Area 51 Notes, Oct. 25

Present:  Mike Roy, Carol Peddie, Mary Backus, Terry Simpkins and Doreen Bernier

Today’s meeting was brief and devoted to updates and discussion on from each area.


  • eTextbooks: Terry working with other schools participating in EDUCAUSE/Internet2 eTextbook pilot on 2 surveys: a “Baseline” survey and one to assess the “Impact on Teaching and Learning.”  Each will be for students and faculty, and may be combined into one survey instrument.  Also planning for a lunch meeting with faculty in November to simply check-in on how the pilot is going;
  • MISO survey results: Terry has created a presentation addressing the survey results to show to the ADs, managers, and staff in the near future;
  • Information Literacy – liaisons working on planning, outlining, and creating tutorials (video, audio, etc.) for some general information literacy (evaluating sources, etc.) concepts.  Looking at repurposing tutorials created elsewhere as well (with creators’ permission, of course);
  • Special Collections and Collections Management have been invited to participate in a collaborative project headed by the NEDCC to apply for an IMSL grant to digitize sound recordings in obsolete formats (wax cylinders, etc.) in the Flanders Ballad Collection.

User Services

  • Web Helpdesk (aka the replacement for HEAT) local hosting costs are still being reviewed;
  • Meanwhile, US are going with a “soft launch” of SLAs before putting too much effort into configuring HEAT, since it will hopefully be retired soon in favor of Web Helpdesk or another incident tracking system;
  • A temporary staff member has been identified to fill Chris Tangora’s position.


  • Progress has been made on whole disk encryption process… we will need to complete a Change Management document;
  • Working with James Davis to create a virtual space to continue the work, in some fashion, of last year’s innovation task forces;
  • Attended a Gartner Conference in Orlando.  Focused primarily on sessions around fostering innovation in organizations (e.g. what resources, processes, and structures are needed to facilitate innovation?);
  • Also attended ITHAKA meeting.  Focused on sustainable education, MOOCs, use of “badges” for credentialling participation in online classes, etc.  Some schools are considering how they might award credit to students who have taken online classes and obtained badges upon completion;
  • Joined a humanities faculty lunch to discuss the “future of humanities” at the College.


  • Carol got a pass because she just returned from Ecuador… Welcome back, Carol!

Topics for future AD meetings and retreats

  • Staffing plan
  • budget
  • College-wide goals – now trimmed to a mere 100+
  • MISO survey results
  • Staff Council staff satisfaction survey results
  • Communications taskforce
  • Holiday party
  • Year-end system downtime
  • Death and resurrection of the Project Directory
  • Teams
  • Readings

Thanks for reading
Terry & Doreen

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