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March 31, 1993

 

         Minutes of the University Communications Resources Committee

 

 

 

  Meeting held:        Wednesday, March 31, 1993 - 3:00-5:00 pm

  Location:            Conference Room (Graduate School), 206 Sandy Hall

 

  Present:             Fred Bailey, David Bevan, Tom Caceci, George Crofts

                       (Chairman), Jamie Evans, Ed Fox, Carolyn Furrow, F.

                       Gail Gray, Marcia Harrington, Mark Hunter, Kathy

                       Johnston, Bernard LaBerge, Buddy Litchfield, Tom

                       McAnge, Lenwood McCoy, Arthur Snoke, Bob Sumichrast

 

  Guests:              Phil (Theta) Bowden, Tom Head, Richard Stock

 

 

  1.      The February minutes were approved.

 

  2.      Ed Fox asked about activities to bring Ethernet connections to

          dormitories.  Phil (Theta) Bowden responded that 66 rooms in East

          Payne will be equipped with Ethernet connections this summer.

          This experiment will guide future Ethernet wiring in dormitories.

          The plans are annually to convert 25% of the dormitory rooms, one

          connection per room, to Ethernet capabilities starting in the

          summer of 1994.  Clearly, all difficulties cannot be anticipated,

          but CNS is prepared to address issues as they surface with the

          66-room pilot program.

 

     Housing will be involved in future years publicizing the availability

     of rooms with Ethernet connections.  Departments whose students could

     benefit from Ethernet will also want to publicize the availability.

     Since rooms have already been requested for the fall, it may be impos-

     sible to reserve the 66 rooms in the pilot program for students who

     can best take advantage of the option.  Mark Hunter will discuss with

     housing what possibilities exist for this fall.

 

  3.      Theta gave an update on the Blacksburg Electronic Village

          project.  C&P Telephone is very much involved.  The C&P hub will

          be connected with the network at Tech.  Two apartment complexes

          will be tied to the C&P hub this fall.  Students in the

          apartments would pay the inbound-modem fees and obtain the

          capabilities of the students in dormitories.  Of course, the

          apartment connections will be available to any renter, student or

          otherwise.  The public schools (K-12) may connect with the C&P

          system if the school system can find resources.

 

     A good discussion followed on opportunities (and constraints) for Tech

     personnel to help K-12 schools with computing needs.  Theta will

     prepare an article for Spectrum  stating some opportunities for Tech

     students, staff, and faculty to become involved with the Electronic

     Village initiative.  There should be a variety of opportunities

     ranging from experience designing and maintaining networks to conduct-

     ing research on behavioral changes resulting from the new capa-

     bilities.

 

  4.      a)   Buddy Litchfield reported that the university computer

               committee declined an invitation to form a joint

               subcommittee to consider access and network questions.  The

               computer committee feels that the current pricing structure

               permits departments to address access questions.  Arthur

               Snoke suggested that UCRC and the computer committee should

               share their minutes.  This can help each committee remain

               better informed of issues that may become mutually

               important.  Ed observed that the subcommittee has reached no

               decision on access, the group is still gathering

               information.  No proposal is before the subcommittee.  Buddy

               said the subcommittee would want to continue meeting next

               year.  It would want to assist with the analysis of the

               pilot projects planned for this summer on using computers as

               aids to instruction.  Arthur suggested that the subcommittee

               would also want to remain active as Phase II unfolds.  The

               information about networks, access, and distributed

               computing that Buddy is receiving from other universities

               will be grist for the subcommittee.

 

     b)   Bernard LaBerge will have a recommendation from the mail

          subcommittee at the next meeting.

 

  5.      Tom Head told the committee that recently several people have

          complained about items being sent through the campus mail.  The

          mail service does not screen material that is submitted by recog-

          nized student groups or campus units.  Even begging the question

          of who would decide what items are acceptable, the mail service

          does not have enough staff to screen material submitted for

          mailing.  Tom is reexamining management of the service, including

          the possibility of general regulations.  Written regulations may

          be needed.  Regulations could counter any perception that rules

          were decided "on the go."

 

     Lenwood McCoy mentioned the issue of off-campus offices not receiving

     mailings sent through campus mail.  This frustrates offices wanting to

     send information announcements and those who should receive the

     information.

 

     The chair asked that discussions on mail regulations first occur with

     the mail subcommittee before coming to the full committee.  The

     members of the subcommittee can help focus any recommendation that

     might come to the full committee because of their work this year.

 

  6.      Tom reported that the pilot projects to use computers in

          instruction (one each in classics, mathematics, and writing) are

          moving forward.  Three, 25-station laboratories (one each in Wil-

          liams, McBryde, and Newman Library) and two, 40-person classrooms

          (in McBryde) will be equipped to facilitate teaching the project

          courses this fall.

 

     Good discussions followed on equipping computer laboratories.  In

     response to a question, Tom said that planning is in the early stages

     for training administrative personnel for the distributed computing

     environment.

 

 

     NEXT MEETING:      April 28, 1993 - 3:00-5:00 pm

                    Board Room, Newman Library, 6th Floor

 

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