CTO Updates August 2014


I would like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone to fall 2014. I am very excited to be a part of Western's first "Tobacco Free" semester. I am also very pleased to be able to share with the WMU community the following technology-related news and updates. If you have any questions, or comments, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at tom.wolf@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3838. Or, you can tweet me at @tomwolfjr. Go WMU! Go Broncos!

24/7 Help Desk: The IT Help Desk is still on schedule to expand phone service to 24/7 on Oct. 6. This new service has been tagged as the "after hours Help Desk" and will be primarily focused on serving the needs of WMU's online learning community.

Adobe update: WMU reached an agreement with Adobe for a limited number of copies of Adobe Acrobat Pro and Adobe Creative Cloud. Faculty and and staff should contact their department LAN manager to inquire about the availability of these software products.

Bronco Review: In August, media services staff traveled to Purdue to start filming the twelfth season of Bronco Review. Bronco Review typically runs eight months and is comprised of twelve football episodes and eight hockey/basketball episodes. 

Faculty One Stop: In partnership with the Office of Faculty Development, the Office of Information Technology created an online "one-stop shop" teaching and learning resources website designed to help faculty quickly navigate WMU's online teaching resources. The project team is using augmented reality as part of their communication plan for this new service.

Securing the Human security education: IT continues to educate the campus community on information security best practices with a couple of notable initiatives. In addition to personal face-to-face presentations, a security video is presented at all new employee orientation sessions. WMU employees may also be asked to participate in the SANS Securing the Human program. This program consists of various video modules with quizzes that must be completed successfully to move on to the next module. Relevant WMU policies and procedures are incorporated into the SANS training. To request a departmental security presentation, contact Greg Lozeau at (269) 387-0091.

Security education for students: For students, information technology has created video modules within Elearning that cover student and student employee appropriate security topics. These educational courses are accessible via GoWMU in the student's My Self Service channel.

Studio A: Studio A continues to recover from the flood damage experienced in January. Most repair work has been completed, however the flood damage to the studio's 30 year old light dimming system is so significant that the system will need to be replaced. Contractors are scheduled to replace this system in November.

Sustainability: Information technology has been able to achieve a 28% power reduction in the University Computing Center's first floor computing room through the creation of several virtual internal clouds. This is phase one of a year long project aimed at virtualizing the majority of IT-hosted servers.

Web conferencing support: I would like to remind all faculty and staff that the Faculty Technology Center is now offering free cloud based Web conferencing via WMU-licensed Adobe Connect Pro seminars. If you would like to learn more about this exciting new service, see their website.