Royal Drive downtime on Friday!

9 06 2014

This notice from the Technology Support Center went out to all faculty and staff, but since it will have a major impact on most anyone who’s on campus working on Friday, I thought I’d repost:

Royal Drive (also known as Xythos) will be unavailable on Friday, June 13th, from 8 am until approximately 5 pm in order to upgrade and integrate it with Active Directory. We apologize for the inconvenience, however due to the necessity of the vendor, this must be scheduled during normal business hours. Please plan accordingly. If you have questions about this upgrade please contact the Technology Support Center at (570) 941-4357 or

New features will include:

  • Thumbnail view – shows a small image preview of the file
  • Quick view – launches a new screen with a larger view of the file and includes metadata
  • Mobile web view – allows you to manage, view, upload, share, and search documents within the Xythos repository
  • Bookmarks – moved to a link in the main menu; allows you to create a bookmark folder and add bookmarks to it
  • Folder tagging – now you can tag folders as well as files
  • Advanced upload for classified files – upload files and folders and have classification applied at the time of the upload
  • Workflow options – set automatic workflow tasks forwarding to other users while they are out-of-office
  • And more …..

The Technology Support Center
University of Scranton
(570) 941-4357

Summer network downtimes

2 06 2014

Just a heads-up for those who work on campus during the summer — there are some rolling Saturday morning network downtimes planned for university buildings (residential and administrative) over the next few weeks. All are Saturdays, 8am-12 noon and will affect wireless as well as wired phone and computer network connections.

See the calendar (PDF) for a full schedule, but here are a few of the planned downtimes for academic buildings:

  • O’Hara — June 7
  • McGurrin – June 14
  • Hyland — June 21
  • WML — June 28
  • CLP — July 5
  • STT — July 12 and July 19 (July 12 is STT-East, including Harper-McGinnis; July 19 is STT-West)
  • Long/Byron — July 19
  • Brennan — July 26
  • LSC — August 2 and August 9
  • IMBM — August 16
  • Loyola Hall — August 16

And here’s the announcement from the downtime-notices listserv:

Downtime Notices:
1) Purpose
Upgrade network-switch software
2) Systems Affected:
Wireless, IP-phones & computers connected in these buildings
3) Downtime Window:
Saturdays from 8AM to noon for administrative buildings or Monday-Thursday prior to 7AM for residence-halls per the attached building schedule
4) Point of Contact:
Steve Gilbody
Office:  941-6193, Cell: 335-3926

Power Shut Down – Friday!

14 04 2014

Reposting from an all-faculty email. If you’re planning to work over break, and/or if you’re running any critical computing systems, please note:

April 11, 2014

Faculty, Staff, and Students:

On Good Friday, April 18th between 6:00 am and 12:00 noon the electricity to the entire campus will be SHUT OFF to perform needed repairs to the University owned 12,470 volt electrical distribution equipment.  Each year the Facilities department performs a three day preventive maintenance inspection of our electrical system.  We have been fortunate over the past few years that only minor problems have been located and the need to shut down the entire campus was not needed.  This year, however, we have found a few items that need to be corrected.  Good Friday, April 18th and as stated above we will SHUT DOWN THE POWER TO THE ENTIRE CAMPUS FROM 6:00 AM TO 12:00 NOON.

It is recommended that personal computers be turned off when you leave campus for the Easter holiday whether that is Thursday, April 17 or earlier.  Any other sensitive electronic equipment in your areas that does not need to be running should also be turned off and unplugged if it can be done easily.  These are just good precautions to take when you know power is being turn off.

Facilities staff, local electrical contractors, University Police, network services, and other campus staff will assist in shutting the campus down and then turning it back on to make sure heating systems, ac systems, lighting, elevators, security systems, fire alarm systems, refrigeration systems, data centers, card swipes, and the University network comes back on.

If you have a concern about the power being shutdown in your area for this period of time, please contact my office at 570-941-6267 or send an email explaining the concern and we will make every effort to try to accommodate your request if possible.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this very important matter.

Buildings not affected by the power shut down are: Adlin, NRCI, Houlihan, Girl Scout House, Smurfit Art Center, Wayne, Cambria, Fitz Field, J. Joyce Shop, Tioga, Fayette, Liva, and 314-316 N. Irving.

Mark Murphy

Royal Drive – Off Campus Access restored

19 08 2013

Yay! Update from the my.scranton portal, posted on Friday afternoon:

Off-campus access to Royal Drive has been restored. University members having access to Royal Drive should now be able to access their files and folders from anywhere using either the Royal Drive client or through the portal. Please report any problems to the Technology Support Center at (570) 941-4357 or Although the Technology Support Center will be closed this weekend (Friday & Saturday, Aug 17 & 18), a staff member will be monitoring both email and voice mail. Thank you!

Royal Drive – Off Campus Access

31 07 2013

Update as of August 16th: Fixed!



Notification from the TSC, sent out via email yesterday at 4:20pm:

Access to RoyalDrive from off-campus, via both the portal and the Xythos client, has been disabled as of 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 due to a vulnerability.  Alternative methods for off-campus access are being developed and tested and will be made available as soon as possible.  If you are currently working off campus and need access to files on RoyalDrive, the server, via both the portal and the Xythos client will be made available to you from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 31, 2013.

More information will be provided via my.scranton portal announcements.   If you have further questions, you may contact the Technology Support Center at 570.941.4357 or

[Update as of August 1: ]

Off-campus access to Royal Drive will continue to be restricted until the vendor releases a patch for the vulnerability. Employees having a critical business need to access Royal Drive from off-campus through the end of next week may request alternative access by submitting an email message to with a valid business justification. If you have questions, please contact the Technology Support Center at (570) 941-4357.

my.scranton downtime at 4:30pm today

7 11 2012

Just got this notice — PIR is working on myScranton portal issues this afternoon:

Sungard has recommended some configuration changes for the myScranton portal that necessitate a restart. This will occur today at 4:30 PM. Expected downtime is less than 30 minutes.

TAG Meeting Notes 2/9/12

13 02 2012

TAG held its first Spring 2012 meeting last Thursday.

Standing Committees:


  • IRAC (the Information Resources Advisory Council) is meeting this Thursday and will be discussing the service catalog.

Learning Management System (LMS) Work Group

  • The LMS Work Group has chosen three vendors – Blackboard, MoodleRooms, and Desire2Learn – to bring to campus for demonstrations.
  • The three candidates have been asked to focus their demonstrations based on the Work Group’s list of top desired features, which included feedback from the faculty survey distributed by CTLE in December and January.  The faculty’s top desired features were mobile access and grading.
  • All faculty are invited and encouraged to attend the demonstrations. If you attend, you’ll receive a list of the top desired features so that you can mark it with your comments and concerns.
  • The group aims to choose a vendor by the end of the semester. Next fall, faculty will be able to choose whether they’d like to try the new LMS or stick with Angel – the two systems will be run in parallel for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Mobile Apps Work Group

  • The Mobile Apps work group met on Wednesday, February 8.
  • New mobile development will be in the form of mobile web pages – accessible either via the University’s mobile app or directly through a user’s mobile browser.
  • The February 8 meeting focused on identifying the top priorities for mobile development.  Mobile access to the Learning Management System (LMS) and Banner data were ranked highly by most of the work group.
  • Public Relations will be sending out a survey to users and non-users of the University app to get feedback on what users want to see in the app.
  • Full minutes will be posted when they’re are available: 2012-02-08-Mobile Apps Working Group Minutes

Luminis Work Group

  • This spring, an upgrade is planned for Luminis, the software behind the my.scranton portal.
  • Kristen and Anne Marie met with Joe Casabona from IR to provide faculty/staff feedback on the my.scranton portal.

Previous Action Items

Incidental Use Policy

  • TAG continues to work with IR to provide faculty feedback on new drafts of the Incidental Use Policy.
  • Jeremy explained that the policy clarifies the responsibilities of faculty, staff, and students when it comes to technology use. It does not add new restrictions to faculty technology use.
  • Jeremy and Kristen will bring this draft of the policy to Faculty Senate on 2/10/12 for discussion and further faculty input.
  • This policy is one part of a multiple-policy Information Security compliance program.   The Code of Responsible Computing will essentially be broken up into smaller, more adaptable policies.
  • The next part of the compliance program will be the Privacy & Confidentiality Statement, to be discussed at the February 13 IMAC meeting. IR has invited TAG to provide feedback on this proposed policy as well.

Academic Technology Plan

  • Anne Marie reported that other priorities have prevented progress on the Academic Technology Plan.
  • She will work with Hal on identifying the direction and goals of the plan, which are amorphous at this point.

Faculty Directory

  • We revisited the question of listing more than one department for a single faculty member in Banner.  This problem is not going away, since new faculty in Women’s Studies will be joint appointments.
  • Anne Marie reported that this issue seems to be dead in the water – there doesn’t seem to be a viable solution for adding another field to Banner.  It’s surprisingly difficult to create a new field in Banner, and when Banner is upgraded to a new version, custom fields aren’t carried through.  The field also would need to be maintained.
  •  We will revisit this conversation with HR in the future.
  • A short term solution may be a faculty photo directory that Anne Marie is working on with Maria Landis.  The directory will include portraits of all faculty members as well as their department listings, etc.

Computerized Testing

  • The new Learning Management System (LMS) may be able to provide a secure testing environment for computerized testing.  Eugeniu is looking at this.

Email Transition

  • January’s email transition seemed to go smoothly for most faculty members.  Most of the faculty have successfully migrated – only a few outliers (who requested later migration dates) remain.  Many thanks to the IT Services staff for quickly answering lots of questions from Kristen and other faculty members.
  • Training courses are still available for faculty who want assistance getting used to the new Live@Edu environment.  Next Thursday’s IT Forum will include tips and training for Office web apps and SkyDrive.
  • Eugeniu recommended using OneNote, synced to SkyDrive, for notetaking.
  • SkyDrive storage space can be used for pretty much anything, but any institutional documents that contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII) must be stored on Royal Drive.

Social Media Guidelines

  • At a recent meeting of the Committee on University Image and Promotion (CUIP), Public Relations distributed a new draft of the Social Media Guidelines, now integrated into the University Web Guidelines.   TAG gave feedback on an earlier draft of the Social Media Guidelines, much of which is incorporated into the new version.
  • Kristen will post the new guidelines for review by TAG members and other faculty.

New Incidents

  • Faculty should be careful to log out of Live@Edu and close their browser at the end of a session. Dave pointed out that if you don’t log out of Live@Edu on a shared computer, another user can access your account simply by going to Hotmail (also owned by Microsoft).

New Business

TAG policy workflow

  • The Incidental Use policy so far has been a good case study for how IR and TAG can work together on policy issues to address faculty needs and concerns.  We got to give feedback on the policy language and will present the draft language to Faculty Senate before the policy starts to go through the full governance process.
  • We’re working on solidifying this process with IR and the Faculty Senate Academic Support committee.

Content Management System

  • The transition from Tiger to the CMS server went smoothly.
  • So far about ten faculty members have approached the CTLE and developed a CMS website.  The process isn’t ideal – e.g., instead of creating a new page a user had to copy an existing page, etc.

Outage Notifications

  • Jeremy suggested that there should be a feed or web page detailing for each enterprise service 1) when the next scheduled downtime is and 2) what the status is of any unplanned outages.
  • Jim said there used to be a page like this, but it was hard to maintain.  It can be done, but where should it rank on the priority list?
  • We will keep this in mind and try to figure out how high a priority it would be for faculty.


  • Footprints is working well as an internal tool for IR. Not many users are creating their own tickets, but it helps to track issues internally.
  • The knowledge base hasn’t been used much yet, and it’s somewhat hard to find.  We discussed the idea of posting a direct link to the knowledge base from the portal, after the Luminis upgrade.

Having run out of time, we adjourned. The next TAG meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6, from 10:00am-11:15am in WML305.


Updated 4/24/2012 with a link to the 02/08/2012 Mobile Apps Group meeting minutes

TAG Meeting Notes 12/1/11

2 12 2011

[Updated 12/08/11 with links to additional information]

TAG met yesterday to catch up on all our initiatives. Here’s the latest:

  • The Learning Management System (LMS) Work Group has formed and will begin meetings this week.
  • The Mobile Apps work group met at the beginning of November. Meeting minutes are available (PDF). The meeting was mostly dedicated to getting everyone caught up on the existing mobile app and mobile website.  The minutes indicate that any new mobile development will occur within the existing University app (made by Straxis), but this point seemed undecided during the meeting itself. Kristen is seeking clarification from group leader Connie Wisdo on this question.

Sandy Pesavento (education) has withdrawn from the group due to time conflicts, but Andy Berger (physics) has volunteered to serve as a faculty representative along with Ben Bishop and Kristen Yarmey.

  • The Novel Pedagogy Group has received funding from the College of Arts and Sciences to design a mediated classroom that will accommodate the new pedagogies they are exploring. The group is working with Jim and OIT to mediate the room, which is intended to be a model of what the University could do should it prove effective.
  • Members of TAG met with IR in early November to discuss the results of last summer’s TechQual survey. Kristen will post the results and highlights of the discussion on this site under a separate title.  We’ve been asked not to share the results, but we did post a summary of the discussion.
  • IR invited TAG to provide feedback on a rough draft of a new Incidental Use Policy during last month’s IMAC meeting. Jeremy will post specifics about the policy on the TAG site under a separate title.
  • IR is in the process of hiring a new manager to coordinate the work of the Office of Instructional Technology.
  • Progress is being made on the Academic Technology Plan. Anne Marie interviewed several faculty members and administrators to get a sense of what the Plan should include.
  • Faculty directory. At our last meeting TAG discussed the faculty directory’s inability to list more than one department affiliation for a single faculty member. Anne Marie discussed this concern in a Banner meeting earlier this week.  There are several similar issues with Banner not being able to describe employee designations (e.g., emeritus, program director, department chair…).  It seems like the University needs to have a larger conversation about data storage and sharing – Banner wasn’t really designed to handle all of these designations. Anne Marie will look into how other universities handle data sharing.
  • Computerized testing. Teresa spoke with colleagues at Villanova University and found out that they use Par software to conduct secure, controlled online testing.  The downside to Par is that it doesn’t integrate with Villanova’s LMS (Blackboard). Jim will look into Par to see what options we might be able to provide for computerized testing on campus.
  • Security Awareness Training. The email announcement for IR’s security awareness training program went out early by accident. All faculty are encouraged to complete the training program – it’s  a series of short videos, totaling around 60 minutes.  The idea is to expand a general user’s knowledge and understanding of security issues.  See Jeremy’s post from 11/14/11 for details.
  • We talked briefly about the Oracle outage on 11/10 and the wireless outage on 11/16. IR has an incident policy now that indicates how and what information about outages should be disseminated.  During the Oracle outage, information was displayed on my.scranton showing alternate ways for users to access Angel and email. RoyalDrive was not included, but this has been fixed.  Jim is meeting with the rest of the IR team this week to figure out what happened during the 11/16 outage. His goal is for IR to be able to send out early notifications when something is happening.
  • The email transition is a go! The email team itself transitioned this week. Students will be transitioned at the end of December after exams. We discussed the best time to convert faculty, and the best option seems to be January.  We’ll transition in batches, by department. Notifications with more details will be sent out on paper and via email, but here’s essentially what will happen:
    1. You will get email notification in advance, and a final email notice the day of the transition. If your department’s migration is happening at a time that will not work for you, you should contact IR right away to reschedule.2. Your email account will move to Live @ EDU during the night.  Server email will be migrated automatically.

    3. When you log in to my.scranton the next day, you’ll see a new tab with instructions for accessing your new account through the web portal, and instructions for migrating local mail [with Transend Migrator].  You will also need to update your mobile devices and any other email clients (Gmail, MacMail) with new POP3 information.

    4. Your email address will be You will still receive email sent to your existing email (, but you can’t send out email from that address, so you will need to update it in email listservs, etc.

    5. Training will be available that week to help you get started.  We asked Jim if short screencapture tutorials could be made available as well.

    6. Calendars won’t be migrated until later in the spring.

    7. Office 2010 will be pushed out around the same time.

Communicating about Campus-wide outages

17 11 2011

Last night, internet connectivity on campus was down between around 7:00pm to about 9:15pm.  With the network down, the only way to find out what was happening was by calling the TSC.  Jeremy and I called the TSC at different times, and we got different information about when the network was expected to be back up.

While there weren’t many faculty on campus at the time, we thought it might be a good idea to discuss communication about campus-wide outages.

In situations like this, what’s the best way for IR to update faculty about what’s happening?

Please let us know what you think.

(Many thanks again to Tim and Cal for the rescue operation!)

My.scranton Outage Thurs AM

13 09 2011

There’s a post up on the my.scranton portal about a brief outage on Thursday morning:

The appprd (production) database will be unavailable Thurs
Sept 15, 2011 from 6:30am to 8:30am.

Systems Affected:
appprd (production) database, MyScranton, Banner INB, Self-Service (SSB), WorkFlow, and all other applications that connect to appprd production database