Information Technology

August 2009


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

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Division of Information Technology (DoIT)
Radford University

New Young Hall Classrooms Feature Advanced Learning Technologies and Design

The opening of Young Hall this fall will feature new classrooms that will be "technology showcases," highlighting advanced learning technologies that are state-of-the-art now and will remain so for years.

ClassroomDoIT's Technology Support Services staff is currently completing the installation of electronic classroom equipment in Young Hall. When this is completed, RU will be one of a few schools in the United States to equip all classrooms in a single building with all-digital HDCP compliant technology and high-definition displays in the 16 x 9 format that matches today's high-definition television quality. This classroom equipment will be controlled by the latest wall-mounted, all-digital media controller with touch panel access. The new Young Hall classrooms will also have ceiling-mounted digital visual presenters that will provide sharp and precise views of documents.

The arrangement of the media presentation platforms in the new digital classrooms is one of the most interesting classroom design elements. There is no "front of the classroom" in many rooms as the display media can be viewed from any seat in the room. Some classrooms will have as many as three display devices active, allowing faculty flexibility to engage students in collaborative learning and group work.

The Young Hall classrooms will also feature presentation technologies like a Blue-Ray DVD player, a Digital Copy Cam recorder to capture "white board" notes, a digital television tuner capable of displaying HD television channels, a built-in computer and a laptop interface. Some of the new classrooms will also feature Apple iPhone or iTouch interfaces to provide classroom controls and presentations.

Campus Phone System Update

DoIT and an external consultant analyzed telephone costs and services to determine how to best meet the on-going telephone needs of the University community and as a result of this year-long study, DoIT will be moving faculty and staff who now have Verizon Centrex telephone lines to a campus-managed VoIP system.

The new phone system will provide enhanced functionality and reduce costs. VoIP utilizes the campus network to route on-campus calls and only those calls that need to be routed off campus will require a connection from Verizon. Telephone-related costs will be reduced as the total number of lines needed from Verizon and the cost associated with each line are lessened considerably.

Business offices, deans and department chairs will soon be equipped with multi-line digital VoIP phones with enhanced functionality and features. Faculty offices will be equipped with a new analog phone providing caller ID, speaker phone and a voice mail indicator light. The server upgrades for this environment have been completed and the rollout of new phones will begin as staff move back into Heth Hall in early August. The deployment of the new phone system will continue across the campus over the next several months with an anticipated completion date of January 2010.

Reflecting a consumer phone usage trend away from land line use to cell phone use, the usage of residential hall land lines by students at RU diminished dramatically. Due to this change, telephone service to individual residence hall rooms will be discontinued beginning this fall, a change that is consistent with many other universities in Virginia and across the country.

To ensure student safety, emergency notification capabilities are being upgraded in residence halls by placing speakers in the hallways that will provide emergency audio messaging capability. To ensure student phone access, hallway phones are also being added on each floor of the residence halls that will allow students to place local, toll free and emergency calls as needed.

Cisco VPN Connectivity, Clean Access Improves Network Security

To ensure security for the data stored within the Banner system, users with access to Internet Native Banner (INB), Cognos reporting and the Operational Data Store (ODS) are required to utilize the Cisco VPN. The Cisco VPN encrypts all traffic between your local computer and the Banner system to prevent interception of data by potential hackers.

In order to maintain a high level of security for the Banner system, users are required to harden their system by enabling a local firewall, installing the latest updates, and maintaining updated anti-virus software. The latest Cisco VPN utilizes Clean Access to verify computers meet these minimum requirements. Clean Access is like a state vehicle inspection of an individual computer that verifies the presence and installation of the latest Windows updates and anti-virus software.

The general instructions for utilizing the VPN are as follows:

• Click on the Cisco VPN Client program.

• Click on "RU VPN Access" to establish a connection.

• Enter your username and password.

• Open a web page on to verify connectivity.

• Wait 10-20 seconds for Clean Access to authenticate and then reconnect to if necessary.

• Connect to Banner INB via the MyRU portal.

Complete documentation for utilizing the VPN can be found online.

DoIT encourages those who are having problems connecting to the VPN to use the RU Banner VPN Checker to help determine and address the problem. As with any technology problem, you may contact the Technology Assistance Center at 831-7500 for assistance.

Internet Native Banner Browser Recommendations

Below is a list of browsers that are supported by SunGard and Oracle for use with Internet Native Banner. Use of a browser not on this list does not mean the application will not work properly. However, should you have any problems, the first troubleshooting step will be to use one of the following supported browsers, depending upon your operating system.

Windows 2000 and XP: Internet Explorer 6.0, 7.0, Firefox 2.0
Windows Vista: Internet Explorer 7.0, Firefox 2.0
Mac OS X: Safari 1.2

Banner Update -- Admissions To Go Live Soon

As the August Banner implementation for Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions approaches, the project teams recently conducted additional mock "go-live" sessions to test all processes for the admissions areas and validate the accuracy of data conversion from the legacy system. The "go-live" sessions tested the new electronic integration processes for the applications, test scores, and prospect data. Both undergraduate and graduate admissions completed final review of setups for scanning and storing documents electronically in Xtender, Banner's document imaging system. Final admissions data conversion and validation from the legacy to Banner system has occurred and the admissions offices expect to be live in Banner early in August.

Concurrent with the admissions "go-live," Student and Human Resources teams are progressing towards their own Banner implementation milestones. In preparation for mock go-live simulations in August and September and to prepare for the "go-live" of Banner Student Registration in November 2009, the Banner Student team:

• finalized curriculum changes in Banner and in legacy,
• began work with campus departments to enter the Spring 2010 course schedules in Banner
• continued testing of student registration setups
• continued building and testing code and validation tables for Accounts Receivable
• reviewed setups for scanning documents into Xtender.

The Human Resources team is in the process of:
• reviewing common matching rules;
• Oracle and Banner security;
• reporting in Banner and underwent training on the the university's reporting tools - Operational Data Store (ODS) and Cognos.

The completion date for the implementation of both the Student System and the Banner Human Resources System is scheduled for January 2010.

DWR Team to Host Cognos Workshops

The Data Warehouse & Reporting Team is offering Cognos Reporting Workshops on Fri., Aug. 14 and Fri., Aug. 28 in the Facilities Management training classroom from 8 - 10 a.m. The sessions will focus on creating and running adhoc reports using the Cognos reporting tool for Banner and ODS users. For information, contact Debra Johnson, Manager of Data Warehouse and Reporting at 831-6235 or

Efficient and Enhanced Services Result From DoIT Restructuring and Additions

DoIT welcomes the staff in several areas formerly housed in the division of Finance and Administration and looks forward to new partnerships that will enable DoIT to better serve the University community. In order to provide seamless integration of various technologies and efficient and enhanced services, the departments handling the RU Express debit card system, ID Card production, Door Access/Alarms, Printing Services, Laundry/Linen Services and Vending Services are now under the DoIT umbrella.

James Perkins, formerly manager of RU Express and Parking, is now manager of Auxiliary Services where he will be responsible for all RU Express operations and Telephone Services. Perkins will be joined by Danny Coalson, manager of Printing Services, Laundry/linen and Vending Services and other members of their respective operations.

Exchange 2007 Mailbox Migrations To Occur Soon

On Wednesday, Aug. 5, DoIT will begin migrating user mailboxes from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007. Groups of mailboxes will be moved each night until the migration process is complete. Outlook client users will not notice a significant difference when accessing email, but users accessing their mail by way of the MyRU portal will notice significant improvements and enhancements. Users utilizing Internet Explorer will notice the greatest level of enhancement and functionality and their email experience will appear similar to the Outlook client.

Should there be any problems during the upgrade transition, users are encouraged to contact the Technology Assistance Center at 7500.

DoIT Employee Profile

James PerkinsJames Perkins, Manager, Auxiliary Services

How long have you been employed in the Division of Information Technology at Radford University?
I have only been in the Division of Information Technology since mid-May of this year. I have been at Radford University since June 1996.

Family: Married for 16 years to Melissa Perkins, RU '95. We have two sons, Tyler 11, and Carson 6, both of whom are active in sports and church activities.

Hometown: Originally from Grundy, Virginia, but we have been in the New River Valley since 1993 and currently live in Riner.

Interests/Hobbies: Virginia Tech football, Highlander basketball, fishing, and spending time with my family.

Favorite Vacation Destination: Ocean Isle, NC

Favorite part of your job: I get to work with a lot of really good people, and every day is different.