2014 – A Remarkable Year for IT@UT

Posted on: December 18, 2014

2014 has been an remarkable year for IT@UT. Collaboration and engagement with the campus community has enabled us to succeed. A partial list of significant accomplishments:

  • New UTLogin UTLogin, the new centralized authentication service, which replaced the Central Web Authentication (CWA) and Fat Cookie system previously used by many of UT Austin’s web applications, launched in September. ITS staff worked with colleges, schools, and units to implement UTLogin, an initiative endorsed by the Architecture and Infrastructure Committee of IT Governance . The new service provides campus with a new look-and-feel for the login page, improved security and other convenient and time-saving features.
  • Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) In the past year, adoption of the Canvas LMS has exceeded expectations. Many faculty members are using the Canvas website to gain valuable information, training, and tips on how Canvas enhances teaching and learning. As of October, 2014, 85% of all instructors and more than 47,000 students are using the Canvas LMS for their courses. In collaboration with The Center for Teaching and Learning, training classes and office hours have helped hundreds of faculty members transition to Canvas. With Canvas, faculty, students, and staff have access to many new capabilities, such as built-in Google Docs integration and a powerful mobile app available for download at no additional cost. Blackboard will be retired next summer. Please visit http://canvas.utexas.edu for more details.
  • UT Web Infrastructure Refresh UT Web designed to support UT Austins next generation web hosting needs became available to both current Web Central customers and new customers in October. The project team worked hard with a campus technical task force to develop the design, successfully complete the proof-of-concept, and surveyed campus to identify those units who will migrate websites to UT Web. Check out the first customer websites that are live Center for Learning and Memory and The Institute for Neuroscience . Reservations for the winter 2015 migration phase are currently underway. Learn more on the service website .
  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Deployment The Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Deployment Project made excellent progress towards meeting the aggressive timeline requested by IT Governance to convert 23,000+ phone lines on campus in two years, rather than four. Last year, over 13,000 phone lines have been converted off of the University’s aging, copper-based telephone system to the new, more affordable VoIP technology. The project is on target for completion in August, 2015.
  • New Group E-mail System Launches ITS launched a new Group E-Mail system this year to address the long-standing campus need for a more functional and feature rich solution. Group E-Mail is used when informational, promotional, and urgent messages sanctioned by the University need to be sent to campus. Implementation of the new, cloud-based solution means we no longer have to maintain old custom developed programs, and most of the enhancements address Staff Council recommendations to improve group email.
  • New Emergency Website Ready for Campus Emergency A new, off-campus emergency website was launched. The emergency site enables Campus Safety & Security personnel to update the official University status online when the on-premise campus emergency website is unreachable due to a catastrophic IT outage.
  • Create Diverse, Secure Surveys Qualtrics became a Common Good funded service in 2014 available to students, faculty and staff. This cloud-based survey tool is being used to create and distribute a wide variety of survey types. Qualtrics meets rigorous information security requirements and offers quality control features. It is web-based, user-friendly and provides guidance to ensure that surveys are accessible.

There is much more: from the dramatic growth of virtual machines and UTBackup to upgrading thousands of wireless access points, implementing two-factor authentication with Toopher, and supporting the Administrative Systems Modernization Program. Thank you all for your hard work, smarts, and commitment to serve the University.

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