The third Regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 1999-2000 was held in room 4.03.08, John Peace Library Building, on February 8, 2000 at 3:30 p.m. with Dr. James Schneider, Chair, presiding.
Present: Ron Alexander, Raul Aranovich, Ron Ayers, Guy Bailey, Russell Briner, Eugene Dowdy, Keith Fairchild, Patricia Harris, Wanda Hedrick, Kellye Jones, Michael Kelly, Juliet Langman, Louis Mendoza, George Negrete, F. Alexander (Sandy) Norman, Walter Richardson, Jr. James Schneider, R. K. Smith, Betty Travis, Raydel Tullous, Anthony Van Reusen, Arturo Vega, Sandra Welch
Absent: Diana Allan, Deborah Armstrong, Mark Blizard, Jahan Eftekhar, Robert Hiromoto, Constance Lowe (excused), Jeanne Reesman
Total members present: 23
Total members absent: 7
Dr. Schneider requested that the regular order of business be suspended to move the Chair's report ahead of the report from the Provost. Motion made and passed.
In April and May 1999, UTSA encountered several network outages which resulted in the hiring of an outside source to help resolve the problems which threatened to jeopardize the computer security system. Following is an overview of what happened, what actions were taken, and why.
Around the 13th or 14th of May 1999, a denial of service attack occurred in the network. A denial of service attack floods the entire network with input, and systems are unable to communicate with each other or with the outside world. Denial of service attacks are basically disruptive, which is the whole intent. A technician from Sprint Paranet who was on site at the time, working on a small project, was asked to look at the problem. Sprint Paranet was recommended to UTSA a year or so earlier by UT Austin. Several conferences were held with the Vice President for Business Affairs and a decision was made to retain Sprint Paranet on an emergency basis to help take care of our immediate security needs and to perform a security evaluation of the entire network. The following day, all the deans' offices and different system administrators in the various colleges and schools and other administrative units were contacted to coordinate the whole effort.
Hidden users were discovered in both the Lonestar and Runner systems. Their intent was to use computer power of a strong system like Runner to break the password files. The hidden user tries to find a way to get into the root of the system which is the basic system administrative level of the Unix system. They create processes that run and then they hide themselves from the normal system administrator so when you run a directory listing or a job or user listing, they are not seen, but they are there working. At least five different individuals were very active in our system at the time. Sprint Paranet helped uncover these types of things.
OIT sought outside assistance because it was felt that UTSA did not have the technical expertise to solve these types of problems quickly and it was soon learned that the magnitude of the situation required more trained people. Sprint Paranet wound up with five technicians working here full time, seven days a week, for the first two weeks of this period. Each technician was trained specially in various aspects of security. Initially, one source of attack appeared to be internal but this concept turned out to be negative. This was initially another reason for getting an outside source that would be more objective and not connected with the University. Sprint Paranet helped to identify immediate problems like the hidden users and develop ways to get rid of them. They also helped to identify some over all risks and helped change the main router to not allow any inquiry attacks, basically "finger" or "ping," to come into the University's network at all. There was also an attack on PCs running anywhere on the network where they would get in and be able to take over the PC. We were able to block that. Fortunately, no one was running a PC anywhere on campus. Another area involved backup tapes. If the hackers stay in long enough, they can disguise and break the backup program so that it seems that it is backing up, when it is not; then they format the drives and everything is wiped out. Backup tapes were re-catalogued and found to be all right.
Expenses for Sprint Paranet were originally estimated to be approximately $243,000 but actual expenditure was $154,000, a significantly lesser amount. It was found not to be economically feasible to go after the culprits of these attacks, but rather to focus on stopping them.
The incident resulted in the administration allocating $100,000 to spend for firewall software to include the purchase of intrusion detection software; network monitoring software, and site licensing for the software, copies of which will be distributed to all system administrators throughout the University and all the colleges and departments. Also, a series of informal meetings were held with Unix system administrators to promote communication among the persons running those systems.
Because of the measures taken, UTSA is now more secure. However, colleges and universities will never be as secure as a corporate environment because of the different things higher education institutions do and the fact that it is preferable to be open to colleagues and other places around the world.
Annette Evans, Director of Strategic Planning and Information Technology outlined some issues regarding information security. Dr. Evans also serves as the University's Electronic Security Office and is in charge of the UTSA Security Program. Dr. Evans explained that the State of Texas has a number of laws, procedures and administrative codes governing security of information within the State and the UTSA Security Program is based on those guidelines. She emphasized that notwithstanding the denial of service attacks, awareness is the most important thing in security. UTSA has been expanding awareness programs as much as possible, but there is a need to do more for students. Another area, in addition to awareness, is procedures, such as procedures to follow when something happens, especially something that involves faculty, staff or students on campus. She said that there is a Web site under the OIT Web page that mentions the concepts used. Listed on the Web site are specific roles and responsibilities for people such as systems administrators, custodians, or owners of the information.
Charlette Colbert, Director of Technology Services at IT, has the responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the network. She announced that UTSA is in the midst of a project to upgrade the campus network which will affect almost every aspect of the infrastructure. Currently, UTSA has a 100-megabit FDDI backbone, which is a fiber optic backbone that runs through all the buildings and from that can serve up to 10-megabits to the desktop. This is becoming obsolete and much more bandwidth is needed. In order to deliver the applications and do the research and computations necessary, the 100-megabit backbone is being increased to a gigabit Ethernet backbone with full redundancy between buildings so that if one fiber link goes down, the building does not go down. This project is a two to two-and-a-half year project, and is in its first year of development. Equipment has begun to be deployed, some of the switches are installed in the central computer facility in the John Peace Library Building and work has begun in the Science Building. With this technology, 100 megabits will be delivered routinely to the desktop. UTSA will have the capability of between four and eight gigabits on the backbone, and certain areas where more than 100 megabits are necessary, there will be the ability to deliver that. With this technology, more monitoring, detection and security are being built into the network.
The old network was extremely difficult to monitor and extremely difficult to determine where problems were occurring. The new network with the Cisco works package along with other security packages and detection packages being purchased, will provide the ability to isolate very quickly wherever any problems occur, whether they are security problems, hardware failures, or bottlenecks so that traffic can be rerouted and service retained to each individual desktop on campus. At the same time, the byte area capability network for the entire University was recently upgraded. Prior to October, the University was connected to the outside world for Internet and phone through eight T-1 lines that were carried over microwave towers to the Health Science Center and from there T-1s and DS-3s, which are the equivalent of 28 T-1 lines, to the rest of the world, mainly up to Austin. Those were replaced with an OC-3 which is a huge pipe that basically contains three DS-3s. Each DS-3 being twenty-eight T-1s. It is terrestrial so it is no longer affected by fog, rain, or lightening strikes. This has increased the capacity to the Internet substantially. A secondary route was also implemented with the help of OTS in Austin so that UTSA is no longer dependent on Austin and a Sprint router in Fort Worth for Internet traffic. New routers to handle this expanded bandwidth have also been put into place. Additional security measures were added to ensure that attacks can be headed off more quickly. Along with this, of course, goes training of staff. Currently staff are being trained to be able to do a substantial portion of what was done last May so that monitoring of the network would not have to be contracted.
Dr. Anthony Van Reusen submitted two statements related to the Women Faculty Issue for the record:
Statement One: My main concern with the proposal for gender equity is the lack of depth and scope! Issues of gender equity will not be solved by "training" someone in a leadership position; attitudes must change for women to be truly effective in leadership. I propose an evaluation of the culture of gender equity at UTSA, with an emphasis on cultivating respect regardless of gender. Yes, there is a need for more female leaders; and I do agree that we have to promote aggressively the idea of leadership development. But leadership is not only an issue in administrative positions; leadership in "the trenches" is just as important. Decisions are implemented at the local level. I disagree that women should be "trained" only for leadership in administration; leadership at the local level is important also.
I also take issue with the concept that women are somehow not ready for leadership-they need to be prepared for these roles. Again, this goes back to the issue of a culture of gender equity; I would argue that the current administration needs to be "trained" away from their misconceptions of women's roles and leadership abilities. Yes, I agree that mentoring and preparation are important to leadership development of women-and men-but this is not just a women's issue.
Statement Two: While there has been growth in the number of female faculty members at UTSA, this increase may not be indicative of progress toward gender equity at this university. Rather, this trend might be more reflective of the increasing number of females in the national workforce. In my opinion, the indicator that seems to be a more significant barometer of the reception of women into the academic community of UTSA is the extremely low number of females in leadership roles. Clearly, women are underrepresented. In my opinion, this indicates that the potential of women for assuming administrative and leadership roles is greatly underestimated. The notion that women require an "internship" to acquire leadership skills is demeaning. While this internship is proposed for both males and females, I question the purpose of this extra hurdle. I want to express concern about increasing the hurdles for women in the career ladder. Rather than being facilitative, it is likely such a program would impede the progression of women up the career ladder. There are many well-qualified women presently on faculty at UTSA who could immediately assume administrative and leadership responsibilities without a period of internship. The idea of an internship program that offers no guarantees of a resulting leadership role is particularly untenable. Unless a legitimate advancement occurs as a result of the program, it appears to be yet another barrier to the advancement of women. I do urge consideration for creating a Committee on the Status of Women. I believe this committee would serve an important role.
A critical indicator of the status of women at any university is salary. Addressing this issue inadvertently through pay equity exercises is not sufficient. The statistics comparing the salaries of male and female faculty members must be addressed. There should be an equity exercise specifically to improve the alignment of the salaries of women with those of their male counterparts in similar positions.
Dr. Bailey said that inequities for women faculty would begin to disappear if administrative appointments were made in a manner that would address the situation.
Ad Hoc Committee on Administrator Evaluation
Dr. Raul Aranovich*
Dr. Stuart Birnbaum
Dr. Keith Fairchild*
Dr. Wanda Hedrick*
Dr. Sheila Johnson
Dr. Chino Rao
Dr. R. K. Smith*
Dr. Betty Travis*
Dr. Anthony Van Reusen
Ad Hoc Committee on Course Evaluation Instrument
Dr. Ron Alexander*
Dr. Deborah Armstrong*
Dr. Connie Lowe*
Dr. Sandy Norman*
Dr. Elaine Sanders
Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Salary Compression
Dr. Mark Blizard*
Dr. Keith Fairchild*
Dr. Richard Harris
Dr. Sandy Norman*
Dr. David Pillow
Dr. Sandy Welch*
Dr. Esther Wheeler
Dr. Vega made a motion to refer the Proposal for Conducting the Course/Instructor Survey Electronically to allow more time for the Committee to develop responses and make recommendations of whether to proceed. Motion passed.
Dr. Vega made a motion to accept the Committee's recommendations as one item instead of three separate items. Motion passed.
Dr. Schneider said that he would work with the Nominating and Elections Committee to elect the Ad Hoc Budget Advisory Committee as requested by the Provost.
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Last updated Sept. 1, 2005