Information Technology Task Force

Minutes of the 7/31/97 Meeting

 The meeting was convened by Roger Lawson, who served as chief shepherd in the role of "herding cats." What follows is a reasonable facsimile of the rambles of those cats.

 Roger laid out what he saw to be the major tasks facing the committee:

  1. Suggest an organizational structure.
  2. Make an assessment of where we currently are.
  3. Lay out a Vision and Goals statement, starting with the vision in the "Doing IT" report.
  4. Get input from the university community.
  5. Create a budget.
  6. Plan an evaluation process.

 Everyone seemed in reasonable agreement with this list, but that was about the last time in the meeting anyone was in agreement with anyone else.

 Geetha raised the issue of anonymous comments on the list server. Everyone had their own ideas on this, and most people didnít quite agree with most other people. I think we each agreed to whatever each of us wants.

 Keith urged us to not spend too much time on old documents, but to jump right.

 Deborah proposed avoiding the "pie in the sky" kind of vision statement, and to create a short and practical one. Mark followed this up by suggesting that we write the vision statement at the end of our efforts, not at the beginning.

 We tried to create a work plan for ourselves, but if we ever did, I couldnít grasp it.

 We talked a bit about assessment, suggesting that perhaps a subcommittee should handle it. Presumably an assessment would include:

  1. A count of existing computing hardware
  2. A list of what people are doing with IT in their classes
  3. A description of how IT is being implemented on the administrative side

 We worried some about how to collect this information, but didnít come to any conclusions. We were in agreement that we didnít want to get bogged down in measurement issues.

There was some discussion of what kind of a budget Ray wants, and Roger said that he wants a budget with real dollars attached. We think thatís nice.


We then laid out a set of tasks, but made no progress in putting times to them. The tasks are:

Rebecca argued that the plan needs to provide a context for decisions. We need to decide how comprehensive we want to be about penetration of desk top computing. What is the "technology floor"? She argued that our first task is to define the floor.

There was a lot of discussion about the goals, outcomes, recommendations thing, but we certainly werenít in any danger of coming to closure on that.

Carol volunteered to draft a very crude draft report, which would presumably allow us to be clear about the kinds of things we envision in the report, though not the specifics.