Information Technology Committee

December 4, 2003



Present:            Lowell Ballard, Alison Baker, Ron Buchanan, Gordon Cook, Steven Sachs (chair), Monica Sasscer


1.      Minutes of the October 2, 2003 meeting were approved.


2.      The status of projects and budget of the 2003-2004 Technology Plan were reviewed.  The purchase of Technology Plan PCs will cost approximately $108,750 less than budgeted.  The committee approved transferring some of the surplus to cover costs that exceed the original amount budgeted for the following projects:  Change Management Consultant ($18,236), College Records Reorganization Consultant ($8,200), NVCC's cost for shared VCCS servers ($17,366).  The committee also approved spending an additional $60,000 to purchase additional PCs that will be allocated to the campuses and college staff based on the existing formula for Technology Plan PCs.  It was noted that the current formula does not account for PCs used for P-14s, running boilers, public workstations, etc.  Next year's plan should also consider allocating additional PCs for these purposes.



3.      The extension of cable-tv to the MEC, Manassas and Woodbridge was discussed.  At the October meeting, Dr. Sachs was requested to find out from Alexandria, Annandale and Loudoun whether their experience with cable-tv made it worthwhile for these campuses as compared to using a satellite-tv service.  He reported that none of the campus made significant use of the local access channels only available on cable-tv.  The committee decided not to fund the extension of cable-tv; however it would reconsider if any of the three locations made a compelling case for why it was needed.


4.      The committee approved a request from the Annandale campus for $5,400 to upgrade its document imaging software in the Admissions and Records Office to include the EMPLID from NovaConnect.  A second proposal for $35,295 to extended the document imaging software college-wide to all A&R offices was not approved.  The committee felt that a college-wide decision should wait until action had been taken on the College Records Reorganization project.


5.      A proposal was made to spend $20,000 - $30,000 for software and servers that would allow text messages to be displayed on the phone system.  This was part of the original phone system design that was left for a later phase due to cost, and had been suggested by a number of people over the past several years for use during emergencies, when the college had to close early, or when e-mail was not working.  Lowell Ballard was assigned to chair a small committee to review phone system capabilities and possible upgrades with protocols for fully using the capabilities of the new phone system.  He is to report at the next ITC meeting in January.


6.      Dr. Sachs gave a report on the replacement of compressed video equipment on the campuses as part of the VCCS-wide conversion to a new technical standard for this equipment.  Portable video conferencing equipment has been distributed to all campuses and this IT staff has been trained in its use.  This portable equipment can readily be used for meetings and small groups, but does not have the capability for multiple microphones that is a feature of units designed for classroom use.  The committee approved beginning to replace the classroom units at Alexandria and Manassas in January with the VCON equipment that is currently on the VCCS approved list.  The estimated cost will be $3,000 - $4,000 per unit.  This will provide units based on the new standard for larger groups at Alexandria, the Brault Building and Manassas.  Approximately half the colleges have purchased equipment that does not meet the VCCS standard, but does offer some additional features.  There is on going discussion at the VCCS Technology Council about adding addition compressed video equipment to the approved list.  NVCC will wait until it is clear whether other equipment will be added to the approved list before replacing the equipment at the Television Center on the Annandale Campus, Loudoun, MEC and Woodbridge.


7.      The committee asked Dr. Sachs to review procedures for adding P-14s to the phone book and directories, and to report at the next ITC meeting or to publicize the process.  He indicated he will also review the status of this year's phone book.  The on-line directory available through the phone system itself is campus specific.  Mr. Ballard will review whether it can be made college-wide as part of his committee's work on phone system capabilities and upgrades.


8.      The VCCS Dateline 2009 document was discussed as a foundation for next year's Technology Plan.


9.      The following work groups will report at the January meeting:


Technology Plan distribution formula review (chair - Gen Chu)

E-mail system upgrade (chair - Dave Williams)

College-wide software standards (chair - Monica Sasscer)

PC standards for students and college use (chair - Jeff Howlett)

Issues related to replacement of non-Technology Plan PCs on the campuses      (chair- Virginia Graves)

Phone system capabilities and upgrades (chair - Lowell Ballard)




Transfer of savings from PC purchases to cover extra costs of several projects

Use of savings to purchase approximately 60 additional PCs for distribution by the Technology Plan PC distribution formula

Upgrade of imaging software at Annandale Admissions and Records to include EMPLID

Purchase of new room-size compressed video units for Alexandria and Manassas