Weekly update 2006-02-17

This week: Staff interviews, Tech Park, CATalog review, CTSA planning

Staff Reviews
I interviewed 15 CIT staff this week. One more week of intense meetings and I will have met with almost all of the CIT and CATalyst staff. I will be meeting with some of the distributed IT staff the following week (already have met with some), and I’ll be planning to have another general staff meeting the following week to talk about observations from my first two months and immediate plans.
Computer Room Space
With the Board approval of funding from the following week, we continued doing detailed planning for the computer room in Tech Park. We met with representatives of various offices around campus (Library, CoM, Engineering, etc) to review the need to move from Waterman and the opportunity afforded by the move to Tech Park. That included lengthy discussion about the likely use of blade servers to standardize equipment, provide easy scalability, and condense space needs. There seems to be more interest in using such hosted facilities than we’d anticipated, so we’re revising plans to prepare for a larger initial installed based of equipment than we’d originally expected.
Project CATalog
We’ve continued to meet with the CATalog staff to review their finding and recommendations documents. Though the project was initiated to develop plans for electronic archiving of important information, paper-based and electronic, the framework is much broader and includes recommendations for systems that communicate with clients and collect information. The recommendations will provide a strategic framework for a good deal of the University’s future information services.
CTSA Planning (Clinical and Translational Science Awards)
The College of Medicine is preparing to apply for a major grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) called the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA). The initiative is described at http://www.med.uvm.edu/research/TB1+I+C+RL.asp?SiteAreaID=579 , and Dr. Galbraith’s video overview might be particularly helpful if you want to review this.
I’m on the Bioinformatics Working Group, and we met twice this week to develop and then review project ideas for bioinformatics support for the CTSA proposal. We now have a projects list for development of the grant.
The CATalyst project continues to progress well. I’ve been meeting with the infrastructure team on Wednesday, and it seems that the configuration and operation of the database platform is stable. That group is now beginning performance testing and fault-tolerance testing.
Managers’ Weekly Meetings
The CIT management team (Ainsworth, Austin, Dudley, Gingras, Kennedy, Spooner, Todd, Williams) has begun meeting weekly to communicate, coordinate, and plan together.
VP Staff Meeting
The VPFA staff meet every few weeks to discuss topics of common interest. One major topic this week was planning for a flu pandemic. We in IT should be considering how we would support continued operations if a substantial number of CIT staff were home with the flu or if we were asked to quarantine regions of the Burlington area. A topic for the Managers’ meetings. Cross-training of staff and remote access to service management will be important in planning for a possible flu pandemic.

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