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Meet our Interim CIO

Information Technology Services (ITS) would like to introduce you to our Interim Chief Information Officer (CIO), Kevin Taylor. Kevin has been working at MSU Denver for the past two years as the ITS Director of Application Services and will be acting as the Interim CIO while a nationwide search for a permanent CIO is being conducted. We are fortunate to have Kevin in this role, because he was the CIO at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma for three years. Day-to-day operations in ITS will remain the same as we continue to support academic and professional excellence through the thoughtful application of information technology.

Preparing for power outages

The unplanned power outage that took place on Dec. 8 caused an interruption in service for several University systems. Fortunately, ITS technicians were able to reestablish service soon after the power was restored.

AHEC recently announced the following tentative schedule for several planned power outages:

  • West Classroom: 12/18/16 from 5:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Central Classroom: 12/28/16 from 5:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Cherry Creek Classroom: 12/29/16 from 5:00 am - 7:00 pm

To prevent data loss during the power outage, the following services will be unavailable starting at close of business on Friday, December 23rd: Network drives (P, S, U, Y drives), and Document Imaging, including BDMS, Web Extender, and App Extender.

MSU Denver student featured in the news

Stephen Chavez, an MSU Denver student who is also on the ITS Security Team, was recently featured in Forbes magazine and on the Gizmodo website after presenting at DefCon – one of the largest hacker conferences in the world – and GeekPwn – an international hacking contest in China. In the presentations, Stephen described how he hacked his wheelchair in an attempt to expose the vulnerabilities of such devices, so safeguards can be implemented to protect wheelchair users. 9News will be also be airing a feature story about Stephen on Sunday, December 18, at 9 pm and 10 pm, so be sure to watch!

Stephen will be graduating from MSU Denver on Friday, December 16, so we wish him the best of luck with his promising future, which may include working for Google or SpaceX. We also want to congratulate him on his impressive accomplishments and well-deserved recognition. Way to go, Stephen!

Blackboard Learn upgrade

Blackboard Learn, MSU Denver’s learning management system, will be upgraded during the holiday break. The system will not be available during the upgrade, which is scheduled to begin at 8:00 pm on December 31 and completed by January 1 at 12:00 pm.

Remember to check your tech before the new semester begins

Use Information Technology Services’ Pre-semester Technology Checklist to make sure you’re prepared for the spring semester.

The checklist provides detailed information about:

  • verifying that your MSU Denver NetID, password and email are working.
  • confirming that your Blackboard Learn courses are set up for spring semester.
  • verifying that you and your classrooms are equipped with the necessary software and equipment.
  • updating your laptop by connecting it to the MSU Denver “wired” network or by bringing it to the ITS Helpdesk.
  • verifying that your syllabi include the ITS Helpdesk contact information for technology support.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at 303-352-7548 or support.msudenver.edu.

Revitalizing courses

We know that MSU Denver faculty members are passionate about excellence in teaching and learning, and dedicated to continuously improving their online and hybrid courses. With this in mind, the ITS Educational Technology Center would like to remind faculty of two programs that are available to them, CourseAssist and CourseConstellation. Both programs provide helpful techniques, strategies, and new ideas for revitalizing courses. We hope you will consider applying for one (if not both) of these programs, as continuous quality improvement becomes increasingly important.

To get involved, we ask that you submit a simple application that should take no more than two minutes to complete: CourseAssist Application, CourseConstellation Application. The applications are open until January 12, 2017 for the Spring cycle, but don’t wait, apply today!

Testing a new telephone solution

ITS is continuing the initiative to find a new telephone system to replace the current AHEC-managed system. After evaluating numerous options, we determined that Skype for Business (S4B) may be the best solution, because it is a customizable software that provides cutting-edge capabilities and it is already included our Office 365 suite of applications

In order to fully evaluate the possibility of implementing S4B University-wide, a pilot test is currently being conducted in ITS. As part of the pilot, we will also be testing various types of IP phones in order to determine which type will best meet the needs of MSU Denver.

We will keep you informed as we continue our efforts to determine which telephone system will provide the highest level of functionality, reliability and value to the University. Please feel free to contact the ITS Helpdesk at 303-352-7548 or support.msudenver.edu if you have any questions about this important initiative.

Tips for staying safe online this holiday season

When you’re traveling this holiday season and using your mobile devices, remember to stay safe online. ITS offers the following tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance and ConnectSafely:

The checklist provides detailed information about:

  • Actively manage location services: Location tools come in handy while planning your trip or navigating a new place, but they can also expose your location ? even through photos. Turn off location services when you’re not using them.
  • Get savvy about WiFi hot spots: Don’t transmit personal info or make purchases on unsecure networks. Instead, use a virtual private network (VPN) or your phone as a personal hotspot to surf more securely.
  • Turn off your WiFi and Bluetooth if you’re not using them: When WiFi and Bluetooth are on, they connect and track your whereabouts. If you do not need them, switch them off.
  • Protect your money: Be sure to shop or bank only on secure sites. Web addresses with "https://" or "shttp://", mean the site takes extra security measures. An address with “http://" is NOT secure.
  • Never use public computers to log into your accounts: Be extremely cautious on public computers in airports, hotel lobbies and Internet cafes. Keep activities as generic and anonymous as possible.
  • Share with care: Think twice before posting pictures that you would not want certain people (like your parents or employer) to see or photos that would reveal you are traveling.

For more helpful information, please visit the StaySafeOnline.org webpage. Contact the ITS Helpdesk at 303-352-7548 or support.msudenver.edu with your questions. Have a fun and secure holiday season!


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