Information Technology Committee Minutes
May 16, 1997

Present: Alison Baker (acting chair), Arnold Bradford, Tom Butler, Jennifer Egan for Loudoun Campus, Janet Eisenberg for Evelyn Potts, Dan Himes, Laura McCullough, Paul McVeigh, Vince Pizzurro, Steven Sachs, John Sener, Lionel Sylvas, Charlotte Wilhelmi
Absent: Max Bassett, Fran Emory, Gail Kettlewell, Evelyn Potts, Neil Reynolds
1. Corrections to April Minutes

Some members of the ITC had not received Minutes of the April 18, 1997 meeting, so they were not approved. Approval was postponed to the next meeting. A correction to item 6 concerning VCCS plans for a new system-wide SIS was made. Item 6 should indicate that the VCCS plans to implement a new SIS. However, a decision will be made in January 1998 on whether to spend any resources on updating the current SIS to deal with the Year 2000. The VCCS decision will hinge on whether a new SIS can be implemented prior to the need for a Year 2000-compliant system.

2. Purchase of new computers and upgrading computers as part of the Technology Plan

a. The ITC approved the requests of Alexandria and Loudoun campuses to buy MacIntosh computers instead of Pentium computers for the academic programs that require these specialized machines. Where the price of the MacIntosh computers exceeds that of the Pentiums, the affected campus will absorb the extra cost by receiving fewer new Pentium computers under the technology plan. This will result in the need to upgrade additional 486 computers to meet the Plan's requirements.

b. The ITC approved the plan for upgrading existing 486 computers which calls for ensuring that all the computers covered by the plan have internal CD-ROM and Sound Cards, network cards, Windows 95 and MS Office for Windows 95. Existing 486 computers that have at least 8 MB or RAM and 160/170 MB hard drives will not receive additional hardware upgrades since this configuration will hold and run the required software. Where the computers do not meet these minimum standards, additional upgrades will be made on a case by case basis. These computers are expected to be replaced within the next year.

c. The ITC approved spending an additional $100,000 on the purchase of new computers to insure that it was not necessary for any campus to include existing 486-25 computers in the implementation of the Technology Plan goals. The source of the additional $100,000 may be the Technology Training Plan.

3. World Wide Web Policy

A committee was established to review web policy and recommend a process for approving personal and other home pages that are a part of the College's web site. The committee will consider guidelines and an appeal process, along with a review of existing web policy. The following individuals were appointed to the committee: Jud Sage (AL), Nan Peck (AN), Yitna Firdyiwek (LO), Arnie Bradford (MA), and Gordon Cook (WO). Charlotte Wilhelmi (CS), Steve Sachs (CS), and Everett Eberhardt (CS) will be ex-officio members. The committee will report to Dean Baker.

4. Report from Operations and Applications Tech. Committee - Mr. Pizzurro

a. Mr. Pizzurro distributed a packet of information to each Provost and Dean on outsourcing options for computer repair. Each campus will need to develop a plan to meet their particular needs. Campuses will pay for repairs out of their budgets.

b. Mr. Pizzurro distributed a list comparing the features and costs between the new Gateway computers and the latest WIN computers in order to facilitate future data collection on performance and cost. Each campus should maintain a data base on repair data for each machine as part of its repair plan.

5. Technology Organization Issues

Dean Baker distributed a handout list technical support functions that need to be provided by the new Technical Support Division that will have to be created when the existing CIS staff officially become part of the new VCCS Utility. Campuses were encouraged to review the list and send Dean Baker written responses that identify any functions that are missing or that should be deleted and assigned elsewhere. The goal is to complete the list as quickly as possible so that a new Director can be hired by July 1.

6. Updates on Pending Issues

a. Cabling - Mr. Pizzurro reported that completion of the network cabling is on target for completion by July 15. On-going cooperation from the campuses in the design and in providing access is crucial to meeting the target.

b. Infrastructure other than cabling - Dean Baker reported that installation of the necessary electrical connections to handle the new computers is in process. Some additional upgrades to central electrical panels may also be needed in the future to handle the increased need for electrical capacity. Some of these upgrades may require waiting for additional funds from the General Assembly.

c. E-mail - Dr. Sachs reported that all faculty and staff will have e-mail addresses by Fall and internet-style e-mail will be on all computers. The necessary server will also be in place. Student mail accounts will probably not be available until Spring semester. The VCCS is still in the process of pursuing an automated process for providing accounts, which is essential to efficient handling of the large number of e-mail accounts for students. Dean Baker reported that the current Office Vision e-mail system will remain in place until January and then will be abandoned. Currently, there is no plan for forwarding mail from OV to the new e-mail systems (including Music). Therefore, people may still be getting mail on the old system, even if they primarily use other e-mail. Many of the distribution lists from the rest of the state rely on OV e-mail addresses. This will also be a problem in January when OV no longer exists.

d. The new VCCS Utility goes into operation on July 1. The Utility will provide all the mainframe service to the College. The College will continue to maintain the SIS/FIS, but the Utility will actually run the programs. Nine current CIS staff will be transferred to the Utility.

7. Status Report on College Technology Plan Progress - Dr. Sachs

With the exception of cabling, which is due to be completed by mid-July, all other plan activities are on-time or within a month of the dates proposed in the Technology Plan timeline. This includes the roll-out of new computers which is currently in process.

8. Other Items and Announcements

Dr. Bradford gave a brief status report on his project to collect data concerning discipline-specific software. Based on the data collected so far, the college-wide cost of this software could reach $400,000. In addition, there will be a cost for authoring software.

9. Summary of Pending Items

a. Update on new computer roll-out and computer upgrades - Dr. Sachs
b. Update on cabling and migration to NT-network - Mr. Pizzurro
c. Study and recommend revisions to Information Technology staffing, organization, responsibilities, budgets and committees - Deans Bassett and Baker
d. Web Policy revisions - Dean Baker
d. Updates and revisions to Technology Plan - Dr. Sachs

12. Next Meeting of the ITC - Friday, June 20, Large Board Room, Brault Building, Annandale 9:30 a.m.

cc: Dr. Ernst

Notes prepared by:

Steven G. Sachs
Associate Dean for Information Technology

Acting 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: 6/3/97
nvsachs@nvcc.edu