IT Announcement for Fall 2019

GC Community:

Please take note of these important announcements regarding new or improved IT services and resources, as well as the cost-cutting measures required by the budget constraints accompanying the 2019-20 fiscal year.

  • IT is excited to offer you a new option for live support. As of September 23, we are offering ‘live chat’ during regular business hours to speak with IT Support Services staff and get quick answers to simple questions. This service will be available thru the IT Website and will run a pilot for the first semester while we gather information and make adjustments as needed in the coming months. For complex technical issues or issues requiring a detailed investigation, continue to visit our Self-Service site.
  • GC IT collaborated with CUNY CIS to add the Software for Statistics and Data Science STATA 16, and it is now available for all GC students on the CUNY Cloud Virtual Desktop
  • All Mac desktop computers for students and employees have now been upgraded to High Sierra, and all Windows desktop computers were upgraded to MS Windows 10.
  • As previously requested by prior DSC leadership, the color printer that used to be in the Mac lab (Room C196.01) on the C-level was moved to the DSC lounge in addition to the existing b/w printer and available to all students.
  • All public student desktop PCs at GC/Fifth were upgraded to the latest Office Suite Microsoft Office 2019. The migration for Faculty/Staff follows and will be scheduled in the coming months.
  • The reference management software Zotero is now installed by default on all public desktop PCs to help students collect, organize, cite, and share their research.
  • GC drive decommissioning completed for users in favor of the newly announced Dropbox service now available to the entire CUNY community. Dropbox is now available to active students, faculty and administrative staff members across the University, free of charge. Support and instructions on using Dropbox are available from the Dropbox Help Center web pages. CUNY also provides links to some helpful FAQs, tutorials, and videos on the CUNY Dropbox web pages.
  • The Student Tech Fee Committee has funded several new resources, including the continued support for library databases and subscriptions, funding for routine replacement of student computers (PCs/Macs), support for student printing consumables, and support for disability access technology. Additionally, funding was approved to upgrade the scanners in the library and obtain a site license for Qualtrics and we expect deployment to all GC Fifth public computers before the end of the year. Additional details are posted on the IT site.
  • We continue to extend GC IT services now to include the community based at the Advanced Science Research Center:
    • A limited number of desktop computers (PCs and Macs) that were procured this past summer have now been deployed to address targeted staff and faculty needs with more targeted in the coming months and the project to migrate their existing desktop computers to the GC Domain is near its completion.
    • Email addresses currently assigned to ASRC staff and ending in @asrc.cuny.edu were successfully migrated to the GC e-mail domain on September 19th. All ASRC staff now have @gc.cuny.edu e-mail addresses, and the Global Address List in Outlook has already been updated to reflect these changes. Please note that, if you previously sent an e-mail to an individual’s legacy @asrc.cuny.edu e-mail address, and that address automatically appears in the To: field, please remove that address and use the corresponding GC email address from the Global Address List. Otherwise, you may receive an undeliverable e-mail message.
    • All ASRC users now can log in to the wireless, VPN, and the Isilon storage for research data at the ASRC with Graduate Center AD credentials.
    • Over the summer, we replaced all the batteries associated with the UPS unit’s in all the data closets.
    • We led the major upgrade of the Isilon storage appliance at the ASRC, which is the primary storage for ASRC research data.
    • We created a new virtual platform for administrative servers at the ASRC, allowing us to dedicate resources for research applications.
    • New 10GB drops were added for high speed connectivity for 34 locations identified by senior management,
    • We recently purchased new edge switches that are now being configured for future deployment.
  • Utilizing our on-premise edition of SharePoint, a new student document repository (nicknamed BOSCO) was built for Admissions and Registrar. This student repository includes several automated features to simplify the retention of a student’s time at the GC. Some of the features in this new system include: improved search capabilities, the ability to drag-and-drop multiple files for a student and have related metadata auto-populate for those files, automating the move of all documents when a student switches from one Academic Plan to another, automating the archiving of documents associated with a student upon graduation, automating the cleanup after a required 7 year retention policy, security improvements while retaining the flexibility for related faculty and/or departments to view data relevant to their departments
  • A variety of upgrades to audio-visual resources in several GC venues have now been completed, with additional upgrades in the planning and procurement stage.
  • We installed new Eaton UPS units at all the GC Fifth data closets (28 in total) to upgrade obsolete units and ensure that we are not affected by the short-term loss of power.
  • We were able to secure funding for a much-needed upgrade to our current Avaya Telephone system. Our main goal is to reduce enterprise risk by retiring aging, out of service equipment, and we will share updates as the procurement gets finalized.
  • In preparation for the upcoming CUNY 2020 project, all the functioning computers in the main open area of library’s Concourse level were removed and transferred to the 2nd floor of the library. Additionally, to replace the two closed computer classrooms in rooms C196.02 & C196.03, two new computer classrooms have been set up on the 9th floor, room 9204, and on the 3rd floor, room 3209. The new rooms were upgraded with new desktop computers and all software titles were brought to their latest versions as well. The older computers from the computer classrooms that were operational (most of them) were all redeployed to various student lounges and public spaces in the library.
  • As a reminder, please note that as of 9/11, McAfee and Maple are now available via the Technology Services pages at www.cuny.edu/technologyservices or through the new Software Download page at https://offers.cuny.edu. Both methods require authentication using your CUNY Login (CUNYfirst) credentials.
  • Doctoral faculty for whom the GC is not the home campus and who have not yet been converted to GC “mail-enabled” network accounts (configured to use a home institution e-mailbox associated with a GC email address) should expect to do so soon.
  • With the recent implementation of our Microsoft SharePoint file storage environment, files currently residing in S:\ will need to be migrated as these legacy platforms are in turn decommissioned. We have divided this project into smaller phases due to the large volume and will be contacting your office with updates as we move forward.
  • A new tool to was added to enhance our GC Collaborate environment in SharePoint called Nintex that enhances the creation of automated workflows in that system.
  • We upgraded the login process in WebServices the GC IT’s platform for hosting Student/Faculty/Staff websites.
  • We rolled out SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) a server-based report generating software. It can be used to prepare and deliver a variety of interactive and printed reports. It replaces a similar tool called Argos that was retired along with our Banner System for Students.
  • We upgraded the storage and several key applications on the GC’s Linux cluster that host services such as the CUNY Academic Commons, GC Library webpages, and GC IT’s WebServices.
  • The university’s migration from Banner to CUNYfirst Campus Solutions was completed in April of 2018. All financial and student-related processing now occurs in CUNYfirst Campus Solutions. The last phase in the decommissioning process includes the Banner timekeeping system which is now scheduled to be decommissioned January 6, 2020. In preparation for the decommissioning of Banner, the on-line submission deadline for November 2019 time record will be December 10, 2019. Thereafter, the usage of Banner self-service will cease. HR is developing a contingency system to replace Banner and they will provide regular updates on their progress.
  • Please be reminded to register for a self-service password reset, if you haven’t already done so at https://passwordreset.gc.cuny.edu/.
  • To keep the GC community fully abreast of the status of various University technology systems, users can now link to the CUNY Central IT Alerts page directly from the GC IT website.
  • A variety of computing platforms have been and will continue to be phased out, including legacy, under-used or redundant systems, and additional cost-cutting measures will be pursued as opportunities are identified. Further information will be shared with those constituencies at the GC which may be impacted.
  • Lastly, CUNY students, faculty, and staff are increasingly receiving e-mails appearing to be from legitimate sources which are fraudulent and clever methods to trick you into disclosing personal information for criminal intent. This is a friendly reminder to remain vigilant regarding phishing attempts. Stay up to date by taking note of IT alerts posted on the IT website.

Information Technology
it@gc.cuny.edu
it.cuny.edu

Submitted on: SEP 27, 2019

Category: IT - Announcement