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ICC Meeting:



A meeting of the ICC was held on Friday, January 9th, 2009 in the ICS conference room. The meeting was chaired and called to order by Steve Lasley at about 10:00 am.

PRESENT: Twenty-three members participated.
Remote participants: Bill Black, David Bauldree, Francis Ferguson, Chris Fooshee, Mari Jayne Frederick, Diana Hagan, Mike Ryabin, Louise Ryan, Earl Sloan and Mitch Thompson
On-site participants: Ben Beach, Dennis Brown, Andrew Carey, Dan Cromer, Wayne Hyde, Winnie Lante, Steve Lasley, Chris Leopold, Kamin Miller, Stephanie Miller, Jeanne Tucker, Wendy Williams and Matt Wilson.

Guests: Chuck Frazier

STREAMING AUDIO: available here. Steve would like to thank Kamin Miller for reminding him to start the recording--Steve only missed the first couple of minutes this time!


Agendas were distributed and the sign-up sheet was passed around.

Report from the chairman

Member news:

New members...

David Kim has replaced Peter Kim at SNRE.

Recap since last meeting:

As per his usual procedure, Steve pointed folks to the notes of the last meeting, without going into any details.

Special guest: Chuck Frazier


Steve began by welcoming Dr. Frazier, mentioning that we have been following the development of the UF IT Organizational Chart and the UF IT Action Plan with great interest.

Opening comments

Dr. Frazier began with some general comments stating that he has visited with many groups across campus talking about the IT Action Plan and soliciting comments and input. He noted that this process is necessarily imperfect due to, among other things, the short time frame provided for implementing the changes which Dr. Machen envisions. While he is aware that rapid change causes stress, he said that there is nothing in the design of this process or the focus on IT which is intended to cause stress. He then went on to explain why this is happening now and over such a short time frame.

Why now and why so quickly?

Dr. Frazier explained that Dr. Machen began his tenure at UF with some pretty clear ideas of what he wished to accomplish. He wanted to reorganize the administrative side of UF and quickly queued up a number of changes. Dr. Frazier was still in the Provost's office at the time and it was very clear that IT wasn't one of the matters for early focus.

Years have passed and now IT has finally made it to the front burner. There is nothing different about Dr. Machen's approach to IT from any of the other matters which were addressed early on. He brings focus to the topic, states his interest in addressing issues that are consistent with his vision of how the university as a whole should run, and asks that we get on with it. All the previous areas of focus have been handled in fairly short order, though there has been some variability in approach.

The internal review approach

In some instances of previous focus Dr. Machen has taken an internal review approach toward charting a new course. In others he has gone on a national search to hire the right person to implement his vision. With IT, Dr. Machen chose the former.

Dr. Frazier stated that Dr. Machen believes the IT professionals at UF sufficiently understand the impediments and organizational issues and will be able to work together to devise a new structure in an evolving organization that will put us in a better position for still further development. Thus it was decided to begin in-house by providing a more solidly defined organizational foundation. Once that is accomplished we can then proceed to a national search for a new CIO.

IT is the primary 2008-2009 focus for administration at UF

Dr. Frazier stated that he has been at UF a very long time and we have had no previous focus on IT of this magnitude. He believes it is a wonderful opportunity for IT. The closest we came prior was in 2001 when a campus-wide group took a fairly long time to evolve the organization to a step above the level it had been at prior. That was done out of the Provost's office with the President's consent. The Board of Trustees was attentive and appreciative, but it was not their priority and not their focus. In this case, it is both the BOT's and the President's primary focus for this year.

Regarding past IT organizational efforts

When Steve mentioned that the early focus back in 2001 resulted in the ITAC and its subcommittees, Dr. Frazier added that he had chaired the committee back then which resulted in that plan. The committee developed a report which recommended, among other things, finding a head of IT. Administration quickly responded with their acceptance of the report and its recommendations, but surprised Dr. Frazier with the news that they wanted him to be the head of IT. For good fortune or bad, that is how he ended up in IT.

Keeping the ship running: in-course adjustments

Dan Cromer asked Dr. Frazier if he could explain a bit about the reorganizational steps being taken currently as mentioned in the DDD memo on Administrative Changes in PeopleSoft/Bridges and CIO Office. Dr. Frazier responded that half his job is managing the organization as it is today and the other half is managing an action plan for change. He tries to keep the two roles separate and the changes mentioned in that DDD memo belong to the former category, being "in-course adjustments" to our present operations.

Mike Conlon, UFAD and UF Exchange are relocating

The AD/Exchange and ERP Infrastructure groups were not where Dr. Frazier believed they needed to be and moving those around was an attempt to improve things a bit. AD and Exchange are changing only in physical location; they are moving to Building 105. The only reason they were out with Bridges was because that was where Mike Conlon was. Conlon was there because a big portion of his job over the past four years was to facilitate the implementation of PeopleSoft software. Moving Mike and AD/Exchange amounted to taking care of loose ends.

Dr. Frazier mentioned that he is hopeful of obtaining CIO office space prior to leaving his interim position. He has been looking for such a space and finding it is not proving easy. We acquired enough space in Building 105, some of which had already been assigned to us through Academic Technology, and some which is essentially "on loan" from the Provost.

ERP infrastructure changes

The ERP infrastructure was born at the same time as the PeopleSoft implementation. We made some decisions back then that weren't ideal, but were the best we could do at the time. We decided to pool together as much of HR as possible into one place. At that time, we didn't have space either so we rented space downtown at Union Street.

The lead for implementation of ERP as determined by the Board of Trustees and the President was Ed Poppel. Ed wanted all resources in a single place, including the infrastructure for this new major software. Dr. Frazier didn't really see the need for infrastructure to be there, but it was negotiated that while infrastructure would reside there during implementation, that was not where it ultimately should reside. He would have changed this before he left in 2005, except they were dealing with other things at the time. Marc Hoit left things alone in his three year plus tenure, but when Dr. Frazier came back he decided that this was something he would fix and Ed Poppel agreed.

Dr. Frazier doesn't believe these changes are a "vision" thing or the future of IT so much, but rather simply ordering things a bit better in what we already have.

Matters of vision

Dan Cromer expressed one of his concerns, namely that the UFAD/Exchange group was not organized as an independent unit, with some personnel being paid from one funding source and others from a quite different one.

[Note: this has been a topic of discussion for years, and the ICC-AD subcommittee had voiced these concerns to Marc Hoit over 4 years ago.]

Funding has often been a hodge-podge

Dr. Frazier responded that this matter related to the vision for change. We have done very well getting the IT job done, but if you look at the structures put in place to do that in some cases you can see that we never finished the job. We took a piece of this and a piece of that and called it this--and then we just left it there. So the years go by and these never gets fixed. Part of what the action plan is intended to do is to go back and fix some of those things. UFAD/Exchange is just one example of this problem. The supervision is often but not always where the funding is; when one funding source allows another group to supervise then that can lead to problems.

Core infrastructure and its funding

In our current discussions we have come to use the term Core IT rather than Centralized IT because the latter tends to tick people off. Core IT refers to those groups supporting university-wide operations, applications, infrastructure and support services. In that area alone, a very substantial portion of every year's expenditures is of this same sort of instability. Funding is never clear; you may get that at the beginning of the year, the middle or in the last month--but please do all those things you did last year because that is what is expected. That's a bad way to operate. It not that administration doesn't recognize the problem; it's just that we haven't taken the time to solve it. Doing that is part of the action plan.

The IT Organization Chart

Steve asked about the current structure where three of Dr. Frazier's direct appointments have been given the title of Associate CIO. Dr. Frazier responded that this chart represents a temporary adjustment which he has instituted and that he expects things to change based on the action plan and the committees which come out of that. Dr. Frazier raised the levels of Tim Fitzpatrick, Mike Conlon and Fedro Zazueta to Associate CIO for the short term and their appointments are for the length of Dr. Frazier's appointment. The new CIO gets to decide what they want to do.

We have had some semblance of a CIO for twenty or more years

Sometimes we had someone with the title who had neither budget nor portfolio. Sometimes we had people with the title and portfolio but no clout, so they would go around campus saying I'm CIO and people would laugh and say "the heck you are". Very seldom have we had a CIO with the full complement of responsibility and authority and with the coordination and management ability to run the organization effectively.

The CIO was lacking an office and support staff

When Dr. Frazier was Vice Provost for IT there was no reason to build out a staff for IT because he sat in the middle of a very high level staff in the Provost Office that could do anything he needed done. They had been doing that already and he saw no need to hire support staff for the new IT position. When he left, Marc Hoit did the same thing; in fact he used even less of the staff, having reduced his secretarial support to half time.

For the first three months of his current appointment Dr. Frazier sat in his faculty office. Then he moved down to HR and pirated a secretary from the Provost's office. He is now with the Vice President for Administration--which also isn't an office. There is a Senior Vice President for Administration, but there is no Senior Vice President for Administration's office--there's no staff. There really was no other support. There is no budget office, there is no communications office and there are no assistants in the CIO's office. Consequently, Dr. Frazier went to the Senior Vice President and told him that to do his job he needed to be able to offload some things to some people--he needed the authority to move people around. Kyle Cavanaugh said okay--do what you need to do.

New direct reports to the Interim CIO office

So Dr. Frazier went to Mike, Fedro and Tim and said: "Boy do I have a deal for you. You get to do a lot more work, I'm going to change your title and you don't get an extra penny. On top of that, you have to be part of this ITAP committee which adds work and luster to your life." Because of the people they are and their deep investment in IT, Dr. Frazier knew they would come through for him--and they have.

Other direct reports had already been in place

Christine Schoaff in Web Administration has always reported to the "CIO" position even back when Dr. Frazier was with the Provost's Office. Earl Robbins, who heads the Student Records application group, had been moved from being a direct report to the Registrar to reporting to the CIO by Marc Hoit. This was a change Dr. Frazier inherited. Dr. Frazier noted that the Registrar's office, Admissions, Undergraduate Education, etc. had all been reorganized as well in the last three years.

The benefits of broad engagement

Steve mentioned the efforts which the IT Action Plan committee (ITAP) has placed on broad engagement. He asked what positive effects that has had on the direction the project has taken and whether Dr. Frazier could provide any examples of how that might have changed how things have gone.

Engagement provided momentum

Dr. Frazier responded that one of the things the engagement process did was to get everyone "pumped up"--the "momentum thing" was there. He felt the turnout was quite good and the level of participation was quite high. Everyone came out of this vitally impressed and pleased. It proved to him that you can know your colleagues well and still be pleasantly surprised with their professionalism. One thing the engagement did was to reaffirm that IT at UF includes a broad group of caring professionals who are fully capable of doing whatever job is required.

Engagement provided reaffirmation

Secondly, there were many reaffirmations of those issues which had been defined as being important to address. We received great affirmation that there is a sense that IT isn't organized at UF--that nobody is in charge when you need something. It reaffirmed that senior administration is insufficiently engaged and that IT as a fundamental activity in the life/organization of the university is not clearly recognized and properly placed.

Decisions are made by upper administration regarding such things as master planning, putting up new buildings, developing academic programs. Those things are done and the IT implications are only considered as afterthought. During engagement efforts by the IT Action Plan the question of why IT isn't involved from the beginning was voiced again and again. Comments of "why are we doing..." and "why doesn't someone recognize..." were frequent.

ITAC sub-committee involvement

Dr. Frazier applauded the job the committees have done and their valuable input to the Action Plan process. Those sub committees have continued to function well in the absence of the top-level committee to which they originally reported. Senior administration had simply disappeared from the governance process for the last two or more years. Governance had started at the grassroots and IT professionals level but had never gotten above that. Thus IT was not in the spotlight at times when perhaps it needed to be and its fundamental importance wasn't recognized.

Dr. Frazier was initially skeptical about engagement

Dr, Frazier initially believed people felt comfortable talking directly and that there was no real need to try and solicit comments. The task force insisted, however, and Dr. Frazier believes they were correct in doing so.

Is the Action Plan on track?

Steve presented a short listing of Action Plan project milestones which he had put together from information available on the web:

UF IT Action Plan project milestones

Since the final report from the Task Force is scheduled to be delivered quite soon, Steve asked Dr. Frazier if he thought things were on target and that the ITAP had developed something which the President was looking for and can support.

We appear to be on target

Dr. Frazier admitted that he has sometimes been criticized for being eternally optimistic, but he is still comfortable with the February 6th date. He believes that the discussion, engagement and involvement of the community and the kinds of things which are coming together via ITAP align well with what the Board of Trustees and the President needs. The hard work is taking the mountain of words and ideas and pulling it into a fairly concise listing of key points. That is why small committees are needed to boil things down to their essence.

Dr. Frazier has met with the upper tier IT Steering Group a couple of times as well with individuals of that group on a regular basis. He feels confident there is an alignment of purpose and direction among those involved with this. He believes the end report will be in the 20-25 page range but that we may need several addenda to cover all the background information as well.

The purpose of the ITAP report

The purpose of the formal report is to educate and involve a group of senior leaders, providing them the opportunity to decide whether they want to accept specific recommendations. In hind-sight, one of the smart things the 2001 task force had done was to keep the number of recommendations to eight or nine. There had been a steady succession of reports in the years prior to that, some of those including 80-90 recommendations. It is a lot easier to shelve something that appears too overwhelming.

Paring our recommendations down to the essentials is thus believed to be important. The disadvantage of a short report is that people will say they don't see this or that point as being addressed. Dr. Frazier believes that those can and will be handled as part of the implementation of the major recommendations. They will not be lost simply because they were left out of an executive report for the purposes of being succinct. That complex of things about which you are worried will be taken care of.

The upcoming Senior Vice President for Administration vacancy

Dan Cromer mentioned wanting to have a Senior Vice President for Administration prior to having a CIO. He asked Dr. Frazier for the status on that, but Dr. Frazier responded that he could not supply that because he did not know. The loss of Kyle Cavanaugh is a very important change for the university and for the Interim CIO. Dr. Frazier was on the search committee that picked Kyle and he knew, respected and trusted his abilities. He is not sure he would have moved the CIO from the Provost's office in the first place had it been up to him, but he worked well with Kyle. When Kyle announced he was leaving it was a major hit for Dr. Frazier personally and for all of us.

The President was very quick, as he always is, in saying here is where we were and here is where we are now; Dr. Frazier does not know, however, whether there will be a search for a new Vice President for Administration, whether Brian Beach will at some point be appointed to the position permanently, or even whether Brian has any interest in that.

All that said, and having had something over a month to digest this, Dr. Frazier is no longer worried. He thinks we can move ahead with the IT Action Plan for what IT should be and how it should function without worrying how the issue of the Senior Vice President for Administration is handled. Dr. Frazier believes we need to create an IT organization that is independent of those sorts of fluctuations. It fact, he believes one of the problems we have had with IT in the last three to four years is due to changes happening in that top layer of administration that happened without any changes in the structure below.

Kudos on the engagement process

Steve complimented Dr. Frazier on how this IT Action Plan process has been handled. It is so refreshing to be able to go to a web site and find out so much good information on what is happening and why.

The importance of communication within our distributed IT organization

Regarding UF level IT, Steve suggested that IFAS might provide examples both of how IT communication can be done better as well as how difficult organizing IT matters overall for our distributed system can be. IFAS has put a great effort into creating centralized services that are sensitive and responsive to the needs of the individual units which they serve. Steve believes the way IT is handled within IFAS contributes greatly to a team feel as opposed to feelings of imposition. On the other hand, IFAS has facilities throughout the state; providing core services similar to what we enjoy on campus is often somewhere between difficult and impossible. Consequently, off-campus sites often feel disenfranchised.

The UF structure includes four large groups

Dr. Frazier responded that both IFAS and HSC have done a good job at integrating and coordinating a complex structure for IT units to roll up to the VP level. Under the structure which Dr. Machen has instituted, the university can be divided into four large areas: HSC, IFAS, Administration (above the Dean level), and E & G (Education and General, which refers to the Provost's major division basically including all colleges not in IFAS or Health Sciences, the major instructional function of the University). This last piece includes roughly nine colleges and all rolls up under the Provost, another of the Senior Vice Presidents. Both HSC and IFAS have an IT lead that coordinates and facilitates all the other units. Administration sort of does, but E & G does not. The reason for this latter omission is that the Provost office was where the CIO resided until just recently, so there had been no reason to create an additional position.

The right balance of core vs. distributed IT

An important question is how to optimize the advantages of well-oiled distributed IT operations in with Core operations. The proper balance of distributed vs. core operations is critical to our overall IT operations, but that balance is dynamic and must be re-evaluated and adjusted on a continual basis. Lombardi used to go around campus saying "one university". What Dr. Frazier took that to mean is that we all need to understand there is a university mission. At times we need to be able muster all forces to work in the same direction. At the same time there are so many multiple missions that are fundamentally different from each other and part of the university mission is to facilitate all those unique missions. We have to be able to do both. IT has to be able to do that.

Faculty feedback

Steve mentioned that in IFAS we have traditionally had a problem regarding faculty dissatisfaction with IT. Steve believes that has improved over recent years, but was interested in what sorts of feedback Dr. Frazier had heard from faculty during engagement concerning the ITAP.

A perception that IT people develop IT for themselves

The biggest negative feedback Dr. Frazier received from faculty is that IT people don't pay attention. There is a significant perception among faculty that IT people develop IT for themselves and then force faculty to come to it. Dr. Frazier usually responds to such comments by asking why anybody would do that. Everything that is not faculty or students at the university is built to support faculty or students; that's the only reason we exist. We don't have administrations in order to build bigger stronger administrations but rather to facilitate the faculty and students. So it is with IT. The difference comes down to communication--namely there is not enough of it.

Communication is the key

Dr. Frazier hears things like "It ticks me off that you guys do the latest Microsoft upgrades. You don't care about us. I hate those changes." He responds with "I hate those changes too, in fact. But if Microsoft has stopped supporting the version you are using you are opening the chicken house to every fox in the state. We can't do that, so yes you have to change and so do I. That's not because we disregard or disrespect you or don't think you are important--just the contrary. It is because we do. The flaw is that if you don't understand that then we have not communicated well enough with you on why we have to do it."

Feedback via the Faculty Senate Infrastructure Council

As Interim CIO, Dr. Frazier sits on the Faculty Senate Infrastructure Council. In the first two meeting he endured about five hours in a virtual "boiling pot". It was a pretty intense conversation with a lot of emotion. The faculty expressed their thoughts and Dr. Frazier responded over and over again that they were wrong about their perception of why things are as they are. They may not be wrong in as much as we are not communicating well enough. He went on to tell them, however, that communication is a two-way street.

Communication is a two-way street

Faculty can't tell IT we have to communicate with them and then whenever we do tell us that it's our problem--deal with it; unless of course they don't like it and then they say we didn't tell them about it. Communication and engagement means that everyone has to come to the table. If faculty gives us some opportunity and tell us how they want to be involved, there isn't anything in the IT organization which they can't and shouldn't be involved in.

The creation of a Faculty Senate IT sub-committee is being discussed

Dr. Frazier then received responses back like "you can't expect us to sit in those two-hour meetings and listen to those boring techie geeks." He then asked if they wanted five minute summaries incorporated into those meetings or whether they wanted to find a faculty member who is willing to come. At present, the Senate is proposing what Dr. Frazier thinks is a pretty good model. He believes they are going to form their own IT group within the faculty. It will be a group that will be engaged, willing and even happy to sit with us. They will serve as a standing sub-committee of the Senate. This should provide a formal line for communication on IT matters from faculty to the very top.

There were positive comments as well

Dr. Frazier was pleased to get repeated positive feedback from the more high-end intensive users of IT services. They seem to feel pretty good about the support they get out of IT around campus.

Coordination of services is difficult

Steve mentioned that one of the challenges may be due to the fact that technology moves so fast and there are so many ways to solve a particular problem. When faculty search for technical solutions they often either cannot get the support they expect from what is in place or find some alternate local solution. Pretty soon we have five different solutions and everyone thinks theirs is the best.

Is a core IT Communications Division a possibility?

Dennis Brown said he would like to see a "PR Techie" who could communicate patiently with various unit groups regarding major upcoming IT changes. Right now we are doing the best we can by sending out e-mails about upcoming changes. Most people don't feel comfortable responding to such communications, however. Faculty are reticent to ask questions via that medium. It would be great if there was someone whose job it was to bring the gap via personal communication.

Dennis said he believed Mike Conlon had done that with PeopleSoft and had done as good a job perhaps as one could expect; however, he might not have been the best one for doing that as his time was limited.

Many people still prefer face-to-face

Dr. Frazier responded that Dennis was speaking of an IT communications division. He had received comments like this from the faculty. In one session a faculty member mentioned having been aware of some event and another asked how they had known. The first faculty member responded that they read the e-mail and two other faculty members said that they immediately delete those unopened. He asked them that if e-mail was not the way they wish to be informed, then what is. As much as this is the electronic communications age, a lot of people still want that face-to-face contact. That is not difficult--in fact, it is always easier for Dr. Frazier to communicate personally--but it is time and labor intensive.

Kamin Miller gave the example of the transition from IFAS Exchange to UF Exchange. That transition was made more difficult because many of the faculty ignored the e-mails that had been sent rather than reading and asking their local IT support when there was the need for clarification.

Including IT support in faculty meetings

Dr. Frazier had heard from faculty that IT doesn't know and understand their needs sufficiently. It occurred to him to suggest they include their IT people in their faculty meetings--or at least in some of those. If you want IT people to know what is important to you then invite them to your meetings. That idea seemed to receive some traction and he hopes it catches on.

Faculty doesn't walk down the hall to your office after their meetings and say "Oh, by the way, seven of us are very concerned about this matter and I just wanted you to know so you will be better able to do your job." They don't do that, they wait until they are really frustrated and say "why didn't you figure this out!"

Maintaining enthusiasm

These matters are always in a constant process of being improved. If we all have good intentions and want to improve things we can. The more lax we get the more these things drift apart. What happens is these things go in phases. We will start out very enthused and things will go well for a year or so, but will gradually begin to slip. We need to find ways to keep our enthusiasm high. Hopefully we can find a CIO who has the kinds of qualities which you want to make those kinds of things happen. That should be an important part of that job.

An REC perspective

Mari Jayne Frederick chimed in with a few comments from her perspective as the sole IT support for an REC. She mentioned that some of the people there didn't even read her own e-mails to them, but the majority do. When she receives information from Gainesville she tries to reformulate that into words her faculty can understand.

It is not so much a problem of local communication though. It is more a sense that Gainesville doesn't care so much about what happens in Homestead. If they have some issues there and it takes some time to resolve those, local faculty tend to feel that IFAS IT isn't reacting quickly enough for them; and it isn't just IFAS IT anymore--now CNS is involved as well.

Opportunities for improved communications

Dr. Frazier stated that UF has roughly 800-1000 IT professionals by title and perhaps 400 more that do IT-related jobs but do not hold an IT job title. His best guess is that we have less than 100 and maybe less than 50-60 key communicators and point people in IT across all of UF. If that group kept a high level of communication and if each of those people maintained good communication within their immediate environment, we might be able to improve things. It is his perception that some UF groups provide good IT communication currently and others do not, but he is not certain that we couldn't sit down and draw out a networking scheme that could improve things considerably.

IFAS is doing an admirable job with minimal resources

Dan Cromer mentioned that out of the 800 people on campus with IT titles, IFAS has only 67 while supporting an unusual environment that is even more complex than much of the rest of campus. Yet, with the ICC we do have a good structure for facilitating the sort of communications we have been discussing. We also have a policy committee (ITPAC), though Dan believes that has diminished somewhat since things have been running so well at the procedural level; he wishes administration was more engaged at the top end as well. We do have published policies, however, that support our operations. Dan believes similar structures might benefit other groups on campus who do not have anything in place and has suggested that, for example, to Dr. Mair for CLAS.

At the same time Dan is concerned that IFAS not face any further attrition in staffing due to central administration's need to support core services. He hopes that reorganization efforts don't lead things down that road because our staffing levels are already at the bare minimum. We are doing a good job with what we have and would hate to lose any of that in this transition. He wants UF to do better, but he doesn't want that to happen on our backs, so to speak.

Does an ICC equivalent exist for UF?

Mitch Thompson asked if he was correct in assuming there was not an ICC equivalent at the UF level. Steve responded that there is not a UF level committee where all UF's IT people can get together and discuss things. Chris Fooshee asked if other units outside IFAS had organizations similar to the ICC. Dr. Frazier responded that there were; it runs the gamut from some that are very high functioning which meet regularly and are well coordinated to some which are completely absent. There is great variability across campus. That aspect, of course, is not unique to IT. The need to have a way for IT professionals at any level to connect with others in any direction is important. The cross-group communication is very often not there. To function in the most effective way we need to have the mechanism and the networks established so we can do that.

At the same time, Dr. Frazier is mindful that you can draw and develop organizations that are so intricate and require so much time that they are ineffective in the everyday functionality of getting our work done. He doesn't believe we want to create something like that. We want to have effective but not oppressive organization. We don't want the sort of organization where we spend all our time talking about what we are going to do but spend no time doing it.

There are some obvious places where we can create organization where there is none and there are some obvious places where we can create new connections. That would be an improvement. We want to create things to fix things that need fixing--not things that merely keep us busy.

Thank you

On behalf of all of us, Dan Cromer expressed our appreciation for the work Dr. Frazier is doing. It is a monumental task and we applaud his efforts. Dr. Frazier responded that coming to visit with us was happy work, but it wouldn't be if he wasn't received so well with feedback that the work he is doing it is important.


Shibboleth and Identity and Access Management (IAM) at UF (see prior discussion)

Steve reported having heard recent that Shibboleth was in production. It surprised him that this had happened without announcement and with no documentation being generally available. Steve asked Dan Cromer about who within IFAS had some expertise in utilizing Shibboleth. Dan responded that Matt Wilson had participated in some of the investigation of that but really had no time to devote. Eli Ben-Shoshan of the Open System Group is the technical contact and Warren Curry of Bridges is the point of contact for connecting an application to Shibboleth. Matt was gracious enough to offer assistance in gaining access to information at the very least, should anyone want or need that.

Kamin Miller had been looking for a Gatorlink authentication module for IIS and Steve had suggested that Shibboleth would likely be the long term direction to take in that regard. Chris Leopold noted that Shibboleth was not meant to be a replacement for NTLM, but rather a replacement for Gatorlink Auth. If NTLM permissions are sufficient, then by all means go ahead and use that. Shibboleth will eventually be a means of extending authentication beyond UF to other universities, but many of our current needs are not nearly so complex.

January ITAC-NI meeting

This month's meeting was moved back one week until the 15th.

Comprehensive IT risk assessments will be REQUIRED soon

The deadline for this had been moved to year-end of 2008 but we are now past that date. When Steve asked where we were, Dan responded that we have asked for further extension due to our staffing shortage. When Steve asked if there was any portion of that which could/would be distributed out to the units, Wayne Hyde responded that there really wasn't.

Dan mentioned that two of our top concerns were restricted information being on public folders and hire/fire procedures not being followed.

Update on changing the Barracuda default settings
(see prior discussion)

Dan Cromer reported that Mike Conlon has scheduled the default settings to be changed on the evening of January 13th. Everyone should be getting a message to that effect sometime prior. Please be aware of the effects this will have and be ready to assist your users with any questions or problems which may arise.

UF Exchange Project updates (see prior discussion)

The staff are moving

As mentioned earlier, the big news with the UFAD/Exchange group is that they are moving with Mike Conlon to Building 105. Chris Leopold mentioned that there was no parking there, but otherwise it is a nice little building.

Student mail to move to Google Gmail?

This will be taken off future agendas due to it having been tabled indefinitely

WAN transition to CNS (previous discussion)

Chris Leopold reported that they are ramping up their meetings and have one scheduled for the 14th and another for the 28th. They are trying to bring specificity to the agreement. Chris stated his belief that outsourcing layers two and three is the right thing to do and that CNS is the right group to handle that for us. He has no problems with the quality or quantity of the work they do. However, he is extremely concerned about the affordability of this transition for IFAS. He hopes we can work out hardware specifics which might permit continuing broad service while remaining within our budget.

Split DNS solution for UFAD problems

Steve wants to keep this on the agenda for future reference.


IFAS WebDAV implementation

There continues to be no progress on the documentation which was to happen prior to announcement. Since this has never been formally announced, the matter remains on the agenda as a standing item.

Vista Deployment via SMS and WDS

Nothing further was available on this topic at this time.

Exit processes, NMB and permission removal (prior discussion)

Nothing further was available on this topic at this time.

Re-enabling the Windows firewall

This is still planned but is pending the time to implement.


DHCP log access

Steve didn't know if others had been utilizing this access or the program which Chris Leopold developed, but he really appreciated the ability to address some of those UFIRT notices without having to bother Wayne.

Disabling/deleting computer accounts based on computer password age

As with so many things in these times of inadequate staffing, finding time for implementation is proving difficult.

New MPS/DC testing -- access by unit-level administrators

Nothing further was available on this topic at this time.

Report generating system

Unfortunately, this is yet another useful project for which implementation time has been lacking.

Core Services status

Andrew Carey had notified the ICC that since the recent print server issues he had virtualized that server. That step will isolate that function from succumbing to a long outage from a single hardware failure in the future. The longer term plans are to make that a 2008 server; it is currently running on Windows 2003.

ePO version 4 status

Nothing further was available on this topic at this time.

Status of SharePoint services (prior discussion)

Nothing further was available on this topic at this time.

Public folder file deletion policies and procedures status

Nothing further was available on this topic at this time.

Videoconferencing topics

Steve mentioned that upon asking about the difference between the event listing at http://at.ufl.edu/~video/service2/public/pub_list.php and the event listing which one gets by drilling down from the main UF Video page at http://video.ufl.edu Dean Delker had provided the following excellent description of changes regarding videoconference scheduling via the bridge:

I'm the one here this morning so I'll take a shot at it.  
We are in transition to the new Tandberg Management Software 
for scheduling bridge events. Besides managing the bridge it 
allows us to monitor & manage endpoints better and integrates 
with the gatekeeper.  

We had been using the built-in web management interface on 
the Codian to do scheduling.  It works OK, but limits us to 
200 pre-defined endpoints, and we have more than that. Also 
it is really slow and has an even slower refresh process 
when you're trying to make quick changes.

The Conf ID # we have been using was/is generated by the 
Request program written by one of our students, and we had 
to input that number to the Codian Scheduler manually when 
we actually scheduled the event. That was also when we 
turned the entry "Green" in the Request display.  

The TMS makes its own Conf ID #, and Patrick hasn't figured 
a way to override that. It may be possible in the future, 
but for now we don't know the CID # till we actually 
schedule with TMS, hence the "TBA" in the normal public 
Request display. When we schedule the event we can then 
post the TMS assigned CID # for all to see.  

The implied solution is people are going to need to be 
told where to go to look for the Conf ID #'s on a regular 
basis. They won't be available till an event itself is 
scheduled on the bridge and that's usually a couple of 
days before it happens. Rather than the long address you 
use it might be better to tell them to go to 
http://video.ufl.edu/ and click on the "Event Listing" on 
the left. Or they can click on the "See More 
Events/Details" under "Today's Events".  

BTW, I just talked to Patrick and John Pankow about 
getting the CID's on that first page, but there's not much 
room, and not all the events there will be video 
conferences so the description info is important. Brian 
Smith's group here does other video services like 
full-scale streaming, camera recording, etc. We may still 
find a way to put the CID's up front in that section, but 
don't count on it. 

You also should be aware the TMS assigned CID's are no 
longer unique numbers. Numbers will be reused regularly. 
They are unique to their day and time, but that's all. 
The first event of the day is 7832000, subsequent one's 
go up by 10. If there were 3 events at 10:00 AM the third 
one would be 7832020. But something later in the afternoon 
might reuse 7832000 or 7832010 depending on what had 
finished and what had not.  I think Patrick was drafting 
an explanation of this to go out to the ICC list because 
some people are going to be confused.

Dan Cromer mentioned that one of the projects that Tom Hintz had worked on consistently was video conferencing. Now that Tom has retired, Dan is working with John Pankow of UF Video Services to try and fill in some of the gaps left by Tom's departure--in particular a process for taking care of Polycoms that break.

Steve asked if anything more had happened regarding Lance Cozart interfacing with the Help Desk and providing Polycom support. Dan is hoping to arrange that with Ashley Wood.

Patching updates...


A single critical Microsoft patch is planned for January.

MS Office News update

There were no new updates to give at this time.

Job Matrix Update status

Steve wants to leave this matter as a standing agenda item for future discussion.

Remedy system status

Steve wants to leave this matter as a standing agenda item for future discussion.

The meeting was adjourned just prior to noon.