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Governance Minutes Archive

November 1, 1989

                                  MINUTES

                            Computer Committee

              Information System Building, Conference Room B

                             November 1, 1989

                                   3 PM

 

 

     PRESENT:     Don Allison, Jim Baranowski, Jeff Birch, John Burton,

                  David Goodyear, Bob Heterick, Katherine Johnston,

                  Tom McAnge, Peter Laws (for Joan McLain-Kark),

                  Harlan Miller, Ernest Stout, Jim Thomas,

                  Jeff Wilcke, Mike Williams

 

     ABSENT:      John Cosgriff, Jim Hicks, Dennis Jones, Fred Medley,

                  Jim Montgomery, Richard Sorensen, Barbara Young

 

     VISITOR(S):  Dennis Catley (Institutional Research)

                  Walter O'Brien (Mechanical Engineering)

                  Barbara Robinson (Computing Center)

 

 

     AGENDA ITEM 1:  MINUTES OF THE OCTOBER 4, 1989 MEETING

 

     Motion made, seconded and passed to approve the minutes of the

     October meeting.

 

     AGENDA ITEM 2:  COMPUTING CENTER ANNOUNCEMENTS (WILLIAMS)

 

     There have been some personnel changes in management positions in

     the Center.  Randy Crockett has moved over to be manager of In-

     formation Resource Management, formerly Data Administration.  The

     department's role will be expanded to have a broader interaction

     with the University at large.  Betsy Blythe, who used to manage

     Systems Programming, is now leading Systems Development.  Ray

     Decker is now in charge of Systems Programming.

 

     AGENDA ITEM 3:  SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

 

     The Personal Computer subcommittee sent a letter to each of the

     college deans asking about their PC utilization and requirements.

     The focus of the questions was on operations and philosophy

     rather than equipment.  A response was requested by early Decem-

     ber.

 

     The Computer Capacity and Planning subcommittee took a close look

     at reports detailing recent mainframe usage.  They expect to con-

     tinue to examine the reports and will consider the implications

     of their study at their next meeting.

 

     It was noted that the proposed University budget shows nine

     million dollars for a mainframe computer upgrade.  Since current

     usage is near capacity, an initiative to increase our capacity

     has been proposed and is now being reviewed in Richmond.

 

     AGENDA ITEM 4:  CAMPUS COMPUTING PHILOSOPHY (W.F. O'BRIEN)

 

     Dr. O'Brien feels that the University's policy of funding a

     strong, centralized computing facility has had beneficial effects

     for the University and he spoke in favor of continuing that pol-

     icy.  He feels that Virginia Tech is one of the best computer-

     served universities, with excellent networking facilities and

     superior computing power.  It has been his experience, however,

     that charging operating dollars for computing leads users to look

     for alternative, less productive computing avenues.  This can im-

     pede the sharing of information and lead to inefficiencies.  The

     trend toward printing on 3812 office printers rather than

     mainframe printing was cited as one example of a perceived trend.

 

     In response to Dr. O'Brien's comments, it was pointed out by Dr.

     Heterick that department heads, particularly in a time of tight

     budgets, prefer to have as much flexibility as possible.  Appar-

     ent economic efficiency must be balanced with departmental autonomy.

 

     While centralized printing services are expected to continue,

     putting 3812's in departments has been viewed as a positive move

     to increase service.  In addition, mainframe-based printing has

     forced the Computing Center to take on an additional burden as a

     copying facility, since multiple copies of a document are paid

     for with SMART dollars at the Computing Center while copy centers

     charge operating funds for their service.  Increased usage of de-

     partmental 3812's is expected to help alleviate this problem,

     and, at the same time, improve departmental efficiency.

 

     Dr. O'Brien would like to see the Computer Committee pass a

     "statement of principle" in support of mainframe computing and

     discouraging expenditures for "private" departmental systems.

 

     AGENDA ITEM 5:  ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA

 

     None.

 

 

     The next meeting will be held on December 6 at 3 p.m. in Burruss

     400.

 

     Meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.

 

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