We had such a busy Fall semester that I was unable to send out updates. In this one, I will cover developments since my last update in late August. I hope you have some time to read it.
Starting with the most important aspect of all organizations, I have the pleasure of introducing three people. Taylor Calderone has joined us in a permanent position as a technical analyst on the User Support team. Taylor has been with us for a while on a temporary basis, working primarily with audiovisual support. When Corey LeBlanc left for Pomona’s Computer Science department, it was really great to see Taylor compete for and win the permanent position.
Brian Reid has joined us in a temporary capacity to work on the User Support team. Brian came to HMC from the Geek Squad, and we are very happy to welcome him to the campus.
I am also very happy to announce that our Senior Network Engineer search has finally yielded fruit. Duke Vu joined the CIS team on January 5th. He comes to us after a five year stint at JPL and we are really looking forward to adding his set of skills and insights to the team that works on that most fundamental of things, our network. Duke will report to Mitch Shacklett, Director of the Systems and Network Group.
The intercollegiate Information Technology Committee (ITC) has been very active of late. This year, I get to co-chair the committee with Ken Pflueger of Pomona. Among the topics we are dealing with is the IT Assesssment by BerryDunn, which I mentioned in my last update. The final version has been received and is under review by both the ITC and the Presidents Council. The ITC agreed with many of its recommendations and has started to lay the groundwork to implement some of them. The Council discussed the report at their January 2015 retreat and ITC is meeting with Council in March. Council has urged the IT leaders to collaborate more deeply in order to build strong centralized services where appropriate, in particular in areas like networking, data centers, security, identity and access management and disaster recovery.
Related to the ITC, I have been helping out at CUC since the late Fall departure of the previous CIO. I am assisting Stig Lanesskog, the CEO of CUC, with IT decision making and keeping the department moving while they redefine the CIO position and launch a search. It is an honor and privilege to help the consortium in this way, and will, I believe, yield benefit for HMC in the long run.
I hope you all saw the announcement about Workday Financial Management. This is big news for lots of reasons.
Last year, the intercollegiate Budget and Financial Affairs Committee (BFAC) began looking for a replacement for the aging Datatel financial system that is run by the Claremont University Consortium (CUC). The BFAC narrowed its requirements down to four or five “show stoppers”, two of which will be of great interest to our faculty. The first was the ability easily to report across fiscal years, which is often very important to grant holders. And the second was support for all modern browsers. (You read more about their philosophy on user interface design).
There is so much to say about this topic that I have started a series of separate posts about it.
Password Policy: As you know by now, we did not implement the system change we had announced for October 27th, which would have required you to change your password every 365 days. Thanks to good feedback from the community and the Computing Committee, I went back to the drawing board, connected with our financial auditors and finally we worked out an agreement that will require slightly longer passwords, but no annual changing of passwords. Once per year, you will be required to check your password to ensure that it meets the HMC Credentials password requirements (the timing of this check is up to you, based on when you last changed or checked your password). If your password meets the requirements, then you are good to go. Only if it doesn’t meet the requirements will you be required to change it.
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com which one am I? We have traditionally tried to anticipate what people might think was someone’s address by populating our “Mail Central” with a number of aliases for the main address, which is always of the form firstname.lastname@example.org. During the Fall semester we reviewed a number of issues with this system:
- As the numbers in our community increase, it is more and more common to have name clashes, so that the underlying idea of being able to “make up” the email address if you know a person’s name is no longer valid.
- Many systems now use email addresses as usernames, which means that they treat the different aliases as different accounts. We have a variation of that problem with the Footprints Ticket System.
- All modern email systems have some form of directory lookup and autocomplete of addresses, so you don’t have to remember them.
With this in mind, we decided to stop creating aliases for email addresses and just use the canonical form email@example.com. We did not touch existing aliases, but will no longer be creating them when we create accounts.
So this update has gotten long enough. But please visit our IT News site to read other articles:
– NSF cyberinfrastructure grants
– Dramatic increase in service requests in SCTL
– CIS Digital Badge Pilot
Enjoy Spring Break and the rest of the semester.