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U of L New Media Rep Blog

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Student Webspace on the Prototypical Server 

I received an email from Neal Thomas about the possibility for hosting a student webspace on the prototypical server. Neal was talking about hiring on a database person and an ASP programmer. There will also be opportunities for students to help out with design and upkeep. If any students are interested in helping out with the webspace then please contact either of your student reps or Neal Thomas.

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Friday, December 05, 2003

New Font Faces are on Their Way 

In an email to the department Neal Thomas writes:

Hi all;

I have compiled a good collection of typefaces that we should install next term for students that are clamouring for modern professional type. The next step up from my list here would be to purchase an entire line of type from a company like Monotype or Adobe. The license for these types of CDs (with upwards of 1,200 typefaces each) is around $4400.00 US. I believe that my selections are a good compromise as they will give students a substantial choice without causing them to be overly baffled by the options afforded with a CD from Monotype.

I propose that we purchase the Monotype Upgrade Library which contains around 400 typefaces. It's a good package because the bias is towards sturdy modern sans serif typefaces. Student gravitate towards these anyways, and the typefaces are most apt for use on a screen - good for our video titling, graphic design, interactive, modeling and motion graphics environments. That said, there are numerous handwritten style typefaces, dingbat sets, and several excellent serif samples as well.

I propose that we supplement these serif samples with a few other serif font volumes from Emigre, who are well known for their interesting well-constructed faces. This will give students a great palette to work with overall.

So, from, the Monotype Library Upgrade at $999.00US. And from Émigré:
Vendetta $159US
Priori $179US
Eidetic Neo $159US

Total: $1496.00 US, tallying to ~$2020 Cdn.

If there are no objections/suggestions received through next week I will
presume that Nick is free to close the deal!


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Thursday, December 04, 2003

New Media Department Retreat 

On Saturday, November 22, 2003 the New Media Department had a retreat that lasted a little over 8 hours. The following are minutes from their meeting as recorded by Jill Payant. Thank-you very much Jill.

University of Lethbridge
New Media Department Retreat
Saturday, November 22, 2003
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Luigi’s Restaurant Conference Room – Mayor Magrath

Present: James Graham, Chair, David Clearwater, Bob Cousins, Terry Gallie, Anna Pickering, Gerald Prost, Will Smith, Neal Thomas and Jill Payant, Recording Secretary

Visitors: Carl Granzow, Acting Dean

I Reviewed new Media Retreat Discussion Guide with the additions of:
1.5 Assignment Discussion
12.3 Public support of students and their work (Smith)

1.1 Department Philosophy – past/present/future/growth model
It was stated that some of the New Media attractions of The University of Lethbridge were its broad base of programs; cross platforms and that the direction of its education was to produce successful entrepreneurs in their desired fields.

It was further stated that the quintessence of the department and its degrees were art and skill based, making students adaptable to change. The expansion of courses to include music, print design and video filming has been advantageous, however, it was stated that 4th year students are still lacking the experience in technical skills necessary for successful internship and there exists considerable concerns with student portfolios.

Carl stated the strength of the Fine Arts Faculty is the “ability for all other departments to mesh” together and create a uniform learning environment.

A number of future evaluative measures were suggested for consideration of the department growth model and include, but are not limited to:
~ Developing a department wide system of critique or platform/guide for students and faculty (separate from course evaluations
~ A survey as to what Digital Imaging Processing is as a whole
~ Panels and public discussion critiquing, similar to the Art Now class
~ A survey of other universities and their programs
~ Senior Studio – an opportunity for rigorous constructive critiquing and discussion of student work in any given area.
~ Formal student organizations, (i.e., student representatives)
~ “How to:” Discussions to:
Manifest the philosophy of program
Understand portfolio diversification importance
Learn essential problem solving skills

1.2 Graduate Studies – The discussion surrounded potential future cooperative associations in graduate programs and was deemed too premature for debate.
1.3 Interdisciplinary Degrees – It was suggested that Interdisciplinary Degrees may be difficult to introduce and integrate into New Media programs and that Internship may prove to be a challenge, although a possibility of a Co-op was suggested. Also, such degrees are limited by ACCESS funding. It was resolved that a meeting would be established with Computer Sciences and MIS to discuss specifics.
1.4 Strategic Priorities Document – Please refer to the Department of New Media – Meeting the Strategic Plan Document handout in conjunction with the University of Lethbridge Strategic Plan, 2003 – 2008, by Dr. Bill Cade, approved by the General Faculties Council and The Board of Governors which may be found here:

Revisions and modifications will be made available on line in Spring 2004.

II Curriculum
2.1 Current/Future/Refinement/Growth – Suggestions for future curriculum growth to be considered were:
~ Seminar Courses (Core/Electives)
~ Interactive Narrative
~ Double Credit Courses
~ Documentary on Fiction Film Making
~ Writing for Animation
~ History of Animation
~ Possible On-Line Conference-like classes for those with time restraints or traveling issues.

MOTION: To nominate Neal Thomas and David Clearwater to form a committee on developing future curriculum.
Graham/Smith. All in favor. Carried
2.2 Assignment Discussion – Course Assignments – It was stated the
Dean had relegated assignment choices to the Chair, who then
assigned courses according to individual specialties. James will
finalize Spring, Summer and Fall 2004 assignments with Linda Nicol
before his parental leave which commences in January.

Student Class Assignments – Concerns were voiced that students were
indicating a hardship in completing all of the assignments required. It
was suggested that all course syllabi be put on line and students
encouraged to consider the course requirements before registering.
Further discussion suspended until new course evaluations are returned
and instructors can review workload requirements.

III Hiring
3.1 Current/Future – The department has potential for 1 and possibly 2 new hires, and the following are areas of consideration:
~ Equipment Distribution Tech
~ Interdisciplinary Masters Instructor
~ Web Based Skills – Non Studio Hire
~ Video Imaging Person
~ Well founded in foundation courses

James emphasized the importance of a search committee acting on investigating hires for these positions as soon as possible.

IV Evaluations
4.1 Department Specific Questions – Minor changes to the New Media Lab based on-line evaluation questions. Evaluations will be up and running by Tuesday, November 25, 2003 for New Media.

V Admissions
5.1 Requirements – No changes as of yet
5.2 Prospective Student Questions – refer to handout from Anna
5.2.1 Web links may provide students with necessary information, i.e., Portfolio links, Information section.
5.3 Evaluation Process – Under construction

VI Budget
6.1 Labs/Offices Hardware/Software wish list:
~ G5
~ Commercial Copy of ‘Director’
~ Adobe CS Suite
~ DVD Studio Pro Upgrades
~ Bulbs, light stands, tripod, dollies
~ Game Cube
~ Small Flat Screen TV’s
~ Video Game Consoles
~ Large High Quality Monitor
~ 27” Sony Screen x 2

There is a $3000.00 budget for replacement every 2 years or $4,500.00 budget for replacement every 3 years.

6.2 Training/Travel – There are funds available for out of town traveling and training. Please see Ches Skinner.

6.3 Visiting Artists/Speakers – A formalized budget of approximately $5,000.00 has been established for visiting artists/speakers travel and expenses.

6.4 Recruiting – Recruiting budget is upward of $15,000.00.

VII Facilities - Expansion and Improvements – See Department Philosophy, Curriculum and Budget Items.

VIII Recruiting (Faculty)
8.1 Immediate (Spring)/Future; Advertising – format, dates
Ads are currently running to fill the Production Management and Portfolio Project positions for Spring 2004. The ads may be found in all university journals and the Calgary Herald.

VI Student/Department Initiatives
~ Two scholarship give-a-ways equaling $2,500.00 each.
~ List Serve for Students
~ Student Representatives

X Student Issues
~ New System Fonts
~ The experimental server and the possibility for a New Media Student
Online community Board.
~ Production Management Replacement Instructor
~ Course Assignment Load
Held over for discussion with Student Representative, Jeff Milner.

XI Current/Future Projects
10.1 Sound Lab – The estimate sits at between $36,000 - $44,000.00
10.2 New Media Resource Center – Space is the continuing issue.
10.3 Library Film/DVD Collection – Growing slowly. David Clearwater will approach Brian Black of the Music Department to discuss his experience with the Music Library Collection
10.4 Conferences/Symposia – James informed the Dept. members that he was making progress putting together a conference for Fall, 2004. The focus of the conference will be the current trend towards the convergence of film and gaming. If you have any ideas or suggestions for upcoming New Media Conferences or symposiums, please see James Graham

10.5 Film/Video Studio – a budget has yet to be established.

10.6 Concerts/Presentation – Will indicated that there were 21 out of 22 works presented at the November 7th & 14th joint New Media/Music concerts entitled, Music, Machines & New Media. Over 100 individuals attended both performances. Revenue figures will not be available until after December 5th. The series co-director position is available for next year.

10.7 Regular Student Exhibitions (Graduate Show) A brief discussion ensued regarding possible student exhibitions and included such suggestions as;
~ Portfolio Viewing
~ Open Forum Showcasing
Will encouraged all to show public support of New Media students and their work

Carl also reiterated the importance of showing departmental support and encouraged all to attend upcoming events.

It was suggested that two (2) X-Epson Projectors be purchased for public projection.

XI Other
11.1 Use & policies of specific classrooms/labs/rooms/equipment – Arlan Schultz, Rolf Boon, (Music Faculty) and Neal Thomas will continue to meet to discuss policies for use of the music studio.

(updated January 13, 2004 9:29PM)

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Monday, December 01, 2003

Summer Grant Available 

Check out
for information on grant money.

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New Media Department Meeting Minutes From Friday, October 24th, 2003 

# 14 Minutes of a meeting held on Friday, October 24th, 2003
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Room W514

Present: James Graham, Chair, David Clearwater, Bob Cousins, Jeff Milner, Anna Pickering, Gerry Prost, Will Smith, Neal Thomas, Jill Payant, Recording Secretary

Regrets: Terry Gallie

I Adoption of the Agenda – Pickering/Clearwater. Carried

II Adoption of the Previous Minutes – Pickering/Clearwater. Carried

III Items for Information
3.1 New Media Mixer – (Graham and Clearwater) It was reported that the New Media Mixer held on Thursday, October 23, 2003 – 7:00 – 11:00 p.m. in the Zoo was a fine success. All went smoothly and all students and guests seemed to enjoy themselves.
3.2 New Media Strategic Planning Document – (Graham – Please refer to the ‘MEETING THE STRATEGIC PLAN – The Department of New Media’ hand out) Follow up report on the Strategic Planning Document submissions that the department was asked to review and respond to. Responses will be forwarded to Carl Granzow and forwarded onward to President Bill Cade.
3.3 Update – New Media Concerts (Smith) See below for details;
New Music/New Media Concerts Nov 7 and Nov 14 - Update
Presented at dept meeting.
A. 9 New Media students are so far involved, and a 10th student took our NMED1010 Youngsil Kang, Matt Laycraft, Lowell Taylor, Chris Skinner, Mouki Butt, Kerry Harwood, Jamie Easton, Kelli Tomson, Chris Vance [Mike Wearing]. Because we anticipate 8 other student projects, the number of New Media students could be larger.
B. Bob Cousins will ask in his creativity class for four ushers, 2 per night.
C. Comp ticket for each member of the department for each concert.
D. If there is someone from our classes who might like to help with the technical end, please alert your instructor. Someone suggested Ryan Godson.
E. Neal Thomas is designing a screensaver
F. Neal will see if there is a student in his design class to layout the program. This activity will need to occur Nov. 3 and 4.
G. Daniela Sirbu assisted with Rolf Boon and Will Smith, will adjudicate the NMED3680 projects.
H. We may need to use a DVD player - a MACI Sony may be possible.
I. Gerry Prost requested a screensaver GIF for his website and Neal will make one available
J. It was suggested to also send a gift to Pat Horrocks, Neal Thomas will provide this.

IV Items for Action
4.1 Music’s Visiting Speaker co-funding request. (Graham) Rolf Boon of the Music Department has contacted James Graham of the New Media department to request $500.00 of a $1,000.00 fee for Visiting Artist, Film Composer, Michael C. Baker. This decision was tabled to an email vote. Bob Cousins - in favor.
4.2 Counselor’s information kit Committee – (Graham) Information kits to be distributed to interested and potential New Media students under construction. Anna to supply text.
4.3 Retreat Date/Location (Graham) The fall New Media Retreat date has been tentatively set for Saturday, November 22, 2003. at 10:00 a.m. Location unknown at the present. Please submit location suggestions and date confirmation to Jill as soon as possible.
4.4 Infrastructure A/V Expenditures (Graham) James indicated there is a total of $70,000.00 available for AV expenditures. The following is a wish list of items desired:
Television with built in DVD
Portable Recording Systems Rack
Mini CD Recorders/Players
Game Cube
Disc (Recorder/Player)
4.5 Standardizing MOCAP training experience for students
(Graham/Smith) It was suggested creating a new class with the
sole purpose of training students would be advantageous.

V Other Business
3.1 Review of Tech Specialist Position (Graham) James indicated that he has met with Nick Fai to review his workload, responsibilities and to clarify priorities. James indicated further, he will draw up an official job description for the Tech Specialist Position and will meet with other department Chairs to discuss the use of the Tech Position within the FFA.

VI Adjournment – Pickering, 2:00 p.m.

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