Reminder: Maintenance on Student Email Monday Morning

On Monday, October 18 from 3:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. Microsoft will be performing a scheduled maintenance on the student e-mail system.  The student e-mail system will not be available during this time.

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Blackboard Assessment Module Not Working

Blackboard is having problems with the assessment module.  Faculty and students attempting to access online tests and quizzes are receiving error messages.  Blackboard is working on the problem.  An update will be posted when the problem is fixed.

Update 6PM: Blackboard has corrected the problems with the assessment module.  All Blackboard services are now working.

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Banner 8 is Live!

This morning the last component of the Banner 8 upgrade, the PirateNet upgrade, was completed on schedule.

Banner 8 is now available to the University community.

I want to thank the teams in Academic Affairs, Enrollment Services, Finance, Human Resources, and University IT Services for their hard work, both in the months leading up to the conversion and for their hard work this weekend in migrating the data, verifying the conversion, and troubleshooting a few issues that cropped up following the conversion.

Stephen Landry, CIO

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Ring Building Telephones Down

Verizon is having problems with the telephone lines to the Ring Building.  All phone lines in to and out of the Ring Building are affected.  These issues are likely caused in part by last night’s storm.

Update 5:00 PM:  Verizon reports the problem is fixed.

Update 10/13, 9:00 AM:  Verizon is still experiencing problems with the telephone lines to the Ring Building.  All telephone service to the Ring Building is currently down.

Update 10/13, 5:00 PM:  Verizon has performed further repairs to the telephone lines to the Ring Building, and service has been restored.

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SHUMobile App Reviewed by The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

TUAW (the Unofficial Apple Weblog) recently reviewed the iPhone version of the SHUMobile application.  The review says in part:

This app, though not yet perfect, has so much potential it’s mind boggling. Having been both a student and a teacher, I would have killed for this amount of information in my pocket without having to pore over course catalogs or dig for information on often arcane websites. The beauty of it is in the organization of the interface. It’s clean, clear, and it allows a student get to anything in a matter of seconds.

Read the full review at:  http://www.tuaw.com/2010/10/07/manage-your-seton-hall-university-education-with-shumobile/

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Reminder: Banner Service Interruption This Weekend

This is a reminder to the University community that many of the Banner administrative systems will be unavailable over the fall break due to a scheduled upgrade. Expect Banner service interruptions beginning 5PM on Friday, October 8, and ending 7AM on Tuesday, October 12.  See the Banner 8 Web site here for additional details.

Stephen Landry, Ph.D., CIO

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Beware of Phishing Attempts

To the University Community:

Members of the University community have received email messages stating that their Seton Hall web-mail account being reviewed for security purposes.  The email asked recipients to click on a fictitious link that may appear to be legitimate to some users. This email is a phishing attempt; that is, and email intended to trick you into revealing personal information or installing malware on your computer.

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Banner 8 Upgrade Scheduled for Fall Break

To the University Community:

Seton Hall University is nearing completion of our first major upgrade to our Banner administrative system.  Teams from academic affairs, enrollment services, HR, finance, IT, and student affairs have been working the past year to prepare for this upgrade.

The upgrade to Banner 8 is scheduled to begin on Friday, October 8, at 5PM.  Most Banner services will be restored by Tuesday, October 12, at 7AM.  Many Banner services, including Banner Self Service, will not be available during this time.

Please see the Banner 8 Upgrade Web page for more details: http://www.shu.edu/offices/technology/banner8-upgrade.cfm

Steve Landry, CIO

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Verizon Continues to Work on Law School Phone Lines

The phone lines to the Law School have been down since yesterday morning. Verizon technicians were unable to repair the problem last night. Verizon technicians are on site at the Law School this morning and expect to have this problem fixed soon.

I will post additional updates on this problem during the day.

Steve Landry, CIO

UPDATE:  2:00 PM:  Verizon has resolved the problems with the phone lines to the Law School.

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Phone Outage at the Law School

The phone lines to the Law School have been down most of the day. Verizon reports that this is a problem with the line. Verizon has technicians working on the problem and expect to have the problem repaired this evening.

Steve Landry, CIO

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Service Interruption this Sunday, August 22, 12AM – 7AM

NetApp will be on site this Sunday morning during the regularly scheduled weekly maintenance window from 12:00 Midnight through 7:00 AM performing work on the Storage Area Network (SAN) in the Corrigan Hall data center.

MOST IT SERVICES WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE DURING THIS TIME.

Services affected include PirateNet, faculty and staff email, and all Banner systems. ONLY THE SHU MAIN WEB PAGES AND THE BLACKBOARD LS WILL BE AVAILABLE.

Please plan your work accordingly.

Steve Landry, CIO

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Service Disruptions This Morning

University IT Services is experiencing problems this morning with the NetApp Storage Area Network (SAN) in the Corrigan Hall data center following this weekend’s upgrade. Multiple services are affected, including:

  • Law School Email
  • Microsoft ActiveSync, affecting email from most smartphones (except Blackerry users)

Current estimate is that these services will be restored around 12 Noon.

Preliminary findings from NetApp are that the firmware upgrade may need to be re-installed. If this is the case, this will likely be scheduled for this Sunday’s maintenance window; if this occurs, ALL IT services (except the main Web page and Blackboard) will be off line on Sunday, August 22, from 12:00 Midnight through 8:00 AM.

Steve Landry, CIO

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Update on Banner 8 – Banner 7 Code Freeze Planned for August 25

As previously announced, Banner 8 is scheduled to go live on October 11 of this year. Teams from Academic Affairs, Enrollment Services, Finance, Human Resources, and IT are busy completing the new Banner 8 production environment and testing this major upgrade to our Banner environment. Final testing of the migration from Banner 7 to the new Banner 8 system is scheduled for September.

To facilitate this final test of the Banner migration, there will be a moratorium on all changes to the current Banner 7 production environment – including all third party applications that integrate with Banner – starting August 25.

All teams working on enhancements to the Banner system should plan their work accordingly.

Steve Landry, CIO

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SAN and Blackboard Upgrades Completed

This past weekend’s scheduled upgrades of the Storage Area Network (SAN) in Corrigan Hall and the Blackboard Learning System were completed successfully.

The Blackboard channel in PirateNet is not yet updated to connect to the Blackboard Learning System, but users can access Blackboard directly from PirateNet by clicking the Blackboard icon at the top of every page.

As a reminder, an upgrade of the Blackberry Enterprise Server is scheduled for Tuesday, August 17, from 9AM – 12PM. University-issued Blackberries will not be able to send or receive email during this time.

Full details regarding this summer’s IT maintenance can be found at:

http://www.shu.edu/offices/technology/scheduled-summer-maintenance.cfm

Steve Landry, CIO

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New Help Desk Software and Processes Being Implemented

University IT Services is in the process of implementing a common IT Service Management framework known as ITIL. ITIL is a collection of standard policies, processes, and documentation intended to ensure critical IT systems are highly available and to reduce the time to restore systems in the event of problems.

An important part of our ITIL adoption is the implementation of ServiceNow, a software package that service requests, incident tracking, and problem reporting. ServiceNow also integrates with RightAnswers, a technical knowledge base to which the University subscribes. Additional modules allow IT to track all systems and to plan and monitor system changes. The service request and incident tracking parts of ServiceNow will replace the current InterTrack software on August 23rd. The change and inventory management components are expected to be in place by the end of 2010.

All users of the current InterTrack system are encouraged to participate in ServiceNow training as early as possible to help make the adoption of ServiceNow as seamless as possible.

Steve Landry, CIO

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Important Information About the Upcoming IT Maintenance

PLEASE NOTE: Most University IT systems will be unavailable this Saturday, August 14th, due to an upgrade to the storage area network (SAN) in the Corrigan Hall data center.

Reminder: This year’s summer IT maintenance window will take place beginning 12:01 a.m. on August 10 through 11:59 p.m. on August 18. Scheduled maintenance on IT systems will take place during this time. While most systems will be up most of the time during this period and University IT Services will make every effort to give advance notification whenever specific systems are scheduled to be off line, unanticipated interruptions to services may occur while this work is being performed. Please plan your work accordingly. Continue reading

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HEOA 2008 – What You Need To Know About Illegal File Sharing

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 includes specific requirements that all colleges and universities in the US increase the awareness of their communities about copyright law and campus policies regarding illegal file sharing. The law requires colleges and universities to have plans in place to combat illegal file sharing and to provide information to community members about legal ways to download copyrighted music and movies.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and other organizations that represent copyright holders actively scan the Internet to find and prosecute violations of copyright. Each year Seton Hall University receives dozens of settlement notices from these organizations for members of the community who are alleged to have downloaded music or movies illegally. University IT Services works with the Office of Legal Counsel and Student Affairs to respond appropriately to these notices. Members of the community who illegally download copyrighted materials face civil and criminal prosecution; fines for copyright infractions are often in the thousands of dollars. In addition, illegal file sharing is against the University’s policy on the appropriate use of computing resources. Violations of this University policy may result in sanctions including the loss of network access.

University IT Services has created an informative Web page that outlines the relevant copyright laws and University policies and provides information on where members of the University community can find legal music and movie downloads. This page is at:

http://www.shu.edu/offices/technology/heoa-compliance.cfm

Continue reading

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IT Security Enhancements Being Implemented This Summer

Summary: Seton Hall University is by law required to maintain a reasonably secure network. Data breaches can be costly and affect institutional reputation. All users of SHU systems are required to regularly change their password and to use reasonably strong passwords. This summer University IT Services is taking further steps to improve network security for the campus. These steps include: requiring new users to change their password on their first login; reducing the number of failed logins allowed before an account is locked; upgrading the Symantec personal firewall on all University-issued computers; and, filtering outbound email for spam to prevent compromised accounts from distributing spam over the Internet. These are prudent steps to better secure our network and ensure safe and reliable services. See details regarding these security enhancements below.

Continue reading

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AT&T Antenna Work Continues Today – Services Affected

AT&T continues work today on its cellular antennas on the campus radio tower. Services may be affected today as they complete this work.

AT&T 3G service on campus had been inconsistent following the lightning strike on the radio tower last summer which damaged some of AT&T’s equipment.

After today’s work, the upgrade for the AT&T cellular service on the radio tower should be completed, providing high quality AT&T 3G service for the campus.

AT&T plans further improvements in AT&T 3G service for the campus over the summer by upgrading the electronics in the microcells around campus. This upgrade is expected to provide improved AT&T 3G service inside most campus buildings, including the residence halls.

Steve Landry, CIO

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Presentation on Mobile Computing Program for Parents’ Orientation

Orientation for the Class of 2014 begins this week, and part of parent orientation is a brief presentation on Seton Hall University’s Mobile Computing Program.

The University’s Mobile Computing Program is a unique academic program that has three mutually supporting components: (1) We provide an appropriate standard computer for each undergraduate student. (2) We provide the support services (such as networking, software, and repair services) to make this a useful learning tool. (3) We provide support to faculty who wish to make appropriate and effective use of the technology to improve learning in their courses.

One question often asked is why require a standard laptop? The short answer is that standardizing the laptop actually increases the options available to faculty using laptops in their classes. Faculty have the assurance that when they work to develop a technology-enabled class assignment that all students have the technology they need to complete the assignment. An interesting article in today’s Inside Higher Education discusses the seeming paradox that standardization of student technology increases faculty choice; the article can be found at:

www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology_and_learning/laptop_requirements_and_the_downside_of_choice

Continue reading

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Update on Banner 8

This afternoon Bob Vignes, director of Production Control and the project manager for the University’s upgrade to Banner 8, gave a progress report to the Banner 8 Steering Committee.

In short, the Banner 8 project is currently on schedule for the planned upgrade October 8 – 11, 2010.

The plan is to bring the current Banner 7 system down at 5:00 PM on Friday, October 8. The conversion to Banner 8 will be done over the weekend. The new system will be released to the functional teams in Academic Affairs, Enrollment Services, Finance, HR/Payroll, and Student Affairs by 8:00 AM Monday, October 11 for final verification. We expect that the new system will be verified and most services brought online for the community by 5:00 PM on Monday, October 11. Some final work to bring all services online will be completed by end of day on Tuesday, October 12.

Continue reading

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IT Begins Desktop Upgrade or Replacement for Staff and Administrators

Summary: To reduce IT support costs, the University is standardizing on Windows 7. Most computers will be required to run Windows 7 by the end of this year. Faculty and students in the Mobile Computing Program will have the option of deferring their upgrade to their next refresh. If you do not have a computer that is able to run Windows 7, IT Services will provide a used ThinkPad T61 laptop with Windows 7. Over the next few weeks PC Support Services will be contacting offices and departments to schedule any required upgrades or replacements to your computers.

Continue reading

Posted in IT Goals, PCSS, Updates | 1 Comment

Summer IT Maintenance Scheduled August 10th – 18th

Summary: This year’s summer IT maintenance window is scheduled to take place August 10th through August 18th. Maintenance on IT systems will take place during this time. While most systems will be up most of the time during this period, and University IT Services will make every effort to give advance notification whenever specific systems are scheduled to be off line, unanticipated interruptions to services may occur while this work is being performed. Please plan your work accordingly. Continue reading

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IT Services Reduces Staff for 2010-11 Fiscal Year

Last Thursday Seton Hall University began layoffs of thirty two employees in order to meet the budget for next fiscal year while moving forward with the University’s strategic initiatives. These layoffs were announced to the University community in the following letter from Monsignor Sheeran last Thursday.

Presidents Letter to the Community 20100610.pdf

In the past year and a half of budget reductions, the Office of the CIO took a number of steps to mitigate the impact of these budget cuts both on the IT professionals employed by the University and on services. We shared with the community some of our ideas for reducing the University’s IT costs (for example, in this post last February), we took into consideration the feedback we received from the community, and we crafted our budget cuts accordingly. We eliminated eleven positions at the beginning of this fiscal year, and held other positions open this year in anticipation of this round of budget cuts. Nevertheless, several IT professionals were part of the reduction in force that occurred last week.

As we move forward with a leaner and more efficient IT professional organization, our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the current economic downturn, especially our colleagues from Seton Hall University who have been affected by the current layoffs, and we hope for better times ahead.

Steve Landry, CIO

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Does the Internet Make You Smarter?

Over at the Wall Street Journal, there’s been an ongoing debate between Nick Carr, author of “Does IT Matter?” and “Is Google Making Us Dumber”, and Clay Shirkey, professor of media at NYU, who takes the opposite view that changes in the limitations of media inevitably lead to an expansion of content, much of which is of low quality, but that society eventually works out the processes necessary for dealing with the sudden increases in freedom and expression.

From Clay Shirkey’s WSJ article published yesterday:

“Digital media have made creating and disseminating text, sound, and images cheap, easy and global. The bulk of publicly available media is now created by people who understand little of the professional standards and practices for media. … But of course, that’s what always happens. Every increase in freedom to create or consume media, from paperback books to YouTube, alarms people accustomed to the restrictions of the old system, convincing them that the new media will make young people stupid. This fear dates back to at least the invention of movable type. … As Gutenberg’s press spread through Europe, the Bible was translated into local languages .. leading to claims that the printing press, if not controlled, would lead to chaos and the dismemberment of European intellectual life. … These claims were, of course, correct.”

Read the whole article at:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704025304575284973472694334.html

Stephen G. Landry, Ph.D.

Chief information Officer

Seton Hall University

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