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CACTI call of Tuesday, March 17, 2020



  • Tom Jordan, University of Wisc - Madison (chair)
  • Jill Gemmill, Clemson  (vice chair)
  • Rob Carter, Duke  
  • Margaret Cullen, Painless Security
  • Nathan Dors, U Washington 
  • Matthew Economou, InCommon TAC Representative to CACTI 
  • Michael Grady, Unicon 
  • Les LaCroix, Carleton College
  • Chris Phillips, CANARIE
  • Bill Thompson, Lafayette College 


  • Kevin Morooney 
  • Ann West 
  • Nick Roy 
  • Jessica Coltrin
  • Mike Zawacki 
  • Emily Eisbruch 


  • Karen Herrington, Virginia Tech
  • Marina Adomeit, SUNET
  • Christos Kanellopoulos, GEANT  
  • Steve Zoppi, Internet2

New Action Item from this call

[AI ] Jessica convene a  meeting with chairs of  CACTI, InCommon TAC, CTAB and software integration working group. Purpose: to discuss prioritization and messaging in light of the challenges (including move to remote learning and working) due to COVID-19. Identify the items we can do to help the situation as it unfolds.   (DONE)



    1.  Administrivia
      1. Intellectual Property reminder
    2. Agenda bash
    1. New Business or agenda adjustments?
      1. Discuss the impact of COVID19 on our community 
    2. Main business
      1. Update on 2021 EDUCAUSE Security Professionals Conference program committee (Jill)
        1. Next steps/status update
          1. 2019 ACAMP session around hiring challenges
            1. Other places?
          2. Where to solicit leadership and / or membership? Jessica and TomJ will work on this
          3.  Finalize charter
          4. Communication prep
          5. Recruit members/leadership
        1. Next steps/status update
          1. Updates from CACTI members
          2. Graphics (Karen H)
          3. Ready to share with InCommon Steering/TI PAG?
    1. Announcements
      1. Draft charter for Recruiting and Onboarding Working Group (Tom, Jill, Jessica)
      2. Potential working group - comparison of TAP software with vendor offerings (Jessica)
      3. Value proposition: Raising awareness/evangelism with C-suite (Tom/Jill)



Discussion focused on the impact of COVID 19 on our community and how CACTI might adjust its focus to address this.

The previously planned agenda items were deferred.

How are campuses and other organizations in our community coping with the COVID-19 situation?

  • UW Madison - encouraging remote work but not required
  • Duke - IT working remotely, students not coming back from spring break, doing well all things considered
  • Painless Security - closed for now, many staff are focused on taking care of family
  • Carleton - sending students home, transitioning all instruction to online only.  As a strictly residential undergraduate college, Carleton previously only used online instruction as a supplement for traditional lecture classes.  Our faculty haven't had much experience with online-only instruction, and this is a stretch for them with very little time to adjust. Extending spring break but not graduation, 10 week terms usually, getting more compressed, IT encouraged to work at home a few days per week, setting up labs for remote access, making more devices available for people to work remotely, employees who will be working at home but don’t have laptops can take desktops with them
  • Clemson - all instruction gone online, dorms are open for students who need to live in the dorms and food is being served, some uncertainty about whether faculty office hours are OK, using WebEx or Zoom , IT people are at home unless essential on campus, brought all overseas study abroad students home last month, no illnesses on campus, two cases at hospital 25 miles away
  • Lafayette - announced movement to online learning. Helping professors get prepared to move online using Moodle and other tools, staff encouraged to work at home as soon as possible, getting equipment to those who will be working at home, 
  • CANARIE - state of emergency in Ontario has been declared today, looking at the Disaster recovery story, note went out around eduroam and checking for redundancy,  people asking about eduVPN (issue of exhausting licenses)

How should CACTI adapt our direction to help support the community?

  • Many resources Internet2 provides are even more vital now with the move to remote learning due to COVID-19
  • There has been discussion on GEANT or edugain slack channels about using Zoom for remote learning
  • Seamless access (RA-21) discusses if people get to physical library, this demonstrates benefit of work that has been proposed 
  • Federated identity access only provides benefits if the services are set up to take advantage of them
  • Message around this is related to why federated logon matters
  • Larger schools may be in a better position for remote learning
  • Kudos to Internet2 for getting message out about we are looking at these centralized service
  • The current situation can be seen as a continuity of operations exercise; we must keep as much of day to day operations working as possible

CACTI and Working Groups   

  • CACTI may offer guidance to community on what is most important to continue.
  • Suggestion to put planned new CACTI sponsored Working Groups on hold
    • if working groups go forward at this time, we may lose the voices of small campuses or others who will not have ability to participate due to other priorities
  • Working Group artifacts in progress: if with minor polish, documents or resources can be immediately beneficial, let CACTI know.  
  • Kevin: with so many adjustments happening for individual and organizations, we may want to re-adjust our targets, reduce anxiety,
  • Perhaps transition some Trust and Identity working groups to emergency operations.
  • Suggestion to create a continuity of operations plan for the working groups
  • When the crisis period passes and community volunteers again have more time, figure out which working groups are most important as work ramps back up.

Likely priorities over next months

  • Emergency response and continuity of operations
  • Provide support to the community as they move to remote operations. 

Possible Messages

  • Put the community volunteers at ease that it is OK to pull back from Internet2 working group commitments as needed
  • Suggestion for a change freeze for the time being, don’t change your IDP identifier now, don’t change certificates
  • help us identify areas where we need additional scrutiny around any changes 
  • R&S enablement is a point to emphasize
  • TomJ will make a list of points we want to reinforce with participants in communication


  • Jessica will create list of current activities and projects for the working groups, eg baseline expectations, charters for new working groups,
    •   then have a meeting of the WG chairs and other interested parties to decide how to address these, may want to pull back, may want to make recommendations that are not on our list right now
  • Reach out to InCommon TAC and other Internet2 working groups to coordinate messaging
  • Collaboration success program is actively working with campuses. Probably don’t want to reduce operations there
  • TomJ will share with CACTI the results of the discussion with CTAB, TAC and software integration. 

Discourage changes that can cause issues

  • ChrisP: is there a  key critical entity in InCommon metadata that is on cusp of expiry or not working right that would need focused effort? Perhaps NIH gateway and others, hospital gateways?   If someone knows something is not working, then let’s get daylight on it and be proactive. In messaging to the InCommon list, we may ask to be informed of areas where we need additional scrutiny around any changes.    
  • Idea of don’t change something in moment of duress. 
  • Nick R: InCommon Federation is stable operationally, don’t want to do anything to confuse anyone.  Don’t want to need to put Federation into read only mode

Solution sharing around things working well in the move to remote teaching, learning, working:

  • Could be helpful to share “recipes”
  • Approaches that are working well in the transition to remote teaching and learning
    • For example: UW Madison, using remote proctoring solution called Examity, Working on rapid integration
    • Some challenges with Azure delivering on IDP stories
  • On CIO list, people are asking how are you handling labs, proctoring, etc. 
  • Case studies can be helpful
  • Create a wiki with resources that are working for people?
  • Comment:   there are already places this info is being shared, such as the CIO list
  • Forum for sharing solutions: use Slack?
  • Use the InCommon Participants list to share solutions?
  • people will use their existing info networks and channels
  • Suggestion that InCommon staff can do quick interviews with CACTI members on what approaches are working in the COVID-19 response plans
    • create a blog to share this info with the community


  •  [AI ] Jessica convene a  meeting with chairs of  CACTI, InCommon TAC, CTAB and software integration working group. Purpose: to discuss prioritization and messaging in light of the challenges (including move to remote learning and working) due to COVID-19. Identify the items we can do to help the situation as it unfolds.  
  • then share outcomes with InCommon Steering and Trust and Identity PAG
  • Cloud working groups will not be in scope for the chairs meeting that Jessica will coordinate

Next Meeting: Tuesday, March 31st, 2020


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