Duke ITAC - February 29, 1996 Minutes

ITAC Minutes (2/29/96)

  1. Meeting called to order at 4:10 PM by Robert Wolpert (RW).
  2. No changes to minutes of previous meeting.
  3. Announcements:

    Betty LeCompagnon (BLC) asked for committee members to read and share comments on two items prior to the next meeting: 1) the proposed client/server implementation support model document, and 2) proposed policy recommendations for electronic publishing at Duke. BLC also distributed copies of her memo to DSG and ITAC responding to the DSG proposals to improve student computing.

    Mike Pickett (MP) reminded members of his email futures meeting to be held on March 11 and noted that he hoped that the meeting would be attended by technical staff.

    After discussion, it was agreed that the next ITAC meeting would be held on 3/14/96 as scheduled, although some members are likely to absent because of spring break. [The meeting was cancelled on March 11.]

  4. Interim Report of Strategic Planning Committee

    John Board (JB) reported that the revised version of the Strategic Planning Committee's report was now accessible via the OIT/ITAC web page. Changes from the original posted version include: 1) a clarifying change of title to "Short-term Interim Planning Document"; 2) the addition of explicit hooks to the work of the Student Computing Committee and the Data Committee in the preamble; 3) the addition of a new section on evaluating the progress of the campus rewiring project; 4) revision of the section on off-campus access to include higher speed access, as well as the modem pool; 5) additional comments on the patchwork funding section.

    JB asked for ITAC discussion of stronger language advocating a more aggressive approach to mainframe migration and explicit consideration of single vendor vs. best-of-breed questions. MP noted that stating too aggressive a time frame for migration could create unmeetable expectations because vendor tools may not be mature. A one year timetable would be too short; three years might be possible, but that won't be known until July 1996 when the OIT staff completes its initial plan for mainframe migration. BLC noted that the pace of migration is affected by the pace of the reengineering projects, as well as by technological concerns. David Jamieson-Drake (DJD) pointed out that the statement in the sort-term report does not discuss what applications can be removed from independently from reengineering. BLC noted that the OIT planning group will report on that question.

    JB suggested that his proposed changes to this section of the report indicating that the Committee believes that "a significantly more aggressive schedule is possible" be replaced by the language of the original draft suggesting a "moderately aggressive schedule." This change was moved by Landen Bain (LB), seconded by Melissa Mills (MM) and passed without opposition.

  5. Campus Wiring Project.

    BLC introduced LaVerne Mozinga and Scott Johanns (SJ) of OIT and Jim Roberts (JR) from the Provost's office, and pointed out two handouts describing the step process and procedural guidelines used in the project. JR distributed a draft of a memorandum on financial policies and procedures for the project. BLC noted that implementing the project has been complicated, as the needs of departments and schools are identified, modified and refined during the process. The pace of work in the early buildings was affected by this; with the experience gained there, the rest of the project should go more quickly.

    Marion Shepard described the experiences of the School of Engineering, stressing that all interested parties need to be involved in the process for each building to ensure that the possibly differing interests of departments and administrators are resolved. BLC noted that, while the initial budget estimates and allocations devised for the Board of Trustees were based on numbers of existing telephones, in implementation, the project had changed its scope to attempt to meet anticipated departmental needs without going over budget. MM described the process in early Arts and Sciences buildings, noting that part of the difficulties in implementation stem from the separate funding sources for wiring and electronics. JR stated that his draft memorandum on financial policies and procedures (for the deans) was designed to answer these concerns and asked for ITAC comment on the policies stated there. MM described the difficulties in applying the credit and debit system in a unit as large as Arts and Sciences, when actual needs and costs are determined only on a building-by-building basis as the project proceeds, rather than in advance. After further discussion about the use of the telephone model for initial planning, JB and DJD each stated that it would be appropriate after the first year's experiences to look again at the initial estimates and revise them as needed to carry out the rest of the project.

    SJ stated that the project was meeting its budget so far, but that some buildings, such as Perkins Library, will pose problems as the needs now identified there are much greater than in the original estimate. Steve Natelborg described Perkins's needs for extensive wiring in the stack areas and to carrels to support student computing. LB suggested that Perkins should be considered a special project outside the scope of the campus wiring project. SJ noted concerns about the possible effects of separating Perkins out at this point on overall planning. Dick Danner noted the need to consider any wiring for Perkins in light of possible renovations to the Perkins building.

    BLC suggested that JR report the ITAC discussions regarding Perkins to the Provost for decision on whether Perkins wiring should be excepted from the general wiring project, and recommended proceeding with the policies and procedures for extending the scope of project in individual buildings as described in JR's memo.

    MM raised further concerns about the process for selecting electronics options that are cost effective. Bob Currier (BC) and SJ emphasized the importance of completing their initial survey form to the ultimate success of the process. BLC reinforced the importance of the form as a basis for discussion with faculty and departments. BC stated that he would employ procedures to ensure that effective final decisions are made by end users and would involve himself personally in the process.

  6. Remote Access

    BLC noted that she and LB were initiating a joint campus/medical center project in this area and asked for volunteers or recommendations for a "remote access" subcommittee. BLC and LB will draft a charge.

  7. Adjournment

    By RW at 5:30 PM

Submitted by Dick Danner