Duke ITAC - June 20, 1996 Minutes

Information Technology Advisory Committee


June 20, 1996

Mike Pickett circulated several sets of minutes via e-mail. He requests any comments or corrections be sent to him by e-mail.


Mike introduced David Kirby who is here to give an overview of the remote access subcommittee.

The library is proposing to use Adobe's Acrobat .pdf (portable document file) reader software to distribute reserved readings etc. over the network. Mike distributed a draft copy of the proposal. Since it's draft the proposal won't be distributed electronically per our usual rule; contact Jesse Eversole for a copy if desired.

Mac loans for BPA/Position Management designed to compensate for the slowness of PowerMac clients will be "rolled out" soon. A new version of BPA/PM will run on PowerMacs in native mode and will be released by fall or winter 1996/97.

Richard Palmer is going on sabbatical. He has been a staunch supporter of faculty perspectives on IT issues. Robert requested suggestions for someone to serve in his stead.

1. Acceptable Use Guidelines for Computing - Mike Pickett

Mike circulated a draft copy of "Acceptable Use Guidelines for Computing and Other Electronic Resources at Duke University," *not intended for distribution.* "Best of breed" ideas were incorporated from other institutions; this is a "mom/apple pie" document intended to be very clear. Mike requested we take this home and review, look for issues that may be missing or could be stated better. There was no discussion, since we haven't read it yet; Mike will be circulating this electronically.

2. Remote Access Subcommittee presentation - David Kirby

David first reviewed the charge and composition of the committee, and briefly characterized the "agendas" each member brought to the table.

Committee outcomes: deliver a report to ITAC by 10/31/96, in time for the next budget cycle; educate committee members; foster institutional consensus on approach to these issues.

Committee process: rough consensus rather than unanimity; use subgroups to consider objective issues, whole group for policy issues; try out options rather than conceptual focus only; do some long term planning in this area.

Committee activities will include some surveying, more videoconferencing than travel; resource needs for the committee include funds for travel and clerical support in addition to the time dedicated by the committee members.

Issues identified so far: defining what remote access is; identifying user types and constituencies; defining near term (1-2 years) and long term (3+ years); identifying problems with current means of remote access.

Subcommittee membership and focuses were reviewed. Several suggestions were made for balancing the various subcommittees to make them more inclusive of faculty interests. Concern was raised about likelihood this will provoke a strong response from vendors, and the need to coordinate Duke's response to this response was expressed; David said they're ready for this and feel it will benefit Duke to have a committee representing broad needs as this one does.

David asked for input on the process. We asked that minutes from meetings be posted on a Web site, and for David to provide periodic reports to allow ITAC the opportunity to "meddle" (RLW word). DJDrake asked for demos as well as reports where the committee felt that would be appropriate; David Kirby agree that would be a good idea. RLWolpert asked how soon we could seen 1mb/10mb/100mb to home; David indicated high likelihood of something happening within six months or so. David added costs as well as benefits will be addressed. RLWolpert also asked that infrastructure issues that may be affected by remote access be considered.

3. Strategic planning committee update - Mike Pickett

Mike Pickett indicated a report will be ready in late July.

4. Update on SICC (Systems Integration Coordinating Committee) - Mike Pickett

Larger group led by Tallman Trask has met twice, core team led by Mike Pickett has met 4 times. Currently Procurement is being considered. SCS's product was preferred by Procurement reengineering team, SAP is also being considered. Pros and cons from systems integration standpoint were reviewed. Gartner group data is also being factored in in each case. SCS's downside is that it's small, with few true client/server implementations. SAP's downside is its close integration to its general ledger product, making it undesirable to install procurement module without the GL; also no major educational institution installations. SAP's "black eye" with MIT makes them eager to deal with Duke to recoup their reputation. Core team will present several scenarios with pros and cons to the steering committee on 6/26.

A discussion arose around the scope of SICC's considerations. As a result of this discussion, ITAC recommends the following:

"The university should take a wholistic approach to the acquisition of financial/logistic systems (including the general ledger, procurement, accounts payable, material support, payroll, bursar), to avoid the hidden costs that a piecemeal approach to acquisitions would bring. By wholistic we do not mean single vendor, but rather an emphasis on interoperability."
This motion carried unanimously.

5. OIT oversight committees - Mike Pickett

Several areas of OIT activity have been identified which could use oversight. Mike suggests these oversight groups be largely populated by non-ITAC members to distribute the workload and help identify potential ITAC members. Mike requests that suggested members for such groups be sent to him.

Other Business

Adiylah Carter was introduced by Landen as an MCIS intern.

Anne Beckwith asked for further info on the shared server idea and was referred to Suzanne Maupin or Neal Paris.

No meeting in two weeks; next meeting is July 18.