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IRC News

Minutes provided by Sue Ellen Richey, Recording Secretary

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IRC Regular and Ex-officio Voting Members: Judith Adkison, College of Education; Donna Asher, Administrative Affairs; Craig Berry, School of Visual Arts; Lou Ann Bradley, Communications Planning Group; Cengiz Capan, College of Business and GALC; Bobby Carter, UNT Health Science Center; Matt Creel, Student Government Association; Christy Crutsinger, Faculty Senate; Jim Curry, Academic Administration; Don Grose, Libraries and University Planning Council; Joneel Harris, EIS Planning Group; Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, Student Computing Planning Group; Tom Jacob, College of Arts and Sciences; Abraham John, Student Development; Jenny Jopling, Instruction Planning Group; Armin Mikler, Research Planning Group; Kenn Moffitt, Standards and Cooperation Program Group; Ramu Muthiah, School of Community Services; Jon Nelson, College of Music; Robert Nimocks, Director, Information Technology, UNTHSC; John Price, UNT System Center; Philip Turner, School of Library and Information Science and University Planning Council (Chair, IRC); VACANT, Graduate Student Council; VACANT, Staff Council; VACANT, University Planning Council; Virginia Wheeless, Chancellor, for Planning; Carolyn Whitlock, Finance and Business Affairs;  IRC Ex-officio Nonvoting Members: Jim Curry, Microcomputer Maintenance and Classroom Support Services; Richard Harris, Computing Center and University Planning Council; Coy Hoggard, Computing Center/Administrative; Judy Hunter, GALMAC; Maurice Leatherbury, Computing Center/Academic; Doug Mains, UNT Health Science Center; Patrick Pluscht, Center for Distributed Learning; Sue Ellen Richey, Computing Center (Recording Secretary); Ken Sedgley, Telecommunications.

January 28, 2003

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT: PHILIP TURNER, Chair, CHRISTY CRUTSINGER, JIM CURRY, BRIDGETTE CARTER (for DONNA ASHER), CENGIZ CAPAN, WIL CLARK (for JOHN PRICE), JUDITH ADKISON, CAROLYN WHITLOCK, LOU ANN BRADLEY, VIRGINIA WHEELESS, ROBERT NIMOCKS, COY HOGGARD (for JONEEL HARRIS), CRAIG BERRY, DOUG MAINS, JUDY HUNTER, JOE ADAMO, MAURICE LEATHERBURY, SUE ELLEN RICHEY (Recording Secretary) MEMBERS ABSENT: SCOTT KREJCI (for JON NELSON), JONEEL HARRIS, MATT CREEL, PATRICK PLUSCHT, TOM JACOB, DON GROSE, ARMIN MIKLER, BOBBY CARTER, ABRAHAM JOHN, ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, RAMU MUTHIAH, KENN MOFFITT, JENNY JOPLING, DUNCAN ENGLER, RICHARD HARRIS GUESTS: JENNIFER LAFLEUR, PHILIP BACZEWSKI, MARY FINLEY 

Distributed Computing Support Management Team

Philip Baczewski, reporting for Maurice Leatherbury, reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team that at their last meeting they had a briefing on the Texas Optical Network and the National Light Rail. There was also discussion of a Zoom Text software license, and the renewal of the Adobe site license. Maurice Leatherbury reported for the Instruction Planning Group that they had met on December 12th and discussed changes in computer-based training software.  He announced that SkillSoft has acquired SmartForce, and they plan to replace some of the course content formerly provided by SmartForce with Adobe and Macromedia products.  There is a new Web site under development called New Faculty and Staff Survival Guide, which was developed in response to requests from faculty and staff.  The group viewed a demonstration of an e-learning assessment tool called Learn Track, but decided they were not interested since the cost was so high.

EIS Planning Group

Coy Hoggard reported for the EIS Planning Group that the Fit Gap Analysis has been completed and they are finalizing the Project Plan which will set the schedule for implementation.  The project offices have been moved to the Research Park, with a number of Computing Center staff and all of the Ciber consultants out there now.  A large number of work areas have been provided for people from this campus and the Health Science Center to work out there as needed.  They are also working on filling PeopleSoft tables with data so that a base-line system can be running soon with UNT’s  and UNTHSC’s own data.  It has been tentatively decided to accelerate implementation of the student system to summer of 2004.  Coy stated that, overall, things are going quite well.  Cengiz Capan asked if the project is on time and within budget.  Coy responded that except for the Project Plan not quite complete, putting it about a month later than expected, that everything was on time and within budget.  Coy stated that this should not delay actual project implementation since work is proceeding while the plan is being finalized.  It is tentatively expected that the core of the Financial System will be ready in late August, 2003, along with Contributor Relations during the summer; Human Resources should go live in December of 2003, with the Student System following in summer of 2004.  Coy expressed concern about the implications of the state budgetary shortfall.

Research Planning Group

Maurice Leatherbury reported for the Research Planning Group that they met in December and discussed the possibility of the Computing Center using some money that has been dedicated to research support to purchase licenses for financial database content for use by the College of Business faculty.  Capan added that most other research universities have this to support teaching and research.  He stressed the need for both centralized and distributed research support for faculty, stating that even with grant funds, most faculty members cannot afford to purchase these data sets for their own use. 

Student Computing Planning Group

Philip Baczewski reported for the Student Computing Planning Group, since Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner is on maternity leave.  Elizabeth is working at home on revisions to the proposed student computing survey.  

Distributed Learning Team 

Dr. Turner reported for the Distributed Learning Team that another video conference classroom in the Gateway Center has been completed and a 6th room is planned for later this year.  Also, the College of Education, Dept. of Technology and Cognition has recently received eleven portable video-conferencing units.  He reported that WebCT has been running smoothly.  The Texas Distance Learning Association annual conference will be held in Austin, March 3-6.  The President of the University of Phoenix will be there.  The Media Library, the Center for Distributed Learning and the Center for Media Production and University Communications and Marketing are co-hosting 3 installments of the PBS satellite series “Critical Challenges to Distance Education”, on Feb. 20th, Chilton Rm. 245, from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Dr. Turner also reported that of the approximately 29,600 Spring 2003 enrollment numbers, 4,109 are fully on-line, with 6,022 taking at least one on-line class.   

National Light Rail

Maurice reported that he attended a recent meeting in Austin where the National Light Rail (a national fiber optics network connecting educational institutions) and plans for connecting to it from various sites in Texas was discussed.  It is estimated that it will cost $5 million dollars to develop an access point in Dallas.  Although Internet2 was perceived as being a research network, it can no longer be used to do research on networking itself, so there is still a need for a research network, and it is felt that the National Light Rail will fill that need.  At the present time, the telecommunications industry has an abundance of fiber that might be available for purchase at a greatly reduced price.  It is hoped that a connection to this network can be accomplished, although the budgetary restraints imposed on state agencies will make it less likely.  

It is estimated that the Texas Optical Network, which would connect Dallas, Houston and Austin would cost  $5-10 million dollars.  The Higher Education Working Group for TIF met the past two weeks to come up with a plan that would provide this high speed network to all TIF groups.  At this time, it is unknown what implications the current state budget restraints will have on that plan.

Southern Association

Virginia Wheeless announced that in the past the university has not had to report to the Southern Association  programs that were offered through the Internet.  It will now be necessary to report these; with the result that an Internet program will have to go through the same scrutiny that a video-conferencing programs have to go through. 

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. There was no meeting in December. All meetings of the IRC, its program groups, and other committees, are open to all faculty, staff, and students.