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February 3, 1993



                         Computer Committee

                         Conf. Room G - CEC

                          February 3, 1993

                                3 PM



  PRESENT:     Terry Rakes, Sean Arthur, David Coe, John Cosgriff,

               David Goodyear, Tom McAnge, Travis McCoy, Gerry

               McLaughlin, Harlan Miller, Carolyn Moore, K.B.

               Rojiani, Ernest Stout, Patricia Summers, J.R.

               Webster, Michael Williams


  ABSENT:      Erv Blythe, Darrell Bosch, John Burton, Jan Carr,

               Wayne Clough, Glen Holmes, Katherine Johnston,

               Jay Stoeckel, Jeffrey  Wilcke


  VISITOR(S):  Barbara Robinson and Bill Sanders (Computing Center)

               Tom Head and John Moore (Media Services)





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

  January meeting.




  The Computing Center has released a series of network applica-

  tions for the Macintosh which provide TCP/IP support, including

  remote login (telnet) and file transfer (FTP) over Ethernet.

  Ethernet access via the Mac's serial port is also available

  (SLIP).  This software, along with Eudora, a POP mail client,

  will allow Mac users to receive mail at their desktop.





  o   Capacity and Planning (Arthur)


      The subcommittee met with Mike Williams to discuss VM2.  They

      also discussed the global perspective with respect to

      mainframes and the plan that mainframes be removed in five



      The 3084 currently supports MVS, VM, CAD/CAM applications and

      serves as a BITNET gateway.  In the long term the MVS func-

      tions will move off the mainframe, but in the short term MVS

      will need to expand to the entire 3084 (instead of the cur-

      rent half) to meet requirements of registration and perhaps

      accounting. To accomplish this the VM and CAD/CAM portions on

      the 3084 are being moved to the 3090 and a workstation net-

      work respectively.  The gateway may be dropped.  The move for

      VM2 users is expected to be largely transparent, with most

      changes internal to the Computing Center.


      It was suggested that planning might be a more useful focus

      for the subcommittee as a distributed environment reduces

      concern over mainframe capacity.  Although planning should be

      addressed by the entire Computer Committee, a subcommittee

      might be useful to explore issues in depth, helping to pro-

      vide direction and input to the committee as a whole.


      In the past the committee generally stayed apprised of plan-

      ning efforts rather than participated in them.  However, the

      committee's development of the vision statement was a useful

      process for both the committee and the Computing Center,

      where it became part of the Computing Center's planning proc-

      ess.  In the current stage of planning for significant

      infrastructure changes, the Computer Committee will continue

      to have an opportunity to influence and shape developments.



  o   End User (Goodyear)


      The subcommittee has not met this month, but expects to do so

      in February.



  o   Workstation (Rojiani)


      The subcommittee sent out 190 surveys and received about 60

      replies.  Surveys were delivered to individuals recommended

      in responses to an initial letter to deans, directors and de-

      partment heads, and many appear to have been sent to areas

      where UNIX workstations were not in use.  Since the goal was

      not to determine an accurate count of workstations, but

      rather to gather a representative sampling of issues, the

      number of replies was judged acceptable.  Compilation of re-

      sponses has begun and a formal report will be prepared.



  o   Site License (Robinson)


      The subcommittee is preparing a letter soliciting information

      on existing site licenses on campus.  Results will be posted

      on INFO on VM and other appropriate areas, as they are iden-

      tified.  The group is also developing a format for submitting

      proposals for funding new site licenses and criteria by which

      they will be judged.  These documents will be finalized next





  Discussion of restructuring of computing at Virginia Tech has

  been aligned along the four funding programs, instruction, re-

  search, outreach and administration.  Of these, instruction is

  the largest and most important, with efforts reaching far beyond

  Information Systems.  While plans are still in the formative

  stage, rapid progress is anticipated and input is being vigor-

  ously solicited.  Each college has an advisory committee and a

  survey for additional faculty input will be distributed this



  Over the next four years, three areas in instruction will be ad-



  o   universal student access to computing through classrooms and

      laboratories, as well as individual ownership, with the in-

      tent of providing the ubiquitous computing environment neces-

      sary for new programs to succeed,


  o   faculty development through summer institutes where small

      faculty-led discussions examine curriculum development, re-

      think instruction, and participate in technology training

      which will bring all faculty up to a basic threshold of know-

      ledge, and


  o   courseware development focused on core curriculum courses, a

      resource intensive activity that will be a longer-term goal.


  Anticipated outcomes include

  o   improved faculty-student interaction, with faculty encouraged

      to explore innovative instructional approaches, and


  o   all faculty receive a computer and installed set of core

      software productivity programs.


  It has often been observed that the present structure provides no

  incentive to faculty to improve instruction.  While the program

  has top administration support, a cultural shift will also be re-



  A first-year pilot program will begin this summer in humanities,

  writing and mathematics.  The programs are expected to include

  visiting scholars, faculty discussion and hands-on software

  training, along with follow-up throughout the year.  About 45

  faculty will participate in the pilot program, with about 400

  faculty involved each summer thereafter.




  The committee's proposed revisions of the committee description

  have been forwarded to the Commission for University Support.  No

  response has been received.





  The next meeting will be held on March 3 at 3 p.m. in the Presi-

  dent's Boardroom.


  Meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

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