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New Year Brings New Network and Services From UCit

Date: Jan. 17, 2002
By: Chris Curran
Phone: (513) 556-1806
Archive: Campus News

While most UC faculty, staff and students were enjoying the holiday break, UCit was pulling the plug on the last of its old legacy networks and plugging in the final pieces of its new state-of-the-art Cisco network. The UC gigabit network is the second largest network in the area. Only P&G has a larger one. The final switchover occurred Friday, Dec. 21, and the last of the old networks was disconnected Friday, Dec. 28. The switchover does require some adjustments for those connecting to the UC networks from off-campus. (Click here for details.)

The new network provides increased speed and protection for those using the UC network. It also makes it much easier for UCit staff to spot problems and fix them before users even notice. "The UC network now provides the best networking technology to all UC faculty, staff and students on campus," said Diana Noelcke, the UCit technology manager who oversaw the yearlong implementation and cutover to the new network.

Fred Siff, vice president for Information Technology, said he's already looking forward to additional networking improvements in the new year. He is working with IBM , Sun, and Cisco to explore the possibility of using the new Aventis research facility as a research and development area for next-generation networking.

On campus, Siff said the development of Blackboard will continue to be a high priority as UCit focuses on improving the instructional technology available to faculty and students. "It's a compliment to our community how our faculty have taken to it. It's an aid to retention, because students get more information and more feedback. It also makes your teaching better."

A pilot project this year in the College of Business Administration allows faculty to get pictures of their students with their class lists. "Within three hours of providing this service, we had five compliments from faculty," said Siff. The service could be available in other colleges as early as spring quarter. Other projects on the horizon include stabilizing the UniverSIS student information system and offering additional services to students. Siff credits Michael Calhoun, recently promoted to assistant vice president for Systems and Operations, with getting that unit reorganized and re-energized.

"They are producing dynamite products in record time," said Siff. "He has really pulled that unit together." Expect to see improvements in Directory Services as well. The online directory can already provide instant e-business cards for UC faculty and staff. The ultimate goal is to make the directory a one-stop information center for online visitors.

Siff is also celebrating the upcoming appointment of UC's first webmaster. A search is currently underway, and the new webmaster should be on board before spring quarter starts. "We have an amazing web site, especially when you consider it's a volunteer effort of UCit and UC Public Relations. Imagine how much better it will be when we have someone devoting full-time to it. That's huge."

Finally, look for more help when your desktop machine starts acting up. UCit received additional funding this year to add desktop support services to its repertoire of services. Those services will be available later this quarter.

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