Information Technology

December 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

Work Begins on RU’s Website Upgrade

Radford University’s website will get a much-needed upgrade over the next year with the assistance of Digital Wave Technologies, a Philadelphia-based company that specializes in website design for colleges and universities. The project kick-off and discovery phase of the project got underway on December 3.

Websites play a key role in everything from admissions and recruiting to reputation management and institutional advancement. More than that, however, they serve as the nucleus of an enterprise, providing essential support for a college or university’s educational and business operations.

Plans call for the RU website to be redesigned as part of the project, which is expected to take approximately 12 months to complete. The overall goal of the project is to develop an integrated website that efficiently meets the business and communication needs of the university. The new site will convey a unified university “brand” experience through a common graphical interface and a consistent approach to site navigation. Efficiency and functionality will guide the approach to establishing information architecture.

Charles L. Hayes, a retired professor of theatre, has been named project coordinator and will serve as the primary liaison between the Digital Wave project development team and a broad base of university stakeholders. Hayes, with 40 years of service to RU as a faculty member also served as the faculty athletics representative for the university’s NCAA athletic program for 13 years and played a key role in the development of the university’s 7-17 strategic plan.

The website development project will involve an extensive discovery phase, in which Digital Wave will conduct a strategic analysis of the university’s current site. Stakeholder perceptions identified through extensive interviews with key decision-makers and end-users from the faculty, staff and students will guide the development process.

A steering committee has been established that will include representatives from the offices of admissions, student affairs, academic affairs, advancement, university relations, financial aid and several other university offices. That steering committee will more broadly engage other members of the university community in the project and work closely with Digital Wave, Inc. throughout the development.

Once the project development team completes its evaluation of the existing site and determines the functionality required as a result of stakeholder research, work will begin on the design and architecture of RU’s new site.

The scope of the project will involve the creation of a core site, which will include the complete development of a new homepage, and sites for the Offices of Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar’s Office, Student Accounts, Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. The work will also include the development of several other sites, including Alumni, Development, the Office of the President, the Board of Visitors, and University Relations.

A website will also be developed for the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences and the English Department that could serve as a possible template for other academic departments to emulate.

The university’s website is so vast that the process of completing the entire upgrade will be evolutionary. Part of the project will be the procurement of a Content Management System (CMS), which will help offices and departments from across campus modify their sites and maintain current content in a way that will be consistent with the overarching site development work conducted by Digital Wave.

Discussions and planning have been underway for several months regarding the need to upgrade the university’s website. The need for the project was articulated in the university’s 7/17 strategic plan. For more information about the website development project, contact Chuck Hayes at

Mandatory Password Change Deadline Looms

To combat an increasing number of attempts to exploit application and system vulnerabilities and acquire, guess, or steal passwords through phishing email messages or other means and to allow DoIT implementation of new automated password expiration controls, all RU users MUST change their password. Users were originally notified of this requirement on November 18th. If you have not changed your password since then, you must change your password before Wednesday, December 9th, in order to avoid any inconvenience. Failure to change a user password will cause an automatic prompt at all subsequent MyRU portal login attempts following December 9.

To change a user password:

  • Login to the MyRU portal
  • Click on the “My Accounts” tab
  • Click on the “Change Password” link on the right under Quick Links

When choosing a new password, your password must comply with the following rules:

  • It must not contain your username.
  • It must not contain your first or last name.
  • It must be at least 8 characters in length.
  • It must not exceed 14 characters in length.
  • It must contain at least three of the four types of characters specified below.
    Characters not specified below are not allowed.
    • Uppercase English letters: A-Z
    • Lowercase English letters: a-z
    • Numbers: 0-9
    • Special characters:
      !  $  #  %  ^  ,  *  _  -  +    {  }  [  ]  :  .  /  ?  ~

In compliance with Commonwealth of Virginia IT password guidelines, RU updated its password policy on December 17, 2008 and now requires all users to change their passwords annually. The new DoIT process for managing passwords will track the expiration of user passwords and notify users when a password change is needed. For assistance with password changes and other questions, contact the Technology Assistance Center at 831-7500 or

Users of university-owned computers should logoff and log back on to their computers to synchronize their password when they update their password. For laptop users, it is recommended that this change be made while the laptop is connected to the campus network. Otherwise the old password may be required when logging into the user’s computer and the new password will be needed for access to VPN, email, portal, etc.

Apple laptop users may find that they are required to use their old password when they login to their computer and should contact the Technology Assistance Center for assistance in synchronizing their passwords.

Be advised: RU staff will never ask you to provide your password via email or over the phone, nor should any other legitimate service providers.

Banner Update

After celebrating the successful launch of Banner Student registration in November, the project teams have directed their focus on achievement of the next Banner project milestones. The Accounts Receivable/Cashiering, Housing, and Human Resources teams continued testing their rules, codes, tables and data conversion in advance of their modules’ debut in December.

The Student team is converting students’ academic history. Upon completion of the fall semester 2009, grades that will be processed in the legacy system and the setups for degree audit will launch by February. During the Spring 2010, the teams will continue implementing grade processing in Banner, build electronic approvals and forms in Human Resources, and implement a workflow module that will facilitate electronic routing and approval of forms and other business processes.

The Student Registration launch is part of Project RUDI (Radford University's Database Initiative), a major multi-year project launched in January 2007, designed to review, replace and enhance the university's administrative information systems. These core systems include undergraduate and graduate admissions, financial aid, registration and records, student housing, advancement and fundraising, financials, budget and human resources. Together, these systems provide the business processing, data retrieval, reporting and self-service functions critical to providing essential services to faculty, staff, students, prospective students, alumni and the entire university community.

Voice over Internet Protocol Phone Migration Continues

Installation of the new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system continues across the RU campus and is estimated to be completed by the end of January 2010. Since November, phones in Cook, Covington, Porterfield, Powell, Preston, and Dedmon, have successfully been converted and the remaining phones in Russell Hall will soon be converted.

Users at RU West who are not already utilizing VoIP and users in other areas around campus will be converted in January. On the date of conversion from Verizon to VoIP, phones may be unavailable between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. as Verizon transitions the number and the necessary campus configuration is completed.

On January 11th, the way long distance calls are routed will be modified. Users will notice that the two beep prompt will be immediate rather than a several second delay. Cisco phone users will notice the display changes to read “To: ******” while waiting for you to enter the authorization code.

DoIT to Discontinue Modem Pool

As access to Broadband Internet connections has increased, DoIT has seen a steady decrease in the usage of its modem pool serving off campus users. Since September 1, less than 200 people have utilized the existing modem pool. Further reduction of the number of modem lines has fallen below the minimum threshold required to maintain the service. Due to the decrease in demand for this service and as part of DoIT’s budget reduction plan to eliminate the monthly cost associated with these phone lines, this service will soon be discontinued.

In the interest of facilitating the transition for those still using the modem pool, current users will be notified of the discontinuation date which has yet to be determined. DoIT recommends users research their options and begin comparing vendor packages to keep their home internet service reliable. DoIT has created a web page listing several available options at Service options available in the New River Valley include DSL, cable modems, wireless and dial up connectivity. For further information, contact Technology Support Services at (540) 831-7500.

IT Security Awareness Training Completion Required

DoIT strongly encourages everyone to complete the IT Security Awareness Training as soon as possible. Beginning January 1, 2010, users who have not completed the mandatory training will have their accounts suspended. The annual IT Security Awareness Training must be completed by December, 31, 2009. DoIT has sent all faculty and staff several email reminders with instructions on how to complete the training. The security module can be found here:

DoIT Employee Profile

Jim BrogdenJim Brogden

For his service and dedication to RU since March, 1993, DoIT wishes to thank Jim Brogden, Manager of Network Services, who will be retiring January 1, 2010. Jim and his networking group have been instrumental in bringing about many changes and improvements to RU’s campus network, including the following hallmarks:

  • Fiber Optic Cable Installation: Optical connections now provide secure and redundant high speed data paths from three separate data centers to all buildings on campus. A cooperative arrangement with the Radford City Electric Dept. enabled RU West to link with the campus network via fiber optic cable.
  • Networking of Residence Halls: By Fall 1998, each room in each residence hall had at least two high speed Internet connections available for student use.
  • Wireless Networking: In 1999, the Printing Dept. was linked to the campus network with RU’s first wireless data connection and by 2004, the SELU property was linked to the campus by wireless and wireless data connections were available to students, faculty, and staff in all campus buildings.
  • Telephone System: In 2000, Waldron Hall became the first location on campus to have a telephone system installed that was wholly owned by the university, the precursor to the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephone system now being deployed throughout the RU campus.
  • Cable Television System: In 2001, Network Services took over the delivery of Cable TV services from the local cable company and began distribution of this service over fiber optic cable.
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure: Since 2000, all voice, data, and video connectivity has been provided by Network Services in all new buildings and building renovations.
  • Internet Connectivity: Working in conjunction with the Radford City School System and City of Radford Municipal Departments, an Internet sharing arrangement was initiated and deployed in 2002.

Please join us in wishing Jim the best in his retirement.