Some thoughts regarding the upcoming October 20 ITPG Meeting:
At our first ITPG meeting we were able to make extensive progress identifying urgent IT issues that need to be addressed. We were even able to test the voting process for prioritizing issues for sequential processing. Several members of the committee have expressed concerns that meeting monthly and discussing the items on our preliminary list in sequential order will take a long time. Dealing with the items in such a piecemeal fashion might also present the CNC with a fragmented list of issues. Based on that feedback, and because the ITPG is so new that there is pent-up demand to resolve a lot of issues at once, we thought that before we begin detailed discussions of our first issue, we should take a step back and look at the group of issues from a different perspective. Consequently, we have tried to group the items on our list into three categories that we hope will expedite the process and move us into substantive discussions much sooner.
First, we believe that several items are likely to be referred to new or existing subcommittees of CNC. Here are the issues we think belong in this category:
- Security probably too technical and too complex to deal with in a monthly meeting of twenty people. Thus, we think the committee should advise the CNC to appoint a new subcommittee to study the issue.
- Directory Services similar to above. Moreover, a project is already underway in IS&C and the developers need to coordinate with those on campus who are interested in using the directory or influencing its design.
- Authentication although the issue was posed as one of defining UCSB's participation in the UC-wide Common Authentication Project, we think that authentication and its implementation at UCSB are natural follow-ons to the discussion about the directory. We believe this issue should be paired with the directory issue and discussed in the same context. Thus, we think that the ITPG should recommend that CNC form a new committee to study directory and authentication services for the campus. These issues have some urgency because there are multiple projects underway to implement DCE/Kerberos and public key certificates on campus.
- Unified Data Networking Group a CNC subcommittee has already addressed this issue and the CNC has presented a paper to the EVC outlining its recommendations. We are not sure there is more for the ITPG to do except to reinforce that this is an important issue that needs to be resolved.
- New Campus Backbone Planning the Backbone Engineering Group (BEG), an existing subcommittee of CNC, has the best expertise for resolving backbone related issues. Designing the next generation campus backbone, developing policies for allowing new units to join the CalREN-2 backbone and any other outstanding backbone related issues should be passed on to the BEG.
If the committee agrees with the proposed positions on these items, the chairs will draft resolutions to forward to CNC and circulate them electronically for comment. If the committee does not agree to handle some or all of these issues in this way, we will return them to our list and discuss them when their turn comes.
Secondly, we believe that the next set of issues that the ITPG should discuss are those related to student access. The question of student access to technology has several dimensions: campus/off-campus, classroom/lab/netstation/office, wiring/workstation/software, etc. These discussions will undoubtedly lead into the third category of issues, those relating to resources. Nevertheless, we think that discussing the access issues first will help define the needs for resources and, thus, make that discussion more pointed.
Finally, our interpretation is that three of the items on our list (#3, Planning & Funding; #7, Umbrella Organization for Administrative Systems; and #10, Fragmentation of Campus IT Support) should be discussed together. These issues are all related to resources and the organization(s) through which resources are allocated to projects and services. We propose to put these issues last because we think they will be more meaningful after some of the needs have been articulated and because they are ongoing; we will probably never have enough resources to do all that we can imagine and, thus, some knowledge of the needs is required to make recommendations on organization and resources.
If there are no objections, we will organize the agenda for the second ITPG meeting in this manner. There will, of course, be room for extension and re-direction as we go.
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