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March 14, 2005

David Appointed To Handle
Security, Policy Issues at UITS

Elaine David
Elaine David, director of information technology security, policy, and quality assurance at UITS, in the computer information security room.

Photo by Dollie Harvey

Elaine David has been named director of information technology security, policy, and quality assurance at University Information Technology Services. Although it’s a new position, David has hit the ground running.

“Some of the pieces involved in this job are things I’ve been doing in prior roles,” says David, who began her new duties in January. “In setting up this office, we wanted to create more visibility for these critical areas: security, project management, and policy. These are all key issues for the University. Our approach will be more focused.”

Michael Kerntke, interim vice president/chief information officer, who appointed David to the new position, says there has been a growing need for an identified individual to coordinate the University’s information technology security. Federal regulations including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Sarbanes-Oxley Financial Accounting and Disclosure of Information Act (Sarbanes), have also made it extremely important that the University provide consistent protections to its data, he says.

“We have to manage and secure our data in a coordinated University-wide effort,” Kerntke says. “This [new position] will provide for data consistency and integrity.”

David has already accomplished a lot, and has ambitious plans.

She helped craft a 14-point data access and security policy platform, for example, that governs computer users campus-wide. It has been posted to the UITS website and the University’s E-policy Library on the web. In addition, within the next two weeks, she expects to send software to all departments that will enable them to completely clean the hard drives of computers that are about to be surplused or transferred among employees. She is also currently preparing a template to help departments perform a risk assessment of their software, hardware, and stored data, and is preparing training sessions for new employees and current workers who want a refresher course on computer security issues.

David has an aggressive schedule, she admits, but she doesn’t appear to be daunted by the tasks.

“It’s a very interesting job,” she says. “We’re not going to solve all the problems immediately, but we’ll get there.”

David says that completing the tasks should go smoothly, thanks to a new project management methodology developed by UITS during the past year.

“This will allow us as a department to better manage our projects and enable us to produce consolidated project reporting and metrics on the state of all the projects being executed with the department,” she says.

In addition to getting the work done, UITS has a new emphasis on effectively communicating what it does.

“The community wants to know what we’re doing, when we’re doing it, and what our progress is,” David says. She points to a recent University-wide e-mail announcing an initiative to introduce wireless technology to a range of locations on campus by May 30 as an example. She says UITS will use e-mail, internal mail, and a link from the UConn home page to dispense its news.

David has worked at UConn since 1979, and also had several previous stints at the University as an adjunct faculty member and instructor. She coordinated the University’s Year 2000 project, and led two other major projects: moving student academic systems online, including touchtone registration and automated degree auditing and advising, during the early 1990’s, and helping create the alumni/development systems in the mid-1990’s.

In 1999, she was named director of information systems development; and she served as a policy and quality assurance consultant to the Computer Center from 2000 to 2004.