Duke ITAC - August 13, 1998 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - August 13, 1998 Minutes


August 13, 1998

Present: Rafael Rodriguez, Betty Le Compagnon, Robert Wolpert, Jim Dronsfield, John C. Collins, Bob Currier, John Board, Kevin Cheung, Jimmy Grewal, Melissa Mills, Roger Loyd, John Oates, Ken Hirsh, Pakis Bessias, Ed Anapol, John Sigmon, Rob Carter, Charles Register, Caroline Nisbet, Dawn Hails, David Jamieson-Drake, Donna Hewlett, Ginny Cake, Nevin Fouts, David Ferriero, Paul Baerman

The meeting was called to order at 4:05 p.m.

Review of Minutes and Announcements

Ed Anapol made an amendment to the minutes concerning the Year 2000 compliance status of the University payroll system. With 18 months of work and testing completed, the system is very close to being completely Year 2000 compliant. The minutes were approved as amended.

A special welcome back was extended to Charlie Register.

John Collins, most recently from Rutgers, was introduced as a new employee in OIT, with the title of Director of Strategic Technology Planning. He will be working half-time on the high speed network initiative, together with Bob Currier. John is also working half-time on these initiatives with MCNC.

GTE's ADSL implementation at Duke is still in the equipment installation stage. It's taking a little longer than was expected, but progress continues to be made.

SISS Update

David Jamieson-Drake announced that over the fall, the Admissions and Financial Aid modules will go up live. In May, 1999, other systems will go live, and then the old mainframe, legacy systems will be switched off by Fall, 1999.

Dawn Hails gave an update on the Admissions modules. With eight different schools with different admissions systems, there is complexity to the process. Duke is using PeopleSoft modules on the new SISS system, and these modules have covered just about all of the data fields that all eight admissions systems require.

Dawn said the new systems may seem slower than what people are used to. John Board asked if she could elaborate on what is slower. Dawn said that it may not really be slower, but just seem slower, because the information is spread out over several screens, where users may have been used to seeing information on just one screen.

David Jamieson-Drake noted that there is a tremendous institutional benefit because the system will create savings across the University by eliminating the need for redundant entry and reconciliation of different systems.

Jim Dronsfield asked if this system moved us closer to on-line applications. Dawn said that, yes, it does. The target date for on-line admissions applications is Fall, 1999.

MCNC Projects

Bob Currier explained that the members of the Triangle universities particularly Duke, UNC-CH and NCSU, have been investing tremendous amounts of time working with MCNC on the North Carolina Network Initiative (NCNI). Some vendors such as Nortel and Cisco are also joint sponsors. MCNC received funding for five 1/2 time positions (using portions of people at the institutions). Bob Currier and John Collins are the two 1/2-time people from Duke.

Bob Currier stated the goals of the NCNI for 1998-99.

  1. Establish a leading-edge research network
  2. Foster new research areas Develop process and procedures to transition leading-edge technology to production
  3. Establish a plan to increase the visibility of NCNI and the research and education community over the next three years
  4. Establish a seminar/education series for the community
  5. Develop a long-term strategic plan for NCNI

John Collins added that the vendors are motivated not only by our research capabilities, but by their need for a qualified workforce. In some sense, they want us to develop curriculum for today's students, graduate and post-graduate programs for students that they can take back to industry.

John Sigmon asked if Oak Ridge was part of the consortium.

Bob Currier said that he'd look into it.

John Collins said that he believed that Oak Ridge was part of VBNS, and VBNS has been the basis of Internet 2, and will have feeders into it, so will be part of this.

Robert Wolpert asked where are the bottlenecks at our end, on campus. Bob responded that we have fairly large pipes going in and out, and they are well-used, but there's still capacity. There are pockets of people still on shared ethernet. In the 10/100 segments, as utilization rises, there are potential bottlenecks once you reach the 100 megabit FDDI ring. Bob said that he is keeping an eye on it, and as bottlenecks emerge, the network has been structured in such a way that modular upgrades are possible.

John Collins suggested that if people needed more bandwidth, it would be good for them to come forward.

Robert Wolpert asked who the early Abilene participants are. Bob was not sure of all of them, but mentioned University of Arizona as one, and University of Indiana runs the Network Operations Center (the NOC). Duke and the Triangle Universities preferred to be the test site, named the "transitional center."

It was suggested that an informed article on Internet2 and Abilene be published in the Duke Chronicle.

David Jamieson-Drake asked when we will see Internet2. Bob answered that if you have off-campus applications, let us know.

John Sigmon had identified a group of faculty in the School of the Environment that would start using the gigabit network right away.

Back to School Activities

Ginny Cake distributed a calendar of key events and services that OIT will offer to students, in-coming and returning, this fall semester. Activities include

  1. Student Orientations and Information Sharing
  2. Student Computing Freshman Orientation
  3. Student Software Distribution; Telephone
  4. Paging and Cable TV Services; and SWAT

Much of this will be taking place during Freshmen Orientation, so the material included in the Freshman Computing Orientation is being kept to a minimum time allotment with extra time set aside for those who have extra questions and would like to stay longer.

John Sigmon asked how were we letting other offices and programs at Duke know about the Freshman Orientation, and emphasized that it's important to coordinate. This is being done.

David Jamieson-Drake said that there is an orientation for pre-major advisors on August 24th. It may be helpful to include information on what is being covered in the Freshman Computing Orientation.

Ginny clarified that they had worked very closely with Student Affairs to avoid conflicts with the mandatory orientation events. They will be holding 90 sessions at non-conflicting times. They are asking for volunteers to help staff the sessions, most of which are during evening and weekend hours.

A copy of the very attractive, new SWAT CD-ROM that will be distributed to all students was passed around.

A pilot project this fall is a satellite Help Desk to support students out of the Brown cluster on East Campus, and out of a Perkins cluster on West Campus. OIT will be reviewing and assessing the success of this undertaking.

Betty thanked Ginny for all of the work she's put into these projects.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:20 p.m.