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Sunday, January 19, 2020

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Senate Committee on Information Technology met November 18

By Angelica Saylo Pilo | Jan 8, 2020

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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Senate Committee on Information Technology met Nov. 18.

Here is the minutes provided by the committee:

Present: Chair Mike Bohlmann, Nikhil Arun, Roy Campbell, Anita Chan, Jennifer Cromley, Ben Nordick, Judith Pintar, Randall Sadler

Ex officio: Michel Bellini

Absent: Matthew Goodman, Sean Mullen, John Toenjes Ex officio: Kelly Block, Greg Gulick

Guests: Joe Barnes (Chief Privacy and Security Officer)

A regular meeting of the Senate Committee on Information Technology (IT) was called to order at 3:05 pm with Chair Bohlmann presiding.


Introductions were made.


The minutes of the October 21, 2019 meeting were approved as distributed.


No requests received.


Chair Bohlmann reminded IT to complete their Open Meetings Act training.

Chair Bohlmann mentioned the continued discussion at the Senate Executive Committee (SEC) meeting regarding the seat the Chair of IT holds on the SEC. Chair Bohlmann advised that with the role technology has within the University, it’s important to represent IT at the meeting. Campbell noted IT should retain a seat on SEC with regard to privacy and security. This issue appears to be closed for now with SEC considering what other committees should perhaps have permanent representation.


IT.18.03, Qualtrics Licensing

Barnes indicated Technology Services has partnered with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) to survey the research tools being used by faculty and graduate students to conduct research. Chair Bohlmann indicated he will reach out to Scott Genung, Deputy CIO for IT Operations, for further information.

IT.20.01, Review of Bylaws, Part D.14 – Committee on Information Technology

Chair Bohlmann reported he spoke with Melanie Loots, Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, who suggested a representative from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) as an ex officio member of IT.

IT recommended adding “privacy and security” to its duties:

1. Identify and consider problems, needs, and concerns pertaining to privacy and security, teaching needs, administrative support, and research support on campus IT issues and recommend desirable changes in campus policy.

Chair Bohlmann will prepare an introduction to accompany with this language and submit to the Senate committee on University Statutes and Senate Procedures for consideration.

IT.20.02, Competition from Multiple Vendors on Small Purchases

Campbell advised a Professor in the Department of Computer Science was unable to procure what he needed for research because of the current policy on small purchases. His effort, which was middle ground when trying to obtain services, was delayed six to nine months. Chair Bohlmann believed that small purchases range from $10,000 to $100,000. Campbell remarked he thought the procurement policy was being changed at the time of the issue. He suggested there should be a fixed time for purchase approval decisions.

Chair Bohlmann noted state procurement law requiring at least three possible vendors was written to attract more diverse vendors instead of just using the same vendor repeatedly.

Barnes commented the challenge is to track the progress of a purchase decision and timeline since there are only two or three people reviewing the proposals. IT also discussed how a possible redesign of the approval process could enable proposals to be fast tracked when they meet all of the necessary criteria. The remaining proposals would continue to follow the standard review process. IT indicated adequate resources would be needed for the changes to be most effective and that the Institutional Review Board may need to be part of the process.

Campbell noted high-end equipment is also a problem. He noted the struggle when a person is hired and the University doesn’t have the item needed for their research.

Chair Bohlmann stated he is looking at the need to confirm policy requirements vs. state mandated. He suggested inviting a representative from the Office for Business and Financial Services (OBFS) to attend a future meeting to discuss the issue.

IT.20.03, Updates from Chief Privacy & Security Officer

Copies of the Security Investment Plan and the Endpoint Security, Crowdstrike FAQ article were distributed. Barnes reported that the need to increase the investment for IT Security has been discussed during the past year and has been approved.

Campbell inquired about privacy policies on campus. Barnes indicated there is a Web Privacy Notice which regarding how data is handled and additional information can be found in the Campus Administrative Manual. Barnes indicated there are additional policies such as Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Barnes shared that the funding plan includes an increase to the current investment by $12.5 million recurring over 5 years and which is likely to include the addition of one full-time employee per 1000 employees. Barnes noted the plan to hire a Director of Privacy to work with data governance and development of policy.

Barnes noted security gaps are being addressed in the 5-year plan, which includes the purchase of Crowdstrike. He shared that the University spends $28 per student on privacy and security while other Big 10 institutions spend $150-$200.

Campbell questioned how the University can measure success on the investment. Barnes responded that there is a privacy and security balance. Barnes noted an advisory board is being established and IT would be represented in the board structure. Campbell reported the Board of Trustees is drafting guiding principles and suggested Barnes contact Barbara Wilson, Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs.


No new business.


Barnes reported IT Council will be re-imagined to set the appropriate structure across IT to interface with other groups on campus.

Campbell suggested IT Council may want to review the policy on drone use.


No update.


No update.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:05 pm.

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