Monday, November 24, 2014

December 2014 Update

Development and Training System

The implementation of the new Development and Training System is a joint project between Information Resources and Business and Finance. The goal of the project is to provide the campus with one training system to deliver and track all staff development and compliance training for all faculty, staff and student employees.

The new Development and Training System (DTS) integrates six different existing campus training systems into one enterprise-wide system using a product called LearnerWeb. The DTS provides accurate training assignments and training information for campus users as well as managers/leads – information which has not been readily available in the past.


The DTS will go live in February 2015, allowing employees to complete and track any CSU-offered professional development or compliance training. Notifications for assigned training, due dates, and expired courses will be activated and the DTS dashboard will provide managers/leads with the ability to view assigned training of their direct reports. Future phases will include finalizing the governance model, expanding the system to deliver and track training offered by other departments, partnering with departments to import training history, and integrating options for auxiliaries and other groups.

 

Identity Finder

You’re probably aware that identity theft has been in the news a lot lately, with tens of millions of people put at risk by the hacking of corporate computer systems. What you probably don’t know is that you might have quite a bit of sensitive information (also referred to as “Level 1 Protected Data”- descriptions of the data classification levels can be found here) on your campus computer, putting yourself, the university, and particularly our students at high risk for identity theft.

 

What is Identity Finder?

Identity Finder is a software program that searches your campus computer for protected data such as Social Security Numbers, bank and credit card numbers, etc. in emails, files and documents (including Word, Excel, and PDF files).

In addition to finding protected data, Identity Finder can also securely remove this data from your computer by deleting (shredding) files containing protected data or redacting (scrubbing) protected data within files.


The Identity Finder Results Screen

 

When Will Identity Finder be Available?

Identity Finder will be available for installation for the entire campus on November 15, 2014. Please refer to the Identity Finder documentation for more information.

After February 15, 2015, the Information Security Office will begin identifying campus computers that are storing protected data in order to implement safeguards.

 

Who has to use Identity Finder?

All CSU, Chico employees are responsible for personally identifiable information that is collected and stored. This includes faculty, staff, and student employees.

 

Who has Approved Identity Finder?

CSU labor relations and system-wide Information Security reviewed the Identity Finder deployment, and has recognized the importance and the value of this implementation to our security process.

“The parties to this agreement, (CSU) and CFA, agree that data breaches are detrimental to all and agree that CSU may proceed with its implementation of … Identity Finder, subject to documented conditions.”
CFA - “The parties acknowledge the importance of working together to ensure the security of data used and stored on CSU system.”
CSUEU - “The parties acknowledge that CSU is required by law and CSU policy to monitor and protect the security of data used and stored on its systems and acknowledge the importance of working together to ensure the security of the data.”

Cold Storage Monitoring for Student Health Center (SHC)

The Student Health Center is required to maintain a controlled environment for their specimens and medications. To support this requirement, several technicians have had to manually log the temperatures in the storage areas periodically throughout the day. If a temperature deviated from the acceptable range, a local alarm sounded to alert a technician of a problem. Unfortunately, if no one heard the alarm, items could spoil – creating costly waste for SHC. 
Last month, Telecommunications Services (TSRV) installed an automated web-based monitoring system to help SHC safeguard against any future spoilages. This system monitors and logs temperatures every few minutes and alerts technicians of any variation in temperature by way of a dashboard alert on their computer, an email message, or a text message at any time – day or night.

“This system has been a huge time saver for our technicians here at SHC where monitoring the environment in eleven different locations was once a manual process,” says Stuart Kurtz of the Student Health Center. “Couple that with an intuitive, user friendly dashboard and detailed reporting, and we can now easily generate data over any period of time that we choose showing temperature for our compliance report. We can now respond to problems much more quickly to reduce the risk of spoilage”


 

Common Network Infrastructure (CNI) Project

This fall, Computing and Communications Services (CCSV) has been working diligently with the Chancellors Office to upgrade the campus core network infrastructure. This work is being done as part of the Common Network Initiative (CNI) program and is expected to be completed in the first weekend in January. Most of the work has been completed and includes the network core, datacenter network and the wireless network. Still outstanding are the boarder routers and CENIC/Internet connectivity, scheduled for December 6th and 7th followed by final test and acceptance on January 4th.

The CSU has moved to a new equipment vendor (from Cisco to Alcatel-Lucent), with benefits of saving in initial equipment costs as well as annual support costs. Other benefits to the campus include significantly increased capacity and speed of core network, supporting both wired and wireless users.

 

Fishnet Identity and Access Management Assessment

As part of the campus Identity and Access Management (IAM) Assessment project, Information Resources worked with Fishnet (a security consulting vendor) to perform a review of several important campus systems. This review included a week of interviews with functional and technical staff across campus, and the final report was delivered in November. The report will be used in guiding the next steps of the overall campus IAM assessment, and will ultimately inform any upcoming request for proposals (RFPs) for new IAM products/services.

 

Magazine and Brochure Design Completion

Since 2010, Creative Media and Technology’s (CMT) Design Services team has designed the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences’ Vanguard magazine for strong visual impact.  The magazine has helped give readers insight into each department’s recent projects, achievements and ambitions, as well as an insider’s look at faculty events.

Volume 11 of Vanguard spotlights distinguished alumni from the past 20 years, as well as highlights the 11 departments within the College. Twenty-one distinguished alumni are shown on the cover in a creative photo mosaic. Vanguard is a biannual magazine that is printed and distributed online for alumni and constituents of BSS.  



Creative Media and Technology’s Design Services team is also going on its seventh year of designing Harvest Magazine. Harvest Magazine is an annual publication that is printed and distributed online to inform alumni, students, friends, and donors of the accomplishments and recent information about the College of Agriculture. This year the magazine features the first two recipients of the Bell Family Presidential Scholarship, Holly Hockett and Jase Northup.



The Intercollegiate Athletics donor brochure was designed by the CMT Design Services team to highlight the athletics programs offered here at CSU, Chico. All thirteen existing sports are showcased, and this year’s edition contains the most photographs in the history of the brochure. The brochure informs and encourages alumni and donors to donate to Chico State Athletics by promoting a successful athletic program. CMT Design Services has been designing the brochure since fall of 2008.

 

KwikBoost Charging Kiosk

The Meriam Library has installed a KwikBoost mobile device charging kiosk on the 4th floor, just north of the public elevators. The full-speed, energy-efficient, multi-device kiosk has eight charging cables in two bundles: 4 Apple, 3 Micro USB and 1 Mini USB; and services almost 100% of mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads and Android products. The kiosk has already attracted attention of patrons and is in almost constant use since installation. The library will be monitoring usage while exploring the possibility of expanding this courtesy service to all floors.

 

 

New Employees

Kayla Whitehead is the new Electronic Resources Coordinator at Meriam Library. She will be doing database and e-journal maintenance as well maintenance of the library’s link resolver. Kayla comes to Chico State from Loyola University New Orleans where she worked as an Electronic Resources Analyst for the Monroe Library. Kayla is new to the area and in her spare time she has been exploring Chico. She is excited for the new job and the new city!

Robert Ruffin joins the Enterprise Systems Group as a Microsoft SQL database administrator. Robert lives in Chico but was originally from Tulsa, OK with a short stay in Salt Lake City, UT. Robert brings over 30 years of programming and database management experience working for a wide range of companies and public agencies. Most recently he was the senior director of business intelligence at General Blue Corporation. Robert has travelled extensively in his consulting roles in the US and internationally. His personal interests include researching business topics on technology, Austrian economics, finance, and investments.

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 2014 Update

Commencement 2014

Creative Media and Technology (CMT) reached new levels of visual production at this year’s 2014 commencement. The combined efforts of the Media Production and Classroom Technology units produced live streamed events for the Master’s, Agriculture, and two Undergraduate commencements. The Undergraduate commencements were also streamed to Laxson, PAC, and the Glenn Lawn.  All productions were streamed in High Definition and mobile friendly.

New Experimental Classroom

This summer the Classroom Technology team designed and installed a new experimental classroom in Tehama 116.  The room includes 12 Sharp Aquos HD touch displays mounted on the walls. In addition to the displays, the room includes 16 acoustic speakers and a control system. The room will be used for the U-Course program (U-Courses provide a non-traditional approach to learning and are designed based on research into factors that support student success).

 

New Dispatch System

In June 2014, the University Police Department (UPD) implemented a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Records Management System (RMS) called RIMS.  The CAD component of RIMS provides a robust and user-customizable system for dispatchers. For example, when a dispatcher enters a location and caller name for a service call, the location and caller history is displayed on the screen. The CAD module integrates seamlessly with the RMS module which provides access to case information, vehicle data, person files, citations and field interviews.  Prior to RIMS, UPD was using an antiquated and unstable CAD system which required significant attention in order to remain operational. The system failed on a fairly frequent basis, causing disruptions to dispatch and patrol operations.

This successful project was a collaborative effort involving staff from Business Information Technology Services (BITS), UPD and several Information Resources groups (Enterprise Applications (EAPP), Enterprise Systems (ESYS), Network Operations (NOPS) and Information Security (ISEC).  

Information Security Reminder

With school back in session, don’t forget that University accounts are an appealing target for hackers. Make sure to look carefully at any email that asks for you to provide your user name and password.     Also, make sure that you use a secure connection, (https:// instead of http://) and that the web address ends in csuchico.edu (example https://www.csuchico.edu).  Remember to never use email to send your user name and password. For more information on spam and phishing visit: http://www.csuchico.edu/isec/basics/spam-and-phishing.shtml

Protecting High Risk Work Stations

This summer the Information Security Office has been busy working with campus partners to increase the security of campus infrastructure.  Workstation encryption is being deployed to protect against theft and loss of computers and laptops that might result in a breach. Microsoft “Bit-Locker” is a free desktop encryption tool that is easy to install and simple to use. The Information Security Office has also been working to develop “high security” desktop configurations that will allow the campus to better protect computers that are at high risk.  The high risk workstation configuration is based on national security standards and offers a higher level of protection than standard computers.   

Academy e-Learning Cohort 6

The sixth   Academy e-Learning Cohort was held in June. Eighteen faculty from six colleges worked on (re)designing sixteen courses which will launch over the coming academic year. Seven of these are fully online courses. Faculty were treated to an array of guest presentations and activities by CSU, Chico faculty mentors who shared high impact (educational) practices (HIP) they use in their own courses. It was a rich experience for the participants who continue to meet monthly to discuss how their redesigns are going and how elements they are piloting are working out. The Technology and Learning Program (TLP), the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), and the Office of Faculty Affairs were instrumental in providing the experience and support for this long running and ever evolving pedagogical and technological success.

New Electronic Resources Added to the Meriam Library Collections

Four new online databases debut this Fall at the Meriam Library – Early English Books Online, HeinOnline, Global Market Navigator, and Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive. Early English Books Online features reproductions of over 125,000 English language books published in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and British North America between 1473 and 1700.  The Meriam Library has long held this collection in microfilm format, but the online collection offers important advantages (such as remote access) and the ability to search the contents of the entire collection. HeinOnline features an archive of the Congressional Record from 1789 to 2010, as well as an archive of the Federal Register from 1936-2014.  Global Market Navigator is a collection of marketing reports covering 35 foreign countries from around the world and the thousands of consumer goods used in them.  This is a Mintel product that complements the Library’s Mintel Academic database, which offers domestic marketing reports. Finally, the Times Literary Supplement (TLS) Historical archive offers copies of every issue of the TLS published from 1902-2009. It offers reviews of books published in a wide range of subjects from all parts of the world, which makes it an essential resource for the study of literature and culture in the 20th and 21st centuries.  

Desktop/Laptop Refresh for Academic Affairs Update

In May, over 700 desktop and laptop computers were purchased to replace outdated equipment.  These machines included Dell PCs, Apple desktops and laptops, as well as lab computers located in Meriam Library.  IT Support Services and other campus technical staff worked together over the summer to roll out these machines.  All machines were loaded with a common software image and inventoried in the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) system.  A common software image and comprehensive inventory will help to ensure that campus machines remain secure as new operating system and application patches are released.  The partnership between the Office of the Provost and the Council of Academic Deans that funded this replacement is expected to replace 400 faculty and staff devices annually.  

Virtual Private Network (VPN) Changes

A new campus VPN solution was implemented in August.  JunosPulse is now available to enable remote users to make a secure connection to the campus network.  When a user's computer makes a VPN connection with JunosPulse they are able to access campus systems such as Bay that would not normally be accessible when off the campus network. A VPN connection can be made from a wired or wireless connection and clients are available for Windows, Macintosh, iOS, and Android devices.  In order to utilize the JunosPulse VPN, all client systems must be fully up-to-date with patches offered by the OS manufacturer or carrier.  MacOS and Windows systems must have the Clearpass OnGuard client software installed.  This software allows the VPN system to ensure your client device is patched and meets campus security requirements. JunosPulse replaces the campus’ Cisco VPN solution which is no longer supported by Cisco.  Additional information regarding the JunosPulse VPN solution can be found here.

Microsoft Exchange Upgrade

The University upgraded the faculty and staff email service this summer in an effort to bring campus server up to the current software release. Besides numerous security updates, Exchange 2013 has increased support for modern mobile devices and integration with Microsoft services such as SharePoint and Lync.  It also includes an updated version of the Outlook Web Application (OWA) that gives a full interface to most modern web browsers which was previously only available in Internet Explorer.  This successful upgrade required a great deal of planning and coordination with multiple pilot users across campus. More information regarding the Exchange upgrade can be found here.

New Staff and Organizational Changes

Enterprise Applications and Data Services (EADS) facilitated some organizational changes this summer.  The Application Development and Technical Support (ADTS) department joined the EADS team.  Under Tom Rosenow’s leadership, ADTS was historically focused on serving the technical needs of Enrollment Management.  When ADTS joined EADS, the makeup of each team within EADS was changed.  Beth Kissinger now manages application development and support within CMS PeopleSoft, ImageNow, and Identity Management as head of the Enterprise Applications (EAPP) team.  Tom Rosenow now manages application development and support for campus developed and vendor-purchased web applications and manages the Data Warehouse as head of the Applications and Data Services (ADS) team.  We are also working on completing a recruitment for the new position of Manager of Distributed Learning Technologies (DLT).  We believe these changes will allow us to better serve the application and data needs of the campus as a whole.  These changes are reflected in our current EADS organizational chart.

Christine Sharrio joined the Technology and Learning Program in July as an Information Technology Consultant. Christine comes to Chico State from Florida, with ten years of experience supporting faculty. She has a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and holds three graduate certificates in online learning, distance education and as a Florida virtual educator. In addition to supporting faculty, Christine has experience teaching face-to-face, hybrid and online students. She has a rich multimedia background, with both technical and pedagogical strengths. In her spare time, she likes to curl up and watch old movies with her dog, travel, go shopping, cook, and learn about wine. New to California, she is looking forward to exploring Chico and surrounding areas. (See Christine, second on the right, in the TLP photo below)

Aram Favela, a recent CSU, Chico graduate from the College of Communication and Education with a Bachelor’s Degree in Instructional Technology, joined TLP in June as an Information Technology Consultant in the TLP Faculty Walk-in Lab. Aram coordinates TLP’s student assistants and gives first tier support to faculty with Bb Learn questions.  He also handles walk-ins and phone calls, updates our website, and is offering “What’s New in Bb Learn” workshops. (See Aram on the far left of the TLP photo below)

Jim Cragle joined Enterprise Applications in July as an Analyst/Programmer.  He graduated from CSU, Chico with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Computer Science and has worked in the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office for the past 30 years.  With his broad understanding and experience with Financial Aid Systems, he was tasked to be the FA Module Technical Lead during the implementation of PeopleSoft, and continues to be the PeopleSoft lead support for Financial Aid.  His hobbies and interests include sailing, woodworking, cooking, traveling, and home DIY projects.

Kirk McCoskey also comes to IRES from Financial Aid. Kirk received a Master’s of Science degree in Computer Science in 2003 and was hired by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office as an Analyst/Programmer following his graduation. He joined Applications and Data Services (ADS) in July and is currently focused upon Financial Aid applications within ADS.  In his spare time Kirk likes playing card games, chess, checkers, tennis, pool, ping-pong, and also writing computer programs.

Deanna Salas joined the Information Resources Administrative Service Center as a Budget Support Analyst in July.  She has lived in Chico as well as worked on campus for 14 years; both as a student and as staff.  Previously, she worked for Accounts Payable, Student Financial Services, and the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.  She graduated from Chico State with undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Latin American Studies, as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.  In her spare time, you can find her enjoying the outdoors while camping on the coast, reading the latest New York Times best seller, catching up with the latest movies, and spending time with her family.  She is excited to join the IRES team and looks forward to working with everyone.

TLP team 2014


Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 2014 Update

Lynda.com for Students

We are excited to announce that Provost Wei has expanded access to Lynda.com to include currently enrolled students as well as incoming freshmen and transfer students on campus. Her decision to expand access was based in part on student feedback during the possibilities conversations last semester indicating their desire to have more access to quality software training. With the expansion of access to include students, faculty will be able to use lynda.com tutorials as a supplemental resource in their courses. In addition, students now have access to software training resources 24/7 whether they are on or off campus and from any device they choose to use.



Initial feedback from faculty and staff over the past few months has been very positive. Twenty eight percent of faculty and staff have logged in to lynda.com. Users have earned 49 certificates of completion spanning a wide range of courses including time management, power point, project management essentials, and many more.  The most popular courses are currently Ruby on Rails 4 Essential Training, Excel 2010 Essential Training, DSLR Video Tips, and SQL Essential Training. Over 7,800 videos have been viewed to date.

Desktop/Laptop Refresh for Academic Affairs

The Office of the Provost has committed to a long-term partnership with the Council of Academic Deans for the ongoing replacement of outdated desktop and laptop computers. The plan includes an initial refresh of PCs in the 2013/2014 academic year, including replacing all PCs running the Windows XP operating system, since it is no longer able to be patched or updated against future cyber threats. The replacement program includes PC and Apple desktops and laptops, as well as lab computers located in the Meriam Library. In the first year, it is expected that approximately 800 devices will be updated. In subsequent years, the partnership plan is expected to replace 450 devices annually.

Desktop/Laptop Standards

Building on the work of the CSU PC Standards Work Group, CSU, Chico's IT Support Services has refined the campus desktop and laptop computer standards using a “good, better, and best” format. IT Support Services will publish a detailed list of these proposed standards for fall. The list will include Dell desktops, laptops, and displays, as well as Apple desktops, laptops, and displays. IT Support Services also plans to make recommendations for tablets and work area printers. All of the standard configurations come with a 4 year warranty and the laptops include accidental damage protection. The warranty coverage will lower the overall cost for computers in the long run and help the university maximize on its technology investment. As part of the program, Dell will apply asset tags to all state desktops and laptops prior to their arrival on campus. This will streamline the process of getting new desktops and laptops to end users.

Heartbleed SSL Vulnerability

On April 7th the Internet community became aware of a security flaw in a common technology used to secure communication between clients and servers, known as OpenSSL. The nature of this bug means that for many months malicious attackers had the opportunity to capture encrypted traffic that we all thought was well secured.

As soon as a patch was available, technical staff patched the affected systems. Intensive efforts to verify that all campus servers affected by the Heartbleed bug have been patched have been underway over the last several weeks. On the slim chance that CSU, Chico secure communications may have been captured, all SSL certificates on affected systems have been replaced. We do not believe that there is any evidence that campus accounts have been compromised. Users of campus systems are encouraged, however, to change their passwords by visiting the following website: www.csuchico.edu/itss/passwords-accounts/.

It is highly recommended that individuals also change their passwords on all external party accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumbler, Google/Gmail, Yahoo, Netflix, YouTube, Box or Dropbox. It is also recommended that individuals do not use the same account and password on multiple sites. Finally, you should NEVER use your Chico State password on any external system.

Commencement Ticketing System

The new vendor-hosted commencement ticketing application went live on April 1st and graduating students immediately began reserving tickets.  By April 10th, 60% of the stadium tickets for Saturday’s ceremony had been reserved and 50% of the stadium tickets for Sunday’s ceremony had already been reserved.  Several groups in IRES provided services to implement the application, including Enterprise Applications (EAPP), Application Development and Technical Support (ADTS), and Computing and Communications Services (CCSV).  For more information on commencement and ticketing, please visit the Commencement site.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act Application

As a network service provider, CSU, Chico is mandated by law to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Compliance requires the University to take down copyright infringing materials when notified by a copyright holder, track down the person responsible for the infringement, and suspend their network access. The university uses a homegrown application to perform this task. Enterprise Applications recently upgraded the application as part of the University’s migration onto a new network access management tool.  This upgrade eases the burden on IT staff in manually managing DMCA infringement notices.

Two Major Newspapers Added to Online Library Archive

The Meriam Library has acquired access to two important online newspaper archives — The Times London and The Los Angeles Times. Coverage for The Times London is 1785-2008, and for The Los Angeles Times it is 1881-1990. Previously, access to these newspaper archives was limited to microfilm format. The online format offers a significant advantage in that it is easily searchable. These online archives will greatly enhance our access to over 200 years of news reporting on historical and cultural events.



Desktop Automation

During the 2008 system-wide information security audit and subsequent external assessments, a number of findings related to a lack of comprehensive desktop management and security were noted. As a result, Information Security and IT Support Services teamed up to begin a desktop automation project across campus. System Center Configuration Management (SCCM) is a product that provides a variety of services including remote control, patch management, software distribution, operating system deployment, network access protection, and hardware and software inventory. The first phase of this project is focused on building custom applications that are specific to each division. The groups participating in this first phase include the Psychology department, Business Information Technology Services, College of Natural Sciences, Information Security, IT Support Services, Network Operations, and the Research Foundation. The group participating in the second phase of the project is being formed and will begin the week of May 19th.

“The Grove”

The Grove is the new student learning lounge located in the library. This space is a remodel of the former Laptop Lounge on the first floor. Last semester, Humanities and Fine Arts Professor Kijeong Jeon used the space as an opportunity in his Interior Architecture class to challenge students in redesigning an actual campus interior. Dubbed "The Grove," construction work took place over the winter break. In February, student ideas for the identity and photomural were introduced. ATEC creative staff provided professional assistance to the students in support of the project

After several field trips to local almond orchards, ATEC Photo Assistant Sam Rivera created the 48-foot orchard wallpaper mural by combining 16 separate images together to achieve the required resolution. The fabric wallpaper itself was printed and applied to the walls with the guidance from ATEC’s Johnny Poon. The student assistants in the ATEC Presentation Graphics Lab cut and applied the multicolored vinyl window logo from the artwork created by Art Student Caitlin Cregg. The official opening ceremony for ‘The Grove’ was on Friday, May 2nd.


Nursing Project’s Aquous Display

In collaboration with Information Resources, the School of Nursing has acquired a Sharp Aquos Interactive Display Board for use in Holt Hall. This is the first installation of a large-format touch display on campus. The Sharp Aquos product is a 70” touch-equipped flat-panel television.  It offers display and annotation capabilities similar to those of an interactive whiteboard.


New Staff and Organizational Changes

Crystal Williams joins Information Resources as an Administrative Analyst/Specialist in the IRES Administrative Service Center. She has lived in Chico for 17 years and has been working on campus for 13 years. Previously, she worked for Student Life and Leadership, Financial Aid and Scholarship, the Career Center, and the VP of Student Affairs office. She and her husband graduated from Fresno State University and have two children who are Cal State University alums. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her family, travel, go shopping, and take long walks and day hikes.

Daniel Meloy was born in Carmel, CA and grew up in the bay area. He moved to Chico a year and a half ago with his wife and their two children to be closer to her family in Willows. He has been programming websites since he was in high school so his new position as a web developer for ATEC suits him well. His most recent web work was as the website administrator for a college in Hayward, CA. He is excited to bring his skills to a larger university and looks forward to many years of creating new and exciting technologies for the University website. His hobbies include roller blading, riding bikes, camping, and video games.

Jason Halley is the new University Photographer, a new position jointly sponsored by Academic Technologies and Public Affairs. He graduated from CSU, Chico with a degree in Communication Design and served as the former Photo Editor for The Orion. For the past nine years, he has worked as a Staff Photographer for the Chico Enterprise-Record where he won two first place awards for his photos from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Along with his bachelor’s degree, Jason has also earned an MFA in Photography from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. His artistic talents, technical know-how, energy, and affection for Chico State will all be an asset to our campus. He and his wife like to travel in and out of the country with their 2-year-old son.

Paul Schlarman joined the Data Warehouse in March as an Analyst/Programmer. He graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Computer Information Systems and has over 20 years of experience as a software developer, software architect, and independent computing consultant in a wide variety of technologies and platforms. He spent a number of years living and working in Brazil, and loves to hike and play basketball. He and his wife are both working on Master's degrees here at Chico State.

Mark Sivertsen joined Communication Services (CCSV) in early April as a Network Technician. He worked as the student Network Analyst prior to graduating in 2013 with a degree in Management Information Systems. In his spare time, you can find him adventuring the outdoors, playing music, working with 3D printers, or perfecting his culinary skills. He is excited to be part of Information Resources and the future of the University.



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 2014 Update

Lynda.com

Lynda.com was made available for Chico State staff, faculty, and student employees on February 11, 2014. Lynda.com provides a vast online library of instructional videos covering software, creativity, and business skills. Taught by accomplished teachers and recognized industry experts, lynda.com is a high-quality resource for faculty, staff, and student employees looking to develop skills in Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, project management, social media, and a wide range of other topics.

   
You can select topics or platforms you would like to learn more about and add them to your “Playlist” so that you can complete each course at your own convenience. Classes can be paused and resumed any day, any time.

You can log into your campus Lynda account here.


Lynda.com testimonial:
“I was first introduced to lynda.com through a beginning web design course at CSU, Chico in 2009 and have been a customer since then. The courses are well structured with learning-by-doing exercises.  What impresses me the most is the way lynda.com keeps up with ever changing technology and program updates with new videos while keeping previous versions available.  A user can, for example, learn Excel techniques by viewing a video that matches the version they may have on their computer from 2003 to 2013. Lynda.com is an excellent learning resource and I am thrilled that CSU, Chico is now offering this to employees.”
Gretchen Tousey
HRIS Technician

Library Catalog Search Change

The Meriam Library has recently completed a project to make the catalog search more user-friendly. Using the new dropdown menu to the right of the search box in the Library Catalog, the user can now limit their searches to specific online materials such as eBooks, eReference, eMedia, and eGovDocs. This new addition to the library site is available to all users. Students, both local and in the distance learning program, as well as faculty members working from home now have the ability to limit their search to what is immediately available. This will simplify, streamline, and improve the overall search experience.


IRES Administrative Service Center

The IRES Administrative Service Center (IASC) is a newly formed department that centralizes many functions which had been duplicated across departments in Information Resources for years. The IASC will provide financial and human resources services for IRES including budget, reconciliation, procurement, travel, billing, student payroll, hiring, and other HR functions. The budgets for all IRES areas have already been created and are being maintained in a centralized location. Currently, the new group is processing procurement requests for several of the areas in IRES, as well as uploading PDFs of all purchasing information for each area into a newly created space on SharePoint.  The goal is to have everything coordinated for all directors and support staff during the spring semester.  IASC is located in MLIB 143 and can be reached at X4800 or Zip 247.

Commencement Ticketing System

Beginning in 2014, the University will be following new procedures for Commencement ceremonies.  These new processes are the result of a safety report issued by the University’s Public Safety Advisor Committee, which will require commencement attendees to have tickets.  Enterprise Applications is working with Alumni and Parent Relations to implement a new vendor-hosted software application that will allow graduating students to request and obtain tickets.  The system is scheduled to be available to students beginning in April. For more information on commencement, please visit the Commencement site, and see the message from President Zingg regarding the need for the new commencement procedures.

Lync

Information Resources has completed the implementation of the first phase of the campus Microsoft Lync offering. Microsoft Lync is a unified communications platform that enhances productivity and provides real-time communication and collaboration. It seamlessly integrates with Outlook e-mail and calendars and offers numerous features including instant messaging (IM), presence, contact management, web conferencing, desktop sharing and collaboration, and persistent chat.

In evaluating Microsoft Lync as a unified communications solution for the campus, Information Resources engaged faculty and staff from various departments in a proof-of-concept phase. Based on the positive results and participant feedback, the campus Lync 2013 infrastructure was built, tested, and a full scale pilot phase was conducted. We are pleased to report that Lync 2013 is now ready and available to all current campus employees with a valid CSU Chico Exchange email account. Users need only install the proper Lync client and follow a few basic instructions to begin communicating and collaborating with one another.

Users can visit the Lync Knowledge Base for tools and information needed to get started. From the navigation menu they can download and install the Lync client. Find quick reference guides for the various features, answers to frequently asked questions, and other useful information on the website. Further assistance is available by contacting IT Support Services (itss@csuchico.edu or 898-4357).

Information Security Training

The CSU On-Line Information Security Awareness Training course is scheduled to be completed by March 1, 2014. This training provides instruction that is intended to help CSU employees identify sensitive information and to provide awareness of common cyber-security threats such as SPAM and Phishing. For more information on this training, see the Data Security and Privacy Training announcement.

The Information Security Office (ISEC) has been working to deliver specialized security related training to many technical and non-technical campus groups.  In February, ISEC teamed up with the University Registrar to provide an information security and FERPA presentation for the School of Education.  This presentation provided a great opportunity for faculty to ask questions about cyber security and FERPA. The University Registrar and Information Security Officer are available to meet with other campus departments interested in this information.

New Staff and Organizational Changes

Information Resources is happy to welcome three new employees to the organization and would like to congratulate Scott Kodai on his new position as Manager for Information Technology Support Services and Chris Witthans on his new position as the Information Security Analyst in the Information Security Office

Gregory Haugen is the new Programmer/Analyst for Application Development and Technical Support (ADTS).  At ADTS, he will be creating and maintaining web applications for Enrollment Management. Greg comes to Chico State with a wide skillset earned from past jobs such as a Help Desk Specialist at Cology and a Web Developer for a local company named Netguava. Outside of work, Greg is an avid fencer and has a great love for the outdoors. When he’s not hiking, biking, or rafting around Butte County, he likes to play and develop videogames.  He looks forward to working for the campus that has supported him so much through the years and can’t wait to be a valued employee of ADTS.

Dain Sandoval is originally from San Diego, but has called Chico home since 1998. He has had an illustrious past in radio as the Program Director of 106.7 ZRock until 2005 and has sat on the KZFR Board of Directors. For the last 9 years, Dain has been the IT/Network Admin for SynMedia/Synthesis and in September of 2013 attained his Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). Dain is the latest addition to the ITSS Tech Shop. When he’s not at work, Dain likes to cook, play loud guitars, and lift heavy things. Dain and his fiancĂ©e, Amy Olson, achieved internet fame in 2012 when Reddit, BBC, and the UK Daily Mail ran coverage of their Doctor Who-themed Dalek Christmas Tree. He is excited to be a part of an institution that he believes in and looks forward to being a part of CSU, Chico for a very long time.

Kristen Chappell has lived in Chico for 17 years.  She worked with the CSU, Chico Research Foundation for 15 years – first with the Caregiver Resource Center at PASSAGES and then with Educational Talent Search and the MESA Schools Program. Kristen is the new Administrative Support Coordinator for the IRES Administrative Service Center. In her spare time, she enjoys biking in Bidwell Park, working out, going to the Farmer’s Market, working in her yard and spending time with her fiancĂ© and their pets.  Kristen is very proud of both her daughters; her eldest daughter is working on her doctorate in Audiology at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona and her youngest daughter is working on a double AA in Social Behavior Science and Arts and Humanities at Long Beach Community College and hopes to transfer to CSU, Long Beach in the fall. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 2013 Update

New Staff 

Information Resources is happy to welcome a new department to the family: Application Development & Technical Support. The department office is located in the SSC 480 and led by Tom Rosenow.

Tom Rosenow grew up on Vashon Island (a small island between Seattle and Tacoma, Washington).  He moved to Chico in 1985 to attend CSU, Chico where he received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. After graduating, he worked for Butte County in the Elections Office for 7 and a half years. He learned much of his programming and systems integration skills working with federal, state, and local computer systems that involved mainframes, PCs, and internet service providers. Tom started with CSU, Chico as an Analyst/Programmer 15 years ago in Enrollment Management. His wife teaches Math at Pleasant Valley High school where his daughter is now a junior.  His son is a sophomore attending Cal Poly SLO as a Materials Engineer playing with rockets.

Tracy Lopez moved to Chico from Auburn, California.   She started working for CSU, Chico’s Application Development and Technical Support Department in 2006.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, playing tennis, and biking in Bidwell Park.

Paul Weatherby came to Chico State as a Computer Science Undergraduate in 2005. In the summer of 2008 he became a student programmer for the APO department. Since then, he has earned a BS in Computer Science as well as moved up the ranks from student staff for APO to staff programmer for ADTS. In his spare time he enjoys coding, mountain biking in Upper Park, and working towards his Master's Degree in Computer Science here at Chico State.

Chris Witthans first moved to Chico in August of 2002 from Rocklin, California, and graduated in 2007 with a BA in Business Administration. He began working for Enrollment Management in May of 2005 as a part-time IT Student Assistant, and was later hired as a full-time Technical Support Coordinator after graduating.  He has held this position ever since.  What he enjoys the most about working for the university is the tremendous amount of pride he gets while helping users overcome the challenges we face with information technology each day.  He is an avid skier in colder months, a year round adventure touring motorcyclist, and loves to homebrew in his spare time. 

Mike Wood, originally from Kansas, came to Chico by way of Houston 27 years ago as the Systems and Programming Manger for the company that managed Butte County’s computer systems.  He came to Chico State as the Assistant Registrar, primarily to assist in the conversion from the university's legacy student system (Unisys) to SIS Plus, 24 years ago.  He's been involved in many different projects across campus (including the migration to PeopleSoft and the Touch Tone Registration) and is currently the Technical Lead for both the department of Records and Registration and the ImageNow Project.  He is married with three adult children, two of which go to Chico State.  Space is his passion. He served as a reporter in the early days of the Space Shuttle program for a National Science Foundation project called Dial-A-Shuttle, where you could listen to communication with the Space Shuttle over the phone.

Nutrition Program Video Kudos

In October, Academic Technologies worked with Michelle Neyman Morris in the Nutrition Program to create a promotional video advocating the benefits and experiences gained through the Chico State Nutrition Program.  After successfully completing the project, Mrs. Morris commented:
Dear Vice Provost Schilling and Director Magrey,
I'd like to acknowledge the incredible professionalism and commitment to high quality service that the media production team provided to create a promotional video for the Department of Nutrition and Food Science Master's in Nutritional Science program.
From my first meeting to discuss the project with Dan Carter, to a larger meeting with the team to brainstorm further, to filming with Dan and Chris Westbay, every step of the way they offered their expertise to ensure a high quality product.  I also especially appreciate Morgan Schmidt's rapid response to my request for edits and his ability to finalize the video in time to show at the College of Natural Sciences/Dept. of NFSC Alumni Reunion this past weekend. Alum gave the video a round of applause and very positive feedback, as has everyone else who has seen it. 
The ATEC team collaborated with us to create a great promotional video that our faculty are quite pleased with. They gently suggested ways to improve on my initial ideas and ultimately were able to showcase our programs so that interested students may be encouraged to learn more.  I truly appreciate their commitment to excellence and wanted you to know it.

Michelle Neyman Morris, PhD, RD

Clarizen Project Management Update

Information Resources has completed the internal rollout of Clarizen as its official project management tracking tool. Clarizen provides a high level of visibility to projects and project status and allows Information Resources to more effectively manage the over 100 active and proposed projects currently in our system. 


As we move forward, we will be making Clarizen available to units outside of Information Resources to use to manage their own projects.

Library Finals Week Hours

Meriam Library is providing extended hours during finals week. The library will be open twenty-four hours beginning Sunday, December 14th at 7:30 a.m. through Friday, December 20th at 4:45 p.m.

Blackboard Learn

Vista Decommission Process

We are continuing with our plan to decommission Vista since it is no longer supported by Blackboard. Student access to Vista was removed on October 18th 2013, although students who still need access can contact ITSS at 530-898-4357. Faculty can continue to access their old Vista courses and migrate their materials to Learn, but the clock is ticking. We are asking that all faculty please migrate whatever content they think they’ll need as soon as possible. The Vista application will be turned off and completely decommissioned in June 2014.

Blackboard Learn

As you may have noticed, Blackboard is working very hard to improve the Blackboard Learn application. This is a very different environment than we used to have with Vista. Vista never added new features, but Blackboard is updating Learn with new or improved features on a regular basis. Here are some of the new or improved features added to Learn since last May:

  • New calendar: Automatically lists all due dates in the course, which helps students stay on track.
  • “My Blackboard” navigation and notification menu: Helps keep important information and updates easier to find without having to go into every course.
  • Improved discussion forums: Several discussion board features have been streamlined and improved.
  • Video Everywhere: Allows easy recording of videos from a webcam to YouTube. Recordings are automatically embedded in Learn. Recording is available anywhere you can see a content editor (including discussion boards, blogs, and content items).
  • Test Item Analysis: Performs statistical analysis of test questions to help identify question difficulty and discrimination.
  • Test Availability Exceptions: Allows instructors to easily make accommodations (different due dates or time limits) for individual students.
  • Retention Center: Provides a central location to monitor student progress in a course.
  • In-line grading: Provides easier access to grading tools, including rubrics, when grading. Also allows commenting directly on submitted student assignments.
  • Group management: Provides streamlined workflow for managing groups, especially in larger courses.

Since Blackboard is releasing features on a regular basis, there a couple of new features that we are currently testing that should be installed soon. Both of these provide important improvements to faculty efficiency. They could be available by the time you read this newsletter!

  • Date management: Allows instructors to manage all course dates (due dates, availability dates, and adaptive release dates) on one screen. This will be especially helpful for instructors that copy content from a previous semester; they’ll be able to shift all their dates at one time.
  • Full Screen assignment grading: Improves in-line grading to use the full-screen with a single mouse click.
Blackboard has also announced that it is working on some long-term features. These features are still in design and development, so we don’t have any timelines for when we’ll see them, but stay tuned!
  • Shared rubrics: Allows instructors to share grading rubrics with their colleagues or throughout departments/colleges.
  • Grade Center redesign: This will be a complete redesign of the Grade Center to improve workflow, especially with larger courses. Stay tuned for more information on this one; it will likely be a major change.
  • Responsive Design: Blackboard is working to make the entire application work well on any size screen. This is a long term plan that will likely entail several upgrades along the way, but the goal is to make sure instructors and students can use Blackboard Learn on any computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Chico Start Program

In May of 2013, Computing & Communications Services (CCSV) was asked to assist with a project housed at Chico City Hall called Chico Start. Chico Start is an initiative of Innovate North State (a public/private partnership), and Quorum Technologies, which has partnered with the City of Chico and California State University, Chico. The Chico Start initiative is a “technology incubator”, a shared office space with all the resources needed for a start-up tech company. The stated goal of Chico Start is: “to create a clustered dynamic of creativity, innovation and excellence.”

The role that CCSV was asked to perform in this project was to design and install a network infrastructure with firewall protected wired and wireless network access, and connect this infrastructure back to the campus. Network Operations and Telecommunications Services built out the requested infrastructure to the same equipment level and construction specifications as a standard campus installation. This project was completed in September, turned over to Chico Start, and continues to be monitored, maintained and supported by Computing & Communications Services.

The Orion and IRES

As many of you know, the university has recently been a target of a few cyber-attacks that caused some technological problems on campus. The Orion featured two articles concerning these issues in late November. The university's Information Security Officer, Mark Hendricks, and Director of IT Client Services, Brooke Banks, are working hard with the Information Security team to fix the problems and prevent any more from surfacing. The featured articles from The Orion can be found below:


Thursday, September 26, 2013

September 2013 Update


Mobile App Update


The second release of the Chico State Mobile App became available in August on iOS and Android. It has several exciting new features and enhancements. At the top of the list is real-time access to class schedules. Now — anytime, anywhere — students have access to up-to-the-minute class information to help them make decisions about registration or adding and dropping classes. The maps icon has several new features for helping campus visitors get around, including two audio-video tours. In addition, a transit feature provides route information for the Campus Connection shuttle.

Mobile App Update

Helping Students Do Research: Meriam Library’s New Information Literacy Program


The Meriam Library now offers information literacy programs that are designed to help students improve research abilities and critical thinking skills in specific courses. Librarians are available to collaborate with instructors to develop student skills in locating, evaluating, and effectively synthesizing information into their research. CSU, Chico’s new Information Literacy Coordinator, Kevin Klipfel, is available for questions about the new program.

Security Tip: Watch Out for Phishing Scams


Don't be a victim! CSU, Chico faculty, staff, and students continue to receive and respond to fraudulent email messages. By responding to fraudulent email, account passwords can be stolen and used to generate even more fraudulent email. This increases the risk of unauthorized access to university data, and hinders delivery of legitimate CSU, Chico email to external providers such as Gmail and Yahoo. CSU, Chico will never ask you to provide your password, social security number, or any other personal information by email.

If in doubt, DELETE THE MESSAGE; do NOT respond to suspicious email, and do NOT click on suspicious URL's included in email. By clicking on any URL’s or even responding to the email, you will put your password credentials at risk. For more information about phishing and known phishing scam attempts, visit this page.

New Staff


Information Resources is happy to welcome five new staff members to our department since our last newsletter in May 2013.

Kazim Senoglu is a new developer in Enterprise Applications. Kazim (Kaz) came to CSU Chico from Workday Inc. Prior to Workday Inc., he worked for Oracle-PeopleSoft for 13+ years. His background includes experience analyzing functional requirements, designing and developing system enhancements, and providing support for various PeopleSoft Financials/HR applications. Kaz will be supporting Chico’s PeopleSoft Human Resources and Student applications as well as interfaces to PeopleSoft, such as Human Resources and Student Self Service, in the Portal.

Scott Cory is a welcome addition to the ITSS Service Desk staff team.  He graduated from Chico State in May 2013 with a degree in Music Industry and Technology, and is currently finishing his minor in Computer Information Systems.  Before joining our staff team in June, Scott started with ITSS as a student employee fall 2010 and quickly moved into a student lead position, exhibiting technical expertise and great customer service.  Scott has a balanced, calm, helpful, and positive attitude — all things that we need to help keep ITSS running smoothly.  Outside of work, Scott enjoys playing music in several bands including the CSU Chico Symphonic Wind Ensemble, recording music and song writing in his music studio, running a summer camp for kids interested in recording arts, and also singing in an a cappella choir.  In addition, Scott has three sons and is proud to say they are also aspiring musicians.

David Stack joined IT Support Services in June. David is a CSU, Chico graduate who worked in Student Computing for over four years while he was completing his degree. After graduation he moved to Texas and worked for Dallas Independent School District providing technical support. David has also owned his own computer support business. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and being outdoors. His wife is currently obtaining her PhD in Neuroscience out in Texas. She will be moving back to Chico in the near future.

Scott Johnson joined Academic Technologies Web Services as a web developer at the end of August. Scott graduated from Sonoma State University with a B.A. in Art Studio, with an emphasis in drawing. While there, he taught himself web design and development in his free time and eventually landed a job maintaining campus websites for the SSU student union. Right out of college he took the first job he applied for — web assistant for a Novato-based law firm's web department, where he was for over five years. In his free time he enjoys running through Bidwell Park, learning more about web design and development, creating art, spending time with family, playing with his dog, and (he hates to admit it) playing video games.

Christopher Said is also new to Academic Technologies. Originally from Texas, he graduated from Davidson College with a B.A. in English, with a focus on aesthetics and classical languages (Greek and Latin). He then moved to New York City and worked a variety of jobs in the television/documentary world, originally as an Associated Press camera assistant at the 2004 Republican National Convention and the UN General Assembly, then as a World War 2 and Vietnam film reel Archivist at the History Channel, and finally as Post-Production Supervisor for the History Channel’s Digital Media team (with many adventures in between). Prior to joining ATEC, he spent 4½ years at New York University, as Manager of Operations and Production for NYU-TV. In his spare time, he enjoys fly-fishing, skiing, recording music, military history, Yankees baseball, and photography.

Library Hours 

Meriam Library is providing extended hours for the main library as well as the ITSS Computer Lab and Laptop Lounge this year to better serve student needs and provide positive spaces to study.

The Lab and Laptop Lounge are open 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day. The main library hours vary by day, and are listed below.

Main Library Hours
Monday-Thursday7:30 am –  11:45 pm
Friday7:30 am – 7:45 pm
Saturday10:00 am – 7:45 pm
Sunday10:00 am – 11:45 pm

To help ensure student safety, University Police is also expanding the Campus Connection shuttle to provide more rides and foot escorts to surrounding campus parking areas, residence halls from midnight to 2 a.m. daily.

Office Remodel in Meriam Library


The third floor in the Meriam library recently received a facelift. The space previously occupied by Collections Management and Technical Services was divided into two sections, carpeted, and painted. The remodel was completed in April and several IRES teams moved into the new space in late April.

Elizabeth Swinney hard at work in the new Collections Management space

The open space in MLIB 319 invites more collaboration among teams

The other half of the floor now houses 23 staff members from a number of departments within Information Resources. The space is located in the northwest corner of the 3rd floor of Meriam Library, and includes a combination of open cubicle spaces and closed-door office spaces. The majority of staff who moved into the new space came from Butte Hall, where sufficient room was no longer available. The space also provides a better configuration for staff collaboration and workplace synergies. The move marked the completion of a two year planning and construction effort.

Some of the IRES team staff members in MLIB 319

ECAR Study Results


Last spring CSU, Chico participated in the ECAR (Educause Center for Applied Research) Study of Undergraduate Students and Technology. The survey, developed and hosted by Educause, is designed to evaluate undergraduate students’ perception of technology trends.

The survey was sent to all 14,614 undergraduate students; 1,997 students (13.7%) completed the survey. The typical response rate for this type of survey is about 10%.

We have received the results, most of which closely follow CSU-wide patterns and the average results for all US institutions. We gained an incredible amount of information about what our students want and feel they need, not only through the survey questions, but also through the comments students provided.

This year’s results, as well as future participation in the ECAR-hosted student surveys, will assist us in identifying technology trends. We also hope to develop actionable recommendations about how to meet or exceed students’ preferences and expectations for technology in academics. A high-level presentation of CSU, Chico’s results can be found here (PDF).

Surveys


Classroom Technology Services and Graphic Design Services, both in Academic Technologies, surveyed the campus community this spring and summer. The surveys were distributed in order to get feedback on what services work, what don’t, and what additional services are needed.

The classroom technology survey was sent to all faculty and received 130 responses. Results identified the top technology uses as:

  • Accessing campus servers
  • Viewing Blackboard Learn
  • Viewing and creating PowerPoint presentations

Results also identified areas of improvement, including students’ desks, lighting control, and writing surfaces (white boards). The overall classroom technology rating was generally very good. Dozens of written comments (issues, needs repair) were incorporated into an action plan that has been worked on for the past several months.

Graphics Design Services surveyed their customers asking for feedback on specific services/products offered. Twenty seven responses helped identify areas for improved process flow and communications. Again, this feedback helped drive an action plan that was worked on over the summer. New tools and process improvements were implemented that should streamline service requests, provide better communications during development, and improve efficiencies overall.

University Farm Project


Network Operations recently developed a creative solution in support of the on-going research efforts for the College of Natural Sciences. Shane D. Mayor, PhD in atmospheric and oceanic sciences, has a Raman-shifted Eye-safe Aerosol Lidar (REAL) located at the University Farm. Mayor recently received a three-year, $554,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Physical and Dynamic Meteorology Program to extract wind information from the images the REAL produces.

The Raman-shifted Eye-safe Aerosol Lidar (REAL) located at the University Farm

Solar panels

One of the biggest challenges in support of Mayor’s research was to provide network connectivity to the far reaches of the University Farm where the Lidar site is located. Network Operations designed a point-to-point wireless solution to provide connectivity but trees stood in direct line-of-sight between the LIDAR and the tower serving other at the farm. Phil Mandelbaum of Network Operations quickly designed a wireless relay station to shoot the signal between the trees and back to the Lidar site. Getting power to the relay station also proved to be challenging, so a small solar system along with a series of batteries was installed to operate the relay station twenty-four hours a day. With network connectivity, Mayor can remotely operate most of the equipment at the Lidar and receive real-time data in the comfort of his office located on campus.

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 2013 Update

I wanted to share the IRES May Update with you. It includes Information Resources’ accomplishments and news for the past few months. We welcome your input as we continue to refine our communications with the campus. If you have any questions regarding this update you are welcome to contact me directly at mlschilling@csuchico.edu (x6212) or Brooke Banks at bfbanks@csuchico.edu (x6212).

Thank you, Mike Schilling

Textbook Alternatives Project (TAP)

The Textbook Alternatives Project (TAP) grant was launched in fall of 2012 to help students save money by encouraging faculty to replace high cost print textbooks with lower cost or free alternatives. The alternatives include eTextbooks, library resources, open educational resources, and self-authored materials. TAP is part of CSU, Chico’s Affordable Learning Solutions (CALS) program, which is an expansion of the CSU’s system-wide Affordable Learning Solutions (ALS) campaign.

Faculty awarded 2012 TAP grants included Leslie Atkins, Eric Ayars, Laurie Browne, Maria DeCastro, David Kagan, Jim Mensching, Susan Roll, and Steve Stewart. In the fall of 2013, faculty participating in TAP will present their findings at the CELT Annual Conference. To learn more about TAP visit the
Chico Affordable Learning Solutions website

Campus coordinators for this project are James Tyler, Online Learning Librarian, and Laura Sederberg, Manager of the Technology and Learning Program.

University Police and IT Support Services Team Up!

Safety Training

ITSS has been working closely with UPD. At the beginning of the Spring semester, Sergeant David Bird was assigned to ITSS to provide training to both our staff and student employees in the event of a library incident. We started the training with a video called “Run, Hide, Fight” on YouTube found hereSgt. Bird provided relevant information to our specific areas both in the Lab and the Service Desk. He addressed questions and then conducted a role-play, or re-enactment, of an active shooter situation. It was a valuable training exercise on a very serious topic. Sgt. Bird said he received positive feedback from our employees who participated in the training.

Extended Lab and Laptop Lounge Hours 

ITSS is also working with UPD to provide Campus Connection services for students that stay late in the computer lab on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. ITSS extended their lab hours in the beginning of March and we are already seeing an increased number of patrons utilizing the space. In addition, UPD is present Thursday-Saturday from midnight until 2 a.m. to provide safe rides for all students.

Application Development Unconference

On April 5 Information Resources sponsored the first developer “unconference” for groups that participate in the Application Standards Subcommittee. An unconference is like a regular conference, except that the agenda is determined by the attendees at the start of the conference and the speakers are not scheduled ahead of time. Topics in the unconference included utilizing revision control for source code, programming language and framework standards, training, and cataloging skill sets and applications.

The feedback from attendees was extremely positive and led to a commitment to hold quarterly unconferences. Attendees also committed to creating and maintaining better avenues for developers. The next developer unconference will be held during the summer.

ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Technology

This spring CSU, Chico participated in the ECAR (Educause Center for Applied Research) Study of Undergraduate Students and Technology. The survey, developed and hosted by Educause, is designed to evaluate undergraduate student’s perception of technology trends.

The survey was sent to all 14,614 undergraduate students. The survey link was available to students for three weeks and officially closed on April 12. 1,997 students (13.7%) completed the survey. The typical response rate for this type of survey is about 10%.

Educause will be sending our data in June along with a standard benchmarking report. Because so many CSUs participated this year, there will be a “system-wide” benchmarking column in the report. 
This year’s results, as well as future participation in the ECAR-hosted student surveys, will assist us in identifying longitudinal technology trends in higher education.  We also hope to develop actionable recommendations about how to meet or exceed students’ preferences and expectations for technology in academics. Last year’s 2012 report can be found on the Educause website here.  

Chico State Mobile App Update

Since January 28, 2013, the Chico State Mobile App has been downloaded more than 5,400 times on iOS and Android devices. Students are accessing the Learning Management System from their mobile devices in record numbers. In April as many as 2,200 students have been logged in each day.
New features are continuing to be added. Recently, building photos have been added to the map, viewable in the Places module (bottom right corner). The building list now is organized by categories and includes Museums, Dining & Snacks, and Residence Halls. Stay tuned! Stay tuned as many exciting new features will be available in early summer.

Microsoft Exchange Server Upgrade

The hardware supporting Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 recently reached its end of life.  To ensure the reliability of email services, Computing and Communications Services replaced the ailing hardware in late April. The hardware was replaced to ensure that the current Exchange Server has the capacity to grow and expand into the next version of Exchange. If the campus should ever choose to move to a cloud based email service, the newly purchased hardware can be repurposed to support other enterprise services such as Blackboard Learn.

Data Center Storage Upgrade

The campus data center deploys virtual servers utilizing software from VMWare, host servers from Dell, and disk storage from NetApp. Over the past eighteen months, the campus’s storage demands have grown so quickly that the system began exhibiting intermittent performance issues. The Enterprise Systems (ESYS) team worked closely with high level NetApp support personnel to determine the root cause of the performance issues. NetApp offered to upgrade a critical component of the system to provide additional performance and stability at no charge. The donated equipment, valued at $190,000, is performing well and is capable of meeting the growing needs of the campus into the future.

Rob Salmon, Vice President of NetApp, a CSU, Chico Alumni, says “Being a model company is at the heart of our culture at NetApp. We believe a great culture is the foundation for success.  It’s what makes our promise to help customers “go further, faster” a reality. We are excited to join CSU, Chico to enhance the academic computing infrastructure building upon the April, 2011 donation to Chico’s SAP America University Alliance Program.”

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) System

Information Resources is implementing a Project Portfolio Management (PPM) tool and set of processes in the IRES IT Planning and Projects office. There are two main components to this project: implementing a PPM software solution and developing effective PPM processes.

The IT Planning and Projects team put together a cross-departmental PPM selection team, including members from HR and FMS, to examine and evaluate cloud-based PPM solutions. After an extensive search that involved 15 different products, the team selected Clarizen as the tool of choice for managing the Information Resources project portfolio.

The factors that made Clarizen stand above the other products evaluated include:
  • Ease of use and simplicity
  • Flexibility
  • Extensive tools for creating custom actions, evaluation criteria, etc.
  • Mobile/iPad support
  • Powerful email interface 



Information Resources is looking forward to fully implementing project portfolio management best practices with the help of Clarizen. If you are interested in more information, contact Tony Dunn in the IT Planning and Projects Office.

IT Support Services helps with Data Recovery

For many of us, much of our work at the university is stored on our computers or other digital media. Unfortunately, desktop computer hard drives occasionally fail and flash drives (or even floppy disks  – yes, there are still a few out there) can become corrupted. If your data is not backed up somewhere (or saved to the Bay file share, which is backed up regularly), it may be permanently lost.

Fortunately, IT Support Services (ITSS) can utilize F.R.E.D. (Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device) from Digital Intelligence to attempt to recover data from damaged or corrupted digital media. F.R.E.D. is a combination of specialized hardware and software specifically designed for this task.

Using F.R.E.D. to recover data can be a complex and time-consuming process.  When critical data is worth the recovery attempt, ITSS does its best to help. Although ITSS has been very successful over the years recovering lost data from University equipment for faculty and staff, not all data can be recovered all the time. ITSS recommends that faculty and staff use the Bay file share to store important data and will do what they can to try to recover your important data in the event of damaged or corrupted media.

Academic Technologies Receives Champions of Diversity Award

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion recently named Academic Technologies as a recipient of the Champions of Diversity Award. This is a new Diversity and Inclusion award, which recognizes offices/colleges/departments for their efforts in creating an inclusive and welcoming community at CSU, Chico. Academic Technologies was acknowledged for their efforts in assisting with the Cesar Chavez Day Educational Campaign by creating a video to educate people about the holiday and deter negative behavior and stereotyping of the Latino/a community. The video can be viewed here.