Information Technology Committee Minutes
September 23, 1997

Present: Alison Baker (chair), Lowell Ballard, Max Bassett, Jennifer Egan, Fran Emory, Jeanne Guthrie-Morse, Dan Himes, Gail Kettlewell, Robert McGrory, Neil Reynolds, Steven Sachs, John Sener, Lionel Sylvas
Guests: Arnold Bradford, Michael Webster
Absent: Laura McCullough, Dan Riley, Charlotte Wilhelmi, Barbara Wyles

1. Minutes Approved

Minutes of June 20, 1997, ITC meeting were approved.

2. Status Reports

a. Cabling and Infrastructure - Dean Baker reported that the cabling should be completed by late October or early November. Even though the budget for cabling and other infrastructure requirements was increased last Spring based on the most current estimates available, it is now estimated that costs will significantly exceed the new budget amount. However, funds are available to complete the entire original cable plan. A number of changes and additions to the original plan have been requested, and the cost of running cable to all campus out-buildings has not been budgeted. Campuses will need to provide Technical Support Services with specific information about remaining cable needs. The ITC will need to develop a priority list for these projects and will authorize them based on the funds available.

b. Technical Support Services - Lowell Ballard has begun work as the new Director of Technical Support Services. He will be recruiting several new staff to head network engineering and process re-engineering. These positions will be responsible for keeping the network and PC/network applications and integration running smoothly.

c. VCC Technology Utility - Dean Baker indicated that the local staff of the VCC Technology Utility, formerly the College's CIS staff, have continued to be helpful and supportive during the transition period as we replace CIS with the new Technical Support Services.

d. VCCS Technology Council - As the College's representative on the VCCS Technology Council, Dean Baker reported on last week's Council meeting. E-mail was one of the major topics dealt with by the Council. The Council recommended continuation of the current domain name for e-mail (cc.va.us). E-mail will be provided for students by the VCCS, and it is expected to be available by January 1. The VCCS has licensed Eudora Pro e-mail software for use by students and faculty. The College's current Exchange e-mail will interface with the rest of the VCCS without problem. The VCCS will maintain a common directory listing all faculty, staff and students throughout the system. There are no plans to provide dial-up e-mail or internet service for students or faculty. However, e-mail and other services/information will be available over the internet. Individuals who do not have their own internet accounts through outside providers will be able to use computers on-campus.

The College will begin the process of identifying Internet Service Providers interested in offering discounts or low rates for internet access to students, faculty and staff.

e. Computers - Dr. Sachs reported that, with the exception of the final 25 computers which have yet to be ordered, all the new Gateway computers have been delivered to the campuses, and all the upgrades to existing computers have been completed. While all faculty and staff are not yet connected to the network because cabling is not complete on all campuses, only two campuses have not installed computers for all faculty and staff. Woodbridge has a large number of faculty/staff computers that still need to be installed, but only one technical staff person. Loudoun has installed a number of their computers in labs since the network cabling was not available, but has a migration plan to move those computers to the faculty and staff desks.

f. Applications Support - Dr. Sachs introduced Michael Webster, a new Instructional Technologist with the Office of Information Technology. Mr. Webster, along with Dr. Bradford, staff from ELI, and Dr. Sachs have been presenting workshops and assisting faculty and staff with web-based applications. Now that more hardware and network connections are available, additional workshops and application support are planned.

g. Updated Technology Plan - Copies of the updated College Technology Plan were distributed. Dr. Sachs explained that the VCCS required an updated plan before they would release the Technology funds for 1997-98. The updated plan is not a new plan. It updates the original plan submitted to the VCCS last year by including things that were completed during the past year, corrects errors that appeared in the original plan, and takes into account actions taken by the ITC last year. A new plan will need to be developed for 1998-2000; however, no specific guidance on format or parameters has been received from the VCCS.

h. VCCS SIS Task Force - Dean Bassett, co-chair of the VCCS SIS Task Force, reported on progress toward a new system-wide SIS. A list of task force members and summary of task force activities to date was distributed. An RFP for the new SIS is expected by Thanksgiving. It will take at least 12-18 months following the purchase of the new SIS for it to be implemented. In the meantime, the College will continue to use and update its current SIS.

i. Training - Robert McGrory, training coordinator, reported on the status of technology training activities. The campus trainers from CCS&T have been on the job for 1 1/2 months and have been very favorably received. They have been conducting a large number of workshops, classes and one-on-one training. Their current contract ends December 18. Some interest has been expressed in extending that contract, especially at sites where the faculty/staff computers have not been installed or network connections are not complete. Some campuses have had such high demand that there are waiting lists. It was suggested that the trainers work together to advise faculty/staff that are on waiting lists of available seats at other campuses. Mr. McGrory was asked to prepare a one-page summary of trainer responsibilities for the Provosts so they know what can be asked of the trainers under the contract. A decision on whether to extend the contract will have to wait for a future meeting after the full cost of cabling is known and it can be determined if there are any available funds.

The Ten-Minute Guide books covering the new software have all been distributed. Training manuals on all the software are also now available. Individuals attending classes receive their own copies of the training manuals. It was suggested that copies of the training manuals be made available on each campus for other faculty/staff to use as reference material or for self-instruction. Mr. McGrory and Dr. Sachs will develop a plan for making them more available. Mr. McGrory is also interested in suggestions for advanced reference manuals that can be purchased for distribution.

Advanced classes are being offered through Continuing Education, but have relatively few enrollments. One of the reasons is that many people have not yet completed the Introductory and Intermediate classes. Training for Office Technology Assistants has begun. Advanced technical training in Windows NT networking and Windows 95 Installation and Support are being planned for the technical support staff throughout the College. The funds allocated to the Teaching Learning Technology Roundtables are available. To access these funds, a 105-25 should come from the TLTR through the Provost to Mr. McGrory.

j. Budget - A formal report on the budget will be presented at the next meeting. At that time better estimates of actual cabling costs should be available and the final costs for the computer upgrades and roll-out will be available.

3. Access to Sexually Explicit Material

State law now prohibits any College employee from using a state-owned computer to access sexually explicit material without written approval. All faculty and staff will receive notice of this law with their pay checks. Dr. Sachs will prepare a policy statement for Administrative Council action describing the procedure for obtaining written approval to access material covered by the law. The policy statement will reaffirm the College's commitment to academic freedom, freedom of inquiry, and the need to maintain the best possible academic environment, while recognizing the requirements of the law. The policy will describe the following process as approved by the ITC:

1. The President delegates authority for granting permission to access sexually explicit material to the members of the Administrative Council for their respective staffs.

2. Requests for permission to access sexually explicit material must be made in writing.

3. Approval or disapproval of requests will be made in writing.

4. The Provosts and Deans will each keep a file of all requests approved and disapproved.

5. If a request is denied, an appeal can be made to the President.

4. Next Meeting
Next meeting of the ITC - Friday, October 17, Large Board Room, Brault Building, Annandale 9:30 a.m.

cc: Dr. Ernst

Notes prepared by:

Steven G. Sachs
Associate Dean for Information Technology

Committee Chair:

Alison Baker
Dean of Financial and Administrative Services

ITC Minutes Index

This page maintained by Steven G. Sachs, Associate Dean for Information Technology
Last update: 10/7/97
Information Technology Committee Minutes May 16, 1997 Page