ITS Newsletter Banner for Volume I, issue 2, March 2017

Message from the CIO

ITS has lost some key staff in the past few months.  Brenda Whalen has moved permanently to the BOR system office in Hartford to head up the system-wide implementation of the Banner move to the cloud for the universities.  In her place I have promoted Deb Hunt to Director of Enterprise Applications and head up the ITS information Systems Application group.

I have created two new positions from the Whalen vacancy.  One will be in the Center for Instructional Technology to improve our support of faculty use of technology for student learning.  The other will support wireless and Voice Over IP (VOIP) in Network Services.  Both these positions will be filled as soon as the hiring freeze ends.

Another position that will be filled after the hiring freeze is a replacement for the departure of Ryan Allard who provided desktop computer support.

Finally, a search is underway to replace Tim Sime who supported both wireless and VOIP in Network Services.  Now that the VOIP telephone system is being turned over to Eastern from the vendor, we need this position and the one above to support both telephones and the expansion of campus wireless.

In addition to these changes, Kevin Gill will focus on desktop computing support and provide additional counsel to the CIO with Brenda’s departure as well take the lead on thin client computing, and the ITS role in the new system-wide inventory system.

In order to free up some of Kevin’s time for these new duties, Steve Nelson will head up the ITS Help Desk, Center for Instructional Technology (CIT), and the Webb Hall support group.

I have made these changes to make the best use of remaining ITS personnel resources and position ITS to improve support to faculty and students.

Garry Bozylinsky

Chief Information Officer

Remaining Telephone Issues

In response to an email requesting the campus community to report any outstanding telephone issues, over 50 emails generated over 100 work request tickets.  ITS is happy to report that all but about half a dozen have been addressed and those remaining are expected to be completed by the end of March.

Information Technology Advisory Committee

The committee continues to meet and provide input and recommendations to the CIO.  The committee took the following actions:

  • unanimously recommended having the default university home page for faculty and staff point to the “Faculty and Staff” page, and for all students to the “current students” page.
  • unanimously recommended that implementation of the new network and associated campus-wide wireless rollout be postponed until after the Spring semester to avoid any potential disruption of service during Spring classes.
  • Unanimously recommended that the final disposition of 21st Century Classroom funding decisions be shared in this newsletter

Improved Wireless

Over the past year, a great deal of work has been done to stage additional Wireless Access Points across campus.  ITS plans to enable those Access points over the summer in conjunction with completing migration to the new campus-wide network.  This rollout will allow Internet access as well as local services such as Jabber to operate throughout campus, even in open spaces that don’t typically have cellular services available. Continue reading

WebEx

The university now has its own WebEx site,  https://easternct.webex.com. Rather than having to call ITS Telephone Help to arrange a conference call or bridge number, selected faculty and staff may now create their own.  Further, the WebEx tool integrates with the Outlook client.  To create your own bridge number or an online session, just click on “Schedule Meeting” in Outlook.  Contact Dave Bachand in ITS at x55376 to get started.

Unified Communications

The university is now largely through the migration from 19th century telephony to 21st century Unified Communications.  It only took 128 years!  With Unified Communications, there is a blur of the line between telephone services and computing services.  For example, Voice Mail can be accessed from the Voice Mail portal.  It is far superior to accessing this service from a traditional handset.  Jabber is coming soon, which will allow users of telephones, tablets and, of course, computers to message via the university network.

Video Conferencing Systems

  • A high definition, classroom-based conference system has been installed in the Child and Family Development Resource Center. This system was installed as part of an Early Childhood Education Department initiative to offer classes between Eastern and Norwalk Community College.  This system includes multiple source inputs and switching, automatic speaker tracking cameras, far-site camera control and other instructional features.
  • A web conference camera for has been installed in the Webb 159 Conference room. This unit is optimized for use with Eastern’s Skype for Business application.  It features an automatic, speaker tracking camera as well as a 360 degree view of the room.

Video Upgrades

  • Several podiums in Webb Hall and the Sports Center have been replaced with new, instructor- facing units.
  • Webb 358 lounge has been equipped with a projection system similar to those installed in Eastern classrooms.
  • Several major upgrades were installed in the Fine Arts Instructional Center including box office audio control, back stage audio and video displays, multi-unit Proscenium Theater projection system, and the Concert Hall audio mixer station.
  • Science 104 will be upgraded this semester to include digital source inputs at the podium.
  • As part of the Board of Regents 21st Century Classroom project, the following rooms will be upgraded with dual projection, large format touch monitors; Webb 407, Science 238, Science 115.

Media Services Relocation

ITS Media Services will be relocating its operation to a temporary space in Winthrop at the end of the Spring semester.  Media Services will operate in that location while the Communication building is being renovated.

Webb Hall and Science Computer Lab Replacement Project

Over the winter break and the start of this semester, all 375 computers located in the six Webb Hall and the nine Science computer labs have been replaced with new more powerful Dell Precision Workstations.  These new computers feature 32 GB of RAM, 500 GB Solid State hard drives and powerful discreet video cards as well as faster processors.

Continue reading

Windows 10 Upgrade Roadmap

Over spring break ITS upgraded Webb Hall 410 General Purpose Computer Lab, Library student use computers, and residence hall computers to Windows 10.  This upgrade aligns these computers with those in the Science and Webb computer-equipped classroom, providing a consistent user experience for Eastern students.

Continue reading

New Platform for eReports

Throughout the coming year, the Application Development Group will be working with University constituents to design, develop and deploy Eastern’s new reporting tool, WebFocus. The new tool is browser agnostic and accessible from both the MAC IOS and PC Windows environments.  The implementation is being done in phases as the design/development work is completed for each area across the University.  Academic Advising, Academic Services Center, and the Athletics administrative offices have now transitioned to WebFocus. ITS is currently working on reports for the Fiscal Affairs office including the Budget reports.

Improved Degree Evaluation tool; eWeb Degree Evaluation tool to be replaced with DegreeWorks

In September 2016, Eastern kicked off the implementation of the DegreeWorks tool.  This tool will replace eWeb Degree Evaluation.  This project has been underway since the fall and is co-managed by the Registrar’s Office and ITS.  In addition to what is anticipated to be a more user-friendly interface for degree evaluations, DegreeWorks will also provide an integrated four-year academic plan and eventually the ability to register for classes directly from the plan.

Banner Software Upgrade

During the weekend of March 11- 12, the Applications Development team upgraded Banner. Please report any issues with eWeb, Banner, and eReports to the ITS Help Desk at x54346 or email at helpdesk@easternct.edu.

EMS will replace eReserve (AdAstra)

In August 2016, Eastern hosted the kickoff meeting to begin planning the migration to EMS, the University’s new event management and academic room scheduling tool.  The core implementation team includes representatives from the Events Planning Office, Student Activities, the Registrar’s Office and ITS. The team continues to develop web based event request templates and has been developing the configuration of the workflow for the new tool.

 

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Message from the CIO



This is the first issue of a periodic newsletter I plan to send to the Eastern community to communicate technology information that I think would be of interest, and to seek feedback as well as suggestions for improving Information Technology Services (ITS) and technology at Eastern.  My design for the newsletter is for it to be dynamic and current, communicating notifications and articles as they become relevant at any time of the year. It will therefore be published on an irregular basis as technology changes and issues necessitate. Your input is very important to me.  If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, please email them directly to me at bozylinskyg@easternct.edu.  This issue is somewhat long because it catches up with what’s been happening for the past several months.  There has been a lot of hard work by a lot of staff (both in and out of ITS) to implement an aggressive plan to upgrade existing, as well as deploy, new technology.

In the five months I’ve been at Eastern, I have grown to appreciate the Eastern community and its accomplishments due to the dedication of so many people leading directly to our success as recognized in many arenas ranging from the US News and World Report rankings to workplace accolades and our strong enrollment numbers.  ITS is dedicated to playing a strong role supporting the community with technology solutions to assist in meeting the challenging goals Eastern has established for itself.  I look forward to working with the Eastern community to improve our use of technology to advance the institution and continue to enhance Eastern’s reputation and success.

Garry Bozylinsky
Chief Information Officer