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Security Advisory – Microprocessor Flaws Affecting Computers and Mobile Devices

By ahmad khazaee on January 17, 2018

Members of the Colgate Community,

You may have seen recent news reports about security flaws recently discovered in the microprocessors of computers, tablets and other digital devices. Typically when we hear about security flaws they’re software based. A simple update often fixes everything. This security flaw is unique in that it’s “hard wired” into devices, so the “fix” is more complex. Software updates will go a long way, but the real repair will come over months and years as manufacturers like Intel, Apple, Dell and HP replace their hardware.

With all the media coverage, we wanted to make sure you were aware of how we’re handling the issue at Colgate. We’re writing to provide this information along with some suggestions that may be helpful as you seek to secure your personally owned devices.

On University-Owned Computers

These vulnerabilities can affect personal computers, mobile devices, and cloud services. Colgate ITS is applying software updates to university-owned devices as the updates become available. In virtually every case the updates will be applied automatically.

If you have a university-owned computer that’s been at rest for a while, we would ask that you turn it on and allow a day or two for the university’s update servers to send software updates.

Does This Impact Servers Here? What About in the Cloud?

It does. In fact just about every modern device is hard wired with this newly discovered vulnerability. Our service providers, such as Google, have already begun to apply their security updates to mitigate these risks and ensure our data remains secure.

ITS is in the process of updating our on-campus servers to guard against these hardware-based vulnerabilities as updates become available. However hardware and software manufacturers are still developing security updates, which can take some time. Occasionally applying a software update will require a brief service outage. We’ll keep you posted on any scheduled outages and coordinate with users in advance to minimize inconvenience.

What About My Home Computer?

The best thing you can do is make sure you’re keeping up to date on security updates issued by the maker of your devices (HP, Dell, Lenovo, Apple, etc.) and your operating system (for most, by using Windows update or Apple Software Update).

In addition, all of the usual security suggestions apply. Avoid using the same password on multiple services, and stick to secure websites (look for https:// and the lock symbol at the top of your web browser)

For More Information – The Flaw in Layperson’s Terms

The vulnerabilities have been referred to by the security community as “Meltdown” and “Spectre.” What we write here refers specifically to these vulnerabilities, but also applies broadly to any security flaw that is “hardware-based” or hard-wired into a device.

Computers can do many tasks simultaneously. Normally a computer does a good job of keeping the data being used by one program, for example a document in a word processor, isolated from the data in another program, for example a table in a spreadsheet. These sorts of vulnerabilities enable programs to breach that barrier. Normally that’s not an issue; most software doesn’t try to breach the barrier. However, if your computer or device is using software that, unbeknownst to you, tries to break the barrier, it’s possible that the software could capture sensitive information.

As we discover new and pertinent information we will post it on the ITS blog. Should you have any questions regarding these updates, please don’t hesitate to contact the ITS Service Desk at 315-228-7111 or itshelp@colgate.edu.



Innovations: Learning Spaces

By mark hine on December 1, 2017

ITS focused hard on monitoring the performance of our learning space technology, and making constant checks for reliability.

A replacement cycle, which began four years  ago, was implemented to update classroom technology and help make the faculty experience more consistent from room to room. Of the 113 classrooms across campus, we’ve improved 89. The final phase of this initial sweep is scheduled for the summer of 2018. Reliability and consistency has improved, though much work remains to bring polish to our classroom tech.

The summer of 2017 brought changes to  most of Lathrop Hall. We preserved the reliable functions and added better control, improved our ability to remotely troubleshoot classroom technology, and installed brighter projectors. The first floor of the Ho Science Center underwent  a much-needed upgrade replacing just about every technical component to bring 1080p video, brighter projection, faster networking speeds, and more elegant control to these learning spaces. In addition to these upgrades, we installed numerous TVs, broadened our digital signage reach, installed touch screen displays, and performed important maintenance campuswide.

The next journey in our exploration toward improving the classroom experience is to begin working with CIT to sketch out a project to design classroom technology “by faculty, for faculty.” Once a space is identified, we’ll be working with CIT to identify members of the faculty who are interested in contributing design and usability ideas to help define the standards for Colgate’s next generation classrooms. Our goal is to maximize ease of use, reliability, consistency from room to room, and ergonomically flexible spaces to accommodate as many teaching styles as possible, without being obtrusive. Stay tuned for details on this effort through 2017 and into early 2018.


Innovations: Service Updates

By jservedio on December 1, 2017

Ahmad Khazaee and Jon Beers

The Engagement and Support Team is happy to share with you some exciting new system and service changes. Below are some highlights that we’ve been working on over the course of the summer.

Microsoft’s Live 365 available at no cost for students
– Students, faculty, and staff are now eligible to download and install Office Live 365 at no cost as long as you hold an active status as a student or are employed by the university. (No changes have been made to the Microsoft Home Use Program, which allows you to purchase Microsoft Office at a very low price and keep your software even if you happen to leave the university.)

Dropbox for Campus (in Pilot testing now)
– Dropbox is now available as an alternative for cloud file storage and collaboration.

Adobe Site License
– Colgate has finalized an agreement with Adobe to allow the use of their products without the need for department cost- sharing. Adobe products that qualify include InDesign, Photoshop, and PDF editing programs.

Computer Replacements
– ITS is making improvements to the equipment replacement process. As part of the replacement process, ITS will now meet with individuals prior to purchasing
hardware to ensure that equipment matches the specific needs of faculty and staff and is the best fit for you and the work you do each day.

Increased hours at the O’Connor Campus Center Computer Lab for students
– We’re open for business now each weekday two hours earlier at 8 a.m. This allows students (especially those living in first-and second-year residence halls) the ability to pop in and out to utilize the printers and computers that are available along with better minimum hardware specifications.

Innovations: Nuts and Bolts

By jservedio on December 1, 2017

John Gattuso

During this past summer, Colgate ITS supercharged the campus wireless network, focusing hard on residential spaces. More than two-thirds of the wireless access points were upgraded and we added 21 percent more wireless capacity.

The “hearts” of our wireless network are the access points. You see them everywhere, and may not even know what they are. A little square or rounded box on the ceiling, typically with a few flashing lights, is what makes it possible for users across campus to access the eduroam wireless network. These are critically important in our residence halls, where more than 500 older and slower access points were replaced this summer with newer, faster models tuned for the demands of streaming media and high speed networking. In addition, more than 260 additional access points were added to cover areas that had previously been spotty. This new equipment made it into 70, 80, 84, 100, and 118 Broad St., and the 113 Broad St. complex of Read, Shepardson, Whitnall, and Brigham. Coverage was also improved in Curtis Hall, Drake Hall, Andrews Hall, the townhouses, University Courts, Parker Apartments, and Parker Commons. And, of course, the newly renovated Stillman Hall received a full complement of new wireless connections.

The end result is that students living on campus now experience wireless data rates nearly four times as fast as last year. (Here comes the geek speak: these new AP’s are dual radio 802.11ac access points with Multi-User MIMO. They support up to 1,300 Mbps in the 5GHz band with 3×3 VHT80 clients and up to 300 Mbps in the 2.4GHz band with 2×2 HT40 clients).

Our academic, administrative, and athletic facilities also saw upgrades this summer, with 424 new wireless access points. In early spring 2017, our networking team began robust planning and scheduling. In order to complete this enormous effort, we needed to select and contract with five different wiring contractors to get everything in place prior to the start of the fall semester.

“This is a great improvement for our students, faculty, and staff and was an extremely well- coordinated, collaborative effort by the ITS Networking and Unified Communication team” stated Tim Borfitz, Interim Director of Services and Shared Infrastructure. “I am hopeful this well-executed project results in noticeable improvements for the Colgate community.”

Innovations: Project Spotlight

By jservedio on December 1, 2017

Taking the NXT Step: How We Will Use Raiser’s Edge NXT to Support Advancement

Tim Borfitz and Bridget Gaudreau

The Good Old Days

When Colgate began implementation of the Banner Advancement System in 1994, home computers were continuing to gain in popularity with their portable floppy disks, Netscape Navigator launched as the first proprietary web browser, and faculty and scholars in higher education were the main users of the Internet. And, ahh, who can forget the sound of the hissing modem and the look of the Motorola bag phone.

While the Banner Advancement System has served us well, our current version has become dated and cumbersome. Institutional Advancement staff have managed to squeeze every drop of usefulness out of it, but the limitations and work-arounds severely limit Colgate’s ability to raise the necessary funds to support the growing needs of the institution.

Enter Raiser’s Edge NXT

As an industry leader for advancement solutions in higher education, Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge NXT provides a modern, web-based, mobile friendly solution for Colgate’s Institutional Advancement staff.

Delivered as Software as a service (Saas), Raiser’s Edge NXT provides a more efficient and functional back end and provides an intuitive, user-friendly front end that allows quick access to the information an account executive (AE) needs to do their job. While the AEs will often use their laptop while in the office, information will be easily updated and viewed on a phone when in an airport, office lobby, or on the road. Knowledge is power; for our colleagues on the road, having easy access to rich stores of mobile friendly information will help in their work raising funds for the university’s efforts.

With Raiser’s Edge NXT, Colgate will be prepared and poised for the public phase of our capital campaign. While exact benefits to Colgate are not yet measurable, according to Blackbaud’s survey results, 100% of customers achieved operational efficiency, 90% increased revenue, and 70% increased revenue from existing donors.

With fast-paced development and constant product improvement, Colgate benefits from the continual addition of new features without any effort from Colgate.

The Road Ahead

Over the next year, the advancement office and ITS will spend significant time configuring the system, testing, converting data, developing system interfaces, refining business processes, and learning how to use the new system. We’ll be off Banner Advancement (and several other smaller systems) and onto Raiser’s Edge NXT by next fall.

A major system change is not easy and requires hard work, patience, and adaptability. The willingness to accept change is key to success. Easy and instant access to donor information for non-technical staff in the office or on the road will increase adoption of the system, which will translate into better coordination and better results for Institutional Advancement.

Keeping in Touch, Smarter data, and Better  Decisions

Engagement tools like email marketing and targeted communications, coupled with more precise market segmentation, will improve the branding of our messages and yield results. Blackbaud offers several services that Colgate can use to improve the accuracy of our contact information and to identify potential donors.

Banner Advancement is cumbersome to use, so information gathered while on the road was often written down, emailed, or tucked away to update when back in the office. With Raiser’s Edge NXT, this important information can be updated on a mobile device and be immediately accessible to others in Advancement. Access to real-time information on a common platform that is mobile-friendly will eliminate the need for printed reports that are out of date shortly after being printed.

Raiser’s Edge NXT offers role-based and personalized views of information. Targeted reports, dashboards, metrics and analytics will be available to the back office, fundraisers, and management. Complementing the built-in reports and analytics will be the Colgate centralized data warehouse, which is being built to hold information from disparate systems and to supplement operational reports with cross-functional web reports, data visualizations, and dashboards. A single system of record with rich, well organized data allows analytics and data exploration that will cultivate support for the academic enterprise and just may carry us through the next twenty years and beyond.

If you would like more information about the NXT Step project, please contact project co-chairs Lindsey Hoham (Institutional Advancement) and Bridget Gaudreau (ITS).

Innovations: Research Notes

By jservedio on December 1, 2017

Howard Powell, Technical Director, Research and High Performance Computing

The Research Computing (RC) team has had an exciting summer working to grow our services to the research community here at Colgate. There are several projects to highlight, including an expansion of our virtual server and storage equipment, and a major investment in high performance computing equipment designed to process large quantities of data in a short period of time.

The new Virtual Machine Infrastructure enables us to “spin up” individualized servers with the click of a button. Replacing the long- standing model of individual physical servers dedicated to individuals or groups, the new system allows us to create servers without needing to dedicate new hardware (and without incurring additional costs against research funds and grants). These servers can be used temporarily or long term, and feature large amounts of memory and processor power — or “cores” — to meet the needs of nearly any project.

These virtual servers can be accessed remotely, making them easy to manage and configure by either the researcher or the RC team. Teams working together on a project have full access to the server and software they need, and student and faculty collaborators can remotely log in from computer labs or personal computers anywhere in the world. This virtualized system reduces the costs of research since we don’t have to buy as many physical servers or lab machines, we don’t have to power them and keep them cool, and we don’t have to waste precious lab space on computers; all while still giving you the computing resources you need to get your work done.

Supporting the new virtual servers is a fast, new, enterprise-class storage system. Featuring a 160 terabyte (TB) capacity, this provides the primary storage for faculty virtual servers, and can also provide networked storage for stand- alone servers and desktops.

For faculty with large data sets of up to 25 TB or more, we’ve identified cloud providers who offer inexpensive and reliable storage options that work with Colgate-provided servers. A wide variety of solutions exist for researchers who need a few gigabytes of easy-to-access space, up to about 25 TB of storage space for big data users, at costs ranging from free to less than $2,500 (one time cost).  Colgate’s main high performance computing cluster, which is used for quickly performing mathematical calculations on massive data sets, hit 5 years old this summer. Colgate invested $160,000 in a new cluster, named for 20th- century computer scientist Alan Turing, to meet the needs of researchers with complex high performance computing needs. For those who like technical specs, the new Turing cluster has 20 nodes, 640 CPU cores, two TB of RAM, and about 13 TB of local storage. The networking within the new cluster is 50-100x faster than the network to your desktop. The Matlab software
is fully licensed for the entire cluster, as well as many other typical programming languages such as C, Fortran and Python. The measured performance of this new cluster is just shy of 19 TFlops. Benchmarking and tuning is happening right now, with faculty testing beginning this fall.

You can read more about the new cluster here: https://research-computing.colgate.edu/ tiki-index.php?page=Turing+Cluster.

On the advice of our Research Computing Advisory Committee, we’ve created a wiki-based portal with details on resources for faculty and students. Check out the work in progress at research-computing.colgate.edu.

Finally, over the next few months, Research Computing will be moving to a new space — Case 350. This area is near the main door to the Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology, near the elevator. We hope that this environment will be welcoming to faculty and student researchers and that you’ll come visit us once we’re settled in.

Feel free to reach out to us anytime at


Innovations: Bringing the Ho Tung Visualization Lab To The Cutting Edge

By jservedio on December 1, 2017

Joe Eakin

Between June and August of 2017, major renovations were carried out in the Ho Tung Visualization Lab, courtesy of a generous donation from Robert Ho ’56. Construction included updates to the Vis Lab projection capabilities, theater seating, audio, and lighting as well as production spaces and equipment.

Technological Advancements

Most significantly, the old projectors were replaced with two Sony GTZ 280 units, along with Digistar 6 software updates, new video cards, and associated cables and hardware. Installation of the new projectors took place over five days, under the supervision of a technical specialist from Evans and Sutherland. The projectors were relocated to the back and front of the auditorium, allowing installation of six additional seats and increasing the dome’s capacity to 59 people. Carpets and seat upholstery will be replaced next summer.

Further major upgrades to the current audio and lighting systems were performed as well. Bowen Technovation engineers upgraded the speaker system, including installation of a new audio rack, mixer, and sound equipment for the dome. The operating console at the rear of the auditorium now has a touch screen display, a digital mixer, a BluRay player, wireless mic receivers, a power conditioner, integrated lighting, and audio control. Lighting in the dome was improved with a new sequence of 105 LED strips along the newly installed cove line (the junction of the dome and the wall).

Production Spaces

To increase facilities for the growing Vis Lab student production team, two storage closets were converted into working spaces, including installation of new ceilings, insulated walls, air handling systems, carpeting, desks, and 10Gb network capabilities. One of the new spaces will be used as an audio recording and editing suite, having been outfitted with ProTools and 7.1 Surround Sound. The second space is now a digital production area with four new Dell workstations for animation, video editing, 3D modeling, graphic art design, and programming. Two more workstations were purchased, one for the audio suite and one for the office of Joe Eakin, the technical director and designer, Vis Lab and Planetarium. Owing to the exponential increase in need for digital processing power and storage capabilities, a render farm consisting of 16 individual high-end computers that combine to compute high resolution imagery for the dome was installed in September along with a fast storage array capable of storing large amounts of data.

Given the improvements in the production capabilities, it was critical to upgrade the network supporting them to a dedicated system connecting the workstations, render nodes, and storage systems together. Installation is scheduled for early fall. New camera equipment for ongoing and future projects includes frameworks for 360° filming (on land and underwater), two DSLR cameras, six GoPro Hero 4 cameras, and licenses for video and stills editing.

In collaboration with McGill University’s Office of Science and Society and Colgate’s Geology professor Karen Harpp, we are developing a novel science outreach resource whose primary objective is to provide a way for children around the world to learn science by visiting the Galapagos Islands, grounded in virtual reality media. Modules will allow students to explore the Galapagos Islands via images, maps, and 360° video. These explorations will lead them to explanations of previous and ongoing scientific investigations, carried out by researchers in a  variety of fields. Students will have the ability to delve into the scientific concepts to a considerable depth, culminating with content based directly on recent scientific publications and the researchers responsible for that work. The topics will integrate aspects of geology, volcanology, conservation ecology, and evolutionary biology, which are intimately intertwined in Galapagos science, providing students the motivation to learn the fundamental concepts. Most importantly, the project will convey to students that science is not a series of completed tasks, neatly packaged for the public as resolved problems (as is the case in many informal science resources), but that there are still innumerable unsolved scientific questions to investigate. We think this simple message will excite and inspire students to pursue careers in science. A team of four students and two staff initiated the project in June 2017, with the goal of having a pilot version ready within a year.

Also in production are two full dome films, Skylines: Bringing the Sky Down to Earth based on Tony Aveni’s course, Astronomy in Culture, and a full dome show for the Bicentennial in collaboration with professor Robert Garland called Colgate in World History. Colgate in World History highlights images and videos from Colgate’s past into the timeline of world events. Colgate students have spent the last year researching the archives for images and video that line up with key events in world history. We are continuing with this show by combining the visual content with period music. Skylines takes the audience on a journey to the past to show how cities were built in ancient times with an eye to the sky. Viewers strip away their Western view of the sky and bring  the sky down to the Earth. We visit sites from Teotihuacan in Ancient Mexico to Stonehenge to modern day Washington, D.C., to show how these cities were aligned to the heavens. Students are creating the 3D models over the next year and we hope to have a fall 2018 release.

As for courses, Astronomy professor Tom Balonek is teaching a brand-new course in the spring semester based on emeritus professor Tony Aveni’s course Astronomy in Culture. Deciphering the Celestial Sky focuses on studying the motions of the sky from the Greeks to modern day astronomy and is being held Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Vis Lab. Connie Soja from the  Geology department uses the Vis Lab sporadically for an immersive show experience to introduce subject matters in her Darwin and Paleo courses. Kristin De Lucia brings her Core Mexico course students in to view geographic regions of Mexico. With our real-time Earth, we can fly around anywhere on the globe with high resolution terrain to get a bird’s-eye view of geographic features. Geography professors, Adam Burnett, Peter Scull, and Mike Loranty bring in the Geog 131 class to demonstrate Earth-sun geometry, weather & climate data, and geographic regions around the globe. Many other disciplines also continue to use the Vis Lab in many ways. If you are interested   in using the Vis Lab or would like a demo, do not hesitate to contact Joe Eakin. We can create customized content for any discipline and give your students an unique immersive experience.

Innovations: Teaching, Learning and Technology

By jnugent on December 1, 2017

Jeff Nugent

While course design, development, and teaching are complex and highly individualized based on subject and faculty teaching style, there are some common practices that are shared almost universally. For example, it is hard  to find a course that does not include some form of in-class presentation, whether chalk on blackboard, whiteboard and markers, or electronic content on the screen. In addition, many courses routinely include papers and writing assignments, where instructors offer written feedback as a means of assessing student performance and learning. In both of these examples, faculty members find themselves annotating, writing, illustrating, highlighting, erasing, and demonstrating. So commonplace perhaps, it may be difficult to imagine how digital technology might make these activities more engaging, efficient, or interesting.

For the past couple of semesters, a small group of Colgate faculty members and staff have been exploring digital inking. Digital inking is exactly what it sounds like – good old-fashioned writing, using digital “ink and paper” through the use of a tablet like an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil stylus.

Meg Worley (Writing and Rhetoric & Film and Media Studies), Ian Helfant (Russian and Eurasian Studies & Environmental Studies), Ryan Solomon (Writing & Rhetoric), Jenn Lutman (Director of the Writing and Speaking Center), and Cory Duclos (Director of the Keck Center) have collaborated to share ideas for the use of digital ink and related apps to enhance what they do in their work with students. Driven initially by an interest in exploring what the technology could do, they each discovered both efficiencies and creative uses that have changed how they provide feedback on student papers, annotate articles they read, take notes, and deliver in-class presentations.

Meg Worley shared that “the Apple Pencil has sped up my marking by perhaps 30 percent. Not only does it glide over the glass faster than my favorite grading pen over paper, but changing colors or nib width [i.e., moving back and forth between writing and highlighting] is the work of a split second. My paper comments are more organized and less taxing to write out, with only a slight degradation of penmanship compared to paper.”

Ian Helfant has found that maintaining student documents in a digital format and managing them in Google Docs/Drive avoids printing and provides a streamlined way to return papers with enhanced feedback. “I have found one of the most useful aspects of the iPad Pro is the ability to utilize its touch screen, stylus, and Goodreader 4 to mark up my students’ papers. I combine the ‘handwritten’ annotations and comments with an overall reaction to the paper in typed or audible MP3 format as an attached comment, then send the students the modified PDFs with their grades.”

In addition to offering new ways to provide feedback on student work, the digital ink technology affords new opportunities for supporting in-class presentations. There are a wide range of apps that have been developed specifically for tablet and stylus use that allow for inking on diagrams, images, texts, and webpages, as well as the capacity to be used as a virtual whiteboard…all of which can be saved and shared as class notes if desired. Director of the Keck Center for Language Learning, Cory Duclos, commented, “I can use the iPad to control a Keynote presentation running on my laptop. With the pencil, I can even draw right on the screen. I find it especially useful for studying poetry with a class or being able to point out certain grammatical elements of a foreign language.” The digital inking capability opens up new ways for thinking about interacting with and sharing rich media sources in a classroom setting. To further support in-class presentation options, ITS is currently partnering with interested faculty members to explore wireless projection options for use with tablet/ stylus technology.

While the potential for the use of this technology may be exciting, perhaps one of the most compelling things that has emerged is the shared exploration and collaboration it has encouraged among faculty members. Providing context, access to resources, and support are things ITS continues to engage in to enhance teaching and learning at Colgate, and we welcome ideas for expanding these opportunities among faculty, staff, and students.

Innovations: Message From The CIO, Steve Fabiani

By jservedio on December 1, 2017

Having joined Colgate just over a year ago, my time here has been focused in three areas – meeting members of our academic community and learning about  our great institution; organizing our people, finances, and services to ensure that the full force of ITS is aimed squarely in support of Colgate’s academic mission; and identifying and addressing as many acute technology opportunities and risks as possible. In this first Notes from the CIO, I’d like to share what we’ve learned, what we’ve done, and where we hope to go in the coming months and years.

Lessons from Our Community

The most appropriate way to begin this section of my report to you is with a deep and sincere thanks. As you all know, and as I have come to feel deeply, the Colgate community is a model of excellence among our peers. Joining any community in a service leadership role can be challenging. Your welcoming nature, supportive guidance, genuine advice, and passion about the students we serve and the work we do has made becoming a member of the Colgate community a pleasure.

Conversations with faculty, administrative colleagues, and students have brought many insights and illuminated many aspirations. As an academic community of the highest order, we seek an IT division that contributes to success – whether in the classroom, lab, or office – while recognizing that technology is a means, not an end. Our faculty and students expect (and deserve) consistent and reliable technology  in our classrooms and learning spaces. We have systems that could serve us better if they were easier to use, more intuitive, and better integrated. We must serve our institutional commitment to research with a dedicated and skilled staff and current high-performance computing technology. Finally, we expect that the entire division will operate in support of 21st-century technology for an academic community. We are not unique in having had an IT structure that focused only a small part of the division on academics. As we move forward, every member of the IT staff must in some way be engaged with our core mission. To borrow the words of a colleague, “It’s all academic. Everything we do.” These must be our core values.

Organizing for a Modern Approach through late 2016 and early 2017, our division engaged in an introspective organizational exercise driven by feedback from external constituents and focus sessions among our staff. Out of this work came organizational changes that we expect will serve our community far more comprehensively, without adding additional staff positions. Three distinct service teams were combined into a single unit. All of our digital media, classroom, and event technicians are now working together under one director. ITS now has a team dedicated to the visualization and effective use of data campuswide. And our teaching and learning technologies staff is now also responsible for thought leadership around technical innovation across the division. ITS is organized into five teams. Each team has responsibility for both academic and administrative services.

Engagement and Support, led by Ahmad Khazaee, is your first point of contact. This team includes our service desk, which addresses acute and systemic problems and can guide you to the right folks in ITS to meet your unique needs or address new system or service requirements. This team handles all repairs and upgrades for  all staff and faculty computing equipment, and public labs and printing campuswide. This team is also charged with tracking service requests and identifying any systemic patterns and problems.

Learning and Applied Innovation, led by Jeff Nugent, is focused on helping us organize our thinking around innovation so that we’re ready to help when you need it. Jeff and his team of instructional designers can help faculty and students who wish to use technology as part of their pedagogical approach. They operate special facilities like our Digital Learning and Media Center and our budding makerspace, The Hub. Jeff’s team is also responsible for fostering the entire community’s understanding of how to use the many systems and services we offer.

Services and Shared Infrastructure is our core technology group, led by Glenn Packer. This team is responsible for sustaining all systems – both academic and administrative. Running major systems like Moodle and Banner, maintaining our networks and telecommunication services, and operating high- performance research computing clusters are all efforts that require both deep technical expertise and clear understanding of how our faculty and administrators work toward meeting the institutional mission. Bringing this team together means we have a critical mass of deep technical expertise and institutional understanding working together as one unit.

Data Analytics and Decision Support is  the team that’s focused on ensuring that our community can use the rich collection of data we maintain. Led by Tim Borfitz, Data Analytics offers services to both faculty and administrators who are working with large data sets or difficult data analysis. Borfitz’s team maintains the university’s data warehouse and provides support for developing visualizations. Whether you have a massive research data set that you’d like help wrangling, or you need to examine historical administrative trends, his team is there to help.

Classrooms, Digital Media and Events, led by Mark Hine, includes technical staff whose first mission is to ensure that our learning spaces and presentation technology is consistent and reliable campuswide. This team is also responsible for our video and recording studios and provides technology support for the many daytime, evening, and weekend events and exhibitions at Colgate. From September 2016 to August 2017, the CDME team supported more than 1,000 special events – 250 events per technician – in addition to maintenance and upgrades of our learning spaces campuswide.

Priorities for 2017–2018

In this edition of Innovations we highlight work done over the course of the last academic year  and summer, but there’s much work to be done in

terms of aligning our support structures with what our faculty need and in looking at our priorities in the context of the broader institutional strategic planning efforts.

This fall and winter, I’ll be working with CIT, OAK, the Research Computing Advisory Committee,

President Brian Casey’s cabinet, and members of  the appropriate board committees to bring our long

term-planning documents into focus. There are many conversations to have and there’s much community review to happen between now and a final strategic plan for IT. In early conversations, many themes are emerging and include:

  • Improving the technology in our teaching and learning spaces so that they inspire confidence and work consistently every time.
  • Information security and mitigating the many risks that come along with managing data and connecting to the Internet.
  • Continuing our infrastructure upgrades, including additional efforts in residential and campus outdoor wireless, improved authentication and connectivity to Internet 2.
  • Additional technology support for the arts, aligned with the broader institutional priority around support for arts initiatives.
  • Examining our many administrative systems.  Our main student and financial system, Banner, was implemented 23 years ago. Many others have been added in the years since, in some cases to accommodate the ways in which Colgate has grown and changed. It’s time to look carefully at this landscape of systems to ensure that they are all working together correctly and serving us as well as they can.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, and a planning effort must be a collaborative one. To this end, I welcome your feedback and perspectives. And repeating the sentiment from earlier in this report, I offer sincere thanks.


Enjoy Innovations!


Phishing email regarding student employment

By jservedio on July 19, 2017

You may have received an email regarding a job opportunity with saatchi Gallery. This is a phishing email.  We have taken measures at Colgate to block it in order to prevent further distribution. Please do not click on the link that is in the message or send any information to the contact.

If you have any questions please contact us at 315-228-7111 or itshelp@colgate.edu.