IT in Higher Education by qyd44618


									IT in Higher Education
   Charles Phelps, Provost
   University of Rochester
   SAC—Snowmass 2005
               Why We Do It
   Teaching
    • Undergraduate
    • Graduate (Masters, PhD, etc.)
    • Professional (MD, MBA, JD, MPH, etc.)
   Research
    • Including scholarly communication
    • Increasingly collaborative
    • Takes place at all levels, not just
      Research I universities
       An Economist’s Context
   US higher education the best in the
    world (for now!)
   Why? Competition!
    • Students, faculty, research grants,
      donors’ attention
   Provostial observation: It’s a jungle
    out there!
   All facets of this competition rely on
    IT in modern higher education
          The Modern Student
   Everything is digital
   No wires!
   “Text” is a drag!
   Why isn’t it free?
   What do you mean “I can’t”?
    • And just try to stop me!
   Black holes for bandwidth
   “If you don’t have it, I’ll go elsewhere.”
           Supporting Activities
              (of course!)
   HR, Finance, Student Records,
    Alumni relations and development,
    purchasing, grants & contracts, etc.
   Library services
   Communications
    • Voice, data (including media)
   Access to data for decision support
    as well as ongoing operations
      Things We Should Provide
   Teaching and learning support
    • Faculty often the weak link here
   Scholarly communication
    • Very high bandwidth, reliable, redundant
    • Easy to use digital repositories (library?)
    • Digital access to archived content
          It’s not “the library”. The world is the library!
   Community building tools
    • Example: CVillage, IM, chat rooms
    • Both for students, faculty and alumni
   E Biz (all across the board) Share systems!
       Things We Should Provide
   Education about what’s right and wrong
    (file sharing, etc.)
   Reliable, safe, secure, and redundant
    computing and communication
   Laboratory for the world
    • Internet  I2  Lambda rail  ??
   School’s face to the world:
    •   Who does it?
   Reliable and easy backup services
   Platform independence
           Some Big Concerns
   Security
    • Intrusion detection and prevention
    • Authentication and authorization
   Cost
    • Hardware gets cheaper, software more
    • Building in R&R; support more complex
   Legal vs. illegal activity
    • Especially P2P and related activities
   Growing risks to basic operations
    Security Issues (elaborated)
   Ethos of openness and free speech
    • Issues of privacy
   History of dispersed control
    • History of “local” choices for desktop.
    • Networking complicated this.
    • Wireless makes it far worse.
    • Getting agreement on policy
         And enforcing it!
Some Policy Areas to Consider
   Must every user be identified?
   How to charge (if at all) for network use?
   Who can run a wireless LAN?
   Who can run a server, and for what
   What to do about P2P transmissions?
   Can departments hire their own IT
   Who gets to contract with vendors?
       Cost Issues (elaborated)
   Moore’s Law helps
    • Costs of computation and storage falling
   But….. Gates and Ellison are two of the
    richest men in the world
    • “Ver.n no longer supported . . . .”
    • Will open source alternatives help?
   Reliance demands redundancy
   Competition in higher education for faculty
    and students pushes the boundary
    Illegal, Immoral, and Fattening
   Students heavily involved in illegal file
    sharing; they see it as their “right”
    • Possible liability on ISPs
    • Responsibilities as teachers of future leaders
    • Legal alternatives (Napster, CFlix, etc.)?
   Endless demand for bandwidth from P2P
    software (fatter doesn’t mean faster)
   Virulent source of viruses, worms, etc.
   Much P2P traffic is porn, some illegal
         External Attacks Too
   Hacking: “It’s a small world after all”
   International terrorism
   “Just for fun” malicious attacks
   Due diligence rules changing
    • Sarbanes Oxley comes to higher ed
   E Biz complicates the matter
    • Student, financial, medical records all
      have value to others
   And so does wireless
Partnerships You Should Consider
   The library (scholarly communication)
   PR office (
   Development office (alumni links)
   Deans’ offices (faculty web pages)
   Dean of Students (community building)
   Legal office (DMCA processes)
   Everybody involved in eBiz
   Internal and external auditors
   The provost (for $) JUST KIDDING!
         Think Long Term Too
   Begin to build “guiding principles” for
    everything to reduce complexity
    • Implications for platforms, personnel mix,
      redundancy in hardware, etc.
   Build in renewal cycle for software and
    hardware in budgets
    • It’s like deferred maintenance on physical
   Create mechanisms to get buy-in from key
    decision makers on campus (IT council?)
    Some Guiding Principle Examples
   All systems shall have browser interface
   All data shall be stored in a relational data
    base (non proprietary?)
   Support for Windows, MacOS, Unix, and
    nothing else
   All eBiz shall use Verisign protocol
   Directory will rely on LDAP
   Use “shibboleth” as standard tool
   Graded security as risk increases
      Concluding Observations
   IT leaders must be innovative,
    frugal, and responsible risk takers
   Build in fiscal and people capability
    for experimentation, innovation
   Work intensively with academic
    leaders on campus
   Don’t forget the fundamental
    purpose: teaching and learning!
The End

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