September/October 2006

The Communicator :: September/October 2006

ITD Update

As technology continues to evolve and improve, so does its use on university campuses. Technology continues to open new doors and improve communication between students and faculty, and new technology tools are providing a much more student-centered environment.

Each year at this time, the Information Technology Division (ITD) joins other MTSU departments and offices in setting both annual and long-range goals. ITD is engulfed in six major multi-year projects to accomplish during the 2006-07 fiscal years these projects include the following:

ERP Implementation

Advancement went live July, 2006, and Admissions will follow in September. Student registration and Financial Aid were projected April, 2007.

Data Warehouse

This is a multi-year project that includes developing Phase 2 for student information.

Access Training

Retool campus constituencies for ad hoc reporting.

Web Content Management

Another multi-year project includes gathering information through focus groups, redesigning MTSU's homepage and rolling out the system to departments this fall.

Learning, Teaching, and Innovative Technologies Center

The LT&ITC begins its second year of operation partnering with campus groups such as Cultural Diversity and International Education to provide professional development workshops and seminars for faculty. In conjunction with SACS, the center will also develop workshops and seminars for faculty teaching experiential learning classes.

Information Technology Building

Pursue funding and construction.

ITD 2005-2006 Accomplishments

• Provided and supported learning technologies that enhance curricula and course development, delivery and management through workshops and individual consultations.

• Faculty offered support for integrating technology into teaching; the Faculty Instructional Technology Center (FITC) averaged 37 sessions / 77 hours of consultation with faculty per month.

• System administration, technical and pedagogical support for WebCT and other learning technologies.

• A&ITS offered ~60 workshops during this year; five new workshops prepared in Spring 06.

• ITD Intern conducted two MERLOT workshops and conducted two departmental roundtables discussing various instructional technologies.

• Demonstrated new applications and hardware at the October ShareFair.

• Conducted the fourth annual "Camp IT"; for faculty; CampIT is a two week (1 week virtual, 1 week face-to-face) faculty development workshop to introduce faculty to the concepts of e-learning pedagogy and technical training on various applications.

• Enhanced the web-based resources in providing academic support for integrating technology into the teaching/learning process.

• Collaborated with Continuing Studies in the development, delivery and evaluation of online and blended courses.

• Researched new instructional technology and teaching/learning strategies including new software, hardware and teaching pedagogies to support e-learning.

• Promote and provide faculty IT grants, fellowships, and internships.

• Awarded approximately $32,000 in Instructional Technology Development grants and fellowships during the 2005 calendar year.

• 2005-2006 ITD intern activities included:

i. Analysis of 2005 Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR) study (a national survey of freshman and senior students to survey student use of technology).

ii. Wrote a series of Communicator articles discussing the results.

iii. Conducted the 2006 ECAR study surveying MTSU freshmen and seniors- obtained continuation MTSU IRB approval, determined the survey sample and distributed an email invitation to participate.

iv. Conducted two workshops on MERLOT.

v. Conducted departmental roundtables to discuss technology issues.

• Co-Directed the Learning, Teaching and Innovative Technologies Center (LT&ITC); overseeing its services of mentoring faculty, coordinating faculty development opportunities, designing initiatives and incentives for faculty development and conducting assessments.

• Appointed two faculty fellows (3 hours reassigned time each); fellows participated in multiple seminars and panel discussions.

• Conducted seven 1 st Tuesday series seminars - attracting 8-22 participants for each seminar.

• Hosted 1 audio and 2 web seminars; 1 departmental faculty meeting session on "Faculty Frustrations";.

• Co-sponsored a College Showcase series:

i. Colleges of Liberal Arts and Business conducted showcases of innovative teaching techniques.

ii. College of Education - conducted an Education Summit event - nationally known teaching consultant, Dr. Ken Bains, New York University.

• Statistical consults averaged 40-50 per month.

• Assisted the Data Center staff with software testing following the installation of a new "frank"; server.

• Support continues for academic programming, test/survey scanning, ACT processing, and research/statistical consulting; worked with faculty in various disciplines to facilitate survey design administration and data analysis.

• Assisted university departments/offices to efficiently administer and analyze data collection surveys and reports.

• Assisted DBA Services with October 05 launch of BlueInfo.

• Completed work on the Equipment Checkout program and maintained work order and workshop registration systems.

• Assisted the division in the evaluation of ITD's services and activities via the SAC's audit criteria, institutional effectiveness matrix, and analysis of student, faculty and staff surveys.

• Assisted with the development of an ITD Customer Satisfaction Survey.

• Upgraded PipelineMT to Luminis III.3.

• Conducted three PipelineMT workshops to keep campus abreast of capabilities and improvements.

• Continued to bring more offices online with Resource25.

• Continued to assist Database Administration Services with remaining phases of data warehouse.

• Created data extracts when requested.

• Continued implementing and training for Banner Finance, Human Resources, Financial Aide, and students.

• Installed 2006 FAM Regulations.

• FOCUS classes were provided by request.

• Removed remaining TRAM services.

• Assisted Business Office with installation of a student debit card (paycard).

• The Help Desk responded to more than 72,000 phone calls during 2005 and 9,000 emails.

• Hired new students to accommodate non-dorm residents with wireless and various laptop issues and assisted over1 1,000 students.

• Provided on site Help Desk assistance at all CUSTOMS sessions held in 2005-06.

• Developed formal, hands-on help desk student worker training with required attendance.

• Continued to assist in refining the online equipment check out to ensure ease of use for the end user as well as the help desk.

• Macromedia was added to the University's site license program.

• Upgraded ID image workstation PCs and software.

• Created independent REC Center membership flags and expiration dates.

• Programming has been completed to ensure flags and dates work properly for REC Center members with multiple status and to prevent HRS and SIS overrides.

• Testing will continue through the start of the summer semester to ensure everything changes automatically with a semester transition.

• Fully implemented time and attendance on CSGold for Athletic Enhancement Center.

• Sponsored 11 th annual Instructional Technology Conference with attendees from 23 states and Canada.

• Continued to offer the Student Technology Assistant (STA) program.

• Worked with vending and laundry to establish acceptable and reasonable turn around times on repairs.

• Completed testing, performance tuning, and production implementation of the new databases for Banner Finance.

• Banner Finance went live on July 1, 2005 after extensive testing and performance tuning.

• Provided database administration services for ERP system projects.

• Assisted in establishing new End User Reporting environment for the ERP systems.

• Lead effort to establish Banner@BlueInfo as MTSU's Operational Data Store (ODS) in SQL Server, Microsoft Access as MTSU's Reporting Tool, and Microsoft Access Switchboards as the Reports User Interface.

• Coordinated with Desktop Services to establish the FSA domain as the secured path to Access Reports and Switchboards.

• Established and conducted Intro and Advanced Access for BlueInfo workshops and have those workshops scheduled monthly on the ITD workshops schedule.

• Continued Resource25 expansion to streamline campus event planning and Coordination.

• Finalized migration of R25ASV & RESC25FILE servers to new R25 production server.

• Integrated X25 into Resource25 environment.

• X25 is housed at a third party location. Integration with Resource25 consists of information extracts that are interfaced to X25. That integration work is complete and running smoothly in production.

• Completed testing, performance tuning, and production implementation of the new databases for Content Management.

• Finalized Oracle / SQL Server separation of services and fail over processes.

• Completed design of BlueInfo Student Information Data Warehouse.

• The logical design of the BlueInfo Student Information Data Warehouse is complete.

• Modify BlueInfo Organization Data Warehouse as required (extracts, etc.) by implementation of Banner Human Resources.

• Replaced half of the Walker Library network equipment with 100 Mbps switched Ethernet, and replaced the uplink with a Gigabit connection to the core.

• Expanded the wireless network coverage to include more classrooms.

• Completed Clean Access installs to include wireless network.

• Connected Todd third floor, Student Health and Wellness expansion, Nursing expansion, and other new construction and renovated areas to the campus backbone.

• Continued expanding intrusion detection methods and number of probe machines, possibly to include one at the RESnet boundary and one at the Servernet boundary.

• Worked with Residence Life to install music and video sharing system.

• Conducted four security workshops.

• Replaced server network (193) at both data center locations with identical N3 units with 100 gigabit ports each and redundant gigabit links between.

• Replaced the academic server (HP v2600) with an HP rp7420.

• Upgraded all systems software packages as appropriate.

• Upgraded to Luminus 3.I; performed multiple upgrades to WebCT; upgraded to Microsoft 2003 Enterprise.

• Continued support for the four-year replacement and renewal cycle for student-accessible computers. ITD manages the inventory, determines the requirements, procures and installs the computers and printers.

• Replaced over 450 personal computers as part of the four-year replacement renewal cycle for student-accessible computers.

• Hired two Local Service Providers to support the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Education and Behavioral Science.

• Increased the number of software workshops offered to support the implementation of Banner.

• Continued investigation/implementation of directory and authentication strategies.

• Explored a voice mail system platform upgrade.

• Explored and upgraded the DEFINITY G3r to the newest platform, using the S8710 processor.

• Investigated wireless telephone technologies for possible applications to enhance employee productivity and/or improve services to students.

• Improved online directory options.

• Explored upgrading existing IP voice terminals to the newest 2400 series versions.

• Evaluated opportunities for using voice over IP (VoIP) to improve telephone service.

ITD Goals for 2006-2007

• Continue implementation and training for the Luminus Content Management system (LCMS), consulting with MTSU departments / units to conduct user interviews, redevelop web content and develop pages within the LCMS.

• Work with the Web Advisory Committee to develop web posting guidelines and disseminate information to departments / units.

• Provide and support learning technologies that enhance curricula and course development, delivery and management through workshops and individual consultations.

•Develop and implement a migration plan for converting to an upgraded or new course management system following awarding of a new TBR contract.

• Enhance the web-based resources in providing academic support for integrating technology into the teaching / learning process.

• Collaborate with Continuing Studies in the development, delivery and evaluation of online and blended courses.

• Research new instructional technology and teaching/learning strategies including new software, hardware and teaching pedagogies to support e-learning.

• Promote and provide faculty IT grants, fellowships, and internships.

• Co-Direct the Learning, Teaching and Innovative Technologies Center (LT&ITC); overseeing its services of mentoring faculty, coordinating faculty development opportunities, designing initiatives and incentives for faculty development and conducting assessments.

• Consult and collaborate with faculty/staff on academic programming, scanning and statistical analysis projects.

• Continue to bring more offices online with Resource25.

• Continue to assist Database Administration Services with remaining phases of data warehouse.

• Continue all planned phases of Banner training and implementation.

• Install 2007 FAM Regulations.

• Conduct Microsoft Access workshops for Banner @BlueInfo throughout the year.

• Implement lost/returned ID card tracking and notification by automating some current procedures and creating new ones.

• Develop and deploy web lost card deactivation interface.

• Research viability of creating homegrown web portal for ID system for balance queries and transaction statements.

• Developing tracking mechanism to monitor and evaluate benefits of new composite card stock implementation.

• Improve communication channels among the Help Desk, end users, and internal support personnel.

• Implement new work order, help desk, knowledge base, and asset management system.

• Complete testing, performance tuning, and production implementation of the new databases for the Banner Advancement ERP, Banner Student ERP and the Banner Financial Aid ERP systems.

• Participate in the implementation of Runner Technologies Clean Address software, Banner - Luminis channels, Grants in Banner Finance, Fixed Assets in Banner Finance, Banner Workflow, Banner Xtender and Windstar - Banner interface.

• Participate in completion of Education and Credential updates between Banner Human Resources and BlueInfo Organization Data Warehouse.

• Monitor first year end processing in Banner Finance.

• Complete testing, performance tuning, and production implementation of the new databases for the CORE cashiering Banner version.

• Provide database administration services for the new SciQuest system project.

• Establish new Advancement, Student, and Financial Aid end user reporting environment.

• Retrain FOCUS report writers as Access report writers.

• Provide database administration services for the growth in Content Management.

• Continue Resource25 expansion to streamline campus event planning and Coordination.

• Implement new release of Resource25, R25 WebViewer and participate in the implementation of Resource 25 - Banner interface.

• Replace second half of the Walker Library switched network equipment with 100 Mbps switched Ethernet.

• Complete wireless coverage of classrooms and expand other indoor and outdoor wireless coverage.

• Connect Middle Tennessee Building, Cason Kennedy Nursing Building addition, and other new and renovated buildings to the campus network.

• Peer with Educational Networks of America to more efficiently route intrastate K12 traffic to and from MTSU.

• Continue to enhance firewall, traffic manager, policy manager, router, and authorization system policies to enhance network security and performance.

• As Banner implementation process progresses provide 24x7 access to online data.

• Upgrade all systems software packages as appropriate.

• Continue support for the four-year replacement and renewal cycle for student-accessible computers.

• Continue reorganization of Microcomputer Support and Classroom Support to provide better services.

• Continue implementation of directory and authentication strategies.

• Investigate/implement email replacement system.

• Explore a voice mail system platform upgrade.

• Consider upgrading the Avaya S8710 to the newest Communication Manager software release.

• Investigate wireless telephone technologies for possible applications to enhance employee productivity and/or improve services to students.

• Review our inventory of direct inward dial (DID) numbers and evaluate the need for additional numbers or changing the dialing plan.

• Install telephone service to the renovated Middle Tennessee Building using voice over Internet protocol.

• Consider upgrading the data switch in the TCM to a power over Ethernet (POE) model to allow VoIP phones to be powered from the switch.

Teaching the Basics with New Technologies

Ken Bain, author of What the Best Teachers Do, came to Murfreesboro last spring to facilitate a workshop, "Teaching the Basics with New Technologies";. He was introduced by Kaylene Gebert and Lucinda Lea.

"If you're going to be excellent, you have to keep working at it,"; Gebert stated. "We have to know ourselves as teachers.";

With those thoughts in mind, Lea added, "The expectation now is that every year MTSU is going to be bigger and better.";

Two new fellows were announced at the workshop: Tim Graeff, Management and Marketing, and Maria Clayton, English.

Bain began the feature presentation by announcing, "I hope this conversation continues far beyond today."; He asked participants to take a moment and think about a teacher who helped them to learn most deeply, who cared and took a personal interest, and who not only had depth of knowledge of their subject, but also related their subject to life.

"It's an enormously simple idea with a lot of complexity to it,"; he commented.

Bain explained how a teacher can change the way students think about a subject. Teachers have to encourage them to "challenge their own mental models of reality."; Three conditions have to be present in order to do so:

(1) Put the learner in a position where their own model does not work. Having this expectation failure is necessary but not sufficient in itself;

(2) The learner has to care that their mental model does not work;

(3) The best teachers provide students with emotional support for their challenges.

Bain explained that extrinsic and intrinsic motivation effects students' interest in the course. He described an experiment by Edward Deci, a psychology professor, who found that taking away the extrinsic motivation (i.e., grades) causes students' interest in the subject to increase, learning concepts rather than memorizing facts. The lesson for instructors is to build courses around questions that are interesting, intriguing, and beautiful. Teachers should tell students at the outset the biggest question the course will help them answer.

To humorously illustrate his point, Bain showed a clip of Father Guido Sarducci explaining his idea of a five-minute university -what a college student remembers five years after graduating takes only five minutes to learn.

Bain asked, "What is college? What should students be able to do intellectually?";

Among his answers are: to think critically, solve problems, and think outside the box. Bain added that students should be resourceful, good reflectors, use knowledge practically, and be "good crap detectors";.

Bain explained that successful teachers raise questions and give criteria for good work rather than examples, and unsuccessful teachers offer only a solution.

Camp IT Update

ITD's Faculty Instructional Technology Center (FITC) held its fourth annual Camp IT workshop in May 2006. Nine faculty members participated. Camp IT is a two-week, professional development opportunity created to allow faculty members to experience, practice, and learn to develop effective e-learning environments. The camp includes a one-week, structured online course in which faculty members participate as students in a variety of learning activities. During this week faculty members participate in online discussions, chat sessions, online quizzes/tests, written assignments, and experience many other tools that are available in a WebCT course.

During the second week, conducted face-to-face, faculty members attend workshop sessions, and have individual consultation sessions with the FITC staff. Hands-on sessions are taught in course design, incorporating active learning into teaching, effective use of images, audio, and video in courses, as well as developing course content. Campers also learn how to use other programs such as PowerPoint, Photoshop, Respondus, StudyMate, and Audacity. Faculty members are encouraged to bring existing course content and course ideas to the camp and FITC staff members help campers create their new courses. At the end of the two-week period, faculty members present their courses to other campers. Throughout the course of the workshop participants create a variety of technology-enhanced course materials for blended (hybrid) and online courses. The learning materials from Camp IT are available year round through the WebCT support Web site,

Camp IT creates a comfortable environment that allows faculty members to exchange ideas with each other as well as the FITC staff. Plan now to reserve two weeks next May to participate in Camp IT 2007. For more information about camp, call FITC at 904-8189.

Instructional Technology Share Fair

Find out what other faculty members are doing with innovative teaching and technology practices in their classrooms by attending the 2006 ShareFair. MTSU faculty who received Instructional Technology Development grants and the outstanding teaching awards (Outstanding Teaching and Outstanding Use of Instructional Technology) share their innovative teaching techniques with the faculty community.

ShareFair will be held Wednesday, October 25, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., at 106 Peck Hall.

This year's ShareFair is sponsored by the Information Technology Division and the Learning, Teaching and Innovative Technologies Center.

Backup to Stay Up

Every computer owner needs to perform periodic backups of the personal data on your computer. This includes not only the obvious files such as is stored in "My Documents";, but also often ignored data such as files that may be on the desktop, email address books and local mail, Internet Explorer Favorites, Netscape Bookmarks, and data associated with special programs (i.e. Quicken) that is stored in places other than My Documents.

If you need assistance on how to back up your computer, you can contact the Help Desk at x5345 for starters. If you already know how to but just haven't done it in a while, why not write it on your calendar right now to do it in the next few days? Then if disaster strikes, you and your PC will be ready for recovery!

Music Department Professor Incorporates Technology

Once Glenda, the good witch, in a production of the Wizard of OZ, Christine Poythress has a resume that includes singing everything from classical music to honky tonk standards. Before her life as a teacher, Christine was one of a crew of New York "singing waitresses";.

Today as a music instructor, she draws on her many talents to help her students learn.

Aiding her teaching is a concentrated effort in using the technology tools provided her by the university.

"Learning has changed... kids are very visual,"; she relates, and these tools help her expose students to computers while learning music and completing assignments.

In 1998 when Christine was in graduate school, she said she knew very little about computers. Today she has nearly half of all her class instruction online, "it gives me more teaching time, you can use videos, and promote more discussion.";

Christine encourages all faculty to expand their use of technology in the classroom.

"It's (technology) is so exciting, and it gives the students multiple ways to work with material instead of just listening to the lecture.";

In addition to her hybrid classes, Christine utilizes StudyMate. She says that it has helped many of her students maneuver successfully through her music classes.

StudyMate addresses multiple learning styles in conjunction with WebCT. The students can study by multiple choice, flash cards, fill-in the blank, and several other methods.

In addition to providing fun links for her students, Christine has incorporated unit exams online. The final is the only proctored test. To capture the attention of her students, she also posts listening quizzes online that incorporate MP3 files.

Help Desk Adds Web-Based Equipment Checkout

ITD online equipment checkout system is now available. You can now submit a request online to check out a laptop computer and/or a projector. The link is on the Help Desk Web page . One laptop and/or projector may be reserved for one week.

You will be asked to enter your MTSU email address and if you have used other helpdesk interfaces the other required information will be retrieved. Then just select begin and end dates for when you need the equipment, the equipment type requested, and whether it is for use on or off campus. You may also specify any special software or equipment needs. ITD helpdesk staff will then review your request to verify that the equipment available meets your requirements. Once the request is reviewed a confirmation email is sent to the requestor which provides links to pdf versions of the forms needed for you to print out, complete, and have signed prior to picking up the equipment.

As always you may continue to contact the help desk at ext. 5345 to place an equipment reservation.

Directing Network Services

When Greg Schaffer came to MTSU as Campus Network Manager in 1998, he didn't know that just a few years later he would be a campus celebrity—of sorts. The move from the University of Tennessee Medical Center as a network engineer/assistant network manager literally set his life in a new direction.

It was at MTSU he met his wife, Kelly, and made quiet a scene when he proposed to her on the steps of the Cope Administration Building in 2001.

A Desert Storm veteran, Greg graduated from the University of Buffalo with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1993 and worked at U of B as a network repair specialist until moving to Tennessee in 1995.

Greg's position with ITD has changed over the years from network manager to Director of Network Services. The title now more accurately reflects the magnitude of the position's responsibility with campus growth and expansion to more external activities with the state and Board of Regents. Greg says that since 1998, changes in the MTSU network include tripling in size, adding residence hall access, on campus wireless network access, increased security, network equipment upgrades and design improvements for better performance, a 60-times faster Internet connection and Internet2 (large research network) was added.

Generally, a lot has changed in computer networking since Greg began his career in 1989. "Then, the goal was to get computers to talk to each other,"; he related. "Now, the main goal often is to prevent computers from talking to each other for security reasons.";

What does Greg like most about his job? "From a professional side, the opportunity to work with such a large and varied network,"; he commented. "From a personal side, the people and the environment provide a real family atmosphere.";

Greg says initially he planned to make his employment at MTSU a brief step in his career, "but I love it so much, I will probably wind up retiring from here.";

When he's not networking, Greg is flying. He discovered his love for flying at 13, and in 1997 earned his pilot's license and added MTSU instrument rating in 2001. He is a member of Angel Flight. Flying isn't his only hobby, as he and Kelly are avid horseback riders and have horses, cats and dogs on their farm.

Look for Greg at BRAA events, especially those fun tailgate parties!

ITD Staff News

Albert C. Whittenberg comes to ITSD as assistant director Academic and Instructional Technology Services (A&ITS) from the University of Illinois at Springfield. There he was associate director Educational Technology. He managed blackboard servers, 80 SMART classrooms and labs, three video conferencing facilities, and provided more than 60 workshops on various subjects annually for faculty.

Albert's degrees include a Master of Arts in history, University of Illinois at Springfield; Master of Science in human resource/technology training, Unviersity of Tennessee, Knoxville; Bachelor of Science in management information systems, Tennessee Tech. He is also a Microsoft certified systems engineer, and he holds the Microsoft Office user specialist Master Certification.

He is looking forward to supporting the A&ITS projects, such as the new content management system, and providing the best service possible to the MTSU community.

Originally from East Tennessee, Albert and his wife, Rhonda, and son, Casey, are enjoying being closer to home and warmer weather while residing in Manchester.

V. Charlene Christmon is a web specialist with ITD. She will focus on updating the university Web site and the site's redesign, researching and implementing new web technologies as needed, and teaching workshops on web design software, such as Adobe PhotoShop and Illustrator.

Previously, Charlene was a graphic designer/web designer for DTC Communications in Alexandria, Tennessee. She was responsible for marketing efforts of DTC and DTC Wireless. These included creating maintaining a website, advertising and promotions. She also created and maintained three database driven web portals used for internal tracking and a data-base driven intranet site for document archiving and depart-mental information.

Charlene has a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics with a support cause work minor in web publishing from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. She has additional training in Graphic Design, Javascript, Crystal Reports, and various Web/graphic design software such as Adobe InDesign, PhotoShop, Illustrator; Macromedia Dreamweaver and Flash. She hopes to assist her ITD team by using her programming and design knowledge to enhance MTSU's Web presence.

Charlene currently resides in Nashville with her 12-pound Cockapoo, Gabby.

Jeff McMahan comes to ITD from the Aerospace testing Alliance at Arnold Engineering Development Center, Arnold Air Force Base. He is a systems programmer and will provide server administration and support.

A 1981 MTSU graduate, Jeff also has a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from the university.

While employed at Arnold AFB, Jeff's responsibilities included Webmaster/Web server administration and providing technical assistance to Public Affairs with public website issues. He created and maintained the base's internal websites. Jeff also provided enterprise server support, including Windows and UNIX web, App and data servers. Jeff wants to lend his experience and technical expertise to enhance ITD's customer service and efficiency.

Jeff and his wife, Marsha, and children, Betsy and Andrew, reside in Murfreesboro.

Angel Ong is an advancement computing support specialist with ITD. Her responsibilities include programming and computing support for Advancement Service and to ensure compatibility with the overall systems. A graduate of Morehead State University, Angel was formerly with Cleveland State University in Ohio as a data administrator in the Financial Aid Department. Her responsibilities there included ensuring data compatibility with third parties, the state and within the university.

Angel hopes her expertise will provide more efficient reports.

A resident of Brentwood, Angel and her husband, Todd, have two children, Vincent and Victoria.

Emergency Communications at MTSU Fosters Partnerships with Other Universities

Prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita's devastation of the Gulf Coast, ITD had been working on a plan to provide emergency communication channels in the event of a disaster. This plan, while constantly changing as needs and technologies change, allows for emergency voice and web communication and has already been put to the test in an actual situation.

While the plan is still in its early stages of deployment, it was tested in April, 2006, when a tornado hit Volunteer State Community College. Personnel from Vol State, MTSU, and TBR worked together to bring up a temporary web page accessible from the Internet. This enabled Vol State to provide campus updates during the week Vol State was without power.

There are two components of the plan. The first is to provide for telephone communication. By partnering with other state entities, including the University of Tennessee and the University of Memphis, MTSU can re-route incoming calls to selected MTSU numbers.

Having the ability to accept calls is an important step to recovering from a disaster. In this sense, providing emergency communication is not about disaster recovery per se, but is an integral and powerful tool for recovering from a disaster. For example, parties attempting to reach the university through the main phone line can be redirected to a voice mail box at the University of Memphis where an automated message can respond with critical information.

The second component of the plan is to provide a temporary web page presence. As in voice communication, partnerships with other entities such as ETSU and the University of Texas have made this possible. The web presence is only to offer a simple text page of pertinent information such as campus and emergency contact numbers.

People looking for information during and after a disaster, both within and outside of the disaster zone will attempt to try that site's main web server to access information. MTSU hosts its main Web page,, on campus, but the emergency plan requests to that URL are redirected to ETSU, the University of Texas, or another entity.

Both the voice and the web partnerships are reciprocal. ETSU, for example, can transfer their web presence to MTSU quickly and without any intervention from MTSU. Of course, for this to be possible much planning, preparation and testing occurs.

Banner Update

Banner Finance Team

Training for the Banner Finance module was provided year end and GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Boar) in May. This was the final scheduled training. The finance team is continuing to test the TASB Financial Statements processes and is having good results at this time. They have dedicated much time to testing the year end processes. The final project plan was submitted to Cornelius & Associates.

Banner HR Team

The first summer school process finished successfully and was loaded into production. Testing went well and pertinent information was grasped for next year's summer school process. WebTime Entry Self-service is still in working progress. The HR process team has been working on providing Banner form access to the campus departments in order to see their departmental and job information.

Banner Financial Aid Team

The financial aid process team has begun their conversion process starting with loading tracking documents and addressing WEB security issues for what is acceptable information. The team will begin their office staff training in October after fall registration has settled down.

Banner Student Team

The team continues to work diligently on data extracts, lengthy conversion processes, and data entries. The Student Team has been maintaining ongoing communication with other Banner systems Team Leads, along with staying up-to-date on current information changes and updates.

Banner Advancement Team

The system went live July 2006. Being that the testing began on payroll deductions, issues are being taken care of with resolutions in Letter Generation issues, along with the Acknowledgement and Receipts issues. The Banner Advancement feed is now incorporated to the finance system feed processes.


The Banner project is going as planned. Be on the lookout for an ERP newsletter which will be done electronically in the near future.

Work-at-Home Rights

Through the University's Microsoft Campus Agreement, we are able to offer Microsoft Work at Home Rights (WAH) for Office 2003. WAH rights allow you to install the product on your home computer. However, you may only use the software for work-related purposes. Any use of the software for personal purposes will put you in violation of the agreement. To secure your WAH rights, email and include your department name and box number. We will send you an acceptance form you must complete and return. Upon receipt of the signed original form, we will send you the software.

Network Services Update

• The campus Internet bandwidth was upgraded from the 45Mbps DS3 circuit to a 100 Mbps Metro Ethernet connection. Additional Internet bandwidth allows for continued rapid response as demand for Internet use increases.

• The wireless system has been upgraded with the deployment of new "thin"; transmitters. This allows greater flexibility in the deployment of wireless solutions. For example, it has enabled the removal of the MAC registration requirement for off campus sites, as we can now authenticate those users through Clean Access as well.

• Connected new Alumni locations ( Middle Tennessee Boulevard) to the campus network.

• Replaced network for the Tom Jackson building for Payroll move.

• Completed the 2005-2006 TAF wireless expansion project.