Duke ITAC - September 9, 1999 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - September,9 1999 Minutes


September,9 1999

Attending: Pakis Bessias, John Board, Dick Danner, Jim Coble (for David Ferriero), Nevin Fouts, Pete Goswick, Alan Halachmi, Patrick Halpin, John Harer, David Jamieson-Drake,Betty Leydon, Roger Loyd, Melissa Mills, Kyle Johnson (for Caroline Nisbet), George Oberlander, Lynne O'Brien, Mike Pickett, Rafael Rodriguez, Leslie Saper, Clark Smith, Robert Wolpert

Guests: Suzanne Maupin

Review of Minutes and Announcements:

  • Minutes of the previous meeting accepted without revision.
  • John Board mentioned the need to continue looking into issues with residential voicemail.
  • Rafael Rodriguez mentioned that DSL would be ready for continued deployment next week. He also commented that he had been contacted by Time-Warner to investigate the feasibility of bringing cable-modem access back into the Duke network.

Instructional Technology Update

Lynne O'Brien started by circulating a handout which contained information on the Spring 1999 Instructional Technology Computing Grant. The handout also contained information on the process, the successes, failures, and information on awarded grants. Lynne spoke about the purpose of the grants and that each proposal was reviewed by the CIT (Center for Instructional Technology) Advisory Board. Lynne mentioned that this past year there were two rounds of review in order to allow for some timing and information issues.
Patrick Halpin interjected that the timing of last year's proposal deadline was inconvenient, at best.
Lynne responded by assuring everyone that the time would be adjusted this year.

Lynne spoke about the grants that had been approved last year. Twenty-four of thirty-four submitted grants received funding, totaling $173,000. Specifically, there was one $50,000 grant and two $25,000 grants.

Lynne then spoke about issues which had arisen in the past year which were going to be addressed. She began the topic with a discussion of the timing issues last year, and said that the deadlines this year would be moved to coincide with the end of Spring Vacation. She raised the issue of defining what the goals for CIT are. In particular, should CIT award a few large grants, or many small grants? Lynne felt that the middle ground, if attainable, was desired. Another issue, which Lynne spoke of, was the need to write adequate, convincing proposals. Lynne commented that many faculty did not follow the proposal guidelines closely in preparing project proposals. A number of faculty indicated to her that they needed assistance with preparing a project proposal.

Lynne continued to address issues from the past year stating that in order to assess the value of proposals, CIT required a letter of endorsement from either the chair of the department or the dean. Lynne mentioned that she received several letters which were at odds. That is, the dean would endorse, but the chair would not, and so forth. Lynne suggested that there would be a need to define who should really be the endorser.

Another issue which Lynne thought was important to note was that most of the proposals didn't include meaningful assessment methods. She felt that to adequately justify funding, information needed to be provided after the grant for both the CIT and the faculty member to gather information on its success.

Lynne also addressed the issue of support staffing. She stated that many of the proposals budgeted for student help. At that point John Board remarked that it was generally the case that faculty thought they could pay a low hourly wage and get qualified help. John continued to explain why that wasn't realistic. Lynne agreed and said that, in general, her hope was that the initial grant would be enough to get a good foundation, both in the actual project, and its support. At that point, Lynne felt that the projects should seek external funding. That is, the CIT grants would be a convenient means by which faculty would be able to setup "pilot programs" for soliciting external funds.
John also commented that while there were no formal grant proposals from Engineering, the Engineering faculty had an Instructional Technology program with Lynne. John said that all of those who attended the workshop received new laptops. He estimated that roughly 25% of the faculty participated.

Betty Leydon asked for more specific information about who really benefits from the grants and who they are aimed towards. She asked if there were effective means by which CIT could get accurate feedback from faculty. Finally, Betty asked if CIT had set some expectations for itself and the projects to which it granted funds.
Lynne replied that this first year was a test, getting a comfort level with the projects and the types of programs. She said that we should be reminded that since CIT deals with evolving technologies, CIT is aiming at a moving target.

John Board asked what the largest grant was.
Lynne said there was one $50,000 and two $25,000 grants.

Betty Leydon asked if there should be more money set aside for CIT Grants.
Lynne responded that UNC had spend close to two million dollars on such grants last year.

Melissa Mills related that the support issue needed much attention. There is a need to discuss where Duke is with instructional technology and where it wants to go. In such a conversation, the issue of support could be addressed. Support becomes a question of how much money we want to put into it. Melissa noted that, at minimum, there should be a support person who maintains a certain level of quality across each of the granted projects.

Nevin Fouts reminded the committee that the impact of information technology isn't isolated to a specific project. The University infrastructure, class space and allocation, and application requirements needed to be kept in mind.
Lynne O'Brien replied that she has anticipated some of these costs, and in fact had to turn away some proposals because of concerns whether or not the grant funds would be sufficient to address such issues.

David Jamieson-Drake suggested that the information collected this year in CIT should be posted on the web.

Betty Leydon expressed concerns that the CIT might fail if CIT's budget remained under-funded and clarification of CIT's purpose weren't made to the faculty.

George Oberlander commented that since the methods of education have changed, and continue to change, CIT might find it necessary to constantly redefine its purpose and goals.
Melissa Mills agreed that it would be important for CIT to be clear and explicit about its purpose and benefits.

Lynne O'Brien commented that what CIT would become depends wholly on what Duke wants to be unique and useful about its CIT.

Melissa Mills suggested that CIT define what it does and inform the faculty. She suggested that CIT include information about how it is helping in the new methods of pedagogy.

Advertising on Web Sites

Robert Wolpert opened the floor for discussion, mentioning that the discussion was meant as a prelude to a future discussion.

John Board asked for clarification on the context.

Nevin Fouts said that one major separation would be between intra- and extra-nets. He felt that it was inappropriate to advertise on the extra-net.

Numerous members of the committee mentioned the Midwest ad on the HR homepage.

A question about taxes was posed. Duke is non-profit, so would advertising compromise Duke's tax exempt status?

Several members of the committee expressed concern about information privacy and demographic information that would be given to the advertisers.

In general, there was a hesitance to degrade the "Duke Brand" with advertisements.

LDAP Directory Prototype

LDAP (http://www.oit.duke.edu/da/ldap-ph/) was demonstrated by Suzanne Maupin.

Currently Ph information is propagated into LDAP for testing purposes. Suzanne mentioned that LDAP would allow for a common address book, as LDAP integrates into Netscape Mail, Microsoft Outlook, Pine 4.x, and Lotus Notes 5.0.

Immediately there was concern about the use of a "DirKey".
Suzanne explained that the DirKey was unique to LDAP, and used for internal indexing. Several people suggested that the DirKey be removed from, output since it had no practical value.

Suzanne mentioned that LDAP would have the ability to modify entries "real-time" from the web. In addition, given correct authorization, authenticated users could view information such as a person's Duke Unique-ID.

It was mentioned that many departments were implementing this particular LDAP, even though it was being called a prototype. The reason was that the Glove-Box News mentioned it. So, many IT integrators assumed it was ready to go live.

Alan Halachmi asked if anyone had read the Burton Group's paper on LDAP. He mentioned that the members of the committee might read the article as it raised concerns about future compatibility between Microsoft products and the rest of the industry.

Other Business

Robert Wolpert asked if there were any issue that should appear on future ITAC agendas.

Alan Halachmi mentioned the need for a discussion on after-hours access to OIT for emergencies such as network failures, cluster failures, etc.

Meeting Adjourned at 5:30.