Senate Agenda, June 18, 1999 - EXHIBIT II
SENATE COMMITTEE ON
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND
ANNUAL REPORT 1998-99
SCITS met six times during the period July 1, 1998, and June 30, 1999. The principal
items of business during the year are summarized below.
- In May of 1997, SCITS established two committees
to consult, plan for, and select a
new telephone system for the University, residences and Research Park. The two
committees were the Technical Committee, charged with technical evaluation of
proposals, and the Users Committee which provided input to the Technical Committee.
The need for pursuing the acquisition of a new telephone system was based on the
- The University's existing telecommunication system is 14 years old, has Year 2000
problems, and is no longer manufactured. This means that the University would likely
incur additional maintenance costs and risk prolonged periods of system failure.
- Only Saugeen-Maitland Hall residence currently provides students with access to
the University phone system; the other residences require students to use existing
- The telephone systems in the Research Park have Year 2000 problems and require
- The current University system cannot be expanded and voice mail is at maximum
capacity. Automatic Call Distributions (ACD) capabilities are very limited and cannot
meet current requirements.
- There are demands for new services which cannot be supported using the current
In the Spring of 1998, a Request for Information (RFI) was issued resulting in the
selection of five vendors to receive a Request for Proposal (RFP). The RFP was issued
in September, 1998 with responses due at the end of November.
Assessment of the responses, including on-site demonstrations by vendors, took place
between December, 1998 and February, 1999. Assessment was based on evaluation in
Technical and "Enhanced" Basic Services. The system must be sound technically, be
of high quality, and provide at least the same basic, and preferably enhanced, voice
and voice mail services to the University.
Quality Support and Maintenance. The vendor and system selected must
provide maintenance and support that are at least as good as they are
and New Services. The new system must be able to accommodate growth
of the University and be capable of supporting new, advanced telecommunications
functions in the near future; the vendor must be able to provide the expertise to be able
to meet the University's demands for new services.
- Partnership. The vendor and system
selected must be willing to and capable of
developing a partnership with the University during the next 10-15
Cost. The cost of the acquisition and estimated cost to the University over the next 10
The Technical Committee reviewed the proposals, summaries of the proposals and
technical assessment of the proposed solutions. The Technical Committee also met
with an external consultant who independently evaluated the proposals and proposed
In March, 1999, SCITS received a report and recommendations from the telephone
committees and subsequently recommended to Senate that the University proceed to
negotiate with Bell Canada for the acquisition of a Nortel Technologies MSL-100
Communication System. The recommendation was approved by Senate and the Board
of Governors in March. Installation is expected to begin this summer with deployment
completed for residences, academic/administrative units, Research Park and any
affiliates by December 1999 and a limited roll-out of new services by Spring 2000.
Over the past year, the Campus Computer
Security Subcommittee (CCSS) has
considered the issue of information security in an attempt to develop an action plan for
the University. The subcommittee consulted with a number of technical contacts from
across campus in order to establish priorities and recommendations to improve the
information security structure. The following recommendations from CCSS were
presented to SCITS for approval.
The Subcommittee on Computing and Networking
Services (SUCNS) was asked to
consider the issue of inappropriate use of University computing facilities. This was in
response primarily to reports from ITS concerning offensive and otherwise
inappropriate use of e-mail. SUCNS concluded that the Code of Behaviour for Use of
Computing Resources and Corporate Data (recommended by SCITS and approved by
Senate in 1998) is a clear and comprehensive statement with regard to appropriate use
of computing facilities. SUCNS recommended that all computer users on campus be
reminded of the Code of Behaviour on a regular basis, and that this reminder be
accompanied by (1) examples of what would be deemed inappropriate use, (2) a
delineation of action to be taken should the user become a victim of inappropriate use,
and (3) suggestions on protection against victimization due to inappropriate computer
use by others.
- The creation of a Subcommittee on Information
Security (SUIS) responsible for
developing an integrated and comprehensive information security strategy for the
University in collaboration with faculties and departments. (See Exhibit I of this Senate
agenda for proposed Terms of Reference and Composition.)
- A review of the existing Code of Behavior for
the Use of Computing Resources and
Corporate Data on a regular basis.
- The development and implementation of standards
and guidelines for the use and
security of computing resources and corporate data.
- The implementation of security monitoring and
- The development and execution of highly visible
security awareness and education
SUCNS was also asked to revisit policy recommendations concerning the number and
content of newsgroups which are carried on University servers. The subcommittee
concluded that, consistent with previous policy recommendations, the University should
continue to carry as many newsgroups as possible. The subcommittee also
recommended that additional disk space be purchased, if necessary, in support of
newsgroup storage on central servers.
- The primary task of the Priorities and Planning Subcommittee has
been the revision
of the University's Information and Technology Planning Guidelines. The current
guidelines were approved in 1996 and are in need of upgrading. The revised document
will address instructional, research, and administrative computing.
- The Research Advisory Subcommittee is considering a process whereby
individual or group may develop a proposal and seek approval for upgrading or
expanding the University's central computing resources.