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Meeting Minutes

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Meeting Minutes for October 14, 2002

A meeting of the University Information Technology Advisory Committee was called to order at 3:07 p.m. on October 14, 2002, in the Dean’s Conference Room at the Lyons Building on the MCV Campus. Dr. David Sarrett, co-chair, presided. Members present were Dr. Timothy Broderick, Dr. Lynn Nelson, Ms. Fran Smith, Dr. James Shultz, Ms. Veronica Shuford, Dr. Phyllis Self, Mr. John Ulmschneider, and Mr. Mark Willis. Dr. Robert Mattauch and Mr. Carl Gattuso were absent.

Minutes were approved as prepared.

a. UITAC Annual Report
Transmittal memo forwarding the UITAC 2001-2002 Annual Report to the vice presidents was distributed for review. The memo was approved as written, signed by the co-chairs, and will be forwarded to the Vice Presidents. The report will also be sent to the president of the Faculty Senate.

b. Committee Charge and Membership

A revised version of the “Charge and Membership” of the committee was distributed for review. The revisions included increasing the number of members appointed to the committee by a total of nine as follows: eight instructional/research faculty members instead of four, six administrative staff instead of three, and six ex officio members instead of four. The proposed new non-voting members would be the President of the Faculty Senate and the President of the Staff Senate or their designees. The number of student appointees would remain at three.
Also, under the Terms of Membership, a bullet was added stating that two-year terms will be staggered so one-half of faculty and administrator members will be appointed each year.

Discussion by the committee members resulted in the following suggestions:
1. Recommendations should be made to the Vice Presidents about committee membership. The consensus of the committee was that having more members would increase attendance at the meetings and provide broader input on IT issues.
2. Under Committee Charge, in the first sentence, the word “information” should be added after the words “guidance for the development and use of” and before the word “technology.”
3. Under Membership, the number of administrative staff will be changed to seven instead of six. The seventh person would be “one appointed by the Vice President for Research.”
4. In the footnotes at the bottom of the page, remove the words “Approved by President” and change the first footnote to read “First Approved by President: April 10, 2000.”

The newly appointed faculty and administrator members will serve two years and the current members will continue for another year. The changes will be made and the document will be forwarded to the vice presidents for consideration and approval.

c. Budget Update
Handout of an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education entitled “10 Ways Colleges Can Cut IT Costs” was distributed. Mr. Willis went over each of the 10 items listed and referenced what VCU was doing in relation to each of the suggestions. For almost all of the items, VCU has already implemented the strategies.

He also stated that he was waiting for the Governor’s speech on Tuesday, October 15, before announcing budget cuts in Administrative Information Technology. Dr. Self stated that she had laid off 12 people in Academic Technology and Mr. Ulmschneider stated that the library staffing is at very low levels at this point.

a. State IT Strategic Plan
The State IT Strategic Plan was announced about three weeks ago. Mr. Willis distributed a copy of the “Executive Summary of the Commonwealth of Virginia Strategic Plan for Technology.” The Executive Summary is very large (about 150 pages), and the full report is available on the web.

The Plan focuses around three major roles and eight initiatives (which are listed on Page 5). Initiative #2 (Consolidate IT infrastructure and provide centralized services as a technology utility) has received the most attention. The State has 34 data centers in the Richmond area and this proposal would centralize them into one. At this point, institutions of higher education are not included in the State plan. However, the Secretary of Technology (George Newstrom) has charged the higher ed CIOs with developing better means of collaborating and sharing resources.

b. E-Mail Filtering and Internet Monitoring
Mr. Willis distributed a handout of a memo that he wrote to Mr. Paul Timmreck, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration. In the memo, he stated that we do not routinely monitor internet or e-mail use. There are times when, in the course of their regular work, AIT staff will come across evidence that computing resources are being used contrary to State and University policies and regulations (usually evidence that a machine has been used to access sexually explicit materials). In these instances, the technician will notify the appropriate manager. At other times, departmental managers have requested filtering or blocking software be placed on individual machines that limit the sites an individual can go to on the Web from the specific machine.

State policy allows limited personal use of computing resources but bans access to sexually explicit Internet sites without the authorization of the agency head. VCU’s policy is consistent with state policy.

Some management issues for consideration are:
• Should staff be treated differently from faculty
• Should faculty and staff be treated differently from students
• Should management and enforcement be left to the schools and departments

There was no other business.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.


  Virginia Commonwealth University | Administrative Information Technology
Last Modified January 28, 2003
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