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Accomplishments for 2004-2005

Elimination of Social Security Numbers

Background
In an effort to secure personal information, Information Technology Services is quickly moving forward in the Social Security number conversion project. This project entails generally eliminating the use of Social Security numbers as the primary identifier at Temple and replacing them with a new nine-digit TUid.

Status
At the end of March, Information Technology Services assigned approximately 900,000 unique identification numbers to all student records dating back to 1963 and to all employee records dating back to 1984. Centrally maintained administrative systems were also modified to begin assigning the TUid to newly added records.

An additional component of this project is the distribution of new Temple ID cards. Students, faculty, and staff will receive a new OWLcard to replace the current cards. The TUid number will be printed on the OWLcards. Official use of the new card will begin early this summer.

Removal of Full Social Security Numbers from Student Bills

Background
In the past, Social Security numbers were printed in two locations on the student bill and were used to process and post payments in Temple 's student system and OWLnet.

Status
As part of the University's ongoing effort to replace the Social Security number with the TUid as the primary identifier for students, faculty and employees, the full Social Security number has been removed from the student bill.

Students now see only the last four digits of their Social Security number printed on the top of the bill and a unique number embedded in the remittance stub. This summer, when the full system conversion to the TUid is complete, the last four digits of the Social Security number will be replaced with the nine-digit TUid in the top portion of the bill.

Removal of Full Social Security Numbers from Class and Grade Lists

Background
In the past, Social Security numbers were printed on class lists and grade lists.

Status
To protect the confidentiality of student information, only the last four digits of a Temple Student ID now appear on class lists and grade lists. This summer, when the full system conversion to the TUid is complete, the last four digits of the Social Security number will be replaced with the nine-digit TUid on class lists and grade lists.
 

Princeton Review #4 Ranking

Background
The Princeton Review performs a yearly survey to determine “America’s Most Connected Campuses.” The survey includes questions regarding network access including wireless service, off-campus e-mail access, Web page storage space, for-credit online courses, online administrative functions including registration, streaming video and audio services, discounted computer pricing, computers for students included in tuition, computer requirements, coursework using handheld computers, access to USENET newsgroups and computer policies.

Status
Information Technology Services participated in the survey. The Princeton Review ranked Temple ranked #4 in “Americas Most Connected Campuses.”

$1.043 Million Grant Award for Portal Development

Background
With the success and continued expansion of TUportal, it has become necessary to find a resource that will provide more flexibility than that currently offered by the current portal. It has also become apparent that a portal is also necessary for the entire Temple community to easily access University resources.

Status
The Campus Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) Consortium, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting collaborative software projects in the field of higher education, awarded Information Technology Services a $1.043 million grant to develop an Oracle portal. This portal will offer students, faculty, and staff central Web access to essential services including the Blackboard course management system, OWLnet student administrative system, and My Backpack file management system. This grant was awarded to cover the cost of hardware, software, project management, and training necessary to create and maintain the portal over a five-year period.

Development of the TECH Center

Background
Computer technology is playing an ever-increasing role on college campuses for coursework, research, and communication. A major campus technology facility was proposed to provide students with the latest resources and to foster collaboration.

Status
The Board of Trustees approved the construction of a comprehensive student technology center to be located in the Bell Building at 12th Street and Montgomery Avenue.

To be known as the Technology, Education, Collaboration, and Help (“TECH”) Center, the facility will be the largest of its kind in the nation. The Center will emphasize collaborative learning among students and feature a 700-workstation student computer lab with specialized hardware and software, 13 student breakout rooms for group study, a Starbucks Cafe, Temple’s Computer Help Desk, and wireless loaner laptops that can be used throughout the building. For faculty, the building will include an Instructional Support Center and the Temple University Teaching and Learning Center.

The TECH Center’s Help Desk and computer lab facilities will be open on a 24-hour-a-day basis. In addition, the TECH Center will be home to Temple’s new Welcome Center, a dedicated space where prospective students, parents, alumni, and members of the business community can visit and learn about Temple.

The TECH Center is slated to open in the spring of 2006. Construction has begun. Information Technology Services also conducted a follow-up online survey to complete an accurate list of the University software needs.

Development of the Web Server Complex and Content Management System

Background
As Temple departments increasingly use the Web to present information, Temple needed a convenient and efficient way to develop and maintain Web content.

Status
A Web Server Complex/Content Management System was implemented with easy-to-update default Web pages and a suite of Web tools to help create and manage sites. Through the use of Macromedia Contribute, content update responsibility can be assigned to multiple content contributors with final signoff from the site administrator. Also, the new system offers Webmasters a professional Web development environment where files are not made public until they are ready to go live.

University-Wide Cell Phone Policy

Background
With the increasing usage and dependence on cellular phones by the Temple community, it became necessary to centralize this service and pursue possible cost-saving measures for the University.

Status
After conducting an extensive and thorough review and analysis of our wireless needs and the available providers, we concluded that Verizon would offer quality services as well as considerable savings to the University community. As an added benefit, Temple’s agreement with Verizon Wireless offers University employees a discount of up to 15% on personal cellular service for selected plans and a 25% discount on wireless accessories.

Diamond Dollars Web Site Redesign

Background
Diamond Dollars is a debit account that provides Temple students, faculty, and staff with a convenient way to make purchases on campus. The past several years have been a great period of growth for the Diamond Dollars program, both in usage and increased variety of services available.

Status
To reflect the increased popularity of the program, the Diamond Dollars website has recently been redesigned and expanded. Using the Diamond Dollars Web site, students, faculty, and staff can add funds to their account and check your account balances and purchase history. The site also contains general program information, such as a list of participating vendors, frequently asked questions, rules and regulations, contact names and phone numbers, and procedures for reporting lost cards.
 

DARS Report Enhancement

Background
DARS is an automated record of your registration, transfer credits and academic history at Temple University. This information is drawn from the Integrated Student Information System (ISIS). DARS is automatically updated as students make academic progress towards their degree. DARS indicates both the graduation requirements that have been completed and those that remain to be satisfied. Students and their advisers use this report to help plan their next semester's work, as well as for long-range planning.

Status
Information Technology Services has greatly improved the readability of the undergraduate DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System) audit by incorporating the following enhancements:

  • The sections of the report are now separated by color bars to make the document easier to scan.
  • The report initially displays a high level summary of degree requirements, as well as a quick indication of whether they have been satisfied.
  • Students can click on a degree requirement link to view the details, presented in color, of the sub-requirements that have and have not been satisfied.
  • The quality points or deficiency points, and the number of course withdrawals (from Fall 2003 to the present) are prominently displayed.

Undergraduate students can access the DARS report online through OWLnet on the tuportal.temple.edu Web site. The reports are also available to advisers via OWLink.

OWLnet Course Registration Enhancement

Background
Information Technology Services continues to enhance the registration features of OWLnet.

Status
Information pertaining to undergraduate courses offered by departments now appears on the OWLnet<Find a Course page above the list of courses. Students can readily view this information before registering for a course.
Also, when a student registers for a course, a window now appears with specific prerequisite and/or corequisite requirements. Students who have not met these requirements will be notified that they should discontinue registering. As a result, students will be more likely to make appropriate course choices.

Enrollment Verification Letters in OWLnet

Background
Students typically use enrollment verification letters to verify their enrollment with financial institutions and health insurance providers. Requesting an enrollment verification letter used to be a manual process. Academic Records personnel would manually read each mail request, generate the enrollment verification letter, and mail it.

Status
Students can now request an enrollment verification letter using the OWLnet Web site. Academic Records provides 7,000-10,000 of these letters annually. This enhancement replaces a manual process with an entirely electronic process that students can perform independently.

Financial Aid Award Letters in OWLnet

Background
Financial aid award letters used to be mailed to students through postal mail.

Status
Student Financial Services (SFS) now notifies students when their financial aid is available by sending an e-mail to their @temple.edu e-mail account. Students can then view and print their financial aid award letter from the OWLnet Web site by clicking on the Financial Aid Tab.

Federal Perkins Loans Web Site

Background
Federal Perkins loans used to be processed using a paper-based procedure that required much intervention from Student Financial Services (SFS).

Status
Student Financial Services (SFS) now notifies students to accept their Federal Perkins loan by sending an e-mail to their @temple.edu e-mail account. The e-mail message directs students to a secure Web site where students log in using their AccessNet username and password. This Web site enables students to view, print, and electronically sign their promissory note. When a promissory note is electronically signed, it is forwarded directly to PHEAA, to be processed without any intervention from SFS.

Students Health Insurance Enrollment through OWLnet

Background
The Human Resources' Benefits Department used to manually enroll approximately 4,000 students for health insurance each year.

Status
Students can now enroll for health insurance for themselves and their dependents through the OWLnet Web site. At the time of plan selection, students see the cost of the plan they choose. The appropriate assessment is then calculated and automatically added to the student's bill. Detailed information about health insurance options and costs appear on the Human Resources website. The availability for OWLnet enrollments has greatly improved service to our students while freeing up Benefits personnel.

MyHousing Web Site Enhanced

Background
The MyHousing website is Temple's interactive web-based student resident system that allows residence hall students to check the status of their housing application, view room bookings, roommates, meal plan booking, view and update emergency contact information and print housing forms.

Status
The MyHousing Web site has the following new enhancements:

  • Returning and newly admitted students can now make housing deposits electronically via Temple's QuickPay system.
  • Students can log in using their AccessNet username and password from within the TUportal Web site.
  • Graduate students can select "room type" as a preference for fall and spring semesters and can select family members as roommates in University apartments.
  • The Confirmation Summary Page has been condensed and is now easier-to-read. Students can use this page to view and modify their application preferences.
  • Students can now sign up for meal plans or make meal plan changes. In addition to benefiting students, this new feature provides a more efficient and cost-effective system for processing and implementing meal plan requests.

Expansion of Campus Software Site Licensing Program

Background
In addition to the escalating cost of software, the process of purchasing software was frequently subject to delays.

Status
Software licensing and savings programs were launched for students, faculty, and staff. Temple University students can now save up to 60% off the regular academic prices on Microsoft Office 2003 Professional or Standard, Microsoft Office 2004 for the Mac, and Windows XP. For staff, Information Technology Services contracted with Microsoft for a new campus-wide license agreement for the Microsoft Desktop Bundle. This agreement includes programs such as MS Office, Exchange, SMS, Symantec Antivirus, Fortres, Red Hat Linux, and SharePoint Client Access Licenses (CALs). As an additional benefit, faculty and staff will no longer have to submit a purchase requisition or license agreement to obtain these software licenses.

Opening of HSC Technology Support Center

Background
Over the past year, the use of technology at the Health Sciences Center Campus has experienced a rapid growth. The resources to meet the demand for technology information and training were insufficient and outdated.

Status
Information Technology Services opened a new Technology Support Center (TSC) on the Health Sciences Center Campus. The TSC offers “virtual” Help Desk support via a Webcam and microphone, computer training, production services for faculty and staff, such as poster printing, slide scanning, slide recording, and CD duplication. In addition, faculty and staff can make appointments for consultations.
 

New Smart Classrooms

Background
The demand for smart classrooms continued to exceed the available spaces; lecture halls and computer lab classrooms needed technology upgrades.

Status
More than 20 classrooms on Main Campus were converted to smart classrooms, including 14 rooms in the Tuttleman Learning Center and three classrooms in Barton Hall. Also, 12 existing smart classrooms were either renovated or received equipment upgrades. Lecture halls in Anderson Hall, Barton Hall, Beury Hall, and Engineering and Architecture were renovated. Improvements to these facilities include the installation of digital document cameras, remotely controlled audio systems and projection screens, as well as Pentium 4 PCs with Internet access, flat-screen monitors, and DVD players. The computer lab classrooms in Tuttleman have been upgraded as well.
 

Smart Classroom Upgrades

Background
As the use of technology in the classroom continues to grow, it is important for Information Technology Services to maintain and update equipment as well as foresee and plan for future needs.

Status
As part of the Information Technology Services Five-Year Smart Classroom plan, 16 new ceiling-mounted projectors were installed as replacements in Tuttleman smart classrooms. Also, 29 new PCs were installed in smart classrooms and on carts. On Ambler Campus, a new smart classroom was installed in Widener Building and Bright Hall Lounge was upgraded with new smart technology.

Technology Upgrades

Background
Technology resources at the Ambler/Fort Washington Campuses and the Tyler School of Art were outdated.

Status
In an effort to enhance instruction, coursework, and research at the Temple Ambler/Fort Washington Campuses, Information Technology Services installed new technology resources including 28 high-end Gateway PC computers 19” flat panel displays, projectors, video monitors, digital cameras, video/data projectors for smart carts, and a portable stereo system. Five smart classrooms in Bright, Cottage, and Dixon Halls and in the Widener Building were also upgraded with new PCs, multi-media/video projection units and two new document cameras.

New computers, peripherals, and software applications were also acquired for the Tyler School of Art and installed by Information Technology Services.

Tuttleman Scholars Information Center Upgrades

Background
Information Technology Services is responsible for keeping technology equipment in the Tuttleman Learning Center current.

Status
Over 200 new student computer workstations were installed in the Tuttleman Scholars Information Center general use computer lab and computer lab classrooms. Students will now be working on Pentium 4 PCs or Mac G5s with 17" flat panel monitors.

My Backpack

Background
Floppy and zip disks are being replaced with newer technologies for storing and sharing files. In addition, fewer computers are equipped with drives to read these files.

Status
Information Technology Services developed and implemented My Backpack. This Web-based resource enables members of the Temple community to easily store and manage files and publish Web pages. In addition, My Backpack makes it easy to share files with other AccessNet account holders.

Wireless Zone Expansion

Background
The demand for wireless access continues to grow throughout the University.

Status
Temple expanded wireless access throughout its campuses. Wireless technology has now been installed in five building locations on the Ambler Campus and at the School of Podiatric Medicine.

Classroom Performance System

Background
Faculty continue to explore methods for engaging students in the learning process.

Status
Information Technology Services implemented a Classroom Performance System (CPS) that allows instructors to get immediate feedback from their students. By using a response pad, also referred to as a "clicker" students can answer questions, respond to surveys, take opinion polls, and much more. Instructors can also use this technology to take attendance.

Plagiarism Detection Software

Background
Detecting plagiarism in student work has traditionally been a tedious and time-consuming process for faculty.

Status
Information Technology Services researched and evaluated a number of plagiarism detection products and concluded that Turnitin offered the best alternative. Faculty can access this program through Blackboard and check papers for an entire class easily and quickly.

Apreso and NetOp School

Background
Faculty continue to face an increasing need to enhance their teaching with the latest technology tools.

Status
Information Technology Services created a pilot program for faculty and staff to test and evaluate Apreso Classroom. With this software, an entire in-class lecture, including audio, can be captured and instantly transformed into a streaming video file. This file can be viewed through Blackboard or any Web page.

In addition, Information Technology Services installed NetOp School as a pilot program in one of the PC classrooms in Tuttleman Learning Center. NetOp School is a program that allows instructors to view students' desktops, broadcast messages and instruction, share files, deny the use of selected applications and Web sites, share students' desktops with other students and many other tools to enhance classroom instruction and interaction.

Faculty Portal

Background
In response to the need to make educational resources easily accessible to the faculty, Information Technology Services continues to develop new systems and enhance existing systems.

Status
The Faculty Portal was introduced offering customized links that are specific to the needs of Temple faculty, such as the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC), Instructional Support Center (ISC), and Copy Center. In addition, a new Course Tools tab makes it much easier to manage Blackboard courses and also offers timesaving conveniences such as the generation of class lists.

Electronic Portfolio Pilot Program

Background
Electronic portfolios are an emerging topic in the technology field. They offer a Web-based format for students, faculty, and staff to present their work for advising, determining growth over time, and creating resumes. These programs support text, graphics, video, and audio files. A number of products are available, each offering its own solution

Status
After a careful review of a number of electronic portfolio products, Information Technology Services implemented a six-month pilot project to study this technology. Faculty volunteers are assisting with the evaluations.

Blackboard 6.1.5 Upgrade

Background
Information Technology Services manages the Blackboard course management system by installing the latest releases.

Status
Blackboard, 6.1.5 was installed. This new version includes a Spell Checker option, a Quick Edit feature, and a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor.

PC Clinic

Background
The Help Desk was receiving an increasing number of requests from students who were encountering problems with their PCs.

Status
Information Technology Services offers a new service, called the PC Clinic. This innovative program, developed by the Help Desk, teaches students how to repair and maintain their computers that have been damaged by viruses and spyware. Students work with consultants in troubleshooting and repairing their computers. By taking this approach, students become more self-sufficient in performing similar tasks in the future and they also learn how to effectively maintain their computers to prevent problems caused by viruses and spyware.

Library Databases through TUportal

Background
To use the Libraries electronic databases from home, it was necessary for faculty and staff to set up their computers to go through the proxy server.

Status
Access to the Libraries many electronic databases is now available through TUportal, which means that faculty and staff will no longer need to set up their computers to go through the proxy server. This new feature offers an easy and convenient method for using Temple's resources.

Usability and Accessibility Lab

Background
Information Technology Services wanted to find a way to promote and encourage the development of Web sites that are accessible to persons with disabilities.

Status
Information Technology Services developed a new Usability and Accessibility Lab for the University community. The lab, located in Pearson Hall 200, contains resources for evaluating Web sites, Web applications, desktop applications, and other forms of media to ensure Web sites are both user-friendly and accessible to persons with disabilities. The resources include specialized programs that evaluate a Web site's usability by analyzing the information architecture and navigation structure. Software is also available to check for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Software License to Combat Spyware

Background
At the Help Desk, Information Technology Services experienced an increasing number of computer problems caused by spyware. Spyware is software that is automatically downloaded on a computer, without permission or knowledge, when certain Web sites are visited. The software keeps track of browsing activities so the user's machine can be targeted to receive pop-up advertisements. Quite a few residence hall students had computer performance issues because of this software, and, considering the number of calls made to the Help Desk, faculty and staff machines were also being affected by spyware.

Status
To combat the problems caused by spyware, Information Technology Services negotiated a site license for an antispyware program called Ad-Aware for faculty and staff use on campus. Information Technology Services promotes using this software as well as the Ad-Aware freeware version for residence hall and home use which is available from the www.lavasoft.com Web site.

VP Security Memo

Background
During January, February, and March of this year, the number of computer hacking incidents affecting universities and businesses throughout the country increased. These incidents resulted in hackers obtaining access to Social Security and credit card numbers.

Status
Timothy C. O'Rourke, Vice President of Computer and Information Services, sent a memo to the entire Temple community which outlined the department's efforts to safeguard the University's systems. This memo also included tips for protecting personal information.

Phishing Web Site

Background
In addition to browser and operating system vulnerabilities, spam, viruses, and phishing can cause a variety of computer problems ranging from sluggish computers to identity theft.

Status
The Information Technology Services Information Security Web site was expanded to include a section on phishing. Notice of major phishing scams were also sent out as needed via e-mail to alert the Temple community. 

Shared Management System Pilot Program

Background
Due to ongoing security threats, Information Technology Services needs to explore options for automatically protecting campus computers.

Status
After researching various alternatives, Shared Management System was implemented to roll out system patches automatically on all Information Technology Services computers as a pilot test.

Synq 2.0

Background
Information Technology Services continues to work with Mirapoint on providing tools to synch TUmail with Microsoft Outlook and PDAs.

Status
Implemented Synq 2.0 tool and introduced it to selected departments.

UVote Web Site

Background
Due to the busy schedules of students, participation in Temple Student Government Elections has historically been very limited. In addition, duplicate election ballots frequently compromised the outcome of elections.

Status
Information Technology Services created an electronic voting system. On April 12th and 13th, students cast their votes for Temple Student Government using the UVote website. In order to vote, students logged in to the UVote website using their AccessNet username and password. The site was designed to automatically restrict students from voting more than once. Over 3,000 votes were cast during this election.

Seminar Site Management &Registration

Background
Information Technology Services offers free hands-on training seminars for students, faculty, and staff on a variety of computer topics. A growing number of seminar offerings as well as seminar attendees rendered the existing registration and tracking process both time and labor intensive.

Status
The Seminar Web site was redesigned and enhanced with a number of new features including the following:

  • Seminar listings are updated on a daily basis.
  • The seminar registration process automates registration confirmation, cancellation, and rescheduling, as well as the notices sent to supervisors of attendees.
  • The popular calendar feature that appeared in the back of the printed schedule has been added to the new site.

Since the printed schedule is no longer distributed, the costs associated with the publication have been eliminated.

New Seminars

Background
Information Technology Services develops and offers training seminars to help students, faculty, and staff expand their technology skills.

Status
A number of new seminars were offered including a 2-day Digital Image Certificate Program, MOS Prep workshops,Endnote Basics and Advanced, and Detecting Plagiarism through Turnitin.

In addition, Information Technology Services introduced the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification program, the official Microsoft certification that is recognized as the standard for demonstrating skills with the Office suite of products. MOS certification is available for Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook and Access. Since Microsoft charges for the certification, a fee of $70 is charged for each exam.