Report: February 27, 2008


Report of the meeting of the COMPUTING COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 3:10 p.m. in the Ante Room, #3129, S.B.

Present: J. Lim (in the Chair), A. Wensley, A. Vyas, S. Senese, J. Hu, D. Kreuger
Regrets: R. deSouza, D. O’Day, R. Gerlai, A. Akers, T. Al-Sarraj
In attendance: Kevin Lee, Manager of Computing Services, Rose Da Silva, AGSAE

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting (January 16, 2008)

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

2. Report of officers:

a) UTORmail update by Joe Lim, Chief Information Officer followed by discussion and feedback from Committee members

Mr. Lim reported that the UTORmail migration was completed in September 2007 and in late December and early January experienced some very slow email delivery. He explained that this slowdown was a result of ISP’s claiming that U of T was their single largest source of spam. Once the university investigated the problem, it was realized that bad emails or ‘bounce backs’ were never deleted from the system and so U of T was sending emails to many non-existent accounts. The solution that has therefore been implemented was to remove from the system these non-existent accounts.

Mr. Lim reported that this strategy has worked so far and that service has been back to normal with these ISP’s. He added that U of T has also moved up junk mail threshold to 99%, so users should be receiving less junk mail. He encouraged members to check their junk mail folders periodically for any false positives.

In moving forward, Mr. Lim described the implementation of the Exchange Project, which will introduce a new calendaring and messaging system for staff and faculty at the university. At UTM, it will be open to all staff, faculty and graduate students.

b) Report on the Exchange Project – Kevin Lee, Computing Services Manager

Mr. Lee reported that funds had been allocated to the Exchange project and a request for proposals was going out towards the end of March for this project. The two biggest issues currently under discussion for the project are the size of the mailbox quota (trying to get this increased to as high as possible) and the migration itself (who will be migrated first and how will the process work).

With respect to the timing of the exchange project, planned migration will begin in December and will likely be finished by the end January or early February 2009.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member’s question, Mr. Lee explained that although the platform has been chosen (Outlook), the server provider has not been selected as of yet.

In response to a member’s question about whether this migration was mandatory, Mr. Lim explained that U of T would like all staff and faculty to move to Exchange from Oracle. The move will be mandatory for the calendar, but not for email - users can keep their previous email client instead of Outlook.

A member commented that U of T staff and faculty have already been through one migration and expressed concern about going through another such project so soon after the first. The member also noted that staff training to carry out this migration would be crucial to the success of the project.

In response to a member’s question, it was confirmed that graduate students would also be included in this migration.

3. New Business:

In response to a member’s question about the appropriateness of using gmail for personal as well as business purposes, Mr. Lim explained that there were security issues related to gmail use and noted that the Office of the Provost was in the process of developing an appropriate email use policy, which will be brought forward to this Committee for information.

b) A member asked about an update on the installation of wireless coverage in the research wing. Mr. Lim explained that the project funding was awaiting approval from the CAO and Vice-Principal Research.

The next meeting of the committee will be on Wednesday, March 26, 2008.

The meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m.

Secretary _______________________________ Chair _____________________________