January 2011 update from the CIO

Here is the January update from CIS.

Trees in Winter (flickr photo by fdtate)

We currently have three open positions at CIS:

  • Director, Systems and Network
  • Database, Workflow and Reporting Developer
  • Director, Administration and Budget (not yet advertised)

For the first two positions, we are doing some initial phone screening interviews.  I am extremely happy with the quality of candidates that are applying.  And thanks to all those who referred candidates to us.  Watch for news of hires in the next two months.

The winter break always provides us with an opportunity to upgrade systems and make improvements.  We’ve made a number of improvements in the Audiovisual systems, which Elizabeth wrote about at http://www5.hmc.edu/ITNews/?p=924

We let you know in the Fall about our plans to purchase new copiers and printers.  Those plans are now well under way, and some new systems have been deployed around campus.   We are grateful to the many people who gave us feedback during the selection process, and to staff at CUC for giving us information about their systems.  Calvin has written an article about the new copiers and printers at http://www5.hmc.edu/ITNews/?p=938

Unfortunately, we experienced a compromise of some servers in early January.  I wrote a brief article about it at http://www5.hmc.edu/ITNews/?p=915 This was a very sobering experience and we were lucky to have avoided serious problems.   Coincidentally, I had been in discussions with security companies that provide vulnerability scanning services.  I have speeded up those discussions. If you run a server and are interested in validating your security measures by having a vulnerability scan conducted, please get in touch with me.

The LabSTOR project has gone live!  I wrote about this at http://www5.hmc.edu/ITNews/?p=906.  This multi-college national collaboration has slowly been bearing fruit and we are now within sight of the day when people can get remote access to specialized software from anywhere they have a network connection.

I have mentioned in previous posts that we are taking an experimental approach to finding applications, processes and systems that work for Harvey Mudd College.  In that vein, we are anticipating two small pilot projects during the Spring.  One will look at the use of LiveScribe pens to create Lab Notebooks.  We’ll also be conducting some research and testing of approaches to streaming video for instructional use (eg. if an instructor wants students to have access to a movie). Contact Elizabeth Hodas if you are interested in either of these pilots.

We recently added the early decision students to the Harvey Mudd on  Facebook Application. The Communications department, Admission and DOS are currently working on a new “landing page” for incoming students and are planning to make even more use of the Facebook App in the process.  It’s a great way to welcome new students into the Mudd community, so we hope you’ll visit at apps.facebook.com/harveymudd.

Upcoming news items, which you should watch for in February, include:

  • Bite of Learning for Spring — Elizabeth has put together an impressive roster of Bite sessions.
  • More notes on Cloud Computing
  • Identity Management update
  • Email and Calendar update
  • Tech Tips from Keith Lawton
  • News from CUC about the Payroll system

We are well into the semester now.  On behalf of everyone at CIS, I wish you a successful Spring.

Joseph Vaughan

CIO/VP for Computing and Information Services

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