU’s wireless network. There will be client support issues with the implementation.

This application provides electronic file storage at a central location. It has been purchased and will probably be implemented around January. Student Computer Initiative is supporting it.

A portal would provide a customized door to the VCU web for students, faculty and staff.

-Library System
New Library System has been up and running since the end of June.


The subject was brought up about the meeting schedule and whether or not to change it. The committee decided the meeting schedule should stay the same. The next meeting is September 8 in Cabell Library.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:05 pm.


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Last Modified September 30, 2003
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