Information Technology Council
Minutes for the Meeting of March 8, 1996
Members present: E. Anderson, P. Bell, S. Boesch, D. Brown, L. Colaw, C. Dillon, K.
Droegemeier, D. Hough, B. Mason, J. Moore, L. Portwood, W. Ray, D. Roberts, K.
Scott, S. Sohail
Guests present: J. Farley, R. Hill, N. Mergler, E. Smith
- Bruce Mason reported that a group to study and coordinate technology fees across the
campus is in the planning stage. Because students and colleges have the greatest interest
in this, attempts will be made to get representation from the colleges and the various
student groups. There should also be representation from DCTS, faculty, and staff for
information purposes. The ITC will act as a broker in the fee discussions.
Lee Colaw reported that, in response to suggestions made by student leaders, a $75 per
semester cap on the campus-wide networking fee is reasonable and $135,000 in DCTS
funds have been targeted for critical IT needs on campus.
- Eric Anderson reported on the first meeting of the Research and Creative Activities
committee. This was mostly an organizational meeting. A review of expenditures on
computing and technology for research on campus will be undertaken. Close ties with the
Research Council will be established.
- Lisa Portwood reported on the first meeting of the Instructional Technology
committee. This committee has started discussions on an Educational Technology
Initiative to provide resources and incentives for faculty to learn about and develop the
use of technology in courses on campus. The committee felt that this initiative should
start as soon as possible.
- Lee Colaw discussed the current over use of the campus-wide modem pool. Statistics
are being taken, and a small number of users are abusing modem privileges. Steps being
taken, or to be taken, to remedy the problem include limiting the length of single modem
sessions, requiring user idís, and blocking modem connections from dorms. It was
suggested that users be informed that the length of modem sessions will be limited.
- Lee Colaw told the Council that the Regents have been notified of the plans to replace
the current mainframe computer, and that a request for bids has been made.
- A wide ranging discussion of technology issues on campus was held. The Provost,
Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Vice President for Research, and Vice President
for Student Affairs attended. They expressed their views on where the University stands
now and where it might be going in the future. Among the issues discussed were:
- The ways in which the University provides its services will change greatly over the next
decade due to developing technologies. Planning is needed to try to avoid major pitfalls.
- Educators need both support and incentives to develop and use new teaching and learning
methods. These personnel issues are more important than technology issues. Requiring
innovations at the academic unit level was suggested as means to stimulate this
- Students will need to have access to the training needed to prepare them for these new
ways of learning. Exposure to information technology should be part of their education.
Discussions with students regarding their needs and expectations and the goals of the
University for technology use will be vital.
- There is a need for wider coordination of and access to information on campus. These
needs come from areas such as student registration and advising, grant writing and
management, and personnel records. The current network upgrade will facilitate
communication between all members of the campus community. At the same time,
security must be maintained.
- Current and future hardware solutions to technology problems include the network
upgrade (nearing completion), the mainframe upgrade (underway), and campus-wide
optical imaging and storage (being studied). There are also discussions being started with
interested parties in the City of Norman for networking of the city, allowing faster and
more reliable access to campus.
- System software is an important issue for information storage and access. A great deal of
time, effort, and money are necessary to improve database management and warehousing.