The Information Technology (IT) department at Kutztown continues to update the technology on and off campus.
According to Mitch Freed, the assistant vice provost of Information Technology, no major complaints have been issued through the help center in the fall and spring semesters.
“Any issues that have occurred have been minor in nature, and we have been able to quickly identify and rectify them,” said Freed.
The MyKU system is a significant topic, since it is a relatively new technology.
According to Freed, the MyKU PeopleSoft software was recently implemented so it would be consistent with the other Pennsyl,vania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) schools. Bloomsburg, Clarion and West Chester Universities use PeopleSoft as their student information system.
MyKU had an outage last weekend from March 9 to March 10. The same will happen this weekend; it will be unavailable from 8 a.m. on Saturday March 16 through 1 p.m. on Sunday March 17.
“We are in the process of matching the powerful capabilities of MyKU with the university’s evolving business practices,” said Freed.
According to Freed, MyKU replaced a system that was developed for more than 20 years and could not be supported anymore.
Desire2Learn Inc.’s D2L, the learning management system used by all 14 PASSHE schools, has experienced problems in the past months.
“Unfortunately, D2L has experienced some difficulties meeting PASSHE’s expectations for reliability and availability during recent months,” said Freed. “D2L recognizes their shortcomings and has promised to take steps for greater system reliability and availability for PASSHE and Kutztown University.”
Spam emails have been a difficulty lately as well. Although the Microsoft uses very thorough anti-spam detection, according to Freed, spam emails still get through, Freed said that the individuals who program the spam use techniques to make them seem authentic. He suggests that students and employees delete the spam emails right away while not responding with confidential information. He said that the help center can be contacted for guidance with these emails.
Freed said that funding for technology has been plentiful, since the IT budget is carefully planned with the university’s technological obligations.
“The university has been very supportive to fund technology essentials in recent years,” said Freed. “This has permitted IT to undertake many important technology initiatives.”
In the last few years, much of the technology was updated, according to Freed. ResNet networking equipment was replaced in Fall 2010 and Spring 2011. In 2011, 2,800 Windows and Mac computers were replaced. Academic networking equipment was replaced in Summer 2012 as well as the addition of 17 wireless access points in the library.
Recently, the seven lecture halls in the Academic Forum received updated classroom technology equipment, which will “simplify and improve the instructional environments there,” according to Freed. The large lecture halls in Boehm as well as Defrancesco room 100 will be similarly updated in the summer.
The department will also upgrade to a standard version of Adobe Creative Suite, an action that was completed in 2011 as well. A significant data center renovation is almost complete as well. It has added electrical capacity, backup diesel generators, new air conditioning and fire suppression equipment.
According to Freed, the IT staff addresses the campus personal computing, classroom technology, wired and wireless networking, help center, ResNet, systems management, software development and telephone needs of the university. The amount of staff available is dependent on the size of the IT budget.
By Emily Leayman