IT Matters Fall 2013

3 10 2013

The Fall 2013 issue of IT Matters is out. Highlights for faculty members:

  • Plans for the transition from Angel to Desire2Learn (p. 1, 11)
  • Wireless in outdoor spaces (p. 2)
  • CIO Jerry DeSanto on budget concerns and the BYOD – Bring Your Own Device – strategy (p. 3)
  • Thin client computers in computer labs (p. 4)
  • Windows XP end-of-life (p. 4)
  • R Number logins for desktop computers (p. 4)
  • Office 365 (p. 5)
  • IR Project Pipeline (p. 8)
  • Panopto lecture capture pilot (p. 12)
  • Classroom upgrades (p. 12)

Updates from IT Forum and IT Matters

1 03 2013

Just a few updates from recent Planning and Information Resources events and publications – PIR staff, let me know if I missed anything!

February 2013 IT Forum: PIR Tactical Plan

At the February 14th IT Forum, CIO Jerry DeSanto and AVP Robyn Dickinson gave a presentation (slides) on “Information Resources in Transition… Adding Value… Making a Difference” in which they discussed PIR’s progress on their 2010-2013 tactical plan and the thinking behind the 2013-2016 tactical plan. Robyn introduced the four parts of PIR’s vision: 1) Professional expertise, 2) Seamless technology environment, 3) Promote sound business practices, and 4) Enhance the learning experience. Points of particular interest for faculty members:

  • PIR will support innovation in teaching & learning by expanding lecture capture use and capabilities, exploring learning management tools, refining long-term plans for classroom technologies, and working with colleges (via deans and TAG) to identify and meet faculty and student needs.
  • PIR will be looking at big data and analytics in higher education – e.g., using analytics to attract students but also to measure learning.
  • IT will be addressing BYOD (bring your own device) trends as students and faculty access University services using a large variety of consumer devices/products.
  • PIR will be working on improving business practices and project management, not only in PIR itself but across the university. On the faculty side, we’ll see more information in the IT Service Catalog about what services are available (and how quickly).

IT Matters: Spring 2013

The Spring 2013 issue of IT Matters is out. Highlights for faculty members:

  • OIT staff completed upgrades to Brennan 228, 312, 314, 500, 502, and 509 over intersession (yay!). St. Thomas 207, 212, and 311 also got upgrades (yay!).
  • Google Chrome will be installed on University computers through KBOX (Tim has been waiting a long time for this!). There will be an IT Forum on Google Chrome on March 14th.
  • Remote Desktop Assistance is now here – using Viewfinity, Technology Support Center staff can share your desktop (with your permission) in order to help you resolve issues over the phone.
  • The Mobile Device Support Center has been updated with more documentation for Windows mobile devices.
  • IT Services and the Library set up some self-serve book scanners so that students can scan pages from articles or books to a USB drive or Google Docs or email.
  • Connie Wisdo has some notes on Footprints that show how you can log your own tickets (p. 1, 12).
  • Phil Erb wrote up an explanation of Active Directory and what it means for users (see p.6).


IT Matters – Spring 2012

25 05 2012

The Spring 2012 edition of IT Matters is now available. It’s got a lot of good news and progress to share, so it’s worth a read.

Items of particular interest to faculty:

  • Email and calendar migrations are pretty much complete (p. 1).  On the whole the transition went very smoothly, so our hats off to the email team!
  • Summary of the LMS Work Group process and decision (p. 2).
  • Upcoming issues in IT include Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and a new focus on risk management (p. 3).
  • Classroom mediation updates for the Science Center and Brennan (p. 4).
  • Royal Card upgrade to Blackboard Transact (p. 5).
  • VDI (aka thin client computing) is being piloted in the Library (p. 6).
  • ITDA is reworking the Math Placement System (p. 7).

The newsletter really makes it clear how many projects our IR staff members have been juggling.  From a TAG perspective, we’re gratified that IR staff members have worked hard to keep us in the loop and to seek faculty feedback on the projects that affect us and our teaching. We’re looking forward to 2012-2013 as another busy but productive year!

IT Matters Spring 2011

5 04 2011

The latest edition of IT Matters came out today and is available for download.  A few faculty-relevant highlights:

  • Security Manager Tony Maszeroski explains what the Identity and Access Management (IAM) initiative is all about.  The IAM initiative is the reason behind a lot of the smaller changes you’ll see happening on campus – e.g., your R number becoming your user ID, etc.
  • University of Scranton faculty and staff can get serious discounts on Microsoft Software like Office 2010 and a Windows 7 upgrade if they need the software on their home computers for work-related purposes.  Check out for pricing – just know that you’ll have to fax or email a copy of your Royal ID in order to complete your order.
  • There will be some major outages this summer from 7/28/11 through 8/2/11 as we go through an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) upgrade to a new operating system.  More details when we get closer to the migration date.
  • Three rooms in the Unified Science Center will have lecture capture capability.  If you’re interested in lecture capture, let TAG know – we need your input!
  • Deployment of Microsoft Forefront as a replacement for McAfee continues.  All campus PCs should be switched over by the end of May.  All faculty should get two warning emails with instructions in the week before their computer is scheduled for Forefront deployment.
  • Should funding be secured, campus wireless will be upgraded within the next six to ten months, starting with the dorms and followed by academic and administrative spaces.


Note: Post updated 4/5 at 3pm with a clarification on campus wireless from Network Infrastructure.

IT Matters Winter 2010 Issue

30 11 2010

The new issue of IR’s IT Matters newsletter is available in PDF format.

As in the last issue, many of the articles deal with issues we’ve already been discussing here on the TAG site, but there’s a few new items of interest:

  • See p. 1 for a note from VP Jerry DeSanto on the email transition.
  • P. 3 has a quick update from the Mobile Applications team about the upcoming University mobile app.
  • On p. 4, Jim Franceschelli reminds everyone that completed Microcomputer Budget Forms need to be in by December 13 — so faculty members need to get any requests to their department chairs ASAP!
  • Also on p. 4: Some notes about Microsoft Forefront, which will be replacing McAfee Anti-Virus.  IR is beginning deployment this December, and McAfee will be removed from University computers by May 2011 at the latest.
  • P. 6: The Computer Maintenance Center has set a goal of having all four computer technicians Apple Certified by the end of December 2010.  So far, two of the four (Glen and Karl) have passed their certification tests.
  • Standard user accounts are mentioned on p. 7, but no further details on what kinds of software we will and own’t be able to install on our own computers.
  • My.Scranton is being updated – there will be a brand new version out, with an “improved user interface,” around Fall 2011 (p. 9).
  • Vince Merkel explains thin clients on p. 11.
  • Gus Fernandez goes through the steps of how the Computer Security Incident Response Team responds to infected computers (p. 14).
  • Information Security Manager Tony Maszeroski has some pointers for us on phishing scams on p. 15.  This is a must-read for faculty — TAG has heard from IR that faculty members have fallen for phishing scams in the past.
  • On p. 16, Cal Krzywiec reports that the University is planning to increase our wireless coverage from 300 wireless access points to closer to 1000. Wahoo! And the wireless network will be upgraded to accommodate higher demand. Wahoo again!
  • There will be a new Employee Applications tab on my.scranton.

IT Matters Fall 2010 Issue

16 09 2010

The new issue of IR’s IT Matters newsletter is available in PDF format.

Many of the articles deal with issues we’ve already been discussing here on the TAG site, but there are a few important items relevant to faculty.  Some quick highlights (take a look at the newsletter for more details) —


  • Big news for Mac users — the U is now an Authorized Apple Service Center!  Glen Pace is our first Apple Certified Macintosh Technician.  The Laptop Support Center can now service University-owned faculty and staff Macs.
  • During the summer, over 58 faculty/staff computers were quarantined due to infections.  Make sure you’re browsing safely and that you’re backing up your files!
  • New antivirus software is on the way – Microsoft Forefront Client Security has been chosen as the replacement for McAfee.
  • Windows 7 deployment is in the works.
  • There’s a reminder about the new network authentication (aka CNAC deployment) that will be taking place.  See Jeremy’s post on this for all the details.
  • Files stored on Royal Drive are now encrypted so they’re more secure – but this is a back end change. As a user you won’t notice anything different.
  • We’ll soon be upgrading Royal Drive to a new Xythos server (before the end of fall semester).
  • You can use a tool called KeePass in Royal Drive to securely store a list of usernames and passwords.  Find a PDF of instructions here.
  • The Project Tracking system will slowly be streamlined with the use of Numara’s Change Management software.
  • IR is encouraging the campus to use Firefox instead of IE, except for accessing University systems.

Classroom Mediation:

  • OIT is slowly updating classroom technology.  Hyland 305, Leahy 1011, McGurrin 302, St. Thomas 209, and St. Thomas 563A were done over the summer.  You’ll notice a new control panel (that you can use to freeze images and mute sound).  You might also notice that any video you’re displaying from your laptop, smartphone, or iPad will be automatically formatted to accommodate the projector’s resolution.

Computer Labs:

  • OpenOffice is now on lab computers (along with Microsoft Office 2007).
  • Lab machines are now equipped with Deep Freeze, a program that restores the machine to a “fresh state” each time it’s rebooted.  Several labs got new equipment over the summer.
  • In addition to the standard software found in all computer labs, KSOM lab computers have the following software:  Eviews 7, Maple 14, MATLAB R2010, MS Office Pro, Minitab, MPL, MyITLab, Crystal Ball, Oracle SQL Plus, Peachtree Complete Accounting 2010, ProSeries 2009, Research Insight, SAP, PASW 18.0, Visual Studio, XLMiner, EconoMagic, Weka2, WireShark, and FrontPage.

IT Matters Spring 2010

7 04 2010

The Spring 2010 edition of the IT Matters newsletter is available for download.  This semester’s issue contains articles on virtualization, classroom sustainability, the information management advisory committee, and the conversion to Windows 7 and Office 2010, among other topics.