CTO Updates

Tom Wolf, CTO

July 2014

I am pleased to share with the WMU community the following technology related news and updates. If you have any questions, or comments, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at tom.wolf@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3838. Or, you can tweet me at @tomwolfjr. Go WMU! Go Broncos!

24/7 Help Desk: WMU has reached an agreement with software service provider Campus EAI who will spend the next two months working with EUP and the information technology Help Desk  to expand the Help Desk phone services window to 24/7. The tentative go live date is Oct. 6. It is anticipated that the majority of late night and weekend calls will be online learning related.

Banner upgrades: WMU's Banner student information system was upgraded to version 8.6 in May. This upgrade positions WMU to take advantage of Banner vendor Ellucian's Extensible Ecosystem. Extensible Ecosystem, also known as XE, is a concept that Ellucian feels brings extensibility, configuration, usability, openness, scalability and evolution to their product line.

D2L name change: at the recent Desire2Learn user conference, D2L president John Baker announced that D2L, known on our campus as Elearning, was rebranding their Desire2Learn product line. The new name for their integrated learning platform is Brightspace by D2L. No changes in branding at WMU will be necessary since we do not use product names for our e-learning process.

Degree Works upgrade: The Banner Degree Works module was upgraded the week of July 14. The new version is Java based and includes new planning features that enable students and advisors to plan ahead and determine more effectively which classes to take. 

Digital Badges: As part of a Haworth College of Business research initiative, information technology assisted in the implementation and D2L integration of WMU's first openbadges.org service. This allows for the issuance of credible digital badges that acknowledge and verify an individual's skills, interests, and achievements. For more information, please contact the Faculty Technology Center at (269) 387-6958.

GoWMU/Password security: The roll out of the new multi-layered security front end for GoWMU and sign-on applications, that I announced last month, will occur on July 28. A campus announcement has been made in GoWMU and a notice in WMU Today email will also happen. It has also been announced as a news item on both the information technology and Help Desk websites.

Media services business plan: The first media services business plan went into effect in Jan. 2013. That 18 month old plan has been recently reviewed and adjusted to more closely align with WMU's core recruitment and retention strategies.

Web conferencing support: Last month I announced that we would be offering Web conferencing as a service soon. That happened effective July 7. We are now offering this service to all WMU employees by way of Adobe Connect Pro cloud-based conferencing rooms.  The Faculty Technology Center administers this service and more information may be found on their website.

Webmail Plus improvements: To support a more collaborative environment, the maximum size of all Webmail Plus mailboxes has been increased from 10 to 15 GB and the maximum size of each Briefcase upload has been increased from 50 to 763 MB.