Information Technology

September 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

New Online Computing Assistance Form to Speed Help Desk Requests

In order to better support the campus community, the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) has created an online Computing Assistance Form for submission of trouble tickets to the Technology Assistance Center. Use of this new, improved form will allow DoIT and Technology Assistance staff to respond to requests quickly by collecting specific information about the nature of the problem and technology involved. A link to this form is also available at the main Division of Information Technology home page.

Campus Cable Television System Upgraded

The RU Cable Television system has undergone a radical upgrade this summer. The previous 50-channel system now features over 115 channels, including 19 HD programming channels. The new lineup includes special sports offerings, movies and foreign language channels. The “headend” of the new system is now located in a campus data center with precise environmental conditions and emergency power back up. The new system also provides an improved signal to each dormitory and academic building that enhances the picture quality.

Campus Community Has Access to Full-Service Printing Resources

RU faculty, staff and students have access to a full-service print shop to assist with creation of professional-looking documents, large format posters, postcards, flyers, business cards, envelopes and other printed materials. Printing Services offers expertise and a wide range of options and capabilities that will help make the best presentation.

For copying and printing, RU Printing Services can print in color and black and white on a variety of paper stocks, up to 11 x 17; make transparencies and create NCR carbonless forms. RU Printing Services can also finish a project by collating, binding, padding, shrink-wrapping, folding, stapling, cutting and trimming and laminating a presentation or document. Wide-format and photographic printing is another specialty of RU Printing Services as they can produce photo-lab quality, UV-resistant prints up to 44-inches wide and of any length.

Printing Services is located at the corner of Grove and First Avenues, one block off campus, and is open Mon. – Fri., 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For campus departments, RU Printing Services offers delivery and billing directly to a budget code with no purchase order. The Printing Services email is and phone number is 831-6267.

Banner Student Team Adds Photos to Class Lists for RU Faculty

Prior to Fall opening, the Banner Student module team and DoIT successfully launched a new feature for faculty by adding student pictures to the course summary and detail rosters. Large pictures are included in the detailed class list, and smaller, thumbnail pictures are included in the summary class list. An export function was also added to allow faculty to export class rosters to MS Excel or other utilities that require a comma delimited file. Both of these functions can be accessed at the top and the bottom of the summary class list.

The Banner project teams continued work last month to finalize:

  • The implementation of fsaAtlas (international student SEVIS reporting)
  • Creation and testing of workflows to automate business processes
  • Production and testing of new Cognos reports.

The Banner implementation 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. 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.

Efficient, User-friendly and Fast -- New Book Voucher Process Launched!

The Financial Aid office, DoIT, Follett Bookstore and the Student Accounts office teamed up to create and introduce a new, streamlined book voucher process for students. Launched in July, the new process eliminated the need for paper forms and the time-consuming manual review process by Financial Aid, Student Accounts and bookstore personnel.

The RU Bookstore can now review the voucher request in Banner Self Service, and determine if the student has been approved for a bookstore voucher. The authorized amount then transfers to the Bookstore so students can purchase their books the following business day. The final phase of the completely automated process also calculates the unused credit at the Bookstore and credits students’ accounts so that refunds may be processed. To request a bookstore voucher, RU students can log into the MyRU portal, complete the process and know immediately if they are eligible for a bookstore voucher.

In 2010, over 1,500 requests have been processed in contrast to only about 700 pre-approved vouchers that were processed prior to Fall opening in 2009. This year, almost 1,000 pre-approved vouchers were completed before Fall opening and ‘on-the-spot’ vouchers were processed quickly for those students requesting them upon arrival.

“Our thanks go to Gregg Shadel in DoIT for his work on this project. We worked through all kinds of scenarios and “what-if” questions to make sure we covered all the bases,” said Allison Pratt, Financial Aid Systems Manager. “We went through countless revisions on every part of this project and ended up with a wonderful finished product!

Banner 8 Upgrade Coming Soon!

The Banner implementation project is nearly complete but the project teams are still actively testing the system to ready it for the launch of Banner 8, a major version upgrade that will deliver functional and technical improvements. Major upgrades are typically done every 18-24 months enables RU to improve the Banner system, retain support from the vendor, SunGard Higher Education, and remain in compliance with federal regulations pertaining to financial aid and taxes.

To install the upgrade, DoIT will take Banner down on Friday, Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. to begin database and character set conversion. The conversion process and re-establishment of connections to the portal and other integrated systems will take most of the weekend. Client Acceptance Testing is expected to begin on Monday, Nov. 22 by the project teams. Upon verification that all critical aspects of Banner 8 are functioning, Banner and other Banner-based services will be made available to the campus by 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 23.

While the Banner 8 upgrade does provide more capabilities, there won't be any new features implemented immediately at go-live. The only immediate visible change is that the system will hold longer names and addresses and handle international characters and symbols. The teams began testing in preparation for the upgrade this spring after the Student and Human Resources modules were launched. Banner 8 testing, therefore, has focused on ensuring current stable functionality, and subsequently adding new functionalities. New features or enhancements identified by the project teams as beneficial to RU are being configured and tested prior to a scheduled release in 2011 .

2010-2011 Faculty/Staff Parking Permits Available Now

The 2009-2010 Faculty/Staff Parking Permits expire on Thursday, Sept. 30 and a 2010-2011 permit must be purchased and displayed in vehicles by 7 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 1 in order to be legally parked on the Radford University campus. Faculty and staff members can purchase a 2010-2011 Faculty/Staff parking permit online by logging into their “MyRU” account. Once logged in, select the “My Accounts” tab at the top of the page and look under the “Quick Links” box for the “Parking” link. On the Parking account, users will need to click on the link to “Purchase Permit” and follow the instructions. Payment may be made with Visa, MasterCard, or by Payroll Deduction.

Online purchasers are reminded to print the receipt screen at the end and display the receipt on their vehicle dash as a temporary permit until the full permit arrives in the mail. Please allow 7 to 10 business days for delivery using standard USPS.

2010-2011 Faculty/Staff parking permits can be purchased in person at the Parking Services office in 152 Heth Hall from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday. For questions or more information, call 540-831-6361 or email .

Web VPN Available for Easier VPN Access

Radford University users have Virtual Private Network (VPN) access, a secure and encrypted tunnel between a user's computer and the RU network. The web VPN client can be accessed through the web at Internet Explorer users will require the installation of an Active X plug-in to establish a connection and Firefox users 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 standards for 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".

For users whose only need for the VPN is to access their email browsers like Outlook or Entourage, DoIT recommends two documents on how to configure their email so that a VPN connection is not required. Outlook users may refer to Check RU Email in Outlook Without the VPN and Entourage users will find the connection protocol in Check RU Email in Entourage Without the VPN.

DoIT Shares User Tips For Banner and Cognos

These useful tips, specifically about Cognos reports, have been offered by users as they use the Banner system. Users are encouraged to share the helpful tips that might be of value to others by emailing them to

To review charges and open encumbrances and ensure they are posted correctly and being liquidated in a timely manner, users have recommended the following Cognos regular budget reports:

  • FIBUDORGSUM (summary by budget category)
  • FIBUDOPERSUM (similar to IFAS GL15)
  • FIBUDACCTDETAIL (similar to IFAS GL08)
  • FIBUDOPERPOSUMZ (listing of all open purchase orders)
  • FIBUDTRANSFER (change of budget report).

Meet the DoIT Staff

Angela RainesAngela Raines
Senior Computer Operations Technician

How long have you been employed in the Division of Information Technology at Radford University?
I joined RU on Nov. 26, 2001.

A four- year old black lab Diezel; fiancee Eric Griffith, his daughter Briana, 12, and goddaughter Skyler Savannah Hodges, 11 months.

I grew up in Blacksburg and currently live in Riner.

I love to bake! If I ever win the lottery I will have my very own sweet shop. I also enjoy being outdoors.

Favorite Vacation Destination:
One of these days I am going to make it to St. Martin in the Caribbean. I currently only seem to get as far as Myrtle Beach.

Favorite part of your job:
The interaction with people and my co-workers.