Languages Advisory Group – Notes from Fall 2009 Meeting

The Languages Advisory Group met on December 10, 2009

Attending: Bryan Carson, Florence Feiereisen, Brigitte Humbert, Enrique Garcia, Joy Pile, Alex Chapin, Carol Peddie.

The topics of this meeting were:

  1. Updates and announcements
  2. Impacts of budget reductions on LIS
  3. Old items – recapped answers to question from last meeting.
  4. New business – questions from faculty.

1. Announcements:

  • LIS and the CTLR are looking for examples of  innovative uses of technology to feature on the new Teaching with Technology Blog (see some of your colleagues’ work: Nancy O’Connor and Kyoko Davis) and in next year’s Pedagogy and Technology Fair.  If you or any of your colleagues might be interested in sharing how you’ve been using technology in the classroom, please let Bryan or Florence know.

2. Impacts of budget reductions on LIS (Carol Peddie)
Operating budget reduced by 9.5% or $340,000

  • This includes library resources, software, professional development funds – everything but computers and network equipment.  Many cuts were made behind the scenes.
  • LIS pays over $1 million in software contracts for existing software, and inflation rate 5% – 15%, so the reduction hits hard.
  • Faculty software ranges from $100 for site license to $1500 per seat.
  • The library resource budget was cut by over $100,000.

Some reductions in LIS so far:

  • library resources cut by $100K:  bought fewer books, put money toward increasing costs of electronic resources and journal subscriptions
  • maintenance contracts reduced from 24/7 to Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00
  • going through software packages on a case by case basis
  • eliminated Novell service contract
  • changes in telephone services including eliminating phones in student rooms
  • Lot of journals are bundled and therefore we can’t save money by canceling a specific journal, but getting print journals is no longer critical.

Capital budget (classroom equipment, projectors, computer labs, network infrastructure):

  • cut by 35% – $650,000 — a major hit — almost a 50% reduction in 2 years ( $1.3 million in 2 years)
  • desktop replacement will have to be reduced
  • looking at computer virtualization
  • looking at data on all public stations to identify the lowest-utilization machines, and retire them from service, e.g., 18 computers in CFA with very low utilization

Changes to services (some still under consideration):

  • one impact for everyone will be reduced services; LIS has lost 23 people and probably will lose another 5 for about a 30% reduction in staff.  Our staffing is at about the same level that it was 10 years ago but demands for support are increasing.
  • reduced support for showing of DVD’s in class; still support 16 and 35 mm showings
  • restrictions in printing –  print release in library and public labs, started charging guests for printing
  • reducing student telephone services – phones in common areas but mostly relying on student use of their own cellphones
  • possibly a different process for requesting new equipment (still in process)
  • we don’t have funds to buy multiple software packages that do roughly the same thing, so we might have to standardize
  • film rental – change in process
  • reduction in inter-library loans or some delay in service, e.g. no ILL over the weekend, etc.
  • videotaping of campus events – needs to be reduced since media services has lost a number of staff.   Requests for taping lectures, special events, etc. are increasing but staff has been reduced.
  • Help Desk – temporary coverage plan to shore up for staff losses but we may have to reduce hours in evenings and weekends.  We will keep in mind that Monterey folks, in a different time zone, still need help.
  • We generally don’t try Vermont consortia because there are too few schools; some of our contracts are with Educause, NITLE, etc
  • We are implementing a key server to accomplish just this but some applications don’t work with key server technology.  There’s also the possibility of virtualization.  We look at each software package and ask how it is licensed, how it is paid for and are there any potential savings to be realized
  • LIS has been supporting language schools and schools abroad for years – our staffing is at about the same level that it was 10 years ago but demands for support are increasing

3. Old items (Bryan Carson)

Questions from last meeting:

  • What is the policy on PC to Mac switch (for faculty)?
  • What’s the upgrade schedule for XP to Vista?
  • What’s faculty equipment replacement schedule going forward in the new fiscal climate?
  • Answers reviewed here.

4. New business – questions from faculty.

  • Segue Issues-Enrique asked for clarification of Segue shutdown.
    • Segue v.2 will be available for editing and creating new sites at least through summer semester 2010.
    • Edit-only access will be available after a new system is chosen.  (Lack of an alternative system would extend Segue’s availability for creating new sites beyond summer 2010.)
    • Read-only access will be available after that.
    • At some subsequent time, “migrate-only” access will be available until every site has been migrated to the new system for course websites.
    • There will be no shutdown of Segue until a new course website system (or systems) is up and running.
  • Audacity
    • some faculty thought this application was too complex.
    • It’s a free application.  There’s no affordable alternative at the moment.
  • Language Lab issues were raised by the Spanish Dept.
    • At some point we (LIS) will need to examine this issue more closely.
    • There needs to be some way for professors to listen to students and make corrections.
    • More than just the “iPod” solution is needed.
  • Enrique asked if his students’ videos would be examples for Tech Fair and in the spring, and the “Teaching with Technology” blog.  (Yes, these are great candidates for this.)

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