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IRC News

Minutes provided by Sue Ellen Richey, Recording Secretary

IRC Regular Voting Members: Judith Adkison, College of Education; Ginny Anderson, Fiscal Affairs; Donna Asher, Administrative Affairs; Sue Byron, Faculty Senate; Carolyn Cunningham, Student Affairs; Jim Curry, Academic Administration; David Griffiths, Student Association, Don Grose, Libraries; Jenny Jopling, Instruction Program Group; Joneel Harris, Administrative Program Group; Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, Standards & Cooperation Program Group; Allen Livingston,Graduate Student Council; Dan Mauldin, University Planning Council; Ramu Muthiah, School of Community Services, GALMAC; Jon Nelson, College of Music; Robert Nimocks, Director, Information Technology,UNTHSC; Steve Oeffner, UNT Health Science Center; Russ Pensyl , School of Visual Arts; Patrick Pluscht, Distributed Learning Team; Mark Rorvig, Research Program Group; Paul Schlieve, Communications Program Group; Kathleen Swigger, College of Arts and Sciences; Philip Turner, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs for Distance Education and Dean of the School of Library and Information Resources (Chair, IRC);; Virginia Wheeless, Chancellor; John Windsor, College of Business. IRC Ex-officio Nonvoting Members: Leslie Bowden, Telecommunications; Jim Curry, Microcomputer Maintenance Shop; Michael Forster, UNT Health Science Center; Richard Harris, Computing Center; Coy Hoggard, Computing Center; Maurice Leatherbury, Computing Center; Sue Ellen Richey, Computing Center (Recording Secretary). [As of 9/99]

October 19, 1999

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: PHILIP TURNER, CHAIR, JON NELSON, PAM HIGHT (for DON GROSE), SUE BYRON, RAMU MUTHIAH, MARK RORVIG, PAUL SCHLIEVE, JONEEL HARRIS, ROBERT NIMOCKS, JOHN WINDSOR, JUDITH ADKISON, JIM CURRY, JENNY JOPLING, STEVE OEFFNER, COY HOGGARD, BILL BUNTAIN, RICHARD HARRIS, ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, CAROLYN CUNNINGHAM, RUSS PENSYL

NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: MAURICE LEATHERBURY, LESLIE BOWDEN, SUE ELLEN RICHEY (Recording Secretary)

MEMBERS ABSENT: ALLEN LIVINGSTON, PATRICK PLUSCHT, DAN MAULDIN, DONNA ASHER, VIRGINIA WHEELESS, GINNY ANDERSON, KATHLEEN SWIGGER, MIKE FORSTER, DAVID GRIFFITHS

GUESTS: JENNIFER JOHNSON, WIL CLARK, LOU ANN BRADLEY

IR Steering Committee

The Chair reported that the IR Steering Committee met in September, at which time the Intellectual Property draft was discussed. That draft is now on a web site and has been distributed to various groups to gather feedback.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team

Maurice Leatherbury distributed a report from the Distributed Computing Support Management Team which reflects the current staffing levels in distributed computing units on campus. The Support Management Team is looking into the possibility of getting a campus-wide support agreement for Hewlett-Packard printers. In addition, at the DCSMT’s last meeting Rudy Moreno and Sandy Shelton from Purchasing & Payment Services spoke to the group to address some issues regarding purchases made from the web on credit cards. There is currently no procedure in place for doing this, other than employees purchasing items on their personal credit cards and requesting reimbursement. Blanket orders and other purchasing procedures were explained.

Y2K

Coy Hoggard reported that efforts have been made to assess, mediate and replace when required, re-test all critical information systems and devices for Y2K compliance and that everything is as ready as it is possible to be. It is still possible that there will be minor glitches but it is impossible to know about every individual device or application, so everyone still should be aware of potential problems. Coy said he will report any unforeseen problems to the IRC if they arise. There are still some outstanding issues surrounding the Voice Response system upgrade, but those are being worked on.

Instruction Program Group

Jenny Jopling reported for the Instruction Program Group that Classroom Support Services is running smoothly, according to Jim Curry. The program group discussed the possibility of a computer-based testing facility on campus. Maurice will meet with the planning group to suggest that a facility of this type be included in the new Gateway Center. The group also discussed the multi-media editing stations that are going to be distributed on campus as a result of TIF funding and the fact that these are high-end machines. Faculty members will require a lot of training if they plan to use these machines. Abraham Bencid, the CDL’s media specialist, is developing a curriculum that will be made available to specific users in colleges and to network managers who will administer the hardware.

Strategic Planning Committee

Richard Harris reported for the Strategic Planning Committee and distributed copies of the Executive Summary of the Biennial Operating Plan, which was dealt with at their last meeting. The D.I.R. web site will have the final plan when it is approved. The D.I.R. URL will be passed on to IRC members as soon as the plan is posted there.

Communications Program Group

Paul Schlieve distributed copies of minutes from the most recent Communications Program Group meeting. In their last meeting they discussed the ongoing directory update that is taking place to build a common directory services database for the university. The Program Group recommends that the IRC direct the Computing Center to pursue the project to populate a common directory service and to allow designation of a preferred e-mail account for faculty/staff. Bill Buntain stated that this project is problematic because it is so labor-intensive to enter all of the information. Maurice commented that this project is part of the design of the Directory Services project and will be pursued by the Computing Center. It was requested that progress reports be given to the IRC.

Administrative Program Group

Joneel Harris reported for the Administrative Program Group that the Entire X Broker software product was purchased. That software will be a key piece in the web development strategy of the Registrar’s office. The group is also dealing with the issue of Y2K compatibility of Software AG’s product, Entire Connection. Joneel also reported that the group has finished reviewing the three companies they had invited in to demonstrate on-line report viewing applications. The group is also discussing a web strategy, and in this effort has contacted UT Austin to invite someone to UNT to give an overview and presentation of their web strategy and development. UT Austin has been using Entire Broker for quite a while and can share their experiences with UNT. In addition, the group has invited SCT to make a presentation on their student system. Joneel will advise IRC members of the time and place of the SCT presentation.

Research Program Group

Mark Rorvig reported for the Research Program Group that he was elected to serve as Chair again this year. The group will try to find new members for the Program Group. A project they plan to work on is the development of a capital equipment list as well as a funding strategy.

Standards & Cooperation Program Group

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported that the Standards & Cooperation Program Group has not met recently, but deferred to Maurice Leatherbury to present a new draft of the Student E-Mail Policy, copies of which were then distributed. Maurice explained that Dr. Pohl, after discussing this issue with Richard Rafes, has asked that an official Student E-mail policy be developed for presentation at the November Board of Regents meeting. Dr. Pohl asked that the policy address the phasing in of official use of e-mail in lieu of postal mail. Maurice asked for input from the IRC, explaining that this revised draft of the policy is less onerous for students because it no longer says they are required to read their mail weekly. Instead, it says that it is recommended that they read their email frequently, but at least once a week. The policy states that the bulk email system is only for UNT communications to students. Maurice pointed out that it will be the sender’s responsibility to determine whether postal mail or e-mail would be the most appropriate method of communication.

The Chair pointed out that in order to consider this policy at today’s meeting, the rules would need to be suspended that require a month’s notice before a vote is taken. Paul Schlieve moved that the rules be suspended; John Windsor seconded and the motion passed.

The Council then discussed the motion to approve the Student E-mail policy as presented. During the discussion the high cost and slow speed of postal mail was pointed out, as opposed to e-mail. It was suggested that the responsibility for reading email be placed on the student, just as is the responsibility for knowing degree requirements, as stated in the Course Catalog. There was some objection voiced regarding a total dependence on e-mail as the official method of communication to students, in favor of a phase-in period.

A motion was made to amend the draft policy to include the statement from the Course Catalog regarding the student’s responsibility for knowing the information contained therein. Sue Byron seconded the motion and it passed with one abstention. Maurice accepted a friendly amendment to the wording of the last paragraph of the policy to replace the word ‘definitely’ with the word ‘likely.’ The policy was approved, as amended.

Distributed Learning Team

Jenny Jopling reported for the Distributed Learning Team that the center has been delivering a strategic planning workshop to three departments, and that everything is going along well with courses in Web CT. At the last IRC meeting Patrick Pluscht reported that TTVN had closed it’s membership; he asked Jenny to report that TTVN membership is still open.

Dr. Turner commented that the strategic planning workshops being offered by the Center to Deans, Department Chairs and selected faculty are to assist them in looking over the whole issue of distributed learning and whether or not they want to participate. Information about these workshops can be found on the CDL Web site under training.

Teaching With Technology Grants

Maurice Leatherbury announced that Dr. Kesterson has met with Dr. Turner and himself regarding the renewal of the Teaching With Technology Grants for another $100,000 this year. Grant proposals will be due February 14th, 2000.

November 16, 1999

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: PHILIP TURNER, CHAIR, JON NELSON, ARNE ALMQUIST (for DON GROSE), SUE BYRON, RAMU MUTHIAH, PAUL SCHLIEVE, JONEEL HARRIS, ROBERT NIMOCKS, JOHN WINDSOR, JUDITH ADKISON, JENNY JOPLING, STEVE OEFFNER, PATRICK PLUSCHT, RICHARD HARRIS, CAROLYN CUNNINGHAM,

NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: MAURICE LEATHERBURY, LESLIE BOWDEN, SUE ELLEN RICHEY (Recording Secretary)

MEMBERS ABSENT: COY HOGGARD, RUSS PENSYL, BILL BUNTAIN, ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, JIM CURRY, MARK RORVIG, ALLEN LIVINGSTON, DONNA ASHER, VIRGINIA WHEELESS, GINNY ANDERSON, KATHLEEN SWIGGER, MIKE FORSTER, DAVID GRIFFITHS

GUESTS: LOU ANN BRADLEY

Distributed Computing Support Management Team

Maurice Leatherbury reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team that a subcommittee has been formed to conduct an inventory of desktop computer software. At their last meeting Coy Hoggard briefed the group on the status of Y2K remediation, and the roll-over plans for December 31 and January 1 were discussed. In addition the committee is continuing to work on a campus-wide H-P printer maintenance contract.

AHE gigapop

Maurice also reported that he and Richard Harris attended an organizational meeting of the AHE gigapop executive advisory council at TCU. Only three institutions were represented at the meeting: UT Arlington, Texas Christian and UNT. Richard continued by reporting that the council named a project manager for the AHE gigapop. The council agreed that a charter and operating standards for the group would be drafted and considered at a future meeting. The council strongly recommended 7 x 24 support and confirmed that the fee structure was based on a fiscal year basis (September 1 through August 31). They will collect a full year’s amount for this year, even though the gigapop will probably not be up until January. The excess funds this year may offset the cost of 7 x 24 support which was not included in their initial budget. The understanding is that in August if there is any money left over it will be divided among the member institutions and applied to next year’s fee. The membership fee is around $113,400.00 per year, about $41,400 of that is to be used for capital expenses such as switching equipment and about $65,000 is annually recurring operating expenses such as personnel and connection charges, etc. The council is also looking at a one million dollar grant from one of the corporate members. Richard stated that UNT will be responsible for getting the line down to them, and a technical group is trying to decide where to locate the gigapop. Richard explained that the main connection will be to Internet2, but could include Internet1; the technical details have not yet been worked out.

Instruction Program Group

Jenny Jopling reported that the Instruction Program Group met to discuss a computer-based testing facility. At the planning meeting for the Gateway Center, such a facility was discussed and is being considered for the Center. Jenny stated that she solicited other institutions about the possibility of establishing a computer-based testing network so that distance students could be facilitated state-wide. A number of institutions were interested, so Jenny is looking into the possibility of using TIF funds to establish such a network.

Jenny also reported that she and Maurice have been discussing the CBT software and agreed that some research needs to be done on the usage of that software to determine if it is really needed.

Communications Program Group

Paul Schlieve reported for the Communications Program Group that bids are out on equipment for the campus-wide wiring projects. When those bids are in, there will be intense activity on those projects which the Program Group will monitor and report on to the IRC.

Administrative Program Group

Joneel Harris reported for the Administrative Program Group that members of that group have been working on business continuation plans as well as preparing for testing and re-testing on January 1 and 2. She reported that the SAA Gateway will cease to operate around mid-December, as a part of Y2K remediation. They plan to re-schedule a presentation by Oracle after the first of January. They have met with SCT representatives and will be scheduling a presentation by that company.

Distributed Learning Team

Patrick Pluscht reported for the Distributed Learning Team that at their last meeting the issue of printing in computer labs was discussed, the concern being that students are printing volumes of documents from the web for their web courses. Patrick also reported that they have planned a mini-WebCT conference around April, 2000 and are inviting UNT faculty to make presentations at that conference for other faculty in the area. In addition, he reported that the Faculty Senate has reviewed the Intellectual Property Rights Policy with a favorable response. A vote on the policy will be taken at a future meeting of the Faculty Senate.

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. Planned exceptions to this schedule are that December meeting was moved to Dec. 14; that the May meeting will be be moved to May 9 and the August will meeting be moved to August 8.

All meetings of the IRC, its program groups, and other committees, are open to all faculty, staff, and students.