Duke ITAC - June 18, 2009 Minutes

Duke ITAC - June 18, 2009 Minutes

ITAC Agenda
June 18, 2009 4:00-5:30
RENCI Engagement Center

  • Announcements & Meeting Minutes
  • Perspectives on Duke's IT Council - Julian Lombardi, Susan Gerbeth-Jones, Bill Boulding
  • Approaches to school/faculty IT governance - Bill Boulding, Dan Sorin
Announcements & Meeting Minutes

Terry Oas announced the next ITAC meeting would be in two cycles on July 16. 

Terry said that previous ITAC minutes were not posted in advance of the meeting, but would be made available via the ITAC minutes web site.

Susan Gerbeth-Jones announced that the DART team sent an email with survey on cost reductions to all IT directors. Susan requested she be contacted if one had not received the survey.

Perspectives on Duke's IT Council - Julian Lombardi, Susan Gerbeth-Jones, Bill Boulding

Terry introduced Julian Lombardi to tell ITAC about IT Council, which is a new concept to many at Duke.

Julian noted that IT Council has been in the works for some time; while it had initially been a low-key meeting between a small set of people, it has become more formalized and taken on new directions. He said one of IT Council’s main drivers comes from the IT strategic plan for 2006-10.  The plan calls for facilitating interactions between IT leaders in schools and coordinating better set of services within IT.  Julian said this is not a unidirectional relationship; rather, it facilitates learning from unit IT professionals and vice versa.

Julian showed a graphic illustrating that in August 2006, Trinity, Pratt, NSOE, and ISIS Program met bi-weekly to discuss issues of mutual concern.  The goal was solve problems and ensure communications were useful.  Eventually, the Law School and the School of Nursing joined, allowing OIT to be better connected to those groups.  Since then, more groups have joined: Fuqua, Research Computing Centers, Digital Information Strategy, Public Policy, Divinity, and the Graduate School.  Julian noted IT Council is not a place for people to sound off about what they’re doing; rather, it facilitates general communication.  The scope of issues is very operational in nature.  Julian added that the group tries to solve problems and drive those solutions to completion.

Julian described OIT’s role as a facilitator of information and interactions between the unit IT leaders.  In addition, he aims to facilitate a common voice from those units to drive change and action within OIT.  Julian said the idea is to get people together to solve problems.  He noted that often there are situations where leaders will pair up and try to solve problems.  Meetings are strategically scheduled for Fridays at 11:00 with requests to keep lunches open for a meeting after.  Julian noted the growth of the group and new processes for how they manage activities and change requests.  The group is developing a wiki giving everyone access to the agenda.

OIT representatives include Julian (facilitator), Debbie DeYulia (representing the Service Center), and Samantha Earp.  In addition, other guests are invited as needed, he said.  Debbie helps to carry some of the recommendations forward to the rest of OIT.  Group can bring people in to provide input and discussion.

Susan Gerbeth-Jones said when she accepted her position in the Nicholas School for the Environment (NSOE), she was nervous about the dual reporting role to OIT and her school.   She said the IT Council has helped alleviate that concern.  Susan noted she is a charter member. She said her concern about having dual reports was being tasked to bridge gap between OIT and the NSOE.  One of her fears was feeling that she was abandoning her peers and becoming “one of them” at OIT.  There is a tension between local IT and central IT that is widely recognized at industry conferences and journals, she said. 

She suggested when local IT units face this sort of tension, it’s partly because of control and fear of losing local control.  An example of how to remedy this is TechExpo (http://techexpo.oit.duke.edu), allowing groups to know what others are working on.  TechExpo rose up from IT Council as a way to collaborate more.  Another example, she said, was Statement of Need the Council authored.  This document combined the high priority of services needed from OIT. The IT Council delivered the Statement of Need to Klara Jelinkova, who came to a meeting.  Susan said that when Klara heard that enterprise Active Directory (AD) was needed by all of them, how could she say no?

Susan added that IT Council is also good for wrestling with tough issues – for example, after outages or system failures, to learn how to move forward.  Service Level Agreements (SLAs) is an effort as a result of some of those and a current project for IT Council to work on.  Susan added that the collaboration being seen between the schools and local IT has improved, but noted that communication between IT staff, customers, and faculty from local schools is also really important. Susan added she likes spending Fridays at OIT, getting to know the faces behind the services.

John Board asked Susan about the impact on effectiveness impacted since she had seen the growth of IT Council.  Susan said there have been growing pains.  She suggested the wiki will help. On the other hand, she said more groups will have a stronger voice which is good and will likely lead to more conversations about setting priorities.  She added that meetings may need to be extended or the group may need to have some off-site meetings, along with finding ways of helping to add follow-through.

Terry asked to what extent does IT Council drive projects.  Tracy suggested AD as an example, and Julian concurred.  Ed Gomes mentioned Linux@Duke is another effort that the IT Council addressed that is leading to a big improvement in the service.

Terry asked what role does IT Council plays in the project management of delivering these two services. Does IT Council set big goals and OIT drive the delivery? Or is IT Council an oversight body, kind of like a down in the trenches ITAC?
Susan said that with regards to the Statement of Need, Ed wrote the original document and then others added their perspectives.  For AD, once Klara said it was a priority, OIT assigned a Project Manager (Dave Lennon) who talked to everyone who was on the Statement of Need.  This effort has led to development of the AD recommendations and phases for implementation. 

John B. described IT Council as the proxy customer.  Tracy added that IT Council serves as a point of aggregation of demand and the place OIT can validate the proposed feature set and build out will meet the needs.  Susan said that the priority of the AD seemed to have shifted at one point and that a discussion at IT Council helped hold OIT accountable for what was to be done and what needed to happen.

Terry asked how much time is spent in every meeting going over all of these projects.  Julian said the IT Council will discuss two or three topics each meeting.  He said Jim Daigle suggested having more meeting time in order to resolve some of the issues.  Julian added that the IT Council is supposed to bring everyone together, but all members are leaders in their own right and are responsible for working with others on campus; IT Council can’t mediate every issue, for instance.  There should be follow-up that doesn’t get driven solely by any OIT venue.

As an example, Julian said SLA conversations have led to identifying some common structure to SLAs schools enter into with OIT.  In addition, the same structure as what they might enter into with each other. Some IT Council members have drafted templates, brought them back to the group, and discussed with people like Laurie Harris from OIT. SLAs have been discussed in two to three IT Council meetings.  This will likely be re-visited at the end of the summer to decided on the SLA form.

Tracy asked if there were tangible examples of the kind of one-offs between two schools through the IT Council.  Julian said the server room consolidation effort was one.

John noted that having dual report responsibility was a controversial idea a few years ago and asked Bill Chamiedes for his perspective. Bill C. said it was a fait accompli when he started, but he has seen no problems.  In addition, he does not perceive it hasn’t taken away time from his needs for Susan.

Terry noted Bill Boulding, a Fuqua professor and senior associate dean for programs, was present and that he had interim IT leadership as well as oversight.  Bill said he is a newer member of the council and has a different perspective.  In addition, he believes he is less experienced on IT and the like than his colleagues and has tried to learn from them.  Bill B. said he has been part of IT Council long enough to develop views on its effectiveness and what works and what can be improved. 

Bill B. echoed Julian’s comment that the focus has been pretty operational.  He added that it is an effective mechanism for communication and coordination across schools and with OIT.  He said there is dialogue across the different relevant units.  Bill B. says IT Council matters in a tactical sense, as with SLAs.  He pointed out that by drawing from the different schools, units can observe what other groups have done, which means others don’t have to repeat those activities, make the same mistakes others have, and choose best practices that have been identified through the wisdom of the group.

Bill B. said an example of IT Council’s effectiveness was with email issues. He said it has become clear that the IT Council, by talking about the kinds of issues being seen, can be a body that joins forces with OIT to understand what is going on, including indentifying what real issues are happening.  He said there are practices emerging as to how to understand and work together on problems when they crop up. 

Bill added the group has also talked about communication.  He suggested the IT Council can improve the communication process when there is some kind of recovery process needing to take place.  Bill said IT Council is a good forum for sharing context of IT activities from around the university.  An example he cited was his curiosity why OIT was spending effort on Fuqua’s mail service to Exchange as opposed to what was the bigger context of why OIT was involved.  Why Fuqua had volunteered, etc.?  He said the answers he received about university and departmental priorities helped him to better understand and frame the effort.

Bill B. said these are all tactical examples of where there is real value.   He suggested Julian has been pushing IT Council to establish a common voice through which the IT Council can take on a more strategic IT role at Duke. 

Bill shared a couple of examples from most recent meeting.  1) How do schools or the institution make decisions within and between schools on what is bought as opposed to what we make.  He said there is a natural trend to take commodity services and migrate straight to OIT; however, why not push that trend right past that and push it to an outsourcing arrangement for instance?  Bill B. said this will be an important strategic contribution.  2) All of the activity around DART; Bill B. said the university may see cost savings opportunities with IT.  He added that committees looking at that are well established and formed.  He suggested DART committees should be bring their ideas forward to a group like IT Council to help make better decisions for Duke as a whole. Bill B. said IT Council is really functional on tactical side and starting to find its legs on strategic side.

Terry says some of those roles on the strategic side do overlap with ITAC, and it would be interesting to ask how ITAC and IT Council have a relationship, what the distinctions are. In addition, when does ITAC’s larger forum have a preference for a discussion of certain topics? 

John B. noted the two groups have significant membership overlap. Julian said tries to keep conversation focused on tactical, operational matters; he suspected when items boil up to strategic level, some overlap could exist. Julian asked for ITAC’s input on how to reconcile.

Terry suggested there might be real value around the DART in taking the report from Dave Richardson’s work and bringing it to IT Council.  This report might possibly the lead to ITAC or the CIO’s office.  Terry asked Dave if her foresaw potential input at different levels.  Dave R. said there are clear places where input would be valuable.  His committee was unclear on how best to address the involvement of other faculty who are not so tightly represented as those who are on IT Council. He added that he felt as a member a group weakly represented on IT Council but that has a voice on ITAC. 

Terry added that faculty voices aren’t “weakly represented” on IT Council, rather they aren’t at all.  Dave suggested it’s fair to say that the people in NSOE, Pratt, etc. are trying to well-represent the faculty in their charge; furthermore, he doesn’t think there’s such a representation for the faculty who don’t fall into one of those easy divisions.  For example, the Graduate School overlaps with his group, but it has its own mission separate from all the research. Dave said he didn’t know how to create a division that would cover all of the unaligned research labs.  These labs are what he would most like to see involved. He said many labs are unclear about the advantages of working through central purchasing, getting warranty services, etc.

Dave R. said there may be some way to imaginatively get a representative of the otherwise unaligned effected interest that could be a representative on IT Council.  Susan said the NSOE has people like Dave described, involved in research and teaching.  She suggested it’s the charge of each schools IT director to reach out of them. Dave said he did not think his group has someone like this.  Terry added that what was absent from this is any discussion of the role of School of Medicine (SOM).  Dave said different issues exist for SOM and underrepresented, such as himself.  For example, Dave asked if someone in Chemistry was as well represented on IT Council as someone in Pratt, and thought it was not.

Ed Gomes said it was his responsibility to address this since Chemistry is under his authority. Dave agreed, but added that Ed has many other units too, and that he plays a major role in the overall educational mission of the university, adding that was the role where Ed has made a tremendous impact. Dave asked if Ed would have the time to represent all the individual research labs.  Ed said he had the mechanisms in place to support that process. He meets with the managers of those IT areas at least monthly, trying to address concerns at the individual department level, as well as interaction with school and enterprise. Dave said a few labs, in terms of their philosophical approach, are closer to closer to Ed’s “clients” but remain underrepresented.  Dave added that he felt hospital issues sometimes attracted more attention than those impacting research on the SOM side.

Tracy noted the conversation was steering to some areas where some adjustment might be needed.  She asked the invited guests or other IT Council members to talk about what they’d like to change or adjust.  What is the one thing they would like change to make things more effective?

David Bowersox asked what were the primary goals for the IT Council in the coming year, and noted that it should think about those goals in a strategic way.  He said the IT Council represents the operational leaders, thus, these are the individuals that make things happen in their groups. IT Council does more than field complaints; they discuss issues, escalate them as necessary, and then make the changes happen. 

Jim Daigle added that the recent growth means IT Council still needs to find ways to collaborate, adding that he has benefited greatly from the relationships.  If he did not attend these meetings, Jim said, he could get consumed by his daily work and lose this opportunity for shared interests.  It could be as simple as sharing data center space. IT Council gives members the ability to share resources, learn from what’s being done, and hopefully, as a faculty representative, ensure he meets the faculty’s needs, not just implementing technology.

An ITAC member from the Health System asked if there was any student representation from students. Julian said there was not.  Tracy added that IT Council is focused on IT delivery and really about putting those IT organizations together. Julian said it goes back to the goals in the IT Strategic plan.  David Bowersox said he saw his role as representing both faculty as well as students since they are all his customers.

Terry said there is a clear difference between ITAC and IT Council.  ITAC is good for faculty and student feedback.  Terry added he can easily see how having this kind of input from random people outside of the original scope might get in the way of IT Council.  Terry suggested it might be a mistake to have direct faculty and student representation on IT Council.  Dave R. seconds that, but added that he wants to see a discussion in IT Council about whether there are appropriate silos.

Terry said if we could see anything about this discussion, the big missing piece is how large a segment of both the faculty and university as a whole is under SOM.  However, IT Council lacks a SOM representative.  He said it’s very different when one compares this administrative structure and organization to the way its done in SOM, which is much more hierarchical and corporate, for some very good reasons. 

Terry asked why people in Ed’s Chemistry department get their needs met and communicated, while Dave and Terry are separate in the SOM?  Terry suggested there needs to be a recognition that some of the services and support represented by other schools on the campus side also needs to take place on the health system side.  He added that this is a distinct mission for DHTS from supporting clinical services.

Bill Chameides asked if SOM falls more on the campus side than the health side.  Terry said it is entirely within Health System.  Tracy said from computational needs perspective the basic sciences units are very close in need to the rest of campus.  Terry added that most SOM faculty are clinical and their needs are closer to the Health System than basic sciences, but not all.

Bill Chamiedes said NSOE has a faculty member who has HIPAA related work and has her own firewall and technical solutions.  Terry said there are technical solutions, but the core issues are not technical, but rather cultural and an administrative construct that’s different; he added that supporting research and teaching must look like cat herding to the Medical School side.

Dave B. said the School of Nursing (SON) are part of the Medical Center and have HIPAA concerns.  However, you can identify within SON who’s responsible for IT, and suggested that SOM may not have that clarity.  Tracy said the hierarchy exists outside the school with the way it reports into DHTS, but that hierarchy may not exist to the same degree within the school. Terry said significant IT pronouncements come from non-IT deans and administrators within SOM.

Tracy said this had been a good introduction into IT Council and its emerging role.  She suggested ITAC might want to shift the discussion to governance at a school level and whether there are best practices that can be employed.

Approaches to school/faculty IT governance - Bill Boulding, Dan Sorin

Bill Boulding noted his remarks would focus on two fundamental IT governance issues: the connectivity of IT to the mission and enterprise of the school, and the connectivity of school level IT to the university as a whole.

Bill said that for Fuqua the first dimension is a bit more complicated since their enterprise is highly variable.  Fuqua doesn’t have a predictable revenue stream since only 50% of annual revenue is dependable on a year-to-year basis; thus, Fuqua is always looking for new revenue streams, he said.  When Fuqua was smaller, a faculty member led IT and they had a faculty technology committee.  IT activity within the school was tightly connected to mission of school and to the enterprise of school because it was connected the new activities in terms of innovation, he said.

Bill said over that period of time Fuqua established a history of a high level of innovation using technology to drive program and research innovation. Bill added that Fuqua grew so large they decided to split program support from research and faculty support from enterprise support.  Initially, Fuqua had faculty governance over the former but opted for professional IT support model to run the enterprise support. Bill said the activities were split with faculty oversight through a committee on the enterprise side and faculty leaders on the program side.  Had oversight committee on one side, leadership on other. Over time, both sides experienced faculty attrition.  Bill said the result was a loss of the historical connectivity between what Fuqua wanted to accomplish with the mission of school and innovation-related activity.

Bill said the other thing that happened connects to the second issue he noted, Fuqua’s connectivity to the rest of the university.  Bill said Fuqua had a lot of pride in its innovation during this era that made them believe they were best left unshackled from the university, since that might inhibit Fuqua from being as nimble and effective as it needed to be given level of innovation required.  Fuqua separated itself from the university’s IT directions.  He said the consequences of those decisions were that IT diverged between Fuqua and the university such that they couldn’t take advantage of the connectivity that would enhance Fuqua’s ability to deliver services. In addition, Fuqua diverged from an understanding of the role of IT within the school in delivering the level of innovation Fuqua needed.

Bill said Fuqua is working to build bridges with university.  In addition to Bill’s participation on IT Council, Fuqua now has committees within the business school.  One committee is operational-there is an OIT representative on that committee-and they meet weekly.  Bill said OIT hears about Fuqua’s needs, and Fuqua hears how it can be supported more effectively.  He noted Fuqua has seen benefits in cases of migrating services away from the business school to a central model that can provide more effectively at lower cost without duplicating services.  Bill added that with the current migration to Exchange, he believes Fuqua will get better service for some basic enterprise activities.  He said it has been an effective connection on an operational basis, freeing up resources to think more strategically as a school.

Bill said there is now a separate faculty strategy committee engaged with the university since Julian also sits on that group.  He said Fuqua is back in the business of thinking about how to drive innovation that supports school mission and enterprise; however, Fuqua is doing it differently than in the past, by connecting to the university to ensure that the university has the chance to take Fuqua innovation and deploy more widely at the institution.  The metaphor is that of a train, with one rail being OIT (goal to look for commodities, standardizations, effectiveness and efficiency) and the second rail being innovation.  Bill said Duke needs to keep these two rails connected sufficiently to not go off on a spur and land dead in the middle of nowhere, the real risk.  Fuqua has put in a governance structure, which is person intensive, that is, Fuqua is drawing heavily from OIT because they could not do this if OIT did not participate.  Fuqua is interested in this relationship so they can focus on being innovative.  As an overall governance model, Bill said he was very happy with the model they are trying to strike between greatest efficiency and effectiveness.

Terry asked Dan Sorin to hear share his perspective on what’s being done in Pratt.  Tracy suggested it might be the longest running such committee.  Dan is the Chair of PITAC (Pratt ITAC).  Dan said PITAC consists of faculty from each of the four departments and Masters of Engineering Management, one staff member, one graduate student, and Jim Daigle.  PITAC meets monthly.  PITAC’s main goal is as a liaison between Pratt IT, the dean, faculty and grad students.  He said PITAC does not include undergrads since Pratt IT does not directly deal with undergraduates.  As the liaison, PITAC has a charge from the dean as to what should happen. PITAC helps set the priorities and advises the dean on what IT resources are needed.

Robert Wolpert asked if the dean talks to Dan or the Pratt IT director. Dan said he met with the dean recently representing PITAC.

Dan said PITAC also has representatives from different departments. PITAC discusses issues raised by faculty or grad students.  Dan said having staff representation is very helpful.  Staff tends to be less IT savvy and it is important to represent them as well, he said. Dan said this means of communication between the dean, PITAC and Jim is helpful. PITAC doesn’t interact with OIT directly; Jim goes to OIT.  For example, central sourcing of email might be brought up by PITAC and then Jim would go to OIT to handle. Dan said his perception is that people feel well represented.  Colleagues stop him on the quad and ask questions.  He added that faculty are more willing to approach their colleagues rather than going directly to Daigle with questions that might be considered stupid or IT-naïve.

Dan said Matlab was an example of the types of issues PITAC has dealt with. Also, PITAC was charged by the dean to see how Pratt IT was doing.  PITAC ran a survey and then has been responsible for figuring out an improvement plan.   Another example of PITAC’s activity was addressing the question about how purchasing laptops and desktops under a grant works. In addition, faculty concern about where their files were stored and whether there were backups, he said. PITAC learned many Pratt faculty store data in different ways and places.  For example, there are faculty with federal funding agency requirements leading to the collection of data that needs to be sequestered.  PITAC forwards these issues through to Jim. Dan said he thought it’s been fairly successful.

Robert W. said that Arts and Sciences (AAS) over time has sometimes had faculty advisement, sometimes not. He said that Pratt had Pratt had some IT challenges a few years ago which spurred faculty involvement.  Dan said he came from ECE where it they had numerous issues.   Robert asked how do we get there in AAS.

Terry asked how do you recruit and keep faculty involved this time.  Bill B. said the faculty perspective is extremely important in guiding IT activity. Where he sees a problem are faculty with specific interests, who engage until what they want is done and then disengage. Bill said he needs to work to identify a succession plan to find faculty who might be willing to step in over time.  He added that he has learned faculty are complicated; he never thought he was asking for much (and he’s a faculty member) and thought they “we were all pretty simple.”  He has also found the extreme opposite end of not having any representation is having too much representation, specifically, with individuals suggesting disparate solutions.  It turns out that in implementing the standardized solutions it helps to have a faculty member standing behind those decisions.  Some faculty member will always find issues by such a standardized decision and you need faculty on your side, he said.

Terry asked how do you make a committee the one that a faculty member says “yes” to.  Dan S. said if you see a benefit and tangible outcome from the committee, people are likely to participate.  For example, PITAC running the survey, seeing tangible data, and building a plan to resolve was somewhat rewarding, but they still lost two faculty members this year. Bill B said that was exactly what happened in their situation.  Fuqua had a faculty technology committee that got too locked in to what they considered mundane activities.  He suggested picking your battles and be able to articulate the strategic role of IT within the school and find the people who will be excited.  He cautioned against getting faculty involved in the “nuts and bolts” because they will likely lose interest.

Terry asked Ed about the faculty involvement in AAS.  Ed Gomes said in the past there was a faculty IT committee with involvement.  That group hasn’t met since he’s been in the position.  He said he has unsuccessfully tried to get the committee together multiple times.  In light of this discussion, he will try again.  Terry said a push survey might help. Robert W. said the AAS faculty committee may not have been that effective in the past. Ed G. said some of the individual departments have their own faculty advisory committees that work with their managers.  This was a mechanism to involve those groups and those without direct IT staff.  Ed said that is why he wants to meet with those groups to understand their decision-making and to ensure they are not heading in a wrong direction.

Terry said what Ed described is the IT Council version in AAS; it’s the staff members in each dept coming together with Ed. This is as opposed to the ITAC version of AAS committees, with faculty playing a role.  Ed G. said he counts on each staff member to bring back their feedback from their IT faculty committees within each school to make sure he knows what the needs are.  Terry added that we did hear benefits of an ITAC level body at the school level.  Ed G. said this makes sense.

Susan Gerbeth-Jones said NSOE has a “NicTAC.”  Currently, she chairs it and uses it as a way to communicate with faculty and inform them about IT activities.  She added it did not meet as often as could.  She suggested if a faculty member where in charge, it could help meet needs better and be more active.

Tracy said when ITAC invites faculty to participate there is greater receptivity because it has long been faculty-driven and faculty-led. This helps faculty to realize their concerns, comments, and input can come out in a peer forum, as opposed to being lone voice with IT people.  Ed G. said faculty had led the old AAS committee, with the associate dean for IT (Ed’s role) in an ex officio role.  Dan S. said one more way to get people excited is to have a very clear charter.  The committee will not be very inspiring to just talk about IT issues as they arise.  The committee should have at least one clear project that helps motivate people.

Michael Ansel from DSG recalled the earlier comment that PITAC doesn’t have an undergrad representative as it is focused on faculty and grad student needs. He noted that grad students were credited with having brought in good ideas and input.  Michael asked if it would it hurt to have undergrad on there or would it make it too big, too many opinions?  Dan S. said the concern was more that Pratt IT doesn’t provide many services directly to undergraduates.  Michael asked about the computer labs as a Pratt IT service to undergrads.  The group responded that OIT runs those.  Dan S. added that if it’s a classroom IT issue, the faculty will be a liaison to IT staff.

Michael A. added that having ideas set up at Fuqua as innovation then passed to OIT to benefit university as a whole.  He asked if it would it make sense to have a forum like that from students.  He said that students will provide a different perspective since they won’t always look at it from an enterprise view, but, rather, can bring student ideas and concerns that might need to be met at Duke.

Bill B. said there is a student technology committee in Fuqua and that group is very active in proposing ideas that do get implemented and support their program needs. They’re not on the standing operational committees as they come and go, but there’s a regular meeting when they’re in session.  He added that this has been a very productive relationship.  Michael A. suggested that’d be great to have in all the schools on campus.   Michael added that Computer Science and Engineering would be the highest interest areas, but even within AAS you’d still have students bringing a different “twist” on how to do things.

Tracy asked what thoughts do Law or others have to make.  Dick Danner described his job, Senior Associate Dean for Information Services, as primarily overseeing technology and library services.  Law has had a long history with a library technology committee, which over the years has dealt primarily with technology issues. He said it has been effective at times, at others it hasn’t been as good as it could have been.  The committee is a faculty/student committee with elected students. Dick said the ex officio members are the head of library, Wayne Miller, and himself.  He said the group has been fairly effective in allowing students to vet issues they have.  In addition, it has been good in providing advice on initiatives that come out of their technology area.  Nevertheless, this group does not solve all the problems.  There is no hesitancy on part of faculty to raise questions with him, staff, or anyone else.  As a result, not a lot of faculty issues get brought up at the committee.

Dick said the group has tried to engage student groups at times in technology issues. Law IT is moving in new ways organizationally; partly prompted by a major email failure in spring 2007, led to a significant lack of confidence in IT services by the student body. Law created a group of student advisors that talked about their concerns.  The new dean of the Law School, David Levi, reached out to students on his arrival; all they wanted to talk about was IT and email system, yet students didn’t come out in big numbers to the IT committee.  Unless there is a problem, students don’t sustain interest, he said.  He added it is very hard to keep student input from petering out, other than through the one formal focused committee.  Generally I think its worked well, but all of these things have their shortcomings. 

Terry asked if the elected student representatives take their roles seriously.  Dick D. said they do, and if elected in first year, they try to stay on.  Students are primarily on it because of IT, not the library. Typically they have some previous experience working in the tech industry.

Terry adjourned the meeting at 5:27pm.