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.
Chief Information Officer