CAUSE/EFFECT

This article was published in CAUSE/EFFECT journal, Volume 22 Number 1 1999. The copyright is by EDUCAUSE and the author(s). See http://www.educause.edu/copyright for additional copyright information.

Readers Respond

Question:
Has your institution developed a business continuity plan to address the year 2000 challenges, not only with respect to systems solutions but also from the broader campus community perspective? Please describe your activities in this area and provide URLs for any relevant Web pages or documents your institution has developed.

In Canada, the federal government has hired and trained part-time IT students to service small businesses and schools with respect to Y2K response. See http://www.scp-ebb.com.

[This information is provided to you by Vancouver University, which, although primarily a Canadian institution (and best known for its external degrees program which is older than Regents, Thomas Edison, and Charter Oak), also has a long-standing (thirty years) presence in Washington State. See http://access.wa.gov/education/awprivcol.asp.]
Li-kuan Tham,
Registrar Vancouver University - Colleges Worldwide
wunicols@vcn.bc.ca

 

The Ohio State University's Year 2000 Risk Reduction Program and Resources are available at http://www.osu.edu/year2000. This site's purpose is to provide access to information, tools, and resources regarding Year 2000 preparation. For more information regarding Ohio State's approach, visit http://www.acs.ohio-state.edu/units/research/Y2K
Dan Allen
Director of OSU Y2K Risk Reduction Program
allen.31@osu.edu

 

The University of Akron has developed a business continuity plan. The relevant Web site is http://gozips.uakron.edu/is/y2k. Information Services is in the process of implementing the year 2000 business plan. Progress on this plan is reported to the Board of Trustees at each meeting. Even though departments are responsible for their own Y2K plans, Information Services has begun an awareness campaign to the broader campus community. Services are being provided to assist departments with assessing their year 2000 readiness, creating, and implementing plans. Information Services then tracks the progress of each of these as they work on their plans.
Debbie Keller
Information Services
keller@uakron.edu

 

Memorial University of Newfoundland plans to begin contingency planning in February. This schedule will allow us time to complete our institution-wide assessment and remediation plans. While our core systems are nearing Y2K readiness, our distributed departmental assessment phase is only now ending. Also, Y2K contingency planning as a process is only now beginning to get serious attention. As we all turn to this issue, approaches and procedures will begin to be shared, making the effort a lot easier and the result of higher quality. Our Y2K Web site is directly accessible from the Memorial homepage, http://www.mun.ca.
Wilf Bussey
Chair, Year 2000 Coordinating Group
wilf.bussey@mun.ca

 

At the University of Colorado at Boulder, we have made great strides toward Y2K compliance in a relatively short period of time. Since September 1998, the campusí Y2K work has been characterized by a distributed approach. Appointed liaisons in each of over 150 departments and units have inventoried technological equipment and software, and have categorized this equipment according to standard Y2K risk categories (life-threatening, mission critical, etc.).

During the first months of 1999, the liaisons will complete the Y2K remediation and testing. They also will begin participating in a campus-wide reporting process that holds administrators responsible for the status of their areas. This reporting structure provides a system of checks and balances, with dual reporting structures (to local management and the campus Y2K Project Team) that ensure that the distributed approach works, by alerting local management to the progress (or lack thereof) in their units.

In the coming semester, the Y2K Project Team will guide departments through contingency and business continuity planning, to ensure the plansí coordination. Communication with the community is also under way.

Secondary benefits have emerged through the Y2K process at CU-Boulder: a rough inventory of computing equipment now exists, where none did before, as does a comprehensive reporting grid that encompasses all department within, and sometimes even outside of, the traditional administrative structures. See http://www.colorado.edu/its/y2k.
Deborah Keyek-Franssen
IT Policy Analyst
deblkf@colorado.edu

 

The University of Virginia is addressing the Year 2000 compliance challenge in three phases:

Phase I includes the central administrative systems, financial administrative systems, and the U.Va. Health System. During Phase I the University has worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers to evaluate and identify Year 2000 issues within these areas of systems. This effort began over three years ago and has completed most of the needed remediations.

Phase II encompasses the remainder of the University employing a theme of awareness and distributed accountability. This phase considers the issues related to staff/faculty/student desktop hardware/software, laboratory equipment, health/safety issues, and embedded devices local to a given department. A seven-step model was developed and implemented on the Web to serve as a guide for reporting units within the University to use in conducting a Y2K assessment.

Phase III, consisting of the Universityís Facilities Management and Purchasing departments, focuses on the issues of University-wide embedded systems and time-critical vendors. Specifically, Phase III exams the University-wide systems containing microprocessors and establishes active lines of communication with vendors on whom the University depends for meeting "time-critical deliveries."

Additional information on all of these phases can be found on the Web at http://www.virginia.edu/year2000.
Jeff Sponaugle
Y2K Phase II Team Leader
ojs6h@virginia.edu

 

The University of Richmondís is well under way with Y2K resolution.

UR has taken three initiatives to bring the Y2K issues to the attention of our Uuniversity community. First, the associate provostís column for the winter issue of our electronic newsletter, Inside IS ( http://www.richmond.edu/is/inside), addressed current Y2K readiness and was entitled, "Information Services, Y2K, and You." Second, in February IS sponsored a well-attended open forum on Y2K for the university community. We will hold another forum in fall, closer to the changeover, to bring the community up-to-date on the latest issues. Third, we have started a community-focused Y2K group that has set to work on the Y2K issues that fall outside of the typical IT/systems issues. The membership of this group includes staff from the residential colleges, support and auxiliary services, the physical plant, academic support services, as well as faculty and technology staff. This group is focusing on the following areas: Y2K issues for students who are studying abroad, the Universityís relationship to the Richmond community for services and support; contingency planning for the operation of the University, providing members of the University community with information on Y2K issues that might affect their homes or personal life, and demystifying the Y2K problem and countering the more outrageous claims that are emerging. This group will be reporting back to the University community as plans are developed.
Ellen J. Waite
Associate Provost for Information Services
ewaite@richmond.edu

 

At the Center for Information Services (CIS), we serve thirty-three community and technical colleges, and in addition to bringing our administrative software into compliance, we have spearheaded efforts to make the colleges aware of Y2K and the steps they should take on their campuses. See http://www.cis.ctc.edu/wctc/dev/y2k.htm.
Ann Suter
Manager, Educational Technology and Telecommunications
asuter@cis.ctc.edu

 

The U.S. Department of Education and the Council of the Great City Schools have recently completed the development of a Y2K compliance guide for K-12 schools and school districts. The document, entitled "Squashing the Millennium Bug," is being mailed this week to the 15,000+ districts in the country. The guide can be found on our Web site at: http://www.cgcs.org/y2k12/.
Mark A. Root
Manager of Technology & Information Services
Council of the Great City Schools
mroot@cgcs.org

Indiana University is beginning the process of developing contingency plans for the year 2000. Under direction from the president, each campus established a Year 2000 task force to oversee Y2K readiness at that campus. Two university-wide project coordinators, one for IT and one for facilities issues, were named to assist the campuses with their efforts. The campus chairs report to the chancellors of the campus. The VP of Administration and the VP for Information Technology meet with the chancellors each month to monitor progress and resolve issues.

The development of contingency plans is among the goals of the task forces. The campuses will develop plans to deal with disruptions of service and supplies, as well as a contingency for addressing more systematic loss of essential services, such as power. These plans will be developed and documented by November 1.

IUPUI, the Indianapolis campus, is the farthest along with contingency plans and will provide a model for the other campuses. They selected a contingency planning template, and recommended that departments use this format when developing their individual plans. The campus steering committee will make this document available and will hold workshops to help department representatives establish their contingency plans. The workshops also provide a forum to explain the standard campus crisis management strategy used by the police and fire departments.
Dennis Cromwell
Assistant Director, Application Services
dcromwell@indiana.edu

 

Under the Northwestern University Year 2000 Readiness Program, Year 2000 Coordinators in each University school and department are developing business contingency plans for all Priority One and Two systems, services and products under their jurisdiction. Priority One items are defined as those that could affect the health and safety of individuals within the University community or are mission critical to the University. Priority Two items are defined as items that could cause a substantial disruption to a school or department or that moderately affect the entire University. The Year 2000 Office provides guidance to the Coordinators as they develop business contingency plans for Priority One and Two items. The plans need to consider the length of time for a failure (24 hours versus three days versus longer) and the related funding implications. Because of these considerations, it is possible that a particular item could have multiple alternatives embedded in its contingency plan depending on the length of failure.

These business contingency plans are submitted to the Year 2000 Office and reviewed for completeness. The Office reviews the plans to ensure that areas outside of the jurisdiction of the coordinator are aware of their plan and their corresponding responsibilities, that the plan is solid and has been reviewed with the Dean or Vice President for that area, and that funding requirements are known. If the funding is not available within the area submitting the plan, the Year 2000 Office presents the plan to the Year 2000 Executive Committee chaired by the President for review and action.

In addition to the development of business contingency plans, the Year 2000 Office has established a Communications Committee with representatives from various areas of the University. The committee is preparing a communications plan to notify students, staff, and faculty of what to expect should a major external service fail. These services range from electrical service to transportation to water failures. Like the business contingency plans, the communications plan addresses the extent of failure and develops plan subsets for partial to complete failures. To effectively communicate information to students, staff, and faulty, and to allow additional time to identify and possibly correct any Priority One failures, Northwestern University has delayed the start of the winter quarter by one day.

The direct link to the Northwestern University Year 2000 Web site is http://www.nwu.edu/it/year2000. The Universityís Year 2000 web site includes a secured portion for our coordinators only.
Patricia Todus
Associate Vice President, Information Technology
p-todus@nwu.edu

 

At the University of Michigan we are developing business continuity plans/contingency plans to address the Y2K challenges and uncertainties. Below is a copy of our recent communication to our campus. This is being followed by an article in The University Record, the weekly publication for U-M faculty and staff. See http://www.year2000.umich.edu/.
Gloria Thiele
Student Systems and Year 2000 Project Manager
gthiele@umich.edu

 

Eastern Illinois Universityís Web site on Y2K compliance tools resides at http://www.eiu.edu/~help6030/y2k/. The site includes a description of Easternís Y2K compliance plans and activities, and most importantly, a tool kit that departmental personnel can use for distributed compliance challenges. The internal newsletter that introduced the site to the campus community and outlined previous central Y2K efforts is at: http://www.ux1.eiu.edu/~eiubits/display.cgi?199901192201.
Morgan R. Olsen
Vice President for Business Affairs
csmro@eiu.edu

Next Readers Respond Question:
What are some of the tools, techniques, processes, and policy mechanisms your organization is using to address the challenge of securing your campus network resources? Please include information about incident response mechanisms and how you have staffed this function, and provide URLs for any campus documents or Web sites describing your activities or policies that you think would be helpful to your colleagues. Send your response via e-mail to Julie Rudy, CAUSE/EFFECT editor, jrudy@educause.edu.

...to the table of contents