Wednesday, September 9, 2015

September 2015 Update

Smart Classroom Updates

With funding from the Office of the Provost, Classroom Technology Services (CTS) completed full technology updates to 18 smart classrooms across the campus over the summer. These classrooms received new digital AV systems, touch monitors, and new document cameras. In addition, CTS also completed 5 new smart classrooms in Holt, a state-of-the-art distance learning classroom in the Meriam Library basement, and a new active learning classroom in Yolo Hall.

Photo of distance learning classroom in the library.
Meriam Library 045 - distance learning classroom

Photo of distance learning classroom in the library.
Meriam Library 045 - distance learning classroom

Customer Feedback

Information Resources appreciates constructive customer feedback.  Below are some positive customer comments we received in the first couple weeks of the Fall semester.  
"Thank you all so much. You are the best support team ever!! It is so wonderful to feel confident that our office will be supported – and always with such positive energy and kindness. Thanks again, we all appreciate you more than you know!"
– Kathleen Hassig, President's Office
“Adam just left and did a great job switching our phones. Thanks for sending him over! He was polite and courteous.”
– Rhona Kramer, Passages-Adult Resource Center
"Thank you so much to all of you for the help. Honestly, I do not think I have ever felt so supported as a faculty member, and it feels great!"
– Michelle Givertz, Communication Arts and Sciences Department
"Your guys are always upbeat, friendly and never show any dread or frustration when they’ve done jobs for me.  It’s so awesome!  They get right to the job at hand and take care of business."
– Patti Chezek, Passages-Adult Resource Center

TeamDynamix Service Management System

In July, Information Resources (IRES) and Business Information Technology Services (BITS) launched a new IT service management system called TeamDynamix. IT service management systems allow IT organizations to provide services and to resolve issues more quickly and efficiently. 

TeamDynamix replaced a number of separate, older systems that IRES and BITS were using to manage IT services.

Screenshot of TeamDynamix dashboard

TeamDynamix has several advantages over the systems it replaced.

For customers, TeamDynamix provides the ability to:
  • Check the status of their requests online
  • Request services directly online through the service catalog
  • Communicate directly with service desk technicians working on their requests

For service desk technicians, TeamDynamix provides:
  • Simplified and more robust ticketing tools
  • Better tools for communicating with customers

For IT overall, TeamDynamix provides:
  • A single platform for managing service requests
  • Much better metrics and reporting
  • An expanded and integrated suite of service management tools

ECAR Survey

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 students’ perception of technology trends.

The survey was sent to all 17,287 undergraduate students. 1,197 students (7%) completed the survey. The typical response rate for this type of survey is about 10%.

Overall, the results closely follow CSU-wide patterns and the average results for all US institutions. We gained a great 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. You can view a high-level presentation of CSU, Chico’s ECAR survey results (PDF).

TechQual Survey

This October, CSU, Chico will participate in the Higher Education TechQual+ Survey. Chico State previously participated in this survey in 2013. The survey is designed to measure the performance of information technology connectivity and access, technology and collaboration services, and IT support and training.

The results of this survey provide information about the quality of university information technology services at CSU, Chico, as well as new information technology services staff and faculty are interested in.

The survey will open on October 14th, 2015 and will close on November 4th, 2015.

Information Resources made the following improvements as a result of the 2013 TechQual survey:
  • Migrated all Exchange accounts to the cloud to increase email account storage capacity
  • Implemented new IT service management system to improve efficiency of business processes on campus
  • Acquired licenses for all staff and faculty to provide access to more training
  • Implemented a new training system (DTS) to better manage staff and faculty training
  • Implemented mobile-friendly university website using responsive design
  • Continued to add more smart classrooms throughout campus

ITSS Remodel/WildCat Card Migration 

In early July, IT Support Services (ITSS) remodeled their service desk in Meriam Library 142 to better serve campus by replacing the front counter with a curved design to increase the lobby space and allow for Wildcat Card traffic. They also added an additional workstation at the service desk, repositioned triage lead stations, and consolidated the tier 2 support area for improved workflow.

At the same time, the Wildcat ID Card Program moved to IT Support Services (ITSS). This move allowed for the expansion of the Wildcat ID Card office hours, and also brought additional support through cross-training with ITSS staff.

Improving Patient Care with Mobile Computing

This summer, Computing and Communications Services (CCSV) and Information Technology Support Services (ITSS) deployed mobile computing platforms for use in Student Health Services (SHS). These "computers on wheels" are used to provide secure wireless access to SHS information systems, with the goal of improving patient care with bedside access to patient charts and health information.

To support this new service, CCSV worked with Facilities Management Services (FMS) to build out the pathways needed to deploy a dozen new wireless access points, dramatically improving wireless coverage in the clinic/lab areas. ITSS staff developed the mobile workstations, and are working with SHS staff on their use. The Information Security Office (ISEC) provided oversight in the design of the system, and works with SHS on the policies and procedures needed to ensure the security of the solution.

Network Access Control to Improve Campus Security

Computing and Communications Services (CCSV), working closely with Information Technology Services (ITSS) and the Information Security Office (ISEC), has deployed Network Access Control (NAC), a technology designed to ensure that devices connecting to the campus network meet minimum security guidelines.

NAC uses ClearPass OnGuard software to assess devices as they connect to the network, and checks to make sure they meet minimum security requirements:
  1. A currently supported operating system
  2. Automatic system updates enabled
  3. Active antivirus software
The system is being deployed in a phased approach; currently these requirements are only being enforced for Windows and Macintosh computers that connect to the campus wireless network. Deployment of NAC on the wired campus network is under way, with a proof of concept in operation, and pilot deployments about to start. NAC will then be rolled out to the campus on a building-by-building basis, to ensure a smooth transition to a more secure computing environment.

New Data Center Power Backup

As part of Computing and Communications Services’s continuing efforts to provide a highly reliable data center environment, a second UPS (uninterruptible power supply) has been added to the Butte Hall data center complex.

This new UPS will provide a redundant power source for the network and telephone equipment, as well as the main campus server farm. This new UPS supplements the existing data center UPS, and is also backed up by the data center generator. This new hardware and its associated infrastructure are easily monitored, providing a detailed information about energy usage. Having two UPS systems in the data center will allow for some electrical maintenance tasks to be performed without any interruption of services that might impact users.

New IRES Admin Service Center (IASC) Website 

The Information Resources Administrative Service Center (IASC), recently launched a new website at

The new IASC site offers many resources including purchasing and procurement information, travel information and policies, as well as human resources and student employment information.

Screenshot of IASC home page

Exchange Email Migration to Office365 Completed

In July, Computing and Communications Services (CCSV) completed the final phase of Exchange email upgrades and migration to the Microsoft-hosted Office365 email servers.

This multi-year project started in 2013 and included upgrading the mail servers running in the campus data center and the purchase of new server hardware. This enabled the campus to run on the latest version of email server software and allowed the final phase of migrating to the cloud hosted mail servers to be smoother. The campus ran in a “hybrid” environment, with early adopters testing the cloud mailboxes in January 2015 while the remaining users on campus continued to work from local servers. After many months of testing, the final migration of all mailboxes to the cloud was completed on July 24th. 

Benefits of this new hosted email service include a significantly larger mailbox quota (50GB vs. 1GB) and disaster recovery capabilities, as email service is no longer a single point of failure in our data center.

The major differences in user experience are in spam detection and the web email interface (OWA). Many new features are available via OWA in Office365, and Microsoft continues to make improvements to more closely match the Outlook desktop application user experience.

Identity and Access Management Assessment Update

As part of the ongoing campus Identity and Access Management (IAM) initiative, Information Resources completed two RFPs (request for proposals) in May-June.

The IAM RFP was awarded to Fischer International Identity. Fischer is a recognized leader in IAM within higher education, and is in use at Humboldt State. The Privileged Account Management (PAM) RFP was awarded to Hitachi ID Systems, Inc.

Information Resources is currently working with both vendors to outline the statements of work and to determine when implementations will begin; the PAM implementation may begin in mid-fall while the IAM implementation may begin in winter.

Learning Technologies Enhancements

Over the past four months Distributed Learning Technologies (DLT) has worked very closely with the Technology and Learning Program, IT Support Services, and Creative Media Technologies to enhance Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Collaborate, and several other add-on systems in order to optimize user experience. Most noticeably this included upgrading both Blackboard Learn and Kaltura, our video management solution. In addition, we also released Collaborate Ultra to campus, promoting the adoption of a real-time video conferencing solution within instruction. And finally, to help the campus stay current with these changes, DLT also released a new website containing relevant information about all these technologies.

Staff and Organizational Changes 

New Staff

George Anderson was hired in July as a printer support technician for IT Support Services. George handles the support for all printers and MFPs on campus as well as administering the uniFLOW accounts for billing with Ray Morgan Company. George was born and raised in Paradise and currently lives in Magalia. He received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 2012 and a master's degree in Accounting in 2015, both from University of Phoenix. George worked for six years as an I.T. Analyst for Butte County Behavioral Health. He’s been married to his wife for five years and they purchased a home in Magalia three years ago. Outside of work George plays guitar for fun and every summer he goes to the Oregon coast to ride quads in the sand dunes. 

Mark Axtell joined Enterprise Applications (EAPP) as an Analyst/Programmer, supporting, among other applications, the PeopleSoft Common Management Solution (CMS).  Mark grew up in San Bernardino, and received a Master of Science in Computer Science from Chico State in 2004. Before returning to work for Chico State, Mark worked as a developer for SunGard, Moby Wrap, and most recently A Main. Mark and his wife Glori have two children, one is in elementary school and the other is in high school. Mark enjoys basketball, hiking in Bidwell Park, and spending time with his family.

Shelby Davis joined IT Client Services in June as an IT Analyst. She was born and raised in Chico, CA and is a Chico State alumna with a degree in Business Information Systems. After attending Chico State, Shelby took a position in the Bay Area as an SAP Basis consultant. After figuring out that commuting in Bay Area traffic was really not for her, she moved back to Chico and joined Enloe Medical Center as a Help Desk Specialist. From there she became an analyst working on reporting and various projects throughout the hospital. It has always been a dream of hers to advance her education and receive a master’s degree, which ultimately led her back to Chico State. In her free time Shelby enjoys various hobbies, including bowling and enjoying the great outdoors with her dog.

Francie Divine joined Creative Media and Technology (CMT) as a web designer. Francie is a Chico State graduate and has been working as a designer for the past 17 years. She started her career in high school designing restaurant menus, and spent her first 10 years on campus as the art director and designer for Chico Statements and other campus publications, as well as designing custom websites. She has designed two award-winning websites in collaboration with CMT and hopes to use her skills to ensure the department wins many more awards in the future.

Jake Guild joined IT Support Services in June as an IT Consultant. He was was born and raised in Monrovia, CA and moved to Paradise in 2003. Jake served in the US Navy working on signal analysis. After the Navy, Jake worked as a cryptologist for the Department of Defense, was a system administrator for Sprint/Nextel, and was a manager in a department that installed and serviced communication systems for various 3-letter government acronyms (FBI, DEA, NSA, CIA, etc.). Jake and his wife Katherine have a 14-month old named Olivia. Outside of work, Jake has a small photography business, enjoys amateur radio and other wireless-y radio-y things, and plays the piano. A lot.

Anna Harris replaced Laura Kling as Web Services lead in August. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in psychology. Since then, she has done bit of everything from managing a motley crew of cooks and dishwashers while turning out perfect poached pear cheesecakes to writing about ghost-hunting and tantra as an editor of a New Age magazine. She has worked at the University since 2009, first as an editor, then as the digital communications coordinator in Public Affairs and Publications. She was also responsible for editing every print and online university publication that was distributed to an off-campus audience. Outside of work, Anna enjoys rock climbing; cooking; going to the library for stacks of fiction of all kinds; and having adventures with her husband, Wolf, and their two children.

Jim Kelly joined the Enterprise Systems team as an Operating Systems Analyst. Jim started his career as a systems administrator at Enloe Medical Center in 2000, where he worked until 2008.  After spending several years in the Bay Area Jim returned to Chico in 2012, where he worked at SunGard Public Sector prior to accepting a position at Chico State.  He and his wife have two girls - 15 and 17.

Eric Linden joined the Data Warehouse group as a Lead Programmer Analyst in July. He comes most recently from Silicon Valley where he led and managed large Data Warehousing/Analytic efforts for eBay, Microsoft and Teradata. He is a bit of a data and statistics "wonk" and maintains a data warehouse on his personal server containing long term FBI crime data as well as CO2 and atmospheric temperature data. He recognizes that this hobby is not helping his social life and has the data to support it. Eric is also a musician, loves to ride motorcycles, and is making his first forays into farming with 14 chickens and 2 turkeys. Eric lives on 20 off-grid solar powered acres overlooking Lake Oroville, as do the chickens, turkeys, and his two teenage children.

Garreth Nedved joined Application and Data Services in June supporting the Data Warehouse as an Analyst/Programmer. He had previously worked on campus as a student data technician for two and a half years. Garreth graduated from Chico State in Spring 2015 with a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science and will be getting married in October. Some of his hobbies include gaming, sports, and movies.

Sherry Wagner joined Computing and Communication Services (CCSV) as Office Coordinator in August.  She is a Chico State alumna with a bachelor's degree in Information and Communication Studies. Before coming to work for CCSV, she worked for several other state agencies. She also worked behind the scenes in television at KHSL TV as a director and technical director. She is married and has two teenage sons. She enjoys the outdoors and loves working on our beautiful campus!

Richard Wilkerson joined Application and Data Services in August as an Analyst/Programmer. He is a CSU, Chico graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and is currently enrolled in the Master’s Program in the College of Business. Richard grew up in the Stockton area, and came to Chico State as a student in 2008. In 2010, Richard joined Business Information Technology Services as a full-time staff member supporting the University Police and Facilities Management and Services. He got married in 2013, and he and his wife are expecting their first child at the end of October. He also has a step-son who is a junior in high school. In is free time, Richard enjoys spending time with his family, playing video games, and biking around Chico.


Chris Ficken, campus renaissance man and graphic designer extraordinaire, retired on September 8, 2015. His graphic design, illustration, multimedia, and general creativity have enhanced the campus for almost 37 years. He has taught Graphic Design classes for most of those 37 years. Several of his graphic illustrations have received awards. He intends to continue to keep busy with family (including grandchildren), graphic design, teaching, and CSU Foundation projects.   

Laura Kling, the Web Services team lead, retired on August 10, 2015. During Laura’s 25 year career, she provided the campus with creative solutions in graphic design and web sites. For many years she lead both the ATEC Graphic Design Studio and Web Services team. In 2010 Laura lead the successful campus website redesign project. She followed this in 2014 by leading the team in the responsive web design (mobile friendly) of the same campus website. Outside of work, Laura recently helped author a gardening book and became certified as a Master Gardener.

Kelly Sena retired from Information Security in July after 26 years on campus to move back to the East Coast in order to be closer to family. Kelly began her career as a temporary employee in the Career Placement Center in 1989. From there she moved to a permanent position in the College of BSS where she worked for ten years before moving over to Student Records to assist with the implementation of PeopleSoft. She eventually assumed the role of functional lead for CS PeopleSoft Security. Kelly was more than just PeopleSoft Security. She was also the security training coordinator and project management coordinator for ISEC. She wore many hats and will definitely be missed

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

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 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 coach, 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 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 ( 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 ( 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.