Committee on Information Technology

November 18, 1997

Pat Moran called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. Also attending were Umit Akinc, Rhoda Channing, Allin Cottrell, Bob Evans, Rick Matthews, Harry Titus, Michael Warren, and Steven Wicker.

ThinkPad screen

The committee discussed the relative merits of the TFT and dual scan screens. The committee has received lots of e-mail from faculty advocating TFT screens for next year's ThinkPads. The TFT screens do not have the smearing of moving images that are present in dual scan screens. They are also more easily viewable off-axis, helpful if more than one person is trying to view the screen. Jay Dominick and Dean Escott have confirmed the availability of monitors for faculty, but that does not address the needs of students. Also some faculty do not want to give desk space to monitors. Were cost not an issue, all members of the committee would prefer TFT.

The committee will not know for several months the answers to key questions:

The committee agreed on the need for more information regarding the technology needs of faculty. The committee resolved to develop and distribute a survey to faculty and students that will survey their need for improved technology in several areas, including ThinkPad displays. Members are to submit suggestions to the CIT listserv.

University Home Page

Steve Wicker shared with the committee news that the Editor's Office wants to impose a more uniform style on departmental web pages. The committee consensus was that this would be acceptable to departments as long as subsequent pages were not so controlled and as long as the Editor's office did not try to control content. Rick Matthews supported this proposal, but expressed his belief that the Editor's Office should address major shortcomings in the university pages under its control before concerning itself with departmental pages. He and several other committee members complained about the illogical structure of the pages, especially the obscure placement of the faculty/staff/student directory. Other complaints included:


The performance of IGN continues to decline. A fix is in the works. We are waiting ( waiting waiting waiting) for IGN to finish this work. The fix was originally scheduled for July 1997. Jay has been working hard to persuade IGN to finish.

Administrative assistant training

Rick Matthews reported being asked to raise the issue of support and training of administrative assistants by a department chair. In e-mail prior to the meeting, Jay Dominick acknowledged the need for improved training of AA's, and described plans that are in the works. Rhoda Channing described training that had been offered, but observed that they had suffered a very high rate of no-shows. The committee discussed the possibility of requiring ten dollar registration "deposits," refundable when the person attends the meeting for which they registered.

The person who contacted the committee referred to a memorandum from the registrar's office asking that the ACS help set up the administrative assistant's system. The person did not feel was appropriate us of the ACS. Committee members present felt that such tasks were appropriate for the ACS's, since administrative assistants are, to a considerable extent, partners to the faculty whom the ACS's directly support. As with faculty, such support should not include functions that are the responsibility of the help desk or other parts of IS.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.