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    Publication Date: 
    2015-07
    WiFi Conductor

    By Dr. Philip Baczewski, Senior Director of Academic Computing and User Services and Deputy Chief Information Officer for University Information Technology

    project to expand the UNT wireless network, begun in January of 2014 by University Information Technology (UIT) and the UNT System IT Shared Services division, was officially completed on June 16, 2015.

    read more


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  • 07/16/15--13:04: Campus Computing News
  • Publication Date: 
    2015-07
    Bring Your Own Data to Print

    Student Printing Credits Make UNT Greener

    By Dr. Philip Baczewski, Senior Director of Academic Computing and User Services and Deputy Chief Information Officer for University Information Technology

    In Fall 2014, the University of North Texas instituted a new method of managing student printing in Student Computer labs. The institution of the printing credit system enabled student printing at campus locations other than in Student Computer Labs and allowed students to print documents directly from their personal computing devices. It also resulted in the printing of fewer pages of output by UNT students, saving paper, energy, and the volume of recycling or trash generated.

    read more


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    Publication Date: 
    2016-02

    February 2016 – Welcome to Hotspot, a small place online where UNT computing and information technology professionals and associated staff can rave about themselves, their geekiness and contributions to transforming UNT into a nationally prominent university. This is the good news area – the place to learn about colleagues in action, their roles and how they are raising benchmarks of excellence! Email your brag sheet and photos any time to Benchmarks Hotspot.

    Anthony “Tony” Moreno

    A member of the administrative information technology services team since 2013, Tony began working with computers on his own out of curiosity about what makes them work.  He began working professionally with computers in 2008 after he learned Linux, an open-source operating system, on his own and could troubleshoot OS X problems.

    Tony completed an associate's degree in information technology with honors at Tyler Junior College, Tyler, Texas, where he was a member of the National English Honor Society. He is working now toward the completion of a computer engineering degree at UNT and learning Japanese for a double major. Tony is described by friends as self-motivated, a devoted family man and father of three-year-old Jefferson. In his spare time he maintains a 140-gallon salt aquarium and plans to "aqua-scape" the tank's rock formation this year in between homework assignments.

    In addition to having Tony on the team, the AITS division employs well trained and knowledgeable IT professionals, who have an effective combination of an academic foundation, technical expertise and experience. The AITS team delivers information technology services, and infrastructure and consulting to the university's administrative departments. 

     

    Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, D.M.A.

    Dr. Hinkle-Turner at UC IrvineElizabeth, musician, composer, author and scholar, was invited to deliver the keynote address at the ‘New Expressions: Women in Music Technology’ symposium at the University of California, Irvine, Feb. 5, 2016. Her speech was delivered to participants attending the event hosted by UCI's Claire Trevor School of the Arts Music Department. As the author of "Women Composers and Music Technology in the United States," Elizabeth discussed several pieces of music and achievements of women as composers of experimental and avant-garde music. Her book, a 308-page chronicle of the considerable contributions made by American-born or -educated women to electroacoustic music from the 1930s to present day, is considered to be the most definitive attempt to date.Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner in martial arts pose

    Elizabeth, who received her doctoral degree in music composition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, served as acting director of the electronic and computer music studios at Florida International University and the Experimental Music Studios at the University of Iowa. She has taught 20th-century music and multimedia applications in music theory at UNT and works now as the director over instructional computer services in UNT's University Information Technology Department.

    When she is not overseeing the Sage Hall Testing Center, data management services, or computer classroom support at UNT, Elizabeth teaches martial arts in the local area and sponsors the UNT Mixed Martial Arts Club.

     

     

    Brian Kucharski, Jacob King

    Brian Kucharski, Web developerAs one of UNT's Web developers, Brian, left, designs and creates websites in the University Relations, Communications and Marketing Department. He and his colleague, Jacob King, also a Web developer, often spend 90 minutes each week providing hands-on support to department-level Web developers. 

    Brian graduated with a Bachelor of Science in computer science from UNT and worked in industry as a software developer for eight years before returning to his alma mater as an employee. Brian's family moved to Krum, Texas in 1986, and he has lived in the area for the past 30 years.

    "I am a board game FREAK. We’ve had the same game group going for 11 years now," Brian said. He also has two tiny dachshunds who keep him busy, he said. 

    Brian recommends that struggling Drupal users should feel free to turn to Central Web Services and the Web Development Center for assistance. These two offices have creative and savvy developers available to answer questions every Wednesday between 10:30 a.m. and noon in the Business Leadership Building, Conference Room 115. Staff and faculty responsible for departmental websites, who often are not proficient in all the intracacies of Drupal capabilities, can attend office hours in the BLB, or log in to the WebAdmin Dashboard to request assistance with maintenance, administrative work or installation of new Drupal modules.

    While each URCM Web developer has Drupal skills, Jacob is a wizard with Drupal 6, but when you are Jacob King, Web designerready to move your website from Drupal 6 to 7, every member of the Central Web Services team is able to assist.

    Brian and Jacob are responsible for the look of the UNT site and responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle. In addition, Brian and Jacob have the following duties.

    • Design and development of UNT websites to meet institutional goals
    • Use of modern best practices for design and functionality to ensure that UNT websites are usable by and accessible to the widest possible audience
    • Implementation of the UNT brand on the Web
    • Development of custom functionality using UNT's Drupal content management system 
    • Creation of custom graphics for URCM digital projects
    • Design and building emails to support student recruitment and university-wide initiatives
    • Work with URCM and departmental teams to update, troubleshoot and improve existing UNT websites
    • Provide expertise and training to URCM team members, UNT departments and campus Web developers 

     

     

    Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the World Wide Web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068.

     


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  • 02/05/16--10:26: Note from the Editor
  • Publication Date: 
    2016-02

    Happy Leap Year, People in the Zone – and Candy! 
    By Monica Scott-Taliaferro, editor, Benchmarks Online

    gumdropToday is noted as the 46th day on the Julian Calendar of a leap year and – drumroll, please – National Gumdrop Day. As you ponder what you will do with your extra day this year and munch on brightly colored, sugar-coated gelatin- or pectin-based sweets, please enjoy the February 2016 edition of Benchmarks online.

    What? No gumdrops?

    Read through this Benchmarks edition to learn how you can have candy delivered right to your office by visiting Facebook or Twitter! Visiting you to drop off candy is a great way for me to see your office, learn about you, assess photo opportunities, your work and where to turn for news to include in future editions of Benchmarks. If you cannot make it to social media today, give me a call and just talk about your office, work or favorite IT story; callers can earn gumdrops too. I look forward to telling your stories about the important work of the people in computing and IT roles at UNT.

    You may find that my last name is a bit of a challenge because it is long and some people find it difficult to spell. In search of an email nickname, I submitted a Service Request, which was assigned to Tony Moreno, IT specialist, Administrative Information Technology Department. Thanks to Tony, you can send an email to me at my new address, monicat@unt.edu, without having to remember my long last name! Tony also set up a unique email address for our department, unt.uit@unt.edu, which is used for our new Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as for general inquiries that come from our website. These may seem to be commonplace services to some, but as a new employee, I was delighted to find great customer service and timely work solutions.

    Read more about Tony and others featured today in the new Benchmarks column we are calling Hotspot. This column, to the right of the page, will be reserved in each Benchmarks Online edition to highlight the roles, work and accomplishments of computing and IT professionals at UNT.Benchmarks Hotspot wordmark

    Also in today's Hotspot, you will read about Dr. Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner's trip to the Pacific coast to speak at a technology symposium, and Brian Kucharski and Jacob King, the fabulous URCM Web designers whose expertise and support helped me to get this, my first edition of Benchmarks, out on time.

    We spend more time at work each week than we do at home – check out the chart below. Let's celebrate those we are with the majority of the day and the fine work of our colleagues in the zone, who are setting benchmarks – the standards by which others may be measured or judged!

    Please, feel free to send the names to me of your colleagues, staff members, selfies, photos of people at work or other news and information you would like to see featured in upcoming editions. There's more to read, so back to the front page.

    And, Happy Gumdrop Day! 

     

    time-use chart

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the World Wide Web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068.


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    Publication Date: 
    2016-02

    Nominate a Computing/IT Professional Today


    Many people excel in their studies or work and have a significant impact on those around them – including the people in computing and information technology. The UNT awards provide a meaningful way to recognize deserving professionals and students who lead by example and embody the best of the university. Remember to nominate the professionals in our computing and IT community!

    A range of awards exists to celebrate the unique contributions of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. The awards are given throughout the year. For many of these awards, you can nominate a deserving recipient.

    The Presidential Awards honor those who reach the highest levels of achievement, excellence and service. Nomination submissions are now being accepted for the UNT Community award for faculty success, the Special Recognition award, and the Bob Rogers Service and Community Engagement award through Feb. 19.

     

    Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the World Wide Web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068.


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  • 02/08/16--06:32: Network Connection
  • Publication Date: 
    2016-02

    What's that annoying tweeting?

    By Philip Baczewski, D.M.A., senior director, University Information Technology

    UIT on Twitter - follow us!After a rather long Benchmarks hiatus along with a lengthy silence from this column, it seems like I need to say, welcome back to the Internet. Of course, I may just be talking to myself, since I doubt you ever left. But, to take stock of the Internet in our absence, Facebook continues to dominate the lives of millions, Nigerian scammers still send email, people are still documenting every meal they eat via Instagram, teens are still sexting via Snapchat, and Twitter tweets might start being 10,000 characters long.

    Wait – what was that last thing again?

    It seems that to give itself more relevance and compete with Facebook, Twitter is President Lincoln at Gettysburg Addressconsidering allowing tweets to continue beyond the 140 character limitation currently in place. I guess this would allow for more extensive content, similar to those pithy Facebook posts that impel you to "continue reading." Ten thousand characters seem a bit much. After all, Lincoln needed only about 1,500 for his Gettysburg address. Do we think that political discourse will be improved by having more characters available?

    From early on, I've never been too much of a fan of Twitter. However, the one aspect that makes Twitter unique is its limited message size format. Like a good headline, a well-crafted tweet can capture the essence of a sentiment or event with a very efficient communication transaction. Add some media – photo or video clip, and there is a lot that can be expressed in 140 characters.

    Recently, Twitter also has been shown to be a useful tool during disasters. What was previously considered to be a micro-blog service now can be characterized as a news service. Research has even indicated that Twitter can reduce the risk of injury or death during a natural disaster. Perhaps I've judged Twitter a bit too quickly.

    Then again, without Twitter we wouldn't have NPR stories covering the Twitter exchange between a rapper and a leading scientist over whether the earth is really flat. You would think this would not be a point of contention in this day and age, but it just proves that even the craziest of ideas can gain amplitude through the power of retweets. That really brings the issue of Twitter's value back down to earth.

    I guess the conclusion from this publishing hiatus is that it never gets boring on the Internet. Change is constant and activity is hectic. I just can't wait for the IoT age when I can follow my refrigerator on Twitter. I can imagine it now: "I need more milk!"

     

     

    Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the World Wide Web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068.

     


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    Publication Date: 
    2016-02

     

     

    Committee Evaluates Options for UNT Classroom Response Systems  

    Contributed By Jane Himmel, associate director, Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment and Redesign

    In June 2016, Turning Technologies, a classroom response system provider, will be retiring TurningPoint 5, UNT’s centrally supported clicker technology, and transitioning users to TurningPoint Cloud. Given the fact that it has been several years since UNT evaluated classroom response technology, CLEAR decided it was a good time to evaluate classroom response systems currently on the market and make a recommendation for one that best meet the needs of the campus community.

    A committee composed of six faculty members who currently use classroom response technology along with key support staff members have assisted the CLEAR team with narrowing down the number of available solutions to a small pool. Subsequently, four demonstrations open to all university faculty and staff were conducted between Jan. 25 and Feb. 8.

    For more information about the selection process, the products under consideration, the product demonstrations and recordings, please visit the UNT Classroom Response System Evaluation website. The committee will be making a recommendation on a replacement by March 1, 2016 to ensure students have plenty of notice for materials they may need to purchase for the fall 2016 semester and faculty have adequate time for training.

     

    Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the World Wide Web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068.


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    Publication Date: 
    2016-02

      

    Solve, Network and Grow in Denver

    EDUCAUSE Connect creates highly interactive, and action-driven professional development experience focused on five areas. Finding workable solutions, connecting people's experiences, building professional networks, and increasing individual and collective understanding of higher education IT issues are the main goals. Connect events are for anyone who wants to move ideas, understanding and the profession forward. 

    2016 Program Themes

    The following four learning themes for this year's event in Denver were drawn from the Top-Ten IT Issues.

    • Enterprise Service Delivery
    • Leveraging Technology and Data
    • Partnerships and Collaborations
    • Staffing and Talent Development

    Enterprise Service Delivery
    How are you responding to IT issues, such as: cloud and infrastructure enterprise IT architecture, governance, risk management and network security practices, disaster recovery, changing conditions and new opportunities?

    Leveraging Technology and Data
    How are you responding to issues, such as: student outcomes, big data needs, predictive analytics development, business intelligence, metrics, policy development, and information access and management, as these relate to improving student success, effective teaching and learning, and using analytics to drive institutional outcomes?

    Partnerships and Collaborations
    How are you partnering for a collective understanding of IT deliverables with issues, such as: student success and retention, assisting faculty with IT instructional integration, accessibility, vendor relationships, generating revenue and recovering costs to fund IT, building coalitions and teams across campus divisions?

    Staffing and Talent Development
    How are you responding to staffing issues and challenges, such as: doing more with less, financial planning, time and project management, evolving staff skills, successful mentoring relationships, effective teamwork, collaboration and communication, relationship management and cultivating innovation?

    For more information, visit EDUCAUSE Connect Denver.

     

     

     

    Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the World Wide Web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068.

     


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    Publication Date: 
    2016-02

    November 2015

    • Krishna Moorthy, program analyst, resigned

    December 2015

    • Lin Nesloney, administrative coordinator, retired 

    January 2016

    • Patrick McLeod, IT manager, transferred to ITSS
    • Monica Scott-Taliaferro, marketing specialist and Benchmarks Online editor, previously in UNT Sustainability
    • Klarissa LeMoine, administrative specialist, resigned

    February 2016

    • Cody Hardi, UIT administrative coordinator, transferred from the biology department
    • Jacob Flores, IT manager, transferred from the UIT Help Desk to host computing user services
    • Sharuhk Mithani, interim manager, UIT Help Desk

     

     

    Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the World Wide Web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068.


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    Publication Date: 
    2016-02

    Ray Banks, CDTS managerCDTS and DMS Sustain Transformation, Upgrade, New Projects and Increased Usage

    By Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, D.M.A., director, Instructional Information Technology Services

    Since fall 2015, the Instructional Information Technology Services area has added significantly to its services to better serve students and faculty. The division is part of UNT's University Information Technology Department that is most associated with direct support of teaching and learning.  

    The division currently consists of the following two areas.

    • Classroom Testing and Desktop Services, led by Ray Banks
    • Data Management Services, led by JoAnn Luksich

    These two areas function separately but also work collaboratively to facilitate technical assistance for meaningful and successful teaching and learning experiences at UNT. 

     

    Classroom Testing and Desktop Services

    The CTDS staff members had a busy fall with many additional customers due to new facilities and services. Ray Banks, CTDS and IT manager, and his team of student technicians upgraded all the computers in the Discovery Park classrooms.

    • Classroom B140: 48 PCs
    • Classroom B142: 48 PCs
    • Classroom D212: 24 PCs and
    • Classroom D215: 40 iMacs

    The CTDS team also created 136 new machine images on PCs for the Sage Hall Computer-Based Testing Center and built two new resources this fall. 

    New CTDS Resources Added: Room 154 Transformation and Mobile-Testing Upgrade

    Transformation of Sage Hall, Room 154:  Due to high demand for such a facility, the CTDS staff members transformed Sage Hall, Room 154 into a flexible workshop space to accommodate tutoring sessions, TRiO Programs, such as Upward Bound and McNair Scholars Program events, faculty technology workshops and Office of Disability Accommodation-related activities. 

    The room now contains 30 iMacs, two 60-inch digital displays and movable technology and furniture to accommodate group-related activities. In the two months that it was open this fall, the workshop space hosted 262 individual customers and has more than 30 events already scheduled for the spring.  

    Mobile-Testing Unit Upgrade:  The CTDS office also upgraded its mobile-testing unit, basically retiring the old 20-laptop testing cart and onboarding a new 30-station laptop cart, which was in heavy use, especially during final exams. 

    Other CTDS Projects:  Team members of CTDS also worked on the CTDS Staff Yonathan Khoe & Katrina Carpenterexpansion and rollout of two projects.

    • The JAMF Casper Suite, which offers a range of solutions for managing Mac OS X computers and iOS mobile devices, for large-scale management of Apple machines and the continued maintenance and
    • Upgrade of SCCM images, a systems management software product developed by Microsoft® for managing large groups of computers, for the UNT main campus by Ray Banks.  

    During the winter break, CTDS staff members continued to upgrade and update machine images on its nearly 400 desktop computers, and increase the mobility and functionality of the laptop testing services. The CTDS team currently is working on a test Windows 10 machine image for possible use in the future. 

    Record Numbers Using the C-BTC: Security, Drop-in and Flexible Hours Credited

    Student Test Monitors/Proctors:  The Sage Hall Computer-based Testing Center, part of the CTDS set of resources, experienced record-setting usage during the fall semester.  Much of this was due to the addition of students as test monitors and proctors. Graduate student employees who now proctor exams add assistance and security during the testing process. The monitors’ hard work and service were welcomed warmly by the UNT faculty.

    Record Use of the Center: During the fall semester the center hosted 4,866 visits by 3,144 individual customers, a record – more than double the customers of past semesters – using 5,855 machine hours of service.

    Ease of Use for Faculty and Students: The services provided by C-BTC add significantly to the resources available to faculty and students – especially those in STEM courses and large classes. With the new proctor system, professors with courses of hundreds of students have increasingly scheduled drop-in testing hours. The drop-in hours allow faculty the flexibility to have several hundred students do online testing in a secure and glitch-free environment over the course of several hours and/or several days. This type of drop-in testing scheduling for large classes is the single highest factor accounting for the increased volume of users of the computer-based testing center.  Additionally, professors at Discovery Park, home to many of our STEM courses, have been able to send their students to the C-BTC at their convenience to take advantage of online testing, because of the scheduling flexibility of the drop-in service. The center also has seen an uptick in transfer students and dual-enrollment students, who are enrolled at UNT and a local community college, taking advantage of the proctored, drop-in environment to do secure exam-taking, thus increasing our collaborative presence in the North Texas academic community.

    CTDS Proctor oversees testingMonitored Center Means Microsoft® Certification Testing: Our student test-monitor program also allowed the Sage Hall Computer-based Testing Center to become a recognized testing center for Microsoft® Certification exams. The implications of this have been tremendous as the university moves toward providing additional skills credentials to help students succeed professionally upon graduation. In collaboration with the faculty and staff of the UNT College of Business' accounting program, the center was able to provide Microsoft® Excel certification-exam testing to more than 200 accounting students this fall – all of these students achieved the MS Excel level-one certification.

    This collaborative credentialing program with the COB will continue in the spring and expand to other areas of certification. 

    NOTE: Additional teaching and administrative areas of the university are invited to seek more information from the Computer-based Testing Center management team about how to leverage Microsoft® certification for their students, faculty and staff.

    Discovery Park Upgrade and Expansion

    Additional Resources Enhance Teaching and Learning: With the upgrade and expansion of classroom desktop machines at Discovery Park completed by the CTDS team, the UNT College of Engineering and other programs at this location now can conduct in-class demonstrations and real-time exercises in a variety of engineering, mathematics and statistical applications in those classrooms.

    Another Record in Usage: During the fall semester, the Discovery Park classrooms hosted 13,729 visits using 14,247.6 machine hours of service – another record!

    Data Management Services

    The Office of Data Management Services, under the management of JoAnn Luksich, continues its tradition of offering excellent customer service in the processing of exams, surveys and course evaluations.

    Kudos for DMS: “I just wanted to thank you and your group for being so helpful and efficient.  It has made my first semester as an adjunct instructor at UNT all that much more enjoyable,” said a DMS customer recently.

    During September, October and November, DMS staff members served an average of 312 customers per month.  During December and JoAnn Luksich and customer, DMSfinal exams week, this jumped to dozens of customers per day.  Additionally, the department served an average of 300 core courses per month during that same period. 

    With its Lexmark Education Station scanner, as well as other hardware and software, DMS provides faculty and administrative staff with detailed data to assist in course planning and content and university programs and initiatives. Projects have included experimentation with Examsoft, and other real-time, actionable outcomes data software and several survey initiatives for the upcoming Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges reaffirmation-review process of accreditation. The timely turnaround of exam grading and analysis by the DMS staff members allows students to receive feedback quickly on their learning progress and allows faculty to initiate rapid responses to assessed learning needs.

    The DMS team is now working on the acquisition and installation of another Lexmark Education Station-type of a system to handle its increased customer load.

    The staff members in the Instructional Information Technology division look forward to continuing to serve faculty, staff and students with their teaching and learning needs. Please do not hesitate to contact Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, D.M.A., IITS director, for more information.

     

     

     

    Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the World Wide Web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068.


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    Publication Date: 
    2016-02

    On the Move - UIT Reorganizes to Better Align its Mission and Services

    By Dr. Philip Baczewski, senior director, University Information Technology

    In September of 2015, University Information Technology Department underwent a reorganization to realign the reporting of the service units that make up the division. As seen on our most recent organizational chart, UIT now has four areas, each reporting to a director-level position. The areas and their functions are the following.

    This reorganization provides a number of benefits to UIT's operation.

    • Better manages the flow of information and direction of projects
    • Unflattens the organization to provide more focused management
    • Clusters like activities to take advantage of management expertise
    • Clusters like activities to foster possible synergies in service delivery

    The reorganization will not change how the individual services are delivered. But UIT is now better able to communicate about and plan for service continuation and improvement.

    Some notable changes in UIT management include Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, D.M.A., now directing instructional IT services, Richard Sanzone has assumed the position of director of IT user services, and Jennifer Lee, Ph.D., continues in the role of director of student success technology. In addition, a national search is underway for a director of research IT services. We hope to fill that position by the end of the spring semester.

    One effect of the reorganization is that we are affecting a change in branding. For years, the term "academic computing" has been a part of the organization with which some of these services have been historically associated. The new area titles more precisely describe the types of services being delivered and while most still fall under the category of academic computing, our service organization name will continue to be University Information Technology or UIT for short.

    In addition to the moves above, UIT has had one additional organizational change as of the fall of 2015. As announced previously, UIT is now reporting in the university's Division of Finance and Administration under the associate vice president for university information services. As part of that realignment, classroom support services now report directly to the associate vice president. While no longer reporting in the Division of Academic Affairs, UIT's service focus remains to a large extent in the areas of academic success for students, faculty and researchers.

    We are committed to moving forward in providing the highest quality of service in support of the university's academic mission.

     

    Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the World Wide Web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068.

     

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    Publication Date: 
    2016-02
    Lab Hours  |  Spring Break 2016  |  UNT  |  Computer Labs

    UNT Spring Break is March 14-20, 2016  •  Link to: UNT Computer Labs

    Location • College/Department

    Room

    Telephone

    Spring Break Lab Hours

     Art Building • CVAD

     232

    940-565-2470

    March 12-18: Closed

     Business Leadership Building • COB

     185, 190

    940-565-2350

    March 12-20: Closed

     Chilton Hall • PACS & CMHT

     255

    940-565-3460

    March 12-20: Closed

     Discovery Park • ENG

     B129

    940-565-6733

    March 14-20: Closed

     Discovery Park • CoI

     B205

    940-565-2501

    March 11: Close at 6 p.m.

    March 12-14: Closed

    March 15-18: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

    March 19-20: Closed

    March 21: Open at 7:30 a.m. and return to regular hours.

     General Academic Building • CAS

     330

    940-565-2825

    March 11, 5 p.m.-March 19: Closed; Open March 20, noon

     General Academic Building • CAS

     550

    940-565-2825

    March 12-20: Closed

     Matthews Hall • COE

     307, 309

    940-565-4379

    March 12-20: Closed

     Music Building • MUSIC

     238

    940-565-3765

    March 12-20: Closed

     Sage Hall Adaptive Lab • UIT

     153

    940-565-3048

    March 14-20: Closed

     Terrill Hall • CAS

     220

    940-565-2825

    March 12-20: Closed

     Willis Library

     Willis

    940-565-2375

    March 11: Close at 7 p.m.

    March 12-14: Closed

    March 15-18: 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

    March 19: Closed

    March 20: Open at 11 a.m., return to a 24-hour-a-day schedule

     Wooten Hall • CAS

     120

    940-565-2825

    March 12-19: Closed

     


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    Publication Date: 
    2016-04

    By Jonathan Starkweather, Research and Statistical Support, Research IT

    Recently, the American Statistical Association (ASA) convened a committee to evaluate the prospect of issuing a statement regarding the ASA’s position on the use of p-values. Essentially, the ASA has finally acknowledged the litany of problems associated with the continued use of p-values among practicing researchers. The ASA Statement was accepted by the ASA Executive Committee on Jan. 29, 2016. The statement appears in the ASA’s journal The American Statistician (AmStat). However, it is available in final draft form, as of March 7, 2016 online at the AmStat website.

    http://amstat.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00031305.2016.1154108

    The issuance and publication of the ASA’s Statement should be of the utmost importance to practicing researchers.

    The correct citation of the statement in AmStat is: Ronald L. Wasserstein & Nicole A. Lazar (2016): The ASA's statement on p-values: context, process, and purpose, The American Statistician, DOI: 10.1080/00031305.2016.1154108


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    Publication Date: 
    2016-04

    microsoft home user program

    By Katrina Carpenter, UIT Information Technology User Services

    Installing Microsoft© Office for employees is described below.

    1. Log in to https://webmail.unt.edu/ 

    2. At the top of your screen, on the right-hand side, click the gear icon near your photo and find My app settings, select Office 365.

    ms-settings-item-2

      

     

    3. Select the word software.

     

     

     

    4. Select your preferred language and version.

    Note: It is best to go with the recommended version of Office. For instance, Windows users may be using a 64-bit operating system, but most applications and plugins that integrate with Microsoft Office will be built for the 32-bit version of office. An alternative version may be selected, however, only advanced users should venture into this territory.

     

    5. Click on the word Install to download the installer for your Office application.

    6. Open the downloaded file to start the installation. During the installation process, you will see the screen below.

     

    Note: Do not go offline or restart your computer during this process while you see this screen; it is actively installing the software.

     

    7. Click Sign in and you’ll be prompted for a username, which is your email address. Enter your email address, usually in the form of First.Last@unt.edu, then click the word Next.

     

     

    8. Verify which type of account you are using to sign in. Since this is a service through UNT, select Organizational Account.

     

    At this point, the installer will offer to give you a walk-through tour of Office 365, or you may skip to the end where you will be presented with an indication of the status of your Office installation.  Once you see the screen below, the process is complete!

    ms office installation screenshot

     

    Please contact the UIT Help Desk, should you have any questions.

    Call: 940-565-2324  |  Online: UIT Help Desk   Email: helpdesk@unt.edu   |   Come by: Sage Hall, Room 130

     

    Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the World Wide Web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068.


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    Publication Date: 
    2016-04

    JoAnn Luksich

    JoAnn Luksich

    JoAnn Luksich, manager, data management services, is responsible for processing student exam Scantrons® and data collected by faculty and staff for research and institutional purposes. Luksich was honored in March with the UNT 2016 Student Success Award as someone who has gone above and beyond the normal job requirements to contribute to the success of a UNT student or group of students. 

    While typically not a hands-on technical position, Luksich has taken on skilled technical work in the service of student success. The Data Management Services Office reports to Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, director, instructional information technology services

    In collaboration with faculty and departmental staff members on campus, Luksich has developed instruments that collect data beyond a student’s test answers to assist instructors in determining areas in need of improvement, said Hinkle-Turner. Through her innovation, the data now is tying answers to educational goals and using demographic data to target student learning better.

    In addition to student-exam Scantrons, Luksich’s three-person team, part of the University Information Technology Department, assists in the implementation of departmental course evaluations, which are then processed by her area. The evaluations allow students an opportunity to complete targeted surveys in specific courses giving them a voice in their educational process.  

    In the fiscal year 2014-2015, Luksich's office served 2,268 customers and processed and analyzed 143,304 exam sheets. More than 80,000 course evaluations filled out by students were processed and analyzed as well. Under Luksich's management, the DMS area provides a tool for virtually all students to be engaged and heard.

    In addition to earning the UNT Student Success award, Luksich was honored March 3, 2016, for 20 years of service during the UNT Service Recognition Ceremony, and has worked with some of the most forward-thinking educators at the university, said Hinkle-Turner. Her work with the Examsoft, exam software, a pilot project supporting elements of the university's Quality Enhancement Plan, led to the professors involved being able to show a positive impact on student retention and success. Her biggest clients from the UNT community come from the academic disciplines and elective courses.

    Working with Research and Statistical Support Services staff members, Luksich expects to expand the learning outcomes analysis abilities to provide even more detailed reports and meaningful advising to faculty. With her contributions toward more focused data gathering and analysis of student exam and survey results, Luksich enables student development of needed skills and outcomes by promoting more effective teaching.

    "In addition to being very proud to work at UNT, being in a supportive and kind work group is the best part of working here," she said. "And the campus, it's such a beautiful place; I love to walk outside to enjoy the stately architect, shade trees and beautiful landscaping."

    A native Texan who has lived in Denton most of her life, Luksich is married and the mother of three daughters. She enjoys her home in the country near Sanger where she is a prolific gardener, home renovator and creator of decorative crafts. With two grandchildren, Luksich often can be found at ballet lessons or soccer matches on the weekends. 

     

    Charles Peterson

    charles petersonCharles Peterson joined UNT’s high-performance computing team in April 2015 as a system administrator. Before that time, he worked as a graduate research assistant on the HPC team for three years. Peterson received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a minor in computer science in 2009 from UNT. He stayed at UNT for graduate school along with Angela K. Wilson’s group, The Wilson Research Group, conducting scientific research in computational quantum chemistry. Peterson successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in October 2015.

    As an HPC system administrator, Peterson is involved in various activities that comprise maintaining a high-performance computer cluster. The HPC team members provide computing resources for researchers at UNT that require more computing power than typical desktop computers can produce. This type of resource allows researchers to run software that can involve using hundreds of central processing units and hundreds of gigabytes of memory to obtain
    quality data for their research.

    The HPC studio, located in the General Academic Building, Room 535, provides visualization Stoeckert and Peterson by computer
    workstations for researchers requiring the use of visualization software to analyze data better. The HPC facility works closely with several UNT researchers in many departments of the university including chemistry, material science, physics, biology and mathematics.

    Throughout the years, the HPC team, under the leadership of UIT, has maintained several HPC computing clusters for UNT. The current computing cluster that Peterson and the HPC team members manage is named Talon2. This computer cluster has more than 4,000 available CPU cores and access to more than 1.4 petabytes of storage space. The cluster utilizes an InfiniBand interconnect that can reach speeds up to 56 Gbps. An InfiniBand is a computer-networking communications standard used in high-performance computing that features very high throughput and very low latency. It is used for data interconnect both among and within computers.

    The HPC staff also supports a variety of software from many research areas that can take advantage of a computing cluster. Approximately 500 researchers, 100 of whom are principal investigators, currently use Talon2 for their scientific research. In 2015, researchers at UNT spent 24.4 million CPU hours on Talon2.

    The HPC studio and Talon2 are available for anyone at UNT whose research can benefit from using an HPC resource in their work. Peterson describes the HPC department as “providing anyone at UNT performing any type of calculation access to an advanced computing resource to produce better quality science.”

    Charles Peterson is a native Texan, who grew up in San Antonio. Outside of his HPC duties, Charles is involved in gaming. “I enjoy ordering pizza and spending all night gaming with groups of people,” he said.

    The HPC staff also includes DaMiri Young, manager of HPC Services, John Pearson and Geyani Kayyuru, graduate research assistants, and Garrett Crowe, administrative assistant. 

     

     

     Chris Stoermer

    chris stoermerChris Stoermer, information technology manager III, has been with UNT since the summer of 1996 when he started working as a student technician in the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science. He moved from student employment to a full-time computer support specialist position in the College of Business in 1999.  

    Working under Abraham John, senior director of Administrative Information Technology Services, Stoermer is now a team manager in AITS, which provides technology support services for most of the non-academic departments of the Denton campus and a few satellite offices off campus. 

    Stoermer prepared for his career by earning a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a focus in network communications and systems management. He also has earned technical certifications in Oracle database administration and information technology infrastructure library foundations. He is also certified as a HIPAA security specialist, HIPAA professional and security compliance specialist.

    Interest in technology goes back to his youth, said Stoermer.

    "I started coding in several computer programming languages when I was in middle school, so I always knew I would end up in the computer science career field," he said. "My interest in systems management and network communications developed as technologies grew, but really came into focus during my service time in the United States Army while attached to a Patriot Missile Air Defense Artillery Unit. From there, it was just a matter of time before I found the right degree program which fit my interests in computer systems and topology."

    "The toughest and best things about working in information technology: for me, these are really one in the same and captured in the acronym, “IT,” information technology. Technology, itself, is really becoming part of everyday life for most of us. The challenge for the professionals in my field is to help balance the integration of technology with the user education needed to protect the information, personal, corporate, or otherwise. My team’s slogan is, “IT works!” If you really think about how far that simple statement reaches when you consider information technology, you begin to understand the significance of managing the Information piece," he said.

    Stoermer said his favorite part about working at UNT is that "higher education is all about pushing the envelope and looking beyond the present to see what is possible in the future. The university has historically invested – and continues to invest – in many new and emerging technologies. Being a part of these implementations, working with other technology professionals in our university network community and “making IT work” every day is just plain cool. I get to NERD OUT every day, and I am really good at that!"

    In his off-duty time, Stoermer says he is a coffee aficionado and a fan of hockey, baseball and soccer. He said he roots for the Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers and "for those who watch real football – soccer for Americans, I support Manchester United – FOREVER UNITED."

    In addition to being a spectator, Stoermer also is a participant in a Professional Association of Diving Instructors-certified scuba diver and said he dives whenever I can fit it into his schedule.

    Heavily involved in the Boy Scouts of America, Stoermer is the scoutmaster of Troop 136 in Krum, Texas, where he also serves as the Frontier Trails District Membership Chair. He has staffed five National Youth Leadership Training courses and served as the director for a course that ended in March.

     

    Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the World Wide Web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068.


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  • 03/29/16--12:16: EDUCAUSE Roundup
  • Publication Date: 
    2016-04

    EDUCAUSE Review Publisher Names New Column Editors

    D. Teddy Diggs, publisher/editor of EDUCAUSE Review, the association's award-winning magazine for the higher education IT community, has named three new column editors for one-year appointments beginning in January 2016. These community leaders bring their experience and expertise to add original ideas, voices, and opinions to EDUCAUSE Review.

    robert mcdonald

    E-Content 
    Robert H. McDonald
    Associate Dean for Library Technologies and Deputy Director of the Data to Insight Center, Pervasive Technology Institute
    Indiana University

    New Horizons 
    Shelli Fowler
    Associate Dean, University College
    Virginia Commonwealth University

    Viewpoints
    Jack Suess

    Vice President of Information Technology and CIO
    University of Maryland Baltimore County

      

    More About EDUCAUSE Review

    EDUCAUSE Review takes a broad look at current developments and trends in information technology, how they may affect the college/university as an institution, and what these mean for higher education and society. In addition to EDUCAUSE members, the magazine's audience consists of presidents and chancellors, senior academic and administrative leaders, non-IT staff, faculty in all disciplines, librarians, and corporate leaders – for a print circulation of 22,000. The online version of the magazine comprises the print issue as well as peer-reviewed articles, practical advice and guidance, and multimedia about managing and using information resources in higher education.

     

    New EDUCAUSE Constituent Group

    The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Allies, LGBTQIA, constituent group provides a forum for participants to discuss IT career issues of interest to these communities and their allies who are working in higher education in information technology. It provides valuable networking opportunities and allows for coalition-building and networking toward the common interest of furthering work environments that recognize and embrace inclusion of LGBTQI people as normative.This group meets at the EDUCAUSE annual conference and uses the electronic discussion list to discuss issues throughout the year. Participants are encouraged to join related EDUCAUSE constituent groups such as Diversity in IT and Women in IT.

     

    Plan Ahead for the Fall Conference

    EDUCAUSE Conference:The 2016 EDUCAUSE annual conference is scheduled Oct. 25-28 in Anaheim, Calif., with registration opening in June.

     

    About EDUCAUSE

    EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association and the foremost community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education. EDUCAUSE programs and services are focused on analysis, advocacy, community building, professional development, and knowledge creation because IT plays a transformative role in higher education. EDUCAUSE supports those who lead, manage, and use information technology through a comprehensive range of resources and activities. For more information, visit www.educause.edu.


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    Publication Date: 
    2016-04

    March 10, 2015 – Being a good stretch of the legs away from the Music Building makes a solo concert a rare occurrence in the Sage Hall vicinity. Hearing a street musician around this part of campus is a rare treat, so Benchmarks went out in pursuit of a different beat.

    With IT techs, staff and administrators opening office windows to let the music and fresh air pour into our 1961 building, listeners were provided jazz notes on a rainy dayIver Sneva just before the lunch hour.

    After listening to his trumpet, it was a pleasure to meet Iver Sneva and take the opportunity to get to know one of the many amazing students we see each day.

    From White Bear Lake, Minn., Sneva said he is finishing his fifth year at UNT and is classified as a senior or "maybe a super senior," he said. Not only majoring in music, but he also has a double major in physics.

    Of course, the Physics Building is Sage Hall's neighbor to the north.

    "I had just finished my physics midterm and had to warm up for my performance today in the Syndicate with the 5 O'Clock Lab Band," Sneva said. The Music Building and practice rooms were a little far away, so I decided just to warm up and play. As for what I was playing, I was messing around on a standard blues to get some ideas of what to play if I had to solo during my performance."

    Sneva's aim for graduation is spring of 2018 with a graduate degree in physics, he said. "Once I graduate, I hope to continue my education in physics studying anything from theoretical, quantum, or astrophysics." Eventually, he said, he would like to be in an area of research somewhere or at a university. 

    Sneva's favorite app these days is Pocket Points, he said; one he has started using only recently. Pocket Points gives users rewards for not Iver Sneva Trumpeterusing their phones during class. Users simply open the app on campus, lock their phone and start gaining points. Points are then used at local and online businesses for student discounts, coupons or gifts.

    "The software I like to use somewhat a lot is Audacity®," he said, a free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds. "This software enables me to practice different aspects of music in ways that are impossible for me to do with any other musical tool at my disposal. Other than this, I don't use a whole lot of software or other technology. At least not yet. I can definitely see the need to learn different software programs in the near future when I further myself in the fields of physics."

    As for Mac versus PC, Sneva said he prefers doing his everyday work on a PC. However, he has used both and must say that I do prefer doing anything music related on a Mac. Their software and operating system makes it much easier to work with than it would on a PC.

     

     


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  • 04/04/16--12:32: Techie Trivia
  • Publication Date: 
    2016-04

    Technology has changed the way we play games. Select the correct order in which the following game consoles were created, from oldest to newest. No Googling for the answer!

    nintendo entertainment system

    a. Xbox, PlayStation®, Nintendo Entertainment System 

    b. Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation®, Xbox 

    c. PlayStation, Nintendo Entertainment System, Xbox 

    d. Nintendo Entertainment System, Xbox, PlayStation® 

    Scroll down ⇩⇩⇩⇩⇩⇩⇩

     

     ⇩⇩

     

     

     

     

      

     


    Did you choose B? 
    The Nintendo Entertainment System was first released in 1985, Sony’s PlayStation® launched in 1995, and Microsoft’s® Xbox debuted in 2001. 

    a. Xbox, PlayStation®, Nintendo Entertainment System 

    b. Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation®, Xbox 

    c. PlayStation, Nintendo Entertainment System, Xbox 

    d. Nintendo Entertainment System, Xbox, PlayStation® 

     

    Ready for another technology question?

    True or False: It is possible for a doctor to diagnose a patient virtually (i.e., through a live video consultation).

    a. True 

    b. False 

    Send in your techie trivia question to try to stump readers in the next Benchmarks edition. And, yes, it is true. MDLIVE, founded in 2009, is a provider of online health services that is able to consult with patients through Virtual Medical Office software. MDLIVE happens to be owned in part by UNT alumnus Phil McGraw, class of 1976, M.A., and 1979, Ph.D.

     


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    Publication Date: 
    2016-04

    future of technology survey

    Have you noticed the new posters around campus inviting students to participate in the Future of Technology Survey?

    University Information Technology, the Office of Data, Analytics and Institutional Research and CLEAR have entered into a joint project to support UNT’s participation in a national survey March 21-April 24 asking undergraduates about technology in their lives. Conducted by the Center for Analysis and Research of EDUCAUSE®, the survey will help educators and administrators at UNT to better understand how undergraduate students experience technology at UNT and the ways in which new, better or more technology can impact student success. 

    Faculty members were asked to encourage their undergraduates to complete the voluntary, anonymous survey. Participating students in the approximately 20-minute survey will be eligible to win a $50 or $100 gift card to Amazon.com.  Overseeing the project at UNT are Patrick Pluscht, associate vice provost for learning enhancement, CLEAR; Jason Simon, associate vice provost, Ah Ra Cho, data analyst, and Russell Ruffu, data analyst, from ODAIR; and Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, principal investigator, UIT.

    This year's study explores technology ownership, use patterns and expectations as they relate to the student experience. The results of this study can be used to engage students better in the learning process, said Hinkle-Turner, director, instructional IT services in the University IT department.

    Furthermore, institutions can use the data to improve IT services, increase technology-enabled productivity, prioritize strategic contributions of IT to higher education, plan for technology shifts that impact students, and become more technologically competitive among peer institutions. Next year, UNT plans to participate in the undergraduate study again, said Hinkle-Turner, along with a similar faculty study that has been conducted nationally in the past.

    Although UNT did not participate last year, the national results of the 2015 student and faculty studies can be found online. UNT's participation in this year's research study was reviewed and approved by the UNT Institutional Review Board, Hinkle-Turner said, and results are expected later this year. 

    EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association and the foremost community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education with offices in Louisville, Colo., and Washington, D.C.

    CLEAR is UNT's Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment and Redesign that provides services to assist faculty with the development and delivery of distributed learning at UNT. The center combines technology resources with expert consultation and personnel in course design and redesign, assessment, pedagogy and many other topics to provide faculty with "one-stop" support for creating quality courses for all instructional delivery methods.

     

    Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the World Wide Web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068. 


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    Publication Date: 
    2016-04

    By Wil Clark, chief technology officer, ITSM, UNT System IT Shared Services

    This month we hit a major milestone in the IT Service Management implementation of ServiceNow. Acorio, our implementation partner, completed its work for ITSM. With user-acceptance testing complete as well, the ITSS team will focus on completing the Service Catalog request items and templates used for incident reporting and change requests.  We have a significant amount of work left to prepare for the May 2, 2016 go-live for ITSM. 

    Training sessions have been scheduled and reference guides and videos are being completed.The in-person training sessions for ServiceNow are scheduled and set up in the EIS training enrollment system.

    Each training session is scheduled at Discovery Park in Room E264.

    Course Title: Incident, Request, Knowledge
    Course Code: UP16IR

    Choose a Session

    • April 18, 2-4 p.m.
    • April 20, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 2-4 p.m.
    • April 21, 9-11 a.m.
    • April 26, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
    • April 28, 2-4 p.m. 

    Course Title: Change Management
    Course Code: UP16CM

    Choose a Session

    • April 29, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
    • April 28, 1:30-3:30 p.m.


    To register, complete the following steps for a ServiceNow training session.

    1. Go to http://my.untsystem.edu and login with your EUID.
    2. Select Training Enrollment from Training & Development.
    3. Search by Course Name, Course Number, Location or Date.
    4. View the available session and select the session.
    5. Follow the prompt to submit the training request.

    Meanwhile, the ServiceNow Project and Portfolio Management Suite implementation is in full swing now.  The Acorio team is now focused on completing requirements for the PPM suite.  We expect development to complete by mid-May and a ServiceNow PPM launch in early June.

    You can stay up to date with the ServiceNow project through the Yammer group at https://www.yammer.com/untsystem.edu/#/threads/inGroup?type=in_group&feedId=4544021&view=all.

    Please contact Wil Clark, should you have any questions about the ServiceNow implementation.


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