Information Technology

March 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

Banner Implementation Proceeds with Workflow Module Training

The beginning of training for users of the Banner Workflow module, a flexible suite of tools designed to unite processes, data and people, was the focus of Banner implementation activities for February. Banner Workflow transforms tasks and events that were formerly manual and time-consuming by automating them and increasing the flow of information between departments.

In Workflow, procedural rules define how documents, information, or tasks are routed and sequenced from one individual to another for action or approvals. Workflow applications can include routing and approving grade changes, withdrawals, budget submissions, and personnel actions among others. Having completed this initial training, the project teams are exploring Workflow's functionalities and beginning to develop workflows for implementation this spring.

The implementation of the Workflow module is 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 that began in January 2007. 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.

Web VPN Available for Easier VPN Access

DoIT has offered Virtual Private Network (VPN) access, or an encrypted tunnel between a user's computer and the RU network, to users for several years. These encrypted VPN connections allow secure transfer of data and access to remote resources.

Users have been using a client installed on their computer for access to the VPN and now a web-based VPN client is available via that can be used directly from a user's web browser. Internet Explorer will require the installation of an Active X plug-in to establish a connection and Firefox will require the use of Java.

The VPN creates an encrypted connection that essentially places a user's computer on the campus network. Therefore, all VPN users are required to comply with the minimum system configuration standard including the use of both the latest anti-virus software and operating systems updates. These minimum system configuration requirements are detailed in "IT Security Standard 5214-s Minimum System Configuration" which can be found by clicking on the "IT Policies & Procedures" link from the CIO Web site and then clicking on Minimum System Configuration.

For users whose only need for the VPN is to access Outlook, DoIT recommends the document titled "Check RU Email in Outlook Without the VPN" which details how users can configure Outlook so that the VPN is not required. This document is available by clicking on the "Technology Support Services" link from the CIO Web site and then clicking on the Knowledge Base link.

DoIT Offers Monthly Banner Tip Series

Each month the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) will share valuable tips or suggestions to help users navigate through the Banner, Cognos or Self Service Banner offerings available through MyRU. This month, the tips focus on two new channels that have been activated on the MyRU portal for time reporting and approvals.

The channel for individual time reporting can be found in MyRU on the Employee tab in the middle column at the top of the page where the old leave reporting channel was located. This channel displays an employee's timesheets and its properties can be customized to an individual user's preferences. To change the properties for the channel, look in the upper right hand corner at the four small icons and click on the icon showing a pencil and a pad of paper that is found on the left. A screen will display allowing users to change the number of rows displayed and define the range of timesheets available for viewing. After adjusting the preferences and to change the settings, click on the "Apply" icon. To verify the changes have been effected, click on the "Back" icon when the screen displays again.

The Time Approval channel is displayed on the Administration tab and it works similarly by displaying timesheets for approval. The properties for that channel can also be changed by clicking on the pen/paper icon and saving your changes in the same manner as described above.

Banners users are encouraged to share other tips they have learned that might be helpful to others by emailing them to

Meet the DoIT Staff

Scott Shull and FamilyScott Shull
IT Specialist - Classroom Engineer

Education: Appalachian State University '94, B.S. - Industrial Technology with a concentration in electronics

How long have you been employed in the Division of Information Technology?: 15 years

Family: Married 11 years to Stephanie with two sons, Ben, 6, and Brody, 3.

Interest/Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, and riding my bicycle.

Favorite Vacation Destination: Atlantic Beach or Emerald Isle, NC

Favorite part of my job: Helping faculty and staff incorporate new technology into the classroom. I love that every day brings a new and different challenge.