July, 2017 CIO Update
The new academic year is fast approaching, and there are multiple efforts underway to prepare. Our migration to multi-factor authentication continues to progress; we now have more than 15,000 registered users of DUO. We continue to maintain and upgrade fiber and network infrastructure; we are progressing well in the upgrade to Banner 9; we have successfully piloted a new voicemail system; and we are close to completing the implementation of various systems to support the HR Redesign project. For this month’s update, I would like to highlight a few more projects below:
Identity and Access Management – Fischer
After a rigorous procurement process, Fischer International has been selected to provide VCU’s Identity and Access Management solution. Fischer was selected for both the completeness of vision of their identity product as well as their extensive implementation expertise. They received glowing recommendations from other clients in the higher education space as well as industry insiders which advised VCU during the selection process. During selection, particular importance was placed on minimizing risk and disruption during the implementation process and Fischer’s proposal excelled in this arena. It’s interesting to note that University of Virginia also selected Fischer this month. I will share more on the implementation plan in the coming months.
Blackboard Facelift and the Introduction of “eLearning”
For many years, Blackboard at VCU has remained the same in it’s overall front-end design and was beginning to show its age. In an era where ease-of-use and responsive design elements are important for faculty and students, online teaching and learning is at the forefront of education more than ever before. The Learning Systems team worked to customize and restructure the look and feel of the interface, giving emphasis to ensuring the new design was more ADA compliant. Now referring to Blackboard as “eLearning” at VCU, the team hopes to direct focus to what the system can do, rather than what system is used. This visual and conceptual redesign will position VCU’s Learning Management System for the next evolution of eLearning.
My Faculty Tools (Blackboard Course Create and Copy Tool) Redesign
Learning Systems worked closely with Web Services to release an updated, more streamlined version of the “My Faculty Tools” resource, used for creation of new courses. This nicely complements the new eLearning interface that was deployed with with the Blackboard Q4 2016 update in May.
TS Status is a new web-based application developed by the Web Services team that displays a high level overview of current system statuses and incidents. This is in an effort to establish a more transparent stance with our customers with regards to availability of the systems and services VCU Technology Services provides the community. The application allows visitors to subscribe and get personalized updates on VCU TS services that pertain to them. Any incidents that are posted to the TS Status site are also automatically posted to the Technology Services Twitter account (@vcutechservices).
I hope all enjoy what’s left of summer, and best wishes for a successful upcoming academic year!