IT Update for June 2016

June 2016
A monthly report to UAB leadership and the IT community about technology projects
designed to enhance the work and lives of UAB staff, faculty and students.

UAB IT for the win

In one year, UAB IT has notched more than 100 wins for campus

When Vice President and CIO Curt Carver arrived at UAB, he promised that UAB IT would deliver 100 IT wins for campus in one year. The department has delivered — and then some. More than 100 wins, large and small, have been accomplished in partnership with departments and individuals across campus. You can explore these UAB wins here. Meanwhile, we have many more improvements to make — and we're counting on another 100 wins this year to help support our world-class university in its mission to be a first choice in education and health care.

Review, give feedback on the IT Strategic Plan
After months of committee meetings and town halls, the draft of the IT Strategic Plan for UAB has been published. Students, faculty and staff are invited to review the plan and provide feedback on IT priorities. Learn more here.

Pruitt named AVP for Enterprise Applications
After a national search, Ken Pruitt, interim assistant vice president for Enterprise Applications and Solutions, has been named to the position. Pruitt, who has been with UAB since 2007, has an extensive career in management and information systems, including work at Accenture and BellSouth. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi and an MBA from Millsaps College. "Ken has a proven track record of building a strong, loyal team and maintaining strong customer relationships at UAB," said Vice President and CIO Curt Carver. Pruitt, who has two sons with his wife Pam, is active in the Boy Scouts of America.

Join us for a free movie on the Campus Green
Because we have such an incredible campus community, UAB IT has joined TechBridge in hosting a free movie on the Campus Green. Students, faculty and staff are invited to join us Thursday, June 9, to watch "The Incredibles." Bring your families along with lawn chairs, blankets and coolers of snacks. We will also have food trucks on hand with a variety of dinner and dessert options. Learn more here.
WiFi upgraded at new locations around campus
New WiFi hotspots will continue to make campus life easier for UAB students. Over the past several weeks, UAB IT has made a number of improvements to its WiFi coverage across campus. These improvements came as a result of a top 10 list of technology needs from the Undergraduate Student Government Association. New hotspots will be located at Lister Hill Library, the School of Optometry, Campus Green, Hill Student Center, Unity Park and the soccer field.

Automated password reset helps protect students, staff
UAB students, faculty and staff have made a successful transition to the automated password reset feature in BlazerID Central, a process that makes it easier for users to reset their password. Automated password reset allows users to bypass AskIT when they need to reset a forgotten password; with an enrolled phone number, users can get a text message to help reset the password.

UAB to seek approval for funding to improve network speed
The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees will hear from UAB IT leadership June 16-17 as UAB seeks approval for $2.5 million in funding to improve network speed on campus. The funding is part of UAB IT's plan to grow the network capacity to 100GB.

IRAP vendor CEO visits UAB, looking forward to expansion
The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and UAB IT hosted a visit by Eddie Johnson and Nacole Simonds, president and vice president of InfoEd Global, May 2-5. UAB is implementing its Integrated Research Administration Portal (IRAP) based on InfoEd Global research administration software. The company, which is based in Albany, N.Y., is exploring the possibility of establishing a secondary office in Birmingham. Johnson met with UAB President Ray Watts and visited the Innovation Depot as part of his visit. Johnson said he appreciated seeing how UAB's vision for technology is being accomplished. "Many places are talking about doing the things that UAB is actually already doing," Johnson said. "What they are implementing is beyond what others have even thought about yet. We are excited to see the results of our strengthening partnership. They have an incredibly strong team of resources, and it is exciting to be a part of that family. I expect great things from our partnership and look forward to being a part of UAB as they implement their vision." UAB leaders are looking forward to continued collaboration. "We think he was favorably impressed by both the business opportunities and the nice weather Birmingham has to offer," said Dr. Lauretta Gerrity, senior associate vice president for research administration.

UAB IT collaborates with CITI to bring data to IRAP portal
UAB IT Research Support and UAB IT Application Consulting Services have been collaborating with UAB CIRB to interface with CITI Research training. CITI the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative was established in 2000, CITI Program's mission is to provide educational content that promotes the quality of and public trust in the research enterprise. UAB employees' and cohorts' CITI training data will be automatically flowing into IRAP the Integrated Research Administration Portal as a result of this collaboration.
UAB IT helps welcome new students during orientation
UAB IT is helping to welcome new Blazers and their parents during orientation this summer. In addition to participating in the student activity fair, UAB IT is sponsoring a parent reception and providing technology information. Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver is presenting information to students at each session held throughout the summer for new freshmen, transfer students and non-traditional students. UAB IT staff is also available at TechConnect, UAB IT's storefront at the Hill Student Center, to answer questions for incoming students and their parents.
Security Challenge helps protect employee information
UAB's new Security Challenge helps protect employees' personal and financial information in the Oracle system. Beginning June 7, users logging in to Oracle will be required to sign up for the Security Challenge, a set of questions with user-unique answers. UAB and UAB employees have experienced institutional and personal loss as a result of phishing emails, which prompted the extra security. Learn more here.

UAB IT helps support Benevolent Fund in reaching goals
UAB IT Application Consulting Services participates annually in the technical support for the Benevolent Fund database and donor contribution application during the annual fund drive and throughout the year. UAB IT's role is to provide customized administrative reporting and support. "It is also our honor to work with the Benevolent Fund office, a group truly dedicated to the success of the fund and always a pleasure to support," said Bill Laughlin, director of Application Consulting Services.
IT Town Hall coming for Birmingham tech community
UAB IT will be partnering with TechBirmingham to host a town hall for the Birmingham tech community to discuss how UAB can help strengthen economic development and help expand the tech industry in in Birmingham and beyond. Details will be published to the UAB community and the area technical community.

State's CIOs meet to discuss possible partnerships
Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver met with CIOs from around Alabama last month to discuss areas of mutual interest. The meeting is intended to develop stronger partnerships among chief information officers from public and private institutions.
Network firewall protections to be strengthened
To safeguard UAB’s network, UAB IT is planning to update and modernize its campus edge protections over the summer to limit the impact of attempted intrusions by external attackers. Campus IT professionals will need to take action to ensure the changes do not negatively impact the normal activities of students, faculty, staff and researchers. UAB will be modifying the border firewall posture later this year to what is known as “default-deny,” a best practice for enterprise environments. This posture will improve the security of the campus network, information systems and any private or sensitive data stored at UAB. Any server or service which requires external users to access, such as a public website will need to be registered. UAB IT is developing a registration form, and IT leaders around campus are co-authoring the process for implementing the changes. More details will be communicated throughout the summer. Please note that this change does not apply for systems within the UAB Health System network. HSIS utilizes the default-deny firewall policy at their network edge already.

Security tip: Always secure your devices
Mobile devices have become one of the primary ways we communicate and interact with each other. The power of a computer is now at our fingertips, allowing us to bank, shop, view medical history, attend to work remotely, and communicate virtually anywhere. With all these convenient features come added risks, but click here for some tips to protect your devices and your personal information.
UAB IT co-sponsors Microsoft Education Tech Days
UAB technology employees had an opportunity last month to attend Microsoft Education Tech Days, a chance to connect with Microsoft specialists and partners to learn more about how education leaders in the Southeast are using technology. The event was co-sponsored by UAB IT. 

Dell to present lunch and learn session
UAB information technology professionals are invited to attend a lunch and learn Thursday, June 2, featuring Dell representatives. The event, which offers lunch provided by Dell, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Cudworth Hall room 140. Dell will present information about printing and printer management roadmap.
EMAIL ADDRESS LOOKUP: President Ray Watts has charged UAB IT and HSIS to examine email options that will be sensible, non-redundant and cost-effective. This initiative looks to address long-standing issues with addressee lookup (moving from lookup by first name to lookup by last name) and calendar visibility.

TECHCONNECT REPAIRS COMING: TechConnect, UAB IT's technology storefront at the Hill Student Center, will soon offer repairs for technology equipment. Repair services are expected to begin by mid-summer.
BE AWARE OF PHONE SCAMS: UAB officials and law enforcement will never ask for your password, personal information or payment over the phone. Be aware that phone scams have targeted students, parents and employees over the past year. Learn tips to protect yourself.
Last modified on June 01, 2016