Information Technology Committee
September 14, 1998
Present: Alison Baker, Lowell Ballard, Max Bassett (chair), Arnold
Bradford, Gen Chu, Neil Reynolds, Dan Riley, Steven Sachs, Judd Sage, John
Sener, Lionel Sylvas, Tony Tardd, Charlotte Wilhelmi, Barbara Wyles
Absent: Gail Kettlewell, Robert McGrory,
Guests: Cathy Simpson
1. Minutes Approved
Minutes of the June 8, 1998, ITC meeting were approved.
2. Meeting Times Selected
The Committee decided to meet Monday afternoons. The next meeting will
be October 5, 1-5 P.M. A meeting will also be scheduled for November 2.
3. Technology Plan Review
The Technology Plan based on the budget and activities approved by
the ITC at its June meeting was approved earlier by mail ballot of the
Committee and was forwarded to the VCCS for approval. The following clarifications
and suggestions were made during the discussion:
4. Student E-mail and confidentiality of student information
The wording on page 8 of the plan that describes the standard for the number
of student computers is worded poorly to reflect the actual number required.
More accurate wording will be developed.
Dr. Sachs distributed a handout providing guidelines for preparing the
campus plans that are required for use of Classroom of the Future funds
and for the Application Development Funds included in the Technology Plan.
Dr. Sylvas noted that consumable supplies (such as printer toner cartridges)
are not specifically covered in the plan. It was noted that these could
be included in the plan each campus has to develop for use of the Application
Development Funds specified in the Technology Plan. Some of these costs
may be shifted to students through smart card technology, similar to the
vend-a-cards used for photo copies in the LRCs. This approach is currently
being pilot tested at Annandale and Alexandria. The other campuses chose
not to participate in the pilot test at this time. TSS and LRC Directors
Working Group are looking into the possibility of tying these printer cards
into the next copier contract.
The current student e-mail system allows for easy mailing
to all students in each class because the mailing lists are automatically
set up. However, this also makes it possible for anyone with an NVCC e-mail
account to determine a student's e-mail address and class schedule. This
is contrary to current College policy governing the release of student
addresses and student schedule information.
5. Oracle Training for administrative applications
Dr. Sage made a motion (seconded by Barbara Wyles) that e-mail addresses
not be considered the same as postal addresses for the purposes of College
policy, and that this be reflected in the next edition of the Student
Handbook. The motion was approved unanimously.
Dean Baker made a motion (seconded by Arnold Bradford) to refer the
issue to the Deans of Student Development and the TLTRs to consider how
they want student distribution list information to be presented, and report
back to the ITC at its November meeting; and Technical Support Services
is to prepare a list of technical options for limiting access to individual
student's class schedule information. The motion passed unanimously.
The Committee decided that the current e-mail system with class distribution
lists will remain in place until a decision is made in November.
Mr. Ballard asked if TSS should create a distribution list that included
all students. He indicated that eventually there could be an e-mail address
and distribution list for all groups of students (e.g. student clubs, organizations,
etc.). This issue was also referred to the Deans of Student Development
and TLTRs for consideration.
The College received communication from the VCCS describing
training units allocated to each campus as part of the VCCS purchase of
Oracle software. These training units are designed to train staff for use
of Oracle in administrative applications. The College will receive enough
units to train two individuals in the full 21 programs and several others
in the one-day program designed for end-users. It is recommended that one
of the two individuals who receive the full training be assigned a trainer
role to come back and train others at the College. The training is currently
being scheduled at Lord Fairfax and John Tyler Community Colleges. The
cost is $50 per day. The cost for training additional staff (beyond those
covered by the VCCS training units) will be at least $320/day. The Committee
recommended sending one technical staff person. The Provosts will recommend
to Dr. Sachs the names of others that could be sent for the 21-day training
that begins this Fall. Ideally, the College would send a faculty
member who will be given release time to train others. However, it would
be hard to release a faculty member this Fall since classes are already
underway. Dr. Sachs will check on the possibility of using some of the
training units in the Spring so that a faculty member could be sent.
6. Network Problems to Ravensworth
Mr. Sener reported that router and bandwidth problems at Ravensworth,
which is not on Network Virginia like the campuses, is limiting ELI's ability
to share exams electronically with campus Testing Labs and to handle other
high bandwidth applications. It is also affecting Financial Aid's
ability to update the campus Kioscs. There is also concern over the
current network's ability to handle the demands that the new People Soft
system will place on this link. The reason for raising the issue
at this time is that the existing router must be replaced and the type
that is purchased is based on the type of network link between Annandale
and Ravensworth. There is currently a T-1 link between the sites.
According to Mr. Ballard, a full T-3 upgrade would cost $55,000/year more
than the current link. A new router that will handle multiple T-1
links would only cost $10,000, so additional T-1s could be added to try
to resolve the bandwidth problem at considerably less cost than upgrading
to a T-3 line. TSS will meet with ELI and Financial Aid within the
next few days to resolve technical questions and report to Dean Baker on
costs and options.
7. Dial-up Internet Access
The SCHEV Technology Survey and VCCS expectations indicate
that dial-up Internet Access is becoming an important consideration for
colleges--especially with the new emphasis on making the Internet part
of courses. Dr. Sachs reported on GMU's dial-up access for faculty, staff
and students. Their equipment cost approximately $70,000 with approximately
$76,000 in recurring line costs each year. They have a staff of 10 (6 full-time
plus 4 part-time students) to support dial-up access. Mr. Sener reported
on an informal study he did for the College Senate last Spring that showed
no clear pattern of providing free dial-up access. Dean Baker expressed
serious concerns about the College's ability to support quality dial-up
service and indicated that it would be politically difficult, if not impossible,
to quit providing the service in the future if it became desirable because
of cost or quality concerns. Mrs. Wilhelmi expressed concern that students
would take exception if free dial-up access was provided only for faculty
and staff since students are the ones paying a technology fee. The Committee
voted 5 to 4 for Dr. Sachs and Mr. Ballard to prepare a plan that provides
the actual costs for providing free dial-up access to the Internet for
faculty and staff to be presented at the next ITC meeting. The issue will
also be referred to the TLTRs to determine whether there is strong support
for using technology funds to provide free dial-up access instead of using
the funds for other technology needs.
8. Committee to Re-write ASPM Chapter 24
Dean Baker announced formation of a committee to re-write
the chapter of the ASPM that deals with technology services. The chapter
will be written to focus on who does what and how users can request the
services they need. The chair of the committee will be Alan Sinner (TSS).
Members will include: Cathy Simpson or designee (TAC), Sushama Rath (Systems
Development), John Sener or other ELI representative, Jamie Reynolds (ITM-AN).
9 Acceptable Use Policy
Dean Baker handed out copies of the Annandale and Alexandria
policies on Acceptable use of Computers. She is preparing a draft of a
College-wide policy, consistent across campuses, that can be included in
the Student Handbook. In the discussion it was noted that the key
questions to be addressed include: what does the College want to accomplish
through the policy, what does it want to discourage, and what can it enforce.
Comments and suggestions should be sent to Dean Baker.
10. Computer Training
Dr. Sachs gave a report prepared by Mr. McGrory who could
not attend the meeting. A new contract with CCS&T has been initiated
to provide a single trainer from September 16 to the end of October. A
schedule has been established for training on all campuses and is available
in the HRD Training folder in the Public Folders section of the Outlook
e-mail system. Training will also be promoted in Intercom. The Committee
voted to accept Mr. McGrory's recommendation to extend this trainer through
December 1, consistent with the training portion of the Technology Plan.
Requests for use the Technology Plan training funds provided through the
Technology Plan should be sent to Mr. McGrory at HRDTraining@nvcc.edu.
As was done last year, he will collect these requests, prioritize them,
approve those consistent with the Technology Plan as long as funds are
available in the various categories, and report back to the ITC on the
use and availability of training funds so they can be reallocated as necessary.
11. TSS Update
Mr. Ballard provided a handout and gave an update on activities of
Technical Support Services since the last ITC meeting. Among the items
covered were: roll-out of student e-mail for all students; implementation
of the college Help Desk; set-up of the new phone system for TSS/Help Desk,
Purchasing and Financial Aid as a pilot test for a new College-wide phone
system; upgrading of the College virus protection software; upgrading of
the College e-mail to the latest version of MS Outlook; roll-out of computer-based
training; and hiring of staff to fill all the positions at TSS. Projects
currently underway include: removal of the last of the old OS/2 servers--which
will allow faculty and staff to change passwords; development of new student
policy files; updating the log-on and password process; creating web directories
for all College groups; and establishing a web page for resetting lost
or forgotten passwords. Later this Fall it is expected that on-line Help
Desk tools will be fully implemented and voicemail will be made available
for all faculty and staff.
Mr. Ballard also reported that the Help Desk is now responding to 50
calls per day. He indicated that the cabling at Alexandria
and Manassas was nearly complete; the cable drawings for Loudoun and Woodbridge
were done and cabling should be complete in approximately one month; and
only Annandale was left to complete. It was noted that any additional
cabling would be done at campus expense since the centrally-funded cabling
that was part of the Technology Plan was nearly complete.
12. Report on Alexandria Technology Summit
Dr. Wyles reported on the Technology Summit held on the Alexandria
campus at the beginning of the semester. The campus held two sessions in
which campus staff met with leaders of key technology offices and the two
College Deans on issues related to the management and direction of technology.
The biggest issue that emerged from the sessions was the need for better
communication among all elements involved in technology. Among the other
significant issues raised were the need for adequate notification and communication
about the justification for technology-related decisions; the need for
assessment of technology applications; and the need for different representation
on the ITC so all relevant groups and more technology users are represented;
better connectivity among various planning efforts; and better cross campus
13. Next Meeting
Monday, October 5, 1:00 - 3:00 P.M., Brault Building Board Room.
Notes prepared by:
Steven G. Sachs
Associate Dean for Information Technology
Max L. Bassett
Dean Academic and Student Services
pc: Dr. Wheelan
ITC Minutes Index
This page maintained by Steven G. Sachs, Associate
Dean for Information Technology