UNIVERSITY TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE
October 13, 2005
Attendees: Chuck Taylor, Jim Vance, Jeff Vernooy, Dan DeStephen, Verne Smith (CaTS) Greg Kojola, Terry Anderson (CaTS), Stephen Foster, Barbara Denison, Bonnie Mathies, Sean Kleefeld and Carol Holdcraft
Approval of Minutes
Minutes of the May meeting were approved as written.
Terry Anderson gave the committee an update on the current Banner projects:
As would be expected with any major implementation, there have been a number of concerns and frustrations expressed regarding the Banner project. Most of these concerns center around the time it takes to complete a task in the new system and the lack of some functionality that had been available in previous systems. Some of this is simply because it is a new system and a learning curve is to be expected. However, some is because the functionality is truly lacking. Over time, many of these items will be addressed through extensions to Banner as opposed to modifications.
Verne Smith announced that WSU is continuing a multi-year agreement with Microsoft for university and student licensing of the company’s software such as Windows upgrades and Office products. However, the agreement includes substantial price increases each year. As part of the budget plan, the cost of products for students increases. For example, this year Office was increased from $20 to $30. Originally, the budget plan included an intention to begin charging faculty and staff for home use rights starting July, 2006. However, CaTS believes this can be waived for one more year, therefore, home use rights will continue to be free for faculty and staff. Due to the increasing cost of the contract, eventually all home licensing will move to a fee-based distribution model.
Verne also discussed PC configuration policy changes. Starting with fiscal year 2006/07 computer classroom upgrades and installations, CaTS will no longer purchase systems with floppy drives. CaTS began earlier this year recommending the university phase out the use of older and less reliable floppy disk technology and move to the use of network H: home directories, USB thumb drives and CDRW disks. The first computer classrooms affected will be the Millett basement labs, currently planned for replacement in December, 2006. CTL has made no announcement about phasing out floppy drives in systems they manage.
Each year CaTS publishes recommended minimum hardware guidelines so that departments can better plan for an appropriate replacement cycle. The guidelines for fiscal 2006/07 can be reviewed on CaTS Purchasing Guides website, http://www.wright.edu/cats/purchase/. Rather than an absolute, hard minimum standard, new Green-Yellow-Red guidelines are being released. Green systems will be fully capable of running current recommended software and accessing important university services such as WINGS and Banner. Yellow systems are less capable and should be replaced in the next 12-18 months. Red systems should only be used for the most basic of functions and are likely no longer under warranty.
Dan DeStephen distributed copies of the current WebCT classes being offered as of 10/11/05. He also announced that the rumor regarding a merger between WebCT and Blackboard will not have any immediate impact for faculty using WebCT. There should not be any changes for at least two years. This message was sent via email to all users of WebCT.
As a result of a survey of the colleges on campus, Dan distributed a list of Planned Changes in Distance Learning Degrees/Certificates 2006-2011. This information may be subject to change in the future.
Finally, Dan distributed a list of all 108 electronic classrooms currently on campus. The policy of locking all electronic classrooms is being reviewed by the Provost at the request of CTL.
Jeff Vernooy recommended an article in the Chronicle for Higher Education, Volume 51, Issue 49 regarding lawsuits against universities for not accommodating learning disabled students on distance learning and on-line courses.
Jeff also pointed out the new lab in the College of Business has not had input from Disabilities Services and no accommodations have been made for disabled students. He requested that future projects such as this must contact Disabilities Services for requirements.
The next scheduled UTC meeting will be held on Thursday, November 10, 2005 from 3:00 – 4:00 pm in 315 Library.