CIO Updates

Tom Wolf, CIO

February 2018

Safe travels to those of you who will be venturing outside of the Kalamazoo area for spring break. For those of you who plan to stick around town, please be aware that some campus services will have reduced hours over the break.

Attention supervisors of student employees: To comply with state and federal regulations, the Office of Information Technology is asking all supervisors of students who use computers in their WMU job and/or access electronic or paper University data, to require these students to complete the online IT security education courses in Elearning. If they have previously completed this training, they do not have to do it again. Upon completion, they will receive an email with a link to their completion certificate. This certificate can be presented to the supervisor as proof of completion. More information. Questions may be referred to Nancy Kroes.

WMU Survey policy: Have you ever had an interest in surveying a segment of the WMU community? WMU has a policy for collecting data via surveys. The purpose of this policy is to ensure efficiency, accuracy, accountability, and consistency in the administration of surveys. It is also intended to eliminate duplicate surveys, thus reducing survey fatigue, improve response rates, alert surveyors to pre-existing data, ensure the validity and security of data, ensure both privacy and confidentiality and promote effective use of University resources. See the policy.

Online computer training option: Did you know that as a current WMU employee you can request a account? At you find a myriad of technical topics, including numerous online training courses that explain in great detail some of the more complex features of our W-Exchange (Office 365) email and collaboration environment. is also an excellent resource for obtaining ideas about how to put together professional looking online presentations. See online training for more information.

Two factor authentication: Two factor authentication is an extra step in the login process that adds an additional layer to confirm your identity. Its purpose is to reduce fraud risks by making it harder for hackers to obtain access to your account. WMU is now offering two factor authentication as an option on both the internal and external VPN with more applications being added later.  Read more information. Questions should be directed to the Technology Help Desk at (269) 387-4357, option 1.

WMU network growth chart; 35% growth inbound traffic and 20% growth outbound traffic

Wi-Fi at WMU: WMU has experienced exponential internet traffic growth over the last five years with expectations that this trend will continue well into the next decade. Wi-Fi and the proliferation of mobile devices on campus has certainly been a contributor. To address the greater demands on WMU's Wi-Fi (wireless) networks the Office of Information Technology has established a formal lifecycle project that is taking a very hard look at internet services on campus with special attention being paid to the ever increasing demands on the Wi-Fi networks. Student, faculty and staff expectations for Wi-Fi at WMU have never been higher and OIT is working hard to not only meet but exceed those expectations. Wi-Fi at WMU is currently available in all academic and administrative buildings and most outdoor spaces at WMU. Multiple wireless connection types are available including secure, open and guest options. Wireless is also available in the public areas and individual room of most residential living spaces on campus. Actual speeds that individuals will experience while using Wi-Fi on WMU's campus can vary depending on the number of concurrent users connected to the same access point, the types of applications being run by those users, the signal strength of the Wi-Fi connection and other variables. Best practices show us that a wireless access point can reasonably support around 20 users performing typical functions like browsing web pages, reading email, or navigating Facebook. By design not all areas of WMU can accommodate large volumes of Wi-Fi users at the same time. That said, the Office of Information Technology has the ability to install temporary equipment at special events so the Wi-Fi experience is a positive one for all the event participants. If you are planning a special event that involves Wi-Fi connectivity, please don't hesitate to reach out to OIT's infrastructure team ( well in advance of your event so that our staff can work closely with you to ensure that all the technology requirements of your event are addressed!

Need some Visio? The online version of Microsoft's long running Visio diagramming software is now available for WMU students, faculty and staff for free as part of our W-Exchange program. See more information about Visio and other W-Exchange applications.

Two staff members retire: After 33 years, most of which as a PeopleSoft Programmer/Analyst, Office of Information Technology employee Christine Paver has announced her retirement. Chris was part of the team that helped WMU become the first university in the country to successfully implement PeopleSoft Financials. Director of Educational Technology Services, Bradley Morgan has also announced his retirement. Over his 28 year career at WMU Brad has provided a wide range of services to the WMU community including video production and storage, lecture capture, classroom related technologies, online learning, EduCABLE and much much more. If you get a chance, please wish Brad and Chris the very best as they venture into the next phases of their lives. Thank you Brad and Chris for the positive and lasting impact you have both had on the WMU community!

OIT student employees fund: The Office of Information Technology would like to thank all 15 participants in this year's student appreciation week OIT student employees fund essay contest. This contest originated in 2016 as a way to honor the memory of a long-time OIT employee and computer labs manager John Racine. Through the generous contributions of OIT staff the contest has continued into a third year. Congratulations to Emma Klitchman, Heather Dolegowski, Pranitha Yalamanchili and Tina Tocco for their grand prize winning 2018 submissions. Donations to this worthwhile and fun filled competition can be made through the Alumni and Development website by selecting the OIT Student Employees Fund designation. I would like to personally thank everyone who has contributed to the ongoing success of this student centric contest.

Did you know? In addition to main campus WMU's RAVE emergency alert system also provides emergency alert services to WMU's regional campuses. If you wish to be added to the alert network for a regional campus, you may do so in the WMU Alert Registration portlet of GoWMU.