Institutional Technology Task Force meeting

Oct. 23, 1997


Attending: Davids Howell and Punia, Joe Patlak, Keith Kennedy, Lauck Parke, Geetha Ramanathan, Martha Cafferky

Reported by: Deborah Shenk, with a plea for edits by others who may be better able to sift through to the core of our conversation

The group reported the status of the writing assignments and briefly discussed President Ramaley's edits to the minutes from our Oct. 2 meeting.

Discussion of Keith's drafts on desktop applications and web management led to an extended discussion among the group about what kind of task force report would be most likely to lead to results. How will we balance the need for vision with the need -- either in our report or later -- for specificity/decision-making? How can we move our broader ideas ahead without having them bogged down by objections to certain elements? How specific should our group's recommendations be? If we recommend that personnel be assigned to specific projects, must we identify how we would pay for (or find release time for) those positions? Should we identify money that would be reallocated so that new projects can proceed? Can the committee be both creative and fiscally responsible?

We agreed that while it was appropriate and necessary to address all the issues for which writing assignments have been made, perhaps most potential for action would accrue from defining three or four fundamental ideas that we would put forth as Phase 1/primary recommendations, with other suggestions/comments/ideas linked via hypertext documents.

Proposed primary recommendations centered on:

-- hiring a CIO,

-- desktop applications/support/standards/training,

-- addressing the needs of learning and teaching, and

-- addressing the needs of the university's business processes

We agreed that budget and timeline preparation would not proceed until we more clearly defined our proposals.

The group made various suggestions about how to organize the report in order to highlight our primary recommendations (for example, library could be incorporated as one of several resources available to teaching/learning/scholarship/learning environment, and both faculty and staff need computing training).

We agreed to revisit these issues next week with other task force members who are absent today.


Deborah Dunlap Shenk
Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations
The University of Vermont
(802) 656-4695