Duke ITAC - July 18, 1996 Minutes

Information Technology Advisory Committee

Minutes - July 18, 1996

Present: Bill Auld, Landen Bain, John Board, Annette Foster, Betty Le Compagnon, Melissa Mills, Mike Pickett, John Sigmon, Robert Wolpert and Kim Woodlief
  1. The meeting was called to order at 4:15 p.m. Mike Pickett asked that if there were any comments on the minutes which had recently been distributed by e-mail that the comments be sent to him within a week.
  2. Betty Le Compagnon talked about ITAC's rotating membership. School information technology representatives are permanent, but other members are rotated on a staggered three year basis. The first rotation will be made in January, 1997, and Robert Wolpert is devising a mathematical formula to generate the random rotation. In the short term, two representatives need to be replaced immediately due to sabbaticals: Richard Palmer and Tom Siebert. The Executive Committee of the Academic Council actually makes the appointments, but they ask Betty for her recommendations. Betty requested that suggestions for possible members as immediate or eventual replacements be forwarded to her. There are eight faculty representatives, so two or three faculty replacements will be needed per year.
  3. Betty announced that IBM is interested in partnering with Duke on projects of mutual interest. She has been working with IBM representatives to identify projects. So far, they have been considering using the strategic planning process, the migration plan, and the work process redesign process as areas in which IBM could provide helpful expertise. For example, they could help OIT assess to what extent the offices at Duke are environmentally prepared to migrate to client-server access to information. Another example is help in making hardware specifications for the work process redesign. They are planning a September survey. Janet Pumo, the IBM representative will be at the August 1st ITAC meeting to talk about this. Betty also announced that IBM is offering especially deep discounts on RISC 6000's or larger PC's between now and 12/31/96. If you are interested, check with Betty. Robert Wolpert mentioned that it may be useful to give feedback to IBM that even with their deep discounts, there equipment was still significantly more expensive than comparable equipment from other vendors.
  4. The role of Duke Computer Store was discussed. Betty mentioned that the leadership had recently changed to Jim Rigney. It was anecdotally observed that equipment sold and advice dispensed by the Duke Computer Store was sometimes woefully out of date. It was suggested that the staff be brought into the University's IT community. Membership in CLAC for example may provide useful.
  5. Mike Pickett reported on the migration planning. After the near payroll deadlock last December, we have accomplished a mainframe upgrade. We are working on the 2001 plan that details the costs associated with replacing the mainframe. An exterior consultant is reviewing everything on the mainframe, and everything that must be done to complete the migration. The first step is an analysis of software and strategy for moving everything on it off. A first draft of this is being reviewed by Mike Pickett, Billy Herndon, Betty Le Compagnon and others directly involved. They are aiming on bringing the draft to one of the next one or two ITAC meetings. They are making various assumptions and then testing the validity of those assumptions. The plan is being developed as a tool and as a model to use for future planning. As new information is received, e.g. by the IBM consultants, it will be plugged in.
  6. Mike Pickett reported that we are moving to production release of a distributed IMAP server. A more specific report on the "e-mail migration" will be brought to the next meeting.
  7. The freshman survey was discussed. Part of a larger survey, there are approximately five questions concerning computing which are included. Current questions were reviewed and what kind of information we are interested in obtaining was discussed. The current survey questions will be posted to the ITAC list, and suggestions on wording or other questions would be welcomed by Betty.
  8. The draft "Acceptable Use Guidelines for Computing..." were reviewed and discussed at length. There had been some on-line discussion of rights versus privileges. A law student intern had contributed a recommended set of modifications to the original draft. The question arose whether these were guidelines or a policy. The possibility of drafting both a shorter and more general policy, and a longer and more specific set of guidelines was discussed. It was mentioned that any new University policy would require the Academic Council's approval. The current document is fairly long, and Betty invited anyone with suggestions to forward them to her.
  9. The Administrative Systems and SICC update included general information on the state of negotiations with several vendors. In response to a question about whether we intended to significantly modify code purchased, Mike replied that we were looking to buy products and not modify them significantly. In the future, we plan to modify how we do business more than the products.
  10. Remote Access Subcommittee representative was not present. David Kirby had sent an update by email.
  11. John Board reported that the Strategic Planning Committee intended to have a draft available by the next ITAC meeting.
  12. There was no other business, and the meeting was adjourned at 5:35 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Melissa J. Mills