MMM Minutes 3/16/00

Minutes of Smathers
Middle Manager's Meeting
March 16, 2000

Present: Rich Bennett, Suzanne Brown, Pam Cenzer, Gary Cornwell, Barry Hartigan, David Hickey, Dot Hope, John Ingram, Richard Phillips, Rob Roberts, Betsy Simpson, Jan Swanbeck
Consolidation of Campus Computing
  1. There is the possibility in the future that UF will move towards consolidating the computing community under one central domain.
  2. If this was to occur, we need to look at what the implications would be for the Libraries. Of particular interest are the areas of computer support personnel, servers, and lab facilities.
  3. Our public service areas have seen an upswing in use of the computers for varying aspects of classroom assignments. Increased usage of streaming video is a prime example.
  4. The Business School closed their computer labs, as a result, we see a number of Business students using the Library computers.
  5. Do we want to move in the direction of providing more general services that are unavailable elsewhere on campus?
Migration of Technical Staff
  1. There has been a rapid and sudden draw of upper tier middle management technical staff from to the university to the business world. And it's not even other cities that are offering double the UF salaries - GRU recently snagged a local UF tech at that rate.
  2. The pace of change in technology is so rapid that seminars have to be offered for employees to keep up. These are expensive ventures, ranging from $1,000 - $2,000 a year per person.
  3. It may become necessary to include a retention contract with these training seminars.
  4. There is a crisis between salary and turnover - some solution will be made.
Consolidation of IT Positions
  1. There is also talk of consolidating IT positions under one administration - perhaps NERDC or the CIO. Each individual unit would report their needs to them. Similar to a Physical Plant model.
More Computing Consolidation
  1. There's the possibility of consolidating all of the digitalization areas on campus. This would cross with our interests in DLC.
  2. Our mail system is one of two leading systems on campus. We probably wouldn't want to go back to something more universal, like Rice Mail, if the campus were to centralize in that direction.
  3. We need to figure out what services we want to provide with library resources. Libraries, in general, have always provided areas for safe study. We have cut back our space quite a bit here at UF.
  4. Should we extend our space of computerization for patrons? We need feedback on this topic. When a new university president takes office and starts to make changes, we want to make sure that we are ready with our vision for the Libraries.
  5. There is no overall consensus within the computing community of UF. Much of it may come down to saving money - resulting in the lowest common denominator of service. The Libraries may become the campus computing centers.
  6. We really need to get active early in the process of determining the proper role of the Libraries in the computerization of campus.
  7. We really don't have that much further to go (maybe add some word processors) to be considered a computer lab. The CIRCA lab is not expanding; MSL always gets the brunt of the overflow.
  8. We may have to seriously revise the next Library Mission Statement. We want to take our position aggressively and early on.
  9. Are there any comparable institutions with a central technical entity? Central Florida, but it has not worked well.
  10. We may want to speak with our contacts at other universities to see how they handle their computer realm.
  11. Will personnel issues push staff to take computer classes? In the corporate world, businesses pay the tab.
  12. We have no organized computer group on campus to deal with standardization.
  13. It was noted that there were no Directors present at this meeting. Their involvement is a necessity. We need to pass our opinions onto them.
  14. Bill notes that we should use the MMM listserv to discuss this topic.


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Last updated March 17, 2000
by Debra Harris
debharr@mail.uflib.ufl.edu