Texas Tech University

Minutes for May 13, 2009

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  • Call To Order:
    • 2008-2009 Staff Senate President, Ron Nail
    • 3:00 PM, Senate Room, Student Union Building,
  • Officers Present:
    • Chris Leisinger, President Elect
    • Len Markham, Secretary
    • Tamara Ginter, Treasurer
  • Pledge:
    • Chris Leisinger led the senate in the pledge
  • Roll Call:
    • Present 32 of 59 Senators.
  • Absent:
    • Ron Nail, Shannon Crossland, Elizabeth Massengale, Jessica Carrillo, Marlene Kenady, Virginia Downs, Patricia McCaleb, Heather Medley, Kar Sata, Kay Hill, Maria Vega, Sharon Yeates, Ashley Britton, Becky Evens, Blake Reynolds, John Brocklehurst, Brad Jury, Mary Harris, Linda Champion, Alicia Marez, and Frances Watson.
  • Guests:
    • Darrell Bateman, Yeng Ng, and Britta Tye, Information Technology
  • Quorum:
    • 55% of the Senate Body is in attendance, a quorum was not present.
  • Treasurer’s Report:
    • April Report - Scholarship money was deducted this month. University catering charges for December Meet-n-Greet finally received. No quorum, approval tabled until June meeting.
      • April beginning balance - $ 14,011.63
      • Expended - $ 2,416.02
      • Encumbrances - $ 178.83
      • Ending ballance - $ 11,777.44
  • New Business:
    • Nominations for 2009-2010 Staff Senators will be going out shortly.
  • Announcements:
    • New Employee Orientation for Thursday, May 14th moved to SUB. Need a volunteer to man the Staff Senate booth.
    • June meeting – election of new officers, please plan to attend as a quorum will be needed for voting.
  • Guest Speaker:
    • Sam Segran and Dr. Kathy Austin – Information Technology Division
      • Mr. Segran addressed the importance of computers in today’s society as almost all business processes require the use of computers. With the evolution of the Internet over the past 15 years has also come borders that are no longer safe and hostile environments that threaten information security and personal identities. Tools needed to protect users and information have also evolved but also require constant updating to stay ahead of the hackers. Texas is more progressive about protecting IT resources.
      • To be productive and secure, it is necessary to build infrastructure and forces behind the scenes which may include spam filters, etc.
      • Dr. Austin addressed the user education component for all TTU members. The department tries to keep the TTU community informed through TechAnnounce, brochures, and operating procedures. The Safe Computing brochure states IT’s goal “to empower people with knowledge and tools to reduce area Internet-based security threats.” This information concerning viruses, worms, and Trojan horses; email hoaxes and scams; password hacking; spyware; identity theft; and IT operating procedures and security policies.
      • Mr. Segran talked about people are going to try to trick you through social engineering. Most scams are successful because they touch people and leverage technology. Scams are mostly motivated by money and can compromise your system. Sometimes it is behind the scenes to steal your e-mail list to send mass e-mails or to appeal to your compassion, etc by donating money to assist disasters victims, etc. These type of e-mails usually follow such events. Some companies have blocked TTU e-mails as someone has used TTU resources to send or answer compromised systems. Other hackers are more dangerous and are looking to steal national secrets, or research secrets. How can you protect yourself and TTU property—do not click on e-mails that are not from someone you know or do not open documents or files if you do not know the source. Universities are ripe targets for data breeches but nowhere as popular as credit card companies.
      • It is important to manage data and as state employees we are responsible in protection of TTU data. “Shred days” are a tool that employees can use to eliminate data that is no longer viable or necessary. We need to periodically “clean house” and get rid of information on old media disks, paper, etc. This includes getting rid of information that may include Social Security numbers, credit numbers, etc. The next Shred Day will be in October.
      • Dr. Austin noted they are developing onling training programs and security programs and are working on getting a pilot program for the summer. She would like the Staff Senate to be the first group to use and give feedback . More information will follow.
      • Questions—
        Tired of spam e-mails. Reply: IT is working with different vendors and looks at signatures and applying filters. They assign a SPAM confidence scale of 0-9.
        0, 1, and 2 are delivered to your mail box.
        3, 4, 5, and 6 are delivered to your junk mail box.
        7, 8, and 9 are rejected
        Spammers look at what got through and what didn’t and adjust so it will get through. Filters then have to be adjusted again to block the spam. You can help by adjusting your own spam filter on your Outlook by blocking words, phrases, etc. IT is incorporating a new spam filter and should see TechAnnounce soon.
      • Also passed out IT Security Policies Acceptable Use and reminded us that everything in your mailbox is open to an “Open Records Request.”
  • Committees:
    • By-Laws
      • Bylaw changes regarding Article 1 Membership A. Eligibility. Purpose is to clarify eligibility of a TTU employee for service in the Staff Senate. Additional guidance from President’s office indicated adding “administration” after “System” would be all that is needed to identify a Systems employee for the Lubbock campus.
      • 1st reading:
        A Texas Tech University or Texas Tech University System Administration employee interested in serving as a staff senator must be employed in a benefits eligible full-time or part-time position for at least one year of continuous service at the time of nominations.
        (The committee took out the “uninterrupted” in the first sentence as “continuous uninterrupted” was redundant.)
      • Vote was tabled due to lack of quorum.
    • Communications & Public Relations
      • Senate Insider newsletter is at print and will be distributed soon.
    • Elections
      • Paper ballots were distributed for Service areas and working to identify reports in Banner for e-ballots. Hope to have e-ballots ready for TechAnnouce by May 18, 2009.
    • Grievance
      • No report
    • Issues
      • Postal office will move to basement and will become a kiosk type distribution; limited services available as a self-service operation to may buy stamps, etc. Management is helping the current three employees to find other jobs on campus.
    • Nominations
      • No Report
    • Scholarship
      • TechAnnounce for scholarship applications for first summer term. Five scholarships will be awarded.
    • Technology
      • Updated website to announce Spring scholarship winners.
    • Child Care Committee
      • Committee will be writing new mission statement and research other Big 12 schools and possible redistributing a new survey.
    • University Parking
      • Entry station construction has started. Current parking permits will be honored until June 12th when new permits should be distributed.
      • Barrier construction started by parking garage and parking lot construction in R3, Z5, and F, and G. Next car clinic will be July 22, 2009.
  • Adjournment:
    • Adjourned at 4:40 pm.


TTU Staff Senate