Duke ITAC - May 7, 1999 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - May 7, 1999 Minutes


May 7, 1999

Attending: Ed Anapol, Pakis Bessias, John Board, Kevin Cheung, Nevin Fouts, Patrick Halpin, Donna Hewitt, David Jamieson-Drake, Betty Leydon, Melissa Mills, Caroline Nisbet, George Oberlander, Lynne O'Brien, Mike Pickett, Rafael Rodriguez, John Sigmon

Guests: Bob Currier, Bill Marchese, Ginny Cake, Neal Paris, Charlie Register

Review of Minutes and Announcements:

  • Minutes of the April 22, meeting accepted without revision.
  • Charlie Register will be Duke University's "Agent". In this capacity, as delineated by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, Charlie will be Duke's liaison to organizations raising copyright issues with any segment of the University. In particular, the RIAA (the Recording Industry Association of America) may be contacting Charlie with regard to copyrighted music that members of the Duke community have converted to MPEG3 format and are offering as free downloads. Charlie will be called upon to deal with cases of ongoing copyright infringement.
  • Lynne O'Brien elaborated on the new process for awarding grants for instructional technology projects. Small grants ($5,000 and under) involve modest projects in this area. Large grants (up to $50,000) involve major, innovative projects. May 17th is the "soft" deadline for the first screening of applicants. Monthly reviews and awards will follow thereafter. Approximately $150,000 is available in grants.

"Year 2000" Bug Discussion

Neal Paris has replaced Annette Foster as Duke's Y2K Compliance Officer. Neal gave a concise review of the current status of Y2K remediation efforts at Duke. The Keane consulting group has been engaged by the Medical Center to review contingency plans for 12 University departments whose continued functioning is critical to the institution at large. Keane consultants will be on campus for 2.5-3 weeks. Other interested departments can share in the methods and findings of this effort.

Duke's Police Dept. will establish a Y2K command post.

Mike Pickett discussed his feelings about the importance of contingency planning and also pointed out that media-inspired hysteria could cause supply problems independently of Y2K causes. He also pointed out that legal (liability) issues lead vendors to make more conservative claims for Y2K readiness than they otherwise would.

In response to a question about developing a contingency plan to cover many or all university departments, Neal pointed out that it was the responsibility of each department to develop their own contingency plan, though aid from other departments might be forthcoming.
Betty pointed out that departments should make contingency plans as general as possible and not try to anticipate every detailed cause. Each department has to determine their own course of action in the face of an emergency.

IT Support Update


    Betty thanked the ITAC membership for their efforts and especially in disseminating important information to their constituencies

    A special thank you was given to Jimmy Grewal.

    • Support and deployment for enterprise applications; expanding DUNK to help in this area and providing consistent and reliable notification of service outages
    • Developing partnerships between departmental tech staff and 2nd level support. This allows bypassing the Help Desk that, in certain cases, yields faster problem resolution.
  2. Ginny Cake reviewed decisions and results taken in light of proposals made to improve IT support. Satellite help desk support (at the Perkins and Brown clusters) has been very successful. The computer literacy program had a mandatory 30-minute segment to which a security segment has been added this year. John Board criticized this 30-minute format, claiming undue compression of information. Ginny responded by explaining the difficulty of presenting anything to an audience of widely varying computer skills. She suggested adding an additional session for those who need more time to digest the material and ask questions.

    No action has been taken on the proposal to investigate computer literacy testing.

    Expanded end user training will require 6 learning labs; 4 have been identified.

    Regarding the proposal for a "training cooperative", where people interested in sharing training efforts, and etc., Ginny put out a call for interested parties.

    Regarding the proposal for "at home" computer support, Micro Age is now providing this service for $75/hr. No statistics on usage of this service are currently available.

    The proposal for IT tech staff training has not found root. Each department with such staff has been dealing with this issue individually.

    For the coming academic year, Ginny mentioned the following initiatives:

    David Jamieson-Drake initiated a discussion about employing CBT. Ginny demurred, suggesting that a culture change was necessary for this and that, at least for now, instructor-led training is best in a lab environment. Bill Marchese thought standard CBT offerings would allow price leverages for multiple departments.

    Other Business

    The meeting adjourned at 5:00 PM.