Duke ITAC - April 9, 1998 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - April 9, 1998 Minutes


April 9, 1998

Present: Robert Wolpert, John Oates, Roger Loyd, Jason Krevter, John Board, Alvin Lebeck, Betty LeCompagnon, Rafael Rodriguez, Jim Dronsfield, Caroline Nisbet, Paul Harrod, Matt Kotler, Melissa Mills, Jonathan Luebbers, Pakis Bessias, John Sigmon, Brian Eder, Landen Bain, David Jamieson

Guests: Peter Tavernise, Dennis Meredith, Rob Carter, Pat Driver, Kyle Johnson, Shannon Burger

Review of Minutes and Announcements

The minutes of March 26, 1998 were approved with no corrections or additions. No announcements.

Web Committee Report on Duke Home Page

Matt Kotler gave a report from the Duke Web Site Committee (DWSC) on the development of the new Duke home page and web site. The mission, which began as a collaborative effort with Public Affairs, was to redesign the look of Duke's home page and reorganize information into a more readable and accessible format. The subcommittee (DWSC) worked with Renaissance Interactive to bring this about.

The following goals or themes were taken into consideration during the development:

  1. Improve the esthetic quality
  2. Remove the 'laundry list' presentation
  3. Decrease the crowded look
  4. Improve the search interface
  5. Create a dynamic look and feel to the page
  6. Develop a consistent look so that all pages would feel the same
  7. Develop policies for management and updating

A demo of the new site was given. The first page incorporates "rotating" images -- a new image appears with each load of that page (a total of 19 images). ITAC members gave the following feedback on the design:

The majority of the members responded favorably to the overall design, but had some questions about the choice of images--many not representing Duke or some component of Duke in the most desirable manner. It was suggested that when persons come to Duke's site for the first time, the image presented needs to be something consistent with the image Duke wants to portray. With the random image approach, certain images may appear that do not present the preferred image. Matt stressed that the pictures presented were the ones they had and could easily be replaced.

Everyone liked the search interface, which makes it easier to find faculty and students.

A suggestion was made to have an alphabetical listing of all the schools and departments for easier access. Also, the order of levels needs to accurately reflect the organizational structure.

There was some concern about going live before all the information was available. It was acknowledged that all content could not be completed and ready to go live at the same time. After it does go live, there will be opportunity to add content and make adjustments.

A question was raised about the ongoing management and updating of the site. Matt indicated that the committee will be developing these policies.

Betty stated that it was important for the ITAC committee to decide whether we like the look and feel of the web site -- putting aside the issue of the images. There was positive affirmation for the overall design.

The next step for the DWSC committee is to obtain input from the ITAC members in anticipation of a May 1st implementation. The ITAC members were asked to submit input to Dennis Meredith and cc: it to Matt Kotler.

Review Mac Cluster Decision

There has been a policy to upgrade one-third of all computers from each platform each year. Criteria taken into consideration for making the decisions were:

  1. faculty needs regarding instruction
  2. student preferences
  3. costs

Matt Kotler and Jonathan Luebbers brought before the ITAC members "A Resolution of the Duke Student Government" which presented the following "policy statement":

Duke Student Government urges the Office of Information Technology to upgrade one-third of the current Macintosh cluster computers this summer in line with their yearly policy of upgrading one-third of all computers from each platform.

The rationale stated that the multimedia cluster recommended for the Old Chemistry Building would be "at the expense of desperately needed and postponed upgrades to the Macintosh computer clusters." There was unanimous recommendation from the DSG that the Mac clusters be upgraded rather than installing the multimedia clusters.

It was acknowledged that no request has come for multimedia cluster, but there have been requests for scanners. The multimedia cluster was a compromise.

Statements and data were presented that indicated the percentage of students purchasing Macs has declined. Given this fact the question was posed as to how much weight should be given to this kind of upgrade. It was acknowledged that students were the primary users and we need to give serious consideration to their requests.

A motion was made to replace one-third of the Macs in the clusters. Motion carried.

Betty indicated that scanners could also be purchased and installed in selected areas.

Durham Regional Update

Landen Bain gave an update on the acquisition of Durham Regional Hospital. He stated that the Commissioners selected Duke to go into final negotiations and that the deal has not been finalized. Two big issues to be dealt with are:

  1. the need to get their general ledger into SAP. Theirs is not year 2000 compliant.
  2. the need to upgrade their information system

There was discussion about the impact all of this would have on staff as well as the Enterprise Projects--getting them into SAP as soon as possible.

Other Business

David Jamieson made the suggestion that surveys of computer equipment that have been collected from departments be put on an OIT site (in a database of surveys), accessible as needed. Each department would be responsible for updating their information.

Betty asked the committee to send her suggestions for future meetings.

Meeting adjourned at 5:30 pm.

Donna Hewitt