MMM Minutes 10/9/01

Minutes of Smathers
Middle Manager's Meeting
October 4, 2001

Present: Robena Cornwell, Bill Covey, Michelle Crump, David Hickey, Martha Hruska, Tom Minton, Cathy Mook, Richard Phillips, Patrick Reakes, Betsy Simpson, Jim Stevens, Carl Van Ness
XLIBRIS Aleph 500 System
  1. Negotiations are ongoing. We’re going over the contract that we’re getting ready to submit. The actual meeting with the vendor is scheduled for October 29-30.
  2. Regarding the contract, we’ll be discussing the price as well as what it is that we’re actually buying (which version). The current version in use is 14.2. Version 15.2 will be out in May 2002.
  3. UF will be in the first round of acceptance testing. We don’t really want to use a version that will have to be upgraded. That said - we are still on track for the 2002 calendar year. We are sorting through what additional pieces we may need.
  4. All negotiations are in concert with the community colleges.
  5. Meeting was at the CCLA offices in Tallahassee. Budget rumors abound – none of them good. The money is currently there for the SUS piece of the system. This is ample reason to proceed while it’s possible. The legislature may be looking to cut funds for this year.
  6. The XLIBRIS company is based out of Israel. Their US home base is in Chicago. Some of their US customers include: SUNY, University of Maryland, University of Minnesota, Harvard, MIT, Boston College, University of Iowa, Notre Dame and McGill.
  7. We have expressed concern regarding the fact that they have so many US customers, but they seem very committed and talented.
  8. Martha advises to check out the McGill or University of Iowa sites since their systems are up and running.
  9. Part of the negotiation addresses the concept of training. The acceptance testing will require it to be intensive and hard hitting. We should begin training by Spring 2002.
Public Printing
  1. Printing has improved; Xerox is proceeding with their upgrades.
  2. The print release stations have been upgraded to Win’98, they were hit by NIMBA, but are OK now.
  3. We have found some severely misconfigured workstations on our end that were responsible for some of the recent printing problems. Xerox was not quite so responsible as we may have suspected.
  4. We’re still experiencing the problem where some documents just won’t print in certain browsers, etc.
  1. There has been a major explosion of the NIMBA worm, attacking security vulnerabilities.
  2. There is a lot of stress right now on people who make virus scanning software. McAfee has not been doing too well with their upgrades lately. Bugs of been introduced and there have been performance hits on machines.
  3. We are looking into other virus scanners. Leading contenders include Norton and the Trend line.
  4. If things continue and we have the money, we may change – providing we can agree to which product to shift to. There are just too many performance problems with McAfee.
IT Networking Infrastructure Diagram
  1. Bill passed out a diagram of the current IT Networking infrastructure/hierarchy.
  2. Bill discussed the meaning of the acronyms for each subcommittee and some of the members.
  3. The Vice President of Information Technologies (Chuck Frasier) is taking on the Directory Services for UF himself. Various groups have attempted this, but have never been very successful.
  4. There was a widespread impression that the administration was not happy with the UF computing organization. They were quick to assure that this was not true; it’s just that UF needs to reach the next rung on the ladder of progress and we need to change in order to achieve this.
  5. There is a push underway towards the centralization of central networking. There is consideration of charging on a port-by-port basis. This would run about a quarter of million dollars per year for the Libraries. There would be no support beyond the port. Since there is a different range of computer development on campus, buildings such as the Libraries who already have a lot invested in their network, could receive some sort of credit.
  6. We could build much more into our own infrastructure at those charges. Bill is not exactly a fan of the port-by-port charges.
  7. UF puts a lot into high performance computing; we don’t want to subsidize that. There’s no need to panic yet. Advise if you hear anything. The Information Technology Advisory Committee (Dale Canelas is a member) has been focusing on student IDs – we’ll be getting away from the use of social security numbers. IDs will use a different number. Personnel’s IDs will change. This is all due to privacy concerns and in general, is a push to get us in compliance with national standards. Overall this is good, though it may cause dislocation.

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Last updated October 4, 2001
by Debra Harris