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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; 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.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

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

The minutes of the February 18, 2003, and the minutes of the Tuesday, March 11, 2003 meetings were approved as distributed.

IR Steering Committee

The Chair announced that there has not been an IR Steering Committee meeting since the last IRC meeting, but there may possibly be one on Wednesday, April 24th, at which time they expect to discuss the Web Accessibility Policy.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team

Maurice Leatherbury reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team that at their last meeting they talked about Microsoft dropping support for Windows 98 and agreed to encourage people in their departments to stop using old operating systems.  The group also discussed a desktop back-up software package but since the cost was prohibitive, they decided to explore other alternatives.

Maurice also announced that notification of the discontinuance of Premium and free dial-up services has been sent out to the UNT campus community by several methods,  including a press release, through Benchmarks, and through various electronic mail resources.  His staff is looking for other free or low-cost services to suggest to users as alternatives to what UNT has been providing.

Instruction Planning Group

Jenny Jopling reported that since the Instruction Planning Group does not currently have a charge, they have not been meeting.

Communications Planning Group

Maurice Leatherbury reported for the Communications Planning Group that they will meet on Thursday, April 24, 2003 to work on revising a Connections Policy that was previously approved by the IRC but never forwarded to the Vice Presidents.

EIS Planning Group

Joneel Harris reported for the EIS Planning Group that the project is progressing satisfactorily.  An internal audit of the EIS project is nearly completed, and they are about to begin a quality assurance audit by Ciber.  In addition, the Project Management Group has reorganized to provide more time for John Hooper to coordinate the technical side of the project.  Bob Woelfel from the Health Science Center will take a more active role in coordinating the work of the family product groups.  They are, of course, concerned about the budget cuts and hiring freezes and their impact on the project.  The Health Science Center has already had to make cuts in their personnel and expect to have to make more. Of greatest concern is in the area of Contributor Relations, where HSC has already lost 4 out of their 8 positions.

Research Planning Group

Maurice Leatherbury reported for the Research Planning Group that they have met to discuss research projects that could  potentially be funded by money that the Computing Center had set aside in support of research.  The group seemed to want to focus on infrastructure projects, such as storage area networks.  The group’s next meeting is Thursday, April 24th at 4pm.

Standards & Policy Planning Group

Kenn Moffitt reported for the Standards & Policy Planning Group that they have not met since the last IRC meeting, but have a meeting scheduled to work on a  GroupWise Policy that they plan to bring to the IRC.

Student Computing Planning Group

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported for the Student Computing Planning Group that they will meet Monday, April 21st at 2pm to work on a draft of the Student Computing Services survey.

Distance Learning Team

Jenny Jopling reported for the Distance Learning Team that they are scheduled to meet on Thursday, April 24th, but have not met since the last IRC meeting.  She stated that new verbiage has been proposed for announcing weather-related university closings, which gives additional information related to on-line courses, which are not necessarily delayed or canceled due to weather conditions.  Dr. Turner added that a plan is being formulated that would provide a auto switch-over to a back-up server in the event the WebCT server should go down as a result of inclement weather conditions or under any other circumstances.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

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

Lou Ann Bradley moved for approval of the minutes of the April 15, 2003 meeting; Jon Nelson seconded and the minutes were approved as distributed.

IR Steering Committee  

The Chair reported that the IR Steering Committee approved the Web Accessibility Policy at their recent meeting, and he commended Kenn Moffitt for his presentation at that meeting.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team

Maurice Leatherbury reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team that at their recent meeting they continued their discussion of desktop back-up alternatives.  The committee also discussed the development of a retention schedule for electronic records, including GroupWise email.  In addition, Maurice reported that Dell is making every effort to be competitive with Hewlett-Packard in providing UNT with  servers, and although H-P has a new program which will give UNT even deeper discounts, Dell is planning to make a new pricing proposal to try and beat that.

News from the Chair 

The Chair noted that Dell has a workstation deal on their Website for faculty and students in which they offer a 10% discount plus commercial level support.

The Chair announced that a new UNT committee called Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Policy Committee has requested that a member of the Information Resources Council be elected to serve on it.  Philip Baczewski nominated Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner for that position, Jon Nelson seconded, and the council elected Elizabeth by acclamation.

There was no report from the Instruction Planning Group since they had not met.

Communications Planning Group 

Lou Ann Bradley reported for the Communications Planning Group that they continue to work on a revision of the policy on Addition of Devices to the UNT network.

EIS Planning Group 

Coy Hoggard reported for the EIS Planning Group that everyone was working very hard and that things were going well and on schedule.  Plans are to begin using the centralized purchasing application in July, not by distributed areas, but by the Purchasing Dept. staff at first.  The General Ledger system will be live by September 1, 2003, as well as Admissions and Development, with Payroll and Personnel systems going live in January of 2004.  Coy stated that Joneel Harris is doing a series of overview presentations in the coming weeks and all of the sessions are full; however, additional sessions will be scheduled and their times announced later.  Coy pointed out that those interested can go to the EIS Website at www.unt.edu/eis where there is a navigation tutorial under Presentations.

Research Planning Group 

Maurice Leatherbury reported for the Research Planning Group that they have met and have come to the conclusion that there are no pressing items to recommend to the council.  There was discussion of the Storage Area Network (SAN) and plans were made to conduct a trial  connection of an academic department (Library & Information Sciences) to the SAN in the Computing & Information Technology Center.

Standards & Policy Planning Group 

Maurice Leatherbury reported for the Standards & Policy Planning Group that they met to discuss GroupWise “Everyone” message guidelines and plan to continue that discussion at their next meeting.

Student Computing Planning Group 

Philip Baczewski reported for the Student Computing Planning Group that they are continuing the development of questions for the Student Computing Survey which will be conducted in the Fall.

Distributed Learning Team 

Patrick Pluscht reported for the Distributed Learning Team that a new release of WebCT called VISTA will be out shortly though an official release date has not yet been announced.  The committee is planning a migration path to the new version, making plans for CDL staff to be trained, and planning pilot courses in the Fall, with a roll-out of the new product in Spring 2004.  The current WebCT version would be concurrently supported until Fall 2004 with a cutover date in Spring 2005.  Patrick stated that a considerable effort will have to be put into the conversion of current versions of courses into Vista.  The new version is supported by the same Oracle database software as the EIS project software, will do load-balancing, and has other capabilities as well.  Patrick reported that the streaming media server has been upgraded and plans are to have a redundant system up and running by the end of the summer.  Also, Patrick has been consulted about putting some new video conference rooms at Research Park when funding becomes available.

Patrick announced that Don Foshee, Founding President of the Texas Distance Learning Association, passed away May 13th  of natural causes.  He had been the keynote speaker at many conferences including the TxDLA annual conference hosted in Ft. Worth last year.  Patrick stated that he was key to the formation of the Texas Distance Learning Association, and was a member of the Hall of Fame of the United States Distance Learning Association.

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