ICC Home  /  Members  /  Meetings  /  Peer Support  /  Documentation  /  Projects

Notes from March 30, 2004 ITPAC Meeting:

back to ITPAC notes index

    notes by Steve Lasley

    Streaming Audio from the meeting

    Jim Syvertsen (ITPAC Chairman and Professor, Citrus REC, Lake Alfred) noted that ITPAC had three new members and introductions were made. Of the new members, only Russ Rouseff (Professor, Citrus REC, Lake Alfred) was in attendance. Pete Vergot (Associate Professor and District Extension Director, NW District) participated remotely via Polycom.

    Joe Joyce (Associate Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources) gave a brief overview of decisions that were made recently on moving forward with the IFAS Active Directory project. ITPAC had endorsed this project several times in the past (see recommendations of 9 July 2003 and 31 January 2003 ) and now we are getting into the actual purchasing of hardware for the implementation of Active Directory throughout the state. Joe mentioned that we will be able to move forward quickly via the expenditure of roughly $30,000 and that this money is to come from salary savings due to Pete Kearney's retirement.

    Chris Leopold (ITNS) introduced Chris Hughes as Mike Kanofsky's replacement and lead in the IFAS Active Directory project. Chris comes to us from the UF Warrington College of Business and we are very fortunate to have his expertise on board. Chris Hughes reported that a plan is being implemented to lease servers for 51 sites throughout the state beginning the next fiscal year, including the major RECs and county offices, with the remaining 16 sites to be done the following year. Chris also mentioned that we will be migrating to Exchange 2003 for email and calendaring. IFAS is planning to join the UF Active Directory and this will mean that we will be logging on with Gatorlink IDs. It was emphasized that everyone must have a Gatorlink Account. Gatorlink IDs will be available to non UF employees as needed--for example, in county offices. ICC members need to get with their unit heads to emphasize the importance of everyone getting Gatorlink IDs. Joe Joyce requested that great attention be paid to the end-user aspects of the upcoming changes so that the transition is made as smoothly as possible.

    Discussion occurred on the leasing of equipment. This can be done, but requires special effort in the purchasing process. Chris Hughes said that he could assist if units were interested in leasing computer workstations.

    Steve Lasley (Entomology and Nematology computer support and ICC chairman) was unable to make the meeting and Joe Hayden (FACOPS) represented the ICC in his absence. Joe presented the ICC recommendation on Centrally-based software installations. Joe supplied justification for the recommendation, stating that such a policy, if implemented as an IMM, would provide central IT staff the authority necessary to meet it's UF mandated responsibilities while providing a formal method for exclusion should that prove necessary or desirable. Joe also noted that discussion within the ICC over the last two months has shown the support for this among IFAS IT staff to be unanimous. Discussion on this focused on user privacy concerns. Although it wasn't well covered during the meeting, there are ready solutions to such concerns that would allow central IT the access needed to assure compliance with UF IT policies while still permitting end users to keep their important documents confidential--even from an IT administrator. Support for this was passed with some wording changes and the resultant recommendation will be presented to the VP's office for consideration to be incorporated into an IMM.

    Jenny Brewer of ITNS gave an update on SPAM filters that are presently in place and working. Roughly 45% of all incoming email is being blocked as spam and this service is deemed to be operating successfully. Users are receiving multiple spam reports due to a combination of there being two spam servers as well as users having multiple email aliases. This is an unfortunate limitation of our current software.

    Dan Cromer (Acting Director of Information Technologies) discussed the status of POP mail support as a follow-up to the ITPAC recommendation passed in December which recommended that support for the POP protocol be dropped. Dan reported that POP is still supported currently because it may still be needed by some IFAS users to access email via their cell phones. It was suggested to have this go back to the ICC to determine how many might be affected.

    Jane Luzar (Associate Dean of CALS) gave an overview of the status of the new videoconferencing system that is being implemented at multiple locations throughout the state. This was done, in part, due to a request by new ITPAC member, Russ Rouseff (Professor, Citrus REC, Lake Alfred) who had indicated that interest exists in taking UF coursework remotely at his center. Jane pointed out that this project goes well beyond distance education to include videoconferencing capabilites for many IFAS programs, including those within extension and research as well. The target implementation date is August 1, 2004 and will include 12 off-campus sites as well as one on campus in G001 McCarty. Upgrades are also planned for Fifield, Entomology, and Microbiology to bring them into this system.

    Procedures for Distance Education were explained and discussed. There are differing definitions of DE and one battle has been to get IFAS programs designated as such when courses may include traditional UF classwork in addition to DE classes. In our undergraduate programs we have a hybrid model that includes off-campus programs where DE is combined with traditional classwork. Interest has been expressed in creating web-based programs for graduate study. Those interested in developing DE courses may contact Jane for assistance as to the administrative details of getting that accomplished. Jane also discussed the problems of taking UF classes remotely (or even at other institutions) in relation to such cousework actually contributing to a degree program. There is a Distance Education Faculty Training Program website available that offers further information on this subject.

    Some discussion occurred about using WebCT and Blackboard for computer managed instruction. Web-based information can be used as a supplement to regular classwork.

    Dan Cromer explained that point-to-point full T1 circuits with QOS (quality of service) to assure uninterrupted video flow were going to be used for the new Polycom-based videoconferencing system. There is much coordination to be done if this is to be accomplished by August 1 as planned.

    The next ITPAC meeting is planned for the second or third week of July 2004.

last edited 31 March 2004 by Steve Lasley