Summer 2009 IT Projects Announced

June 12, 2009 - Staff

Students and faculty can anticipate significant visible changes to IT systems and services in the areas below upon their return to campus in August.

Student and Instructional Services

Classroom Modernization
Besides the Mitchell Hall remodel in progress, IT and Media Technology Services are bringing technical improvements to centrally-scheduled classrooms this fall: Built-in audio-visual equipment and instructor lecterns feature laptop connections to high-definition projectors, wireless connectivity, projector controls, audio speakers, electric screens and central management of AV equipment with remote technical support. See Classroom Modernization.

Computer Pod Upgrades
A new consistent interface is being implemented in the Computer Pods this summer. Approximately 200 new Windows machines will enable all the Pods to upgrade to Vista with a centrally-managed image. The latest version of Microsoft Office Suite will be implemented in both Macintosh and Windows environments. This version is downward compatible to accommodate many older document versions students may have. A login to Network Access Control from a browser will also be required to access services delivered over the network such as printing or e-mail. See Computer Pods.

Webmail Performance
Servers and software that underlie UNM Webmail, used by students especially, are being increased, upgraded and tuned almost 5-years to the day from original implementation. Webmail users can expect to experience improved response time and availability. Contact Steve Spence for project information.

Survey and Election Tool Upgrade
The product used for surveys and elections (Opinio), has been upgraded and patched to eliminate duplicate mailings. See Service Catalog entries here and here.

Test Scoring Print Charges
Automatically scanned and scored test results are e-mailed to the instructor for free. Charges for printing test results are new this year to recover the costs of printing. Fees, when set, may be found in the Service Catalog.

Network and Security

Wireless Enhancements
IT is improving campus wireless coverage at the Duck Pond, in some dorms and in almost all centrally-scheduled classrooms, including Dane Smith, Ortega, Education, and Sara Reynolds Halls, over the summer to meet the growing demand for access to the network by devices that students bring to campus. This will be accomplished by adding access points to increase coverage and capacity. Wireless expansion is also continuing in buildings and classrooms across campus as budget allows. Contact Mark Reynolds about the project, and see IT Wireless.

Network Sign-In
When students return to campus this fall, NetID and password authentication from a browser will be required for access to the UNM wireless network, Lobo-WiFi, as well as the wired network in Student Housing, University Libraries and the IT Pods and computer classrooms. Network Access Control brings a new level of security to the UNM network. Remember to open a browser to access network services!

NetID Password Strengthening
UNM systems are being modified this summer to support longer passwords and more special characters. This is the first of many steps to improve security by making passwords harder to guess. The new rules will apply to newly-created NetIDs. The rest of the UNM community will acclimate as passwords expire.

Software Licensing Services

Microsoft Operating System and Office Suite for Employees and Departments
Departments, staff and faculty can purchase MS Vista and Office for Windows and Macintosh systems at an extremely low price under the new MS Campus Agreement, thanks to IT negotiating and underwriting an agreement with Microsoft that benefits UNM Faculty and Staff. Personal purchase is available from the UNM Bookstore for $10 per copy, and departmental purchases can be made from the Software Distribution Department for $5 per copy.

Symantec Antivirus available for all UNM Students, Staff and Faculty at no charge
IT has purchased licensing for Symantec Antivirus for the benefit of all the UNM Community. Students, Faculty and Staff can download it for free from the IT download page, after signing in with a UNM NetID and password. Departments can purchase discs from Software Distribution with a departmental Purchase Request for $5.00.

Application Services

Federal Race and Ethnicity Codes Compliance Project
Over 60 offices across five UNM campuses and the UNM Hospital are involved in making changes to hundreds of forms, systems, and reports as part of the University's response to Federal regulation changes concerning race and ethnicity information. As part of the effort, IT will be updating Banner to bring it into compliance with the new regulations and to prepare it to receive data from forms which will begin collecting the new information in early August. A census is planned in early 2010 to allow all students, faculty, and staff to update their race and ethnicity information. Contact Linda Johansen for project information.

Banner ERP Reporting Improvements
The product used for reporting (Hyperion) is upgraded to version 8.5. The plug-in is available after authentication with a NetID and password.