Effective July 1, Thomas R. Wolf, Jr. became the University's Chief Information Officer and CTO-Updates became CIO-Updates.
I had the pleasure of spending most of June in the lobby of Sangren Hall meeting with hundreds of parents who were on campus attending orientation. If the new students are anything like their parents, then fall 2017 is going to be an exciting semester. I appreciated all the enthusiasm and curiousity the parents brought to campus. There was huge interest in WMU's free Wi-Fi for guests, WMU Guest. Many parents were pleased to find out that their students are entitled to multiple free downloads of the Microsoft Office 365 suite. The student run Makerspace in the UCC, that includes free 3D printing, was a big hit as was the fantastic EduCable high definition channel lineup.
Student employment opportunities in the Office of Information Technology were discussed but probably the most popular topic the parents raised was the Technology Help Desk and the wide range of completely free services (including the Mobile Help Desk) provided by this team of professionals. Not to digress but I did have one parent admit to me that THEY had logged in to their student's brand new email account and proceeded to fall victim to a phishing attempt. WMU spends a lot of time and energy every year informing the campus community about the various forms of cyber-crime, including phishing. If you are new to WMU or if you would like a quick refresher on the latest forms of phishing or other types of cyber-crime, please check out the wealth of information on our phishing website and our security website. Let's all work together to keep the cyber criminals out of our campus community!
Have a great summer,
Tom Wolf, CIO
"Phishing is an online scam involving emails, with a clickable link, that appear to be from a trusted source. By clicking a phishing link, you may compromise your WMU Bronco NetID and allow access to your personal data within GoWMU. You could also allow viruses or other malware to infect your computer."
Information Technology Acquisition Policy and IT product review process: Faculty and staff please be aware that updates have recently been made to the IT product review page and the Information Technology Acquisition Policy page. If your unit has recently or is planning to acquire new technology, please review in detail these pages.
Digital badges: Digital badges were first made available to the WMU campus community in July, 2014 as a standalone solution. As of the July 4, 2016 upgrade of WMU's Elearning solution, Brightspace by D2L, digital badges are now fully integrated into the Elearning system. If you are a faculty member who is interested in leveraging digital badge functionality, called Awards, please contact the Faculty Technology Center for more information.
Wireless printing: Hey students, starting this fall, a number of computer labs across campus will be rolling out a new service called Mobility Print which allows students to wirelessly print from their mobile devices. Posters like the one to the right are being hung all around campus. In order to take advantage of this new service you need only download the Mobility Print app, perform a few simple setup instructions and literally within a few minutes you will be printing wirelessly from your mobile device! Mobility Print works on Windows, Chromebooks, Android, Mac OS and iOS devices. See Wireless Lab Printing for more information.
Ransomware: A very dangerous form of malware, known as ransomware is making the rounds. It comes in an email with subject lines that appear legitimate, usually asking your to look at the "requested documentation" and including an attached file. The Office of Information Technology periodically pushes out public service announcements using the University's official communication channels (WMU Today emails and campus announcements in GoWMU) reminding the campus community to never open unexpected attachments sent via email. If you receive an email and have any question about the authenticity, you should always contact the send before opening any attachments. In most cases you need do nothing more than tag the message as Junk in W-Exchange, although it is always appreciated if you choose to first forward the message as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org so the message can be investigated further and corrective actions taken to hopefully block future emails from this cyber-criminal. Read more about ransomware on our security awareness web page.
Scholarship hoax: Cyber-criminals has also been busy sending emails to prospective foreign students saying they are affiliated with Western Michigan University and claiming the student will receive a WMU scholarship once they send a wire transfer to cover the cost of their visa. If your office receives any inquiries about these fictitious scholarship emails, please try to obtain a copy of the email the prospective student received and forward it as an attachment to email@example.com. Thanks!
Single Number Reach: Tired of missing phone calls? Tired of maintaining multiple voicemail boxes? If you have a WMU VoIP phone, our telecommunications team may have a solution for you. It is a service called Single Number Reach. I have been using it for years now and with Single Number Reach, calls to my desk phone ring simultaneiously on my cell phone. It can actually ring on up to four additional phones at the same time. Read more about it.
Lasers? When I mention the word laser, what is the first thing that pops into your head? Star Wars? Cats with laser eyes? One of the Deadmau5's amazing laser light shows? Well starting this fall, there will be 80 classrooms on campus using new laser projectors. Laser projectors are brighter, have a higher resolution image, last longer, use less energy and best of all, no bulbs to replace. In summary they are a less expensive, more reliable and more environmentally friendly solution. Go Brown! Go Gold! Go green! Go Broncos!
Student food bank: With an influx of diverse students on campus comes an influx of diverse needs. Let's all work together to make the fourth year of WMU's highly successful Invisible Need Project even better than the first three years. This project continues to be a point of pride for the Bronco community.
Did you know? That the URL https://wmich.sharepoint.com/sites/mysites will take you to a page that shows you all of the WMU affiliated SharePoint sites that you have access to? Be sure to bookmark this URL for future reference.