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Minutes provided by Sue Ellen Richey, Recording Secretary*

Committee Graphic

November 16, 2004

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:   PHILIP TURNER, ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, LOU ANN BRADLEY, COY HOGGARD (for JONEEL HARRIS), JIM CURRY, STACIA GIBSON (for PATRICK PLUSCHT), ROBERT NIMOCKS, BRUCE HUNTER, JUDITH ADKISON, WIL CLARK (for JOHN PRICE) NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:  MAURICE LEATHERBURY, RICHARD HARRIS, SUE ELLEN RICHEY  (Recording Secretary) MEMBERS ABSENT:  JON NELSON, SANDRA TERRELL, RAMU MUTHIAH,  JONEEL HARRIS, JOE ADAMO, MARGARET AMBUEHL, KATHY SWIGGER, MAX KAZEMZADEH, DON GROSE, ABRAHAM JOHN, CENGIZ CAPAN, KENN MOFFITT, CHRISTY CRUTSINGER, DOUG MAINS, BOBBY CARTER, CHUCK FULLER GUESTS:  JENNIFER LAFLEUR, BETTY TOMBOULIAN, RHONDA HOLMES

 Minutes from the October meeting could not be approved due to lack of a quorum.  They will be considered for approval at the December meeting.

IR Steering Committee meeting

Dr. Turner reported that there has been no IR Steering Committee meeting since the last IRC meeting; therefore, there is no report.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team 

Maurice Leatherbury reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team that the group has been dealing with the issue of expiring passwords.  Campus wide notification of password expiration will be completed in the next two weeks.  In addition, he announced that Microsoft is coming to campus to conduct a training and briefing of DCSMT on security and patch management.

Learning Enhancement Planning Group

Stacia Gibson reported for the Learning Enhancement Planning Group that they have received 17 proposals totaling $370,000 in application for the available $150,000 in grant funds.  A committee of six members chosen from the steering committee has been formed which will prepare evaluation packets and send them out, with the evaluations due back by December 1.  Final recommendations on the proposals will be made by December 15.

Communications Planning Group

Lou Ann Bradley reported that the Communications Planning Group has not met, so there was no report.

EIS Planning Group

Coy Hoggard reported for the EIS Planning Group that CITC is approaching a significant milestone in the discontinuation of the use of the IBM mainframes  IBM (and IBM-compatible) mainframes have been in use at UNT since 1970 when the IBM model 360 was installed. The discontinuation of use is scheduled for November 30th . Mainframe-related software and hardware leases and maintenance agreements have been cancelled effective November 30.

In addition, Coy announced that the financial area is working on implementation of the budget management module.  They have been heavily involved in preparing the annual financial report (AFR) and closing out of FY04 books.  Reporting continues to be an issue and they are working on improving reporting technology, as well as working on updating the data warehousing area, out of which some reporting can be done.  They are implementing Cypress software, which is an on-line report distribution software product which is planned to replace centralized report printing previously provided by CITC.  Due to some unforeseen problems and staffing issues, implementation is running later than planned, but those problems are being dealt with.

Further, Coy reported that 19,800 students have early registered for Spring, 2005 semester and the number is expected to exceed 20,000 before early registration ends.

Student Computing Planning Group

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported for the Student Computing Planning Group that they are working, but have not officially met as a group.  It has been decided that locations of labs in the various buildings on campus need to be made more visible in the signage for each building.  It has been recommended to Facilities that when new signs are made for buildings, that a metal slat be added noting that a general access lab is available in that building.  She added that eCampus posters have been hung in the various labs.  Students are now being encouraged to store their data on UNT student storage and labs are providing an icon on all of the lab machines for ease in accessing that resource, rather than storing their data on floppy disks. 

Dr. Turner pointed out that due to a licensing issue, Java is not installed on the Library lab machines which prevents Vista from being accessed by users in that lab.  Lou Ann Bradley  stated that they would look into resolving that issue. 

Dr. Turner suggested that a lab with around 50 computers, that is primarily for testing, be set up for use by students enrolled in courses that provide tests on-line.  Elizabeth stated that she has brought that up at a GALMAC meeting and stated that funding of such a lab would be the issue.

In response to a question from Bruce Hunter regarding the high volume of printing done by students, Elizabeth explained that the general access lab committee evaluates this issue about every 18 months and so far they have always concluded that the cost of setting up some kind of system that would limit printouts would be more than the cost of paper to allow students to print anything and as much as they need to.  She noted that students already pay a fee for use of the labs and therefore, the paper cost is covered.  In addition Elizabeth noted that all of the general access lab printers are set up to automatically print everything duplex, which is a paper savings in itself.

Dr. Turner reported that “Turn It In.com is now an officially licensed software product in use at UNT.  This product checks work turned in by students to help them to be honest in their scholarship. If anyone has questions about this product, or ideas on how to get the word out, they should contact Patrick Pluscht, Stacia Gibson or Dr. Turner for more information.

Distributed Learning Team

Dr. Turner also reported that the Distributed Learning Team is moving forward with investigating the feasibility of a Center for Teaching and Learning and Assessment.  They have developed an on-line survey for faculty to use in rating various services.

Dr. Turner reported that on August 31, 2005 the campus edition license of WebCT will no longer be available at UNT.  The choice was made to go with their new product, Vista, and courses are being converted to Vista now and will continue to be if the decision is made to continue using Vista.  However, if problems continue with Vista, and are not solved by summer, the choice is to go back to using the campus edition version, or find another vendor entirely, which would be the least advantageous choice. They have been conducting conference calls with WebCT’s primary support group to try and solve the problems and WebCT promises release of a large revision to the product in the near future, which is believed will resolve the issues UNT has been dealing with. Maurice Leatherbury added that the move to Vista was made because it was believed that Vista was the future product of WebCT and because technically CITC can’t support the campus edition because of the huge number of files it requires and the product is not designed for scalability.

December 21, 2004

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:   PHILIP TURNER, ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, JONEEL HARRIS, CENGIZ CAPAN, JON NELSON, RAMU MUTHIAH, DON GROSE,  BRENDA RITZ (for PATRICK PLUSCHT), JON NELSON, JUDITH ADKISON, WIL CLARK (for JOHN PRICE) NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:  PHILIP BACZEWSKI (for MAURICE LEATHERBURY), RICHARD HARRIS, SUE ELLEN RICHEY  (Recording Secretary) MEMBERS ABSENT:  JIM CURRY, ROBERT NIMOCKS, BRUCE HUNTER, LOU ANN BRADLEY, COY HOGGARD, SANDRA TERRELL, JOE ADAMO, MARGARET AMBUEHL, KATHY SWIGGER, MAX KAZEMZADEH, ABRAHAM JOHN, KENN MOFFITT, CHRISTY CRUTSINGER, DOUG MAINS, BOBBY CARTER, CHUCK FULLER GUESTS:  JENNIFER LAFLEUR

The minutes from the November meeting were not approved due to lack of a quorum at the meeting.

The Chair announced that Richard Harris has been named 2004 Chief Executive Officer of the Year by the Society for Information Management.

Information Resources Steering Committee

The Chair reported that the Information Resources Steering Committee met but although the issue was on their agenda, they did not address the Electronic Records Retention Policy.

Distributed Computing Support

Philip Baczewski reported for Maurice Leatherbury that the Distributed Computing Support Management Team met on December 3 when they discussed the move to strong passwords for EUID accounts; and the schedule was set for student compliance. At their December 17 meeting they discussed the merging of Netware and EUID space to take a single password, which is of most importance to the Health Science Center, and are working on technical issues for NetWare login at HSC. The committee began working with E-policy Orchestrator, which is a tool to allow Network Managers to roll out patches and virus protection updates in order to respond to and control some vulnerabilities and to get patches out quicker. The security group is leading that effort.

Regarding LEARN, the State of Texas has released $5 million dollars to develop the network infrastructure.  The LEARN Board is having a retreat in El Paso to work out the details of developing the statewide network.    

Philip reported that 75 % of the faculty and staffs’ passwords have been changed to strong passwords; and 20% of students have changed to strong passwords. On December 31st all passwords which have not been changed to strong passwords will expire. Students have been notified in a number of ways.

Philip announced that as the new Director of Academic Computing he will be taking over the Chairmanship of the DCSMT.

Learning Enhancement Planning Group

Brenda Ritz reported for the Learning Enhancement Planning Group that CDL has obtained an annual site license for TurnItIn.  UNT faculty are urged to use this product during this first year of licensing and at the end of the term, if there is enough interest in continuing it, funding will have to come from sources other than CDL.   Dr. Turner asked IRC members to help get the word out about this product.   A UNT TurnItIn.com website is currently under development and will be introduced to the University community in early Spring.

Brenda also reported that there were a total of 18 proposals submitted for the Learning Enhancement Grant Program, requesting $383,784.00.  A 6-person evaluation committee reviewed and scored the proposals.  In order to stretch the $150,000 funding as far as possible, the committee recommended funding only two proposals at 100%; 9 other proposals were awarded funding at some level with 7 proposals not recommended for funding at this time.  Dr. Turner added that anyone interested can view the proposals on the CDL website.

Further, Brenda announced that an award has been established to recognize excellence both in the instructional design of Web-based courseware and the facilitation of the instructional experience using this courseware.  The recipient of the award will receive a plaque and a check for $500, and their course will be identified as an award winner in UNT eCampus.

EIS News

Joneel Harris reported that the loaner equipment Sun Microsystems provided for Fall registration has been replaced with equipment purchased by UNT.  UNT owes a debt of gratitude to Sun for the loan of the equipment, and to CITC for their support in getting the equipment installed and operating.  Joneel stated that grade reporting has gone well and that registration numbers for Spring are up 1% over Fall semester.  There still are major issues to be dealt with but due to functional and technical staff limitations they are not proceeding as quickly as they would like to.  Data warehousing is the most crucial issue in the coming year; and they are developing reports as fast as they can.  They have already submitted an FY'06 budget request to Phil Diebel for additional hardware and other resources in support of data warehousing and constituent relationship management (CRM) which will ultimately replace the student prospecting systems and aid fund raising efforts.  The Cypress product is being tested now, and will be extremely important in the production of reports that can be distributed electronically.  She commented that grades from WebCT will eventually transfer to the EIS grading system.

Cengiz Capan commented that some of his faculty with very large classes complained about the time involved in entering grades.  He asked if eventually the grades would automatically be transferred by WebCT.  Joneel replied that it is the long-term goal to have the grades automatically transferred through WebCT.  Capan also asked if capacity planning is being done.  Joneel replied that the Mercury product they used to test capacity was purchased so that this can be done on a regular basis.  They want to add more monitoring tools to make sure they have adequate support.  They have already submitted a request to the Vice President for additions to hardware components for support of contributor relations.  They are aware, also, that more Storage Area Network is needed.

Wil Clark asked if uploading grades from other sources has been considered and Joneel replied that they would rather transfer grades using WebCT than develop to much with other sources.

Student Computing Planning Group

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported that the Student Computing Planning Group has not met; however, they have had a very successful orientation of 150 new students, compared to only 10 last year.  Also, they have ordered new General Access Lab brochures printed for Spring semester since lab hours have changed.  The Adaptive Lab has purchased a Sorensen Video Relay phone for use by deaf students.  The deaf student can speak in sign language and the phone translates the conversation over internet phone service.

Elizabeth also reported that she has finished putting August theses and dissertations on line and she is ready to begin working on the December ones.

WebCT

Dr. Turner reported that information has been sent out to all concerned that on March 31st a decision will be made of whether to stay with the WebCT product, Vista, or go back to using the Campus Edition version of the product. Tests have been done on Chat, and it seems to be working.  There are a number of unsolved problems with the Vista product, but WebCT has a high level group of people working with UNT to resolve them.  A SWAT team has been formed of representatives of various universities who are using the Vista product, to try and work out the problems.  WebCT has pulled people off of their development team and put them on the product assurance team to help make the product work for UNT.

GALC

Cengiz Capan reported that for the past 15 years he has headed the GALC group, and that Philip Baczewski will be taking over that responsibility now. Cengiz will be working on the committee for Responsibility Center Management in future. He commented that GALC is a good example of Responsibility Center management that has been going on for a long time.

January 18, 2005

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:   PHILIP TURNER, ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, JONEEL HARRIS, JENNIFER LAFLEUR (for DON GROSE), ROBERT NIMOCKS, BRUCE HUNTER, MARGARET AMBUEHL, ANDY NOVAK (for KENN MOFFITT), CHUCK FULLER, PATRICK PLUSCHT, JUDITH ADKISON, KATHY SWIGGER NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:  COY HOGGARD, MAURICE LEATHERBURY, PHILIP BACZEWSKI, SUE ELLEN RICHEY  (Recording Secretary) MEMBERS ABSENT:  JON NELSON, CENGIZ CAPAN, JOHN PRICE, JON NELSON, RAMU MUTHIAH, JIM CURRY, LOU ANN BRADLEY, SANDRA TERRELL, JOE ADAMO, MAX KAZEMZADEH, ABRAHAM JOHN, CHRISTY CRUTSINGER, DOUG MAINS, BOBBY CARTER   

 The minutes of the October 19, 2004, November 16, 2004, and December 21, 2004 meetings were approved as distributed.

IR Steering Committee

The Chair reported that there had been no IR Steering Committee meeting since the last IRC meeting.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team

Phillip Baczewski reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team  that at their last meeting they reviewed the implementation of strong passwords, stating that as of December 31, 2004, any passwords that had not been changed to a strong password were set to expire. To date about 90% of the passwords have been changed to strong ones. More publicity about the need for strong passwords is planned. In addition, DCSMT has a subcommittee to evaluate a variety of different kinds of software that will sync GroupWise to pda’s of various kinds. The subcommittee’s job will be to evaluate, test, obtain pricing and pursue the possibility of obtaining a campus-wide site license for one of the software packages.

Kathy Swigger asked if GroupWise would always be UNT’s email of choice.  Maurice Leatherbury replied that there are no plans to change it at this time.  Patrick Pluscht asked if Intellisync software is being considered as one of the software packages.  Philip replied that Intellisync remains an option, but the expense of Intellisync is one reason that other products are being examined.

Learning Enhancement Planning Group 

Patrick Pluscht reported that the Learning Enhancement Planning Group has not met since the December meeting.  Patrick reported that they plan to announce the grant recipients very soon.  He also reported that training has been completed for 130 to 140 registered users of Turn It In.com and they expect an increase in that number as classes begin.

Kathy Swigger asked if WebCT had the capability to report the number of students enrolled in on-line courses.  Patrick responded that WebCT was not designed to give that kind of report.  Dr. Turner added that there is information available to departments who have applied for the distributed learning funding model that will tell where students live who sign up for on-line courses.

EIS Planning Group 

Joneel Harris reported for the EIS Planning Group that they are working on the issue of reports, which seems to be one of the biggest problem areas.  They are about to attempt to put out their first data warehousing report which will require pulling data from three sources.  They met this week to discuss the use of RDS to create a data mart, because this is critical data for budgeting.  Joneel reported that the loaner equipment Sun let UNT use has been returned and she was glad to report that during the latest registration period its absence was not noticed, even with 4000 students registering on a single day.  With just a slight slow down in response time, things went quite well.  In addition, the grade reporting function went well also.

Margaret Ambuehl reported that Human Resources is also working very hard to try and make more reports more easily available to distributed areas.

 Joneel continued that in the Finance area, the development of the Budget Module is the biggest thing going on.  She was aware of some problems with EPM, which is the budget data warehousing tool.  Also, Contributor Relations has been looking at imaging because of some issues with their current imaging system.  Joneel noted that Mr. Diebel has asked that some of the budget initiatives for the coming year be adjusted to put more emphasis on support in the area of report development.   In response to a question from Kathy Swigger, Joneel stated that she believes the implementation of the EIS system to be at around 75-80% at this time, but pointed out that the finish work and fine tuning on a project of this type goes very slowly.  Joneel introduced Andy Novak, who she explained was hired as part of the project management team, and who has developed a project portfolio management approach, which involves cost benefit analysis for completed projects.    

Joneel continued that data warehousing tools are how they hope to put data into the hands of the people who need it, so that these people can create their own ad hoc reports.  It’s going to be a while before they reach their goal in this area, however.

Student Computing Planning Group

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported for the Student Computing Planning Group that they had recently met with Jesse Davis, President of the SGA, to discuss publicizing the need for strong passwords, which everyone is now required to use.  In addition, the General Access Lab managers are working on better signage for the campus, and they expect to have the new signs up before Spring Break.

WebCT

Dr. Turner reported that work continues with WebCT to resolve all of the outstanding issues with their software product, with an eye toward the March 31 deadline to either go back to the previous campus edition of the software or continue working with Vista.  Discussion followed regarding the specific issue of load balancing with Maurice Leatherbury stating that CITC is trying to get an evaluation model of a new load balancer and will either replace current load balancers or add to them.  WebCT has devoted additional resources to providing help for UNT’s situation, and in addition UNT has formed a group of “heavy user universities” who talk together regularly to share issues and solutions.  Kathy Swigger asked if other products are being looked at, and Dr. Turner replied that if on March 31st they decide not to continue with Vista, then other alternatives will be considered.

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner added that a large sign at the Willis Library will be a campus map that shows all of the labs.  She noted that Willis lab is still the only 24-hour lab, but she hopes there will eventually be another area as desirable as the Willis Library .  Elizabeth also noted that students can access lab availability from the UNT.GAL.edu website.

Patrick Pluscht suggested that UNT look into a toll-free phone conference service for faculty to have conference calls with students.  Since CITC would have to provide this, Maurice Leatherbury said he would check into it.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

 


* For a list of IRC Regular and Ex-officio Members click here.

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.

 

 

 

 

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