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February 2, 1994



                         Computing Committee

                    Information Systems Building

                          February 2, 1994




  PRESENT:     K.B. Rojiani, Sean Arthur, Erv Blythe, John Burton,

               David Goodyear, Katherine Johnston, Gerry McLaughlin,

               Harlan Miller, Bhaba Misra, Sandra Muse (for Earnest

               Stout), Barbara Robinson (for Michael Williams),

               Peter Shires, Dan Taylor, John Tombarge


  ABSENT:      Gregory Brown, Scott Johnson, George Libey, Tom McAnge,

               Terry Rakes, Frank Schima, Lawrence Skelly,

               Jay Stoeckel


  VISITOR(S):  Bill Sanders (Computing Center)

               Joe Tront (College of Engineering)





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

  January meetings.






  The subcommitte met in December and funded cost-sharing proposals for

  MathWorks and Atlas GIS.  The Microsoft proposal still faces legal hurdles.

  The Acrobat proposal has been modified and will be revisited during the

  next evaluation period.  Proposals for MacroMedia and Lotus have been

  forwarded to the bookstore, which is investigating the feasibility of

  offering the products.


  The subcommittee also met in January to reexamine its mission.  Discussion

  centered around the possibility of becoming more proactive in order to

  assure that the committee's money is wisely spent and its activities

  focused on productive ideas.  To further this goal, the subcommittee will

  experiment with assigning a member to each proposal to communicate with

  both the author and vendor, as necessary, to assure all proposals get a

  thorough evaluation.


  Communication was also discussed.  Increased interest has been shown since

  flyers asking for proposals were distributed to all faculty.  Information

  on INFO and Gopher will also be enhanced to include proposals under

  consideration and those  which have been rejected.


  New proposals will be examined shortly after the next deadline, February 7.




  A temporary subcommittee charged with identifying transition issues

  developed the following list:


  o Communication of what is going on is important - what is the best way to

  accomplish effective communication and what needs to be communicated?


  o What services will or should be provided centrally vs. locally?


  o Where does one go to get technical help as the computing environment

  changes rapidly?


  o Who needs to be trained and at what level - who will do training?


  o Should there be a transition committee for the conversion and who should

  be on it?  What would their role be?


  o Are students getting what they need to function effectively in today's

  workplaces with respect to computer training?


  o What is the perception of technology on the part of the instructional

  staff and is that the proper or desired perception?


  o Where does one go to obtain the official University data for the various

  areas that need it?  Also, what help is available in retrieving such data?


  o There are different variations of mail, calendars and other packages

  currently being used around the University.  Will there or should there be

  some sort of standards developed that can be used to help select compatible



  Many of these items grew out of the January discussion of the new

  administrative systems proposal, indicating an interest in pursuing details

  not included in the presentation.  Since the Computing Committee is the

  only place where all the constituencies are represented, it is appropriate

  to consider what role it might play in the transition.  Students' needs are

  an undergraduate curriculum issue, however, although the committee might

  assure processes are in place to allow the training to take place.


  Planning for a transition is underway within Information Systems.  If no

  serious impediments are disclosed during the planning phase, the project is

  expected to go forward, with over 100 people outside of IS  fully involved

  within 90 days. The infrastructure development and training at the desktop

  will continue regardless.  The need to meet state and federal mandates does

  not appear to be a significant problem.


  Information Systems will be meeting with President Torgersen  in

  mid-February to apprise of him of the proposal.  The agressive plan entails

  significant risk which needs to be evaluated at all levels with care.  At

  this point, however, there is substantial momentum.


  Committee members emphasized the importance of continued communication to

  the University regarding the project, suggesting that quarterly forums be

  held, similar to the budget forums held for Deans, Directors and Department

  Heads.  Effective communication can reduce frustration born of anxiety.

  Information Systems has begun producing Spectrum articles on a regular



  There was also considerable enthusiasm for increasing the training and

  support available at the University, with a significant investment focused

  on continuing development.  Existing expertise within departments could be

  better utilized if incentives to participate were provided.  The committee

  can assist in identifying areas of expertise and effective incentives.

  Adequate support will require resources far beyond that available in

  Computing Center User Services today.


  Information Systems will offer comments on the subcommittee's issue list

  for discussion at the next meeting.




  The presentation was postponed until next month.






  The next meeting will be held on March 2 at 3:30 p.m. in conference room D

  in the Information Systems Building.


  Meeting adjourned at 5:06 p.m.


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