March 19, 1980

To: Deans, Department Chairs and Administrative Heads
From: President Gail Fullerton
Subject: Replacement of the Computer and Temporary Freeze of Software Development and Modification

Several years of analysis and planning by the CSUC Division of Information Systems and the nineteen campuses have culminated in Department of Finance approval for the replacement of obsolete computers throughout the CSUC. The CSUC is now in the final stages of procuring fifteen stand-alone computer systems and five remote job entry (RJE) stations that will provide support from a central computer for the five smallest campuses.

San José State University will receive a new stand-alone computer. A network will also provide campus access to the central CSUC facility in Los Angeles for jobs requiring resources that are not available on campus: for example, expensive proprietary software with low usage on any given campus would be available at the central facility.

Once our old CDC 3150 computer is removed, none of our existing computer software will run on the new equipment without modification. Similarly, programs that currently run on the CDC 3300 central batch system will also have to be modified. In computer jargon, this is referred to as "conversion."

Conversion workload estimates have been developed, and a draft conversion plan prepared by the staff of our Division of Information Systems and Computing (ISC) for San José State. To convert all the computer systems and programs for both in?structional and administrative computer users at San José State by the original computer installation date (July, 1981) would have required ISC staff augmentation by 118 "man-months. "

Components of the plan and the conversion schedule have been reviewed by the Academic Vice President, the Executive Vice President, the Dean of Student Services, the Director of ISC, and myself. We have agreed to postpone the installation date for the new computer by one year, to July, 1982, and have indicated which computer systems must be converted by that date in order to keep the University functioning.

Even with the postponement, there is still not enough personnel available in ISC to convert all administrative programs by July, 1982. Some administrative programs will have to be converted after that date, and there may be several months in which some administrative software currently in use by the campus will not be available at all.

However, by the time the new computer is installed at San José State, all of the instructional software for which ISC is responsible will have been converted by ISC staff. Software developed and maintained by faculty members will have to be converted by the faculty members themselves, but a number of software conversion aids will be provided by the vendor and ISC will offer a series of short courses and workshops in their use.

The RJE equipment linking San José State with the conversion site at Sacramento State will be installed, as originally scheduled, in June of this year. This RJE equipment will be available for use in converting currently installed systems and software to the common computer system in Sacramento. A second RJE station will be installed on campus in July, 1981, for jobs to be run at the State University Data Center in Los Angeles. A limited number of terminals will also be made available for instructional users in July, 1981.

Due to the importance of the conversion of administrative software on which we are dependent (such as the Curriculum Data Processing System) and the projected manpower deficits in ISC, I am declaring a campus wide computer software freeze, effective immediately, and lasting until the new computer system has been installed and software conversion is completed. Until that time, only mandated changes and necessary maintenance project requests will be scheduled for implementation by ISC. Software maintenance is defined as those programming and systems analysis requirements that are needed to keep the program and systems operational as originally designed and approved. (See Attachment 1 for definitions.)

Conversion schedules will be reviewed once every six months. Existing software that will not be converted by the time the new computer is installed will have to be replaced by some manual operation for a period of time. These applications will be evaluated, together with new software requests, to determine the best use of the University's programming resources after essential software has been con?verted.


Academic Vice President
Executive Vice President
Dean, Student Services
Director, Information Systems & Computing

Attachment I
Definitions of Programming Request Classifications

  1. Maintenance -- program changes to correct problems for the purpose of keeping a current computer system operational as originally designed and approved.
  2. Modification -- changes to current computer programs that are deemed to desirable but are not required to keep a system operational.
  3. Development -- the development and/or implementation of new programs, Including those obtained from external sources.

Requests will be further classified as major, minor, or mandatory.

  1. Mandatory requests are those that are externally mandated regardless of the amount of effort involved -- example: the expansion of the fee field to handle amounts over $999.
  2. Minor requests are those that require less than one manweek of analysis and/or programming effort.
  3. All other requests are classified as major.

Any changes to systemwide supported systems will be referred to the CSUC Division of Information Systems without any further action on the part of ISC.