Tag Archives: LIS AD

Directors’ Notes, Oct. 3, 2013

Present:  Mike Roy, David Ludwig, Jim Stuart, Chris Norris, Mary Backus, Terry Simpkins and Doreen Bernier

We talked about regularizing a structure for team assessments and updates to the directors group.  We agreed that rather than ask teams to meet directly with the directors to provide updates, we will ask each team to present their latest quarterly updates at an LIS staff meeting once a year to provide information on their recent accomplishments, current priorities, longer-range thoughts and goals.  Additionally, we will invite each team leader to a directors’ meeting 4 times a year to discuss priorities, communications and resource issues.  We also will ask each team member for feedback at least once a year, and are developing a list of questions to guide that conversation.  We agreed that this feedback should not be anonymous.  Mike will send out a communication with the teams about this assessment proposal.

We then reviewed and discussed the proposal and justification for wireless network administrator position to refill that open position.  This was approved.

Prior to meeting, we reviewed the LIS Facilities Requests process being facilitated by Joseph.  This requests are due in to Facilities by October 11th.

Upcoming meeting agendas:

  • Oct. 16 – All-staff meeting:
    • Staff Awards
    • Get to know the Directors:  Jim Stuart and David Ludwig
    • LIS private blog initial roll-out
    • Time for learning discussion
  • October Manager’s Meeting – cancelled
  • Oct. 17 – Director’s retreat
    • Directors Team – expectations, ground rules, etc. in light of the revamped team structure and newer members
  • Oct. 24 – Directors’ meeting
    • Education and Training Team visits
    • project management : Discuss a proposal to develop a common understanding and vocabulary around project management
    • content and usefulness of directors’ updates: Review the updates we provide one another to see if we can improve their utility.
    • Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC): staff exchange proposal: Discuss a proposal from CLAC to facilitate staff exchanges to share expertise among CLAC schools
    • Team Assessment Protocol : Further discussion of the plan to assess our current team

Thanks for reading

Terry & Doreen

Director’s notes, Sept. 26, 2013

Present:  Mary Backus, Mike Roy, Jim Stuart, Chris Norris, Terry Simpkins, Rebekah Irwin, David Ludwig and Doreen Bernier.  Guests: Space Team members Joseph Watson, Hans Raum, Lisa Terrier, Todd Sturtevant and Peggy Fischel

Members of the Space Team joined the meeting to discuss office assignments in Davis Library.  We had previously reviewed and approved the Team’s proposal to address the short-term need for additional office space for newly hired positions, which have now been completed.  We discussed another round of office/space shuffling to accommodate further growth in some workgroups and, if possible, to colocate certain groups currently dispersed.

We also agreed:

  • we need to go through DFL 221 and DFL 145 schedules to delete obsolete meetings;
  • staff room could be used as a meeting space during certain times of the day (e.g., not during lunch breaks)

The team also reminded us that project lists are due to facilities on October 8th.

We approved a charge for a group to think broadly about library systems issues (aka, Library Systems Think Tank) with the following caveats:

  • the LSTT should consider inviting Peter Liu (MIIS) as a member;
  • the LSTT will also play a role in thinking about how we support digital scholarship services.

David and Charlotte have been working on a form through Webhelpdesk for project requests.  This topic was only touched on briefly and will be added to next week’s agenda for further discussion.

Thanks for reading,

Terry & Doreen

AD Meeting notes, Aug. 29, 2013

Present:  Mike Roy, Jim Stuart, David Ludwig, Mary Backus, Rebekah Irwin, Chris Norris, Terry Simpkins, Carol Peddie and Doreen Bernier

We reviewed the Space Team’s proposal to address the short-term need for additional office space for newly hired positions.  The proposal also offered suggestions to consolidate other workgroup areas who have outgrown their current locations within Davis.   The directors approved the following office moves:

  • Move Charlotte Pratt from 116 to 216 to share with Susan Simmons until more private space becomes available;
  • Move Ian Burke and student assistant from 115 to 116;
  • Move Cindy Peet from 116 into 115;
  • Assign the new Information Security Analyst to 116 (Burke and assistants).

The Team will meet with the directors in September to discuss the remaining recommendations.

Chris presented the proposed Information Security Auditing Standard Operating Procedures for review and discussion.  The procedures were written as guidelines for auditing the security of institutional data, and are intended for internal LIS use.  Chris will draft a summary more appropriate for the broader College community.

It is time again for the annual review of the LIS portions of the College Handbook.  Chris is coordinating, and he has asked the directors to review and make revisions as needed to the sections assigned to them.

Our revised student assistants budget request came in considerably higher than our current allocation.  After a lengthy discussion, the directors asked User Services to reduce their student assistants budget and Curricular Technology to reduce the Digital Media Tutors.  Additional funds will be reallocated from software, library resources, and a few other paid expenses that came in lower than budgeted (e.g. Moodle costs).

Our next meeting will be a retreat on Thursday, Sept. 5 to discuss the organization of the Web Team.

Thanks for reading,
Terry & Doreen

Directors Notes Aug. 15, 2013

Present:  Terry Simpkins, Rebekah Irwin, Mike Roy, Jim Stuart, Mary Backus, Carol Peddie (via Skype) and Doreen Bernier.  Joe Antonioli (guest).

Joe Antonioli presented the results of the SANSSpace pilot survey recently completed by LS faculty and students.  Although the sample size was small, both faculty and students provided overall positive feedback about the service.  We also reviewed the options for vendor technical support, and the support impact that SANSSpace would have on LIS staff.

The vendor, Chester Technical Services (CTS) (contracted by SANSSpace), would provide 24-hour, business-day support for this product.  This means that support issues reported on Friday would not be acknowledged before the following Monday.  A contract with CTS would provide training for faculty 3 times per year (at the beginning of the Fall, Spring, and Language School terms).  Providing additional training for trainers might also be beneficial.

After some discussion, the directors agreed to move forward with implementation and potentially commit to a 1-year contract, contingent upon successful negotiation with the vendor for training and support.  Assuming these negotiations are successful, we will send an email to faculty announcing the new service, while at the same time clearly explaining the level of support that LIS, in collaboration with the vendor, can provide.

We discussed LIS protocols for scheduling and announcing system down times.  We agreed that such announcements should be sent out via all-LIS staff email no later than noon on the Friday before the scheduled downtime, and at the same time posted to the LIS blog. All system down times should be planned within the maintenance window whenever possible, and should also be coordinated with the CSNS work group.  Jim, Chris Norris, and David Ludwig will determine if change management documents are required and whom they should be shared with appropriate groups.  Finally, we agreed that all downtime announcements should be sent out and coordinated by Jim, and Chris acting as Jim’s backup when necessary.

Next the group reviewed and discussed communications relating to additional LIS organization changes.  We have already been in contact with those staff who are directly affected by the reorganization; these latest messages are to announce the changes more widely.

Thanks for reading,
Terry & Doreen

Area Directors notes, July 25, 2013

Present:  Joe Antonioli, Mike Roy, Jim Stuart, Carol Peddie, Mary Backus, Terry Simpkins, Rebekah Irwin and Doreen Bernier

Joe Antonioli joined the meeting to give an update on SANSSpace/Online Language Lab.  SANSSpace is a pilot project being currently being used and evaluated by Language School faculty and students.  Joe has been working with Amy Foote on drafting survey questions to help evaluate SANSSpace in order to determine if we want to move the service into production.  If we do, we will need to determine who will be impacted by support requests, and what the expectations are for support from the Helpdesk.  The program could ultimately be adopted by the undergraduate language programs, MIIS, and Schools Abroad.  Once Joe and the CurrTech Team understands the Language Schools’ perspective, they will make a recommendation to the directors.

The ADs then had a brief discussion about the LIS organizational structure and space needs. Sponsorship of the Space Team will shift to Rebekah Irwin.

In a never-ending quest for determining the perfect balance of frequency and length, the directors reviewed the directors’ meeting structure.  We agreed to shorten the meeting length to 1½ hours unless the agenda requires more time.  We would like to set agendas for Thursday meetings by Monday at noon.  Urgent issues that cannot wait until the following week can be added late if necessary.

We briefly discussed preparation of the LIS Annual Report.  Mike will prepare a 1 page summary, linked to the quarterly reports.  We also talked some about the need for a repository of commonly needed statistics.

We began a general discussion about a long-term strategy for storage options, including making more systematic use of cloud options:

  • we need to establish a plan to systematically evaluate emerging options for our key technology platforms and services;
  • we should be considering how the College community already uses public tools, and take that into consideration in our thinking;
  • discussed “best-of-breed” IT service strategies vs. a strategy that emphasizes or prefers cloud hosting vs. locally hosting, etc., in general;
  • we need to be concerned about security and reputation;
  • it should be secure, sustainable, affordable, simple, convenient and user-friendly;
  • conversation rapidly expands into other areas such as BYOD (“bring your own device”)
  • to be continued…

We will invite the CurrTech Team to meet with us to review goals, projects, and priorities, including the idea of looking at possible streaming video solutions.  There are implications beyond curricular technology with this, but it seems like a good place to start.

Thanks for reading,
Terry & Doreen

Area 51 notes, June 20, 2013

Present:  Mike Roy, Jim Stuart, Terry Simpkins, Chris Norris, Mary Backus, Carol Peddie, David Ludwig, Rebekah Irwin (via Skype) and Doreen Bernier.
Guests: Joe Durante, Joe Antonioli and Pij Slater joined the meeting to discuss the Communications Task Force Proposal.

The budget office approved an increase to the LIS operating budget is $400K for FY14.  This was less than our requested increase of ca. $615K, so we will need to pare back.

  • We will likely make reductions in lines for consulting fees, library resources, and some of the proposed new projects;
  • We will also investigate canceling certain service contracts we no longer need, but this may not be possible;
  • We are maintaining (actually, increasing slightly) our professional development line as this was heavily used in FY13 and remains a priority for LIS;
  •  Carol has made some preliminary adjustments for the directors to review and adjust as needed.

The Communications Task Force joined the meeting to discuss their recommendations.  Last year the task force distributed a survey to staff to identify concerns about how we  communicate internally.  The survey identified three themes:

  • too many tools and methods of communications/too much information
  • complexity of the organization
  • a significant number of respondents did not think there was a “communications problem” within LIS (this is good!)

The TF will present its recommendations in more detail for staff commenting at an upcoming all-LIS meeting, but to quickly recap:

  • they recommend a separate staff-only blog for required posting of agendas & notes from selected meetings of widespread or general interest (e.g. directors’ notes, managers meetings, etc.);
  • the current LIS blog should be re-oriented specifically for the broader Middlebury community.  Items may be cross-posted between internal and public blogs, as appropriate;
  • staff will be consulted about the TF proposals in general.  We will need to what meetings of general interest would be useful to include in the private blog, decide whether or not other topics that may or may not be strictly work-related should be allowed, etc.  The idea is that the blog should be useful to staff!
  • we should re-evaluate and revisit how these recommendations are faring in 6 months;
  • it may be useful to appoint an informal moderator to review the staff-only blog, answer questions, etc., at least initially.

The directors agreed with the TF request to present and discuss the recommendations at July’s all-staff meeting.

Chris presented an overview of Information Security Auditing SOPs, which involves automated pattern-matching to detect sensitive information inappropriately posted to, for example, middfiles/org.  The automated tool is not used on personal home directories or personal workstations unless requested.  Ian Burke is creating a document with detailed guidelines and policies.  When complete, he and/or Chris will present to the directors for further discussion.

The directors briefly discussed how LIS should prepare and train for emergency situations.  The US Dept. of Homeland Security has some training materials available which are useful and important but not for the faint-of-heart.  This discussion will be continued.

Jim lead the discussion regarding the current Change Management Policy and asked if standards should be established for minor vs major changes.  He also suggested we form a cross-functional team or other type of “change management board” to assist sharing change information across work groups and creating sign-off procedures.  This team would only be involved in major changes (e.g., new middfiles). We also discussed change management in the context of new services, not just upgrades or changes to existing services.  It was noted that the current form accommodates existing systems but not new systems.

Mike asked the directors to discuss the usefulness of this idea with their managers and workgroups and report back for further discussion.  Terry suggested that any discussion about forming a new team should be included in a holistic re-evaluation of the current teams, which is part of the directors goals for the year and will be reviewed at their next retreat.

Agenda for June AD Retreat

  • restructuring
  • goals
  • cloud strategy plan
  • teams

The June 27th AD meeting has been canceled.

Agenda items (so far) for the next AD meeting
Information Security Auditing SOPs (if document is ready)

Thanks for reading,

Terry & Doreen

Area 51 notes, Dec. 20, 2012

Present: Chris, Doreen, Carol, Mike, Mary, Terry

In advance of meeting, Chris distributed the latest version of the Data Classification Policy for review.  The policy describes various types of data classification (e.g. sensitive) and how they should be handled, but does not discuss policy enforcement.  The Data Classification Taskforce may suggest names of people to serve as “data stewards” within functional areas, but it will be up to the FA to appoint the data steward.

Some suggestions from the ADs were to:

  • provide training for data stewards, possibly in conjunction with the Training & Education and Security Teams
  • provide training for new employees
  • edit the policy to reflect current thinking about how we write policies, e.g., lay out the “why this is important” up front and recast the preamble in plainer language.
  • create a timeline listing activities and who will be responsible for these activities

Next Steps:

  • Data Classification Taskforce should begin conversations within their areas
  • Have this discussion added to the LEADS agenda (possibly February 18th)
  • Mike would like to present this to President’s Staff, possibly at their March 2013 meeting

Chris also announced that the PCI Policy (Policy for Accepting Credit Card and eCommerce Payments) has been approved by Patrick Norton and has been posted to the Controller’s website.  An early January email from Patrick to all staff explaining this policy will be sent out.

A brief discussion was held regarding the eNewsletter and how we communicate to the college community.  Should this discussion be to move this to the Communications Taskforce?  Since their current charge is to evaluate internal communications, this could be something to consider in a subsequent phase, either with this group or a new one focusing on external communications.

We made good progress on finalizing Education and Training Team membership.  We still need to have a few conversations with staff before announcing, but stay tuned.

Mike asked the ADs to think about how we can improve our project prioritization practices. An AD meeting in January will be dedicated to this topic.  Specifically:

  • how do LIS priorities fit with College priorities
  • how do ad hoc projects get integrated into existing planned commitments?
  • how do we keep focused on high-level (e.g. data classification, information literacy, SLAs, etc.) issues and make reviewing projects habitual?

Thanks for reading,

Terry & Doreen