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February 24, 1993

 

         Minutes of the University Communications Resources Committee

 

 

 

  Meeting held:        Wednesday, February 24, 1993 - 3:00-5:00 pm

  Location:            Board Room, Newman Library

 

  Present:             Marc Abrams (for Ed Fox), Fred Bailey, David Bevan,

                       Erv Blythe, Tom Caceci, George Crofts (Chairman),

                       Marcia Harrington, Mark Hunter, Judy Lilly, Buddy

                       Litchfield, Tom McAnge, Arthur Snoke, Matthew Swift

                       (for K. Johnston)

 

  Guests:              Phil (Theta) Bowden, Tom Head

 

 

  1.      The January minutes were approved.

 

  2.      The committee accepted the suggestion by the Commission on

          University Support that the director of extension information

          systems be an ex-officio member of UCRC.  It also accepted the

          suggestion that the representative of cooperative extension be

          chosen by the Virginia Extension Service Association.

 

     The committee reaffirmed that the word chosen was consciously selected

     to replace the word nominated in the method of appointment for members

     of UCRC.

 

  3.      Tom Head presented general plans for developing more use of

          computing in instruction.  The three major components of the plan

          are faculty development, student access, and course development.

          Students who do not have personal computers configured to handle

          courses will have access to computers in university laboratories.

          All faculty members who wish training and retraining will have

          the opportunity every four years during a week-long training

          session.  Each faculty member who completes the session will

          receive the type of computer on which s/he was trained.  The

          computer will include an installed set of core software

          consisting of productivity programs.  The sessions will go beyond

          training participants to use the software and hardware, they will

          include lectures and discussions on innovative instructional ap-

          proaches.  It is expected that the sessions will lead faculty to

          re-examine course content for courses and to develop new

          approaches for delivering topics.

 

     Some pilot sessions will occur this summer for groups from English,

     humanities, and mathematics.  (These areas were chosen because of the

     large numbers of students they serve.)  The hardware for the pilot

     projects will be "Mac's."  The software will accommodate word

     processing, and spreadsheet, database, e-mail, and multimedia capabi-

     lities.  Packages on mathematical symbol manipulation, scientific data

     visualization, and graphic design will also be included.

 

     There was good discussion over the issue of dictating or not dictating

     the platform and software for the faculty.

 

     The state senate is urging more use of computers in instruction, but

     it may not appreciate the time and resources needed to implement

     ideas.  Technical personnel would be needed for implementation of

     sophisticated use of computers in classes.  Faculty evaluations must

     be adjusted to entice good efforts in this arena.  (Note the Snizek

     article in the February 25 edition of Spectrum.)

 

  4.      Buddy Litchfield reported that the faculty access subcommittee is

          rethinking its objective in light of the work that Erv Blythe is

          doing on distributed computing.  With costs low for access, with

          expectations rising that local processors will largely replace

          centralized processors, different questions seem to subsume the

          issue of access.  If plans that Tom discussed become operational,

          all faculty who wish access will gain it.  It is speculated that

          a more relevant issue than access is that of a package consisting

          of a workstation, a network program, and a network connection.

          The subcommittee requested that the computing committee be

          invited to form a subcommittee to meet with it for discussions.

 

     Arthur Snoke suggested that other universities that have moved to

     distributed computing be solicited to learn from their experiences.

     The responses could help us reduce expenses and unnecessary ground

     work.

 

     The mail regulation subcommittee continues to meet.  It hopes to have

     a recommendation on regulations for campus mail and e-mail by the

     March meeting of UCRC.

 

  5.      The report from Tom covered recent "Phase II" activities.

 

     A concern was raised regarding the needs of faculty in technical

     disciplines who require large computing capacities.  These concerns

     are part of the discussion agenda.

 

  6.      Judy Lilly distributed a summary of the search process for the

          vice president for information systems.  As of February 15, 80

          applications had been received.  A first evaluation has reduced

          the viable candidates to about 25.  The search committee remains

          open to opinions of qualifications that people feel the appointee

          should have.  To minimize the chances of misleading applicants or

          revealing names of applicants, the search committee is not

          sharing detailed qualifications that are being applied in the

          screening.

 

 

 

                                 NEXT MEETING

                        March 31, 1993 - 3:00-5:00 pm

              Conference Room (Graduate School), 206 Sandy Hall

 

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