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IRC News

Minutes provided by Sue Ellen Richey, Recording Secretary

Committee Graphic

IRC Regular and Ex-officio Voting Members: Judith Adkison, College of Education; Ginny Anderson, Fiscal Affairs; Donna Asher, Administrative Affairs; Craig Berry, School of Visual Arts; Sue Byron, Faculty Senate; Bobby Carter, UNT Health Science Center; Jim Curry, Academic Administration; VACANT, Student Association, Don Grose, Libraries; Jenny Jopling, Instruction Program Group; Joneel Harris, Administrative Program Group; Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, Standards and Cooperation Program Group; Abraham John, Student Affairs; VACANT,Graduate Student Council; VACANT, University Planning Council; Ramu Muthiah, School of Community Services, GALMAC; Jon Nelson, College of Music; Robert Nimocks, Director, Information Technology,UNTHSC; Patrick Pluscht, Distributed Learning Team; Mark Rorvig, Research Program Group (Acting Chair); Paul Schlieve, Communications Program Group; Kathleen Swigger, College of Arts and Sciences; Philip Turner, School of Library and Information Science and University Planning Council (Chair, IRC);; Virginia Wheeless, Chancellor; John Windsor, College of Business. IRC Ex-officio Nonvoting Members: VACANT, Telecommunications; Bill Buntain, Computing Center Networking; Jim Curry, Microcomputer Maintenance Shop; Richard Harris, Computing Center; Coy Hoggard, Computing Center; Joel Lanpher, UNT Health Science Center; Maurice Leatherbury, Computing Center; Sue Ellen Richey, Computing Center (Recording Secretary). [As of 10/2000]

October 17, 2000

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: CHAIR: PHILIP TURNER, JHINUK CHOWDHURY (for JOHN WINDSOR), SUE BYRON, PAM HIGHT (for DON GROSE), ROBERT NIMOCKS, JON NELSON, PAUL SCHLIEVE, ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, JONEEL HARRIS, PAUL HONS (for JUDITH ADKISON), RAMU MUTHIAH, PATRICK PLUSCHT, JENNY JOPLING

NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: RICHARD HARRIS, COY HOGGARD, MAURICE LEATHERBURY, BILL BUNTAIN, SUE ELLEN RICHEY (Recording Secretary)

MEMBERS ABSENT: BOBBY CARTER, MARK RORVIG, KATHLEEN SWIGGER, CRAIG BERRY, DONNA ASHER, GINNY ANDERSON, JIM CURRY, ALLEN LIVINGSTON, VIRGINIA WHEELESS, JOEL LANPHEAR

The minutes of the September 19, 2000 meeting were approved as distributed.

Communications Program Group

Paul Schlieve reported for the Communications Program Group and distributed copies of a document which outlined an action item that group wishes to recommend to the IRC, concerning the implementation of an Internet Caching Server. The group believes that an Internet Caching Server would improve internet connectivity. Recognizing that UNT cannot buy unlimited internet bandwidth, it will be necessary to make the best use of what is available. The Program Group believes that transparent caching could be accomplished with the purchase and maintenance of such a server. The group recognizes that there are some security issues that are raised by the use of a caching server, but they plan to take up those issues with the University Attorney. This recommendation will be brought back to the IRC at the November meeting. In the discussion that followed, Bill Buntain explained that a caching server would increase the availability of bandwidth by reducing the traffic, and also if someone is accessing a local caching server instead of a remote web site, response time would be faster. Paul Schlieve explained that there will be an acquisition cost of a specifically configured Compaq server that works off the network, which will require staff time to monitor it. Maurice Leatherbury raised the question of logging hits on UNT’s central Web server when the caching server is in place and it was stated that such logging could and would continue after the new device is installed. Mike Maner added that some areas of the University already use caching servers; it is hoped that by this action, it will make that usage more wide-spread.

Administrative Program Group

Joneel Harris reported for the Administrative Program Group that a group of their members just returned from a trip to California where they visited the Oracle development site to gain more information about their student product and their position on other products that are soon to be released. A smaller group attended an EDUCAUSE conference last week where they were able to talk with the vendors UNT has been looking at as well as with users of those vendors’ products. Some of the conversations they had with PeopleSoft users was discomfiting, especially finding out that some users had to increase their administrative programming staff considerably. There was not as much negative feedback from Oracle users, mostly because Oracle is about 5 years behind PeopleSoft in their development of these administrative applications. They found that SCT has lengthened the target time for completion of development of their products by 4-5 years. Joneel pointed out that both of the solutions they are seriously considering are browser-based solutions, and consequently will add to the load on the internet.

Joneel also announced that another vendor presentation is planned this week by SAP. That vendor does not have a student systems module yet, but the Program Group believes SAP will at some point have a viable solution. Joneel stated that the group is not any closer to making a decision, but still hopes to have a recommendation for the IRC prior to the February Regent’s meeting. She also stated that the group believes it has underestimated the total cost to implement a complete solution, although no hard quotes have been received from the considered vendors.

Distributed Learning Team

Patrick Pluscht reported for the Distributed Learning Team that they just completed a very successful WebCT Conference, with 150 guests in attendance. They are planning a WebCT institute to train trainers at other institutions. Plans are underway to have video-conferenced classes at Collin County College in the Spring semester, with more classes planned for Fall of 2001. A third site is planned for video-conferenced classes in Spring 2001 at the Systems Center in Dallas. Patrick also announced that they have applied for another TIF grant.

IRC Meeting Schedule

The IRC generally meets on the third Tuesday of each month, from 2-4 p.m., in the Administration Building Board Room. From time to time there are planned exceptions to this schedule. The December meeting has been changed to the second Tuesday, December 2. All meetings of the IRC, its program groups, and other committees, are open to all faculty, staff, and students.