Listed below are the accomplishments of University Computing, grouped by the strategic goals of the University as set forth in the University Strategic Plan
Goal 1: Outstanding Faculty – Retain and attract outstanding faculty who excel in
their subject area and discipline and are committed to excellence in teaching,
ensuring student success and fostering a diverse academic community.
- With direction from the School Technology Chairs, upgraded and replaced technology for faculty.
- Supported academic department infrastructures so that faculty time can be spent on our mission of teaching and learning.
- On-target with Replacement Plan despite delay with Tech in the Classroom and Desktop Computing funds.
- Continued supplying funds to purchase software for faculty research, classrooms and labs.
- Planned and are implementing pilot projects with tablet computers and IP video conferencing.
- Conducted a pilot project with faculty on the use of an audience response system in the classroom. Instructors are able to conduct surveys in-class and view the results instantly with their students. Four faculty participated, using the system in 14 sections (four in the fall, 10 in the spring) with over 300 students.
- Had discussions on how technology can assist in achieving our University Strategic Plan goals.
- Converted WS127 into a fully functional technology classroom.
- Continuously had open dialogues with colleagues at our sister universities to help formulate and validate our own technology and infrastructure vision.
- Continued to survey faculty and staff on technology workshops and received a positive response.
- Had discussions with Vice-Presidents and faculty on technology they saw elsewhere and how it might work at WestConn.
Goal 2: Location - Create opportunities for students and faculty by capitalizing on
Western Connecticut State University’s location in Danbury, Connecticut, a New
England city characterized by its economic vibrancy and its diverse citizenry, as
well as our proximity to the educational and cultural riches of New York City.
- Worked closely with University Relations and University Publications & Design to enhance WestConn’s website.
- Discussed various issues, including what our standard should be in our technology classrooms, how we can aid our students with technology to be better prepared for the global marketplace and how to achieve the next level of technology use.
- Provided technical assistance and resources for Science Horizons regional science fair.
Goal 3: Diverse University Community - Further develop an environment that
values and affirms the unique contributions of Western's many constituent
populations, recognizes the learning opportunities that differences can create, and strengthens connections among our various community members.
- Enhanced university website with tools to make accessing and searching for resources much easier. The WestConn Toolbar adds quick access to important resources on the website, and WestSuggest Search enables intelligent targeted search results from the search box.
- Expanded iContact mass email from Admissions and Alumni to Graduate Admissions.
- Developed requirements for a web content management system for the university website and evaluated several open source systems against them.
- Provided all students with McAfee anti-virus software (Mac & PC), as well as Microsoft Office 2007 (PC) and 2008 (Mac), and Windows Vista Business Edition.
- Continued to complete projects that are challenging, varied, and rewarding.
- Continued to seek input from all UC staff on how to build and retain a strong UC team.
- Took advantage of opportunities to have staff meet at both MT and WS offices.
- Encouraged staff to participate in various committees and participation did increase.
- Pledged to treat each other as our best customers and made that part of managers’ goals.
- Increased communication within the department and made that part of managers’ goals.
- Made more time to train each other.
- Increased the number of book purchases and webinars, one-day conferences and training sessions that UC staff attend.
- With the support of the President, gave various staff merit raises.
- Continued empowering managers. Managers worked directly with their reports to discuss and set goals, wrote their evaluations with CIO input afterward, approved days off within their group before CIO evaluated all requests as a whole, and met regularly with their reports.
- Hired an ERP/Academic Applications Manager.
- Made improvements to the information sharing with the WestConnect Card Office.
- Participated in committees such as UPBC, Strategic Plan Action Team-Enrollment Management, College Goal Sunday, Wellness Committee, Distance Education Committee, various search committees, Web Team, Marketing Team, Library Media Services Policy Committee, Facilities Projects Team, Social Networking Committee and others.
- Enhanced Graduate to Alumni process.
- Helped Social Sciences Department with classroom project to create a topographical map of Bear Mountain using handheld GPS devices.
Goal 4: Range of Quality Academic Programs - Offer a range of quality academic
programs, including featured signature programs that together educate a diverse
student population and meet the needs of the state and region within the context of a global environment.
- Had discussions with President and all Vice-Presidents on their priorities, previous technology successes, and needs within their divisions.
- CIO successfully communicated the goals of the President and Vice-Presidents to the ITC.
- Achieved a team approach to Information Technology with the President and Vice-Presidents.
- Used technology funds to assist senior management in achieving goals and priorities.
- ITC continued to have frank discussions and be instrumental in providing direction and vision to each other, their school technology committees, and the CIO. Trust is evident and the ITC continues to be a very functional team.
- Purchased and upgraded academic software so that academic departments are competitive in their discipline.
- Enhanced student advisement with the addition of secondary advisors to Banner Self Serve and other various reports.
- Blackboard Vista was successfully upgraded to 8.0.2 during the spring 2009 semester. 134 individual faculty members taught 461 sections. 7,599 students were enrolled (5,695 unique students) in these sections. As the usage of Blackboard Vista grows and continues to enhance teaching and learning, targeted workshops will continue to be offered.
- Provided technical support for NCATE accreditation. Created extract files, downloaded Praxis test result files and imported them into Tk20 software.
- Researched SMARTBOARD technology with the Music Department in an effort to emulate what the students in the Music Education program are encountering in the public school systems.
- Reengineered the Communications Department Video Editing Lab. Brought all technology equipment up to a performance level that will sustain this area for at least two more years. Replaced the antiquated video editing software with Adobe CS4 Production Premium, the industry standard.
- Created a new state of the art Music Lab in White Hall, including the music practice rooms.
- Implemented a Part Time Dean’s List report.
Goal 5: Enriching and Supportive Student-focused Environment - Foster a holistic
approach to intellectual and social growth and development that prepares students to be productive citizens of the state of Connecticut and the world by developing their knowledge, experience, and critical thinking and by fostering life-long learning characterized by intellectual curiosity, imagination, and creativity.
- Monthly meetings have been established with Provost, Deans, and Enrollment Manager; as well as the Vice President for Student Affairs.
- Created website for NCATE accreditation, provided technical support for SGA website, created new websites for the Community Report Card, One Book One Community, Center for Financial Forensics and Information Security, Women’s Center of Greater Danbury, Lincoln Bicentennial, International Services, Hancock Student Leadership, WestConnserve and many others.
- Implemented a wiki server, piloted with a History of Math course, and a Maple T.A. server (online math assignments and testing) for use by graduate students and their faculty advisor.
- Developed social networking initiatives such as WestConn Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Flickr websites, as well as Admissions online chats.
- University Computing has assisted with desktop video conferencing needs utilizing Skype, ooVoo, and Adobe Connect.
- Based on input from students, built a fourth computer center in the Westside Campus Center. It has been a success as a computer center and in bringing more students in the Westside Campus Center.
- Developed web application for SGA electronic voting (first time), Passport to Paideia and upgraded student account creation system to accept electronically captured signatures to replace paper based system.
- Researched and began implementing Microsoft’s Live@Edu program for student e-mail, communication, and collaboration tools.
- Researched possibility of expanding the use of WestConnduit for Academic Advising.
- Collaborated with the Provost and Associate VP for Facilities to create design specifications for an Academic Success Center.
- Automated auto-acceptance for admissions.
- Set up functionality in Banner for Accessibility Services, trained staff and provided support.
- Successfully worked with Accessibility Services to accommodate our special needs students.
- Implemented the Kurzweil scanning solution which transforms hardcopy textbooks into electronic media that can be read back to Students with physical or other learning disabilities.
- Extensive ResNet support given to students to include appointments, training, hardware and software service, and supplies.
- Expanded ResNet Support Services to include Student workers in the WSCC as the Level 1 Technical Support. This has created an excellent peer-to-peer support environment for WCSU Students. Students are interacting with one another in a professional manner. Our Student workers are gaining valuable technical knowledge which will enhance their marketability after they leave WCSU. Lab Assistants closed approximately ResNet 70 calls.
- Revamped the WS and MT 24 Hour Computer Labs with updated computer technology.
- University Computing completed the implementation of the wireless network at Midtown and Westside including all residence halls and wireless printing.
- Upgraded Social Sciences GIS classroom, including aiding Alex Standish in using ArcGIS and Garmin GPS devices for his class; upgraded technology in HI114, WA318, WH301, WS219, WH228, Founders Hall 205, MTCC, WSCC; created an HPX lab; researched and planned for the MIS Information Security classroom/lab.
- University Computing has worked with the Admissions & Registrar offices to implement ACD telephone services to assist with call handling and reporting.
- Worked with functional offices, in particular the Registrar’s Office, to move fall registration to the end of March/beginning of April and spring registration to the end of October/beginning of November.
- Expanded the use of the WestConnect card.
- Modified Banner Self-Serve to allow Secondary Advisors the same access to student information as Primary Advisors, including registration PINs, contact information, transcript, schedule.
- Developed and integrated processes for supporting tuition payment plans through Nelnet Business Services into Banner AR (Cashier’s Office) allowing students to set up a tuition payment schedule, and information is recorded in Banner automatically
- Developed a report for Housing which shows available capacity for room assignments and lists whole and partial room space available by residence hall, shows rooms having occupants in need of roommates, and allows Housing to quickly identify where space is available in any given residence hall.
- Implemented and developed a base for UC to more easily and efficiently deliver Hyperion reporting solution for on-demand self service and scheduled report delivery to the university community. Converted monthly finance report compiled and distributed by the Finance department to various recipients to a single report which can be run directly for or by the intended recipient. The release is scheduled for August 2009.
- Replaced and enhanced PCs and printers in many administrative offices.
- Completed 50% of the access control to secure all MDF/IDF areas. Upgraded software and hardware to increase capacity and availability. This initiative will expand to include all technology classrooms.
- Created a new automated and manageable system of Macintosh imaging and remote software deployment using OS X Leopard.
- Continued to implement features of our help desk software, Track-It!, to provide better service.
- User Services staff continues to build a knowledgebase within Track-It!
Received 7,111 requests at the UC Help Desk for service or support. UC was able to close 96.6% of these requests. Some of the major categories were computer, including installs; password resets; software purchases and installs; account creations; network issues; requests for various categories such as Banner, training, ResNet, website, email, etc.
- Deployed new backup hardware and software for data and server backups.
- Continued to rotate User Services staff on a regular basis to maintain "face time" at both campuses.
- CIO has an open door policy for students, faculty and staff. Constituents take advantage of the open-door policy.
- Wrote, evaluated, and formalized various technology procedures and policies to address audit issues and published them on our website.
- Using a team approach, University Computing implemented the Emergency Notification System.
- Implemented an electronic TSR (telephone service request) form and developed a more efficient process for phone service in Admissions.
- Developed training solutions for Microsoft Exchange and Outlook that were widely recognized as a success.
- Developed system-wide policies such as email, laptop, and data security, as well as a software inventory control process to resolve an audit issue.
- CIO acted as interim CIO at SCSU for over three months while still maintaining the CIO position at WCSU.
- Worked with System Office staff on making our WS campus as a separate node on the WAN. Design stage is almost complete.
- UC actively participated in every system-wide project and was complimented by the Chancellor on our thoroughness.
Goal 6: Affordability - Deliver outstanding value to students through effective
management of the university and the provision of student financial assistance,
thereby maintaining the affordability and access of a mid-sized public university
while creating the quality experience of the best private institutions.
- Made significant web site updates to Alumni, IA, Graduate, ASB, Education Department, Scholarships, Music NASM accreditation, Orientation, Commencement, Minority Recruitment and many others.
- Implemented a new Internet Native Banner (INB) environment. The new INB systems incorporate a network load balancing system that will offer better performance and availability. Furthermore, the load balancing will be an integral component of other systems that will come online during the next year and beyond.
- Upgraded the Banner database to Oracle 10g, in keeping with SunGard’s supported release schedule.
- Implemented a VMware ESX infrastructure. During the past academic year, 24 virtual servers and workstations were deployed. The virtual environment promises reduced costs in that more servers are running on fewer hardware resources, reducing the heating and cooling needs as well as lowering the upfront purchasing costs.
- Completed the university’s Windows Active Directory migration by decommissioning all remaining legacy Windows NT 4 servers.
- Designed and installed a new data cable management system in the Old Main data center. The new cabling uses dedicated pathways, reducing signal loss due to electromagnetic interference. The new cable management system also results in quicker hardware deployment.
- Migrated over 900 faculty and staff to the Microsoft Exchange email system. Over 35 Blackberry users were converted to Windows-based smart phones
- Managed within all UC budgets, both OE and equipment.
- Balanced OE budgets despite increases in printer and network supplies, maintenance contracts and licenses, software inventory, and a drop in pricing for some technology that no longer qualify the items to be purchased with equipment funds.
- Worked with the System Office on competitive RFPs for mass purchasing of PCs, Macs, software, network equipment and servers to obtain maximum discount.
- Worked with Sprint and received a $13k credit on our smart phone invoices.
- Contributed to University savings by keeping four FT positions open for FY08 and FY09.
- Serviced and maintained University printers onsite by maintaining service parts in stock. This decreased costs incurred by using third party repair vendors.
- Collaborated with Institutional Advancement to convert the WestConn Report to a web-based solution resulting in widespread communication and cost savings.
- ACH was put live for Finance, automating the process sending information to the bank.
- Arranged remote consulting and training sessions for Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Office.
- Provided technical setup and support for Orientation.
- Continued to upgrade and replaced technology for SGA, and SGA sponsored student groups.
- The SGA President and a SGA Senator sat on the ITC and regularly attended and provided input on technology ideas and needs of students.
- Participated in the system-wide Banner UNIX re-architecture committee that designed the new architecture and wrote the specifications for purchase of servers and SAN.
- Completed the planning stages of the Banner Architecture project. A system-wide initiative, the existing legacy UNIX-based database infrastructure will be replaced locally with commodity blade servers running Linux.
- Brought direct feed of Institutional Research Repository data from WCSU Banner to System Office on-line application.
- Discussed reassessment of the “responsible department” for all technology classrooms.
- Worked with WestConnect Card Office to help implement new Micros Point-of-Sale system.