On behalf of the Office of Information Technology, I would like to invite you to review our spring 2009 newsletter.
We are starting another calendar year at AU with much excitement and promise for the future. We have come through a campus wide strategic planning effort with information technology playing a prominent role in the plan. Now, we are developing the detailed operation or "action" plans to help us realize our objectives and aspirations. Some early efforts to try to identify important initiatives have occurred and have been put forth in recent budget requests under consideration.
We remain optimistic that even in this difficult financial period that investment will continue in new information technology, since it lies at the center of many of the proposed goals for the university. Take for example our goal to expand research occurring here at the university. Technology is at the center of this initiative since without the modern broadband networks, data storage, or advanced computing to support computation, visualization, and collaboration, AU faculty and students will not be able to compete with other universities for grants or even meet their stated goals for research.
Another example is the ambitious enrollment and teaching goals, and the continued need to support more digital media and Web 2.0/3.0 are driving us to adopt new ways to create, manage, and share new forms of knowledge and information.
Finally, if we look at our goals to improve services to students, we are exploring ways to improve the transparency, ease of access, and effectiveness and efficiency of our support services. At the heart of this effort is again technology with improved processes made possible by new and innovative applications of technology.
We continue to see progress and improvements over the last semester to our enterprise services on campus. For example, some services highlighted in this newsletter are our response to the rapid growth in the demand for wireless and Internet bandwidth. At the Library, the rates have grown dramatically in one year from only 50 concurrent wireless users to as many as 458. In that same year, the campus has grown to over 3,000 concurrent wireless users from a level of about 1,500. Keeping up with this pace of growth in demand is critical and central to our mission, but can stretch our scarce resources.
We are also working on refreshing and modernizing our aging infrastructure and adopting IT best practices that help us to improve our effectiveness through the adoption of Service Level Agreements, Change Control, and Portfolio and Project Management. We also have improved security and control of data to protect privacy, improved flexibility and reliability of our central servers using virtual machines, enabled wireless printing, and faster credit card processing on campus. There are many more improvements planned in line with the new strategic plan.
While we have put in place an ongoing process and a committee with campus wide representation to help identify priorities, feel free to send me your ideas and I will be sure they are reviewed and considered.
Thank you for your support and I look forward to another successful semester here at AU.
Chief Information Officer
Our Featured Services
AU Unplugged: Our Wireless Campus
Have you noticed the improvements to AU's wireless network infrastructure? Learn more about enhancements to the wireless network, resulting in stronger signals and faster speeds for you.
» Learn more about Wireless
OIT's Recipe for Success
OIT has adopted a cross-functional change management strategy focusing on the need to communicate, plan, learn from, and collectively assess changes to AU's complex IT systems environment. Learn how this best practice has already resulted in a reduction of unplanned downtime.
» Learn more about Change Management
AU is Going Virtual
Virtualization of servers is becoming more and more popular to get more for less. Learn how AU's plans to virtualize resources within the data center will cost less, support our "green" initiatives, and increase reliability of IT services.
» Learn more about Virtualization
I.T. Takes a Village: Partnering for You
Many individuals and offices, across AU's distributed campus, contribute to the success of a system or service. Learn how OIT has collaborated with its partners to develop Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to sustain and increase quality service levels.
» Learn more about Service Level Agreements
Empowering Our Students
Learn how several new portal applications are empowering our students to access and manage critical information pertaining to them through the my.american.edu Web portal.
» Learn more about new Student Portal Applications
Gotta Run: Faster Credit Card Processing in Dining Services
Hungry and rushing off to class? Learn how a new method of processing credit card transactions will speed up the lines and reduce your wait at the register in campus dining locations.
» Learn more about Credit Card Processing Improvements
Our Featured IT Security News
Audit Yourself: Locate Sensitive Data with Self-Scanning Tool
What sensitive AU or personal data do you have stored on your computer; do you know? Learn how you can help to prevent identity theft and reduce the risk of exposure of the university, by regularly scanning your computer with the new MyIDProtector tool.
» Learn more about the MyIDProtector Self-Scanning Tool
35.7 Million Records Exposed by Data Breaches in 2008
2008 brought a dramatic increase in data breaches across business sectors with lost or stolen laptops often named as the cause for sensitive data exposure. Learn how encryption can help to protect AU and personal data. stored on your laptop. Sign up now.
» Learn more about Workstation Encryption
Spear Phishing - Don't Get Caught!
Spam is growing quickly -- nearly 200 billion spam messages are now sent each day, double the volume in 2007. Learn how to protect yourself from these convincing e-mail and voice mail attacks.
» Learn more about Spear Phishing
Protect AU Data When Connecting From Off Campus
Do you work from home? Do you travel often? Learn how AU's Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides you with a user-friendly way to connect securely back to AU resources.
» Learn more about AU's VPN
Untangle the Datatel User Interface and EagleData
Do you have a new staff member who has been recently approved to have access to either the Datatel Colleague or Benefactor systems or the EagleData warehouse? If so, they will need to sign up for the new training courses to receive their login credentials and learn to how to navigate the system, find information, and adhere to security best practices.
» Read more about the New Training Courses
Share in OIT's Successes
Check out the Office of Information Technology's Year-in-Review 2007-2008 publication, which describes OIT's initiatives for our enterprise systems and technology infrastructure, as well as a summary of progress made in CIO Dave Swartz's first full year since arriving at AU in January of 2007.
» Read the Year-in-Review Publication
New Faces of OIT
Meet Our Operations Coordinator
Funda Topcuoglu transferred to OIT from the Washington College of Law in January of 2009. She serves as OIT's primary staff liaison for procurement, personnel, timekeeping, budget administration, and service contract management.
» Read more about Funda
Staff Additions and Promotions
We are pleased to highlight the OIT staff who have been recently hired, promoted, or changed positions.
» Read more about OIT's New Faces