Posts by Terry Simpkins

 
 
 

Area 51 notes – Apr. 25, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present:  Terry Simpkins, Mary Backus, and Doreen Bernier
Guests: Bryan Carson, Joe Antonioli, Carrie Macfarlane, Joy Pile

The Language School task force joined us to discuss their proposal for providing curricular technology support for this summer’s Language School programs. The team asked the ADs to review and approve various proposals, including:
Update curricular platforms documentation

  • Minor changes to current documentation will be made as needed;
  • Documentation that needs more extensive updating will be marked to alert users;
  • CTT will periodically review and revise documentation tagged as being in need of updating;
  • Joe A. will look into options for “tagging” [4/27 update - he has identified a couple of appropriate tags to use for this];
  • An annual documentation review should be planned; this may be something the Curr Tech Team can assume ongoing responsibility for.

Curricular technology questions, unscheduled

  • Joy has met with Mills coordinators and walked them through Moodle and the CourseHub.  Mills coordinators can now “masquerade” as other users to help troubleshoot issues themselves;
  • Joe A. has met with Joe D., Linda and Marty to introduce them to the CourseHub and Moodle platforms.
  • Vacations may need to be staggered to ensure continuous coverage, especially during the July 4 holiday;
  • ADs will ask their managers to balance vacations schedules within their groups.

Curricular technology questions, scheduled.

  • The ADs would like to discuss this in a small group setting with support providers;
  • Support for this, like most of the other LS tasks, will need to be revisited next year.

Onboarding Workshops for faculty/staff.

  • We are hoping support can come from the Ed and Training Team.  Mary will communicate with them about this;
  • Bryan will provide a list of skills has has covered in the past when doing this training.

Courseware Workshops for faculty/staff.

  • We would like LS bilinguals to shadow LIS staff this year as LIS staff conduct workshops.  We will discuss this idea with coordinators and directors.

Curricular resource site creation

  • Bilinguals and faculty who use curricular technology frequently will be asked to place request for site creation needs in advance to allow LIS to assess demands.  At this point, there is no guarantee LIS can fill every request.  Time spent performing this work may limit time available for other, equally important tasks;
  • Joe A. is meeting with LS coordinators next Wednesday.  He will set a deadline for LS departments to communicate needs/requests;
  • Joe A. noted that a temporary and fairly straightforward means for site creation would be to use our pilot implementation of SANSpace.  The down side to this would be if decided not to move SANSpace into production; we would then need to find another platform suitable for these sites;
  • Joe A. will also find out from the coordinators when the bilinguals will be arriving.

Conversations with the team will be continued through email to make sure the appropriate conversations are taking place.

Thanks for reading
Terry & Doreen

Friday Links – May 3

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
Makes you want to be an archivist!
How long can you work on making a routine task more efficient before you’re spending more time than you save? http://xkcd.com/1205/

Friday Links – April 12, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

AD 51 meeting notes – April 4, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present:  Mary Backus, Mike Roy, Terry Simpkins, Carol Peddie, Chris Norris, Doreen Bernier; Wendy Shook (guest)

Wendy Shook joined us to discuss the draft Data Management Policy she is in the process of preparing.  This is a requirement for grant applications from certain agencies (e.g. National Science Foundation); applications for funding from these agencies require the inclusion of a data management, access, and preservation plan.

The completed policy will outline objectives for science data preservation and storage using a digital on-campus repository, or, where appropriate, pointing researchers to national discipline-specific repositories that may be preferable.  Currently, Biology, Economics, and Psychology are departments at Middlebury that are most likely to need local data hosting/preservation.

Wendy suggested a 2-stage process.  Stage 1 would be a pilot project using ContentDM in conjunction with a subscription to a digital object identifier (DOI) registry. Stage 2 would reassess the platform and determine if migration to another platform would be beneficial.

We agreed that Wendy should investigate costs to subscribe to a DOI registry, and that we should get an estimate that includes MIIS.  There are also unresolved issues around data ownership and rights management, which Mike will try to have added to the Dean’s meeting agenda for next week.  Finally, Chris recommended that an information security audit and disaster recovery assessment be conducted for ContentDM.

The AD Retreat scheduled for April 19th be cancelled since Mike and Carol are both out.

We reviewed the LIS calendar for April, focusing on:

  • the 3rd quarter budget: including travel, labor, capital and operational expenses.  Carol reported we are fairly well on target, budget-wise, with not a lot of wiggle room for unanticipated expenses;
  • student labor trends.  We have asked workgroup leaders to review student labor trends to see how we are using student dollars; Directors should follow up and nudge managers as necessary;
  • BreadLoaf/Language School planning –Carrie Macfarlane is leading a group preparing a report on support for this coming summer.  She expects to be able to submit it to Terry by Monday (4/8), and we will invite her and other group members to attend next week’s Directors’ meeting to discuss.

The Manager’s meeting agenda for the April 11th meeting will include:

  • Follow-up discussion on management training, especially thinking about ways to keep the training moving forward and in active use;
  • Professional development — Mike would like to try a pilot program where, for 1-2 Fridays/month, we will set aside time to make staff professional development a priority.  This would mean not scheduling meetings, limiting the amount of email we send to one another in LIS, etc., during this time.

The All-staff meeting agenda for the April 17th meeting:

  • Staff awards;
  • Norm Cushman will give an update on his organization (not confirmed);

The Optional all-staff meeting agenda for April 18th:

  • BreadLoaf and Language School Planning (not confirmed).

Carol will re-engage the Space Team to review office space requirements for new staff members.

Mike would like to re-establish the LIS New Staff Member Coffee meetings for the forthcoming plethora of new employees.

The April 11 directors’ meeting is canceled.  We hope to discuss a proposal for LIS Language School support at the 4/18 meeting.

Thanks for reading,
Terry & Doreen.

Area 51 notes, Mar. 21 21, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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

The Area Directors provide Mike with weekly updates of activities happening within each areas.  Mike asked that, when the directors are out of the office on business travel or vacation, they either delegate someone on their staff to forward updates for posting to Doreen or provide the updates for the missed week upon their return.  He also asked the ADs to highlight topics that may warrant special attention by members of the College administration, or that demand more comprehensive discussion among the leadership team.

All areas appear to be roughly on schedule for the performance reviews.

Mike has been asking managers how long it takes them to prepare submissions for the quarterly update document.  Times estimates run between 20 minutes and 1 ½ hours, depending on level of detail.  Mike feels this process is working well.

The ADs discussed what the nascent Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium (which includes Saint Michaels College, Champlain College and Middlebury) may mean for our purchasing activities.  The Consortium is intended to look for ways to improve college services and find cost savings by acting together in making purchases in supplies, equipment and services.  At the moment, it is focused primarily on general supplies, but may look to broaden in the future.  The discussion focused mainly around what aspects of LIS purchasing might appropriately be considered for inclusion within any agreement between the 3 schools, and which aspects might be specialized for Middlebury’s needs and require a certain level of continued autonomy.

The update and demo of Web Helpdesk on this week’s agenda will be moved to next week.

Thanks for reading.

Terry & Doreen

Area 51 notes, Feb. 14, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present: Terry Simpkins, Mary Backus, Mike Roy and Doreen Bernier
Space Team Members: Joseph Watson, Peggy Fischel and Hans Raum

The Space Team joined us to present an update of their activities:

  • Earlier this year, the team presented their recommendations to the ADs for the future use of the information desk in the library atrium.  The team recommended the space be used as an information kiosk with an electronic directory and handout display.  Mike brought this recommendation to the larger campus space committee, which approved $5,000 for an architectural study for FY13-14
  • Joseph will coordinate with the architect to develop a design for the kiosk, removing the information desk and incorporating an electronic directory and display for handouts.  He will also have the architect develop a less expensive option, leaving the desk in its current position and repurposing it to include the electronic directory and handouts display.
  • We will need to create a small group to work with various service points within the library to develop an electronic directory.
  • The space team will also be reviewing office space needs for LIS now that SRC has approved some of our position requests.
  • The team will investigate the issue of how to increase student carrel and study spaces within the library.
  • We need to think about a long term space study to look at overall use of library space, the utility of installing additional compact shelving to the stacks, etc.  The team agreed to propose a timeline to the ADs.

This week Mike Roy, Chris Norris and Jim Stuart had a preliminary meeting to revisit our overall cloud strategy.  Areas of focus will include:

  • Email
  • Storage
  • Telephone (VoIP)

More at a future meeting.

Dining has requested assistance with project management efforts for their current CBOARD food management system, which tracks food usage and costs.  These project management needs would be temporary; dining staff would maintain the system once up and running.  The current implementation has been used for about 10 years and it needs to be upgraded.  Dining doesn’t have the capability to handle a project this size and asked for our assistance.  We discussed some possibe options, but the project requires further discussion and analysis.

Thanks for reading,
Terry and Doreen