Information Technology

May 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

Enhanced Student Email System To Be Implemented Soon

The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) will soon offer an enhanced email system for students and alumni. Student and alumni email accounts will be converted from a locally-hosted system to the "Live@edu" environment, hosted by Microsoft. The "Live@edu" system will provide ten GB of email storage for each user or approximately 170 times the current mailbox storage capabilities. The system will also provide 25 GB of online file storage called "SkyDrive" in addition to the current H-drive (see story below.) Access to email and the interface through the link on the MyRU portal will remain the same.

The decision to enhance the email system was reviewed and approved by the Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) and the Student Government Association (SGA) with input from across the university community. SGA unanimously endorsed this proposal and recommended the transition of students email to the new system occur by the beginning of the upcoming fall semester.

Once the timeline for the conversion is complete, users will be updated about this exciting enhancement during the summer with email messages titled "Email Update" in the subject. Upcoming editions of the DoIT News will provide additional details. DoIT recommends users review the FAQ, available here.

Banner Focus Shifts to Reporting, Additional Functionalities and Upgrades

Reporting, adding functionalities and upgrading to Banner 8 will be the focus of the Banner Implementation team for the upcoming year as the core Banner modules are live and in production. Workflow, which enables the automation of manual business processes, and fsaAtlas, which handles international student SEVIS reporting, will move into production in June. PeopleAdmin is being integrated with Banner to automatically roll data for new hires into the Human Resources module.

The daily business of the university drives the need for data and reporting and many additional operational reports were identified for development during the implementation of the various Banner modules. With the launch of each core module, the demand for reports increased as well. Reporting Resources, working in conjunction with the Banner Implementation team, is working to reduce that backlog of reports and to expand operational reporting in response to the demand generated by the university community.

The upgrade to Banner 8, recently released by SunGard Higher Education, includes new software that allows RU to remain current and implement new functionalities into the system. Banner 8 is scheduled to be tested this summer and be moved into production during the holiday break in November, 2010. The Banner Implementation teams have been listening to Banner users to learn what can make the baseline software work better for them and several enhancements are under review for development. For example, faculty have asked to include photos on the course rosters, and this enhancement will be introduced for the Fall 2010 semester. Upcoming editions of DoIT News will include information about these enhancements and when they can be expected.

The Banner implementation is part of Project RUDI (Radford University's Database Initiative), a major ongoing 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.

DoIT Shares User Tips For Banner

These useful tips have been offered by Banner users from their experience with the new system. Users are encouraged to share the helpful tips they discover that might be of value to others by emailing them to

Entering Person Prefixes and Suffixes
Prefixes and suffixes should be entered into Banner without punctuation - use only characters for prefixes (Mr, Mrs, Dr, etc) and suffixes (III, Jr, PHD etc.)

Student Schedule at a Glance
For those who assist students with schedules, the Schedule at a Glance – available in Self Service Banner and MyRU – will display any semester that has classes scheduled. To change from one term to another, users will need to change the date entered at the top to a date that falls within the semester that the user wants to see displayed.

DoIT Warns of Network Outage

Network Services will be performing testing and maintenance of equipment in Jefferson Hall on Wednesday, May 12 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. to prepare a disaster recovery plan that may result in isolated network outages. On-campus users may experience intermittent network outages during that time. Most users, particularly those off-campus, should not experience any problems accessing systems and services in the course of this controlled test. These controlled outages will prepare DoIT to respond to potential problems during the renovation of Jefferson Hall.

Make The H-Drive Your Personal Virtual Drive

DoIT reminds users that H-drive is disk space available on the RU servers that is backed-up daily. Users can save documents to this drive and access them from any computer on campus or from home. The H-drive is automatically mapped on all university Windows machines and DoIT recommends users save information to this drive as it provides a secure area that is backed up nightly.

The H-drive includes an automatic backup of users’ files and keeps a five-day history of data in a secure form. To learn more about how a user can recover files from the H-drive, users can consult this tutorial.

DoIT to Discontinue Modem Pool Service May 24

Due to the continuing decrease in demand for modem pool service and the need to devote limited budget funding to critical resources such as the University’s primary Internet connection, DoIT will be eliminating the modem pool service, effective Saturday, May 24. As access to broadband Internet connections has increased, there has been a steady decrease in the usage of the modem pool serving off-campus users. Since January 1, less than 150 people have utilized the existing modem pool. Hardware support is no longer available for the current modem pool and the university currently pays a monthly charge for the lines associated with the modem pool service.

DoIT recommends current modem pool 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 that can be found by visiting the "Internet Service Providers" link available on the CIO web site. 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.

DoIT offers Banner, eVA and Productivity Workshops During May "Our Turn"

"Our Turn," scheduled for May 10-15, enables RU faculty and staff to become students and engage in professional development. For the May session of “Our Turn,” DoIT has developed the Workplace Technology Track for faculty and staff that includes workshops on Banner, Cognos Reporting, eVA, Excel, and Windows 7. The schedule and registration for these courses is available here and require standard RU credentials.

Meet the DoIT Staff

Zeb BowdenZeb Bowden
Director, IT Infrastructure

How long have you been employed in the Division of Information Technology at Radford University? I recently joined DoIT at RU from Virginia Tech where I was associate director of the Core Computational Facility for the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute.

Family: My wife, Lori , and I have four children: Katie, 5; Susanna, 4; Jake, 3; Owen, 7 months.

Hometown: Giles County

Interests/Hobbies: We live on a small hobby farm in the country where we raise goats, chickens, and pigs. I also enjoy weightlifting and keeping up with VT football.

Favorite Vacation Destination:
We love the beach – even more so once the kids can swim.

Favorite part of your job:
The great people I’ve met. I’m surrounded by a great group of folks in DoIT and have enjoyed everyone whom I have had the chance to meet and work with so far at RU.