Information Technology Committee Minutes
February 9, 1998

Present:  Alison Baker (chair), Lowell Ballard, Max Bassett, Tom Butler for Laura McCullough, Jennifer Egan, Fran Emory, Dan Himes, Robert McGrory, Neil Reynolds, Dan Riley, Steven Sachs, Gen Sen Chu for Jeanne Guthrie-Morse, John Sener, Lionel Sylvas, Barbara Wyles
Guests:  Arnie Bradford, Cathy Simpson 
Absent:  Gail Kettlewell, Charlotte Wilhelmi 
1. Minutes Approved
Minutes of the December 8, 1997, ITC Meeting were approved.


2. 1998-2000 NVCC Technology Plan


Dr. Sachs distributed a memo requesting suggestions for things to include in the College's next technology plan from each campus and administrative unit. The VCCS has established a framework for the plan and has indicated that the plan should focus on applications of technology rather than just hardware or infrastructure. A Technology Plan Steering Committee has been established, and will develop a college-wide plan for consideration later this Spring. The VCCS must approve the College's Plan prior to distributing technology funds.


3. SNA to TCP/IP Conversion


Dean Baker reported on negotiations with the VCCS concerning elimination of all SNA devices at NVCC and total conversion to TCP/IP by the end of June. The VCCS has mandated this conversion and it was part of NVCC's current Technology Plan. However, subsequent analysis indicates that this would be extremely expensive and difficult to accomplish. For example, NOVANet is an SNA application that would be very difficult and expensive to replace. Any changes would be effective for only a short time, since they would all be replaced by the new SIS that is expected to be implemented within the next two years. The College has requested permission from the VCCS to continue limited use of SNA until the new SIS is implemented. (Note: following the meeting permission to continue limited use of SNA was received from the VCCS.)


4. Cabling of Smaller Campus Buildings


Mr. Ballard reported that a list has been prepared with the help of Campus Information Technology Managers of cabling that still needs to be completed for smaller buildings and other areas that may have initially been overlooked at each campus. At the request of Dr. Sylvas, this list will be distributed to the Provosts for their review. The Plan is to have connections to these buildings completed with the current year's funds.


5. Reports on Campus Use of Mentoring Funds


Each campus and College Staff reported on their use of Mentoring Funds provided under the Technology Training Budget. None of the campuses or College Staff have used all of their funds to date. A variety of faculty proposals have been funded and some campuses have funded equipment or other resources to support faculty use of technology. Several campuses expect to use some of their funds to fund registrations to the New Horizons Conference. All the units expect to spend their total allocation of funds.


6. Allocation of Remaining Training Funds


Mr. McGrory reported that the campus training provided by CSS&T continues to be successful and will continue through May. He indicated that the trainers can be used for classes, small workshops, individual consultations, advanced classes and special classes as needed. He also reported that all the LRCs now have bound copies of the training handouts and copies of training videos on MS Office.

 The ITC subcommittee composed of Mr. McGrory, Mr. Ballard and Dr. Sachs recommended funding $32,665 of training requests from faculty and staff and $22,249 in training software. In addition, it was noted that a bid is currently in process for Microsoft support training. If that bid comes in under budget, additional faculty and staff training requests could be funded. Following discussion, a motion was made by Mrs. Egan and seconded by Dr. Bassett to approve the subcommittee's report with additional funding of $4,111 to fully fund the IST faculty proposal for a GMU course plus textbooks. The additional $4,111 is to come from surplus campus faculty tuition assistance funds or savings on other training activities. If these sources do not cover the entire amount, funding from the money for training software is to be used. The motion passed unanimously.

 Mr. McGrory gave special praise to the IST faculty proposal for originating in the cluster, identifying a strategy, and pulling together all the pieces necessary to meet the identified need.


7. Technical Support Services Report


a. Help Desk - Mr. Ballard reported that the help desk software is up and running and can be used by campus Technology staff. The full implementation and publication of the help desk is dependent on obtaining a final phone number. This is expected within a month. Calls to the help desk will either be handled by help desk staff or be routed to someone on the campus who can provide assistance. Software will assist in providing help remotely. If the problem cannot be solved immediately, it will be logged for campus staff follow-up. All campus technology staff will have alpha-numeric pagers and will instantly be notified of major system problems.

 b. Web Page Access - Paul Parker has made the necessary changes to allow individuals to directly control their own web pages without going through a central test site. Changes made to their pages will take effect immediately. MS Front Page extensions are expected to be added to the Web server this month. The Webmaster function will be distributed to appropriate offices to make responses to questions that come to the College through the Web. Every request for a Web page directory has been filled. Efforts are underway to automate the process to simplify establishing new Web sites.

 c. Computer Based Training - Multi-media on-line training is being purchased from Technology Training funds. These materials will be available to all faculty and staff throughout the College. On-line training will be available at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels for MS Office 95 software, HTML, Visual Basic and related technical topics. It should be operational in approximately 2-3 months.

 d. System Management Software - SMS software is expected to be deployed later this month. This software will help manage the entire computer inventory on the LAN and allow for remote diagnostics, inventory control, troubleshooting, network monitoring, remote software distribution and remote help desk support. When SMS starts up the first time it will ask the user some questions it cannot determine from the hardware alone.

 8. Replacement and Repair of Borrowed Equipment


Dr. Sachs distributed the following draft of a proposed policy on replacement and repair of borrowed equipment based on discussion at the November ITC meeting. The proposed policy will integrated into the redrafting of the computer technology section of the ASPM.

 Each campus and administrative unit is responsible for the repair or replacement of its equipment. Faculty, staff and students may borrow equipment for use off-campus with appropriate permission as designated by the campus or administrative unit, consistent with College policy. If the borrowed equipment is damaged or lost as a result of carelessness, misuse or neglect; the borrower is responsible for the full cost of repair or replacement. In all other cases, the borrower is required to promptly file a police report, where appropriate, and a claim with their personal insurance carrier. The College must be notified and provided with copies of any police reports and insurance claims. The borrower must reimburse the campus or administrative unit for the full amount of any claim payment received. The borrower will have no further liability.

 Discussion was held on possible distinctions in liability when faculty and staff are on travel status and whether negligence on campus should be treated any differently than negligence off-campus. Mr. Himes moved to approve the proposed policy in principal for inclusion in the redrafting of the ASPM. The motion passed unanimously.


9. E-Mail


a. Use of the "Everyone" List - Dean Baker recommended that use of the "Everyone" e-mail distribution list be restricted to the College Public Relations Office for distribution of information electronically similar to the distribution of information in INTERCOM. Individuals wishing to distribute items to "Everyone" would forward them to the Public Relations Office. Dean Baker proposed creating campus-specific distribution lists to be under the control of the Provosts or College Deans. The goal is to minimize junk e-mail. Dean Baker is interested in seeing examples of good e-mail use policies. There was no disagreement with these proposals.

 b. Accounts for Emeritus Faculty - Dean Baker proposed allowing Emeritus Faculty to keep their e-mail accounts. They would be subject to the same e-mail policies as everyone else. No objection was raised by the ITC.

 c. Student E-mail - Mr. Ballard reported that a test of student e-mail supported by the VCC Technical Utility will be conducted this month at Manassas. The VCCS server is not yet ready for the test. NVCC staff will be looking at support requirements on local NVCC staff and will develop an implementation plan based on the results of the pilot test. It is still expected that student e-mail will be implemented College-wide by the end of Spring semester.

 10. Remote Internet Access for Faculty, Staff and Students


Dr. Sachs distributed draft specifications for a bid to provide dial-up internet access for faculty, staff and students to use from their homes. The individual users would pay for the service if they chose to use the service recommended by the College as a result of the bid process. The goal of the bid is to get a low price for users. The proposed specifications had been distributed widely prior to the meeting. Woodbridge ITC representatives recommended that Stafford County be added to the list of required local access phone areas. There was no objection to forwarding the specifications to the Purchasing Office to initiate the bid process.


11. Future Items


Discussion of LAN, E-mail and CICS approval requests; and ITC member terms was postponed until a future meeting.

 cc: Dr. Ernst

Notes prepared by:

Steven G. Sachs
Associate Dean for Information Technology

Committee Chair:

Alison Baker
Dean of Financial and Administrative Services

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This page maintained by Steven G. Sachs, Associate Dean for Information Technology

Last update:4/17/98