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Message from the CIO

This semester ITS has improved services in a variety of areas. With the collaboration of the library, the ITS Help Desk has been moved to Room 236 on the main floor of the library. The move enables ITS to provide broader service, including greater accessibility for walk-ins of faculty, students, and staff. The move also frees up space for other uses.

After months of hard work both by ITS and administrative offices, Banner systems were moved successfully to the cloud in February. Those staffs are now hard at work updating the Banner system to 9.0, scheduled to be completed in stages by the end of the 2018 calendar year.

The move to the cloud was not without its problems, however. Despite warnings and recommendations from ITS staff, the cloud provider did not allocate adequate resources for registration resulting in terrible performance for students attempting to register for fall classes. The full text of my apology to students is included in this newsletter for those who may have missed it.

On a more positive cloud note, this summer ITS will be moving all faculty and students from the local Z: drives to O365 OneDrive in the Microsoft cloud. This move will not only provide greater accessibility, flexibility, and more granular recovery of files, it will substantially increase storage for each user.

The CIT continues to offer in-office consultation for faculty. Wednesdays and Thursdays are blocked out for this service but other days of the week can be scheduled depending on staff availability. Times, however, are limited to 9am to 5pm.

Media Services will be moving back to Communications this summer. Despite their temporary location this past year, they have maintained their busy schedule of video editing, upgrading projectors, supporting interactive video classes, and working to upgrade AV in Communications, Shafer, and Goddard.

Finally, I’d like to thank the Information Technology Advisory Committee for their input and suggestions this past year for improving technology at Eastern. As a direct result of their advice, for example, Eastern now supports the eduroam wireless service for students, faculty, and staff. Eduroam provides seamless wireless access at over 500 colleges and universities throughout the United States and in many foreign countries.

As this will be our last newsletter before next semester, I wish everyone a happy, safe, and productive summer.

Garry Bozylinsky
CIO

Help Desk New Location

With the help and cooperation of the library, ITS is pleased to announce the ITS Help Desk has successfully moved to their new space within the library. Staff will be located on the main floor, room 236. The staffing hours will remain the same for this semester, Monday – Friday 8:00 – 5:00, and telephone 860-465-4346 as well as email to helpdesk@easternct.edu will still be handled as before. Continue reading

New Wireless Capability: Eduroam

At the request of the Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC), Eastern joined the eduroam consortium. The eduroam wireless SSID is now offered at Eastern. Outside users from other eduroam participating institutions may connect to the Eastern wireless service. Eastern users traveling to another participating institution may use theirs. An ITS staff member seamlessly used wireless at a university in Taiwan this month with eduroam. Continue reading

Z: Storage to Move to O365 OneDrive for Unlimited Quotas

The CSCU system has directed the universities to migrate personally owned data to the O365 cloud service. ITS will be moving all faculty and student storage to this cloud service over the summer (staff storage will remain on Z: drives). The process will be similar to the one moving email messages two years ago. During the period in which the files are actually being moved, users will have read only access. An email notification will be sent to everyone when the exact time period for the move is scheduled. Continue reading

CIT is Still Making Office Calls

A quick reminder to faculty, CIT continues to offer one-on-one sessions for faculty held in the faculty member’s office. For the remainder of the semester, CIT has blocked out Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9 and 5 to schedule these visits. Other days are also available, however, depending on staff schedules and prior commitments. To schedule an appointment or learn more about the wide range of services available from CIT, please call 860-465-1248 (x51248), email cit@easternct.edu.

AV Upgrades to Communications, Goddard, and Shafer

Plans for the renovation and upgrade of the audio-visual systems in the classroom, lab, conference room and TV production areas of the Communication Building and Goddard Hall have been finalized. Installation of the Communication Building equipment is scheduled to begin early this summer and be completed in time for Fall classes. Goddard Hall renovations are scheduled to begin in September.

Renovation of Shafer Auditorium is underway and scheduled to re-open in June 2019. The new auditorium will contain a very high quality audio/video distribution and control system.

Banner Transferred to the Cloud

During the weekend of February 9-11, 2018, the Applications Development team successfully transitioned our Banner Database to the Cloud. All functional offices in conjunction with the IT staff were involved with the transition to this new environment. We are currently working on some issues that have presented themselves due to the cloud transition, including impacts to registration when the cloud servers were overloaded. Database tuning and other measures are being taken to reduce the possibility of this occurring again.

Banner Update Link

Reporting Information Security Concerns

ITS would like to thank everyone in the campus community for your vigilance in notifying us about suspected phishing emails, malware installations or other unusual technology activities. In order to provide better tracking and response, ITS has created a new email address, ITsecurity@easternct.edu.

Beginning today, ITS will be using this email account to send emails to the campus regarding any information security-related updates and warnings such as Windows, MacOS and software application patching as well as any special security alerts. If you have any security-related questions or concerns, please email them to ITsecurity@easternct.edu.
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Media Services Video Productions

Media Services has been working very closely with University Relations the past few months to produce video content for the new Eastern website. Videos produced by the Center for Early Childhood education reached a milestone of one million views this past January and were viewed in over 200 countries.

Security Enclave

The CSCU system has contracted with Presidio to build out a Citrix based security enclave for protecting private or proprietary information (PPI). Applications or tasks that manage information such as social security numbers, bank routing data, or health care records going forward will be managed inside of this new environment. Access will be via Citrix Xenapp application virtualization, with no data ever leaving the environment.

Work on the Eastern implementation has already begun. ITS estimates the first phase of the project (key administrative offices that house most of the institution’s PPI data) will be completed within the next 12-18 months

Banner 9 Transition

The Applications Development team is working on transitioning our current Banner 8 environment to Banner 9, also known as “BMS – Banner Modernization and Standardization”. This environment introduces new technology to our team and also a Single-Sign-On methodology which is key to using the new functionality introduced in Banner 9. This transition will occur in stages with a targeted completion date of December 2018. More details may be found at Read more about this transition

Projection System Upgrades

Projection systems in several labs in the Science building were upgraded during the 2018 Winter Session with laser-based, lamp-less projectors, high resolution document cameras and digital switchers. These new systems, which will soon become a projection system standard on campus, will allow the connection of HDMI-based devices.

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Message from the CIO

This fall, ITS is focusing on improving technology support, especially for instruction. The Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) has rolled out a new faculty consulting service.  Faculty are invited to contact CIT to schedule a personal one-on-one consultation in the faculty member’s office.  The purpose of the initiative is to have an instructional technology staff member meet with a faculty member and work with them on their own computer to answer any questions they may have.  Many times faculty have a few questions that could really improve their productivity or classroom teaching but are not worth their time to attend an entire workshop on the topic.  These meetings are available for scheduling on Wednesdays or Thursdays between 9am and 5pm. Other days can be worked in as well.  See the article in this newsletter for more details.  Another initiative is the new Blackboard Help Desk that augments the Eastern Help Desk by providing 24×7 support for password resets.

Other improvements this fall include the completion of the voice and data campus network. Due to the improved reliability of this fully redundant high-speed network and a more featured (and less expensive) telephone system, the Fall 2017 semester began with fewer technical outages than last fall and a generally faster network. In addition, over 1,000 wireless access points are now available across campus.

Finally, the Banner team is busy moving the Eastern instance of Banner to an upgraded version wholly in the cloud. Once completed, Eastern users of Banner will have increased functionality along with improved availability and reliability of a cloud-based system that Eastern could not afford to create in the previous environment.

As is the case with the rest of the campus and the State System, ITS is coping with staff positions frozen by the Board of Regents System Office due to the State budget impasse. Fortunately, with the president’s strong support, three of six frozen ITS positions were granted exceptions to the freeze and are in the process of being filled.  Despite the staffing challenges, ITS has been working to refocus its services to better serve the core instructional mission of the university.

Garrett Bozylinsky
Chief Information Officer