December 8, 2010 FTC meeting

Michael Connolly presiding


At suggestion of Tim D from BC AAUP chapter board:   Minutes being made public – without objection they will be posted on FMRC web pages.  They will be linked to by


Barry Schaudt -  ITS notes

Agenda 1.  Mac OSX Lion (version 10.7) unveiled October 10, 2010 at Apple’s “Back to the Mac” event – early adoption of Beta verion of LION from Mac might be of interest to some.  Barry is planning to anticipate this release of Lion second quarter 2011.  In past releases, “official media” available to BC in three weeks and out to early adopters here after another two weeks.  Eight more weeks should be enough (assuming all goes to plan) to incorporate Lion into BCCR and to support fully (from Barry Schaudt “ITS notes”).


Agenda 2.  MacBook Air will be an option for BCCR replacement.  No details. Larger memory question not answered.  Rich Jenson Q about smaller CPU on a Mac – Kit Baum refers everyone to MacWorld for a comparative article (November?);  graphics card much better making up for smaller CPU speeds.  Increased screen resolution so letters becoming smaller and smaller.  iCal font cannot be increased.  BCCR requests can include this NOW.  Air requires an external optical drive or REMOTELY because the paper thin profile has fewer peripheral slots.


Agenda 3.  Mike Bourque – VP for information technology – here to outline a series of items


1.     New omnibus student system – biggest item on the list (last discussed today – see below)

2.     BCCR.  MacBook Air will be available for all Mac adopters – even those already started.   Because BCCR system has caused delay problems in A&S, Dean Quigley pushed for a plan to speed up accelerated funding for BCCR into this fiscal year – everyone in the queue can be done in this fiscal year.  Bourque also hopes to eliminate an increase in repair needs with old machines - save some money, too.  In short, be ready in Arts and Sciences for BCCR this spring.  Answer their emails.

3.     Portal – recent report on Portal at ATAB meeting; Portal meeting with A&S chairs; interest in some services;  what issues did chairs raise? 

4.     Student email project; conversion to Exchange is completed so that now we are going to outsource student email to one of two candidates. Deans office the most concerned about guaranteed delivery – students often have full boxes; quota causes students to forward email.   Services much greater from the outsourced location.  Outside apps – “ours is apples to their fruit basket” (Bourque).  Team assembled to evaluate two bidders.  Length of contract is a major negotiating issue.   Vendors come in next semester; decide mid-semester; conversion over the summer. Opt-in on faculty side is possible. This should solve quota issues for students. Vendor apps for .edu do not/will not include advertising; graduating students become fair game (subject to contract negotiation).  Data mining capacity and limitations need to be negotiated, too.  There are, of course, security and storage issues with email.  What about a disaster with a vendor’s larger system? – what is their backup for us?  Last semester there was an email outage at several schools at once for a number of hours.    Such questions all part of the selection process and contract negotiation.  Once decided the switch can be implemented quickly

5.     Arts and Sciences service center is in operation – better support for travel reimbursement, for example.

6.     Apple Headquarters  trip – Mike Bourque and Evan K – visit involving access to execs and key tech people; mobile app development possibilities on this campus explored;  Alec Peck working with them from LSOE, e.g. Columbkille (BC supported school), app development.  We now have a useful Mac connection.

7.     Board of Chairs concerns about security – wikileaks:  CIA, State and NASA now, BC…??.   This is concern for all and goes beyond ID Finder alone.  Questions about ID Finder process – Mac version is being tested;  may not be ready immediately.   Security while traveling (Kit Baum abroad – how to access resources here from there).  Mike Bourque wants to consider “Eduroam” ( is a federation of schools with a travelling network that one can access on the road – adopted by Georgetown and few US schools).  Is this better than VPN (Kit Baum)?   All in discussion stages.  US less restrictive than Europe on individual campuses.  Open access we offer visiting faculty not matched in Europe.

8.     Learning Management System – early discussion of BbV replacement – current product will soon NOT be supported.   This was known to be likely from when BbV bought WebCT out.  Google now competing for LMS market.  NYT reports that Google and Microsoft are interested in BbV not for their software, but for their relationships with universities (certainly the case).

9.     Back to item #1 student system; university core systems; Mike Bourque  and Rita Owens leading this team; “UCS Project” (University Core System) process – scope of Univ core systems – a diagram was handed out that graphically shows the central needs;  we are waiting for market to settle on one of two products to replace UIS.  The peripheral systems mostly in place, but the core now up in the air pending investigation of an open source option in addition to commercial vendors. 

10. According to VP Bourque BC has become a “contributing partner” in this foundation. reports this BC membership as well.   Possible open source central student system; the Kuali project looks promising and this promise delays final choices on UCS Project core system.   Recommendation from Board of Trustees “Finance and Audit Committee” to investigate Kuali option.  How are they going to decide? – 1. Governance – so many universities involved  2. Quality – biggest concern 3. Requirements – we now know what we need, 4. Schedule – can they deliver a product on a useful time table for BC? 5. Technology used - this is already favorable.  BC is a member of the developing group.  Indiana University is central to the core development – Dan McDevitt at IU developed the (KUALI financials) financial project that has been very successful; Berkeley, USC, Mellon; Maryland – many of these do internal development and have not been vendor-dependent.  Only IU had used PeopleSoft before, but IU now in vanguard. 


Rich Jenson Query – People/Soft Oracle products and their people; will they underserve BC if we move away from their products.  Mike B – Oracle not a reliable support.   COALI student is a real possibility.  LMS may follow….


Kit Baum Query – graduate school applications and letters of recommendation remain snail-mail-based.  Admissions offices are paperless – departments still often prefer paper distribution within departments….  To be continued.


This is all a distant horizon


Next meeting

Tue 08 February,
Wed 09 March,
Tue 05 April,
Wed 04 May  Submitted (with hotlinks added)  by Tim Duket