336-758-4357 (HELP) help@wfu.edu

Feb 21, 2017

University adopts new IT governance structure

The Information Technology Plan includes the formation of an integrated set of IT Governance and Advisory committees to guide the implementation of strategy, recommend priorities and provide input to improve the effectiveness of technology.

Governance Committees

 

IT Governance Chart

The Information Technology Executive Committee (ITEC)

  • includes representatives from the College and Schools, major academic support units, and leaders from administrative support divisions
  • guides and advises senior-level IT decision-making at the University
  • collaborates with the CIO to recommend IT priorities, policies and strategies to the Provost and Executive Vice President (EVP)

 

The Committee on Information Technology (CIT)

  • includes faculty from the humanities, social sciences, life and physical sciences and professional graduate programs as well as selected staff from the Teaching and Learning Collaborative, IS, ITGs, Initiative Team for Research Computing, Initiative Team for Learning Spaces and IT teams of the professional schools
  • advises ITEC on policies, strategies and services related to the effective use of technology in teaching, learning, research, and creative works

 

The Information Technology Partners’ Council (ITPC)

  • includes representatives from major administrative operations, academic support, student support divisions, and IS
  • advises ITEC on the application of technology to improve and support campus services, operations, management and data-driven decision-making

 

The Information Systems Governance Group (ISGG)

  • includes IS Directors and several Assistant Directors
  • provides initial assessment and/or approval of all work requested of Information Systems resources to be included in the project portfolio or to be added to the work stream for operational support
  • escalates requests to next level of governance (ITEC, CIT, ITPC) for review and approval

 

Advisory Groups

 

Initiative teams

  • appointed as needed to undertake specific projects or guide the development and delivery of particular services
  • sponsored by one of the governance committees and its members will be appointed

 

Communities of interest

  • organized in an informal structure to bring together stakeholders to provide input, share effective practice, promote professional development, and facilitate an exchange of ideas around a particular issue or technology
  • sponsored by a committee, but membership will be open to any interested party

 

Feb 14, 2017

University selects Workday as replacement ERP

After a thorough assessment process that included input from the Wake Forest campus community, the University selected Workday to replace Banner as our financial, human capital management, budget and planning software. Workday will not only enhance the service level provided to the Wake Forest community but it will also replace expensive-to-maintain and difficult-to-use standalone systems.

Sierra Cedar, the most experienced Workday implementation firm in higher education, has been selected as our implementation partner. In addition, a three person project management office, comprised of a project director, the Sierra Cedar project manager and a Wake Forest project manager, will direct and manage the effort. Finally, representatives from across the University have been selected to be a part of a team referred to as Campus Change Partners. Under the guidance of the project change management leads, this group of 20 people will help disseminate project information throughout the entire project lifecycle.

In December of 2016, Workday and Sierra Cedar, WFU’s implementation partner, delivered Wake Forest’s first Workday Prototype (P1) containing WFU specific data.  Using this first prototype, Sierra Cedar is leading the WFU project team through a series of Design and Discovery sessions. These sessions provide refinements of business processes and inform the overall system design. These results will be used when building the second iteration of Workday, referred to as P2.
The project team, the Project Steering Committee and the Executive Sponsor are currently engaged in a complex analysis of the costs and benefits of either a January 2018 or July 2018 launch.

Information Systems introduces eduroam

Use your school’s Wi-Fi authentication at any eduroam hotspot in the world and join instantly and securely

Information Systems is pleased to announce the launch of eduroam at Wake Forest University. eduroam, which stands for education roaming, is a secure worldwide wireless network that enables students, faculty and staff to use their Wake Forest credentials when traveling to connect to the Internet at more than 5,500 participating locations worldwide. Additionally, visitors from any participating eduroam institution can securely connect to the eduroam wireless network while at Wake Forest using their home institution credentials.

Feb 13, 2017

Big Tent Event: Get your Google 2-Step Verification on

Stop by the Information Systems tent in the 3rd floor lobby of Benson on Wednesday, February 15th, between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and an IS support representative will assist you with setting up Google 2-Step Verification on your Wake Forest Google account.

Here’s why!

  • Protects your privacy and data against hackers
  • Secures your Gmail and other Google login enabled apps
  • Takes less than 5 minutes of your time with an expert available to assist and answer questions
  • It’s free but the value is priceless

If you have questions concerning this message or can’t attend this event and need assistance with Google 2-Step Verification, please contact the Information Systems Service Desk at help@wfu.edu or 336-758-4357 (HELP).

Feb 7, 2017

May-August 2016 Update

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to update you on the status of the institution-wide technology strategic planning effort, launched in spring 2015. Using our phased approach, we continue to make progress in developing a multi-year implementation plan for each of the four planning areas – Teaching and Research Excellence, Operational Excellence and Student Success, Infrastructure and Support for Innovation, and Organizational Capabilities. Over the past three months, our consultants have provided two drafts of the technology implementation plan and held numerous meetings with IT advisory groups, IS staff, ITGs and others to obtain feedback. The most recent draft of the technology plan is attached. We are now developing shorter presentations and summaries of the plan more appropriate for obtaining broader community feedback in the fall.

As you know, we are not waiting for our plans to be complete before we address many significant priorities that are consistent with our strategy. Therefore, we are launching implementation activities that will improve and enhance WFU’s core mission of teaching, learning and research as well as hone administrative processes and services. We recently reviewed a set of potential priorities for the next twelve months with the Information Technology Executive Council (ITEC) that will help us begin to implement our plans and guide future priority setting. The presentation to ITEC is included with this communication. We confirmed with ITEC that the initiatives described under the first- and second-wave priorities are desirable areas of focus to recommend to the EVP and Provost for support, and we will be developing budgets and plans for each of these initiatives.

We also obtained ITEC’s agreement to begin planning the transition to the new governance model.  Later this month, a detailed transition plan will be presented to ITEC along with drafts of charters for new committees and recommendations to adjust the focus and composition of existing groups. Beginning in September, with ITEC’s support, we will be sharing these recommendations with the Committee for Information Technology (CIT), Information Technology Partners Council (ITPC), Banner Steering Committee, Learning Management Systems (LMS) Committee and other groups, to seek additional input. We anticipate phasing in changes to governance over the next six months.

Additional activities underway to realize our overall strategic goals include:

  • EVP Milam has appointed a steering committee for the Workday project.  Members include Carmen Canales (Human Resources), Brandon Gilliland (Finance), Beth Hoagland (Provost’s Office), Emily Neese (Strategy and Operations), Phil Handwerk (Institutional Research) and Mur Muchane (Information Systems). The steering committee is establishing some aspects of the leadership and governance of the Workday project and coordinating preparations for implementation.
  • Over a period of two months the steering committee and the EVP reviewed proposals and in-person presentations from several Workday implementation partners and has selected Sierra Cedar, the most experienced Workday implementation firm in higher education. In the near future, we will develop a schedule for the kick-off of the project and begin to assemble the WFU implementation teams.
  • To support the interim improvement strategy for student systems, we are working with two key offices: The Registrar’s office to develop some workflow capabilities for targeted processes; The Admissions office to evaluate Slate CRM as a replacement for their current outdated solution.
  • IS has identified funding to seed several activities in line with long-term strategic goals including:
  • Accelerating the upgrading of classroom technology. We are working with a faculty initiative team in consultation with the Provost’s office and CIT to prioritize how we will improve our learning spaces.
  • Establishing a new academic technology group within IS to support the teaching and learning mission of WFU.
  • Expanding the capacity of the high performance computing cluster to support our researchers.
  • Funding a university-wide desktop data back-up service for faculty and staff computers.
  • Expanding outdoor wireless in Hearn and Manchester plazas.

We will continue to work closely with faculty, academic and administrative offices to develop proposals to review with IT governance groups in the context of the framework of priorities that are being developed with ITEC. In this way we can begin to realize the promise of our technology plan even as we fine-tune the details of the strategies and roadmaps.

Thank you for your continued support and collaborative partnership.  As always, please call or email me with your questions and suggestions.

Best regards, Mur Muchane

2015-2016 Year in Review

We invite you to view the interactive PDF report here using the Tizra digital publishing platform.

The end of the academic year seems like an appropriate time to pause and reflect.  We hope that you will not only look at the content but also click on the links in this interactive report for a broad view of the many ways IS partnered and collaborated with the campus community this past year, as well as the on-going technology strategic planning effort.

*Note: Please click the above link and use the gray arrow on the directed page to the right of the screen to scroll through all content. The document may also be printed using the fifth icon to the left on the directed page.

Phase I Findings Draft

Through collaboration with multiple administrative, academic, and staff groups across campus, this report was drafted to outline the current state of Wake Forest’s technology.

Phase I Findings Draft 

Learn more about cloud technologies

Educause’s Executive Briefing on What Campus Leaders Need to Know about Cloud Computing.

Phase I Findings Presentation

Findings from Phase I assessment were presented to numerous groups around campus. The full length video of the presentation from August 31st is available to you below.

Welcome

Dear Colleagues,

We invite your participation in an important initiative to plan the future of Wake Forest University’s information technology. Our objectives are to identify gaps in current technology capabilities, to generate ideas to improve the use of technology to support institutional priorities, and to define roadmaps to build the organizational and technology capabilities required. The scope is broad and will consider the many ways we use technology in learning, research, administration/operations, communications and assessment.

We have retained higher education IT consultants Phil Goldstein and Mary Beth Baker to assess our current state and facilitate a process to define future directions. Phil and Mary Beth work extensively in IT planning and have performed similar work for many institutions including, Brown University, Smith College, Case Western Reserve University, St. John’s University, and multiple institutions within the University of California and California State University systems. Their consultancy has three phases: (1) understanding our current pain points and opportunities, (2) developing a strategic roadmap for improvement, and (3) supporting implementation, including the potential selection of new administrative systems.  While the project will be broad, we have asked Mary Beth and Phil to pay particular attention to significant challenges including the network, the capabilities of Banner to meet our business process improvement objectives, readiness to support academic technologies, and some of the operational challenges we face within IS.

The consultants have met with a cross-section of academic and administrative leaders to discuss the University’s priorities and challenges and will continue to meet, paying special attention to the following foundational questions:

  • What are the most important priorities for your division or department?
  • Where is University technology well positioned to support your priorities and where do gaps exist?
  • How and in what areas should the University use technology in more innovative ways?
  • Do you have access to the data and analytic tools your organization requires to measure outcomes and support decision-making?
  • Does the University have an effective process for identifying technology investment opportunities and allocating resources to their best use?
  • Are basic technology services efficient and reliable?  How could foundational services be improved?
  • How can Information Systems partner more effectively with your organization?

Thanks, in advance, for your participation in this critical process.

Best regards, Rogan Kersh, Provost, Hof Milam, Executive Vice President, and Mur Muchane, Chief Information Officer

Feb 6, 2017

High Performance Computing

The WFU DEAC Cluster provides the critical infrastructure necessary for researchers to reliably upload research codes, perform large scale computations, store their actively utilized results, and have confidence in the persistence of their data in the event of storage failures.

Clusters provide enormous computational power to tackle more advanced scientific problems, opening up the possibility for our students to gain a unique perspective on topics in the forefront of research today.

Any Wake Forest University or Wake Forest University School of Medicine faculty member is strongly encouraged to request the use of the cluster for a course they are teaching. Several courses have already used the WFU DEAC cluster to enhance the student’s exposure to the advanced computing environment provided by the University.

Current Projects

iPhone HPC App

The iPhone HPC app will help the DEAC cluster users manage and view their submitted computational jobs. The flow of the app is for the users to use their credentials to the cluster and see the list of jobs they currently have running and/or waiting from our job and resource manager SLURM. The users will then be able to perform basic job management actions such as canceling or view detail of jobs as the basic goal of the app. The project is headed by Prof. Sam Cho and Prof. Daniel Canas from the Computer Science Department, and the work will be developed by a CS graduate student.

Software Engineering Course Project

A group of five students from the Computer Science department will be developing HTML and javascript applications for the DEAC cluster’s website that will report the health of the cluster and chassis, number of jobs and utilization numbers of the environment every hour as a class project. The goal of the project is to visually represent these various reports by querying our job and resource manager SLURM and integrate the reports into our website. The Software Engineering course is a graduate-senior level course in the CS department taught by Prof. Victor Pauca.

Performance Modeling of the DEAC Cluster

Our former summer-intern and Computer Science graduate student Riana Freedman is currently employing five distinct benchmarks on the DEAC cluster that provide meaningful metrics of processors, memory, I/O, network and GPU performance. The goal of this project is to model the performance behavior of the different hardware components utilizing algorithm numerical methods. This work is part of her Independent Studies course with Dr. Damian Valles from the IS department and Intro to Numerical Methods course with Prof. Grey Ballard from the Computer Science department.

For more information about HPC, visit the High Performance Computing page. 

Jan 23, 2017

Information Systems – new website!

The Information Systems website is now your one stop shop for everything IT.

Jan 19, 2017

January 2017 – Phishing email scams are on the rise

In recent weeks, you may have received phishing emails that look as though they are coming from Wake Forest University faculty, staff or students to other WFU users. It appears as if the WFU user is sharing important information in a document that requires your WFU username and password to access. Be skeptical when a message asks you to click on a link, especially when you do not know the person. Be even more aware when that link asks you for your password. If a website does ask for your credentials, feel free to contact the Information Systems Service Desk to determine if the request is valid.

Do not become a phishing victim:

  • Set up Google 2-Step Verification for added security. This prevents hackers from being able to access your email account even if they have your password. Learn more at infosec.wfu.edu or contact the Service Desk.
  • Be wary of all links in emails. If in doubt, contact the sender to validate the request.
  • Never provide your personal information in response to emails.
  • Malware is often delivered as an email attachment. Most common safe attachments are .doc, .docx, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx.  Don’t open attachments that end with .ws, .zip, .docm, .exe, .js, .scr

Did you get a phishing email and provide your personal information?

Change your password immediately and delete the message. If you have questions about changing your password, visit this link: http://is.wfu.edu/services/account-password/

Tis the season…

It’s tax season and every year new phishing attempts appear to come from the IRS. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Please forward any unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related function to phishing@irs.gov.

Want to learn more about phishing emails?

Review this helpful course from Lynda.com. Click the sign-in button in the top right corner.

If you have any questions or concerns about security-related topics, please contact the security team at infosec@wfu.edu.