C2 April 27, 2005

C2 Strategic C-level Discussions on Technology

April 27, 2005


Welcome to the inaugural issue of C2 (pronounced "C Squared"), designed to open an exclusive forum for discussions on technology among top-level campus administrators: chief executives, provosts, vice presidents, and directors across all areas of the campus who are concerned with the progressive use of technology to further learning and streamline campus business and instructional processes.

In each edition, you'll find one-on-one "behind closed doors" interviews or C-level opinion pieces, quick bites of who's doing what where, and career moves of interest to the top campus echelon.

C2 was created in response to the need for a personal dialogue among top-ranking campus officers concerned with technology as a bridge to the next generation of higher learning. We hope you will see this twice-monthly letter as an opportunity for C-level information sharing, mentoring, expression, and enlightenment. Feel free to send your thoughts, ideas, commentary, and pertinent news items to Mary Grush at mgrush@101com.com.


How D'es UIUC provide Secure and Shared Campus File Storage?

Listen to an on-demand webcast from the University of Illinois about how they created a centralized file storage and collaboration service from Xythos that serves the needs of thousands of faculty and student users. Learn about the challenges the university faced and how they discovered a single web standards-based solution to address a variety of academic and administrative requirements.

Click here to listen to their presentation and get the case study.

From the Top

Piracy on the Seas of Higher Education

By Graham Spanier,
President, Penn State University

Advances in information technology have allowed universities to gain educational tools we never dreamed of 20 years ago. Engineering classes can meet online to solve problems. Political science students are able to post their papers on class Web sites for peer review. And oceanography researchers are holding video conferences with teams of collaborators from thousands of miles away. But as high-speed Internet access has enabled so many great opportunities at universities across the country, we are faced more than ever with the challenge of using that technology responsibly.

At the core of our mission at Penn State is the creation and dissemination of knowledge. The knowledge created and taught by our faculty is a form of intellectual property. And part of our mission is to support integrity and ethical behavior in respecting such property. But we are now confronted with a tough reality: College campuses have become ground zero for the online piracy of some of our nation's most sought after intellectual property--movies, music, and software.

When we stand by idly and allow our students to abuse the privilege of high-speed Internet access for illegal downloading, we are failing our principles and we are failing our students.

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Need to Know

UC Berkeley Reacts to 98K+ SSNs Gone Missing

Administrators at UC Berkeley are still reeling from the realization that on the same campus where Nobel laureates push at the boundaries of human endeavor, 98,000-plus Social Security numbers were left exposed on an easily lifted laptop computer. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau remarked in an open letter, “UC Berkeley became the world’s premier teaching and research institution by being precise and cutting edge. When it comes to protecting the data we store and use I will insist on the same precision.”

On March 11 someone walked off with a notebook containing the SSNs of thousands of applicants and students, current and former, from UC Berkeley’s Graduate Division records. The computer, taken from a restricted office area, contained data from as far back as 1976 to the spring of 2004, including birthdates and/or addresses to match the SSNs and names in about a third of the records.

Birgeneau promised an independent audit of campus practices regarding personal data, as well as departmental reviews of databases and better data encryption. Notably, he will instruct administrative units to remove all non-essential data.

By California law, the university must notify all 98,369 individuals regarding their compromised personal information. On April 4, campus officials announced they had worked their way through about 6,700 of them. A new “I.D. Alert” button on Berkeley’s home page (www.Berkeley.edu) now guides visitors to helpful information about the incident and offers a variety of useful resources on identity theft.

Take a good look at UC Berkeley's "I.D. Alert" Web pages, they serve as a great model for dealing with a painful issue.

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Mellon Awards Funding for Financials

The Kuali Project (www.kualiproject.org) organized in 2004 on a firm footing, and it’s getting stronger. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced in March the award of $2.5 million to the project for continued development of a new open source Financial System for colleges and universities. The grant expands on Kuali’s $7.2 million in aggregated resources of founding partners Indiana University, the University of Hawaii, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO; www.nacubo.org), and the r·smart group (www.rsmart.com) plus the investments of new institutional partners Cornell University, San Joaquin Delta College (CA), Michigan State University, and the University of Arizona.

The r·smart group’s Chairman John Robinson, a seasoned, 35-year veteran of large-scale computing systems for higher education, predicts a bright future for Kuali and a big win for its member institutions. “There’s always an issue raised about whether you’re going to save money in open source or not. When you look at small application systems, you’re probably not going to save much money in the short term, but when you consider the Kuali Project for major financial systems, absolutely you’re going to save lots of money. Nowadays, you’re paying in the multiple millions of dollars for those [large-scale] installed systems. Institutions don’t want to go through either the huge expense and disruption of installing the systems, or the constant level of dependency on the vendor who is headed who knows where longer term, and at what cost.”

Brad Wheeler, Kuali project chairman of the board and associate VP and dean of IT at Indiana University cites more immediate benefits of open source. “Kuali’s modular design has already attracted interest even when an institution isn’t looking for a financial system now,” says Wheeler. Kuali’s Electronic Research Administration tools—already partially in use at IU—are drawing additional investment as research offices look to true open source solutions for their needs.

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Who's Where

UC Berkeley's Jack McCredie Reflects Before Retirement

Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Systems and Technology (John W.) Jack McCredie will retire this summer. Before joining the Berkeley campus in 1992, he honed his IT leadership in both the academic and corporate worlds, notably at Carnegie Mellon University (PA) and at Digital Equipment Corp. During his four-and-a-half year tenure in the early ’80s as president of EDUCOM (predating the merger with CAUSE), he pioneered a series of "Campus Strategies" monographs that put IT planning on the map in higher education.

McCredie has reflected on his years at Berkeley, providing his "top ten" highlights in “Looking Back As We Move Forward,” a piece published on UC Berkeley’s Information Systems and Technology Web site, noted below. (iNews)

Read Jack McCredie’s Looking Back As We Move Forward

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Brian Voss Assumes CIO Role at LSU

Brian Voss made the move to Louisiana State University this month, to become CIO and lead the Office of Computing Services. Voss left his role of associate vice president, Information Technology (Telecommunications) and chief operating officer for the Pervasive Technology Labs at Indiana University. “I’ve joined an institution that believes in the fundamental strategic value of IT to accomplishing its larger missions in teaching, learning, research, outreach, and economic development,” says Voss. “The Flagship Agenda in particular makes this opportunity particularly attractive.” Voss counts the location of Ed Seidel’s Center for Computation & Technology, the state’s investment in the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI; www.cct.lsu.edu/projects/loni/index.php), and involvement in Internet2 and National LambdaRail among the positive factors coming together at LSU. He hopes to create and implement a community-developed strategic plan for IT at LSU before the end of the decade. (For appointment details, see the press release below. The LSU Board of Supervisors has subsequently given final approval to Voss’s appointment.)

Read more: LSU Press Release

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