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September 29, 1993

 

         Minutes of the University Communications Resources Committee

 

 

 

  Meeting held:        Wednesday, September 29, 1993 - 3:00-5:00 pm

  Location:            Board Room, 6th Floor, Newman Library

 

  Present:             David Bevan, Erv Blythe, George Crofts (Chairman),

                       Jamie Evans, Ed Fox, Dan Gallagher, Marcia

                       Harrington, Mark Hunter, Jo Johnson, Judy Lilly,

                       Buddy Litchfield, Lance Matheson, Lenwood McCoy,

                       William Richardson (for Tom McAnge), Mark Sanders,

                       Frank Schima, Matt Swift, Shirley Travis

 

  Guests:              Phil (Theta) Bowden, Bob McCoy

 

 

  1.      Location of committee in governance structure and charge

 

     Committee members were welcomed and reminded of the committee's

     location in the governance structure and the charge for the committee.

 

     Lenwood McCoy mentioned that the restructuring of reporting lines

     means that the committee now has two members representing the same

     vice president.  The committee may wish to recommend changes to the

     committee membership.

 

  2.      Business from last year

 

     The subcommittees on universal network access and mail regulations

     (campus mail and e-mail) will continue this year.  Members were

     invited to indicate their interest in serving on one or both of these.

 

  3.      Remarks from the chair.  Assignment for becoming informed

 

     As with other governance committees, the UCRC will have a chair next

     year other than an administrator; i.e., faculty member or classified

     employee.  The members should make plans this year to select, by

     April, a chair for next year.

 

     The committee should select a vice chair at its October meeting to

     minimize disruption if the chair is away during a scheduled meeting.

 

     The chair suggested that any committee, and this one in particular,

     can serve better if it is informed.  With networks, local and global,

     gaining importance, this committee should expect numerous agenda items

     about networks this decade.  We need to find ways to gain some common

     background about networks to address issues.  Members suggested

     finding some general reading, bringing speakers to meetings, becoming

     familiar with "network talk" (e.g., gopher).

 

  4.      Status of mail regulations

 

     Robert McCoy, printing and mail service, reported that a draft mail

     regulation is being reviewed by Tom Head and Richard Stock.  It will

     be brought to the committee soon.

 

  5.      Blacksburg Electronic Village update

 

     Phil Bowden reported that summer activities for the Blacksburg Elec-

     tronic Village (BEV) included revising software for general distribu-

     tion.  High-speed modems will be ready this month.  There are three

     hundred beta test users of the software, which will increase with the

     announcement of the high-speed modem.  BEV is approaching NSF and DoEd

     about possible funding.  Liaison has been initiated between BEV and K-

     12 schools.

 

     Ed Fox suggested that a video tape of BEV be shown at the next UCRC

     meeting.  It is important to inform people about BEV.  There are

     opportunities for faculty to get funding on related projects, or to

     become involved in BEV.  Successes will drive further involvement.

 

  6.      CNS - status, issues, opportunities

 

     Judy Lilly said there were over 1,700 data connections in the 1992-93

     fiscal year with about 1,350 of these 10-Base-T connections.  Since

     July, there have been 400 10-Base-T connections and 120 CBX connec-

     tions.  10-Base-T is now in 33 buildings and three more buildings are

     being wired.

 

     Ethernet is in the east wing of Payne Hall.

 

     There is no CBX capacity concern.

 

     A continuing problem is getting people trained to use the network.

     The only real possibility is getting people to help each other.  Using

     software is easier than getting computers connected, physically and

     program wise, with networks.  Cable TV may help with this operation.

     (Ed Fox mentioned that computer science will offer a course next fall

     to help with the concern.  Colleges are invited to contact the comput-

     er science department to talk about particular needs the course should

     address.)

 

  7.      Instructional Development Initiative

 

     Erv Blythe reminded the members that the instructional development

     initiative last summer was in response to a program in the state

     senate.  Tech responded to the program by investing in faculty who

     would use computing and computers in their teaching.  Workshops were

     in humanities (classics), English, and mathematics.  Participants

     worked both to learn hardware and software, and to try new ways of

     delivering instruction.  The hope is to expand the program so that all

     faculty will be able to receive training every four years.  SCHEV is

     being approached for some funding with the university covering the

     rest.  Susan Brooker-Gross is likely to coordinate choosing partici-

     pants.  The criteria are likely to involve core and high capacity

     courses and the capability of units to benefit.

 

  8.      Information Systems

 

     In addition to the instructional development initiative, information

     systems is working to migrate administrative services to the world of

     open computing.  Erv will talk about administrative computing projects

     in a future meeting.  The move from the mainframe world is often

     misunderstood as a move away from centrally managed resources.

     Concern also exists that there is a move away from the "DOS" world.

     There will be focus of systems for efficiency, but no systems have

     been chosen.

 

     Ed Fox suggested that we invite a person from each of the units

     involved in the instructional development initiative to speak about

     the summer program.

 

 

             The next meeting will be OCTOBER 27, 3:00 - 5:00 pm.

 

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