Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 2015 Update

New Mobile Friendly CSU, Chico Website

The new mobile friendly CSU, Chico website was released May 7th. The new site uses responsive web design. Responsive design is an approach to designing and building websites to make them easy to view on a wide range of devices. A responsive site senses the size of your screen and shows you the version of that site that works best for you.

Benefits of responsive design include:
  • Sites that look great on all displays - from mobile phones to desktops
  • Full-size initial view for easy reading
  • A user experience that requires a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling
  • A mobile view that is optimized for fingers

The initial view of our previous site (left) was reduced to fit on phone screens, rendering it unreadable without pinching, zooming, and panning. Our redesigned site (right) is readable on a mobile phone without zooming.

Network Access Control (NAC)

What is NAC?

Network Access Control (NAC) is a networking solution that controls how computers connect to the campus network. Computers that do not meet the security requirements of NAC will not be allowed to connect to the campus network. The university is using a product called ClearPass OnGuard that checks that your computer meets the requirements of NAC and manages access to the network.

Why do we Need NAC?

The purpose of NAC is to prevent computers that lack antivirus software, a current operating system, or current updates from accessing the campus network and placing other computers at risk of cross-contamination from worms and viruses that can permanently harm your computer and computers across the network.

What are the Requirements of NAC?

The security requirements of NAC are relatively simple. Only computers that meet the following requirements will be allowed access to the campus network:
  • Running a supported operating system (Windows 7+, Mac OS 10.8+)
  • Automatic system updates enabled
  • Anti-virus program installed with live protection enabled

Computers running Windows XP or older versions of the Mac OS will not be able to access the campus network. Mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and computers running Linux and ChromeOS, will not be affected by NAC.

Who will NAC Affect and When?

NAC will be implemented in three phases, but ultimately will affect every computer that connects to the campus network.
  • Phase 1: VPN users - Spring 2015
  • Phase 2: Wireless users - May-July 2015
  • Phase 3: Wired users - 2015-2016 Academic year (Test bed to be implemented in July 2015)
Refer to the NAC Calendar for exact dates.

Exchange Online Migration

Microsoft Exchange is CSU, Chico’s faculty and staff e-mail service (student e-mail is GMail-based and is unaffected by this change). Up to the present time, Information Resources has been hosting Exchange on campus, with our own e-mail servers and hardware. CSU, Chico will be moving to Exchange Online, a cloud-based service that will eliminate expensive on site hardware and offer much larger mailbox storage capacity for users. 

In July, Exchange mailboxes are scheduled to be migrated to Exchange Online. Support information can be found at http://www.csuchico.edu/email

The new hosted service provides benefits such as:
  • Mailbox quotas that are 100 times greater for most users
  • High availability and disaster recovery
  • Integrated virus and spam protection
  • Significant cost savings for server, disk storage and maintenance
There are several things users can do to make the migration a smooth experience. We recommend that users take the following actions:
  1. PC users using Outlook 2010 should upgrade to Office 2013.
  2. Mac users should upgrade to Outlook 2011.
  3. Delete unwanted e-mails from your Inbox and empty the Deleted Items folder.
  4. Most people are not using Outlook public folders, but if you are, you will need to move that content to another file sharing service, such as Bay.
  5. Run Identity Finder to locate and remove Level 1 data from your Inbox. More information on Identity Finder can be found here.
For state-owned computers, upgrade to Office 2013 through the Application Catalog or contact ITSS. For assistance with personal computer upgrades, you can contact the Wildcat Bookstore or any local computer repair company.

Information Security Audit  Mitigation Efforts

The Information Security Office has been working on a number of mitigation efforts related to the 21 information security audit findings of the 2014 audit. Efforts include a campus wide inventory of sensitive data, faculty and staff employee training, and records retention for records of all types collected or stored by the University. The Records Retention web site is available here. Sensitive data identification, data protection, and data retention are the cornerstones of any information security program. 

The Information Security Office has been actively working to address gaps in the way the campus manages remote access for vendors to campus information assets. New resources and requirements for maintaining vendor access are located here. In addition to a new vendor request form, ISEC will be working with vendors to assure that contracts and confidentiality agreements are in place prior to vendor access.


Last year, CSU, Chico selected TeamDynamix as our IT service management solution. Information Resources, along with BITS, is in the process of implementing TeamDynamix to help manage IT incidents and service requests, as well as to provide a user-friendly online catalog of IT services that will allow end users to request services (from e-mail to networking) without having to call the ITSS service desk.

The primary goal of the TeamDynamix implementation is to allow IT departments on campus to better provide IT services to students, faculty, and staff. TeamDynamix will replace a number of software applications, and will allow for greater communication and collaboration between the various IT departments on campus.

The service catalog and incident management tools in TeamDynamix are scheduled to go live in July. Ultimately, TeamDynamix will be used for a wide range of IT service management needs on campus, including IT asset management, configuration management, change management, knowledge management, and project portfolio management.

Information Technology Procurement Review

IT Procurement Review (ITPR) is intended to evaluate all Electronic and Information Technology (E&IT) purchases for information security risk, accessibility risk and system compatibility. These reviews are done by Information Resources in partnership with the Office of Accessible Technology Services (OATS) and Information Security (ISEC) to insure that technology purchases made don't impact the campus' ability to keep data secure and resources accessible for students, faculty and staff. IRES also works closely with Procurement to ensure purchases and renewals are completed on time.

The ITPR process has been in place since 2008, however to be in compliance with Chancellor's Office policy, the requirement for ITPRs was reduced from $10,000 purchases down to $0 this fiscal year. This created a spike in the number of reviews performed. As of May 20th, 160 IT Procurement Reviews had been processed for the 2014-15 fiscal year, up from 23 in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. 

Those looking to purchase technology must fill out and submit an ITPR form for approval to Information Resources (zip 290) or email it to itpr@csuchico.edu prior to entering a requisition. You can download the form here.

Commencement 2015

Creative Media and Technology (CMT) reached another new milestone in visual production at this year's 2015 commencement. The combined efforts of the Media Production and Classroom Technology units produced live streamed events for the Master's, Agriculture, and three days of Undergraduate commencements. The live streams were viewed by over 8,400 people in 22 countries. The vast majority of those views were live (during the actual events).

Choose Chico Day Banner Project

Pictured below is one of a number of projects produced by CMT Presentation Graphics Lab for the Choose Chico Day event. This 24 ft wall of retractable banners, designed by University Creative Director Alan Rellaford, is commissioned by College of Humanities and Fine Arts, as part of their booth setup for the Saturday event. Student interns Cameron Harry and Trevor Anderson (pictured) fabricated the banner using biodegradable polycarbonate film, which is an eco-friendly alternative to the traditional vinyl material.

Elizabeth Renfro Award

Dan Carter and Morgan Schmidt (CMT) received the Elizabeth Renfro award for their outstanding work and effort on the consent video series they created with the AS Gender and Sexuality Equity Center last semester. These videos are being used to further the message of preventing sexual assault on Chico State campus. The videos can be watched here.

Staff and Organizational Changes

JD Feemster joined Applications & Data Services in February as an Analyst/Programmer. He attended Stanford University on a football scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Engineering and a minor in Physics. JD worked for NASA at Cape Kennedy during the Saturn V/Apollo programs, followed by a number of years in Europe developing SIGINT/ELINT government programs for the NSA before joining Apple Computer in Cupertino to work with Alan Oppenheimer on network protocols under Jean-Louis Gassee. Sometime later, he left Apple and joined Adobe Systems to work on Acrobat, Photoshop and PostScript under John Warnock. His hobbies include fly fishing, golf, tennis and chess.

Robert Fraser joined ITSS as an Information Technology Consultant in March. He is a recent graduate from Chico State with a degree in Recording Arts and a minor in Computer Science. Prior to that, Robert lived near San Luis Obispo until he transferred to CSU, Chico where he worked for ITSS as a student for 3 years. Robert is one of the Macintosh techs in the ITSS Techshop and is part of the team tasked with implementing and running the Macintosh management system, Casper. In his spare time Robert enjoys making music, building electronics, and playing board games.

Jim Hufford joins the Enterprise Systems team as a Database Administrator. He is a Chico State Alumni who started his career as a System Engineer for a print media software vendor in 1998. He returned to Chico after spending several years living in Chicago and Washington DC. Most recently, he worked as a System Administrator for SUNGARD PS in Chico. He and his wife have two boys who are 14 and 9. Jim enjoys taking both his sons to their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions, spending time with his wife, and working on a classic sports car.

Matthew Johnson joined Applications & Data Services in February as a Programmer/Analyst. Matthew grew up in Susanville and was a firefighter for the US Forest Service in Chester. During the fire off-season he attended college. He took a programming course one semester which changed his life. He left his career as a firefighter and went on to graduate from Sonoma State University in the spring of 2014 with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. He enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter biking through Bidwell Park. In his spare time you can find him fishing.

Robyn Kodai joined the Creative Media and Technology staff as a Reprographics Specialist in February. Her position supports students and staff members at CMT Design and Rapid Graphics Copy Center. She is a recent CSU, Chico graduate with a degree in Communication Design. She was born and raised in Chico and has been working in CMT as a student since 2011. In her spare time she enjoys camping, biking, gaming, and playing with her puppy, Mika.

Brad Laffins has recently joined Classroom Technology Services as a Classroom Technology Support Technician. Born and raised in Chico, Brad joined the US Navy at the age of 18 and served as a Missile Technician for six years. Following the Navy, Brad worked for 10 years at Northeast Utilities in Connecticut, maintaining meteorological equipment for nuclear power plants. Brad obtained a Bachelor's of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from CSU, Chico in 2001. Prior to joining CMT, Brad worked at the University Farm for 13 years as a part of a project funded by the US Bureau of Reclamation for delivering water conservation. Brad has two adult sons, and lives in Chico with his wife. In his free time, Brad enjoys saltwater fishing, kayak fishing, abalone diving, and bicycling.

Adam Latta joined Telecommunications Services in February as an Equipment Systems Specialist. His primary responsibility is to support the campus needs for telephone and network services. Adam spent 4 years in the military where he specialized in radio communications. After the military, Adam worked for Digital Path where he serviced and maintained their wireless network backbone on many mountain tops surrounding the North State. Adam brings great expertise to further develop and deploy our growing wireless network. In his free time Adam enjoys off-roading and camping.

Alisha Meloy joined Information Technology Support Services in the beginning of March as a Service Desk Analyst. Alisha has a Bachelor's of Science in Information Technology and has worked in the tech field for over 10 years. Most of her IT experience includes Help desk Support and Server Support. Most recently, she worked for Milestone in Chico as a supervisor for a team of 60 people supporting Google Chromebooks, Android devices and various Google Play Apps. Prior to Milestone, Alisha worked within the CSU, Chico College of Business.  Alisha was born and raised in Willows. After high school, Alisha moved to LA, followed by Oregon and the bay area, before settling in Chico. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Dan and two children, Daniel (5 years old) and Maggie (4 years old). They enjoy activities such as bike riding, hiking, fishing, camping, music festivals and comedy clubs. Alisha also has an interest in gardening, and likes to spend as much time outdoors as she can.

Baback Pahlavan joined Applications and Data Services as an Analyst/Programmer. He grew up in Chico and is a Computer Science graduate student. He loves to eat at the Banshee, play pool and hike in Upper Park.

Derek Stanley joined Creative Media and Technology as a Classroom Technology Support Technician this May. Derek has a Bachelors degree in Communication Design from Chico State. He has been working professionally with classroom technology and overseeing classroom setups as the Conference Center Coordinator for Enloe for the past 6 years. He oversaw symposium events, where he assisted physicians with setting up presentations and also provided audio and visual support. He has provided support for companies both locally and overseas. In 2005 he assisted with distance learning for a local non-profit under the heading of Dunn Direct, a local marketing company. On the side he provides forum support for a London based video plugin service. In his free time Derek likes to practice archery.

David Zeichick joined the Information Security Office this February as an Application Security Analyst. David earned a Bachelor's Degree from UC Irvine and received a Master's in Computer Science from CSU, Chico. David is currently an Adjunct faculty member for the Computer Science Department where he teaches nationally recognized Information Security (CSCI 448), Advanced Computer Security (CSCI 548), and C++ Programming (CSCI 111) courses. David has been working with campus faculty and staff to identify and address web application security vulnerabilities. David brings with him a wealth of information security experience including advanced network penetration and defense as well as computer and network forensics expertise. David and his family have lived in Chico for 13 years. He is active in the community as a youth soccer couch, a PTA member at Chico Junior, and more.


It is with sad hearts that EAPP bids farewell to Dan Burns as he retires after 14 years of hard work. Dan and Phyllis Weddington came here from Central Washington University at the start of the CMS project. Dan was instrumental in helping to bring up the HR module of CMS in 2002. Since then, he has worked at supporting the CMS project. His first retirement project will be getting his home ready to sell and then moving back to Washington. After that, they will be building a new home and then maybe he'll have time to sit back, sip a beer and relax.

Monday, March 2, 2015

February 2015 Update

ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Technology

This spring CSU, Chico will be participating in the ECAR (Educause Center for Applied Research) Study of Undergraduate Students and Technology for the second time. This survey'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 continue to develop actionable recommendations about how to meet or exceed students' preferences and expectations for technology in academics. The results from the 2013 survey uncovered a need and desire for training, which prompted the purchase of Lynda.com access for all students, faculty and staff.  Last year's 2014 report can be found on the Educause website here.

Wildcat Action Center

The Wildcat Action Center was a joint project between EAPP and ADS and is a messaging system within the Chico Portal that delivers targeted critical academic progression related messages to students. The Wildcat Action Center will alert students when they log in to the Chico Portal. A “pop-up” window will be displayed which shows the students how many active messages they have and the urgency and text of each message.

The primary focus of these messages is to deliver timely information to students who can then take immediate action to address the information presented in the message. Examples include:  low-enrollment alerts for upcoming terms (students can click the action link to directly enroll in courses); unpaid tuition fee notifications (students can click the action link to directly pay online); academic standing notifications (students click the action link to read policy on their current standing); etc. All actions a student takes in response to the message (view, ignore, dismiss, action taken) are then relayed back to PeopleSoft and stored in the database.

Identity and Access Management Assessment Update

As part of the campus Identity and Access Management Assessment project, Information Resources has posted two RFPs (request for proposals).  One is for a new Identity and Access Management (IAM) system, and the other is for a Privileged Access Management (PAM) system.  RFP details can be found on the Procurement and Contract Services website.  We intend to complete vendor selection in May 2015 and begin implementing both systems in parallel in June 2015.  The IAM implementation will be more complex and we are tentatively planning for the initial implementation to occur over 12 months. The PAM implementation could occur faster with an implementation tentatively concluding by the end of 2015.

Real Media Server Decommission

The campus Real Media server (AKA “Mole”) was decommissioned in January. Information Resources introduced Kaltura as a new streaming media server in fall 2012 as a replacement for Mole and the Technology and Learning Program (TLP) has worked with faculty to migrate onto that platform over time.

Automated Java Updates

Anyone paying attention to the news today will know that there have been several recent data breaches. Target, Home Depot, Sony, and Anthem Blue Cross have all reported massive leaks of their employee and customer data. One of the most common methods of breaching an organization's defenses is malware (short for malicious software). Serious types of malware can log everything you type (including your passwords!), capture information displayed on your screen, or even allow complete control of your computer by the attacker.

Of course no one would ever intentionally install these programs. Attackers get people to install them by making them look like legitimate programs, or by exploiting bugs in operating systems and common applications like Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Flash, and Oracle Java. The best way to protect your computer (and the organization you work for) is to only install applications you know are legitimate, and to keep your operating system and related applications patched with the latest security fixes.

In an effort to enhance the security of the campus computing environment, ITSS has been patching Microsoft Windows operating systems for many years (Apple Macintosh system patching will be added in the next few months as well). To more effectively harden our systems against attack, we are now starting to patch third-party applications like Acrobat, Flash, and Java, which are common vectors of malware infections.

While we recognize that patching can often feel disruptive because it requires that your browsers be shut down or your computer restarted, it is critical to securing the campus against outside threats. Keeping your computer fully patched can also help prevent situations where you'll need to be without your computer for a day or two while it gets re-imaged to clear a malware infestation.

As with any software update, the latest version of one of these applications can occasionally cause other systems you work with to break. We do our best to test every update with a group of pilot users prior to updating the bulk of the campus computers, but in the event that an update causes you issues, please contact ITSS immediately and we can work to roll back the update temporarily while we get your specific issue resolved.

College of Business Website Launch

The College of Business and Web Services completed and launched the new College of Business website (www.csuchico.edu/cob/) in December.

Created within the current design system, the website is a custom, fully responsive design that should help to future-proof the department’s online activities by providing the optimal viewing experience for all users in a “device agnostic” way that doesn't require zooming and panning.

Besides adopting a new look and shifting to responsive design, the College of Business also examined the content and structure of their previous site, and made many decisions geared towards providing a better user experience. This change should help streamline the college’s workflow, enabling it to keep the website up to date in a more independent, flexible, and timely way.

Special thanks to Dean Judith Hennessey, Ken Chapman, Julie Indvik, Peter Straus, and everyone else from the College of Business who provided the input and guidance on this project.

For more on the basics of responsive design, check out this blog post from Froont:

New Interactive Technology Spaces

Thanks in large part to two student learning fee grants, the Meriam Library has opened two of three new Interactive Technology Spaces. This trio of rooms will allow students to collaborate on a variety of projects and prepare for presentations. This spring we opened the Collaborative Technology Space (MLIB 252) and the Creative Media Space (MLIB 254).

The Collaborative Technology Space features a large Sharp Aquos Board touch display suitable for small groups to brainstorm and prepare projects. The Creative Media Space provides software and hardware for students to create and edit a variety of photo, web, video, and audio projects, all in a private room free from distractions. Later this year, the Practice Presentation Space (MLIB 253) will open, providing students with a mock smart classroom where thy can practice presentations and speeches, even recording their presentations for playback and critique. The rooms are available by reservation only to CSU, Chico students.

New Staff and Organizational Changes

The Wildcat ID Card Office has now joined Information Resources in Applications and Data Services as part of an organizational consolidation. As part of this consolidation, Sally Zhang and the Wildcat Card Office moved from the Student Services Center into the BMU.

Jason Donnell joined IT Client Services this February as an IT Analyst. Jason is a CSU, Chico graduate with a BS in Electrical Engineering and has been in Chico for about 20 years.  He’s done software development, led software teams, and handled technical project management for several local companies  Jason will be our TeamDynamix administrator and will be helping us implement new incident management, asset and configuration management, and service catalog processes. In addition, Jason will also be the administrator for the LearnerWeb training management system.  Jason is a long distance trail runner and spends more than a little time on the roads and trails around town. This year will mark his foray into putting on a race, the Rim To Rim Trail Run (http://rimtorimtrailrun.com) on June 6th.

Aram Favela, previously employed in TLP, has rejoined IRES in Creative Media and Technology as a classroom support technician. 

Greg Olson joined the Creative Media and Technology team as a Media Production Specialist.  He is a Chico State Alumni who started his career in broadcasting in 1999. After finding success at Northwest Cable News in Seattle, Washington and Sacramento’s KOVR 13, Greg returned to Chico to start his family and achieve a leadership role at CBS 12. Most recently he was the video producer and workshop instructor for Videomaker Magazine. Greg and his lovely wife Malina have two young daughters that keep them busy, but in his free time Greg enjoys playing music.

Jared Rouse joined ITSS as an Information Technology Consultant. He grew up in Paradise and attended Simpson University in Redding. While he was there he met his wife Elisa. They moved to Chico two years ago to be closer to his job at Butte County Behavioral Health. He spent three years at the County as an Information Systems Technician. While Jared works, his wife Elisa is able to be a stay at home mom with their three beautiful little girls, who are 3, 2, and just a week old.  In his free time Jared enjoys spending time with his family, going to the local Farmers Market, and planning events for his apartment complex.

Robert Utter, a recent CSU, Chico graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, joined Distributed Learning Technologies full-time in January as an Information Technology Consultant. Robert’s initial focus will be on system support and administration of Blackboard Learn.  He will also take over managing DLT’s website, as well as begin updating some of the department’s custom development work. In his spare time, Robert enjoys board games, wikis, and hobbyist software development.

Dennis Yarnell returned to Classroom Technology Services in January as a retired annuitant.  Originally from Redding, Dennis worked at several television stations in Northern California, prior to settling in Chico.  He worked at CSU, Chico for nearly 35 years before retiring in 2009, and worked on some of the first distance learning systems in the region.  Dennis remembers being involved in the creation of the first modern smart classroom, Ayres 106, in 1993. In his free time, Dennis enjoys RV travel, ham radio, and home improvements.

Sally Zhang joined Applications & Data Services in January as an Information Technology Consultant. Sally received a Bachelor of Arts degree from FuDan University, Shanghai, China and a Master's Degree in Management Information Systems from the College of Business, CSU, Chico. She has worked on campus since January 2002 and has been in the Wildcat ID Card office since May 2005. Sally likes to participate in table tennis, Tai Chi, and enjoys spending time with her family, particularly her granddaughter.