IT Projects

Here is a list of the top projects that CIS is working on at the moment, culled from a total of fifty nine projects.

Develop Institutional Cloud Computing Strategy

Description

As HMC departments increasingly purchase Software as a Service options, it is important for the College to develop an institutional cloud computing strategy. The College needs to manage the risks associated with contracting for cloud computing services, and ensure that data is carefully managed across cloud applications.

Goals

  • Finalize SaaS questions and release on Formstack (instead of .docx format).
  • Cabinet and Computing Committee discussions of Cloud Computing take place.
  • Strategy recommendations accepted by Cabinet & disseminated.
  • Make sure that we go back and collect the SaaS information for CIS contracts that already exist.

Status

03/11/2015: CIS staff started activities to identify how our support role differs with each cloud service. The department will continue to discuss challenges with integrating cloud services into our operations.

12/3/2014: The ITC is considering adopting HMC’s SaaS questions for Claremont wide use. No other update at this time.

8/13/2014: No update; we continue to use a .doc version of the questions, which is sent to vendors via email when appropriate.

4/9/2014: Some questions have been added to the SaaS list. Otherwise, no update.

2/26/2014: We have had a set of SaaS questions since 2009. Whenever a department is contracting for cloud services, and CIS knows about it, we ask the vendor to complete the questions. We would like to ensure that this is the practice for all cloud vendors. We are converting the questions into a Formstack form (encrypted answers). In Spring 2014 we hope to put out a strategy statement that can be approved by Cabinet. The BOT Audit Committee has recommended that we review audit documents from the vendor companies at least every two years.

Develop and Implement a Comprehensive ITIF Network Plan

Description

The Harvey Mudd Campus network, and indeed the network beyond campus (which is managed by CINE), have evolved over time, rather than being designed. With the creation of an IT infrastructure fund (ITIF) in January 2013, we have an opportunity to design a network that will support the College’s needs in the next five to ten years. Working with appropriate vendor(s), we are developing a comprehensive plan for the HMC campus network (wired and wireless), and have begun implementation of the plan. Our emphasis will be on high speed network connectivity, appropriate wireless density, redundancy and diversity for network survivability.

Goals

Complete and implement ITIF project plan for 2013-14 to include major decision regarding Parsons network design. Complete ITIF project plan for 2014-15.

Status

03/11/2015: The ITIF Project List and Budget has been developed to a 12 year plan with 49 projects listed. The focus for the upcoming quarters is on conduit and fiber. The Zayo dark fiber construction project has completed and termination of fiber is underway.

12/3/2014: Zayo project (dark fiber to downtown Los Angeles from CUC building) is scheduled for completion this month. End of Life network switch equipment was replaced in Linde and East dorms. The north conduit path via the North Parking lot has been completed. We have received recommendations from Corning for a network ring design for the Harvey Mudd campus.

8/13/2014: Parsons rewiring and network upgrade has been completed. Linde Activities Center wired and wireless upgrades have been completed. Have met with CUC contractor P2S to provide input for fiber connectivity between The Claremont Colleges and the CINE cores. The dark fiber construction to Claremont project is underway. The north conduit path via the North Parking Lot will be complete by 8/22/2014.

4/9/2014: Detailed planning for the Parsons rewiring and the new dorm are underway. We have identified a potential location for the second CINE core switch. We have purchased equipment for Parsons and are working with the building occupants regarding network down time during the summer and future network needs.

2/26/2014: We have a complete list of ITIF projects for 2013-14 and have begun sketching out projects for 2014-15. Network upgrades have taken place in Olin and Keck, as well as five dorms and the President’s house. A major upgrade is planned for Summer 2014 in Parsons, including rewiring of the building.

Continue IAM@HMC Initiative

Description

The Identity and Access Management (IAM@HMC) measure will create the following:

  • self-service password management
  • automated provisioning and deprovisioning of accounts, based on role
  • evidence of compliance with policies and regulations (audit trail)
  • web Single Sign On (SSO) between applications
  • Membership in InCommon

Goals

We would like to complete phase III and IV of the Fischer project, which will bring more applications into the single sign on environment and provide automated account provisioning and deprovisioning. We would like to join InCommon and begin federated login to services outside of HMC. We would like to replace wildcard security certificates with individual certificates

Status

03/11/2015: Deprovisioning has been implemented in the production environment. NetPartner, a financial aid program that allows students to check the status of their aid, has been added to SSO. With the support of the Computing Committee, the project team will implement the password complexity provisions of the updated password policy in the upcoming months.

12/3/2014: Deprovisioning (removal of old accounts) has been tested and will be moved into production on December 16th. HMC Credentials are now used in most applications.

8/13/2014: Portal SSO is complete. Account provisioning is complete. The synchronization of passwords is complete. Deprovisioning is being tested. Payors have received HMC Credentials and can access the HMC Portal.

4/9/2014: Implementation of Phase III automated account provisioning/deprovisioning continues. Continue Portal SSO testing.

2/26/2014: Phase III of the Fischer project is currently being tested. Automated account creation has been demonstrated, but due to problems with the test environment, launch of the project has been delayed, probably until summer 2014. The new Admission software, Slate, has been included in the Single Sign On (SSO) environment. HMC recently became the 600th member of InCommon.

Implement Policies and Procedures That Will Increase IT Security

Description

Maintaining IT security is an ongoing process, rather than a specific project deliverable. We need to constantly update and improve our approach to information security.

Goals

Each quarter, we would like to take at least two significant steps that increase security and lower risk for the College, without significantly compromising ease of use. We would like to see increased awareness in the HMC community of the HMC Password Policy. We would also like to develop IT security policies and keep the BOT Audit Committee apprised of progress. As a stretch goal, we would like to begin developing data stewardship guidelines for use by all who manage data for the College.

Status

03/11/2015: The Computing Committee has revised and approved the Password Policy.

12/3/2014: Policy on Safeguarding Confidential and Sensitive information is under second review by the Computing Committee. Password Policy is under review by Computing Committee to strike the requirement to change passwords every 365 days. Academic Advisory System was placed behind VPN. Shellshock and Poodle vulnerabilities were mitigated on all servers. User Support has been evaluating data encryption hardware and software.

8/13/2014: Statement on Incidental Personal Use has been approved by the Cabinet. Our security stance towards CX has been improved. Our Password Policy has been updated.

4/9/2014: Policy on Safeguarding Confidential and Sensitive Information is under review by College Counsel. Statement on Incidental Personal Use is under review by College Counsel. Intercollegiate Network and System Administration (NSA) group is upgrading security protocols (OSPF). OpenSSL “heartbleed” vulnerability is being addressed.

2/26/2014:

Q4 2013 (Oct-Dec)

  • HSA Portlet increased security of Educational Records related to HSA advising.
  • Request to faculty to synchronize passwords using Identity and Access Management Portal

Q1 2014 (Jan-Mar)

  • Launched educational initiative with Data Privacy Month, including information about password policy and ways to create better passwords.
  • Plan to finalize Policy on Safeguarding Confidential and Sensitive Information

Every month we use the TrustWave service to scan CIS managed servers for vulnerabilities.

Increase Portal Reliability and Usability

Description

Continuing the project we started last year, we are accelerating our efforts to improve the reliability and usability of the Portal.

Goals

We hope, after PAG advice, to release a schedule of work on the Portal Improvements. We will implement Single Sign On for the Portal so that people can log on with their HMC Credentials.

Status

03/11/2015: The new version of the Portal is on a development test server. Next week, we will be testing an upgraded student/faculty portlet on the test server.

12/3/2014: New systems have been installed in preparation for migration to a new version of the Portal in January 2015. A variety of cosmetic changes to the portal have been made at the request of users.

8/13/2014: Student Billing presentment went live on July 1, 2014. We are no longer sending out paper bills. All students and payors can view bills on the Portal. The Parchment Electronic Transcript Request System is now live on the Portal. Single Sign On to the Portal has been implemented. Working to transition to the 5C Academic Advisory System (access through the Portal) during Fall session.

4/9/2014: Made improvements to the Summer Research application process – off-campus applicants can use the portal to submit their information. Presented the Portal 5C Academic Advisory system at a Bite of Learning session. We are currently working on modifying it for HMC. The Student Statement presentment is on production for beta testing and a soft rollout with selected parents. The update to JICS 8 is scheduled for Summer 2014. PAG met and voted on top projects. PAG will meet again this quarter to discuss the voting results and advise on the priority of the projects.

2/26/2014: In the Fall of 2013 the Portal system memory was doubled and more CPU resources were added, which noticeably improved the Portal speed. A new HSA advising system, including online advisor approval of proposed courses, was implemented in time for pre-reg advising. Current projects include presenting student statements via the Portal, and upgrading to a new version of JICS.

PAG work stalled somewhat during the Fall, although Chair Mark Ashley, Susan Selhorst and Gerald Reyes made progress on assessing the Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) of each project. This is in preparation for ranking by the PAG, which is scheduled to begin in February 2014.

Enhance Technical Skills and Develop Knowledge Repository

Description

This initiative will encompass goals in two areas:

  1. The Campus Operations and First Line Support
  2. Technical Skill Set Base Knowledge

As part of the initiative, for each service we deliver, we need to make crystal clear (internally in CIS):

  1. Mutual understanding of tier one responsibilities.
  2. Mutual understanding of which services are core and we need to know most about.
  3. Mutual understanding of Ticket Owner & Assignees roles.

Goals

We would like to create a template for capturing service tiers by service. And begin by documenting service tiers for three services. We would like to increase the level of first contact resolution for service requests and problem reports. To do that we need to define first contact resolution for each services. We can then define metrics for first contact resolution.

Status

03/11/2015

  1. Sakai [ETS, USG]
    Training completed with new USG staff.
  2. AV support for events [ETS, USG]
    Two online self-paced training programs for SCTL audio equipment have been started by the AV support team.
  3. Identity and Access Management — account creation. [SNG, USG]
    USG is now able to open support tickets with Fischer.
  4. Wireless troubleshooting. [SNG,USG]
    Nothing new to report in the area of training.
  5. OnBase [DSES,USG]
    Nothing new to report in the area of training.
  6. Impromptu [DSES, USG]
    Nothing new to report vis a vis training on Impromptu.
  7. Cognos [DSES]
    Additional crosstraining was done in DSES to support the Cognos server.

12/10/14

  1. Sakai [ETS, USG]
    Training scheduled for new USG staff in January.
  2. AV support for events [ETS, USG]
    Two new staff are being cross trained for AV service and User Support. Contract for support by Western AV is in place and everyone in USG understands how it works. An additional temporary part time staff person continues to assist with AV support for events, as demand has been greatly increasing in the Shanahan Center.
  3. Identity and Access Management — account creation. [SNG, USG]
    USG has been fully trained to how to handle account creation notices and error messages coming from the automated account creation system. Help Desk staff are much more educated about how to proceed when there are issues, all the way from browser cookie issues to missing personal email addresses. Portal authentication issues are now handled completely by User Support, freeing Data Services staff to concentrate on tier two issues.
  4. Wireless troubleshooting. [SNG,USG]
    Nothing new to report in the area of training.
  5. OnBase [DSES,USG]
    Training on Unity Client and Virtual Print Drivers has been provided to USG.
  6. Impromptu [DSES, USG]
    Nothing new to report vis a vis training on Impromptu.

8/13/2014

  1. Sakai [ETS, USG]
    – no update
  2. AV support for events [ETS, USG]
    – Continue to integrate USG into AV support for events
  3. Identity and Access Management — account creation. [SNG, USG]
    – Several training sessions for CIS staff. Account creation process has been documented and socialized throughout CIS.
  4. Wireless troubleshooting. [SNG,USG]
    – USG has been provided with increased insight and access to wireless controller software. Purchased new tool for testing on-site problem locations; staff have been trained in its use.
  5. OnBase [DSES,USG]
    – Training has been provided to USG regarding new system setup.
  6. Impromptu [DSES, USG]
    – Initial system setup training was provided to USG.

03/15/2014: Six services were identified for tiering and developing processes for first contact resolution, FCR.

  1. Sakai [ETS, USG]
  2. AV support for events [ETS, USG]
  3. Identity and Access Management — account creation. [SNG, USG]
  4. Wireless troubleshooting. [SNG,USG]
  5. OnBase [DSES,USG]
  6. Impromptu [DSES, USG]

02/26/2014: Tiers are most clearly defined for Sakai services, which already had a Service Level Agreement in place. We are now considering a new effort to define tiers for audiovisual support. We have also done quite a bit of work to define tiers for web support (which we sometimes pass to OCA communications as tier two support). We have not yet defined first contact resolution for a service.

Improve use of Google Apps and Office365

Description

We would like to build on investment in Google Apps and Office365 by sharing knowledge about and leveraging the functionality of these systems.

Goals

Ensure that all HMC faculty and students have g.hmc.edu accounts. Work with Engineering Department to understand paper based office procedures and make recommendations regarding use of Google Apps. Begin series of informal workshops about taking advantage of the functionality of Google Apps and Office365.  Complete implementation of Google Apps based services that were created by students during Summer 2013.

Status

03/11/2015: Facilitated a GoogleApps Learning Community during the Winter Break.
The User Support Group provided students with information about accessing MS Pro Plus as part of HMC’s MS O365 subscription.

12/10/2014: Nothing to report.

8/13/2014: All but two faculty have g.hmc.edu accounts. CIS staff participated actively in the summer Google Apps learning community initiative.  Google Glass testing was offered by CIS in partnership with the Library and proved very popular. We refined our protocol for deciding when to activate new google features, making it more agile. We have enabled a workflow application in our test environment. We enabled Fusion Tables in production g.hmc.edu. We enabled Google Now in production g.hmc.edu

2/26/2014: All but two faculty have g.hmc.edu accounts. CIS staff is meeting regularly with representatives from the Engineering Department to understand their office procedures. We have not yet held informal workshops on using Google Apps.

Make a Transition From DTA to TA Program

Description

Reorganize the User Support Group so that technical support is based on best available expertise rather than being based on which person is “assigned” to what department.

Goals

To achieve the goals related to this objective, we will need to rewrite DTA job descriptions. We then plan to complete transition from DTA program to TA program, with substantial teamwork evident in User Support Group.

Status

8/13/2014: Completed: Support requests and projects for the User Support Group are assigned and completed by the most available technical analyst, with additional support provided from team members with technical experience or background information if needed.

2/26/2014: The job descriptions were rewritten in July 2013 and we began the transition to a more team oriented approach. The CIS staff in User Support have started to learn who is who among the faculty and staff, with a view to more friendly service. We now no longer have a DTA program. This project is now complete.

Educational Technology Discovery

Description

Increase level of experimentation/exploration through support of Shanahan Center.

Goals

Trial of whiteboards with report back to MT, TLC, CC regarding whether to purchase more. Report on use of document cameras by faculty. Initial exploration of a “digital posters” idea.

Status

03/11/2015: The MS Perceptive Pixel has arrived and ETS is testing and developing best practice documentation.
12/10/14: Preliminary feedback from students regarding digital badging has been extremely positive and we plan to expand this initiative to faculty in the Spring. Delivery of a Microsoft Perceptive Pixel device is anticipated. Lecture Capture has been increasing dramatically. A few faculty are making use of the SmartBoard system.

8/13/2014: The newly renamed ETS group (Educational Technology Services) attended a number of professional development events during the spring and summer including a MOOC on blended course design and a short online course on creating and assessing faculty development programs. We offered an online introduction to Sakai webinar for incoming faculty at all of The Claremont Colleges that was very well-attended. This week we are conducting the CIS Week of Workshops with 12 different workshops. ETS is also planning a pilot program with digital badges this Fall in collaboration with the Library.

4/9/2014: The ETS group conducted a well-attended workshop called “Beyond Chalk and Markers! An interactive workshop on alternatives to writing on the chalk and whiteboard.” We demonstrated using the document camera, iPad and Smartboard. ETS is also working on a grant proposal to acquire several more Smartboards.

2/26/2014: Smartboard is installed in the SCTL and has been used by one faculty member in class. Demos were conducted in both the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters. We do not yet have a sense whether there is demand for more. Document cameras are being used extensively in SCTL, but we do not yet have a report on how they are being used. We are continuing to seek interest from faculty on the Digital Posters idea. We have been working on a grant application to the Hearst Foundation.