Information Technology Committee (ITC) Minutes

March 10, 2011, 11:00pm-12:30pm, OM304

Present: Lorraine Capobianco (Chair), Douglas O’Grady (for Dan Goble), William Joel, Veronica Kenausis, Mitch Wagener, Rebecca Woodward, Laurel Halloran (for Kit Hinga), Bernard Kokinchak, Todd McInerney, Rich Montague.

Budgets

  • Lorraine is in the process of determining how much money is needed for IT projects through FY11. There is not enough money so University Computing will present the case for more funds.  Based on the result projects will be given a go and others will need to be put off. 
  • FY11 equipment money was cut 20% and includes Desktop funds, Technology in the Classroom and local bond funds.   
  • Lorraine believes we should be very cautious about how we proceed with systemwide projects such as VoIP, Learning Management System, video conferencing, etc. because of the state of the economy in Connecticut and the proposed reorganizational changes in Higher Education. 

Budgets/Spreadsheets

  • The ITC machine allocation spreadsheets were updated and distributed at the meeting.  Updates to the spreadsheets include:
    • Machine installations done after the last ITC meeting were changed to black text indicating they were completed.
    • The amount/s charged for used equipment installed in 2010 were added back to each school’s total dollars to spend and marked as UC Funded.
    • Printer allocations were assessed and based on the age of the person’s current printer; the allocation either was crossed out or will be/was installed.  If the printer was crossed out, the charge for the allocation was added back into the available balance.
    • The amounts for outstanding machine allocations for faculty who will retire in May were removed from Ancell’s spreadsheet.  The same will be done for the other schools and the library as information about retirements and university positions becomes available in the coming months. 
    • ACTION: Lorraine asked the school technology chairs and Veronica to email Gail with any discrepancies they see on the spreadsheets. 
  • UC re-inventoried used equipment.  There are no used PC laptops or Mac desktops or laptops but there are approximately 20 good used PC desktops.  If the school technology chairs or Veronica want to compare the specifications of someone’s current machine to a used desktop, they should contact Jason Esposito. As we upgrade other tech areas, some of those machines will be suitable to upgrade older machines.
  • Lorraine thinks that some faculty members might have the wrong impression about our future, direction with respect to faculty having two computers and office printers. The bottom line is we need to cut back on printer toner and other consumables.  We need to save money.  We spend about $450K/yr. First, no one who has two computers is being asked to give one back right away.  Lorraine reiterated and explained that if an individual is allocated a laptop or desktop and currently has two machines, they need to give back the machine that is being replaced and eventually, not right away, give back the second machine.  If the machine that is kept is older and can’t support Windows 7, problems will eventually surface.  If someone gets a new laptop and currently has a desktop and wants to keep the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, they can have a replicator and keep the accessories.
  • Printers are not going to be removed right away from all areas/offices. The plan to reduce printers on campus is going to be a gradual process.  The (older) multifunction black/white laser printers and the (older) smaller color inkjet printers cost the most to operate. Therefore, we will first use up the supplies that we currently own for these printers and then remove the printers.  UC will first look to remove these printers in the administrative offices because most have a general printer in a central area. Rich Montague and some Business School chairs feel students will suffer if faculty don’t have a multifunction machine/printer in their offices when advising students.    Lorraine said we need to come up with other ways to address the need to print/copy including emailing the information to the student during the advisement session. Students could be asked/reminded to bring their unofficial transcripts with them to the advisement session. If essential, students can print their transcript in one of the computer centers.  Other faculty believe that electronic is the way to go and that students would have no problem with electronic as long as they get the information. The ITC discussed providing usb thumb drives to students as an alternative to printing. Bill Joel suggested faculty not hand out printed material in class any more.  Instead, faculty should either provide the information electronically on a network drive, a class website, ERes or post it in Blackboard Vista. 
  • Lorraine reiterated that there is a color laser in each Dean’s office and faculty and staff in the schools can print to those printers if they have the printer driver on their computer.  To have the driver installed, the individual must submit a request to the Help Desk.  Lorraine will again remind the Deans that their color laser printers are for use by faculty/staff in their school.  In a crunch, the color laser printers in the Westside and Midtown UC offices can also be used.

ITC Replacement Plan and other Updates/Issues

  • A HP8000 Elite USDT (Ultra Small Desktop) was set up for the ITC members to see.  These computers are on order.  They have a smaller CPU than the HP SFF (small form factor) desktop without losing functionality.  This model will be used to replace computers (laptops/desktops) in smaller multistation classrooms especially in the Westside Classroom Building. These computers will be deployed with Windows 7.  The HP8000 Elite USDT’s will be installed in the Haas Instructional Technology Center to replace the older laptops during spring break. 
  • UC will proceed to upgrade the 4 areas that have the oldest machines:  Physics Lab will receive 6 machines from video editing lab; Biology Lab in SB244 will get 10 HP8000 Elite SFF desktops; WS117a will get new HP8000 USDT’s (Ultra Small Desktops); WS212 will get HP 8000 USDT’s with 17” monitors.  After these areas are done, the next classroom with the oldest computers is WS377B.  The classrooms in the next group are all about the same age.  The goal is to get all PC multistation rooms to Window 7.    Faculty need to know far enough in advance what version of Windows and Office will be in the classrooms before they order text books.  That will be discussed at the May ITC meeting.
  • Lorraine noted that some technology classrooms have printers in them and UC will be looking at how often they are used and for what purpose to determine if they need to remain in the classroom.  Lorraine provided examples where printers were requested for special purposes.  For example, the Social Sciences Department requested a large color printer for the GIS Lab because students have to print their final projects (maps) 2 to 3 times a semester.  Lorraine approached University Publications about the request and they offered the use of their large printer.  Again, Lorraine said we need to be creative to help each other find alternatives for technology needs.    
  • Rich Montague mentioned that more faculty in Ancell are asking for a Mac.  Faculty saw a demo on PowerPoint 2010 for the Mac and liked what they can do with PowerPoint slides.  Lorraine said requests submitted will be considered but first, we should have Marlene Davis and Becky Diot check to see if what was seen during the demo can be done in Office 2010 for the pc.  Mac’s are more expensive and cannot be purchased because they do something neat in PowerPoint. 
  • Renovations to WS119 because of water damage are now complete.  UC staff who were temporarily relocated to OM303 will move back to WS119 except for Patty O’Neill and Mark Pisano.  Joe Sousa and Marge Galtieri will relocate their offices to WS119.  Tech support staff will continue to alternate coverage between Westside and Midtown.
  • Deployment of Windows 7 – UC (University Computing) is on the last phase of testing software for compatibility issues with Windows 7.  UC plans to upgrade the balance of the public machines in the Haas Library, which are on the first floor, to Windows 7 and replace the 17” monitors with 20” monitors during spring break.  If this is not accomplished during spring break, UC will continue the upgrades through the spring semester.  UC is also planning to upgrade the MTCC, WSCC, STTC, and CCCC to Windows 7 during spring break.  The computers in the computers centers have machines that are capable of supporting Windows 7.
  • MS Office 2010 – The plan is to upgrade to Exchange 2010 which is the backend of MS Outlook early this summer.  Then, over the summer, UC plans to deploy MS Office 2010, which contains Outlook 2010, on all machines that are capable.  We will upgrade the machines in the classrooms so they can handle Windows 7.  Lorraine said that UC did not have compatibility issues with Windows 7 and the main Office 2010 applications (i.e. Word, Excel and PowerPoint).   Rich Montague stated that one of his students had a compatibility issue with PowerPoint 2010 and 2007.  Lorraine asked Rich to have the student send the information to Todd McInerney.  The information from the student revealed that he was trying to open a drawing created in Visio 2007 with Visio 2003 on his home computer.  He then obtained a copy of Office 2010 for his home computer.  With regards to Mac’s, Lorraine asked Jeff Postolowski to contact Veronica Kenausis and Mitch Wagener so UC can start testing for incompatibility issues with Office 2011.   
  • Requests submitted for iPads have been denied for many reasons.  iPads are expensive, they may incur  a monthly service charge, they are meant as a personal device, not a University device, and we cannot consider purchasing them in the current economic climate.  If they are used in a private business setting, they don’t have the restrictions that we have imposed upon us by state regulations.  Laurel Halloran asked Veronica if the eBooks available through the library could be downloaded.  Veronica said no but they are looking to get downloadable versions.  This is a problem in their industry.  The eBooks in the library are accessible online.  The iPods that Nursing purchased with grant funds are a pilot project.  To comply with our standards, the operating systems that came with the iPods had to be stripped and redone. 
  • UC deployed an electronic SharePoint application for submittal and approval of CUCAS development curriculum proposals for undergraduate and UC is looking at the feedback from faculty.  The electronic approval system will be presented at the Graduate Council on Monday, March 28th for graduate courses.  Lorraine hopes to deploy the same system in September for the graduate program.  UPBC is questioning if they need to review all proposals for possible budgetary impact. 
  • Lorraine will bring up issues/comments with Roy Stewart. Lorraine heard that the university may not be offering 098/100 level classes which impacts the technology in WH301.  The computers in WH301 have the ALEKS program installed on them and if 098 math classes won’t be offered, the computers need to be upgraded for other departments to use the classroom.  Students needing remedial classes will be directed to take classes at a local community college.  Lorraine is meeting with Roy Stewart and she will confirm this information. 

ITC Meeting Schedule :
4/14/11 (Cancelled because of Provost interviews); 5/12/11, 10:30am – 12:30pm, OM304 Conference Room

 

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