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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; Cengiz Capan, College of Business, GALC; Bobby Carter, UNT Health Science Center; Christy Crutsinger, Faculty Senate; Jim Curry, Academic Administration; VACANT, Student Association; Duncan Engler, University Planning Council; Don Grose, Libraries; Jenny Jopling, Instruction Program Group; Joneel Harris, EIS Project Group; Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, Standards and Cooperation Program Group; Abraham John, Student Affairs; Christine Mitchamore, Graduate Student Council; Ramu Muthiah, School of Community Services; Jon Nelson, College of Music; Robert Nimocks, Director, Information Technology, UNTHSC; Patrick Pluscht, Distributed Learning Team; Kathleen Swigger, College of Arts and Sciences; Philip Turner, School of Library and Information Science and University Planning Council (Chair, IRC); Virginia Wheeless, Chancellor for Planning. IRC Ex-officio Nonvoting Members: VACANT, Telecommunications; Charles Andrews, GALMAC; Bill Buntain, Computing Center Networking; Jim Curry, Microcomputer Maintenance Shop; Richard Harris, Computing Center and University Planning Council; Coy Hoggard, Computing Center/Administrative; VACANT, UNT Health Science Center; Maurice Leatherbury, Computing Center/Academic; Sue Ellen Richey, Computing Center (Recording Secretary).

May 7, 2002

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: PHILIP TURNER, Chair, LOU ANN BRADLEY (for DON GROSE), ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, DUNCAN ENGLER, CRISTINE MITCHAMORE, CHRISTY CRUTSINGER, JIM CURRY, JUDITH ADKISON, ARMIN MIKLER, SEAN HIATT, RAMU MUTHIAH, WIL CLARK (for JOHN PRICE), DONNA ASHER, KENN MOFFITT, NANCY MCCRAY (for VIRGINIA WHEELESS), JENNY JOPLING, JONEEL HARRIS, ROBERT NIMOCKS, BOBBY CARTER, CENGIZ CAPAN NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: COY HOGGARD, RICHARD HARRIS, PATRICK PLUSCHT, MAURICE LEATHERBURY, BILL BUNTAIN, SUE ELLEN RICHEY(Recording Secretary) MEMBERS ABSENT: CHARLES ANDREWS, TOM JACOB, JON NELSON, DOUG MAINS, CRAIG BERRY, ABRAHAM JOHN, GINNY ANDERSON GUESTS: JENNIFER LAFLEUR

The minutes of the March 26, 2002 meeting were approved with one correction to the spelling of Tom Jacob’s name.

IR Steering Committee

The Chair reported that the IR Steering Committee met last month but they did not consider the Security Policy at that meeting. The Web Publishing Policy has not been approved by them either, so both policies will be placed on a future meeting’s agenda.

DCSMT

Maurice Leatherbury reported for the DCSMT that they have formed a Cooperation & Coordination Committee to try and set parameters for coordinating major infrastructure changes. In addition, Internal Audit has just completed a software licensing compliance audit with favorable findings. Their only recommendation was that written materials be provided to students for training purposes on copyright compliance. These materials have been developed and were distributed to DCSMT members last Friday.

Instruction Planning Group

Jenny Jopling reported for the Instruction Planning Group that they have met electronically. The committee added a paragraph to the System Status Proposal they previously submitted to the IRC. The addition provides for notification of system outages to the Director of University Online Communications, Kenn Moffitt, so that he can post the alert on the UNT.edu web site. Jenny distributed copies of the revised proposal. There was some discussion about recent outages and concern that the Help Desk may not be as informed as they should be about whom to contact when informed of an outage. It was also pointed out that it is not clear who is responsible for resolving the problems that cause the outages. It was acknowledged that the Computing Center has a software called “Unicenter” which is a system monitoring software that could be used to help alert the appropriate persons in the event of any kind of outage. It was also suggested that there should be an alternative method of notification in the event that all systems are down. Although it is not entirely acceptable, the Help Desk can be called for information in such an event. It was also suggested that UNT have an off-campus internet site where a notification could be posted. A vote was taken on the revised System Status Proposal as presented, and it was approved. The Chair then charged Maurice Leatherbury to look into an alternative method of notification, such as a bounce to an outside internet site in the event that all systems are down, as well as an alternative monitoring system.

Communications Planning Group

Lou Ann Bradley reported for the Communications Planning Group that they met to deal with the communications outage between the Library Annex and the main campus. A new laser solution is being installed until such time as fiber optic cable can be run to that building.

EIS Planning Group

Joneel Harris reported for the EIS Planning Group that the Best and Final Offers from the Software vendors had been received on Friday, May 3rd. She reported that the pricing appears to be very competitive, but she is not in a position to reveal the actual figures yet. The Best and Final Offer requests to the Service Providers went out on Monday, May 6th and are due back Monday, May 13. The goal is to try to make a recommendation to the Finance Committee of the Board of Regents as soon after that as possible. The EIS Project Group will meet this Thursday, May 9th to review the final software offers.

Research Planning Group

Armin Mikler reported for the Research Planning Group that they have met and defined a new mission for the group to take a five-year outlook toward what the Computing Center can do to help the computational scientists. At the present time, the Computing Center has limited resources to help computational scientists get their projects on a UNIX cluster for processing. It is recommended that an additional research programmer be hired by the Computing Center for this purpose. Another issue they discussed was grid computing which is being widely utilized by universities across the U.S. It is proposed that UNT become a player in the high-end computational processing arena, and this can be done if the Computing Center can offer research equipment and technical support to this end.

Standards & Policy Planning Group

Kenn Moffitt reported for the Standards & Policy Planning Group that they met and discussed background of the Accessibility Policy. They will meet again on May 28th to go over a first draft of a revision of that policy.

Student Computing Planning Group

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported for the Student Computing Planning Group that they met with RESNET representatives to gather background information, then the whole Planning Group met later to discuss an extensive list of things students need to know about computing at UNT. They discussed methods of disseminating this information to students.

Distributed Learning Team

Patrick Pluscht reported for the Distributed Learning Team that he will be bringing statistics to the Council on distributed learning enrollment since 1998. He reported that the TX DLA Conference in April was a big success, with over 500 attendees. In addition, they have a Tegrity demo scheduled on May 16 at 11:00 a.m., in ISB 201. This vendor provides a hardware solution that helps faculty convert their existing classroom teaching into something suitable for a web-based presentation. The committee is also evaluating a software tool that allows the function of monitoring a lab over a wide-area network. Cengiz Capan commented that COBA is also evaluating a software called Virtual Classroom which provides similar functionality at a fairly low cost. Maurice Leatherbury noted that the Computing Center has also evaluated similar products, but finds that they are extremely expensive.

Resolution from the College of Business faculty

Cengiz Capan presented a Resolution from the College of Business faculty, which supports the establishment of lifetime e-mail addresses for UNT alumni. Maurice Leatherbury commented that the Computing Center has begun looking into the feasibility of this as a service to transfer e-mail to the forwarding e-mail addresses of alumni, rather than storage of email. It would then be the responsibility of the end-user to update their e-mail addresses whenever they changed.

June 18, 2002

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: RICHARD HARRIS (for PHILIP TURNER, Chair), LOU ANN BRADLEY, PAM HIGHT (for DON GROSE), ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, DUNCAN ENGLER, CRISTINE MITCHAMORE, CHRISTY CRUTSINGER, JIM CURRY, JUDITH ADKISON, ARMIN MIKLER, SEAN HIATT, RAMU MUTHIAH, KENN MOFFITT, VIRGINIA WHEELESS, JENNY JOPLING, ROBERT NIMOCKS, CENGIZ CAPAN, CRAIG BERRY, TOM JACOB NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: CHARLES ANDREWS, PATRICK PLUSCHT, MAURICE LEATHERBURY, MIKE MANER (for BILL BUNTAIN), SUE ELLEN RICHEY (Recording Secretary) MEMBERS ABSENT: COY HOGGARD, BOBBY CARTER, JOHN PRICE, DONNA ASHER, JON NELSON, DOUG MAINS, ABRAHAM JOHN, GINNY ANDERSON, JONEEL HARRIS GUESTS: JENNIFER LAFLEUR

IR Steering Committee

Richard Harris reported that the IR Steering Committee had not met but there have been discussions with members of that committee regarding several old policies related to computing. During those discussions a question was raised as to why there was a policy about the Information Resources Council charge and composition. It was agreed that the policy would be deleted and replaced by a simple statement of the IRC’s charge and composition, as well as the IR Steering Committee’s charge and composition. Dr. Pohl and Phil Diebel will be reviewing those statements, and if there are any changes, Richard will bring those changes to the Council. The Security Policy was formally approved and will replace three older policies in the next Policy Manual.

Strategic Planning Committee

The Strategic Planning Committee has been circulating an electronic copy of the Strategic Plan which has to be submitted to the Legislative Budget Board and DIR bi-annually. Richard explained that in the past it had been an Appendix to the University Strategic Plan. The DIR no longer has to approve Strategic Plans, but they do keep them on file for information purposes. Richard plans to discuss Strategic Plans with the Planning Committee some time prior to the next IRC meeting and will report back to the Council.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team (DCSMT)

Maurice Leatherbury reported that the Distributed Computing Support Management Team met and approved the development a plan for Unix and Linux support on campus. The campus-wide network division of the Computing Center will provide second level support to network managers, and actually provide first level support to the campus until those managers are up to speed and can provide first level support themselves.

Maurice also reported that in the latest McAfee licensing, home use of the product by students, faculty and staff was included. The Computing Center plans to have CDs burned with the virus software and sold at the UNT Bookstore at approximately $3.00 each. Maurice also noted that Rich Anderson has completed the second round of scans of all systems on campus and is ready to distribute the results of that. DCSMT will decide how to distribute those results.

EIS Project

Richard Harris reported that Joneel was at a meeting in Austin, and Coy was attending a meeting with Ciber, the chosen EIS project implementation partner. He reported that the Board of Regents approved the recommendation for PeopleSoft software with Ciber as the implementation partner, and authorized UNT to enter into contract negotiations with both companies. After a round of negotiations with PeopleSoft, the final contract was signed and a purchase order in the amount of $ 4,962,751.00 was issued, $2,247,228.00 of which is for 5 years of prepaid maintenance and software support. He stated that everyone is very pleased with the contract. Richard reported that it is expected that another $5 million will be spent on the implementation.

Standards & Policy Planning Group

Kenn Moffitt reported that the Standards & Policy Planning Group is working on a draft of a new Web Accessibility Policy.

Student Computing Planning Group

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported for the Student Computing Planning Group that the first goal of this group is to provide better computing education for UNT students. Elizabeth distributed information sheets which describe a new web site she has developed which will contain links to several other web sites and which gives a good overview of sources of computing assistance at UNT. Elizabeth plans to present this information at upcoming new student orientation sessions as well as other student group meetings. Jenny Jopling added that CDL will provide Elizabeth with information regarding WebCT so that she can include that in her presentations.

Distributed Learning Team

Patrick Pluscht reported for the Distributed Learning Team that they hosted a demo by Tegrity of their hardware solution that would enable faculty to transmit their regular classroom instruction over the internet. The solution, though innovative and useful, is too expensive to consider purchasing at this time. Patrick distributed a packet of graphs depicting distributed learning statistics. Patrick explained that the definition of a distributed learning course is one for which at least 51% of the course is presented electronically. Cengiz Capan asked if there are any projections as to the effect of distributed learning courses on the utilization of classroom space on campus. Jenny Jopling responded that at the present time no projections have been done. Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner asked how the cost of developing and delivering WebCT courses compares with the amount of revenue generated by those courses. Patrick replied that in the Spring semester web-based courses (i.e., those delivered 50% or more online) generated 2.7 million in state funding.

Telecommunication Infrastructure Fund grant

Maurice Leatherbury announced that there is a new non-competitive Telecommunication Infrastructure Fund grant available for higher education institutions and that UNT is eligible for a $616,687.00 of the grant funds. This grant allows the use of funds for staff, but funds must be used within one year. Maurice will prepare the grant application and recommended that the IR Strategic Planning Committee make the decisions on how the funds are spent.

Student Government Association

Sean Hiatt announced that the Student Government Association plans to reconstruct their web site and plans to conduct on-line opinion polls. They plan to form an ad hoc committee to help get this done by Fall semester. Kenn Moffitt, Director of University Online Communication, has agreed to help them.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

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. This fiscal year, the December meeting was changed to December 11th, the April meeting was cancelled, and the May meeting changed to May 7th. There will be no meeting in August. All meetings of the IRC, its program groups, and other committees, are open to all faculty, staff, and students.