TAG Meeting Notes 2014-04-09

14 04 2014

TAG Meeting April 9, 2014 12:00pm-1:00pm

Attendees:
Jeremy Brees, Teresa Conte, Paul Cutrufello, Kim Daniloski, Dave Dzurec, Tara Fay, Jim Franceschelli, Eugeniu Grigorescu, Katie Iacocca, Andrew LaZella, Lori Nidoh, Sandy Pesavento, Kristen Yarmey

TAG members thanked Eugeniu and the CTLE for sponsoring lunch for our meeting (and for hosting us!).

1. Brief Reports/Updates

Desire2Learn (Eugeniu)

CTLE and IR will jointly host Desire2Learn Day on April 24, 2014 (more details in all-faculty email). The event will include Open Office Hours with D2L staff, workshops on using blogs, social media, Wiggio, and Panopto with D2L, and a presentation by faculty member George Gomez (Biology) on his experiences piloting D2L in Spring 2014. All faculty are invited. Most of the sessions are walk-in, but please register if you plan to attend the luncheon.

Eugeniu also reminded TAG members that faculty should back up any student data (including grades, discussion forms, and dropbox submissions) in Angel that they wish to keep. Step by step instructions have been emailed out, but CTLE staff will also hold workshops on this during Senior Week for anyone who needs assistance (see CTLE’s workshop calendar for dates/times). Student access to Angel will be turned off as of May 30, but faculty will have access until July 31. After that, data stored in Angel will no longer be available.

Identity Finder automated scans (Kristen)

Kristen has been working with Adam Edwards and Scott Finlon in Information Security to answer faculty questions about Identity Finder automated scans. Kristen wrote up an Identity Finder FAQ that she will update after getting final confirmation on a few questions from Information Security.  Kim mentioned that her department also had questions about performance and scheduling. Kristen will accompany Dave to the next Faculty Senate meeting to invite further questions or concerns.

WordPress (Kristen)

Following the discussion of WordPress at our March TAG meeting, Kristen and Dave met with Interim CIO Robyn Dickinson and Jim Franceschelli for a TAG update. Robyn and Jim explained some of the time constraints on IR staff members. TAG, the Library, and CTLE will continue to work with IR on this question. In the meantime, a faculty request for a WordPress blog was approved (thank you!). Jim said that WordPress was not yet an option in the Technology Support Center’s Footprints Service Catalog (tsc.scranton.edu), but he will follow up on this.

PR Department/Program Website Initiative (Dave, Teresa, Sandy, and Lori)

TAG members Dave, Sandy, and Teresa attended a meeting of the Committee on University Image and Promotion (CUIP) on March 17 to discuss PR’s department and program website initiative (see Teresa’s notes from that meeting, with additional comments from Dave).

Vendor Converge Consulting has been hired to assist in the preparation of content of about 50 program and department web pages, selected at that meeting. (See PR’s project announcement letter for a full update and list of departments/programs.) Each program/department has been asked to identify a representative who will meet with Converge during their campus visit on April 23-24. Lori noted that as of April 9, all but 2 representative slots had been filled. Dave emphasized that departments and programs will still have ultimate control over the content on these academic pages.

2. Items for Discussion

TAG Communication with Deans (Dave and Kristen)

At the invitation of Dean of the Library and Information Fluency Charles Kratz, Dave and Kristen met with members of the Provosts’ Advisory Board on April 3 to follow up on recent discussions of WordPress (the Interim Provost herself was not present due to the Kane Competition). Charles proposed that formal lines of communication be established between the Deans and TAG, to keep the Deans informed about academic technology issues. The other Deans in attendance (Conniff, Mensah, and Welch) agreed, noting that they would like to be better prepared for meetings about academic technology with an understanding how the technology could impact their colleges. Charles suggested that TAG meet once a semester with the Provosts’ Advisory Board for information-sharing.

Kristen and Dave shared this proposal with TAG members, with no voiced opposition. Kristen further proposed that TAG invite the Deans to contact a TAG member from their college to accompany them at meetings about academic technology in the future. TAG members agreed; Kristen will pass this invitation back to the Provosts’ Advisory Board.

TAG Membership and Leadership for 2014-2015 (Dave and Kristen)

As previously discussed, Kristen will step down as TAG co-chair at the end of the semester. Teresa Conte (Nursing) volunteered to serve in this slot (thank you!). There were no other candidates, so Teresa will start a two-year term as TAG co-chair in Fall 2014. Kristen will work with Teresa during the Summer to ensure a smooth transition. Dave will continue as co-chair in Fall 2014, and Andrew LaZella (Philosophy) will serve in Spring 2015 while Dave is on sabbatical.

Kristen asked TAG members to let her know if they do not plan to serve in 2014-2015. She also invited new members to join if interested.

Kristen and Dave will nominate Paul Cutrufello (Exercise Science) to serve as TAG’s Senate liaison for 2014-2015.

3. New Business

Royal News feedback (Lori)

PR is seeking feedback on Royal News, the weekly email/web newsletter for University students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. Lori asked TAG how best to solicit feedback from faculty. TAG members suggested coordinating a focus group with the Provost’s Office (perhaps as a Brown Bag session) as well as offering an online survey. Several TAG members noted that they liked Royal News and had no complaints or concerns. If PR puts out an online survey, Kristen will post it to the TAG site. Any faculty members who wish to share thoughts or comments (or participate in a focus group) on Royal News are encouraged to email royalnews@scranton.edu.

Heartbleed (Kristen)

Kristen shared Information Security’s update and recommendations regarding Heartbleed, a major OpenSSL vulnerability that has affected user privacy and security on many websites. The University’s main authentication service (CAS) was not vulnerable to this issue, and other servers and campus services are now all up to date. Information Security recommends, however, that users change their passwords for Internet sites and (especially if you reuse passwords) for my.scranton. Jim warned against reusing passwords and recommended KeePass as a password management tool.

IT Services Updates (Jim)

Jim provided a few brief updates on IT Services projects relevant to faculty:

  • Windows XP — IT Services aims to have all faculty desktop machines upgraded to Windows 7 before the end of the Spring semester. However, some faculty members aren’t returning calls to schedule and update. Kristen asked TAG members to remind their colleagues to respond to IT Services scheduling efforts.
  • Royal Cards — Old Royal Cards will expire on May 1, but there are still many faculty who have not gotten updated cards. TAG members will remind their colleagues to visit the Technology Support Center before the end of April to avoid being locked out of buildings, etc.
  • Internet Explorer 10 will be pushed out via KBOX before the end of the semester (upgrading from IE 8). Chrome and Firefox installations are currently up to date.
  • Java 7 has now been approved. Jim encouraged faculty to complete these updates in order to avoid security vulnerabilities or software incompatibility.
  • Funding for a campus-wide license for Panopto (a hosted lecture capture service) has been approved! IT Services is working with CTLE to integrate Panopto with Desire2Learn. TAG will work with IT Services in 2014-2015 to expand the availability of the service on campus. Kristen suggested that if IT Services knows approximately how much it will cost to add Panopto to a classroom, perhaps faculty members could apply for CTLE Technology Grants (or other funding) to speed implementation in their building/college.

As a follow-up question, Teresa asked Jim if student photographs could be integrated into Desire2Learn (for class rosters, seating charts, etc). Jim promised to look into this request.  [Post-meeting update from Jim (via email): “Unfortunately, I’ve been told this isn’t possible…  D2L does not have a provision to include photos in an automated upload from Banner. The D2L informed us that there was no way to do a bulk load of photos into D2L.  The only way to upload a photo into a student’s profile is for the student to upload it themselves. D2L is coming to campus later this month.  It might be a good question to broach to them… maybe we can get it on D2L’s development list.”]

4. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 1:00pm. TAG’s final meeting for Spring 2014 will be Wednesday, May 7 from 12pm-1pm in WML305. Network Engineer Calvin Krzywiec will join us to discuss IR’s drafted strategy for accommodating the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend. Lunch will be provided (thanks to Library Dean Charles Kratz).





TAG Meeting Notes 2014-02-12

14 02 2014

TAG Meeting February 12, 2014 12:00pm-1:00pm

Attendees:
Jeremy Brees, Tim Cannon, Paul Cutrufello, Kim Daniloski, Dave Dzurec, Eugeniu Grigorescu, Katie Iacocca, Andrew LaZella, Lori Nidoh, Kristen Yarmey

1. Brief Reports

Acceptable Use Policy

CIO Jerry DeSanto announced on February 6 that the new Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources Policy had been approved by the President’s Cabinet. The new policy is an update to the old Code of Responsible Computing. Many thanks to Jim Franceschelli and Dave Dzurec for co-chairing the committee charged with revision.

PR Department/Program Website initiative

Back in late November, Dave, Kim, and Kristen (along with Hal Baillie, Darla Germeroth, and Ray Schwenk) met with Gerry Zaboski and Lori Nidoh in PR to discuss department and program websites. Also in on the meeting (phoning in from Cedar Rapids) were representatives from Converge, a vendor that PR has hired to help us with initial planning and updates for departmental websites and academic program pages (note: *not* course catalog content/program descriptions, which require formal review).

The main goal from a faculty perspective is to develop content for department/program pages that is consistent across the University website and does a better job of communicating what it is that we do — reflecting the quality of our programs/departments, “telling the story” of the student educational experience, etc. (In 2012-2013 TAG had prepared a proposal for improving and maintaining department/program websites that advocated for additional support for this task.)

Briefly, Converge plans to 1) outline/inventory needed content, 2) do some search engine optimization research (e.g., what terms do users type in to Google when they’re looking for nursing programs?), 3) develop a draft template for page content, 4) get faculty feedback via a campus visit and questionnaire, 5) draft some copy, and 6) help us prepare a long term strategy. Their main output would be a consistent template for department/program pages, and they will create content for up to 50 department/program pages (though the institution has the final say on content). Gerry explained that this way we can get a lot of updates done quickly.

PR and Academic Affairs would like to bring together a steering committee or task force to coordinate this project, with work beginning in March. Gerry has broached this topic with the Committee on University Image and Promotion (CUIP), which includes faculty representatives.  After the November meeting, Kristen and Dave had asked TAG members to identify faculty who might be interested in serving on such a steering committee. Teresa, Sandy, and Dave then volunteered.  However, Lori noted that it has not yet been decided which program/department pages will be selected as the focus of the project, and she was not sure who will make that decision. We agreed that once these programs/departments have been selected, TAG will support the faculty representatives on CUIP in trying to recruit faculty volunteers to participate.

Desire2Learn

Desire2Learn went live in January, and so far the transition seems to be going smoothly (see the LMS transition page for details). About 30 faculty members opted to begin teaching in Desire2Learn in Spring 2014. Courses that are being taught in Desire2Learn have been disabled in ANGEL so that students don’t see them in both places.  Workshops and video tutorials are available for faculty.

Eugeniu reported that there was an issue with merging courses that CTLE wasn’t able to resolve in time for this semester, but it will be resolved in time for summer and fall courses. Another issue has been reported with links – Firefox and Chrome are problematic when trying to display unsecure pages within secure frames.

Mobile Apps

IR’s Mobile Apps feedback group met in December (pptx). Sandy attended as a faculty representative. The group reviewed the University’s current apps — ANGEL Mobile, eAccounts (for RoyalCard), the Straxis app, Student Services app, RoyalSync, and Desire2Learn (which also has two special purpose apps – Binder and Grader) — and discussed what additional features should be mobile accessible.  The Straxis app will be retired at the end of the year and replaced by a locally developed web app for the fall 2014 semester.

Royal Card

Faculty are reminded to visit the TSC to get a new RoyalCard. Take your old RoyalCard or a driver’s license, and you will be photographed.

Windows XP to 7 Conversions

(Jim was unable to attend the meeting but sent an update on this via email.) IT Services is continuing to work on converting all remaining Windows XP machines to Windows 7. Faculty machines are the current priority, with a goal of finishing all faculty conversions by the end of May.  IT Services will contact users to schedule a time and date for conversion — the process takes about two hours.  Dave noted that the history department was almost entirely converted and had no issues.

II. Items for Discussion

Specialized Software/Computer Lab Survey Results

Kristen is still working on putting together the survey results and apologized to TAG members for the delay.

WordPress Network

Kristen reported that at least one additional faculty request for a site on the campus WordPress network (sites.scranton.edu) had been turned down. There seems to be a continuing need among faculty and students for academic web space, particularly since the academic server (academic.scranton.edu) was decommissioned.

At our September 2013 meeting, TAG had requested that IR draft language on service levels for WordPress. Kristen asked Jim for an update on this issue. Jim was unable to attend this meeting but sent an update via email, excerpted here:

We met this past fall and have consulted with the CTLE on various support issues.  Unfortunately at this time, we cannot extend the wordpress offerings.  Looking at the current issues at hand – especially with the CTLE and the conversion to D2L – extending support won’t happen until January 2015 at the earliest. I know there is growing demand and many faculty want to use wordpress as an alternative web site.  Unfortunately the supported options are within the CMS.  D2L does have options for blogging and discussion boards.  I think TAG had offered to look at it from a faculty perspective – any news back on that?

Eugeniu explained that CTLE was unable to provide assistance to IR on support for WordPress at the same time as they are supporting faculty and students during the transition to Desire2Learn.

Kristen asked TAG members for their reactions. The majority agreed that we would like to keep advocating for WordPress but acknowledge that Desire2Learn should take priority at this time. Dave suggested that we revisit the question again in January 2015 as Jim indicated.

III. New Business

Vice President for Planning/CIO

Fr. Quinn announced in December 2013 that Jerry DeSanto would be stepping down as Vice President for Planning/CIO. Associate Vice President Robyn Dickinson will serve as Interim. While the search for a new Provost is taking priority, Dave and Kristen noted that they planned to volunteer TAG’s input (either formal or informal) in any upcoming search for the CIO position.

TAG Leadership for 2014-2015

Kristen will be rotating off as TAG co-chair at the end of Spring 2014. Dave will continue as co-chair for 2014-2015, but will be on sabbatical in Spring 2015.  They asked for one or two volunteers (preferably but not necessarily including a Senator) to serve a two-year term as co-chair. Andrew volunteered to serve in Spring 2015 while Dave is away. We are still in need of another volunteer to serve the full year.

IV. Demonstrations

Adam Edwards and Scott Finlon from Information Security came to the second half of the TAG meeting for two demonstrations.

Firstly, they demonstrated the administrative side of Identity Finder. TAG members have been piloting automated Identity Finder scans, which are running each Friday at noon. Identify Finder scans the user’s computer for any personally identifiable information (PII) in unprotected files. The Information Security Office receives reports that indicate the level of risk for that machine. Anticipating concerns about privacy and confidentiality, Adam and Scott showed a sample report. The report shows the number of hits and the location of each file with hits, but the actual information is obscured. Based off of these reports, Adam then works one-on-one with users to either delete the files or move them to a more secure location. Adam said that he is working with staff with the most risk first (e.g., people with 1,000 hits or more).

Secondly, Adam and Scott demonstrated using TrueCrypt (free open-source disk encryption software) to encrypt files or folders that contain confidential information (such as human subject research data). They have already shown this tool (along with another encryption tool in Identity Finder) to the IRB and would like to make it a recommended standard for campus use. [Update 2014-07-02: Support for TrueCrypt has been discontinued, so Information Security now recommends using 7Zip for encrypting sensitive or confidential data.] TAG members did not bring up any concerns, so we will move forward on this. Adam will share brief written instructions, and we will share them with the faculty as a recommended practice for confidential data.

Adam and Scott would like to start automated Identity Finder scans on faculty computers beginning with departments that would *not* have any confidential subject data stored no faculty desktops. We were not sure that such a distinction could be easily made, but TAG will try to work with department chairs to determine which departments might be willing to begin scans. Scott will send Kristen a list of departments as they appear in Identity Finder (based on Active Directory groups) as a starting point.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 1:10pm. TAG’s next meeting will be Wednesday, March 12 from 12pm-1pm in WML305.





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)




TAG Meeting Notes 2013-10-02

3 10 2013

TAG Meeting October 2, 2013 2:00pm-2:50pm

Attendees:

Jeremy Brees, Tim Cannon, Kim Daniloski, Dave Dzurec, Tara Fay, Jim Franceschelli, Eugeniu Grigorescu, Andrew LaZella, Sandy Pesavento, Kristen Yarmey

Mary Goldschmidt, newly appointed Faculty Development Specialist in CTLE, sat in on our meeting to introduce herself to TAG members and gain familiarity with TAG-related projects.

1. Brief Reports

Desire2Learn (Eugeniu)

Staff members in CTLE and ITDA continue to develop an implementation plan for our switch from Angel to Desire2Learn. More details are forthcoming, but here’s what we know so far:

  • Desire2Learn will be in place in January and available for Spring 2014 teaching
  • By default, 2 years’ worth of past courses will be converted from Angel to Desire2Learn (academic years 2011-2012, 2012-2013). Faculty will be able to request that older courses be converted (e.g., if you’ve used Angel to teach a course that only runs every three years).
  • Desire2Learn support staff will do training for on campus trainers and administrators.
  • In mid-November, there will be 2 introduction sessions for faculty.
  • CTLE will be working with a few faculty members to pilot courses. (Eugeniu will let us know who.)
  • Angel will be “turned off” in May 2014 (that is, it won’t be available for teaching), but it will still be available for content retrieval until September 2014.

Let TAG know if you have questions or requests related to the LMS transition and we’ll pass them along to CTLE and ITDA.

Identity Finder (Kristen)

At our September 2013 meeting, TAG members volunteered to serve as pilot participants for faculty implementation of automated Identity Finder scans (prior to full rollout). Automated scans were to begin at noon on Friday, September 19. TAG members reported no indication that scans had taken place, but Jim explained that users are not necessarily notified by the Identity Finder application when a scan is running and that users cannot see their own scan results. Kristen will contact Adam Edwards in Information Security for clarification on this point.

Kristen continues to work with Adam on preventing Identity Finder scans of confidential human subject research data or client files. Adam met with Joe Dreisbach and University Counsel Rob Farrell for additional discussions about managing sensitive research data. Adam reported that Joe would meet with the IRB.

Automated scans do not apply to faculty members using Mac or Linux machines.

Active Directory – R Number Log in (Jim)

On September 25, Kristen and Dave met with Jim, Jerry DeSanto (VP of Planning and CIO), Robyn Dickinson (AVP of Planning and Information Management), and Lorraine Mancuso (Director of Project Management) to discuss IR’s current and planned projects for this academic year. There were three major projects of particular interest to or impact on faculty: implementation of Active Directory log-in for faculty desktops, phasing out of Windows XP, and a new lecture capture pilot.

Jim reviewed IR’s plan for converting faculty desktop PCs to Active Directory login – which on the user side essentially means that we will log into our desktops using our R numbers, as we do for lab or classroom computers. The conversion just began and will roll out over campus through the rest of Fall 2013, scheduled by department. Users will get email notifications one week prior to their scheduled conversion, as well as an email reminder the day before conversion that will include instructions. Triage teams of IR staff members will be available to assist users.

This change will only apply to Windows PCs (XP and Windows 7). The change does not apply to Macs, laptops, or tablets. Connections to networked printers, copiers, etc will be maintained.

Faculty members in Psychology were scheduled for the first rollout (with IR staff, since they are all in AMH) on September 30, but an unexpected issue delayed the conversion. Tim reported that this was confusing for users who tried to log in with their R numbers as they had been instructed to do and were not able to access their machines.

Windows XP End of Life (Jim)

Microsoft is discontinuing support for Windows XP in April 2014. There are about 1,000 XP machines on campus at this time – about 400 of them in Academic Affairs (including faculty but also adjuncts, academic staff, etc). IR plans to update all remaining XP machines to Windows 7, though not all of them will be completed by April 2014. For faculty desktops with XP, the conversion will involve downtime. Jim said that conversions are being scheduled with the academic calendar in mind, and once the schedule is released, faculty will be able to request alternative dates for conversion if the assigned date conflicts with teaching or research. Training on Windows 7 is available from Jack Williams.

Lecture Capture (Jim)

Last year, MediaSite lecture capture systems were installed in two rooms in LSC. TAG members Jeremy Sepinsky and Tara Fay were among the faculty who piloted the technology. This year, there was increased demand for lecture capture in LSC, but it was not feasible for IR to install MediaSite in additional classrooms, since each MediaSite installation requires its own, local server.

This year, faculty in Nursing and Counseling are piloting a different, cloud-based tool for lecture capture – Panopto. Feedback so far is positive, and installation is much easier and faster. At the end of the semester, IR will seek feedback from the pilot faculty to decide how to extend lecture capture services on campus.  TAG member Sandy Pesavento will keep tabs on faculty feedback. Kristen suggested that CTLE arrange a Faculty-to-Faculty workshop or demonstration for Panopto.

Angel Support (Dave)

The Faculty Senate executive committee reported concerns from at least one faculty member about the availability of support for Angel during off hours (nights and weekends). Jim said that faculty can contact the Technology Support Center over the weekend (9am-5pm Saturday, 12pm-10pm Sunday) for support. On Saturdays, students work the TSC but can escalate a major issue to staff. On Sundays, a staff member is present.

3. Items for Discussion

Budget Priorities – Software and Labs

IR administrators are preparing contingency plans should budget cuts be required for the future. Two areas that may be at risk for cuts are specialized software licenses and computer labs. In order to minimize the impact on teaching and research, IR needs information from faculty about what is most important to us. Dave and Kristen would like TAG to gather faculty feedback in October and November that can be submitted to IR in time for discussions in December. Several points from our discussion:

  • There was general agreement that a survey would be more effective than a faculty forum. We also agreed that we would need to work through department chairs, Faculty Senate, etc to encourage responses. We could especially focus efforts on departments that we know rely heavily on specialized software and labs.
  • Jim will provide a list of specialized software and computer labs currently available. For software, Sandy asked if the list could include prices to give faculty a better understanding of which licenses are most costly. Kristen suggested that we could break the list into pricing ranges or levels if actual costs cannot be shared. Dave suggested that a financial incentive could be explored — for example, the Library’s acquisitions budget is allocated to departments, which then can use that funding for databases, journals, and books.
  • We need to understand how specialized software is used — e.g., whether a faculty member needs one license for his/her research, a handful of licenses for his/her lab, or lots of licenses since the software is a required part of a course.
  • We would also like to understand if faculty would consider alternative software options. For example, Tim suggested that we push faculty and students towards R rather than using SPSS, which is extremely expensive.
  • The Library’s Learning Commons initiative will include providing specialized software at dedicated machines (possibly reservable), so the Library may be able to cushion some of the impact of cuts. Kristen and Jim will work with Learning Commons Coordinator Sheli McHugh to coordinate and share feedback from the faculty survey, such that the Library can anticipate new faculty and student needs.

Kristen will email all TAG members to ask for volunteers (at least one from each college – either a TAG member or another interested faculty member) to assist with developing and disseminating a survey (ideally by the end of the month). Please contact her with suggestions or concerns.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:00pm. TAG will reconvene on Wednesday, November 6 at 2:00pm in WML305 (Library instruction classroom).