CIT Annual Report 2012

Message from the CIO

Each year, the process of writing our annual report gives us the opportunity to look back at this past year and see what we have accomplished. Did we accomplish what we set out to do? Was it a good year? What did we do that is new? What did we change? Are there processes or services that are a thing of the past? Are we responding to the needs of the campus community? In looking back at this past year, the word balance comes to mind. The dictionary defines balance as “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady”. In providing information technology services to the Geneseo community, balance is important. We must balance our time spent on developing new services, processes and technologies while maintaining existing services, processes and technologies. We also have to balance time spent in planning versus doing, meeting versus working. To remain upright and steady, we must implement change.

What was this year’s buzz? … mobile. The 2011 Horizon report, a collaboration between the Educause Learning Initiative and The New Media Consortium, includes mobiles as one of the technologies on the near-term horizon (within the next 12 months). This year we have focused on providing mobile web sites for and, implemented Blackboard Mobile Learn for access to myCourses, and improved mobile icons for Other tools we use, like the Confluence wiki, Google Apps for Education, Request Tracker for CIT problem tracking and WordPress for CIT Status, have built-in nice mobile interfaces for their products. Mobile will continue to be a focus for CIT this coming year as well.

Part of keeping the balance is to keep our current services up-to-date. This past year, on the Banner front, we implemented a major upgrade to the Oracle database and several major releases of the Banner software. There were also major updates to the Confluence wiki, Request Tracker, PaperCut, uPortal, Central Authentication System, NetBackup, and VMware to name some of those that stand out for us as more significant. Keeping up-to-date also means replacing equipment. The balance of the old 3Com network switches were replaced with Cisco gear, our Erwin UPS was replaced, and other server and network infrastructure was replaced as needed. In the classroom, the Elmo visualizers were updated with Wolf visualizers, the last of the MT-series projectors were updated in Brodie, Fraser, Newton, Welles and South Hall and the Newton TV production studio was upgraded with state-of-the-art digital equipment. The Newton TV studio was a long overdue project that will give our students a realistic experience with real-world broadcasting facilities.

It’s always exciting to be involved in something new. This year we hosted our First Annual Insomnia Film Festival. It was an event we held to promote more interest in digital media technologies. We had more than anticipated participation with eight teams completing the challenge we are already looking forward to this Insomnia Film Festival 2013. We also began a purposeful migration to VoIP (Voice over IP) for telephone service. It will take about three years to completely move to VoIP. Sometimes working on something new involves taking something old and approaching it a new way. This was the case with the SOFIs. We implemented a custom SOFI solution in KnightWeb to reduce hosting costs and increase ability to customize our solution.  

We wouldn’t be able to do what we do with the students. CIT hires approximately 50 students each year to help us carry out our mission. We have had some exceptional student staff. This year, Thomas Fisher, worked to develop an online scheduling tool for Great Day. The tool allowed users to view the schedule online, create a custom schedule for sessions they planned to attend, export their custom calendar as an ical and view it from their mobile device. Joanna Duell is also a very talented graphic artist that works in the CIT Innovation Center with poster printing. This year Joanna also created the logo for the Geneseo JPMorgan Corporate Challenge T-shirt that won the most creative t-shirt award. Also much of the leg-work for enhancing wireless in the residence halls was done by students Travis Kershner and Alexander King.

Communication is always a challenge. CIT is very active on Twitter (Follow CITGeneseo) and Facebook (Like CIT@Geneseo). We tweet upcoming outages, info on new technologies, IT alerts such as a current phishing attempt, and other technology related news.

A much more detailed and complete report is included on the pages of this report. Click on Assessment to view the full results of the CIT 2012 Customer Satisfaction and Needs Survey.

Sue Chichester
Chief Information Officer & Director, CIT