Information Technology Committee (ITC) Minutes
October 11, 2012, 11:30a – 2:00p, OM304
Present: Wendy Chang (Chair), Rich Montague, Terry Wells, Veronica Kenausis, Kit Hinga, Rebecca Woodward, William Joel, Michael Fraser, Jason Esposito (presented update Tech Projects)
Technology Projects/Updates from September (Jason Esposito)
- Wendy Chang introduced herself to the Committee as a temporary chair for Lorraine.
- KH asked WC how Centralization is going to affect WCSU in regards to technology?
- WC responded that there is no centralization agenda. The strategy of BOR is to look for cheaper alternatives (either via central hosting or cloud hosting) to deliver commodity type of administrative or infrastructure services and invest the savings locally in strategic services (such as enrollment management, instructional design & technologies, e-Portfolio, business intelligence, etc.) that will enhance the competiveness and realize the growth potential of the institution. Some services are becoming commodity and should be scaled to maximize the cost.
- WC would like local IT staff to continue to look at areas of innovation and stay on top of new technologies. Local IT plays a key role in thinking out of the box and looking at emerging technologies in teaching & learning so that the institution will remain competitive.
SMART Board Installations/Training
- Next SMART Board Training will be held on Oct. 26th 9am-3:30pm @ Computer Center 117 on WS. Jason encourages all to attend who could not make last Friday’s training.
- If unable to train during two dates, Marlene or Rebecca at UC could assist.
- Status of Boards: – JE – 18 SMART Boards are on campus, 7 more are being housed in storage and will be installed. See attached Smartboard Installation schedule.
Desktop replacement for Staff
- New faculty is completed. Jason reports UC is working with the Banner team – problems are being worked out with JAVA and XP. AS of three weeks ago, 380 staff members are still on XP, upgrades and installs are in the works. UC is on target with Windows 7 upgrades.
- Next steps, working with faculty on desktops and laptops replacement.
Question to WC. “Are we going to continue practice of having some staff have both a laptop and a desktop?” WC will make future recommendations.
- Discussion was shared on how departments work with staff on computer needs. Each Department Chair handles individually with budget and how and when staff requests a replacement as some faculty have very old computers. As some faculty are comfortable with their old machines, it was recommended to follow standard practice of replacing every three years. WC expressed serious security concerns exist with old machines, support is no longer available and machines can crash. KH would like her faculty equipment to be replaced, she expressed concern that Education and Nursing have been waiting for computers from two years ago. Jason and Kit will set up meeting to improve communication breakdown.
- Wendy recommended the committee to look at creating a budget for all faculty to be on a three year replacement cycle and offer choices of hardware to staff. WC suggested IT Committee take a look at a configuration and tier plan (3 different models) for users’ needs
Blackboard Vista/Blackboard Learn
- Blackboard has over 100 sections. Rebecca and Marlene are working hard to get staff to move over to Blackboard Learn. More classes will be offered from IT Trainers next spring.
- WC announced that a Blackboard hotline/ help desk is available at the System Office to assist students and staff. It is to provide systematic support to all four campuses and all community colleges.
- An Easy to use video application that is integrated within the Blackboard Learn Platform.
- The library would like to offer more options with streaming media and not have to go through BlackBoard. WC commented that BOR is thinking of getting a copy of Kaltura for other purposes such as working with the libraries. Buying storage from Kaltura is very expensive as BOR is getting requests from all universities. BOR plans to buy own storage outside of Blackboard. The library would like to set up links so professors and staff need not to download materials multiple times.
Workflow and Electronic Forms
- WC expressed concerns with WCSU printing practices and asked to look at curbing usage and moving away from using inkjet printers. This would significantly cut back on budget for ink alone.
- Identity Finder – WC stated BOR will be requesting everyone to run this software to scan local desktops, email and servers.
- Disaster Recovery Initiative – System as whole is moving from tape to remote disk back up. Per WC, WCSU to look into joining the initiative with other CSU universities.
Interactive Whiteboard Discussion – WC recommends looking at a combination of products for a broader scale deployment such as Mimio Boards vs. all SmartBoards. The library could benefit from a Mimio Whiteboard due to fewer functional needs of dept.
-New Initiatives/Ways to improve communications
Proposed Schedule: November 8, 2012, December 13, 2012. Time to be determined.
- Team agreed communication needs to be constant and consistent; creating a forum would be helpful. Ideas were generated on creating a Center for Teaching and Learning for staff on campus . WC created one at Southern, a physical space was allocated and the center was manned by UA’s. Space availability is an issue. Suggestions to go to VP Reis.
- WJ suggested an automated daily email blast to all staff or using an app for activities, events and announcement. WCSU has an app for IPhones and Androids which can be used in a more robust and interactive mode. Students could use the app to access banner, blackboard
- Discussion about moving toward using a 13 character password to increase the 60 days password lifecycle. This would eliminate need to expire passwords so frequently. WC will look into this with UC staff. .
- System Office is looking at rolling out Open Scholar. This is a full featured open source web site creation package for hosting faculty professional web site. .
- IPADS – WC approved purchase of IPADS for library. However, UC does not support IPADS. VK will put together purchase requisition as library has funding available in budget.
- Admin Rights –a request from all ITC members was made for privileges to be returned for Admin Rights for faculty members.