Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 2014 Update for Students

We are excited to announce that Provost Wei has expanded access to 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 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 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the Provost has committed to a long-term partnership with the Council of Academic Deans for the ongoing replacement of outdated desktop and laptop computers.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:

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.