Networking Services transfer to TCC IT

CUC’s TCC IT Infrastructure Services has  been building a strong team and is taking steps toward appropriate centralization of networking services.  On January 17, 2017 HMC officially handed responsibility for the CINE service to CUC.  The CINE service provides connectivity between the colleges and beyond the colleges to our Internet Service Providers.   The hand off in January was successful, as we had been preparing and gradually transferring responsibilities since last summer. There was no direct impact on people at HMC, since the CIS Help Desk is still the first port of call for network related concerns.

Along with Pomona College, Claremont McKenna and Keck Graduate Institute, we are participating in TCC IT’s “to the wall plate” network service.  This became effective July 1, 2017  and the responsibilities were completely transferred by August 31st, when Roger Wiechman retired. This was also a smooth hand off to TCC IT with minimal impact on the people at Harvey Mudd.

The idea behind appropriate centralization was to allow the Consortium to take advantage of economies of scale and at the same time to free the College IT departments to focus on services that are best delivered locally.  While I believe it will take some adjustment time to fully reap the benefits, we have already seen TCC IT deliver many advantages:

  • They negotiated an excellent set of discounts and leasing terms with Cisco, based on the collective purchasing power of the Consortium.
  • They negotiated for a “system” membership of Internet2, saving money overall and removing the need for each college to manage membership in Internet2.
  • They negotiated an excellent license cost for Duo, software that we are using to activate multi-factor authentication on our systems.
  • TCC IT has coordinated security initiatives that have focused on obtaining pricing favorable to Consortium members for IT security audits.
  • They have worked closely with Pomona College on an initiative that will help the Colleges meet new audit requirements in relation to Financial Aid record security.

While there will always be bumps in the road for transitions like this, I am very happy with how well things have gone and with the strong work that our new colleagues at TCC IT have been doing.   

Update from the CIO

In this post, I will provide updates on our Identity and Access Management initiative, wireless and other IT infrastructure, the Shanahan Center, Data Privacy Month and the new CIS web site.

Identity and Access Management Project (IAM@HMC)
I wrote to many faculty individually before the break to ask them to synchronize their passwords on our Password and Account Management Portal.  Many thanks to those who took the few minutes needed to update their accounts.  I will be in touch again soon with the remaining 20 or so faculty.

The point of doing this is to allow us to move forward with the next phase of the project without interrupting your work unexpectedly. It is a small step in that it synchronizes passwords between Active Directory and the Fischer Identity Engine, but it sets things up for future improvements. As you are all no doubt aware, we live in an environment where we have multiple sets of credentials. The core goal of the IAM@HMC project is to simplify things so that you use your HMC Credentials for as many systems as possible. Right now, only a few systems are integrated, but with each phase of the project we will add more systems.

Rachel Levy, Chair of the Computing Committee has been urging me to produce an infographic that will explain better what connects to what, and when each system will be included in the single sign on ecology. I am working on it!

Unfortunately, we were not able to bring the next phase of the IAM@HMC initiative into production over the break as we’d planned.  Testing took much longer and did not go as well as we’d hoped. So we continue to test and will let you know about the new date for installation.  Once we do go live, you will have Single Sign On to Google Apps, Office365, Ultipro and, with luck, the Portal.

As more and more wireless devices arrive on campus (including a new slew thanks to holiday gift giving), we are doing our best to get ahead of the demand.

In the Fall, more Wireless Access Points were installed in five dorms, greatly increasing the density of coverage. The dorms in question were Case, East, West, South and North. If you’re wondering why those dorms, it is not because we love them more than the others but because there was already conduit and wiring in place to accommodate the new access points, so a much smaller investment was needed. We also added additional wireless access points in and around the Beckman auditorium, to accommodate additional demand from the large CS classes. We have not forgotten the other dorms and the rest of campus; we are working on a plan to improve wireless across the campus outside of the Shanahan Center.

Which brings me to the question of so called “rogue wireless access points”. We have settled on a friendlier phrase to describe them: “wireless access points not managed by CIS”.  Sometimes people set up their own wireless access points, plugging them directly into the HMC network.  Our equipment can detect these access points,  but to date we have not been doing anything about them.  They are problematic because they can interfere with the performance of the main wireless network.  We will need to develop a set of practices and a policy around this issue. We’ll be using new test equipment to identify problematic access points and will be able to provide their owners with information about the impact they are having.  We would welcome hearing from you with any ideas you might have.  You could use the new Computing Committee Feedback form or write directly to me at

Other IT infrastructure
Parsons rewiring. I am happy to report that the Board of Trustees approved additional funding for us to rewire the Parsons building in tandem with the vacated space project that will get underway the day after Commencement.  Parsons is really two structures that were built at different times and the goal of our rewiring project will be to reduce the number of wiring closets down from six to no more than two and to ensure that the building network (wired and wireless) is adequate for the intended usage of the space. We will release more details on this project as they become available.

Shanahan Center.  The  AV systems in the Shanahan Center have been reconfigured.  If you are a faculty member, you can read details in any of Elizabeth Hodas’ emails about this topic. The controls have been greatly simplified, we believe.  So far this semester we have not heard much in the way of feedback.  We interpret that to mean that people like the new controls better.  Right?

We are still working with the vendor, Western AV, to iron out the kinks in the AV installation.  Elizabeth will make sure to keep you informed of progress.

Data Privacy Month
Data Privacy Month started on January 28th, with Data Privacy Day.  Held annually on January 28, Data Privacy Day encourages everyone to make protecting privacy and data a greater priority. DPD is an international effort to empower and educate people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint. It kicks off Data Privacy Month (

Last Fall, I promised the Board of Trustees that we would increase our efforts to make people aware of data privacy issues.  The HMC policy on safeguarding of sensitive and confidential information is under development. And during Data Privacy Month we will be offering stories and tips about ways to improve data privacy.  The first instalment covered passwords and the second asked you to check your file permissions on Charlie and Alice.  Watch for a third and fourth instalment this week and next.

New CIS Web Site
We decided to take the launch of the new HMC website on January 21 as an opportunity to revamp the aging CIS web site. Our goal has been to keep things as simple as possible and to focus the pages through the lens of services provided by CIS, what they are and how to access them.  It is a work in progress but please check it out and give us your feedback at


Summer 2013 Update from the CIO

Welcome (back) to all!

2013 was one of the busiest summers ever for CIS, with a large number of projects and a summerheavy stream of upgrades and improvements. In this message I will cover some of the things we got done.

Shanahan Center
The Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning is now up and running! We have a high speed network and all digital AV systems.  We have purchased additional laptops (dual boot Macbook Air) for our pool and will be providing laptops to the faculty that requested them for their classes.  On a daily basis, we will have staff in what we’ve been calling the “pop up store” beside the Living Room (in the cafe).  There’s a printer there with a print release station and, as we watch what traffic patterns are like in the new building, we anticipate that we may have more technology and/or more people in that space.

Please note that the wall phones in each classroom can be used to dial the help desk at 77777 (just don’t use the big red emergency button with that intention!).  So if you need quick delivery of a cable or are having difficulty getting something working, don’t hesitate to call us.  The room number is on each phone, so you can quickly tell us where you are.

Rooms 2450 and 2454 are “technology rich classrooms”.  For the moment, that just means that they form part of the suite of classrooms in which simulcasting (high definition between room videoconferencing) can take place.  But we plan to take the same approach with these rooms as we did with the Learning Studio Classroom: they are intended to be experimental spaces where we try out new technologies to see what might work for general deployment.  A great example of this approach is Lecture Capture, where we took time to get experience in the Learning Studio Classroom before making the purchase that Elizabeth Hodas has written about in her article on Lecture Capture in the Teaching and Learning Building.

We look forward to enjoying this wonderful new building with you.

New focus in User Support
We have begun slowly rolling out a new model of support in the User Support Group. The old model was built on the idea of a dedicated person for a department or group of departments. We have now switched to a model in which a team of people provide support as service requests or incident reports come in, independent of the source. We try to match expertise with the need and we are building a common body of knowledge across the really great team of people that make up the user support group: Beverly Kelley, Pete Sanchez, Travis Gomez, Corey LeBlanc and Robert Kingston.  To reflect this change in approach we have dropped “departmental” from their titles: they are now all Technical Analysts (TAs).  The User Support program is being run by Cindy Abercrombie, whom you can contact with feedback or questions.

New faces at CIS
In early August we hired two new people in CIS.  Gerald Reyes came across the street from Scripps College to work in our data services unit, where he will be focusing on the JICS portal.  Robert Kingston came to join the User Support team from a position at Apple Computer, where he managed the Apple brand within a Best Buy store.  I was delighted with the strong applicant pool that we received for both positions and congratulate Susan Selhorst and Cindy Abercrombie on astute hiring decisions.  Susan has written more about Gerald and Cindy has written more about Robert.

This is a good place to include a shout out for the HMC students who took up employment with us over the summer: Cindy Angpraseuth, George Aspesi, Andrew Michaud, James Saindon and Eric Storm.  Between them they tackled 37 projects this summer, leaving us in much better state than they found us.

Identity and Access Management
Over the summer we worked with Fischer International to put the finishing touches to a sixty-two page functional requirements document for the third phase of our Identity and Access Management (IAM@HMC) initiative.  This phase will include improvements to the password management kiosk, and put in place an automated account creation and deletion process for several of the systems we manage.  It will also bring the Portal and Office365 into the single sign on bundle, meaning you will no longer have to login multiple times as you move between the Portal, Ultipro, Google Apps and Office365.  We anticipate moving into the testing phase of this project in the next month or so, with roll out scheduled for the late Fall.  As part of the roll out we will be asking you to use the IAM kiosk to synchronize your passwords and set (or reset) your security questions.  More on that in future updates from the CIO.

Portal Advisory Group
Registrar Mark Ashley has been working with Susan Selhorst over the summer to refine the list of projects that we wish to undertake to improve the Portal. While Susan was conducting the search that resulted in the hire of Gerald Reyes, she was also directing the work of a contractor from Jenzabar, who managed to “take out” a number of the portal issues that we had identified.  Early in the Fall, Mark and Susan will bring a list of projects for prioritization by the Portal Advisory Group.

Network Infrastructure
During the summer months we made a number of changes and upgrades that affected the network:

  • New conduit was laid under Platt boulevard which will enable us to provide network diversity for the Shanahan Center and reduce risk for Kingston, Hoch-Shanahan and points east.
  • As part of the Olin vacated space plan, we put in upgrades to support higher access speeds for the Beckman Server room.
  • We upgraded the network equipment in Olin.
  • We upgraded wireless in Beckman 126.
  • We are in the process of upgrading wireless in Case, North and South dorms.

More to come
The pace of change in technology is, as always, breakneck.  So we anticipate more changes during the Fall.  Our Office365 suite will be upgraded by Microsoft.  The company has notified us that it will happen over the next four weeks and we are gathering more information to get you the details.  This change will primarily affect staff.

We anticipate completing more network upgrades in the Academic Buildings and will be working closely with F&M to plan for the Parsons vacated space activity.

That’s probably enough for now. Everyone in CIS is happy to see you and we wish you a great Fall semester.  As always, we rely on you to give us honest feedback and let us know what is working well, what needs improvement and what’s not working at all.



Fall Semester 2013 Reminders

Here are a few reminders about IT services for the Fall Semester.reminder-smiley-face

CIS Help Desk
The Help Desk is located in the Learning Studio on the ground floor of Sprague. The hours are 8am-5pm, including lunch hour. We will also be staffing the IT “pop up store” next to the Living Room (part of the cafe) in the Shanahan Center from 11-2 daily.  We have not yet decided how we will manage that space, but instead we are waiting to see what traffic patterns and need will be.  Please send a support request via our request form or send us email at or call us at (909) 607 7777.

Course Mailing Lists
Course mailing lists have been set up. If you have any questions or need help with mailing lists, please contact the Help Desk.

Course Mudd Shots
Course Mudd Shots have been updated for the semester. They are available at The pages are restricted to the HMC network only, so if you are off-campus or on wireless, please connect to the VPN first.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Remember the VPN! It is software that allows you to connect to the HMC network as if you were located on campus. Visit and select the group HMC-LDAP.  Log in with the same HMC Credentials you use for Sakai or Odyssey.

Sakai Updates
Fall 2013 courses have been created and populated with students and faculty. The courses are synchronized with the Jenzabar CX student information system three times per day.

Google Apps for Education
Everyone at HMC is entitled to a Google Apps for Education account in our domain. Many people have started using the system for email, to share documents or work on them collaboratively.  As a reminder, here are the URLs that will take you directly to the HMC single sign in page and then on to the domain (without an intermediate Google login page): will take you to your google drive document store. will take you to email. will take you to the calendar. will take you to google sites.

Learning Studio Classroom 
With the opening of the Shanahan Center, the Fletcher Jones Classroom in the Learning Studio will no longer be used for regularly scheduled classes.  This means that it will be more readily available for one-off workshops, special study sessions, meetings etc. You can view and request reservations for the Fletcher Jones Classroom in the Learning Studio in VEMS You can also contact F&M for reservations.

Have a truly great Fall 2013 semester!

December 2012 Update from the CIO

HolidayCard_2 This is the final update from the CIO for 2012.

Getting ready for the TLB.
That shiny new building will be ours in a mere 203 days.  CIS is working hard on preparations for our part in getting a building like this open. The things we are working on include:

  • Network within the building
  • Campus network to support the new building
  • Changes to the network to support the new uses of vacated space
  • AV services in the building, which will include “simulcasting” and (hopefully) videoconferencing from some of the rooms
  • Three “technology rich” classrooms to augment or replace the Learning Studio Classroom resource
  • As we get closer to the data we will need to be planning for moving computers for people moving into the building and all the moves that are triggered by it (in Kingston, Parsons and Olin)
  • Digital signage in the building

This is quite a list!  It is work we are (happily) undertaking in addition to the normal work of a Spring semester.  Please keep this in mind, especially if you are thinking of an IT project for 2013.  We’d love to hear about it soon.

I mentioned last month that we had contracted with SIGMAnet to help us with a review of our wired and wireless networks, which will form the groundwork for a longer term comprehensive network plan.  We recently received a draft of the review of the wired network and will be presenting the results in an update to the Board in January.  In part thanks to the report, we have begun preparations for upgrading the campus network core in order to accommodate the new building.
In the past couple of weeks two intercollegiate committees  approved our proposal for major changes to the network beyond the Claremont Colleges that connects us to downtown Los Angeles and the greater internet.  Working with Los Nettos, our regional network provider, we will be purchasing equipment and fiber runs that will increase the diversity and redundancy of the network, and greatly reduce the risks associated with single points of failure.
We recently completed a four day workshop with Fischer International which moved forward our Identity and Access management project.  The current phase of the project is focused on account provisioning.  In ordinary English, this project will allow us to automate the creation and deletion of accounts in many of the College systems.
On the News Site
Elizabeth Hodas wrote about Recent Changes to Sakai and about the exciting Spring Bite of Learning Schedule.  And we have an article about what happens when people give us honest feedback, which I hope you will take the time to read and join me in thanking the members of our community mentioned there.

Everyone at CIS wishes you the very best for the holidays.

The value of honest feedback

We request feedback in many ways.  One of them is via the surveys that are sent out when we close a ticket in Footprints, our service request management system. Over the past year, we’ve seen a definite increase in the number of people who are filling out those surveys.

Whenever we receive feedback, I ask “what can we learn from this?”. If the feedback says “excellent service”, then we have learned that we got things right.  If the feedback identifies some problems, then we can ask what aspects of our procedures, guidelines or systems may have led to the problem.

I wanted to call out some of the feedback we’ve received this past year and thank those who took the time to give it to us.

Peter Saeta recently said it would be nice if we could let people know when an update was available for software such as Mathematica.  Jeho is now gathering the information we need about what software to include in our list.  Elizabeth told me that she used to use an m-software-l list for this purpose, so we may revive that, or create a calendar (or both!).

Stephanie Graham ran into a problem with an event that was scheduled for AV setup before 8am.  She was unable to contact anyone at CIS when the staff member was unavoidably late and the staff member did not have Stephanie’s number.  We changed our checklists for events so that we are always giving out a contact number and requesting a contact number from the event organizer.

Xanda Schofield told us about the challenges of being the moderator for students-l and suggested that we put something more modern than majordomo and easier to use than mutt in place.  So Xanda is going to help us review list software in the New Year (we’re very interested in Google Groups and in Sympa).

Many students have given us feedback on the new PaperCut print management system, which was taken up with great enthusiasm by the students in the early Fall.  We are working with the company to get some of the requests into the next version of PaperCut.

Similarly, we received lots of feedback when we launched the Fischer password management portal.  We have been working with Fischer and will relaunch this portal in the new year.  The new version will be at a HMC url  and will have much more flexibility with respect to the security questions it allows you to ask and answer.

Mark Ashley and Lauren Kim gave us a spreadsheet filled with detailed suggestions for improvements to the portal.

To these and all the other folk who have given us honest feedback we say “thank you” and please keep it up in 2013.


CIS Holiday Closure Arrangements

During the winter campus closure, from Saturday December 22 through Tuesday, January 1, CIS services will be reduced (we reopen on Wednesday January 2nd). The Help Desk and all other areas of CIS will be closed throughout the holiday and, for the most part, CIS staff will not be working. However, the servers and other machines in our data center and switch rooms around campus do not take a break.

During the closure:

1) We will be monitoring the systems located in the data center and a few staff will be on call to deal with server or network infrastructure problems.

2) In the unlikely event that we see problems with one of our services, we have plans in place to bring CIS staff back to work to deal with them. Priority will be given to core services:

  • E-mail (Google Apps, MS Office365)Mt Baldy
  • VPN
  • File Storage (Charlie, Alice)
  • Authentication systems
  • Sakai
  • CX and JICs Portal
  • Cognos
  • College Website
  • OnBase (online RFC)
  • Network (wired and wireless)
  • OCA scripts on

3) Issues with other servers will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the severity of the issue, they may have to wait until the next business day, Wednesday January 2.

4) Should an issue related to CIS servers or the campus network arise during the holidays, we will in all likelihood be notified by one of our monitoring systems. If we are aware of a problem, we will post a status notification on the Help Desk voicemail (909 607 7777) as well as on the Help Desk Twitter Feed at If you notice a problem that you think is related to a server, please check either one of those first. If the problem persists; you believe it is server or network related, and we appear not to know about it, please call campus safety at 909-607-2000* *(x72000 from on campus). Campus Safety operators have the ability to contact CIS staff directly at any time.

5) To save power, all workstations in the labs will be turned off.

The staff at CIS wish you and your families a Happy Holiday break!

Data Management Plans

Many faculty are already aware of the fact that the NSF and other funding agencies are now requiring that grant applications include a “data management plan”.  Last Spring, Jeho Park, our Scientific Computing Specialist wrote a report on data management plans, which is at (requires HMC credentials).

Jeho has also recently told me about the California Digital Library’s DMP Tool, which takes you step by step through the process of developing a data management plan.  It is at this link:  You can create an account at (choose “none of the above” under “select your institution”).  Once you create your account and log in, the tool is pretty self-explanatory.  [Update 2/2/15: these links are no longer active, but the tool is at]

Several faculty that have tried it have reported to me that the found it useful.

If you are writing up a data management plan, I urge you to contact me.  We can help with the specifics of how CIS systems are backed up and provide feedback on the plan.


November 2012 update from the CIO

I did not send out an October 2012 update from the CIO. My apologies. It does mean there’s a lot to report this time.  Hopefully, before you take off for Thanksgiving you’ll have a chance to read this update and maybe even comment on it.

CINE wireless signal.
If there’s only one thing you take away from this CIO update, let it be this: “CINE wireless is not going away yet and the college needs my help identifying problems with Claremont-WPA”. OK, that’s two things, but at least it is one sentence.

The CINE wireless signal will soon be retired, and has already been removed by some of our sister Claremont Colleges. As I wrote in a previous article, it is open and unencrytped, and therefore quite insecure. However, we have been hearing reports of issues with the new Claremont WPA signal. We are working to unravel the various elements in these reports.  For example, is there an underlying issue with increased wireless demand on campus?  Are there issues with individual devices?  Is there an issue with the configuration of Claremont-WPA?

HMC will not retire the CINE signal until problems have been resolved and we have a good wireless access solution for College guests.

The problems that are being reported (and that we sometimes experience ourselves) appear to be intermittent. Those are often the hardest to resolve, so please make sure to report any problems you encounter by writing to  And a sincere thank you to those who have been reporting issues to us.

Planning activities: Portal Improvements
CIS continues to engage in planning activities that will update our list of tactical initiatives for 2013-15. Here’s one that you may find interesting.  We are going to pay special attention to the portal over the next 18 months.  John Trafecanty, one of our most talented programmers, and the person who gave us rock solid Sakai support for so many years, now includes the two Portals among his responsibilities.

Also, I have been discussing with a number of people the idea of forming a Portal Advisory Group that will help guide CIS work on the portal.  The vision statement for this group goes like this:

The portal is a tool which we know HMC has not used to its full capacity. This group will guide CIS and the College in improving and expanding use of the portal.

Registrar Mark Ashley has agreed to chair this group, which we are fondly referring to as “PAG”.  You can read a little more about this initiative at this link: and please watch for updates during the rest of the academic year.

Saddle Rock
The annual HMC Trustee retreat (called “Saddle Rock”) took place at the end of October in Palm Spring.  Trustees, Faculty, Students and Staff came together for two days of discussion of educational technology and its implications for Harvey Mudd.  We saw presentations about flipped classrooms by HMC faculty, about MOOCs by Stanford faculty and staff and about the latest in learning management systems by the founder of WebCT, Murray Goldberg. It was a joy to participate in the engaging discussion of these technologies.

Discussions with Faculty Executive committee (FEC)
During the month of October, I had a good discussion with Kerry Karukstis, Chair of the Faculty, about a number of things that had come up in the course of Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) meetings.  They ranged from a request for an online faculty voting system to requests for more information about our IT sourcing strategies. One outcome of these discussions was an agreement that I would meet with the FEC Committee at least once per semester.  I see this as a great new element in our evolving IT governance and I am really looking forward to working with the FEC.

Educause Annual Conference
7,600 people, including me, attended the Educause Annual conference in Denver the week immediately following Saddle Rock. Educause is an organization dedicated to IT in higher education. There were some excellent presentations, including one on “IT as a core academic competence” by Clay Shirky.  Despite its somewhat dry title, Shirky’s presentation included delightful examples such as a DARPA project that tested crowd sourcing to solve an intelligence problem, an example of crowd sourcing to solve math problems and an example of what happened when a large newspaper company instructed regional papers to “go digital” with zero budget to do so.  The whole presentation is online at (Shirky’s presentation begins at about minute 19 of the video). It’s well worth looking at.

Much of my time at the conference was spent in meetings with vendors, with colleagues from other institutions and on two Educause committees (the IT Issues panel and the 2013 Annual Conference Programming Committee).  Next year’s annual conference will be near us in Anaheim: consider attending.

Teaching and Learning Building
Last, but very far from least, there’s the matter of a large building that is shooting up on our campus. There are only 233 days left until it opens! As I write, I see out the window that scaffolding is up in preparation for tiling the facade of the building.  At CIS, we have been engaged in preparations for the network and AV systems in the building.  We are keenly aware that expectations around the building are high and we are anxious not to disappoint.  Working closely with Project Manager David Dower, we have been meeting with all of the people responsible for systems that will need some network connectivity (everything from security cameras to the point of sale register in the cafe).  We have engaged a company called SIGMAnet to help with planning for network improvements around the building as well as the in-building network.  We are also actively working with Western AV, the “design and build” vendor for audio-visual systems in the building.

OK. If you made it all the way to the end of this long report, you are now among the people I am thankful for this holiday! As always, if you have comments or questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or email me directly (

Everyone at CIS wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Portal Advisory Group

I have been discussing the portal with a number of people around campus over the last few months. Improvement and expansion of the portal will be a key initiative for the next two years.

There are several reasons for this:

  1. The portal plays a key role in many important areas of the College’s activities.  Grades, Registration, Advising, Student Billing and Alumni Directory are just some examples.
  2. We know that other institutions have more attractive and functional installations of the same portal software (JICS), so our instance of the portal can be made better too.
  3. Because of the fact that we collaborate with the other Claremont Colleges to provide cross-registration for students, moving to a completely different portal is not a simple proposition.
  4. Both Jenzabar, the company that provides the portal software, and AISO, the Pomona College unit that manages the underlying student information system, are committed to making improvements to the system, and we can build upon those.  For instance, Pomona recently informed us that the back end database was handling 60 million transactions per day during the Fall pre-registration period.  They have recently migrated the system from HP Unix to Linux, and are anticipating improvements in response times.

We have already taken the first steps in the portal improvement initiative. We are planning to create a Portal Advisory Group, with the following vision statement:

The portal is a tool which we know HMC has not used to its full capacity. This group will guide CIS and the College in improving and expanding use of the portal.

Registrar Mark Ashley has agreed to chair this group, which will include representation from the many areas that use the portal, as well as faculty and students.  Among the tasks we will ask the group to undertake is to advise on the queuing of CIS projects related to the portal. They currently include:

      • HSA Advising application
      • 40+ Portal improvements suggested by Registrar
      • Electronic Billing
      • OCA requests
      • Student research portlet and forms
      • Single Sign On
      • Adding a staff tab to the portal

John Trafecanty has recently taken over responsibility for the portal, as his duties related to Sakai were much reduced when we moved the Sakai service to Pomona College.  John always bring talent and persistence to programming tasks, so we anticipate great work on the portal.

Watch for more updates on this initiative and do get in touch if you’d like to be involved.