Attending: Alan Isaac (CAS/Economics), Brian Yates (CAS/Psychology, Amin Mohseni (Cas/Econ), Sonja Walti (SPA), Jason Fabrikant (SPExS), Joseph Mortati
Minutes by Brian Yates
- Approval of minutes of past meetings
- Progress reports on focus agreed upon focus areas
- 2 year budget cycle discussion: amend / approve our recommendations and lending our support as needed
- Report from Senate, in particular: Social Media Committee and prepare for meeting between members of the Senate Budget & Benefits committee and CIS on Wednesday the 19th at 3:00
- Report from ATSC
- CIS operations: additional ATSC representation, someone to update and enhance our WordPress site
- Approval of minutes from our October meeting was delayed until they are circulated for review.
- CIS decided to meet December 1, not December 15.
- Spring 2015 meetings of CIS will likely be on Mondays, likely 10:30-11:30 AM but a Doodle pool will solicit input from more members.
- Sonja solicited reports from meetings the Senate and ATSC. Sonja reported that students use CTRL for just-in-time training on basic wordprocessing, spreadsheets, and spreadsheets. She noted that Microsoft offers low-level help services, and that ATSC had considered the feasibility of purchasing these.
- Alan suggested that AU instead develop peer-help for Microsoft Office products. Students could be trained and then paid to provide assistance. (Sonja noted that the training could be tiered, with more expert students handling harder inquiries.) CIS endorsed this recommendation and encouraged its inclusion in budget discussions.
- Brian suggested that AU not favor one office suite over others. Brian also noted that Macs of all sorts have a free office suite (iWork’s Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) that works on both Windows and Mac computers, and may be easier to use as well as important to support.
- Joseph noted that the lack of a database app in the Mac suite, like Access, was the issue. Joseph also noted that the Virtual Computing Lab can be used to run all Microsoft Office suite programs.
- Joseph noted that the Business School had implemented a “soft” requirement for all students to have access to the Microsoft Office suite including Access, and will be implementing a hard requirement for this suite in the Spring of 2015. He also noted that other universities, including George Mason, have formed partnerships with Microsoft to give students free or low-cost access to Microsoft’s Access, Excel, Project, and Visio.
- Sonja announced that, according to Mike Pillier, an improved version of Collaborate will be part of the upcoming Blackboard upgrade and may obviate the need to use Adobe Connect.
- Progress report on priorities. Amin said progress was being made on placing student photos on Blackboard for access by faculty. Amin said that faculty websites were being worked on my campus marketing, but that there is as yet no single standard as to what should be on faculty website. OIT will have a new, more customizable template for faculty websites that will not require the need for .html coding for tight control over the website. Alan suggested the faculty templates should pull data from FARS.
- Brian noted that there was there would be outages of Blackboard 12/19 through 12/22, and that the AU network would be down for maintenance Friday 11/21 10 PM through 11/22 8 AM, and that faculty, staff, and students might find these outages inconvenient.