Information Technology Committee
January 25, 2001
Present: Alison Baker (CS), Lowell Ballard (TSS), Max Bassett (CS-chair), Tom Butler (AN), Gen Chu (AN), Sue Hintz (WO), Kevin Kelley (LO), Bob Loser (ELI), Dan Riley (MA), Steve Sachs (CS), Lionel Sylvas (WO), Tony Tardd (LO), Peter Tharp (CS), Dave Williams (AL), Barbara Wyles (AL)
Absent: Gail Kettlewell (MA), Charlotte Wilhelmi (CS)
Guests: Patricia Hussein, Stacey Pendleton, Carol Turner, Cathy Simpson
Dr. Sachs distributed a handout showing the current budget status on all Technology Plan items. The replacement of SNA printers to meet the needs of the new SIS, and the purchase of all SIS servers other than those needed for testing will probably be postponed until the 2001-2002 Technology Plan so that results of the first college implementations can be reviewed. The cost of Anti-virus software cost more than budgeted due to the increased number of PCs at the college and increases in cost for the site license. The cost of the Campus Server Project also was over budget. Dr. Sachs pointed out that there are contingency funds built into the Technology Plan budget. These are allocated in the current plan to projects that have not been initiated so the funds can be appropriated to cover emergencies or new projects with a higher priority. They are not there to fund routine requests for additional funding for such items as cabling. Dr. Sachs proposed using funds originally scheduled for firewalls to build a test network in order to avoid some of the problems experienced with the recent student email upgrade. A number of other requests for funding were discussed. Two software requests were considered and will be referred to the discipline related software project. The high cost of Windows 2000 server licenses for the academic program was discussed. The need for an additional Blackboard server and license to handle increase load was discussed. The following technology budget changes were approved by the ITC:
The $24,000 originally budgeted for the Kiosk Project will be transferred to cover the actual cost of anti-virus software.
$37,631 of the available ETF Funds originally proposed for SIS servers and SNA printer replacement will be used to cover the actual cost of the Campus Server Project.
The $80,000 originally proposed for the Firewall project will be used for an additional BlackBoard server license, for software to set up a College test network, and to pay for Windows 2000 server licenses for academic needs. Any remaining funds can be used to provide a test firewall.
Approximately $5,000 of the available ETF Funds originally proposed for SIS servers and SNA printer replacement will be used to purchase an additional BlackBoard server.
Some of the available ETF Funds originally proposed for SIS servers
and SNA printer replacement will be used to create a College Test network.
The exact amount will depend on the exact specifications to match the current
College network. The total amount should not exceed $80,000 without ITC
approval. The total cost may need to be spilt between fiscal years.
Stacey Pendelton distributed a handout showing the current status of training funds and showing who had received various types of technical training. This is training designed to provide the technical staff with the specific skills needed to do their jobs in our current environment. All but approximately $1,673 in training funds has been committed. The training has been broadly distributed across all technical staff at the campuses and TSS. Dean Baker responded to a question by pointing out that there is not currently any policy that requires a person who has received training at the College's expense to continue working at the College for any length of time. Mrs. Pendelton was asked to attempt to set up next year's training plan through the College Continuing Education Offices. She reported that she had tried to do that this year without success in meeting the content or schedule needs.
There was discussion of the aging SNA printers and the need for replacement. The current plans are not to replace SNA printers until the actual needs of the new SIS are known. Campuses can use laser printers for mainframe printing. There was some discussion about whether the SNA printer replacement funds in the Technology Plan budget should be used to buy laser printers for divisions that do not have them. The discussion suggested that these were a campus responsibility. There was also a suggestion that existing SNA printers could be moved from their current uses (and replaced by existing laser printers) to uses where a laser printer would not meet the need. Dr. Sachs was directed to work with the Provosts to develop an SNA printer status report and contingency plan for the next ITC meeting. The campuses are to include their Business Offices in that plan. The ITC will determine if current funds should be allocated based on those reports.
Dr. Sachs distributed copies of NVCC's responses to the annual VCCS Technology Survey which included a list of College Technology Priorities, and a copy of a study on the number of classrooms equipped with computers and projectors that was conducted by the College TLTR. This information, along with the review of the current Technology Plan, was used as a starting point for a discussion of priorities that should be considered in drafting the 2001-2002 Technology Plan. The first draft of the plan will be presented to the ITC at its March meeting. The priorities that were listed are shown below. The number in parentheses indicates the number of individuals who ranked the item as one of the top three priorities. Providing SIS equipment was automatically considered a top priority. While a new phone system was considered a top priority, there was concern about using Technology Plan funds to pay for it. It was pointed out that the funds would have to come from somewhere--either the regular campus allocations or the Technology Plan. Dr. Sachs and Dean Baker are working on a funding plan to present to Administrative Council in the near future. It was noted that some items that are not identified on the following list as top priorities might still have to be in the Plan to meet VCCS and College requirements.
New Phone System (10)
People Soft Training
Technology Training for faculty and technical staff
Lab Support (3)
Technical Support (9)
Testing Center Environment - increased hardware and staff (10)
Curriculum development support-reassigned time, expert held, software, materials (3)
Distance education technical support (2)
Hardware replacement (5)
Campus servers (1)
Ethernet upgrade (2)
College-wide application server
Web page support
b. IT Managers will meet with their respective Provosts and/or Provost Staff meetings (for partial time of the meeting) on at least a monthly basis so that there is a direct line of communication between where we are now and where they would like to be in the future. Currently, they are not aware of all the Information Technology changes that are occurring on their campuses among their instructors, staff, and students. There are too many links in the chain, which causes information to get distorted and lost by the time a decision is made.
c. College Technology allocations that are made public will be sent to the IT Managers so that they can review and study them for changes, suggestions, fairness, and additions for the following year. (How do we know if changes need to be made if we don't see the results?)
e. Project Managers will be assigned to high priority projects to make sure projects are organized and completed in a timely manner.
f. The role of the campus directors of learning resources is analogous to that of the dean for information and instructional technology; i.e., as the dean is the administrator primarily responsible for taking leadership in technology-related issues at the Administrative Council, the director of learning resources should be taking a similar leadership role with the campus Provost Staff.
h. The Provost should be involved in IT decision-making.
m. The ITC membership should be composed as follows:
o. ITC representatives should keep their campuses and constituent groups fully informed of ITC activities. This must become part of the role of each ITC member. It may be advisable for them to report to/participate in the campus regularly scheduled Provost Staff meeting.
The proposed Role change for IT Managers prepared by the LRC Directors
was considered. Due to the late hour, and the nature of the proposal, the
ITC approved forwarding the proposal directly to the Administrative Council
without any recommendation.
Max L. Bassett
Notes Prepared By:
Steven G. Sachs