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Technology Services: From the CIO

October, 2017 CIO Update »

Unfortunately the Cubs are not in the World Series right now, so this Fall is not quite as good as last year for me.  However, the cooler weather and autumn colors are a welcome change.  As we more fully transition into Fall and start heading toward the holidays, I thought I would highlight some changes to two of our major services:

TerminalFour’s Version 8

Our first Content Management System (CMS) server, t4.vcu.edu, affectionately known to our friends as “v7,” has finally received a well-deserved upgrade. After years of working with the vendor to assure the quality of our assets in the new version of TerminalFour, Web Services executed a protocol developed over the last six months for a quick and painless upgrade path over the Fall Break. Over the next few months, we’ll be transitioning websites managed by our second CMS server, v8.t4.vcu.edu over to t4Image result for cinderella gif [View Image].vcu.edu for a more consistent and cogent environment for all of us to use.

TerminalFour’s version 8, built in a popular and modern framework, features significantly better load times, a responsive/mobile-friendly design, and a more intuitive interface for our content managers and developers alike. New, easy to use web forms, a faster “to-live” transfer time, and an improved “direct-edit” will continue to make TerminalFour Version 8 not only an integral part of VCU’s web presence, but a tool to help expand, enrich and empower the content on our websites.

Meet the new Google Calendar for the web

Check your schedule. Starting in November, a fresh look and new features are coming to Google Calendar on the web to help you manage your time more efficiently and get more done. Improvements include lots of what you might know and like from Calendar’s mobile application, like the modern color palette and sleek design, and bringing it to the web with a responsive layout that auto-adjusts to your screen size.  Google also added more features to help teams schedule and prepare for meetings.

In the new Calendar for web, you can:

  • See conference room details when booking a room. VCU’s G Suite admins can now enter detailed information about their organization’s meeting rooms—so employees know where a conference room is located, how large it is, and whether it has audio/video equipment or is wheelchair accessible. Employees can simply hover over the room name in Calendar when they want to book a space, and a hovercard will pop up with details about the conference  [View Image]location and resources.
  • Add rich formatting and hyperlinks to your Calendar invites. Link to relevant spreadsheets, documents or presentations in your Calendar invite and open them directly from the new “Event Detail” view. This can help you create more detailed agendas and ensure all materials are in one place before your meeting starts.
  • Manage multiple calendars side by side in “Day” view. Now you can view and manage calendars in separate columns. This makes it easier for employees who manage multiple calendars, like administrative assistants, to schedule meetings on behalf of their teams. Click “Day” view and select the calendars you want to compare.

There are a number of other changes in Calendar, too. Now you can see contact information of meeting participants when you hover over their names in a Calendar invite. There’s also a new way to view and restore deleted items in one place in case you accidentally delete a meeting. Additionally, “Day,” “Week,” and “Month” views are now more accessible, featuring better compatibility with screen readers. For more detail on changes, check out this post.

These new changes in Calendar can help your teams better manage their time, and VCU’s G Suite admins will be enabling these new updates starting in November.  Look for more information in the next few days.

Thanks to all who are enabling these and many other projects and initiatives here at VCU.  Happy Fall y’all!

September, 2017 CIO Update »

With the school year in full swing and Fall officially arriving, I thought I would highlight several new initiatives that help to ensure that all of the services we offer can be easily accessed and utilized and that our user community can access and handle VCU data easily but also safely. The Learning Systems Academy The Learning Systems Academy w . . .

August, 2017 CIO Update »

Welcome to the new academic year!  After all of our summer preparation, classes have begun and VCU is once again bustling with new and returning students "making it real."  This month I'd like to highlight a couple of improvements we've made as well as provide a reminder: TS Training Rooms Refresh This summer, the Labs and Classrooms Computing . . .

July, 2017 CIO Update »

The new academic year is fast approaching, and there are multiple efforts underway to prepare.  Our migration to multi-factor authentication continues to progress; we now have more than 15,000 registered users of DUO.  We continue to maintain and upgrade fiber and network infrastructure; we are progressing well in the upgrade to Banner 9; we have succ . . .

June, 2017 CIO Update »

Earlier this month the Technology Services team, along with our Administration colleagues in Human Resources, Facilities Management, Police, Parking & Transportation, and Safety & Risk Management gathered to celebrate our accomplishments and to recognize those who this year exemplified great service.  I would like to thank Technology Services�� . . .

May, 2017 CIO Update »

As we successfully close another academic year and begin to close another fiscal year, the Technology Services team is now beginning to perform various maintenance and upgrade tasks to multiple systems and infrastructures as well as plan for the fall.  Over the summer months I will highlight some of those efforts.  For this month's entry, I will co . . .

April, 2017 CIO Update »

For the past week or so, I think I've been living in Seattle. However, the sun has made an appearance today and I believe that all of the April showers will in fact lead to May flowers.  For this month's update, I would like to highlight two significant changes being driven by Microsoft and Google. Windows 10 & Classrooms This summer the Labs . . .

March, 2017 CIO Update »

It is definitely March, and I have a busted bracket and the start of some spring allergies to prove it.  Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend another excellent annual ACCS (Association of Collegiate Computing Services of Virginia) conference in Portsmouth.  It was great to see so many VCU staff benefiting from the professional develop . . .

February, 2017 CIO Update »

Compromise of data and IT systems through the use of stolen credentials continues to be one of the top cyber threats faced by our University. A compromise may not only place University information at risk, but can also jeopardize your personal information that is protected by these credentials.  In order to reduce the risk associated with stolen creden . . .

January, 2017 CIO Update »

As the New Year comes into full swing, Educause (the primary professional organization for Higher Education IT) has released its Top 10 Issues list for the coming year.  This year's list and associated materials are particularly helpful in contextualizing our priorities and initiatives in Technology Services with trends across higher education, and the . . .

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We are responsible for implementing and supporting the technology used around campus, such as the network, phones, enhanced classrooms, and Internet-based systems including myVCU, Blackboard, email, and more.

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