TechQual Survey – Assessment of Technology Services

21 07 2014

Just a reminder to all faculty members: Please take some time to fill out the TechQual survey!

Associate VP for Information Technology Robyn Dickinson sent emails out to all faculty last week with survey information (including a link and an individual ID#). The survey asks about minimum, desired, and perceived levels of service on technology and information services, and it’s important that faculty voices be heard on these issues.

This is the third time TechQual has been has been administered on campus – previous surveys were in 2008 and 2011. After the 2011 survey, Information Resources discussed the results for faculty members with TAG as part of their planning process.

The survey will be open until August 15. If you did not receive a survey email from Robyn, contact Jordan Knicely ( in Institutional Research.

TAG feedback on draft BYOD Strategy

21 05 2014

At our May TAG meeting, Calvin Krzywiec (Assistant Director of Network Security & Engineering) presented a draft version of a BYOD Strategy (Bring Your Own Device).  We promised Cal a written compilation of feedback to inform the next draft of the report.  Since the TAG meeting, I’ve also been discussing the draft Strategy with several other interested faculty members, and I’ve done my best to compile all of these conversations in an annotated copy of the draft. These notes represent a sampling of individual faculty members’ reactions and should not be considered an authoritative response from the faculty as a whole.

I believe the draft Strategy bears significant implications for teaching, learning, research, and the faculty work environment, and I’ve recommended that the document undergo careful review by the full Faculty Senate. (As the current Senate Liaison, Dave will share our feedback in a report to the Senate Executive Committee.)

I’d also like to invite additional comments and concerns from all faculty. If your exam week/senior week schedule permits, please take a look at TAG’s written response (annotated PDF) and let us know your thoughts.

[Update: Here’s a summarized comments view of the same annotated PDF.]

New my.scranton

13 06 2013

If you’ve logged into my.scranton this week, you’ve noticed that the design has changed — see the announcement from IR below about where content has moved.

TAG provided feedback on the redesigned Faculty Tab back in March, but unfortunately, due to some unexpected staffing changes, IR staff members weren’t able to incorporate our feedback into the Faculty Tab design before launch. We’ll still be in regular communication with IR about the new my.scranton, so please send any comments/concerns/suggestions you have about the new design either to TAG or directly to IR staff member Joe Casabona – we’ll do our best to try to have them addressed.

Here’s the official announcement. We’ve highlighted in purple things that many faculty members use frequently:

Welcome to the new my.scranton!

We have made a lot of changes to my.scranton with the latest upgrade. Because of that, we’d like to share some helpful hints with this guide to what you can find on each of the new tabs (or pages):

HOME Tab – Campus Announcements, Self Service, Report a Problem, Emergency and Password Information, Directories, Submit Portal Announcements, and University Links

The former Public Safety tab has moved to University Links available from the HOME tab.

NEWS Tab – University Publications, Student Clubs Calendar, Royal BBoard, KBOX Korner, and University Calendar & University Links

STUDENT Tab – Student Grades, Financial Aid Awards, Registrations Tools, Laundry View, Search for Courses, and Utravel

EMPLOYEE Tab – Payroll Information, Faculty/Staff Directory, Royallists, and University Giving

FACULTY Tab – Faculty Dashboard, Faculty Schedule, Grade Assignments, Faculty Registration, and Academic Links.

Banner ERP Tab – Banner INB, Employee Applications, Reports and Update Menu and Workflow.

Icons for Email, Royal Drive, Angel (LMS), CMS located in the upper right section allow easy access to these tools.

Increased Security with a timeout of 30 minutes globally.

TAG Departmental Website Proposal at the Faculty Senate

12 04 2013

Today, Jeremy presented the TAG proposal for the upkeep and maintenance of the departmental websites to the faculty senate for feedback. The proposal was briefly overviewed by Jeremy, who then opened the floor for comments and responses from the faculty to such a proposal. A brief summary of the comments follows.

  • Many of the faculty were in support of the proposal, agreeing that the time involved in updating the website is a barrier to frequent updates. Often mentioned was the idea that we faculty are often not experts in the display of such information. Thus, a number of faculty were in support of the document.
  • The provost, Hal Baille, commented that the Committee for University Image and Promotion is aware of this proposal and in support of such a position. He emphasized the fact that, more than a public relations issue, the departmental websites are an admissions issue. Getting quality students, especially in a time when universities are competing for good students, means having a standout webpage. More than half of the incoming students use the university webpage as a very important criterion for determining which university they attend. Thus, it is very valuable, from an admissions perspective, to attract quality students, and the website is an important tool in the process.
  • A comment was made about the University’s web infrastructure, and that spending money on such a position may only be a small bandage on a problematic, and potentially outdated infrastructure. One Senator commented that the webservers run software that is costly run when there are cheaper, more-secure options that may be available, which can allow webpages to run more common web software packages, such as WordPress, PhP, or MySQL.
  • Another Senator questioned the necessity of such a position and the frequency of needed updates. Certain departments and programs, the Senator stated, simply may not have updates that can or should be implemented on a regular basis. If this is a consistent event across many of the departments, forcing updates may not make for a better website. Another Senator disagreed, stating that certain national accrediting bodies require yearly updates of programatic content on websites, so, at a minimum, such updates can an should be made. In addition, it was stated that such updates are not “easy” for faculty and staff to implement.
  • In terms of the staffing of the position, it was suggested to explore the current employees of the university before requesting an external hire. There may be current employees and/or positions with the appropriate skill set that can be re-purposed to fill this role. It is important to mention here, that the website proposal group did not feel that it was within its purview to make financial or administrative recommendations about this position. We simply request that such a position exist, and that it should be within the administrative sections of the University to decide the specifics of such a position. This group does recommend, and will make explicit in future versions of the proposal, that due to the extensive collaboration with faculty that this position should be housed within Academic Affairs.
  • Other faculty expressed concerns that this position could be used as a tool for Public Relations as opposed to a vehicle for expression of the faculty and their departments. It is not the intention of the sub-group that this position interfere in any way with the web-based expression of any faculty member. Our group intends that this position be a tool for faculty to assist them in presenting content in the form desired by the faculty of that department. This position should assist faculty, not remove them from the process. Faculty and departments will not be required to use this position, but this subgroup feels that it should exist as an option for those that do. Furthermore, we feel that there are sufficient departments and faculty that will make use of such a position to make it worthwhile.

TAG is currently working on implementing all the above suggestions into the next version of this proposal and thanks everyone at the Senate meeting for their participation and lively discussion. As always, anyone with comments, questions, or feedback of any kind is encouraged to email us at, or email the chair or the subgroup responsible for the creation of this document at

My.Scranton Portal – Upgrade to Luminis 5

4 03 2013

The major update to the my.scranton portal (run on Luminis software) that we’ve been talking about for a while is now scheduled for spring break (March/April 2013), which is coming up fast. Thanks to IR, TAG has gotten to provide faculty input on the new portal design (and especially on the Faculty tab) over the past few months. Here’s an update on where we are.

Back in November/December, I gathered some informal feedback from a dozen faculty members on the existing my.scranton portal. Joe Casabona (IT) and Ileana Szymanski (Philosophy) helped me sort through the responses, which I’ll roughly summarize here —

Overall faculty responses to existing my.scranton portal:

  • I don’t use 3/4 of this stuff
  • I don’t even know what 1/2 of this stuff is
  • It takes too long to get to the stuff I need
  • I usually just search the website
  • Oh, I didn’t know that was there!

Most important/most frequently used items in the existing portal:

  1. Angel
  2. Email
  3. UIS – Faculty Services
  4. Course schedule
  5. Directories

Also frequently used, but not as universal as the above items:

  1. Classroom Reservation Form
  2. Academic Calendar
  3. University Calendar
  4. Course Catalogs
  5. Royal Drive
  6. Travel
  7. OIT Equipment Request
  8. Check Vouchers
  9. Personal Announcements
  10. Faculty Scholarly Achievements
  11. Compressed Schedule
  12. Course Evaluations

Things that are helpful, but don’t necessarily need to be on the Faculty Tab:

  • Bboard
  • Pay stubs
  • KBOX notifications
  • Events submission
  • CTLE events and registration
  • Tax forms
  • Library
  • Strategic Plan
  • Aquinas

Joe, Ileana, and I also discussed some overarching questions – most importantly, what is Faculty Tab for? Is it a portal to any faculty-related web content, to password-protected content only, or possibly to a personalized set of web content? Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend time turning this feedback into a mockup of a Faculty Tab, so with major apologies to Joe and Ileana for dropping that ball… fast forward to March 2013.

The new portal is currently in test mode, with the official launch still planned for spring break. The good news is that there are some new features available – like dynamic integration with Banner. The bad news is that some of the new features we expected to be available – like personal tabs and group tabs – won’t actually be available until the next Luminis release (5.1). The other bad news is that Luminis can interact well with Banner but not with Angel, so it’s not really possible to pull dynamic information from Angel courses. The last bit of bad news is that Luminis and UIS (Self-Service) are two separate things, so although several faculty members reported usability issues with UIS (especially term selection), the Luminis upgrade will not include any updates to the Faculty Services UIS tab.

With all that said, here’s a glimpse of what the current draft of the Faculty Tab looks like in test (my dashboard and schedule are empty since I’m not teaching any courses) –



In this morning’s TAG meeting, we talked a little about some possible changes to improve the Faculty Tab – e.g., adding a “Report a Problem” box with an email form for the Technology Support Center. We’d like to hear any additional faculty feedback — whether it’s something that can be changed quickly before the launch or whether it’s something we’ll need to work on for the future. Please let Joe or me know (or comment below) if you have suggestions – and if you’re willing to volunteer to test out the faculty functions, let us know and we’ll see if we can set up a test account for you.

One area that I think we can improve relatively easily is Academic Links — what content is most useful there, and how should it be organized? Let us know what you’d like to see – I took a stab at assembling and grouping the most-used links from the existing my.scranton Faculty tab to get us started:


  • Angel
  • Class Lists
  • Grades
  • Course Evaluations
  • Classroom Request Form
  • OIT Equipment Request
  • Software Request


  • Student Information
  • Writing Center Referral
  • Testing Accommodations
  • Academic Difficulties
  • Math Placement Scores


  • Advisee Listing
  • Student Information
  • Course Catalog

Schedules and Calendars

  • Course Schedule
  • Compressed Schedule
  • Academic Calendar
  • Final Exam Schedule


  • Scholarly Achievements
  • Research Interests
  • Travel Application

TurnItIn – Updated Faculty Page

18 02 2013

Earlier this semester, TAG relayed some faculty concerns to the Library and CTLE about issues with, the academic integrity/anti-plagiarism tool that the Library subscribes to. As part of a response, the Library’s web page for faculty on TurnItIn has been updated with clearer instructions and the latest instructor manual and tutorials.

Library Dean Charles Kratz would like additional feedback from faculty members, so please let him know if the updated page is an improvement and/or if you have additional questions, suggestions, or concerns related to TurnItIn.


Acceptable Use Policy – Early Draft for Review

11 02 2013

At our (very brief) TAG meeting last week, Dave Dzurec shared a draft of the Acceptable Use Policy and asked for early feedback. Dave and Jim Franceschelli are chairing a committee charged with updating the old Code of Responsible Computing.  The committee includes representatives from the Faculty Senate (Dave, Wesley Wang, and Bob Spinelli) and from the Staff and Student Senates.

Dave would like your feedback on what they’ve come up with so far, so please take a look at let him know what you think!

University of Scranton Acceptable Use Policy DRAFT 01-15-2013 (.docx)


My.Scranton Update – New Faculty Tab Design

13 11 2012

The major update to the my.scranton portal (run on Luminis software) that we’ve been talking about for a while is now scheduled for next spring break (March/April 2013). Joe Casabona in IR has been convening a group of faculty, staff, and students to discuss how we can make the new design as efficient and useful as possible. The new version of Luminis is much more flexible and has a lot of new features, so we’ll be able to make pages that are dynamic and functional instead of just lists of links. We discussed the possibility of an app-style model, with modules or apps based on functions or tasks (e.g., parking, event planning, travel…), so that each user could add or prioritize the modules they use most.

I’m providing early input on a new faculty tab (which will become a “community”), and I’d like to get some feedback from a few faculty members so that I can draft up a demo version with Joe to share more broadly.  If you have time over Thanksgiving break, please do me a favor and answer a few questions for me:

  1. What tasks do you need to do on an everyday basis?
  2. On the current my.scranton page, what links/items do you use most?
  3. On the current my.scranton page, what links/items do you rarely or never use?
  4. What do you wish were on the current my.scranton page?

If you’d like, you can answer 2, 3, and 4 by writing on or annotating these screenshots (PDF) – circle the links you use most, strike out the items you never use, and write in the items you wish were there.

Send your feedback to me directly by interoffice mail or at, and let me know if you’d like to be involved in designing a demo version. Thanks!

New Survey from the Department of Planning and Information Resources

11 07 2011

Hi all,

I just received the following e-mail from the VP of Planning and CIO, Jerry DeSanto. TAG was not involved in the planning or execution of this survey, but it has the potential to be very valuable and I would encourage you to fill it out. There are approximately 5 pages of questions, including some option demographic information, and asks you to rank a large number of items from 1-9 in three categories: Your minimum acceptable level; you desired level; and the level the university currently offers for this service. For each question, there is a place to add comments. Personally, I ranked and commented on nearly every question, and completed the survey in about 40 minutes. I understand that this is a long time to spend during your busy summer, but the more feedback we can aggregate, the more we can figure out what we need and what our next steps are. So please take the time to provide some thoughtful comments if you receive this survey! Thanks!

Dear Colleague:

To help us evaluate and improve the University’s technology services, please take a few moments to complete the TechQual survey via the link below. The survey, developed out of Pepperdine University, asks questions related to your desired level of service and how well you think we are doing in several key technology areas. Your response will not be individually identifiable, and all results will be reported in aggregate form.

The survey can be accessed via the following web link through August 1, 2011.

Survey Link:
Respondent ID:

To begin follow the survey link and enter your respondent ID. The respondent ID is unique to you and allows you to start the survey and finish it later. You should not forward this respondent ID to other individuals as they will be able to see the feedback you entered.

I thank you in advance for helping us assess our services. If you have any questions about the TechQual survey, visit:, or contact the Planning & Institutional Effectiveness Office at

Jerry DeSanto
VP Planning & CIO

P.s. – the “Respondent ID” should be different for each person’s email.

Talking with IR Staff: Feedback on Faculty Communication

4 01 2011

As devoted TAG followers know, we ran a survey last fall to get feedback from faculty members on their communication with IR.  As a counterpart to the survey, Jeremy and I had a chance to sit down with some of the IR front line (Technology Support Center) and second line support staff to get their feedback on their work relationship with faculty.

The attendees of the discussion were promised confidentiality, but they agreed that TAG could share a summary of our discussion with others on campus.  Please take a look and let us know if you have any thoughts on this issue after seeing it from both sides.