Duke ITAC - October 10, 1996 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - October 10, 1996 Minutes

Information Technology Advisory Council (ITAC)

Minutes, 10/10/96

Members present: Brian Eder, Paul Harrod, Marion Shephard, David Kirby, Evan Scheessele, Robert Wolpert, Tallmon Trask (guest), Betty Le Compagnon, Michael Pickett, Jim Dronsfield, Bill Auld, Alex Reutter, John Board, John Brehm, Jeff Chase, Caroline Nisbet, Landen Bain, Dick Danner, Steven Natelborg, David Jamieson-Drake, Melissa Mills, Kim Woodlief, Annette Foster, John Sigmon


  • Introduction of ITAC members
  • Project managers for Procurement
    • Dick Siemer & Mike Pickett
  • Engineering School accreditation committee praised the wiring project

Remote Access Sub-committee Update

Dave Kirby provided an update of the activities of the RASU. Handout available.

Comments from Tallman Trask

Feels some progress made over the past 12 months to bring Duke up to highest standards in information technology; still considerable way to go

Question and Answer session between ITAC and Trask

John Board Q: Creation of SICC, how do you see SICC & ITAC as informing the process (case study procurement)

A: ITAC more broadly based policy. SICC ensuring ducks lined up (operational sense). Should ensure better relationship between functionality & price. Hopes group will continue to put out statements re: tech policy at Duke.

John Board Q: What is comfort level with tabulation of dependencies?

A: Comfortable with 1st & 2nd order questions - not sure about down the line, but that's probably not doable. SICC has passed the "stupid" question.

David J-D Q: How does how we spend money for IT compare with other schools? Do we spend enough?

A: About right for now. Need to understand if we are okay before additional large increases.

Betty LC Q: Is there enough money to complete major projects, e.g. SIS, H.R., procurement?

A: SIS -- Maybe marginal savings, but doesn't know where it comes from. Procurement -- Probably pay for itself over 2 years H.R -- 80% about bureacracy, only 20% technology. If we can deal with the bureacracy, can pay for in 60 days. Probably cost $1 million/yr now

Betty LC Q: When systems should pay for themselves, does it include infrastructure, etc. (i.e., within OIT budget)?

A: No

Betty LC Q: Where does money come from?

A: Your budget; probably will need to make trade-offs.

Betty LC Q: How do we make those trade-offs?

A: We must now consider total cost to University. Shouldn't drive by letting departments make bad decisions to save money.

Betty LC Q: How can ITAC inform this debate?

A: Promote good and decry stupidity

Melissa M. Q: What components are you talking about (IT, admin, schools, ...)?

A: Reasonably comfortable with global expenditure of money on IT. I have better understanding of administration, only anecdotal info at local school level.

Brian Eder Q: What are your thoughts on centralization vs. decentralization?

A: Centralized things should be centralized, decentralized things should not be. Perhaps some central hardware standards that are broad and mundane. Admin side - centralized applications could drive local units to more centralization or standardization. Not a strong proponent of strong centralized system. Few compelling reasons to centralize academic units.

Landen B. Q: Re SAP, how do we go beyond procurement (i.e. general ledger, fund accounting)?

A: Negiotiated with SAP past procurement; SAP gave us everything else. No commitment to use any of it if it doesn't work. Also have first refusal on medical stuff if ever here. If someone is going to put in a new ledger, make sure to look at SAP. SAP not natively fund accounting based. Before get to ledger, must have chart of accounts and fund accounting workable.

Landen B. Q: Any role for ITAC in PeopleSoft vs. SAP for H.R.?

A: SIC will go out and then report back through ITAC.

End of Question and Answer session with Tallmon Trask. Beginning of general discussion.

Several ITAC faculty members will rotate off at end of December:

  • Need a faculty rep from Fuqua
  • Need a few Arts & Sciences members
  • Need a PACOR rep
Mike P. update on U of Toronto SAP visit
  • Must reengineer processes to use SAP
  • Learned about staffing, timeliness, pitfalls
  • General ledger important - just jump in, but they kept fund accounting
  • because of requirement by province
  • Report writing slow; putting in a new report writer
  • Don't train too early, but train right
Melissa M. asked what is story of Bell South deal?

Jim D. answered that there technical problems; Duke not jumping in. If anyone wants to sign up, contact help desk. Verification of employment is going slow. UNC & NCSU going faster with this deal than Duke.

Meeting adjourned.