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CIT Annual Report July 2010

Message from the CIO

Welcome to CIT’s Annual Report for July 2009 – June 2010.

The 2009 – 2010 annual report provides an overview of key projects that have been completed this year along with comparative data that is historically collect from year to year. The report details how our services have grown rapidly in scope, sophistication and impact. This report is shared with campus leaders and our community to help them understand the value and strong effect CIT services have in attaining the mission and goals of the College. For CIT, the report also serves as a record and reminder of the accomplishments that have been achieved over the past year.

Two of our most visible ongoing projects are the myGeneseo portal and myCourses Learning Management System. This past year we migrated myGeneseo from Oracle portal to uPortal. Our reasons for the change were to improve the reliability and scalability of the environment and to provide a richer feature set delivering improved service to our College community. Our efforts have paid off and the performance issues we consistently experienced during peak times have been alleviated. All previous myGeneseo functionality is available in the new myGeneseo and in some cases it is new and improved. myCourses has now been an important tool for instruction for the past three years. Faculty active usage has grown from 34% in the first semester, Fall 2007, to 67% in Spring 2010. One hundred percent of our students are using myCourses in at least one course each semester.

This year CIT also collaborated with College Communications on the WWW Redesign and Drupal Implementation projects. The goals of the projects were to improve Geneseo image, provide more dynamic and interactive web experience, improve ease of use for visitors, and improve efficiency and maintenance for staff. Drupal is an open source Content Management System (CMS) that was used to replace our homegrown CMS. CIT led the way in conversion from the old CMS to the new by writing routines to automate conversion of department web sites and training departments on how to use Drupal. The new WWW site went live in late November.

Social networking is all the buzz. @CITGeneseo joined Twitter in June 2009. Our tweets highlight new NewsBytes articles, provide service updates, and share interesting technology tips. In addition to tweeting, this year CIT published twenty-eight articles through our wiki-based NewsBytes. We can also be found on Facebook under CIT@geneseo.

Providing good stewardship of our funds has always been a priority for CIT but this year it was imperative to take frugality to the next level. Additional budget cuts caused us to review and rethink exactly how we spend funds and put into action plans to further reduce spending. Our Sun Microsystems maintenance contract for fiscal year 2008-2009 was just over $50K. We migrated the Banner Database and application servers to Linux (open source) from Solaris to reduce maintenance costs by about $30K in 2009-2010. This conversion to Linux project was complex but well worth time spent to realize long-term savings. We also moved to Microsoft Forefront for virus protection. Microsoft provides our students with protection for free and the cost is minimal through our existing Microsoft Campus Agreement to provide Forefront for our campus computers. This amounted to almost $11K in savings without a loss in functionality. We eliminated our part-time Instructional Technology Support and Training position saving us about $8K in temporary service funds. This reduction in staff has put an additional strain on resources for supporting myCourses.

This is our first wiki-based annual report and we hope you find it easy to read. Visit the links on the left navigation bar to learn more about our accomplishments over the past year and view some of the stats and facts we collect annually. Past reports can be found on the CIT web site.

It is difficult to remain optimistic, support existing services, and try new things when significant budget cuts have occurred over the past two fiscal years. The challenges we face are real and difficult but CIT staff are creative, hardworking and undaunted.

-Sue Chichester
Chief Information Officer & Director, CIT

A penny saved is a penny earned.
-Benjamin Franklin