Information Technology

January 2010


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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

Welcome Back

The Division of Information Technology welcomes returning faculty and students, and extends a special welcome to RU’s new faculty and students. For all of your technology needs and questions, please call the Technology Assistance Center at (540) 831-7500.

Here are some important updates for the spring Semester:

Course Aliases Update
Course aliases are created so that faculty can email their classes. Whenever a student adds or drops a class, the course alias is automatically updated. The spring semester course aliases have been created and will be updated weekly through the end of the semester. The format for course aliases is: “,” where “Semester” is either: fall, spring, sum1, sum2, sum3 or May. (Note: They are not case-sensitive.)

Below are examples of course aliases:

Class Rosters
Spring 2010 class rosters are now available online on the MyRU portal. To access them:

  1. Log into the MyRU portal.
  2. Click the Teaching Tab.
  3. Click the “Summary Class List” found in the “Faculty and Advisors” channel.
  4. Locate and click the “Summary Class List” option and the class list will appear.

Banner Update

The Banner Accounts Receivable, Housing and Human Resources teams successfully launched their modules in December. These teams finalized the rule and validation codes, documentation and system integration, and tested to ensure the modules were ready for production use. The launch culminated over a year’s worth of training, setup and testing on the part of the project teams who maintained the legacy system and daily operations. Congratulations!

The Accounts Receivable team converted account balances; assessed the spring 2010 semester tuition; room and board charges; applied Financial Aid; and released access to student accounts via the MyRU Portal by December 21. An option to pay fees via credit card existed with the legacy system through the vendor Nelnet and that functionality was integrated with Banner. In addition, a new function to pay by e-check was added, and a new tuition payment plan option with Nelnet was launched.

The Housing team converted room assignments from the legacy system in preparation for the spring semester, and both Accounts Receivable and Housing worked with RU Express to integrate meal plan tracking between Banner and the RU Express’ system “CBORD.”

The Human Resources team converted data from the legacy system during the week of December 14. Data that was maintained in ancillary systems was also converted and incorporated into Banner. Setups for the new time card entry system were reviewed and tested in preparation for users to enter time after January 10, when the new leave accounting cycle begins. The team worked with Financial Aid to set up student workers to use the new time entry system and eliminated the hard-copy time cards. Training sessions for supervisors and employees on the new time card entry system are ongoing.

During the spring semester, the project teams will implement grade processing in Banner, build electronic approvals and forms in Human Resources, and implement a Workflow module which will allow for electronic routing and approval of forms and other business processes for all modules.

The Accounts Receivable, Housing and Human Resources Banner launch was part of Project RUDI (Radford University's Database Initiative), a major multi-year project 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. The project was launched in January 2007.

The following individuals contributed to the successful launch:
Accounts Receivable Project Team:
* Bill Shorter, Tanya Rojewski, Kim Wilson, and Libbi Hicks
Financial Aid:
* Allison Pratt
Housing Project Team:
* Jeanette Sarver
Human Resources Project Team:
* Lisa Lorton, Joey Sword, Regena Weddle, Theresa Slaughter, Cindy Eller, Debbie Anderson, Alicia Dials, and Pam Lucas
Technical Team:
* Enterprise Systems: Lisa Blackwell, Sharon Hall, Gwen Hughes, Hashim Durrani, Debbie Johnson, Gregg Shadel, Jackie McNabb, Jeff Brewster, and TJ Tamagni
* Data Base Administrators: Aaron Weeks and Ron Rojewski
* James Perkins, Donna Alley, and David Lindsey
* RUDI Steering Committee and the Executive Committee

VoIP Phone Migration Continues

Installation of the new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system continues across the RU campus and is nearing completion. Most university phones have been converted to VoIP with the exception of several smaller outlying buildings off the main campus. On January 11, the routing of long distance calls was updated and users will notice that the two-beep prompt is now immediate rather than delayed. Cisco phone users will notice the display changes to read “To: ******” while waiting for you to enter the authorization code.

Information Security Officer Brad Tilley
Offers Important Security Reminders

Password Confidentiality
Treat your password as if it were the key to your house. It is the key to your RU data. Please choose a password that can be easily remembered and never tell anyone your password: not your system administrator, account manager, your friends, or even people from the RU helpdesk. In the event of having to share a password with an RU colleague for the purpose of conducting business, change the password once the need for sharing has passed.

It is also important to always log out of a system that requires a password when finished or when stepping away momentarily, especially in public areas or computer labs. If you suspect an account or password has been compromised, report the incident to immediately.

Email Attachments
The “Melissa” or the “I LOVE YOU” viruses were malicious software programs, or malware, that used Microsoft Outlook to transmit infected email attachments to people across the world. Malicious parties continue to try to spread viruses by sending emails with infected attachments.

Please remember the general rule of thumb is to never open email attachments unless you are certain it originated from a trustworthy source and you are expecting to receive it. To protect the RU community, DoIT employs a system that automatically removes the most commonly infected email attachments.

Smart Email Sending Behavior
In addition to vigilance when receiving email and caution about opening unexpected email attachments, please pay close attention to email that you send and avoid these practices in your work area:

  • Emailing file attachments that contain sensitive information.
  • Sending sensitive information in the body of an email.

Should you receive email from RU colleagues that contain unencrypted sensitive RU data, delete the email and contact the IT Security Office at

IT Tip

Changing Font and Color
If you are visiting a website or reading an e-mail that is difficult to read due to the color of the page or the size of the font, change the font and color.

To do so:
* Increase or decrease font size and color of the webpage in Internet Explorer by selecting the "Tools" option from the top of the Explorer window and go to the "Internet" option.

*In the "Internet" option, go the "General" option and click on the "Accessibility" button at the lower right of the dialog box.

* Change the status of checkbox marked "Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages" and "Ignore Colors specified on Web pages." End with OK.

*To change the font size, select the "View" option from the top menu and go to "Text size option" and change it.

DoIT Employee Profile

John Ford

John FordJohn Ford, Team Lead-Enterprise Systems Group, will be retiring January 31. John has been a key member of the DoIT team since 1981 and a primary IT technician, providing integrated enterprise systems in the Student Records area. DoIT salutes his career that features the following accomplishments and contributions:

• John was the primary technician instrumental in converting and cleaning up data from the proprietary outdated system used by the university in the 1980s to the first integrated system in 1989 and 1990.

• During the early 1990s, the university purchased a standalone PC-based Student Degree Audit to assist the registrar and advisors with counseling students as to their progress toward degrees. John developed a process by which advisors could refresh their databases on individual workstations on a weekly basis and enhanced the use of the PC-based product for advisors across the university.

• John developed software routines that identified those areas in computer programs that needed modification to handle the 2000 century date problem, and he personally corrected the coding in hundreds of RU programs, allowing the university to move smoothly into the new millennium.

• John was the “go-to” person for all Student Record functional and technical issues or problems, and he is known across the campus for his storehouse of knowledge of student data and processes inherent in the Enterprise System.

• John is the campus expert in the reporting tool used by the university, called Cognos Powerhouse, and he has written hundreds of programs in use in the Legacy System.

• John was the primary lead in the successful conversion of the SRN/Bi Tech Software to Oracle/Unix Systems in the early 2000s. RU’s Enterprise Systems were converted from Hewlett Packard (HP) systems to the Oracle data base and Unix operating system. John mastered Oracle and Unix in an accelerated time frame and developed several automated tools to assist the staff in converting the programs to run in the Unix environment.

• John was the primary lead in the Student Record System conversion to Banner, and he provided valuable knowledge of the thousands of data elements in the existing system that facilitated the conversion to the Banner System for both Financial Aid and for the Student modules effort during the past two years.

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