UTAC Summary, 2011-12
Note: This report summarizes activities completed during 2011-12 via the 11/7/2011 meeting and various subcommittee meetings and e-mail-based UTAC reviews completed during the spring 2012 semester.
Summary of 2011 Summer Tech Fee Projects
The committee reviewed a summary report of summer 2011 tech fee project highlights. Renewal projects included lifecyle PC upgrades for the Adaptive Technology Lab, Gemmell laptops, Ariel Web Delivery, Microfilm Digitial Scanner, Financial Trading Floor, Nursing Lab projects, software for the Neurophysiology project, and extended maintenance for Scott Studio, Radio Transmitter, Cartography Lab,and Library Science Lab projects. Lifecycle PC/Mac upgrades were also completed as part of the UTAC computer lab upgrade initiative: Carlson Library, Suhr Library, COBA, English Writing, STC Computational Science, and Venango Montgomery 311 & 318. For smart classrooms, renewal projects included one complete smart classroom and the following partial component upgrades: 24 computers, 16 projectors and/or controllers, and two audio systems.
Fall 2011 Project Updates
Faculty Staff E-mail (Exchange Project): The committee discussed the Exchange Project transition status. Read-only access to the legacy iClarion e-mail system ends 11/18/2011. The Deleted Items auto purge begins 11/16/2011. Various university announcements will be made to confirm the final transition items.
Office 2010 and Windows 7 Transitions: Labs and smart classrooms were upgraded to Office 2010 and Windows 7 over the summer. "What's New" documentation and training was provided and a full set of Office 2010 and Windows 7 web resources and internal training classes were created. All new faculty / staff PC's are being installed with Win 7/Office 10. For existing PC's, "opt-in" upgrades are being completed upon request subject to hardware compatibility. With Window 7, the committee reviewed some operational standards based on the pilot and agreed to a new standard "logon banner" based on PASSHE guidelines and a security best practice of a 30 minute default for password protected screen savers (with a user override option). The committee also discussed the need to standardize on some minimum PC restart procedures in order to maintain security and other software updates that are needed on a regular basis. The proposed approach included user communications to encourage regular reboots coupled with automated procedures to force a reboot after 4 weeks (28 days). UTAC had some concerns about the automated reboot and requested a future project for an automated communication process to send advanced e-mails notices for one week prior to an auto reboot (similar to password expiration warning processes).
Faculty/Staff Disk Storage: An open planning item exists to provide personal, network-based storage for faculty/staff to improve backup, access, and security considerations for individual files. The committee discussed a "home directory" pilot to address this need. However, UTAC had some concerns about a model based on being on the university network, particularly given increasing mobile and remote usage and requested a future research project to identify options for web-based storage.
VMS Gold / Future Usage: With the transition to the MyClarion student information system (peoplesoft), very few services remain on VMS (Gold/Blue). UTAC coordinated a faculty e-mail survey of continuing VMS usage needs that resulted in findings centered primarily on SAS usage within the College of Business Administration (COBA). UTAC asked Computing Services to work directly with COBA to review SAS considerations and develop plans to align with their SAS needs.
Tech Fee Reviews
Budget: The committee reviewed a draft budget for the 2011-12 Tech Fee. Allocations continue for past UTAC initiatives with various software agreements, library databases, internet bandwidth, and smart classroom and wireless maintenance. Allocations also continued for university-wide IT systems and services. New project funding is not available for 2011-12, but a full allocation was made for summer 2012 project renewals.
Equipment Re-allocations: 166 units replaced with Tech Fee summer projects were available for reallocation within the university. UTAC coordinated a call for proposals for the 4+ year-old equipment coordinated through the RC managers. 25 proposals were received and UTAC advanced a recommendation to the Provost to award all of the units requested in the proposals with the remaining approx. 60 units to be targeted for the replacement of older faculty, staff, or student workers PC's within each RC in coordination with Computing Services and the RC managers. The recommendations were approved by PEC and cascaded units were installs spring and early summer 2012.
Renewal Projects: The committee reviewed a summary list of the 20 projects eligible for life cycle renewals based on the standard UTAC project refreshment process. UTAC coordinated the renewal request process through the project contacts and RC managers. 5 projects elected to cancel the renewal, 6 projects requested to defer the renewal to summer 2013, 4 projects requested extensions of existing software/equipment maintenance, and 5 projects requested full renewals. In addition to the renewal projects, the committee reviewed the forecasted summer 2012 smart classroom needs which included 44 component (PC, project, controller, etc.) upgrades. UTAC advanced recommendations for the requested renewal projects to the Provost. The recommendations were approved by PEC and the renewal projects were initiated for a targeted completion over summer 2012. On a related note, with past contracts expiring, it was reported that RFP's were being completed for smart classroom and PC vendors contracts. With the RFP award, the university moved to Dell PC's starting with the summer projects.
Social Media Guidelines
The committee reviewed draft documentation with suggested social media guidelines from the state system. The documents covered a variety of considerations for the creation, licensing, use, and administration of "official" social media services by the university. Committee members were asked to review the draft guidelines within their areas and advance any comments or concerns. A summary of the UTAC feedback was provided to the PASSHE working group that is reviewing the guidelines. After the concerns are addressed and the guidelines are finalized, UTAC will seek to work with University Relations, Provost Council, and PEC to develop guidelines appropriate for Clarion.