Information Technology Council Meeting

October 14, 2005

 

Present:            Jan Fox, Gary Anderson, Frances Hensley, Matt Christian, Mike McCarthy, Arnold Miller, Carol Perry, Dennis Prisk, David Johnson, Michael Misiti, Allen Taylor, Don Combs, Sarah Denman, Tim Burberry, Herb Karlett

 

NOTE to DENA – update meeting Outlook request

 

Review of Minutes:       Voted and approved

 

Jan

Fox:                 Committee Updates

I mentioned last time about the state CTO doing major reorganization for efficiencies in IT across the state.  To date he has hired 4 new people.  From ITC council perspective we are in limbo across the state.  We are waiting until November to hope that shakes out.  They hope for real efficiencies; they hope for one help desk across state government to solve a lot of the networking issues.  There may be issues with the legislative session that will push some additional pieces.  I know they are trying to change their procurement roles. 

We have, from Senate Bill 700, that was the bill that required telephone bills to go through IS&C, that is still an issue.  We still have no bills from since July.   

 

The Web net policy forum is on November 1.

 

The President had been dealing with Ohio Link (the main library system in Ohio) and Oarnet in Ohio.  Oarnet is fiber backbone to higher education in Ohio.  Also gives researchers Internet II connectivity.  We have been trying to make negotiations to be a part of that as a redundant piece to WVNET.  We are trying to get some sharing component with Ohio Link to do Oarnet fiber link through Athens.  The other one was Ohio Learning Network on a project for learning objects.  Shawnee State is having a Gaming conference today.  There are several faculty members attending today.  It is a wonderful conference and I encourage everyone to attend.

 

Gary

Anderson:         We are cranking up the process of reviewing courses.  We are beginning the review of older courses that didn’t have to go through same review.

 

The Sloan semester thing seems to be going nicely and smoothly.  We have 35-40 total students. It will change a little because in my courses in particular, the course title is the same as at their school but it is not the same course.  General Chemistry is not General Chemistry everywhere.  Some places it is Chemistry for non-science majors; some places it is for majors.  As I get information to them clearing that up, I may lose a few of them.

 

Sarah

Denman:           We are addressing the Classroom Enhancement Initiative to move to Smart classrooms and we have one more floor in Smith Hall wired, so we are moving along.

 

Michael

Misiti:               I have had a lot of positive feedback on the extended hours of the library.  Per Jan.  So far, we have had no problems from a security perspective. 

 

Matt

Christian:          The faculty showcase for the College of Liberal Arts was held last week in 349, and it was standing room only.  It was a great presentation. We already have plans do the College of Business next.

 

Mike

McCarthy:        Looking at standardized patient programs of some other universities.  These are programs that involve in part, using mannequins that are technically enhanced for clinical procedures and to simulate different laboratory findings and physical symptoms.  It is more than that with the Fairfield Building we are going to have the ability to audio and video tape and archive student performance with faculty evaluation. 

 

Arnold

Miller:               The wiring project bond money is broke at this point.  We have wired as much as we can in as many of the buildings as we can except for the buildings that require abatement.  There is a small amount of money left to finish up what we have started.

Those buildings that require abatement will be wired as abated.

 

Regarding the Student center, we had a request from the Assistant Deans group to explain a problem noted in a slow down during Orientation.  The problem was a result of the infrastructure in the building itself, because we can’t get wiring in the building, due to asbestos.  Hopefully, it will be abated during the remodeling.  Part of the building has been abated.

We did some work in the first floor of Smith Hall where we had an outside group come in and pull the wire.  It may be possible to do that in the Student Center, if we are going to continue to have orientation in Student Center.

 

We are having some problem with email in general.  For some reason, we have had an increase in the amount of bulk mailing and delivery to accounts on the hobbit cluster.  We are having intermittent back ups because of bulk emails coming in.  We are attempting to address that by moving some of that around.  We are working on a prototype of a new email system.  We are attempting to solve with other techniques but they are slow and involved processes.  The equipment is older.  In the interim, we may have back up of mail.  Per Michael:  there is a new website called Facebook that is sending students 10-15 emails per day. 

 

There are some major upgrades that are going to take place to myMU.  Hopefully, they will be “behind the scenes” sorts of things.  The Content management piece will give us more of an automated ability to deal with content of that site. 

 

The semester start up has been one of the smoothest startups from our perspective.  There was the orientation issue and a network outage during Super Saturday, but everything else was clean.

 

The Banner Version 7 upgrade will happen over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Preprod is available now to the pilot group.  A CBT has been released and there are some self-tests and training for Banner navigation because it is going to look different.  Point your people to the CBT. 

 

Carol

Perry:               The CTC site visit by NCA will be October 31 and November 1 for blanket approval for online courses.  David will be the contact for us.

 

Dennis

Prisk:                Making sure we are all aware of the merger of WebCT/Blackboard, it should be interesting.

 

Allen

Taylor:              We have concluded an agreement with Adobe, we are finally going to able to acquire software effective for Spring terms will have a number of Adobe products, Acrobat,  Photoshop, the creative suite and all the modules under that available on both the faculty/staff and the student images. 

We have also acquired Macromedia Suite 8 that includes number of products that will be very helpful to the faculty both in on-line presentations as well as use in the classroom.  Macromedia includes the Flash development ability to create flash animation and simulations, etc.

                        Macromedia contributes and Dreamweaver.

We have acquired these as shared licenses with metered services, that way we can offer them everywhere and meter the usage.  It will allow for 100 simultaneous with Photoshop.   With the rest of the creative suite only 50 simultaneous; with full Acrobat we get around 300, and with Macromedia it will be 50 concurrent.

 

To echo Sarah’s comments on the Technology Enhanced Classroom Initiative and tie it into the wiring, when we did the wiring project we actually pulled wire to each of the classrooms that did not have internet connectivity and upgraded the classrooms that did.  So all of the classrooms have both wire for the podium as well as wire for wireless access points. The group that met a few weeks ago under Sarah’s direction decided that we would leverage that wiring to get extended wireless in the classroom to enable wiring connections as a first priority this year.  We plan to get that started by the Spring Semester.

 

The library system is also scheduled for an update and should happen in January.  The new system is called III and it is a big plus for both students and faculty. 

 

David  

Johnson:           We are currently streaming the unveiling of the new state quarter.  We have guys filming in Charleston and sending the stream back by fiber and then from here out on our server to a company in Michigan that is picking it up as a mirror so that all 10,000 people will not be hitting our website at one time.  We have 30 meg set aside off our network connection to do that. 

 

                        The Blackboard/WebCT merger:  Chris Vento will be overseeing product development which is good for us.  Allen and I are going to be a Educause next week and we have a meeting scheduled with the WebCT advisory board and we have time set aside to specifically discuss this merger. 

There are two public forum meetings at Educause with both WebCT and Blackboard. 

Per Allen:  We have a WebCT person scheduled to come in the week of November 1 to come in and meet specifically with faculty from Huntington and So. Charleston campuses. 

                                               

We have redone the evaluations and they should be completed next week and all the students loaded in so we should be able to launch the process of evaluating the on-line courses.

 

I got the final quotes in for Macromedia Breeze which is the synchronous on-line learning platform we have been looking at.  

 

Cellular Phone Stipend Plan

 

Jan:                  Over the last year we have been looking at using stipends for phone usage.  Allen has added changes.  Group included Sarah, Mike McGuffy, Herb, Ted Massey, and Layton has reviewed the version without corrections.

Allen has made suggestions:  One of the principle changes identify difference between service and instrument.  We are concerned from a security perspective for FERPA and other guidelines of being able to control the device person is using for business.  There is an issue where a lost or stolen cell phone could have email or university information on it.  The next release of Exchange, due out in December, will allow us to remotely wipe out a device that is lost or stolen the next time it is turned on.  Looking at January 1 as effective date. 

This is first reading.

This is for employees who have university cell phones.  Historically this has been paid for by the institution. State auditors are making an issue of cell phone usage.  The way any policy states that phones have to be 100% used for business; which is a problem to clarify that, particularly for my staff.  This policy should simplify process of separating personal from business usage.  A lot of my staff receive calls not only from other employees, but also from machines 24/7 from What’s Up Gold that tells them when there is a problem with a machine.  It is critical that our front end personnel have cell phones because you want them to know it before you notice a problem.  Per Arnold: there are two cell phone policies.  This does not replace the institutional cell phone policy.  This policy gives people two options, one for straight university business that would be paid for by the institution.  This gives us an alternative way with a stipend plan that this would actually go into the person’s paycheck for them to pay their cell phone instead of us paying the bill.

 

Sarah:               Suggestion:  under “stipend” data services, suggest don’t go into detail about the types of services and keep the specificity out of the policy, but include the justification in authorization for stipend. 

 

Herb:                There is an issue of whether it is a policy vs. administrative rule.  If it is a policy, it has to go through the Board of Governors.  Legislative auditors have really cracked down on these detailed phone bills.  A lot on institutions are being hit. 

 

Jan:                  There is an issue with adding to an employee’s taxable income, where people opt to not have phone.  Ohio University dealt with this issue and found that if they told everyone ahead of time, it wasn’t as much of an issue.  You still have an option; you can still use the university plan for strictly business; or accept the stipend for combined use.

Ohio University first found their stipend to be too low.  We have looked at lot of different places. 

 

Allen:                One of the changes is wanted to make clear is that the stipend is for the “service”.   We want to supply the device to individual when we can, so that we can control the ability to wipe data out if necessary.  Some folks don’t understand that cellular service now has an optional add-on called data service which makes two levels, depending on the device being used.  It should be put on application with justification. 

 

Jan:                  Changes Approved:

Change effective date to January 1

                        Move descriptions to actual form.

                        No issues with adding word service to document.

                        $45, $55, $65 suggested and other - keep existing wording.

           

There is still an issue to add Changes to clarify that university could stipulate that university will provide device to enable wipe out if necessary.  That is in the existing Telecommuting Policy which is linked in this policy. 

This looks ahead, Jan suggests that we do not have this technology to date, but reserve the right to review as technology becomes available.

 

Data rate schedule: there are two different devices available now.  Notebook computer can have cellular capability, only have a few people using it right now.  Two other handheld, one that is able to accept email with remote capability to access that.  Dr. Kopp has device that keeps outlook up to date all of the time.  The other device does not automatically update and those technologies will eventually merge. 

Sarah suggests that the wording of the document and authorization be changed to cellular/telephone/voice data service stipend plan. 

           

We will make these changes and take vote in November

 

Scope will have to be added both of these policies.  Suggest MURC and CTC adopt these policies.

 

Remote Internet Stipend

 

Jan:                  This is the same principle as cell phone stipend.  Different users are utilizing different types of internet services.

                        The only change would be to be effective January 1.

 

Arnold suggests we put some levels into this plan also.  Seems like should have small, medium, and high, need to determine amounts for next version.  Refer to low medium and high and put numbers on authorization.

 

Herb suggests combining form and one PAR for both services.

 

Computer Disposal/Surplus

 

Jan:                  This piece came about by SB603 for WVU and Marshall to put forth a disposal plan for computers.  Bill Shondel first did part of this, but due to technology piece, wanted to bring through this committee. 

This follows the Board of Governors Policy. There are statutory references and current Code that deal with surplus and privacy issues.

We are currently having surplus and disposal of computers on a regular basis.  This gives the outline of how it should be handled.  It gives us an option to donate or other organizations.

 

Dennis:             on 2.3 – who would the university assess?  Per Arnold:  it is a possibility that the institution may have to assess some sort of a fee to the department for disposal.   This will remove legal liability away from MU for equipment that is an EPA risk. 

We may want to consider this in the future.  If people know they are going to be charged for disposing of machines they may be charged they may be hesitant to hold on to the machine even it if isn’t in use.  However, they need to remember that the tag is still on the computer and on the inventory.  Inventory assesses software fee.

 

We also need to speak to Carol Skaggs about tagging computer components that come in even if they are under the minimum for tagging equipment to maintain the inventory. 

Need to discuss further next month.

 

Vote in November

 

ITC Policy Format

 

Jan

Fox:                 Over the next month, will be taking any policy we have approved, and will be putting common format on all of our policies.  We will try to make them look like Board of Government format.

 

Adjourned.