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February 28, 1990

 

  MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK COMMITTEE

 

  WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 1990  3:00 P.M.

 

  CEC - CONFERENCE ROOM B

 

  Attending:  Richard Alvarez, Dave Beagle, Erv Blythe, Theta

              Bowden, Tom Caceci, Ed Fox, Gail Gray, Tom Head,

              Bernard LaBerge, Don Mullins, Sue Murrmann, Lee

              Pyle, Mark Sanders, Art Snoke, Robert

              Sumichrast, James Wimbush, Pam Winfrey and

              Craig Woods

 

  Guest: Luke Ward

 

  Administrative Assistant: Dreama Webb

 

  MINUTES

 

  The meeting was called to order by Chairman Pyle at 3:06 P.M.  He

  explained that Dr. Art Snoke had asked that information presented at

  the January meeting about the new organizational structure of

  Communications Resources be included in the minutes.  Art Snoke asked

  Erv Blythe if the Scholarly Communications Project, headed by Lon

  Savage, is a fifth operating unit of Communications Resources.  Erv

  said that it is part of Media Production Services.  The revised

  minutes were accepted and the group agreed that the minutes should be

  forwarded to the University Council.

 

  TOWARD THE YEAR 2000

 

  Lee Pyle indicated that he had recently received a copy of the

  publication "Toward the Year 2000" and had arranged for copies to be

  made available to members of the UCNC.  The Chairman thanked Erv Blythe

  for providing copies for all committee members.

 

  SINGLE SYSTEM IMAGE/ELECTRONIC MAIL PROJECT

 

  Mr. Luke Ward presented an overview of this project indicating that a

  low cost E-mail service that could support 30,000 users has been in the

  development stage for some time.  This system takes advantage of the

  distributed computing environment on the campus and is designed to

  minimize the central system load.  The SSI/Mail System attempts to

  provide information resources to a user in terms of his/her environment

  and is based on the assumption that ISO/OSIX.400 standard for message

  handling systems will be the next point of evolution for the exchange

  of mail among users.  The system currently exists as a pilot project

  that will be released within the next few weeks to a group of Virginia

  Tech undergraduate students for testing and evaluation.  For more

  details, please see the attached report.

 

  In response to questions, Luke Ward said the number of users that can

  be supported on the available equipment is not clear.  The present

  equipment  will have to be upgraded.  Also, the cost of the system and

  the whether there will be user charges has not been determined.  Erv

  Blythe suggested that this service could potentially be supported as an

  overhead item.  System security has not been fully developed at this

  time; however, this will be done before the system is released to the

  University community.  Dr. Art Snoke indicated that this system could

  be beneficial by lessening the demand on the central computing unit.

 

  UNIVERSITY COUNCIL CORRESPONDENCE

 

  The memorandum from Larry Harris (attached) was discussed.  Art Snoke

  indicated that the minutes from the UCNC meetings are presented to the

  University Council as information only.  No specific action is taken on

  matters discussed in the minutes.  The group agreed that the reporting

  structure to the University Council has been unclear and may continue

  to be less than ideal until the new organizational structure and

  reporting relationships are established.

 

  Ed Fox suggested that the UCNC Chairperson routinely ask the committee

  if discussions items need to be submitted as resolutions to the

  University Council.  The Chairman agreed that this would be done.

 

  Ed Fox proposed that the past minutes be reviewed to identify policies

  that have been developed and an attempt be made to assign a level of

  importance to these policies.

 

  Motion: Fox/Sanders

 

  The Chairman prepare a compendium of previous policies developed by the

  UCNC and that appropriate steps be taken to assure that this manual has

  status within the University.  For past and future polices, the

  operational unit(s) impacted will be asked to provide an implementation

  plan.

 

  PASSED

 

  Lee Pyle said he would review the minutes from past meetings and

  organize a policy manual.  The UCNC members will receive the

  preliminary information prior to the March meeting.

 

  FACULTY ACCESS TO NETWORKS AND TRAINING

 

  Mark Sanders expressed concern about faculty access to networks

  indicating that it is critical for faculty to stay abreast of

  developments in this area so that the skills of the faculty can keep

  pace with the students and other members of the University community.

  In an informal survey, he said that departmental access ranged from

  18-100%.  There was considerable discussion about the communications

  entitlements of faculty.  The survey and report on faculty

  communications services prepared by a UCNC subcommittee was discussed

  and the Chairman was asked to provide the details of that study to all

  members of the committee.

 

  Erv Blythe said he had spoken to Mike Williams about training programs

  for faculty and it has been agreed that  training is a responsibility

  of User Services.  There is not adequate documentation for many of the

  available services.  Wendy Farkas in the Research Division has been

  putting together a list of list-servers. Art Snoke said it would be

  helpful if we could develop a central repository for information.  Erv

  said he would talk with Mike Williams about developing a repository.

 

  The group returned to a discussion of faculty entitlements.  Tom Caceci

  said it is not good management to charge faculty for access to the

  inbound modem pool because this discourages productivity and

  efficiency.   He said it would be in the University's best interest to

  provide this service without any direct charge.  Erv Blythe said the

  current plans call for the auxiliary to be a fully cost recovery

  operation.  Bernie LaBerge asked if the current accounting system could

  be changed to allow the funding for the service to come "off the top."

  Art Snoke suggested that the 100% cost recovery mandate for CNS should

  be reviewed.  The group agreed that the cost recovery matter is an

  example of the type of issue that should be forwarded to the University

  Council in the form of a resolution.  Pam Winfrey reminded the group

  that the students are paying a significant amount of the cost of our

  communications system and attempts to reorder the present situation

  should take this into account.  She said that currently 28% of the

  rooms are accessing the data connections.

 

  Lee Pyle agreed to locate the survey and report generated by the

  subcommittee chaired by Janet Walberg and distribute this information

  to all members.

 

  NAME CHANGE

 

  Dr. Art Snoke suggested that the name of the UCNC change to

  Communications Resources Committee to reflect the recent change of

  Communications Network Services (CNS) to Communications Resources (CR).

  The group was receptive to this suggestion.  Lee Pyle asked that a vote

  be delayed until the March meeting so that Dr. Bob Heterick would have

  an opportunity to address this.

 

  The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 P.M.

 

  Revised 3/12/90

 

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