Information Technology

February 2013

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Division of Information Technology
P.O. Box 6888
Radford, VA 24142
Phone: (540) 831-5173
Fax: (540) 831-6217
Email: cio@radford.edu


IT Security Tip
Don't allow someone to snoop on your computer while you are away. Always lock your computer when leaving it unattended. To automatically lock your PC before stepping away, press and hold the Windows key and the L key.



IT Tip
Confused? Need help but don't know whom to ask? Press the F1 key on the top row of your keyboard to see the program's built-in manual. Almost every program has one, even if you don't see a Help menu.



Accessibility Tip
When using Photoshop CS5, see how your graphic appears to people with various types of color blindness by clicking on View/Proof Setup.



DoIT Logo

Division of Information Technology
Radford University

DoIT unveils mobile website this winter

Radford University has unveiled a mobile-optimized website that uses code that detects the size of a device's screen and scales the site to fit those dimensions. The project launched in two phases on Jan. 28 and Feb. 5.

All of the content currently housed within the university's content management system is now mobile-optimized. This project makes Radford University among the first universities in the country to have a fully mobile-optimized website.

The optimization eliminates the need for users to "pinch and zoom" when visiting the Radford.edu website with a mobile device. Users will also find the navigation architecture matches that of the desktop site, making it easy to find information quickly while on the go. Further, site owners across campus do not need to take any extra steps to make their content mobile the code being deployed will create a mobile version of all content automatically.

The importance of having a mobile website is highlighted when looking at the growth in prospective students visiting college sites on a smartphone. According to a 2012 Noel-Levitz study, in spring 2011, 14% of students visited a college website using a mobile device. In spring 2012, that number jumped to 52%. Meanwhile, Radford has seen a fivefold increase in the percentage of traffic to its website via a mobile device.

A mobile website differs from a mobile application in several important ways. A mobile application must be downloaded by users and must be installed on their devices. Sub-applications within the overall mobile app use native features of the phone; access to site and tools are limited to those included in the application. A mobile website does not require users to download anything onto their devices. Any mobile phone visiting the website will see a mobile-optimized version of the site and can access any page on the Radford University website with their device.

A well-rounded mobile strategy includes both a mobile application and a mobile site.


New storage array boosts H:drive capacity

In response to a growing need for additional storage space on university H: drives, DoIT announces the availability of a new storage array that will dramatically increase H:drive capacities.

The H:drive upgrade will be implemented in phases over the next year. Phase 1 will provide an opt-in option for users who do not currently use the H:drive to host Web pages; this will result in an increase of the default quota from 750 MB (megabytes) to 20 GB (gigabytes). Phase 2 of the project, with completion projected in the current semester, will provide enhanced storage for those users who still need to maintain hosted Web pages.

DoIT offers the following guidance to those considering a migration to the new H:drive during Phase I of this project:

  • Hosting of websites via the public_html (www.radford.edu/username) or dynamic_php (php.radford.edu/~username) is not available during Phase 1.
  • Access from the MyFiles tab on the MyRU portal and from ruacad (Unix/Linux) will be unavailable if a user selects to migrate during Phase 1.

Users who wish to migrate to the enhanced H: drive during Phase 1 need to complete the online request form available at http://tac.asp.radford.edu/newHdrive.aspx. On completion of the application form, users will be contacted by email by a member of the DoIT staff to schedule the migration.


RU phone system upgraded successfully by DoIT

Network Services successfully completed an upgrade to the campus phone system recently without any unexpected outages. Two new Cisco routers were installed to handle all inbound and outbound calls. The new Unified Computing System server hardware necessitated major version upgrades to all related software as well.

RU now has the base technology necessary to add features and enhancements, and can extend video capabilities using a single, unified communications infrastructure from the desktop to telepresence rooms (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps7060/index.html).


DoIT upgrades more RU classrooms

DoIT upgrades the classrooms at RU regularly to provide faculty and students with a technology-rich teaching and learning environment. The following classroom upgrades were completed by Jan. 22 for the beginning of the spring semester and now feature an advanced Crestron controller system:

  • Waldron Hall 215, 216 and 219
  • Walker Hall 153 and 225
  • Roanoke Higher Education Center 608, 610 and 611. Rooms 608 and 611 now feature the newest high-definition (HD) Polycom distance education systems.

These electronic learning spaces, like most of RU's learning spaces, are now outfitted with the latest multimedia technology. The technology includes touch-screen based control panels, HD projectors, electric screens, ceiling-mounted document cameras, Blu-ray/DVD/VCR combo players and height-adjustable podiums.


Banner Operations Committee update

The Banner Operations Committee (BOC) has been chartered for almost two years and has been busy and productive.

The BOC was formed to acknowledge and accept shared responsibility for the standardization, upgrade/maintenance support, adherence to standards, systems, processes and development of policies, and procedures for security of administrative data. Its purview encompasses Banner and all other enterprise-wide software solutions used throughout campus and supported by the Enterprise Systems groups in DoIT. The group is facilitated by Jackie McNabb, director of Enterprise Systems. BOC members come from users and data owners all over campus. The BOC meets monthly on the first Thursday to share information and concerns that apply to functional offices, business processes and administrative systems that significantly impact the business of the university.

The BOC also supports two subcommittees: data standards, chaired by Registrar Matthew Brunner; and identity management, chaired by Information Security Officer Bill Abplanalp.

In its two-year history, the BOC has participated in several major initiatives on campus and worked to enhance the use and functionality of systems by streamlining processes and enhancing services to the campus community. Among the group's projects are:

  • Student check-in
    The electronic student check-in process was implemented in spring 2012 to prompt the individual student to confirm enrollment for the upcoming term and provide an opportunity to collect updated address, phone and emergency contact information. This process has been successful in that 98 percent of students participated during the first term, and it has been used consistently every following term.
  • Student profile
    The online student profile was launched in spring 2012 to provide a quick and easy method for various offices on campus to access comprehensive student information for critical or emergency situations in a one-stop page.
  • General person ownership utility
    This utility was made available in summer 2012 and is used by offices that are responsible for entering and updating personal data into Banner. It provides information regarding ownership of records by prompting communications with other departments to ensure that updates are appropriate for these critical pieces of data.
  • Faculty load and compensation (FLAC)
    The FLAC project is currently being rolled out to replace the old adjunct database/process. The project will bring data and its processing into the main ERP system and streamline the associated procedures.

Currently the BOC is involved in software upgrades, data standards reviews, training initiatives, implementation of an identity management system and other projects and initiatives. It also reviews backlogged and new project requests to recommend priorities and timelines to improve and enhance the business processes of the university and its services.

To learn more about the BOC or to offer a suggestion, an improvement or a new project, contact McNabb at jamcnabb@radford.edu.


Telephone billing system unveiled

Auxiliary Services completed the implementation of the new monthly departmental telephone billing statements. On Dec. 1, 2012, the improved bills were emailed to the budget manager for each department for the first time. The new bills will assist in the budgetary process by allowing the budget managers to quickly and easily identify cost saving measures in their monthly telephone charges. The bills reflect a detailed listing of each phone number that the department is paying for as well as a summary of the monthly long-distance usage.


New access forms available on the DoIT website

Several access forms have been updated recently, including the Administrative System (Banner) Access Request Form, the Courtesy Account Request Form and the Local Computer Administrator Rights Request Form. These forms have been updated to ease their completion and to include additional information required from the requestor. Before completing any of these forms, please visit the Forms page on the DoIT's website at http://www.radford.edu/content/it/home/it-forms.html.

Older versions of these forms can no longer be accepted, and their use will delay the processing of your request.


Telephone services manager retires

Longtime Telephone Services Manager Gail Stephens retired as of Jan. 24. We at DoIT are sad to see Gail go but are happy that she has reached this major milestone in her life. We wish her all the best and thank her for her dedicated service to Radford University.


Meet the DoIT Staff

Jonathan MeyerJonathan Mayer
Assistant Manager of Printing and Vending Services


How long have you been employed in the Division of Information Technology at Radford University? Three and a half years. My department and I were pleased to join the division.

Family: My wife, Rosie, and two children: Ian, 5, and Allie, almost 3.

Hometowns: Roanoke and Lexington

Education: Bachelor of Arts in graphic design, Radford University '02

Interests/Hobbies: Coffee, playing music (piano, drums, guitar, bass), Main Street Radford, photography and spending as much time with my family as possible.

Favorite vacation destination: Surf City at Topsail Island, N.C.

Favorite part of your job: I feel privileged to work in multiple capacities with such a wide variety of people from across the university community.