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 Lynda.com 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 www.csuchico.edu/iasc/.

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.

Retirements

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