IT Update Spring 2012
• The Student Tech Fee Committee has funded several new resources, including the addition of software licenses for Provalis (qualitative data analysis software for humanities and social sciences), a significant expansion in the collection of electronic databases available via the GC library, and a new microform scanner in the library. The Committee voted to sunset the recurring contractual arrangement for EndNote, so any student intending to use Endnote who has not yet downloaded it from the library website is urged to do so. New walk-up document scanning stations for GC students have been provisioned in the library, four new PCs are being installed in classroom C196.03 to complete that set of high-end workstations, the oldest student printers in PhD program lounges will be replaced during the summer, and the student print management software is being updated to enable students to monitor their aggregate printing activity. The Graduate Center remote computing environment (“Citrix”) is undergoing a complete overhaul. The CUNY Blackboard environment is being upgraded to version 9.1 this summer; see the information site at www.cuny.edu/blackboard. The GC Banner system is being upgraded to version 8.5 at the beginning of June.
• The migration of faculty and staff PCs to Windows 7 and Office 2010 will be concluded during the summer; also time-out settings for employee PCs will be implemented with the new GC logo. Office 2011 for the Mac is being deployed. About two-thirds of the Konica-Minolta machines building-wide are being replaced as they reach their replacement life-cycle; hand-in-hand with this, the overall fleet is being right-sized based on documented printing activity the last few years.
• The Science Center and Segal Theatre have been outfitted with cameras to facilitate video capture and web-streaming for events in those venues. A new sound system will soon be installed in the Skylight Room to enhance that venue. The oldest ceiling projectors in classrooms are being replaced during the summer; we invite users of such systems to help us locate those most in need of replacement. The videoconferencing room (C417) has been upgraded to enable multi-point videoconferencing. Portable units can now be requested for videoconferencing, video capture and web streaming from any group setting in the building. The Digital Signage initiative will deploy information screens throughout the building; we hope to see that project find its way through the NYC capital project procurement process by summer’s end.
• The migration of PhD program websites into the new GC web environment will continue through the summer to completion in fall. The “Academics & Research” section of the GC website tab has been reworked to incorporate ARC, the “Areas of Interest” have been doubled, and the “About the GC” menus will soon be reorganized to streamline use. Newly available GC website features include the Financial Assistance Finder; forthcoming new GC website features will include an interface to the ProQuest database of student dissertations, a wholly new Directory system and interface to Banner course listings. We’ve recently implemented a new resource – titled IT Web Services - that provides the entire GC Community a way to quickly setup and manage content for a variety of website applications, from a conference site to a CV site to a general interest blog.
• The procurement of a new telephone system for the Graduate Center continues to move forward via the capital project funding process; we hope to see it progress to an onsite installation by summer’s end. As previously noted, individual fax machines will be removed from office locations and replaced by network faxing; instructions will soon be forthcoming.
• Our IT Research Computing Fellows have recently completed the development of a prototype data cluster, designed to facilitate research involving “big data”.
• We are in the process of procuring a “business intelligence” software system which will significantly support our ability for data-driven decision-making. This system will also facilitate the replacement of assorted reports in our very dated “EO web” resource.
• The GC-specific entries in the IT knowledge base are being comprehensively reviewed to update, add and purge as appropriate, in order to ensure that our end-user documentation is as useful as possible to the GC community.
• Our practice of conducting “IT Assessment” sessions biennially with the heads of all the GC organizational units renews this summer; interested parties are urged to answer our call for participation.
Visit the Graduate Center IT website for ongoing updates: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/IT
Submitted on: MAY 7, 2012