Technology Services: From the CIO

November, 2019 CIO Update »

I hope everyone had a peaceful Thanksgiving holiday filled with friends and family.  In this month’s entry, I thought I would highlight two important initiatives that benefit the VCU community.

Information Security Heroes

In the world of cybersecurity, many cybercriminals gain their foothold in an organization through the exploitation of vulnerable websites/web applications or the duping of people in an organization. These techniques often yield great rewards for cybercriminals, as they can use the initial foothold to steal computational resources to mine digital currency, further penetrate into an organization and steal sensitive information, and/or compromise additional systems through their initial foothold and launch extortion campaigns. Because individuals in an organization are often targeted by cybercriminals, VCU Technology Services recognizes that individual employees, students, guests, and affiliates are often the greatest assets in defending our institution against cyberattacks. The individuals are the eyes and ears of the Information Security Office and often report potential cyberattacks and scams to the Information Security Office.

CISO Dan Han and AVP for Public Safety John Venuti show off their Security Heroes shirts

Over the past year, the VCU Information Security Office launched the VCU Security Heroes program to recognize and reward individuals who report suspicious activities and scams to the VCU Information Security Office. The idea is that rather than targeting individuals, cybercriminals will often target groups of individuals to maximize their chances of gaining a foothold in the organization. Conversely, if we can effectively incentivize reporting and increase the percentage of individuals who report scams to the VCU Information Security Office in a timely fashion, then VCU can respond to threats quickly thus reducing the amount of time a cybercriminal can roam freely within our environment.

The Security Heroes program was launched in November 2018. Aside from thanking each individual for reporting of potential cyber threats and scams, all individuals who report potential cyber threats and scams are given the opportunity to be entered into a raffle for exclusive monthly rewards in the form of “Security Heroes” shirts and the “Security Hero of the Month” designation. At the time of this writing, there are twelve Security Heroes recognized and the VCU Information Security Office has seen improved consistency in time to report potential cyber threats and scams in the university; thus allowing security incident responders to quickly and consistently respond to potential threats targeting the university.

To learn more about the VCU Security Heroes program or see our past Security Heroes, please visit the program website at

Information Technology Career Community

In conjunction with the HR Great Place university-wide career development initiative, the Information Technology Career Community (ITCC) was developed, a leadership team from IT elected and work begun in 2019. Career communities enhance the career development of employees who are doing similar work or who have similar career interests across the University by providing regular networking and learning opportunities.  The ITCC serves to enhance technical knowledge and promote career development by facilitating networking, mentoring, and learning activities within the University.  

The ITCC held a kick-off meet-and-greet on November 18, attended by over 40 employees during which further event, learning, and professional development ideas were gathered.  The ITCC Leadership team is working on a comprehensive multi-year professional development curriculum that will span both campuses and will include lunch-and-learns, speaker series, panel discussions, training, mentoring, and shadowing.   


ITCC Lunch and Learn: The Ins-and-Outs of the VCU Network

  • Kush Patel – TS Network Services
  • Thursday, December 5 from Noon – 1 pm
  • MMEC (Medical Campus)
  • 1201 East Marshall Street, Room 3-101

ITCC Lunch and Learn: The Future of Security at VCU

 For further information, you can contact the ITCC at

All persons in an IT Job Family Position are considered part of the ITCC and are automatically included in a listserv used for ITCC announcements.  Persons not in an IT Job Family can join the ITCC and its listserv by subscribing to the IT career community listserv to receive emails about upcoming events and more.  

I encourage your active participation and feedback to the ITCC.

Wishing you all the best for the holiday season,


October, 2019 CIO Update »

Happy Halloween!  Hopefully, the first item below, a change in which the way we operate the Blackboard system, will be anything but scary.  And I know the other item, an update on some of our service improvement initiatives, is definitely not scary (though there are major changes coming): Blackboard SaaS Migration – Starting 12/19/19 Expected . . .

September, 2019 CIO Update »

Happy Fall!  The leaves are starting to change but the temperature not so much. Hopefully soon we'll be a little cooler...  For this month's entry, I'd like to share the initial results of our service review initiative as well as highlight a service enhancement. Service Review Initiative: As those of you who work in Technology Services will reca . . .

August, 2019 CIO Update »

Welcome to the new academic year!  The Technology Services team was hard at work over the summer months preparing for the fall.  Many infrastructure upgrades and improvements were completed and several new technology initiatives were prepared for pilots or full implementation. New Service for Residential Student Wireless Residential students hav . . .

July, 2019 CIO Update »

I'm sometimes asked by people who work outside higher education what we do with all that "down time" in the summer.  Well, we certainly don't stop working and in fact summer gets extremely busy as we complete projects and other work that's harder to accomplish during the regular academic year.  Below are three examples of what our teams have recently . . .

June, 2019 CIO Update »

For this month's entry, I'd like to announce an exciting new enterprise agreement that's been a long time coming as well as highlight Technology Services' use of exciting new technology in the form of 3D printing. Announcing the Adobe ETLA VCU recently signed an ETLA (Enterprise Term Licensing Agreement) for Adobe Creative Cloud. This license prov . . .

May, 2019 CIO Update »

Happy Summer!  For this month's entry, I'm pleased to announce that Technology Services has implemented a service delivery model for VCU's new print program.  I also want to highlight upcoming changes to Google and Listserv services.  Please see below for more. OnePrint begins full service For those of you that are not familiar, OnePrint is a man . . .

April, 2019 CIO Update »

April has been a busy month for Technology Services.  As announced previously, we have begun implementing our new IT Service Management tool, Cherwell.  We are also in the final stages of preparing for the May 13 go-live of RealSource, VCU's new eProcurement system. For this month's entry, I'd like to feature two other changes in the services we offer . . .

March, 2019 CIO Update »

For this month's entry, I would like to feature the completion of renovations to the Technology Services space in the basement of Cabell Library, something we started working on in earnest in 2013.  I'd also like to continue the overview of TS departments with a look at Telecommunications Services as well as remind everyone of the Tech Fair next week. . . .

February, 2019 CIO Update »

This month, I would like to highlight an internally focused initiative within Technology Services as well as remind you of a career development opportunity. Service Reviews In alignment with Quest 2025 and the VCU Administration Strategic Priorities, we are striving to streamline TS operations, encourage individual staff growth, and to work toward . . .

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What is VCU Technology Services?

We are responsible for implementing and supporting the technology used around campus, such as the network, phones, enhanced classrooms, and Internet-based systems including myVCU, Blackboard, email, and more.

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