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Pembroke, NC 28372

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The Division of Information Technology
910.521.6260 |

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Academic Support Services Subcommittee Report

The Division of Information Technology continues to work on campus strategic initiatives in its role of providing information and learning technologies for the University.  To highlight a few activities during the month of September DoIT has engaged in the following:

  • The Virtual Computing Lab which will provide selected software to campus users from any Internet connection has made great progress.  The VCL webpage continues to be edited as steps are completed by the team. Software to be available includes Dreamweaver, Adobe Professional, Camtasia/Snag-It, SAS, PhotoShop Elements, CS4, Microsoft 2007 Suite, Publisher, Visio, and Project. The project deadline for demonstration is the third week in October and training is to begin the end of October.
  • DoIT has partnered with faculty in English Composition 1010 to begin a pilot study on the impact on student writing/learning when there is fulltime access to mobile computer technologies. DoIT is working to secure vendors to provide laptops and netbooks on a short-term basis for a specific group of students in the study. Funding for an additional computer classroom is being sought so all freshman composition classes can hold class at least once per week in a computer facility. The study is scheduled to begin February 2010.
  • Client Services and Networking areas of DoIT have begun planning for the release the October release of Windows 7, its possible use in ResNet and its impact on student personal computing technologies on the campus network, with testing of the new operating system in our current computing environment.
  • UNCP went live with bi-weekly payroll for students and temporary employees on October 1.  This is a partnership project and UNC General Administration is the pilot campus for the system. DoIT Applications staff supported this “go live” by producing reports, loading and conversion data, assisting in the implementation of software for check printing, and facilitating remote access for team members.
  • Course sites were created in Blackboard, the campuses course management system, for all courses as part of preparations for a possible H1N1 outbreak.  These course sites facilitate continued learning opportunities on the Web if classes are unable to meet.
  • A near real-time interface was created between Banner and the Bookstore’s Webmate system. This interface will reduce delays in processing financial aid transactions and thus reducing wait times and frustration for student trying to apply bookstore charges to financial aid awards.

Client Services

  • The VCL team of Liz, Daryl, Rob, Mike, Tom, Kevin and Cindy has made great strides in the creation of the VCL for UNCP computing. NetDrive has been selected as the software for mapping drives and Liz has created a background image to provide some instructions. The base image is being finalized for the creation of images of a number of software applications including Dreamweaver, Adobe Professional, Camtasia/Snag-It, SAS, PhotoShop Elements, CS4, Microsoft 2007 Suite, Publisher, Visio, and Project. Project deadline for completion is the third week of October. Training for campus will follow.
  • Mike used the new server Gargamel to facilitate imaging multiple machines. This was quite beneficial in imaging the Honors College and Teaching Fellows Mac laptops.
  • Tab Locklear is working on updating the spreadsheets for the labs and classrooms software licenses and hardware.
  • Rob Hughes reports:
    • Using RDP from a laptop in the Astronomy Room to a PC stationed in the Observatory, Dr. D’Arruda and his Astronomy staff are able to remotely rotate the observatory dome.  Integration of the telescope is the next major step in the project and is currently being pursued with the assistance of the individual that developed the system.
    • The History Department reports that some minor adjustments have appeared to fix the inconsistencies in the n-Computing boxes. The Administrative Assistant has not had to reboot the host since the changes.  She reports that she has not had any problems with the system. 
    • 690 machines in the Admin VLAN have Acrobat Reader 9.1 installed.
    • 624 have Office 2007 installed.
  • Charles Kearney has been working with Robert Hughes to learn more about advanced printer problem troubleshooting and solutions with much success. This increase of his skills added to the 21 completed work orders in addition to his ¾ time at the Helpdesk.
  • Training:
  • Melanie:
    • 1 Turnitin workshop – 20 participants
    • 1 Access training – one-on-one
    • 3 Dreamweaver trainings – one-on-one
    • 1 Blackboard Advanced workshop -  3 participants
    • 2 Blackboard Beginner workshops – 9 participants
    • 1 Word 2007 beginner workshop – 6 participants
    • 1 Blackboard – one-on-one
    • 1 Blackboard group training – 2 participants
    • Total: 5 workshops/40 participants | 5 one-on-one sessions
    • Mike and Wes provided “good technology citizenship” training to the Honors College freshmen on the 16th for their new MacBooks. The Laptop Loaner Agreements were edited to reflect responsibility for repair or replacement costs starting with the 2009 freshmen machines.

Media Center

  • The Media Center in September provided equipment and media support for 27 workshops, speakers series and other university functions.
  • The Center supported campus classrooms in September by maintaining classroom technologies including replacing 10 projector lamps and two complete projectors.  Support costs were approximately $5000 for the month.

Networking and Operations

  • Networking has set up infrastructure to host FTP sites for the campus and created sites for Facilities Operations for distribution of bid materials and the Mary Livermore Library for support of their Innopac library system.
  • Networking is supporting the installation of cable infrastructure by Time Warner.  This infrastructure will support the distribution of television programming to all academic buildings.
  • Networking has installed the Library's CONTENTdm software the SAN infrastructure required to support it.
  • ResNet: 
    • Worked closely with Client Services to support student network connectivity in residence halls.  Our Network Access Control system, Clean Access, was updated and tuned to provide a smooth transition for students returning to school. 
  • Email: 
    • Exchange mailbox count has increased to 1,239 accounts. 
    • Backup and restoration of mailboxes has been tested to ensure the safe keeping of customer email, contacts, and calendars.  We have implemented some upgrades that will allow us to perform backups more efficiently while maintaining the ability to restore granularly to the single message level.
    • Two UNCP accounts were compromised causing our email servers to be placed on Internet blacklists and SPAM block lists.  Work ensued to restore full email delivery and to begin removing our servers from the blacklists and SPAM block lists. 
    • Over the 16 days leading up and including October 12, our SPAM filtering report shows we are blocking 45% of messages designated for UNCP and we have blocked 1,657 known viruses from reaching campus.
  • Unified Messaging:
    • Pilot testing continues to proceed well with no reported outages or downtime during the last quarter.
    • We are working with Client Services to develop a staged deployment strategy for faculty and staff with a goal of full deployment by the end of Spring Semester 2010.
  • Data Center:
    • Our primary data center has experienced no down time and has maintained a steady environmental state.
    • Our secondary data center has experienced two episodes of downtime related to over temperature conditions due to a malfunction of the dedicated HVAC system. Facilities and Operations have addressed the issue and conditions have remained stable.
  • Office Communications Server:
    • OCS will undergo an upgrade to expand functionality to the Mac and Linux operating systems via Communicator Web Access.  This will extend presence awareness, group chat, and desktop sharing without the need to download and install a client.  CWA is supported by most popular browsers including Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox.

Work orders for Applications Development

Department Workorders
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Alliance - GA
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Advisement &  Retention Office
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Enrollment Services
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Honors College
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No Department




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