Information Technology

Projects and Initiatives


Major Projects Underway

Banner System Upgrade
The first module of Seton Hall University's Banner administrative system went live August 2006, and the last main module (HR/Payroll) went live in January 2008. For the past year, the University has been planning major upgrade to the Banner system. This upgrade provides new features, such as faculty contract administration. It also enables server virtualization, so the new hardware runs on virtual servers (VMWare), providing redundancy for reliability and business continuity. The new Banner system also takes advantage of newer Oracle technology, such as Service Oriented Architecture, allowing greater customization of the Banner system without requiring modifications to the base programs.

Campus Network Upgrade
The new wireless standard (802.11n) offers much higher speed and capacity. Most devices on the campus network now connect wirelessly. Moreover, a large portion of IT's networking budget was taken up by maintenance on the campus wired network. As one of its cost containment measures, IT began an upgrade of the campus wired and wireless network, including implementing the higher capacity 802.11n wireless and reducing the number of wired ports to reduce maintenance costs. IT has completed upgrading most of the campus wired switches as well as the wireless access points in the residence halls. Future work on this project includes upgrading the wireless access points in the academic and administrative areas and upgrading the campus Internet connection.

Desktop Replacement and Standardization on Microsoft Windows 7
Microsoft Windows 7 provides a number of useful enterprise management tools that enable IT to better maintain campus computers. As another of its cost containment efforts, IT began working with functional areas to upgrade all Windows computers on campus to Windows 7. IT is providing refurbished Lenovo laptop computers from the Mobile Computing Program to users whose computers are not able to satisfactorily run Windows 7. Approximately 450 desktop computers are being upgraded to refurbished laptops in order to standardize the campus on Microsoft Windows 7. IT is requiring users who wish to take advantage of the offer of used laptops running Windows 7 to go through a comprehensive online, self-paced Technology Skills program.

Server and Storage Virtualization
This summer IT nearly completed the move to a fully virtualized data center. Server virtualization allows many individual applications to reside on a single server, reducing the number of servers that IT has to maintain, as well as reducing the data center's power and HVAC requirements. Server virtualization also improves system reliability, since services can be automatically moved to another server in the case of a hardware problems.

Secondary Data Center in McNulty Hall
IT has been working with facilities the past year to implement a secondary data center in McNulty Hall to provide improved failover and business continuity services for the University. In May the fiber link from Corrigan Hall to McNulty Hall went live, providing a second, independent link between the Corrigan Hall data center and the Internet. A secondary Storage Area Network (SAN) was installed in the McNulty Hall secondary data center, and is synchronized with the Corrigan Hall SAN, providing duplicate storage in the event of a service problem with the Corrigan Hall SAN. Future phases of this project include installing VMWare servers in the secondary data center to allow continuity of core services in the event of a problem affecting the Corrigan Hall data center and upgrading the campus phone connection to Voice-over-IP (VoIP) trunks to allow partial phone service in the event of a problem affecting the Presidents Hall voice switches.

Other Significant Projects Underway

PCI Compliance
The Payment Card Industry (PCI) has new requirements in effect governing IT security for organizations that accept credit card payments. IT is working with Finance and Compliance to ensure all University systems are PCI compliant. This summer IT upgraded the data center network and intrusion prevention systems to ensure PCI compliance. IT is currently working with the payment gateway vendors for Athletics, the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies, and University Advancement to ensure their systems are PCI compliant.

Oracle Identity Management

At the beginning of the summer, IT implemented the latest module in Oracle Identity Management (OIM) allowing users to reset their own passwords based based on a set challenge questions the users set up. Planned OIM projects include bringing alumni into OIM to improve the management and provisioning of email for life accounts and allowing prospective students to use their OpenID (e.g., Gmail or Facebook) credentials to access University services for prospective students, making it easier for prospective students to access SHU IT resources.

Blackboard Universal, Linel, and Bosscars

IT supported the upgrade of Student Affairs' card access, dining and vending, and parking systems. As a result of the successfully completed Banner upgrade, these systems all interface with Banner, enabling more efficient delivery and management of these important student services.

Banner Enhancements
Following the Banner upgrade, IT is working with Sungard, Academic Affairs, Enrollment Services, and HR to make some enhancements to the Banner system. Included are configuring Banner Workflow and the Banner Enterprise Data Warehouse for several pilot projects, including improving and automating the student withdrawal process and the management of faculty contracts, and using Banner Document Management System for employee performance evaluations.

Microsoft Sharepoint
Some offices are piloting the features on Microsoft Live for document sharing and as an extension of email for collaboration. IT is working with Microsoft to implement Microsoft Sharepoint in a production environment to allow secure access to shared files and reports.

Parent Services
IT is working with Enrollment Services to allow parents limited access to SHU IT services. In the first phase of this project, students were given the ability to authorize their parents or guardians to view their bills and financial aid awards online through Banner Self Service.

Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies
This summer IT assisted the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies (CEPS) in implementing an online payment gateway that allows immediate access to noncredit online courses hosted in the University’s Blackboard Learning System.

  • The School of Law's Center for Health and Pharmaceutical Law & Policy has partnered with the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies to offer a program targeting the needs of the pharmaceutical industry. The TLT Center will collaborate to design and deliver seven planned self-paced modules of the Compliance Training for Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives Program.

SHUMobile Application
IT continues to work with campus constituents to expand the features of the University's SHUMobile application, providing access to a limited set of campus IT services via students' Internet capable cell phones. This fall Library Services will be added to the SHUMobile application. IT is working with Sungard to allow cell phone access to Banner services, including course registration. SHU IT has been selected as a Sungard development partner to beta test this service in late fall. Learn more »

iPad Pilot
The six departments within the School of Health and Medical Sciences are piloting the use of iPads by both faculty and students to investigate the educational potential of these tablet devices in healthcare education, research, and practice. The rich array of health-related applications currently available on the iPad will be explored in the classroom, research, and field settings. Each department chair has chosen 2 faculty members to participate. The faculty will select 2 students to participate and assist in the exploration of this tool and its potential for facilitating learning and practice within SHMS.

Academic Early Warning System
To help improve retention IT is working with Freshmen Studies and Enrollment Services to pilot an enhanced academic early warning system (Starfish), allowing Freshmen Studies mentors access to greater information to enable them to intervene more quickly when an incoming student is having difficulty in their courses.

Sophia ePortolio Implementation
Freshman Studies is piloting the Sophia (Sakai Open Source LMS) ePortfolio tool in targeted University Life courses. In support of this project the TLT Center is working with outside vendors to customize the ePortfolio workflow and design templates. TLT Center is also providing support to Freshman Studies mentors and students by creating tutorials and conducting training sessions on its use.

Piratenet Campus Portal
Over the summer, IT and PR worked to improve the navigation to services in Piratenet. IT is upgrading the Piratenet campus portal as part of the Banner upgrade. Following the upgrade, IT will integrate Piratenet within PR's Coremetrics Web Analytics system to enable targeted marketing to University constituencies that use Piratenet, including deposited students. IT is working with PR and Enrollment Services to generate accounts for accepted students so that they can provide more of the services of Piratenet and Banner to prospective students, and to allow prospective students to access their accounts using OpenID's (e.g., their Google Gmail or other credentials).

Faculty Development
A variety of technology related professional development workshops is available to faculty. In addition to those focused on the use of Blackboard to facilitate the management of courses and organizations, four additional workshop series will be offered. Effective Presentations, Paperless Solutions and Social Learning Ladder series are designed to introduce faculty to a wide range of software and web 2.0 tools to support teaching and learning. The fourth series is designed to support faculty interested in or who are already teaching online; the Online Teaching and Learning Organization will host several guest speaker sessions available live online (Webex) as well as online discussion boards. Finally, the TLTC will host its first Virtual Symposium to be held completely online through Webex in order to accommodate faculty during Winter recess.

Curriculum Development Initiative (CDI)
Academic Affairs has made Cross Disciplinary Collaboration, Online Learning and Assessment its foci for CDI's. Cross Disciplinary Collaboration projects will support departmental partnerships in order to develop and implement innovative curriculum programs with technology acting as a catalyst to meet these goals. The TLTC will continue its support for Online Course Development as well as online self-paced corporate training initiatives being launched in partnership with the Law School and CEPS. Finally, support will continue for Assessment projects and the integration of technology to support data collection, analysis and reporting.

Online Learning
In addition to CDI funded online learning projects, the TLT Center is supporting CEHS in the development of an online Certificate in Eligibility in Advanced Standing, an 18 credit Accelerated Teacher Certification Program. The TLT Center will continue to support any request for support to develop online programs and individual courses. Faculty interested in developing an online course can participate in the Online Faculty Experience Workshops (Level 1 and 2) that are offered through Blackboard and facilitated by an experienced online instructor.

Computer Lab and General Classroom Upgrades
IT continues to work with Academic Affairs, the Deans and Department Chairs to identify computer lab facilities and classrooms that need technology installed and/or upgraded in them. This year a refresh of the Mac Lab in Arts & Sciences and upgrades to the Seminary, College of Education & Human Services and the Development Math Labs have been completed. There are also some technology maintenance items in the Jubilee and McNulty auditoriums and the Beck Room in Walsh Library.

Teaching, Learning and Technology Roundtable
The Teaching Learning Technology (TLT) Roundtable is a consortium of faculty, administrators and students that meets regularly in action teams (or subcommittees) to discuss institutional issues related to teaching, learning, and technology. The TLT Roundtable makes recommendations in support of the University’s Strategic Plan as outlined by stake holders such as the Faculty Senate, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Division of Technology, and other key organizations or groups.  Read the latest news and announcements on the TLTC blog »

The SHU Web Site
The Web Development team continues to enhance the capability of the University's web site. A planned migration of the content management system to Oracle is planned for the coming year and this semester we will see a deeper integration with popular social networking services to allow for a deeper cultivation of prospects and engagement with current students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Telecommunications providers are moving to Internet (IP) based delivery of telephone services. SHU IT is planning to migrate to IP-based telephone trunks in the coming year. This will reduce the cost of telephone service to the campus as well as provide SHU IT with the business continuity options in the event there is a disruption in service to the campus main telephone switch in Presidents' Hall.

Campus Internet Upgrade
The University's current contract for Internet service to the South Orange campus ends in the summer of 2011. SHU IT is negotiating a significant service upgrade at or below the current cost.

Immersive 3D Learning Environments
The TLT Center supports faculty utilizing virtual worlds to provide immersive and collaborative learning environments. The department of English continues to build upon the House of 7 project in Second Life by creating collaborative learning opportunities for students (freshman from one course collaborated with upper classmen in another course). The Master Healthcare Administration program is incorporating experiential learning methods through the creation of Emergency Preparedness simulations. Simulation training will be expanded by College of Education and Human Services to train pre-service teachers in classroom management techniques.

Constituent Relationship Management
IT is supporting the implementation of, a joint project of Admissions and Public Relations to better manage recruitment leads for both undergraduate and graduate programs. SalesForce will require integration with Banner.

Communications System
IT will work with Public Relations to implement a new email system for marketing and a replacement to the Broadcast email system. Cheetah Mail, the product that Public Relations has choose will require integration with Banner.

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