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Meeting Minutes

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Meeting Minutes for September 9, 2002

A meeting of the University Information Technology Advisory Committee was called to order at 3:05 p.m. on September 9, 2002, in the 4th floor conference room of Cabell Library. Dr. Robert Mattauch, co-chair, presided. Members present were Dr. Lynn Nelson, Ms. Fran Smith, Dr. James Shultz, Ms. Veronica Shuford, Dr. Phyllis Self, Mr. John Ulmschneider, and Mr. Mark Willis. Dr. Timothy Broderick, Dr. David Sarrett, and Mr. Carl Gattuso were absent.

Minutes were approved as prepared.

Dr. Self and Mr. Willis advised the committee that the draft document entitled “Procedure for Revocation and/or Examination of VCU Computer and Network Access”, which had been distributed at the June 17 meeting for review by the committee, would be removed from consideration. (The committee’s sense at the June 17 meeting was that there was sufficient definition and authority in the Computer and Network Resources Enforcement Procedures to handle these situations.)

The committee agreed that the UITAC Annual Report for 2001-2002 was ready to be sent to Dr. Roderick McDavis, Dr. Hermes Kontos, and Mr. Paul Timmreck for review. Mr. Willis will prepare a memo to accompany the report.

The IT strategic planning process has been suspended at this point until the latest round of budget reductions are planned and implemented. The future scope of the IT budgets in AT and AIT will significantly impact the directions of the strategic plan. Mr. Willis and Dr. Self will still move ahead with a centrally developed plan, but work on it will be delayed until after the October budget timeframe.

External discussions are also going on at the state level regarding IT issues and management. The Wilder Commissions is looking closely at IT as a major area of cost savings and the Secretary of Technology (George Newstrom) is developing a statewide IT strategic plan that is due to be released in late September. The impact of these state IT initiatives on higher education is unknown at this point but could be significant.

With the additional budget reductions that the University is facing, IT services to students, faculty and staff will certainly be impacted. Education and research are the important areas that AT and AIT will attempt to protect as much as possible. The Provost has indicated that we need to maintain IT support for students, particularly the freshmen and the seniors.

Dr. Self stated that AT would try to protect the following items:

• Blackboard
• Help Desk
• Web
• Research Computing

The Deans on the Academic Campus formulated a statement about the items that are absolutely essential.

Mr. Willis stated that he is trying to protect the non-personal budget as much as possible as is focusing on restructuring workload and eliminating positions. It is AIT’s strategy to continue to invest in new technology in order to keep the University moving forward. AIT is also looking at eliminating older technologies and obsolete hardware and software that are hard to support and expensive to maintain.

Mr. Willis and Dr. Self met with the Faculty Senate on September 3 to discuss their concerns regarding the process for the development and approval of the Computer and Network Resources Use Policy. Some members of the Senate were troubled about what they perceived to be the lack of faculty input into the process. Dr. Self and Mr. Willis reviewed the history of the development of this policy. At the time, the approval process was unclear and evolving due to the “policy on policies” that was being developed. Mr. Willis explaining that while there was no formal review of the proposed policy by the full Faulty Senate there was significant input and opportunity for input into the process by faculty and faculty groups (including the Academic Technology Faculty Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate).

The committee discussed the issue. In the future, UITAC minutes and agenda will be sent to the President of the Faculty Senate so they will be able to keep apprised of what the committee is doing.

At the June meeting, the committee discussed possible revisions to the membership and structure of UITAC including: expanded membership, rotating membership, staggered terms, additional ex officio members (e.g., from ATFAC, the Faculty Senate, the Staff Senate, etc.). Mr. Willis suggested that the committee might want to develop a new charter for UITAC.

The committee agreed that any revisions in the charter or membership of UITAC would have to be approved by the three appointing VPs. Dr. Self and Mr. Willis will come up with a plan and bring it back to the committee at its next meeting.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:20 pm.


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Last Modified January 28, 2003
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