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  OIT Home > Committees > ITPG > Meetings > ITPG Meeting Minutes 12/18/98
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ITPG Meeting Minutes December 18, 1998


Present: Debbie Anglin, Art Battson, Glenn Davis, George Gregg, Phil Handley, Bill Koseluk, Bill, McTague, Elise Meyer, Alan Moses, Joan Murdoch, Larry Murdock, Vince Sefcik, Jamie Sonsini, John Vasi and Pamela Webb (a quorum)

Not Present: Kevin Barron, Ken Bowers, Bill Doering, Sonia Johnston, Pam Lombardo, Tom Marazita, Ed Mehlschau, Kevin Schmidt

Refreshments were enjoyed (especially those chocolate-on-chocolate delights!).

Glenn gave a very brief overview of the ITB meeting of December 8. At the meeting short presentations of current offerings and future plans were given by Vice Chancellors Young and Sheldon and Associate Vice Chancellor Tobin. Then everyone was given a chance to speak. In general, all were supportive of the formation of the ITB. As we went around the room the issues surrounding student access were mentioned most frequently. Some thought the time might be right to require all students to have a computer while others worried that a significant fraction of UCSB students come from families that couldn't easily finance a workstation. Ideas about use of the web to provide a rich learning environment were presented by Alan Liu. Elise concluded with the report from ITPG. Our list of urgent issues and our survey of existing student access facilities were well received. It was suggested that we also survey the faculty to ask what IT services are most needed and what faculty timelines for adopting new technologies might be. ITB minutes will be posted online.

Some questioned the number of students that were reported to be coming from low-income families (We checked with Dennis Hengstler who tells us that for Fall 1998 15% of our freshfolk and 20% of our transfer students reported family incomes less than $30,000. The percentages reporting less than $15,000 were 5% and 9% respectively.) Vince noted that "lifeline" telephone service is requested by only 3% of residential customers.

Those who attended reported hearing of campuses that had once required incoming students to have computers but are now dropping the requirement because it isn't necessary – most incoming students not only have computers but they also have existing email accounts and other services they wish to continue using. (One was reported to be a CEO who wanted to know if it was OK to run a corporation out of a dorm room.)

It was noted that campuses imposing the computer-ownership requirement experience increasing demand for staff support. Also, increasing the number of students who have laptops does not remove the requirement for on-campus labs because students do not always bring their laptops to campus.

A discussion of how we might construct a faculty survey instrument was concluded when someone volunteered Stan Nicholsen to help formulate the questions.

Vince reported on Communications Services' explorations of the existing terminal server's ability to support a modem pool with access to both PPP and non-PPP (e.g. telnet) services. In short, it works. It can also close connections after one-hour. Vince requested a note from Bob Sugar indicating that this plan has been coordinated with senior officers (some of whom participated in defining the parameters of the current service). Implementing the new scheme following a one-month warning period was acceptable to those present.

Alan reported that the recent attempts to control spamming by shutting down SMTP relays have generated access problems among faculty who work from home. This led to a discussion of the modem services at UCLA and UCSD. We agreed that an authentication service would be required to implement a recharge modem pool like the one at UCSD. UCSD offers a "lifeline" service that provides 3 hours of usage per month for $3.00 and 5 hours of prime time plus unlimited non-prime time for $10 per month. The service requires 3 FTE to operate but pays for itself.

Due to federal requirements for electronic submission of grant materials we are likely to see a large increase in the number of faculty who want web and other types of access from home.

UCB has implemented a scalable network-funding model that is described on their web pages. It is a mixed model with some free and some recharge services.

The committee discussed the idea of putting the modem and student access issues together but decided against the idea because the combination would be too big to send forth as one issue. (The advantage was the avoidance of dealing with the total problem of access in a piecemeal fashion.)

Those who attended the conference related some of the additional information regarding how other campuses are supporting faculty in putting course materials on the web. Some projects seem driven more by technology than a clear statement of need (e.g., wireless access in classrooms).

We noted the use of online technology to present students with pre-lecture quizzes, which the instructor then used to "tune" the content of the lecture. At least one final exam was conducted over the web last quarter.

Elise then moved to "Old Business" noting that chairs of the Security and Authentication subcommittees had agreed to serve and were in the process of drafting charges. Kevin Schmidt will chair the Security subcommittee and Arlene Allen and Tom Marazita will chair the Authentication subcommittee.

Under "New Business," Bill reported that he needs survey information from Engineering, the ORUs and some L&S units (Pamela and Alan volunteered to help). Bill is categorizing locations into four groups: 1) central resources, 2) academic department labs, 3) ORUs that support student access, and 4) open access. A discussion of the many flavors of labs and the disparate levels of equipment found in them ensued. The group agreed to institute a "Tier 0" which was defined to mean seats that exist, but provide equipment that is too obsolete to perform Tier 1 functions such as web browsing or electronic mail. Some workstations are just too old to count and some labs have empty seats because the equipment that served them has been scrapped.

The meeting concluded with a discussion of how "seats" are defined and how to deal with the issues of the percentage of time they are available and the percentage of time they are in use. Bill concluded by saying he would like to collect the data and try to organize them for discussion at the next meeting.

ITPG will meet again on January 15, 10:00 a.m. to noon, North Hall 1131.

Also, please reserve 3:15 p.m. on February 5 for a meeting with Stuart Lynn who will visit the campus that day.

Back to ITPG Meeting Schedule

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