Oxford Materials IT Committee Meeting

2.00pm on 28 January 2003 21BR committee room


  • 1 Apologies for absence
  • 2 Matters arising from the minutes (minutes attached)
  • 3 IT/AV - matters for discussion (PJW)
  • 3a calendar sharing
  • 3b account management
  • 4 IT/AV – matters for report (Firewall, Server, Phones, MML, EM, Security, HEIF, Website, building-works, Audit, Photographic, Publications, etc.)
  • 5 University IT Users Group - matters for report (PJW)
  • 6 IT/AV expenditure - matters for report (PJW)
  • 7 AOB
  • 8 Date and time of next meeting: Wednesday 7 May 2003 at 2pm .


Minutes of the IT/AV Committee held at 2.00pm on 23 Oct 2002

Present: MB, AC, Alex Cock, AHM, RMP, PJW

1. Apologies: DGB, Crispin Hetherington

2. Matters arising from the minutes

  • a) 2a The Department runs ~34 separate databases. A summary is to be circulated with suggestions for rationalization to avoid double entry of information. (carried forward) Action: PJW/Alex Cock
  • b) 2b Office staff are to be notified of IT training opportunities and procedures. The Department expects them to make regular us of these opportunities to improve their IT skills. (carried forward) Action: RMP
  • c) 2c The MatLab student software license only costs £45 however it for undergraduates to use on their own computers. The full license for department or researchers costs at least £450 which is not good value for money. PJW to investigate the Dept. Engineering scheme for licensing one copy of Matlab in the Teaching Lab, similar to the Matlab license used in the MML. (carried forward) Action: PJW
  • d) 2d A commercial screen-saver is to be implemented on Teaching Lab network. (Carried forward) Action: PJW/Alex Cock
  • e) 2h A draft newcomers checklist document has been prepared, but this has raised numerous questions about the wider issue of the departmental induction procedures. A preliminary meeting (AC,RMP,PJW) will be convened prior to a wider meeting (AC,RMP,PJW, Lyn, Alison, Laura, Harriet, PRW) to discuss the induction procedures further. (Carried forward) Action: PJW/Laura Jones
  • f) 2e A bid for ~£0.5M to fund a fibre-optic link to Begbroke is being put forward to SRIF2 by the Begbroke Directorate. If successful work is likely to go ahead later this year.
  • g) 3d) b Ten new standalone VOIP phones have been installed at Begbroke. RMP to contact the Begbroke Directorate to formally request site-wide action to improve telephone services. Action: RMP
  • h) 3d) c Antivirus guidelines on the website have been updated to include ‘Other operating systems’ (Macintosh and Unix)
  • i) 3d) d The Facilities and Procedures booklet has been updated to include advice on backing-up personal computers. All members of department are to be sent this information by email. In addition, research group leaders are to be reminded of the importance of having clear and effective backup and archive policies. Action: PJW
    It was noted that the facilities and procedures booklet is being generally updated on the basis of the audit report findings. The updated version will be made available on the website in both pdf and html formats. Action: PJW
  • j) 7a) The committee proposed a vote of thanks to JTC and GM for their help on the IT/AV committee. DGB and Crispin Hetherington have agreed to join the committee.

3. IT/AV Matters for discussion (PJW)

  • a)The sharing of electronic calendars was discussed. People known to already use electronic calendars such as GADB, PSG and GDWS are to be approached and technical solutions investigated for possible Department use. It was not clear that Department use (e.g. for room bookings) would require the same solution as research group use. Action: Alex Cock/MB/PJW
  • b) A system for centralised computer account management is being investigated. Action: Alex Cock
4. IT/AV matters for report

A status summary was circulated and discussed.

  • a) The gradual increase in requirements for IP addresses remains a problem. A summary of the current status and a request for advice is to be submitted to Network Control at OUCS. Action: PJW
  • b) The proposed new Department firewall has a built-in authorization mechanism requiring computers to be register in order to access the network outside the Department. All members of department will be contacted by email to request that they register their computers at http://registration.materials.ox.ac.uk Action: PJW
  • c) The main Department server is due for replacement. A detailed project timetable will be circulated for comments. Action: Alex Cock/PJW
  • d) The Department’s corporate identity (logo, website and publicity) was fully revamped three years ago. A complete review of the website is needed primarily to improve navigation, to check content, and to ensure compliance with new SENDA accessibility guidelines. Changes to the look-and-feel of the website will be considered in conjunction with revision of the Undergraduate Prospectus scheduled for the 2005/6 intake. Action: PJW/MartinCarr/RIT
  • e) The Department’s publications generally need reviewing and cost projections formalising in conjunction with the Schools Liaison Officer. Action: AHM/MartinCarr
  • f) Photographic unit temporarily responsible for all developing/printing support until appointment of EM technician. Action: AHM

5. Oxford University IT Users Group Meeting http://www.ict.ox.ac.uk/oxford/groups/ouitug/

  • a) OUCS annual review will be carried out this year. OUCS suggested that the departments review their own strategies. It was agreed that the department IT/AV strategy and supporting documentation should be reviewed annually for the Trinity Term meeting.

6. IT/AV Expenditure

  • a) Expenditure for 2003-4 is to be discussed at the next meeting .

7. AOB

  • a) It was noted that the Department is being asked to put in place a set of disaster recovery plans and that the committee will be asked to provide input on IT/AV issues. Action: PJW
  • b) The QIPIRC requires an IT strategy and costing so that future grant applications can include appropriate elements for IT support. In addition, current plans have a considerable impact in terms of moving staff and equipment around the department. PJW to discuss with GADB. Action: PJW

8. Next Meeting: Wednesday 7 May 2003 at 2pm

Meeting Closed 4.30pm