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IRC News

Minutes provided by Sue Ellen Richey, Recording Secretary*

Committee Graphic

April 15, 2008

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:   PHILIP TURNER, CHAIR, TIM CHRISTIAN, ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, JOHN HOOPER, GARY MATTHEWS, JUDITH ADKISON, RAMU MUTHIAH, SEAN MIKEL-FLOWERS (for JIM BYFORD), WIL CLARK (for JOHN PRICE), LOU ANN BRADLEY, BRUCE HUNTER, BILL JONES NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:   JOE ADAMO, PHILIP BACZEWSKI, SUE ELLEN RICHEY (Recording Secretary) MEMBERS ABSENT:  MAURICE LEATHERBURY, YUNFEI DU, FRANCES MAY, JON NELSON, DON GROSE, NOREEN GOGGIN, PATRICK PLUSCHT, WILL SENN, CENGIZ CAPAN, SCOTT WINDHAM, RAY BANKS, ABRAHAM JOHN, DONNA KEENER GUESTS:  CHARLOTTE RUSSELL

Judith Adkison moved for approval of the minutes of the March 11, 2008 meeting with a correction to the spelling of Wil Clark’s name; Tim Christian seconded the motion, and the minutes were approved as corrected.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team**

Philip Baczewski reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team that they met on April 4, 2008.  Representatives from Hewlett-Packard (HP) were on hand to provide an overview of some of their products which may be of interest to UNT.  They previewed a compact laptop computer which is smaller and lighter than others on the market.  They also provided an overview of the current HP printer line.  Krysta Kaye of CITC Data Communications presented information on the planned upgrade of the campus data network.  The five-year plan will result in the replacement of all data switches on the UNT campuses, with the older switches to be targeted first.  During the first year of this project, switches will be replaced in 20 buildings on campus, however, minimal network down time is expected. Also at this meeting, Philip Baczewski proposed that the new ITSM call tracking system be put into production operation as of May 12, 2008.  This date was accepted by the distributed managers and it was suggested that at least a week be provided to close out tickets in the old Remedy 5 call tracking system. The old system will be unavailable as of May 19, but all tickets from the old system will be available for reference in an archive view within the ITSM application. As an item of old business, Mike Hatch suggested that a group from DCSMT coordinate on  Exchange e-mail management now that a number of areas have made the migration from GroupWise. It was proposed that this idea be discussed at greater length at a future meeting of DCSMT.

Lou Ann Bradley asked for a status report of the Exchange migration.  Tim Christian said that Arts & Sciences is scheduled for May and June.  Judith Adkison reported that Education has completed their migration. Engineering is scheduled to migrate at the end of April. 

Learning Enhancement Planning Group

Dr. Turner reported for the Learning Enhancement Planning Group that the committee has labored diligently on the project to replace or renew WebCT Vista.  They are on track to bring their recommendation to the IRC at the May meeting.

Communications Planning Group

Lou Ann Bradley reported that the Communications Planning Group will meet next Tuesday, April 22, 2008, and discuss VPN.

EIS Planning Group

John Hooper reported for the EIS Planning Group that they are planning for the Financial upgrade which is scheduled for next spring.  They are starting preliminary planning to include the south Dallas campus in the EIS system.  They are about to place an order for more hardware for EIS; it has become apparent that additional memory is needed to improve response time.  The additional hardware is also needed to support a Blackboard/Vista database.  They are also working on a disaster recovery plan, which will involve getting a database machine for the Research Park for backup.  In addition, they are working on increasing the speed of the Cognos reports, and feel they are close to finding the cause of the slowdown.

Standards & Policy Planning Group

Tim Christian reported for the Standards & Policy Planning Group that they are looking at the Project Management Policy and the handbook that goes with it.  They will run this by the DCSMT before bringing it to the IRC, but prior to that they need people to volunteer to use the Project Management program for a project over $10,000 (either an upcoming project, or a completed project).  He asked people to let him know if they want to volunteer.

Student Computing Planning Group

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported for the Student Computing Planning Group that they are finishing up their plans to implement a new student email system.  Microsoft Live has been tentatively chosen, and Elizabeth will be presenting it to the SGA next Wednesday.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 2:20 pm

May 20, 2008 

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:   PHILIP TURNER, CHAIR, TIM CHRISTIAN, ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, JOHN HOOPER, JUDITH ADKISON, JIM BYFORD, LOU ANN BRADLEY, BRUCE HUNTER, BILL JONES, YUNFEI DU, FRANCES MAY, JON NELSON, DON GROSE, PATRICK PLUSCHT, CLEATUS ESTES (for WILL SENN)NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:   MAURICE LEATHERBURY, JOE ADAMO, PHILIP BACZEWSKI, SUE ELLEN RICHEY (Recording Secretary) MEMBERS ABSENT:  JOHN PRICE, RAMU MUTHIAH, GARY MATTHEWS, NOREEN GOGGIN, CENGIZ CAPAN, SCOTT WINDHAM, RAY BANKS, ABRAHAM JOHN, DONNA KEENER, SEAN-MIKEL FLOWERS GUESTS:  CHARLOTTE RUSSELL, JANE HIMMEL, RICH ANDERSON

Tim Christian moved for approval of the minutes of the Tuesday, April 15, 2008 IRC meeting; Don Grose seconded the motion and the minutes were approved as distributed.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team**  

Philip Baczewski reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team that they met on May 2, 2008.  This meeting featured a discussion regarding DCSMT membership and communication issues between distributed managers and the CITC.  Some managers expressed that it was unclear who to call for certain issues related to central systems.  Distributed managers were encouraged to call the CITC Helpdesk if they had a question regarding campus IT systems.  Philip Baczewski agreed to do further investigation regarding membership issues and to investigate possibilities for using the DCSMT website as a more comprehensive communications channel for distributed managers.  Also at that meeting, Philip Baczewski reminded managers that the new ITSM 7 call tracking system would be made live to customers on May 12, 2008. He demonstrated the "Broadcasts and Outages" and "Resolved Outages" links on the itsm.unt.edu web site which open calendar views of campus-wide outage and broadcast notifications.  Philip Baczewski thanked Chris Strauss and Don McClure for their work on the ITSM application.  Special commendation was directed to Richard Sanzone for his work on the Kinetic service request items to be used by IT customers and to Mac Edwards for his development of items in the knowledge base that is integrated into ITSM 7.

DCSMT again met on May 16, 2008. Vonn Miller and Ken Gray from Apple Inc. were on hand to provide information on recent updates to the MacBook line of laptop computers and to provide an overview of running other operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, on Apple hardware.  Also at that meeting, distributed managers discussed the need for an IT Help Center service item to allow a supervisor to request modifications to a computer account for their employees, including making a request to provision an account for new employees.  Richard Sanzone agreed to create the service request item for the IT Help Center and then accept feedback from distributed managers regarding features needed for such a request. It was mentioned that there was often considerable delay in getting an EUID created for new employees and it was agreed that this issue should be reexamined if possible by a broader group, since there have been key personnel changes in a number of areas supporting this process.  Also at that meeting, Charlotte Russell provided an update on the Computer Access Modification System that will notify IT support staff when an employee’s computer access needs to be modified or revoked.  The system will be pilot tested within the CITC this summer and should be available to the entire campus by August.

DCSMT is next scheduled to meet on June 6.

LMS Evaluation Project

Patrick Pluscht presented the final report on the LMS Evaluation Project, which was electronically distributed about 3 weeks prior to the meeting so that everyone would have time to review it and be ready to vote on the issue today.  This final report fulfills the charge to investigate a replacement for the WebCT Vista product, and recommends the adoption of the BlackBoard Vista product.  In view of the need for a timely decision on this matter, Patrick moved for a suspension of the rules of order, which would allow for a vote on this recommendation on the same day it is presented.  Tim Christian seconded the motion to suspend the rules and the motion passed unanimously.

Patrick Pluscht moved for approval of the report as presented; Jon Nelson seconded the motion; and it passed by a unanimous vote.

Patrick distributed another document which detailed additional recommendations regarding the renewal of UNT’s contract with Blackboard, Inc. The document was a memorandum to Maurice Leatherbury and Tom McElwee from Jane Himmel, in which she notes important criteria to be included in the contract with Blackboard when it is re-newed.  This was presented as an information item only.

Communications Planning Group

Lou Ann Bradley reported for the Communications Planning Group that the committee met and received an update on VPN noting that it should be out this summer.  The committee discussed the wireless network noting that it was initially installed as a convenience for students, but that it has become the network of choice for many, to the point that it has become very slow.  They are preparing a white paper on the wireless network.  Joe Adamo added that there are new developments in the wireless field, but that have not yet been certified, so they do not want to be too quick to adopt them.  He explained that this is a big issue and they are looking into it.  When questioned about the possibility of adding more nodes to help the speed of connection, Joe replied that if there is a need for more nodes by any department, that department just needs to make that request to CITC Communications/Datacom.

EIS Planning Group

John Hooper reported for the EIS Planning Group that they are continuing to plan for the financial upgrade that will occur next Spring, and have hired consultants to help with that.  John also noted that in their work on increasing the speed of running Cognos budget reports, they have found that Cognos runs a lot faster under Windows, so they are going to try to move in that direction.

Standards & Policy Planning Group

Tim Christian reported for the Standards & Policy Planning Group that they are continuing to review the Project Management Policy and handbook.

Microsoft Exchange Live

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner presented Microsoft Exchange Live at the SGA meeting on April 23rd, and said that it was warmly received. Students had some questions about whether or not it works on Macs and about forwarding capability, but overall were enthusiastic about it.  Elizabeth said that some of the system engineers will come here next week to help the Messaging Team set it up.  When asked when it will be available, Elizabeth stated that alumni accounts for 2008 graduates will first be provisioned; on June 19th Freshman orientation will be in the system. URCM will have a campaign to have people switch over and the target for shutting down the Eagle mail system would be January 2009.  New graduate student accounts would be provisioned in Fall of 2008.

IT Advisory Committee

Maurice Leatherbury presented the restructuring of the IT Advisory Committee for discussion.  He gave a quick summary of the policy which will establish two advisory committees for IT on campus.  This Council will be called IT Council with not much change in the present membership.  The policy also reconstitutes the IR Steering Committee which was organized by the Provost and made up of Vice Presidents and the Chair of the IRC.  The policy expands the membership to include some Vice Presidents, Deans, and several others.  He explained that this will be a much broader committee than the old IR Steering Committee used to be.  The IT Steering Committee (ITSC) will be a high level advisory committee that will help to shape the whole direction of IT on campus.  Under the Project Management policy it will have responsibility to approve projects over a certain threshold amount.  The IT Planning Groups will have a hand in approving IT projects.  Maurice’s presentation served as a motion for approval.  Tim Christian made a friendly amendment to the motion which changed the composition of the ITSC to only the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Chief Technology Officer, the Vice President for Research, the Vice President for Finance, and the ITC Chair.  Lou Ann Bradley seconded the motion.  Maurice explained that he had originally proposed the broader representation in order to obtain more participation on decisions to make changes that are adopted campuswide.  Tim Christian then offered a second friendly amendment which proposed that like all other divisions represented on the ITC, that Enrollment Management be granted only one representative.  Since there was no further discussion, and Maurice accepted both amendments offered by Tim Christian, the Chair called for the question and the motion passed unanimously.  This recommendation will now be taken up the ranks for approval as an official policy.

Maurice Leatherbury reported that his committee is making rather slow progress on the desktop replacement plan.  He has met with a partial committee but the decision was that since all of the data was not available they would put off meeting anymore until complete data was available and the financial implications of the plan could be investigated.  The CITC staff is working on that at the present time.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

 


* For a list of IRC Regular and Ex-officio Members click here (updated 3/14/08).

**DCSMT Minutes can be found 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. The schedule can be found here. All meetings of the IRC, its program groups, and other committees, are open to all faculty, staff, and students.


 

 


Originally published, June 2008 -- Please note that information published in Benchmarks Online is likely to degrade over time, especially links to various Websites. To make sure you have the most current information on a specific topic, it may be best to search the UNT Website - http://www.unt.edu . You can also search Benchmarks Online - http://www.unt.edu/benchmarks/archives/back.htm as well as consult the UNT Helpdesk - http://www.unt.edu/helpdesk/ Questions and comments should be directed to
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