Duke ITAC - May 22, 1997 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - May 22, 1997 Minutes

ITAC Minutes

May 22, 1997

Attending: Ginny Cake, Craig Casey, Chris Cramer, Bob Currier, Dick Danner, Jim Dronsfield, Al Eldridge, John Eisenmenger, Annette Foster, David Ferriero, Dave Kirby, Betty Le Compagnon, Paula Loendorf, Roger Loyd, Melissa Mills, Caroline Nisbet, George Oberlander, Michael Pickett, Alex Reutter, John Sigmon, Phil Verghis, Roy Weintraub, Robert Wolpert

The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m.

Review of Minutes and Announcements

The minutes were approved as posted.

Betty Le Compagnon and Robert Wolpert welcomed the newest member of ITAC, Roy Weintraub, Professor of Economics. Roy is taking Tom DiPrete's place and serving a full three year term.

ITAC Terms and Appointments

After introductions all around, Betty gave a re-cap of the appointment terms and expiration dates of current faculty appointments. Robert Wolpert mentioned that the initial terms of faculty appointments had been set on a calendar year basis. This is inconvenient for ITAC operations. Betty and Robert asked if there would be any objection to shifting all terms forward so that they ended at the end of a fiscal year. There was no objection, and the matter will be taken up with the Academic Council, which makes the appointments.

IT Vision Concept Papers Update

Betty reviewed that the concept papers were prepared at the request of the senior officers to provide formal policy statements on specific areas of high priority and interest. Concept papers are being prepared on Remote Access, Desktop Renewal, Administrative Systems and IT in Teaching and Learning.

The current status of the concept papers is as follows:

The Remote Access concept paper is being prepared by ITAC's Remote Access Subcommittee. A report from the committee is on the agenda of today's meeting.

The Administrative Systems paper is done and was distributed to all attending.

The concept paper on technology and teaching and learning is being prepared by a committee working with Al Eldridge as part of an IT in Teaching and Learning planning grant. Al has provided a summary paper (distributed to those attending) describing the approach he is taking.

Janis Curtis is heading the team working on the Desktop Renewal concept paper, which includes support and replacement cycles of desktop equipment. A preliminary paper is expected in mid-June.

Remote Access Subcommittee Report

Dave Kirby reported on the work of the Remote Access Subcommittee. He reviewed the summary recommendations found on page 5 of the report (distributed). He then asked for comments and questions.

Melissa Mills said that she had received requests over time from faculty for an 800 number to the modem pool. Mike Pickett mentioned that the current availability of Internet Service Providers (ISP's) with nationwide distribution of local phone numbers may help meet that need. Jim Dronsfield pointed out that both cost and a heightened security risk accompany adoption of an 800 number.

Third party solutions for high speed modem connections will be increasingly available. GTE's ADSL roll out for commercial use is now scheduled for November. Fee is thought to be between $30-$50 per month. Time Warner may be offering services soon via cable modem.

Issues regarding use of 3rd party ISP's include the need to maintain the Duke-restricted access to licensed resources, e.g. library software; and appropriate access to these resources by Duke community members via 3rd party ISP's. There is also the issue that some Duke community members live outside of the areas that will be provided access via these vendors.

Meanwhile, modem pool use continues to grow, but it is not clear that the usage is related to Duke University and Hospital business. How will we handle this? Betty asked if we could make a recommendation that would inform senior officers of needs and priorities.

Phil Verghis reported that he has done a survey of the modem pool access policies of some of our sister institutions. This report is available at


He also mentioned that a large percentage of Help Desk phone calls are related to modem pool use.

Dave Kirby referred us to the breakdown of modem pool usage statistics on page 7 of the report. He noted that the Medical Center users constituted the largest portion of the 55% overall usage of Graduate/Professional students category. This was followed by Fuqua and Law. The next highest category is faculty and staff, Arts and Sciences being the high here. Overall, 400 of the 1,000 sample were Medical Center users.

Melissa noted that the modem pool serves as a valuable resource to many faculty and staff in Arts and Sciences who use it legitimately to continue their work from home to check e-mail or transfer relatively small files. The central modem pool provides a service that would be costly to provide either through payments to ISP's or implementation of separate modem pools. Cost savings from discontinuing the current modem pool would not easily be available to offset the decentralized costs. Since the problem seems to be a continuing growth in use with some sense that the bulk of the growth is not related to University business, would is be feasible to ask schools/departments to "certify" or "authorize" users for modem pool access?

Network Committee Report

John Eisenmenger said the report was still being worked on. The on-line version is available for review at

Comments can be mailed to the subcommittee at dukenet@cs.duke.edu.

John reviewed the major categories the paper was covering. Michael Pickett asked if members could review the revised paper on line, and the paper be presented to ITAC at its next meeting in two weeks.

Duke IT Salary Survey Update

Betty reported on the status of the IT salary survey. The preliminary findings of the Sibson Company review show that Duke's IT salaries are between 9% to 16% below the median. The former is relative to national salaries, and the latter to salaries in the Research Triangle area. The cost to rectify this is estimated at $250K/year in Arts and Sciences, $800K/year in OIT and $900K/year in the Medical Center. Betty reported that while funding is not available in one block to address the this, Dr. Trask has been very supportive in allowing flexibility in the current salary/wage structure to address specific problems.

The next step in the process, reviewing the job titles and descriptions within the computing job families will be the more complicated. Betty is setting up a meeting with the IT representatives of the schools and others interested in the issue. Please let Betty know.

Roy Weintraub suggested that the resource problem relative to median salaries may be an issue that PACOR should address.

Other Business

The Duke Home Page Committee has not yet been formalized, due in large part to lack of sufficient faculty representation. The committee is supposed to advise on policy matters relative to the Duke Home Page...how do we use the home page? ...who has links there? ...how is it organized? ...etc. John Eisenmenger said that if we're going to maintain a state of the art home page, we will have to put some money into it. Right now, those responsible for doing it or doing it as an add-on to operational support of thousands of users.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.