IT News – We have a Service Catalog!

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is excited to announce the release of our new Service Catalog!  We’ve spent about a year working on this project and we are very proud of it.

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What’s a Service Catalog, you ask? Well, a Service Catalog is a comprehensive, organized collection of all IT related services offered to Faculty, Staff, and Students at SJU.  With our new Service Catalog, you can learn about the technology services available, feel empowered to resolve technology issues on your own, and request technology assistance for those services that you just can’t seem to resolve.

For example, you need to reset your SJU password.  In the Service Catalog, we have an article dedicated to that service as well as clear instructions on how to reset your password. If, for some reason, you still have trouble, you can request assistance right there from the same screen.

 

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Along with the Service Catalog, we have a brand new Knowledge Base which has hundreds of articles pertaining to the questions we receive on a daily basis in OIT.  We’ve organized the Knowledge Base to be user friendly and match the layout of the new Service Catalog.  If you can’t find the answer to a question in our Knowledge Base, just jump over to the Service Catalog and request assistance.

 

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Over the next few months, we will continue to work on enhancing the services and knowledge articles available to you and eventually phase out the use of our current email, techhelp@sju.edu.  Once we are confident that all services can be requested via the Service Catalog, we will disable use of that email address and all service requests will be submitted by customers through our Service Catalog.

If you have any questions about the Service Catalog or how it works, please give us a call at x2920.  Better yet, stop in and visit us in SC129.  We look forward to your feedback!

Critical Security Update from Microsoft

Microsoft released an important security update this morning to address a critical vulnerability in the Internet Explorer browser. This vulnerability could allow an attacker to gain control of your computer.

 

All users on a Windows computer should install this update right away, whether you use Internet Explorer as your browser or not.  **Please note: this does not apply to users running a Mac Operating System.

 

How do I check if my computer is up-to-date?  On your Windows computer, perform the following:

 

  1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button . In the search box, type Windows Update, and then, in the list of results, click Windows Update.
  2. In the left pane, click Check for updates, and then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your computer.
  3. If any updates are found, click Install updates.

 

You might see both important and optional updates. This vulnerability is addressed in the Important Updates.  Click Update and the security patch will be installed.

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Complete information from Microsoft can be found here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/ms15-093.aspx

 

If you have any questions about this update, please contact the TSC.

With the arrival of Dr. Mark Reed, SJU’s 28th President, you may need to update your Zimbra email address book.

Official electronic communication from the President’s Office is sent from the email address president@sju.edu.  As a result of this, you may have the email address “president@sju.edu” associated with Fr. Gillespie (or maybe even Fr. Lannon) within your personal email address book.

Please follow the instructions to update your contact information; these instructions will work even if you use Outlook or Apple Mail:

  1. Please login Zimbra (zmail.sju.edu) with your SJU credentials.
  2. Go to Contacts tab.
  3. Locate the email address president@sju.edu in your Contacts.  If you are unable to locate it, perform a search for president@sju.edu by going to Search bar in the upper right corner.  Use the drop down to select Contacts then type in president@sju.edu and hit the magnifying glass icon.

    Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 2.09.10 PM

 

  1. Place a checkmark by the email address and select Edit.
  2. Update the Prefix, First, and Last Name to Dr. Mark Reed.
  3. Click Save

All further correspondence from president@sju.edu will now reflect the correct contact information.


If you have any questions on how to make this update, please contact the TSC.

 

Meet the Newest Member of the TSC: Christalyn

The Technology Service Center (TSC) is please to announce that Christalyn Kittrell has joined our team as the newest full-time staff member.  Christalyn’s previous role of TSC Graduate Assistant began in 2011.  She has already stepped up immensely in her new role as Service Desk Analyst.  Christalyn has a BS in Marketing and is currently working toward her MBA with a concentration in Data Intelligence.

Christalyn has a reputation for going above and beyond and we could not be happier to have her on board!  Welcome to the team, Christalyn!

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Network Outage: Barbelin Hall 7/7-/79

In order to complete work for Public Safety and Security, OIT will be replacing networking equipment in Barbelin beginning at 7:00am on Tuesday, July 7th. The work will continue until Thursday, July 9th.

During this upgrade period, the following areas in BL may experience network outages of up to 10 minutes: Public Safety and Security (BL 13-15), Office of the CIO (BL 12), Mail Room (BL Tower), BL 201-218, and the classroom in BL 221.

If you have any questions about this outage, please contact the TSC.

Network and Blackboard Outages: July 3rd & July 5th

We would like to inform you of two important upgrades being performed by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and Academic Technology and Distributed Learning (ATDL) over the July 4th weekend.

 

On Friday, July 3rd, OIT will perform an upgrade to the software on our core network routers.  This important work has been scheduled for July 3rd because it is a University holiday and the impact on the user community should be lessened.  Access to network services such as Blackboard Learn, Gmail for students, Zimbra, The Nest and Banner will be affected between 7am and noon.   While you may be able to access these services during the upgrade, periodic service interruptions should be expected.  For faculty teaching online courses, it is strongly recommended that you not schedule any Collaborate sessions with your students during the 7am-noon time frame.

 

The second upgrade will occur on Sunday, July 5th from 5-11am and will affect the Blackboard Learn system.   Last week, ATDL announced that the summer upgrade of the Learn software would take place on Sunday, June 28th.   After the announcement, ATDL was informed that the Learn system will be needed by advisors for Freshman Orientation and registration.  Because of this conflict, the upgrade was pushed back one week.   Please consider this outage window when planning your online course activities.  If you would like to become acquainted with the new version of Blackboard Learn, ATDL has created a preview site that will be available until July 6th.  Please feel free to make changes and test within the preview environment.  None of the changes made on the preview site will be carried over to the live environment.

 

This communication has been sent via email to Summer II students, as well as all SJU employees with a reminder to plan any online coursework around these two outage windows.  It will also be posted to the Learn site.

 

There are very few windows to perform these major upgrades without impacting our user community.  We hope you will be able to plan around these necessary services interruptions over the July 4th weekend.  If you have any questions or concerns about these outages please let me know, or you can contact the Technology Service Center.
We very much appreciate your cooperation and patience while we perform these essential upgrades.

 

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

 

Faculty Survey

The Office of Information Technology (IT) is currently developing its strategic plan for 2016-2018.  In order to better understand your technology needs and expectations, we have partnered with the Educause Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) to conduct surveys of our faculty and students.   As an outcome of the two surveys, we hope to align IT service offerings in order to better support learning and teaching at SJU.

Last year, 151 institutions and more than 17,000 faculty members participated in the ECAR study.  By participating, SJU will receive a summary benchmarking report that compares our institutional responses with others.  In addition, we will receive the raw (anonymous) data of our SJU responses so that IT can conduct further analyses and integrate findings into our strategic plan.

Diana Oblinger, President and CEO of Educause, writes that “In order for faculty to use technology to deepen engagement for students and collaboration among colleagues, institutions must have the appropriate infrastructure, integration (e.g., of data and systems), and design for the overall technology environment.”   Dr. Oblinger continues that findings from the ECAR survey can “provide an understanding for frontline technologists, academic innovators, and technology leaders to meet faculty where they are to best support the institutional mission.”

To this end, we invite you to participate in the ECAR faculty study which will run through Friday, March 20.  We know you are very busy (and many of you recently completed the library survey) but we hope you will take this survey and share your insights and experiences so that IT can serve you better.  You will have the option to take an abbreviated version of the survey with just the core survey questions. This survey should take about 10 minutes to complete.  It may take up to 30 minutes for those who opt to take the longer version of the survey.  Either way, you will be providing valuable information about your technology experiences and expectations.

Please visit the Faculty page within The Nest to access the survey.

 

 

 

NOTE:  The Saint Joseph’s University Institutional Review Board (IRB) has reviewed this research study for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research.  If you believe that there is an infringement upon your rights as a participant in this research you may contact the Research Compliance Coordinator, Jena Fioravanti Burkett, (irbadministrator@sju.edu) in the Carriage House, on the Maguire Campus, Telephone (610) 660-1298.

IT Outage: Major Server Issues

Outage Update: We are waiting on hardware from our vendor. At this time the following services are impacted:

– Access to departmental share drives
– Access to your personal J: drive
– Email delivery to university aliases (this means Banner process emails as well as emails within Blackboard)
– Voicemail to Email delivery (EVM)
– Scan to print feature on multifunction devices

We will continue to provide updates throughout the day.  Please visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SJUTSC for frequent updates.

Mac Updates – Beginning March 17, 2015

The following information applies to all faculty, staff, and administrators who currently use a Mac (Apple) computer. If you are using an SJU-provided Mac, please continue reading this email in its entirety.

An ongoing priority for the Office of Information Technology (OIT) has been to ensure a safe computing environment for the campus community. This includes providing anti-virus and anti-spyware protection, enabling safe browsing while you search the internet, and patching exposed vulnerabilities that put your data and the SJU network at risk. With these goals in mind, we have taken another step forward to ensure that all Mac users on campus are receiving vital security updates and running the same version of the Mac operating system. In doing this, OIT is able to better assist you in managing the software on University computers and ensure that University information resources are not put at unnecessary risk of potential security threats.

It is a common misconception that Apple computers are not at risk of threats such as viruses and malware. This is simply not the case. In reality, no computer is completely immune from possible attack. Our job in OIT is to proactively protect against this possibility.

A year ago, OIT introduced a new product to assist in remotely managing the software that runs on a Mac. This allowed OIT to deploy software, updates, patches, and other fixes to Apple computers in a more cost effective, distributed manner. Before this new solution was introduced, high priority updates and patches were difficult to deploy in a timely and proactive fashion thus putting the campus computing environment at risk.

Many of you may have already noticed a window appear indicating available updates, which lets you know when new patches or updates are available (pictured below):

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However, since implementing this solution, OIT has found that in some cases, urgent updates are not being installed regularly to University computers.   In other words, some Mac users are ignoring or avoiding these important software update. Beginning on March 17th, OIT will adopt a more proactive approach to ensure that high-priority patches are installed within a 7-day window. If you have a high priority update pending installation on March 17th, you will see a message appear like the one pictured below. You will have 7 days to install the update.

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Within 72 hours of the deadline, you’ll be prompted more frequently to perform the installations. At this point, it is highly recommended that you install these updates immediately to avoid reaching the deadline for the software update. When the deadline is reached, you will be forced to log out and reboot your computer. (Within 5 minutes of the deadline, you will see the image below):

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It is highly recommended that you allow the updates to install when you first receive the update message. If you choose to wait, you risk losing documents when the forced installation occurs.

Is this only for Macs? For now, yes. However, OIT is working on a similar solution to address mandatory updates and patches for Windows computers that will be available soon.

It’s important to know that in utilizing this tool, OIT cannot and will not be accessing any of the data on your University computer.

OIT appreciates your cooperation in helping us better manage our University resources.

If you have any questions, please contact the TSC.