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Planning & Budget: Technology

Meeting of the UWM Council on Information Technology

March 22, 2004


Chair and Provost John Wanat, Allen Bell, Rita Cheng, Susan Kelly, Tom Luljak, Monica Rimai, Erika Sander and ex-officio members Joe Douglas and Mike Rupp and guests Steve Brukbacher, Bruce Maas, John McCarragher and David Stack (reporting)

Approval of the Minutes

The minutes of the November 10, 2003 meeting were approved as distributed pending the inclusion of Susan Kelly's title as Associate Provost for E-Learning.

Acceptable Use Policy

Monica Rimai distributed a new draft of the Acceptable Use Policy. It has been approved by the Student Association and Academic Staff. It has also been reviewed by the ITPC, who provided a lot of feedback. The vice-chancellors have seen the draft, but not the Academic Deans. The various stakeholder groups tend to contradict each other, especially on issues of security verses privacy in sections 4 and 5.

When it goes back to the various governance groups for final review, it is important that people realize that there is a need for this policy in order to expedite university business, such as financial transactions that benefit the clientele, electronic signatures, the portal project, HIPAA and compliance with the GLB Act. It is not meant to be punitive, but to collect and organize various statements that have appeared elsewhere on campus so that the University can move forward.

Rita Cheng reported that the ITPC was concerned regarding how the policy intersects with the privacy agreements that are made with research subjects. Joe Douglas recalled that the outcome of the discussion was to put together a certification program for the technical staff. Monica Rimai doesn't believe there is a conflict so long as the technical staff have an understanding of the various policies and have signed a confidentiality agreement. For example, litigation involving human subject research might cause lawyers and technical staff to look at data that they would not normally see. Bruce Maas noted that the OASIS project mandated FERPA training for all I&MT staff that worked with student data. Wording regarding IRB issues will be included in the next draft. Monica Rimai would like to see all additional comments from the various stakeholder groups returned by the 15th of April.

Computer Hardware Acquisition Proposal

Kathy Heath made a report on behalf of Elizabeth Bolt, the team leader. Major changes, based upon feedback from the governance groups, were made to the introductory text regarding the purchasing of Macintosh computers and computers for specific University programs. The wording pertaining to cascading of computers was softened. A faculty member was included on the review committee.

The draft was accepted as a policy by acclaim. The next step is to send out the policy formally to the technical support people who will be involved in purchasing. The committee will reconvene to discuss any ongoing issues that may arise.

Desktop Security Recommendations

Steve Brukbacher chaired the Desktop Security Core Team, which issued an interim document that lists the top 10 security practices that people should adopt with respect to their own computer. It was created in response to computer intrusions on campus that were traceable to the way people used their computers. A technical best practices document is also in the works and should be completed within a couple weeks. It will spawn 8 or 10 further documents.

A Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) has been spawned and is building a web site at The Desktop Security Team has been working with the people on the GLB Compliance Team and University Relations and Communications to kick off a security awareness campaign in May 2004. Tom Luljak reported that a representative committee is being formed to make security awareness an ongoing effort, not a one shot event. The kickoff will be a cover story in the UWM Report that is designed to make everyone aware of the steps they should be taking with regard to security, whether they are a student, faculty or staff member.

The Provost suggested that security awareness be included in the orientation for new employees. Kathy Heath reported that there is a standing academic staff orientation committee that should be involved. Monica Rimai suggested that computers be turned off in the evenings, however Steve Brukbacher reported that the procedures in some units require that computers be left on so they can receive security updates at odd hours. In most cases, logging off of the computer, which turns the monitor off, saves energy and allows for updates to be pushed out to computers.With proper security, machines can be left running, but logged off.

The CIT endorsed the Desktop Security Team's recommendations.

Core Service Team Updates Portal Project

Bruce Maas reported that the Portal Core Service Team is making considerable progress. External consultants have brought the team over a major hurdle. A new consulting engagement will begin on April 5th. The consultants were so impressed with the team, and Laura Pedrick's leadership, that they are providing one consultant at no charge for all future engagements because they feel that UWM can serve as a model.

File Sharing

The File Sharing Core Service Team is close to submitting a recommendation for a software solution that will make it possible to access files from anywhere. The solution will interoperate with the portal, will allow work groups to set their own file sharing scopes and will be compatible with PC, Macintosh and Unix environments. There will also be capabilities to limit which kinds of files can be shared. The software has logging capabilities that could be accessed for auditing and management purposes. Monica Rimai noted that the UW System is coming up with a consistent approach to the sharing of media files and she would like to be consulted before any recommendations go forward.


The E-payment Core Service Team is close to initiating a pilot e-payment service for all purposes other than tuition, e.g., the Bookstore, the School of Continuing Education, etc. Some units already have an adequate front end. The pilot will provide a robust back end that ties into the Shared Financial System.


The Email Core Service Team is working closely with the File Sharing team because synergy may eliminate the need for email attachments by providing links to files. The functionality would likely be similar to an attachment so people will not have to change their behavior. This could save the amount of disk space required for email.


The Printing Core Service Team is looking at opportunities for individuals to use shared printers without the need for a dedicated local area network.

Identity Provisioning

The Identity Provisioning Core Service Team is endeavoring to provide electronic services and IDs to all of the various stakeholders who access University services, especially those who are not regular students, faculty or staff. Individuals on campus may also have multiple roles, e.g., as a faculty member, and an administrator and a part time student. PeopleSoft will be used to store the identifiers. Susan Kelly noted that it is important to forge connections to the University with people who are working on certificates and associate degrees.

L&S/I&MT Common Desktop Image and Active Directory

John McCarragher reported that L&S and I&MT have collaborated and developed a common software image for desktop computers. When computers are ordered, the image can be automatically supplied from the vendor. The effort is continuing to develop a method for using the central Active Directory. By resolving the issues between L&S and I&MT, more than 80% of the campus is accommodated. The units that have Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with I&MT already have this software image. Discipline specific software can be added on top of the base image. The goal is to create efficiencies in getting computers procured and operational. The most worthwhile part of the effort was building understanding between L&S and I&MT, and changing people's perceptions. The effort required an unprecedented amount of interaction, and the people involved deserve a lot of credit for persevering. The Help Desk's training and support structures will be based upon this image to improve the quality of service.

The Provost asked about integrating Palm devices with the desktop image. John McCarragher reported that this effort is underway. If the campus can standardize on one or two PDAs, the interface software could be provided as part of the base image instead of being added on later.

In addition to the L&S/I&MT image, the entire campus has participated in developing a comprehensive list of standard software that looks remarkably similar to the joint image.

Erika Sander noted that smaller units will have more of a challenge in adding to the list than a large college like L&S. Allen Bell replied that departments in L&S also have financial challenges in acquiring software. Most faculty will require additional software that is specific to their discipline. Rita Cheng noted that many choices on the list reflect security concerns. Steve Brukbacher concurred that Shane Dunlap, the desktop security expert, was very involved in the development of the image.

Susan Kelly recommended the inclusion of an adware blocker. Allen Bell reported that the next version of Internet Explorer will include one, as will most newer versions of other browsers.

APBS Update

The goal is for the new systemwide Appointment, Payroll and Benefits System to go live by January, 2005. Based upon feedback from Paul Rediske and a team of UWS auditors, the APBS project will implement levels of security that will restrict a person's access to information at their home campus, as opposed to unfettered access throughout the entire UW System. Bruce Maas reported that ShaRon Williams is planning to hire a project appointment to be the local team leader. Mike Rupp noted that it isn't possible to manage a project of this size via the UWM APBS Steering Committee, hence the need for a project leader with Lawson software experience.

The bulk of the APBS training will be provided via e-learning modules that are being developed in desire2learn by Learning Innovations and the ADL Co-Lab. The training process will require certification testing before people are allowed to work with APBS.

Erika Sander stressed the need for hand-holding of people to make the transition as smooth as possible. Bruce Maas noted that there will be no self-service in the initial roll out, and the first round of users will be within Human Resources and Business and Financial Services. Monica Rimai expressed her concerns with identifying campus vulnerabilities so that the University is as prepared as possible.

Susan Kelly inquired about interfaces to PeopleSoft. Bruce Maas replied that the legacy system produces extract files that are subsequently used at UWM. A working group has made a preliminary identification of UWM's ongoing data needs. Unfortunately, UWM will only gain access to the data warehouse a few months before APBS goes live. The second item is APBS interoperability with OASIS and other systems. The development of an interface between APBS and OASIS was eliminated in cuts to the UWS APBS. Workarounds are being identified at the UW System and campus level. Mike Rupp reported that an interface to the Shared Financial System is also under development.