Teaching, Learning, Technology Roundtable - St. Cloud State University

Teaching, Learning, Technology Roundtable

TLTR Notes for 3/27/09
In attendance:  Doug Polley, Kristin Lyman, Mark Kotcho, Daryl Scholz, John Eggers, Dan Wildeson, Phil Thorson, Casey Wagner, Mario Felix, Eric Dietz, Wade Nelson, John Palmer

A question was asked if a faculty member purchases software and would like to install it on their computer, is there is a University policy about this?

  • There is no known University policy on this
  • There may be individual Colleges that have guidelines that were put in place by their Deans
  • Licensing compliancy must be followed
  • Techs track some software installation, but they do not necessarily know if a faculty member installs their own software on the computer

A suggestion was made that a changing the day of the week on which TLTR is held may beneficial.  It is important for the President of Faculty Senate to attend TLTR for his input.  He is unable to attend TLTR at this time because of other commitments on Fridays.

There is a proposal to create an Online Council. This group would be co-chaired by faculty and administration to address internet construction. TLTR and TPR will want to take this into consideration. This will be on the agenda of Meet & Confer on April 9th.

A question was raised as to where is the email recommendation was currently being discussed? Meet & Confer sent it back to TPR because original concerns were not included, and Doug Polley will follow up on this.

Vista Update

  •  A portion of TPR’s draft copy of Windows Vista Recommendation document was read.  It is as follows-

Decisions about moving specific curriculum-related labs to Vista must be made in consultation with the department or program, taking into account limitation of software and peripherals. Users of software of peripheral that are not compatible with Vista will have the option not to migrate to Vista for specific machines.  Faculty and staff computers will continue to be moved to Vista only after consultation with their computer technical support. Funding for technology will be committed to support legacy systems as necessary and to defray costs of required changes to computers, software and peripherals that are typically funded by departments.

  • The Vista documents will go to the Faculty Senate, then Academic Affairs and finally to Meet & Confer.
  • This statement will be sent to Faculty Senate by next Tuesday and if approved in time, they will try to put in on the April 9th agenda of Meet and Confer.
  • According to TPR, department levels want to retain the right of refusal in the curriculum labs.
    • Once it is approved, it is necessary to make sure that techs are made aware of this
  • The second question from TPR is concerning costs. There is a need to have money for maintenance. Department funds may not be available, and TPR recommended there should be funding made available to support legacy systems and update computers that are not capable of running Vista. A question was raised as to who would pay for this.
  • One of the reasons this is being done is because Microsoft will, in the future, stop upgrades and patching Windows XP and this will affect security.
  • Another driver is that students may be coming to campus with the expectation that campus computers are using the most current operating system, which is Windows Vista.
  • Not all machines are Vista capable, and those that are not would not be moved to Vista.
  • A goal of bringing these documents to different groups to discuss is to learn from this process and make it more efficient when future changes are made.
  • A copy of the proposed Vista timeline was distributed-
  • The following have been completed-
      • 3-2-09 plan was presented to TPR
      • 3-20-09 plan is in the process of being presented to other groups, including Academic Affairs, Meet & Confer and Tech Fee
    • The next step in the timeline-
      • 4-8-09 will email communication to campus about status of implementation plans. It was noted that Meet & confer meets on April 9th, so we may want to change the date of the communication to be after that meeting, in order to ensure the appropriate information is sent out to campus.
  • It is important to communicate the timeline out to campus, and the question was asked are there other communications needed?

 Action Item:
TPR (Doug) will send the Windows Vista Recommendation document to the Faculty Senate before Tuesday, March 31st.
 Phil will work with Kristi to get the Windows Vista Recommendation document into Academic Affairs

Dial up Phase-out communication plan

  • The Communications Plan was distributed.
    • Some steps have been completed-
      • 2-18-09 Remove dial-up mention in Faculty/Staff Technology Guide
      • 3-27-09 Notice on HusyNet Get Connected “Off Campus “ website
      • 3/27/09 Notice  on HusyNet News & Announcements
  • It is important to note that we clarify to people that although Dial Up is being phased out users will keep their HuskyNet ID and their e-mail account at SCSU.
  • There is a need to help faculty, staff and emeriti by recommending other sources that they can use for their internet access.
  • There is a need to  publicize and reinforce  how to get to other sources, options include-
    • Professional Development funds can pay for Internet services from home for faculty.
      • This information may be something that would be helpful to put on the HuskyNet Website
  • Free wireless  is available at public locations, such as Starbucks and other locations
  • Though this is an option, it is important to consider the security of your computer when you are utilizing these wireless hotspots.
  • The Faculty Association has their own wireless network, not connected to the rest of the SCSU network that is available for faculty to come and use.
  • It was noted that there is value in faculty being able to work from home.
  • Helping people understand their options and trouble-shoot connections methods can be addressed by individual communication with the affected users including phone calls or emails.

Computer Hardware Inventory
IT Staff have been exploring the utilization of a hardware and software inventory agent that will allow collection of hardware and/or software inventory information, allowing for the ability to run reports on the types of hardware and software we have on campus.

  • Hardware Inventory
    • Collects specific hardware information for example-
      • How many computers do we have on campus?
      • What kind of processor do they have?
      • How much RAM do they have?
    • IT Staff currently use a manual collection process that is not very accurate
  • Software Inventory
    • Allows the ability to run reports to answer the following questions:
      • Are anti-virus programs up-to-date and current with the latest definitions?
      • Are we compliant with our licensing agreements (Microsoft, Adobe, etc)?
      • How many types of operating systems are in use across campus?
      • Are our computers up-to-date with security patches?
      • Can we consolidate licensing to leverage better pricing from companies and create a better business plan for licensing?
  • This is currently being use in the labs, but the information that it gathers is already known because that is a more controlled environment than that of faculty and staff workstations.
  • CfIS has already rolled this Agent out to Administration areas with Steve’s approval.
  • There is a large cost to the University if we do not move forward on this because we do not have accurate data about our computers to aid campus administration to make decisions for the campus.
  • The system is mostly automated, but the college techs will need to have some involvement in rolling these agents out to computers. The end user will not notice a change in the performance of operation of their computer.
  • These questions were presented for consideration-
    • How is the information gathered?
      • Ongoing collection?
      • Periodic scanning?
    • How do we roll this out?
    • Campus-wide or department-wide?
    • Hardware first or hardware and software at the same time?
    • What levels of communication do we use
      • It was stated that we need to be forth-coming and communicate information on this
      • It is important to communicate the benefits of having this data.
      • It is important to say the Agent will do both when rolling this out, but that we do have the option of not turning on the software portion right away if that is the recommendation.
  • This will be brought to Meet & Confer


Meeting notes – Sheila Landucci