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December 2, 1992

 

         Minutes of the University Communications Resources Committee

 

 

 

  Date & Time:         Wednesday, December 2, 1992 @ 3:00 pm

  Location:            206 Sandy Hall

 

  Present:             Fred Bailey, Freda Blecher (for Ron Daniel), David

                       Bevan, Erv Blythe, George Crofts (Chairman), Jim

                       Evans, Ed Fox, Carolyn Furrow, Gail Gray, Marcia

                       Harrington, Bernard LaBerge, Judy Lilly, Charles

                       Litchfield, Tom McAnge, Lenwood McCoy, Mark Sanders,

                       Karen Smith, Arthur Snoke, Robert Sumichrast,

                       Matthew Swift

 

  Guests:              Phil (Theta) Bowden, Tom Head

 

 

  1.      The October minutes were approved.

 

  2.      Kay Heidbreder, associate legal counsel, and Richard Stock,

          systems engineer, met with the committee to answer questions

          about the confidentiality of mail on campus.  The committee

          learned that the laws and regulations for USPS mail remain in

          effect when the mail is handled by university employees.  While

          office procedures may designate individuals to act on the behalf

          of others, the legal obligation is to deliver USPS mail to the

          addressee.  USPS regulations do not, however, govern campus mail.

          Neither Ms. Heidbreder nor Mr. Stock knows of "written" regula-

          tions governing campus mail.  Following unwitten guidelines,

          campus mail personnel handle campus mail the same as they handle

          USPS mail.

 

     Under the general rule that Commonwealth resources should not be used

     for personal gain, mail personnel should not be given certain duties

     (e.g.,  taking personal mail from a department office to the post

     office).  At the same time, the mail people are not charged with

     policing the mail.  (In fact, the resources allocated to the mail

     service would preclude policing.)

 

     Several members expressed support for creating regulations to govern

     campus mail.  Students' responsibilities in handling mail of fellow

     students was suggested for inclusion in any regulations.  Ways should

     be found to educate the campus community to expectations in handling

     campus mail.  Questions of e-mail were discussed.  Ms. Heidbreder

     remarked that e-mail files become public files when they are on

     university equipment.

 

     The chair will appoint a subcommittee to investigate issues of mail

     before scheduling additional discussions by the full committee.

 

  3.      The committee began addressing the request from the Commission on

          University Support (CUSpt?) to propose a name, charge, membership

          composition, and appointment procedure for the committee.  The

          committee recommends continuation of its name, University

          Communications Resources Committee, and proposes a charge of:

 

          To act as a liaison between the units involved in the

          university's communications networks and services (e.g.,

          audiovisual support, cable TV, data networks, learning resources,

          mail, photographic, printing, telephone, and video broadcasting

          services) and the rest of the university.  Specifically, the

          committee will facilitate information flow between those units

          and faculty, staff, and students, and will help formulate and

          recommend policies regarding planning, purchasing, installing,

          and utilizing the university's communication resources.

 

     Additional discussions are needed before proposals on membership and

     appointment procedures are ready.  (Some of that discussion will occur

     via e-mail before the next meeting with plans to conclude the

     discussion on January 27.)

 

  4.      Earving Blythe shared discussions that are proceeding for

          restructuring the support of computing.  He wants to use the

          committee during the rest of the academic year as a reaction

          group to ideas that emerge in the discussions.  The university

          needs to rethink its management operations in the realization

          that computing is increasing but in a distributed mode.  It is

          believed that current support is not organized optimally to

          handle distributed computing.

 

     An acute issue is the necessity to discontinue use of the 3084

     computer.  Longer range issues include location and development of

     expertise, training of faculty to a minimal level of literacy, and

     level of central involvement in determining which purchases will be

     good fits in the distributed environment.  An early goal is "to get

     people focused on distributed computing rather than mainframes," Erv

     said.  Some of "the structure will then evolve to serve this new

     focus."

 

  5.      Charles Litchfield reported quickly that the subcommittee on

          faculty network access continues its work.  He said that much of

          what Erv presented helped clarify questions being considered by

          the subcommittee.

 

  The next meeting of UCRC will be 3:00 p.m.,  January 27, 1993.

 

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