University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

Technology Council

Technology Council
Meeting Minutes - April 4, 2011

Present: Derryl Block, Sharon Dimmer, Paula Ganyard, David Kieper, Dan McIver, Kathy Pletcher (chair), Mike Stearney, Christine Vandenhouten, Zach Voelz
Not present: Adam Dahlka, Kathleen Burns, Scott Furlong, Craig Hanke, Liz Leist, Tim Sewall
Guest: Diane Blohowiak, Josh Goldman

  1. Called to order - 2:34pm by chair
  2. Approval of the Minutes from March 7, 2011 - no corrections/changes to the minutes as distributed.
  3. Review workstation policy and replacement cycle
    1. Laptops and Classroom technology - The Council reviewed the policy for funding the acquisition and support of faculty and staff workstations. Pletcher asked the Council their thoughts on changing the policy to allow for faculty to select laptops on a cost neutral basis instead of requiring the department to fund the difference. Pletcher explained that she had met with the Unit Chairs and discussed the idea of faculty having laptops instead of desktops, which may then allow for the desktops in the classrooms to be removed, freeing up funding to be redistributed elsewhere. The Council discussed this idea and shared a couple of concerns. The first concern was the loss of having the ergonomics of a desktop, and the second was the lifespan of the plug for connections to the projectors in the classrooms. Docking stations, along with monitors, keyboards and a mouse would be the answer to the ergonomics issue. While a docking station would be needed in the classrooms to help with the potential plug issue, however that then raises the problem that all laptop models would need to be the same. Furlong added that currently he has to turn down faculty requests for laptops because of the lack of funds, so he would like to have a better option for those faculty that are interested in having a laptop. There seemed to be general consensus that the current model of desktops in the classrooms was reliable, convenient and predictable. There seemed to be no compelling reason to change this model.
    2. Tiered approach - The current policy specifies replacing all faculty/staff computers every three years. Many of the three year old computers are passed down to LTEs, grad students and labs. A tiered approach would mean that some staff members would have their computers replaced every four years instead of three. The savings from this tiered approach could be used to support laptops for faculty and mobile staff members, without charging the department the differential cost. There was general consensus that a tiered approach could work and that we should do further analysis to better understand the cost savings and impact on staff efficiency.
    3. iPad - Josh Goldman was invited to talk with the Council about the iPad pilot. Information Services Division has purchased four iPads. Three of the first generation with wireless only and one of the second generation with wireless and 3G. The iPads are being used by the CIO, the Library Director, and a faculty member. So far everyone has been impressed with the device and sees potential for use amongst faculty and staff. The Council discussed the pros and cons to the iPad and it could be used as an auxiliary device rather than a replacement for a desktop or laptop. There were questions about lifespan and security of these devices. In anticipation of iPads becoming even more popular Pletcher proposed an iPad policy. The Council discussed the draft she shared with them and made suggested changes. The following policy was the outcome of those discussions: University owed iPads are ordered through CIT using departmental funds. The hardware is university property. eBooks or applications may be purchased by the individual user or department by p-card.
  4. Adjourned - 3:30 pm