2020 Year in Review

Our Renewed Mission is to Empower You

  • Video of 2020 IT Year in Review

    Thank you!

    Thank you for your partnership as we seek to empower the university community to engage, innovate and transform through information technology services. Please join us in celebrating our shared accomplishments and continuing collaboration.

    IT Strategic Plan

Your Stories

  • Collaborative and Adaptive Planning

    In 2020, we worked collaboratively to respond to the rapidly changing environment that was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Together we implemented projects and services that empowered the university to maintain business and instructional continuity and innovate in ways that will transform higher education forever.

    Share your story, and read others

IT Shared Strategy

Vision

Be responsive and collaborative strategic partners that are integral to the success of the University.

Mission

Empower the University community by providing the information technology and services so they may engage, innovate, and transform.

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COVID-19 Response Photo

COVID-19 Response

  • $7,772,900 of CARES Act student financial aid distributed through Banner Students Information System (SIS) system programming

    Office of Information Technology

    Read more about the CARES Act

  • 459 Laptops Loaned through the Laptop Loaner program for students, a collaboration between the Office of Information Technology, College of Arts and Sciences, and the Library. The program was created early in the pandemic through inventory provided by CoAS and the distribution and process of IT. University Libraries now manages the program through Waldo Library with IT support.

    OIT, CoAS, and Library Collaboration

    Learn more

  • Over 5,000 courses were transitioned to distance education formats within one week during the Spring 2020 semester with the support of WMUx instructional designers, accessibility specialists, IT staff, faculty champions, and overwhelming support from the faculty the university community. These teams provided training and support for Elearning, Webex, Microsoft Teams, and other course instruction tools to faculty, many of whom had never taught an online course.

  • Nearly 3,000 3D-printed face shields were created to provide support to Sindecuse Health Center and other providers. Shield material was donated from Kalamazoo-based company Fabri-Kal.

    Office of Information Technology, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and others.

    Learn More

  • QLESS virtual appointment and waitline management software implemented by Financial Aid, Bronco Express Services, and Sindecuse Health Center to support social distance efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    Bronco Express Services, Financial Aid and Sindecuse Health Center

    About QLESS

  • Density PeopleCounter implemented in university dining halls to track the number of people occupying each hall and provide patrons that information near entrances so that they may choose whether to enter or not. Density uses infrared cameras to anonymously track the number of people enter or exit a doorway, protecting identities and personal information.

    Campus Housing

    About Density

  • COVID Screening and Badges developed within the Sindecuse Health center patient portal as a permanent, daily-use application for students, faculty, and staff to screen for symptoms and be cleared for campus activities.

    Sindecuse Health Center

    Learn More

  • GoVPN has been put in place, as an alternative option to the traditional PulseSecure VPN, to provide additional capacities for remote connections to campus and online resources such as remote computer lab connections for students.

    Office of Information Technology

    Learn more about GoVPN

  • The IT Community responded in many ways to the pandemic by introducing new services, providing training, and fast-tracking projects.

Services

  • Open book icon.

    Help Hub

    A joint endeavor between the Office of Information Technology and WMUx, a single space to find teaching, learning, and technology resources.

    Explore Help Hub

  • Shield icon.

    GoVPN

    GoVPN was put in place to allow additional secure remote connections to campus and online resources.

    How to Connect to GoVPN

  • Open hand with gear icon.

    Service Hub

    The enterprise service management system used by IT units to manage requests, incident reports, operational works, projects, and changes. Use was expanded in 2020 to MARCOM and others that collaborate with IT

    Submit a request

  • Connected computers icon.

    Remote Labs

    IT staff/departments worked together to convert physical computer labs to remote labs.

    Connect to a remote lab

  • Microsoft Teams logo.

    Microsoft Teams

    Group collaboration, teaching, co-authoring, and web conferencing in a single tool. Teams was upgraded with new features throughout 2020 by Microsoft to respond to growing needs.

    Learn more about Teams

  • Webex logo.

    Webex

    Professional web conferencing for business and instruction. Webex was upgraded with new features throughout 2020 by Cisco to respond to growing needs.

    Learn more about Webex

Academic Success

  • GoReact master services agreement was established for the university. GoReact allows educators to capture video of students for feedback, grading, and critique of their skills. With just a smartphone or webcam, students and teachers can capture high-quality video with ease. Videos are securely stored in the cloud, so supervisors can make observations from anywhere and do more observations. GoReact allows you to capture student presentations on video for feedback, grading, and critique.

    Office of Information Technology and College IT Teams

    About GoReact

  • Respondus LockDown Browser & Monitor was launched by WMUx. Integrates with Elearning and prevents cheating during proctored online exams. The LockDown Browser is a custom browser that prevents students from accessing other browser windows, applications, copy/paste, printing, and other features while a test is in progress. Respondus Monitor is an option within the LockDown Browser that will use the student's webcam to record the test-taking session.

  • COSMO-RS (Conductor like Screening Model for Real Solvents) purchased by the College of Engineering and Applied to respond to COVID-19 challenges and support students and research. COSMO-RS is a quantum chemistry based equilibrium thermodynamics method with the purpose of predicting chemical properties of the liquid solvent systems.

    Chemical and Paper Engineering

    About COSMO-RS

  • DealCloud implemented by the Haworth College of Business. DealCloud provides students real-world experience with a single-source deal, relationship, and firm management financial services software that enables capital markets firms to power their deal-making process.

    Haworth College of Business

    About DealCloud

Service Hub

The enterprise service management system used by IT units to manage requests, incident reports, operational works, projects, and changes. Use was expanded in 2020 to MARCOM and others that collaborate with IT

  • 18,735 Total Work Orders Completed

  • 1,958 Communications and Network Technology Work Orders

  • 5,970 Computer, Software and AV Support Work Orders

  • 3,596 Information Security and Privacy Work Orders

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Financial Impact

  • New Computer Purchasing Rules and Dell Contract A Dell sole source agreement for desktop and laptop computer purchases and new Rules for Computer Purchasing was were established for cost savings and to standardize management of campus technology.

    Technology Procurement and Standardization Committee

    Learn how to purchase computers

  • Bluebeam Revu provides cloud-based document review and markup, allowing facilities project managers, contractors, architects, and others to review design and build documents.

    Facilities Management

    About Bluebeam Revu

  • EKOS by Gasboy was implemented to replace the existing fuel management system for logistical services, providing enhanced digital tools to lower fuel cost rates and maximize efficiency.

    Logistical Services

    Learn about EKOS

Enterprise Applications

  • Banner Student Information System (SIS) Projects introduced a major version upgrade in 2019, and in 2020 distributed CARES Act funds to students and facilitated the transition to distance education and new course modalities.

    Office of Information Technology, Office of Academic Affairs

  • PeopleSoft and Kronos Upgrade Projects maintained and enhanced critical financial and human resource system capabilties.

    Office of Information Technology, Office of Business and Finance

Infrastructure Services

  • Expanded VPN Options by the provisioning of the Global Connect VPN and expanding client capacity as well as increased bandwidth by adding to and upgrading the Pulse Secure VPN to meet demand.

  • A Personal Touch by providing onsite support for students living on campus throughout the pandemic and upgrading wireless connections across campus buildings by installing new access points.

Accessibility Photo

Accessibility & Technology Compliance

  • Ally for Elearning gauges the accessibility of content and provides guidance and tips for lasting improvements to content accessibility with step-by-step instructions. Ally also automatically creates alternative versions of files, allowing students to choose the type of file they want that best suits their needs.

    Cara Junghans, WMUx

    Learn more about Ally

  • SiteImprove is a simple, powerful tool that evaluates WMU websites looking for issues that involve content quality, accessibility, and search engine optimization. It is especially useful for accessibility, by assisting in finding and repairing errors that could interfere with user experience limiting their access to important information.

  • 78 Technology Compliance Reviews where completed, to ensure newly acquired information technology resources, services and systems were in compliance with university policy and properly implemented.

    Office of Information Technology

    Learn about the process

  • 23 Accessibility Compliance Reviews where completed to ensure conformance to ADA requirements and web accessibility guidelines.

Qualtrics

Qualtrics is the university's official survey platform for teaching, learning, research, and institutional use.

  • 134,528 Qualtrics Survey Responses

  • 6,851 Qualtrics Surveys Created

  • 23,820 Qualtrics Total Logins

  • 1,042 Qualtrics Unique Users

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Student Computer Labs

Although many student computer labs were physically closed in 2020, IT staff implemented remote access so that students may continue to access software and resources only available on campus.

  • 32,367 Logins to Remote Computer Sessions

  • 86,595 Hours of Remote Computer Session Time

  • 1,797,964 Pages printed in computer labs

Student Engagement

  • WellTrack App was launched. A free self-help resource that is available free of charge to all WMU students, faculty, and staff. WellTrack users are able to assess their personal well-being and access resources tailored to address symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. WellTrack is secure, anonymous, evidence-based, easy to use and effective. WellTrack offers wellness techniques through videos, relaxation exercises, mood tracking tools, and written exercises to improve emotional health.

    Sindecuse Health Center

    Learn more

  • YOU at Western is a personalized web portal connecting students to online tools and campus resources to help support their goals to Succeed, Thrive and Matter at WMU. The innovative digital tool promotes self-reflection, allowing students to be more proactive with their health and well-being in order to make the most of their college experience.

    Student Affairs and Marketing and Strategic Communications

    Learn more

  • TurboVote was launched as part WeVote at Western Michigan University to give students the information they need to vote with confidence. By signing up with TurboVote, students can get election reminders and assistance with registering and voting, all in one place.

    Student Affairs

    Get Started

  • NextKast Internet Radio Automation Software was implemented for WIDR operations. For the first time in its history, WIDR was run completely offsite by students using NextKast and other remote computer access tools.

Recruitment & Enrollment

A 20-stop recorded virtual tour helped prospective students, families and alumni explore many of WMU's learning, living and social spaces as well as academic and extracurricular opportunities. Learn more about WMU Virtual Tours.

  • 21,164 viewers/visitors

  • 2,111 new leads

  • 9 minutes Average time per visit

Students Photo

Jabber

  • photograph of a telephone

    Softphone

    Jabber is software on your computer or mobile device that allows you to use your WMU telephone, including placing, receiving, and forwarding calls. You may also use Jabber to listen to your voicemail messages. Jabber was rapidly deployed to several university call centers and key operational units to provide access to university telephones from off-campus, supporting telecommuting.

    Learn More

Marketing and Strategic Communications

  • SmugMug now houses the university's official photography database, maintained and updated by the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communication with bright, vibrant images of our students, campus, and facilities.

    Marketing and Strategic Communication

    Learn More

  • BrightEdge search engine optimization (SEO) and competitive analysis data suite was implemented. Bridge enables Marketing and Strategic Communications to improve the search rankings of WMU webpages for keywords used by prospective students and measurably increase conversions to critical conversion actions (applications, housing, etc.). Also allows for the analysis of competitors' search rankings to identify opportunities to increase market share.

Technology Help Desk and University Operator

  • 26,365 Help Desk Calls Received

  • ~10,000 Help Desk support emails sent

  • 31,649 University Operator Calls Received

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Research & Innovation

  • HPC Hub

    Powered by the Michigan State University Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (ICER), the Office of Research and Innovation it providing access to HPCHub, a high-performance computing cluster.

    Office of Research and Innovation

    Learn more

Governance and Engagement

Communication fosters collaborative interactions among leaders, stakeholders, and practitioners at all levels. WMU and the IT community uses governance committees in order to optimize efficiency, effectiveness, and support. See IT Governance

  • 15+ IT and Data Governance Teams

  • 2 New teams formed, including the SalesForce Governance Team and Academic Unity Team

  • 38 IT Community Forums and Weekly Wednesday Meetings

  • 55 Average attendance in IT Community Forums and Weekly Wednesday Meetings

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Webex

Webex is the university's official web conferencing platform, providing professional meeting rooms, screen sharing, interactive training environments, large-scale events and more.

  • 194,709 Meetings Hosted

  • 398 Events Hosted

  • 1,017,376 Total Participants

  • 103 Unique Participant Country Locations

University Advancement

  • DonorSearch.net was implemented as a Salesforce-integrated software to provide accurate and actionable information to identify prospective university donors based on proven philanthropy and wealth analytics.

  • iWave was implemented to gain access to comprehensive wealth, philanthropic and biographic information on prospective donors. It is a data source to which correlates wealth, income and propensity to give.

  • Alumni Access - Access VG was implemented to provide alumni benefits and discounts that can be accessed worldwide by WMU alumni. It replaced the in-house process of partnering with vendors, listing their benefits, and keep them updated throughout the year. This partnership eliminates the need for WMU Alumni to update the benefits periodically and to maintain relationships.

  • Alumni Attitude Study online service was utilized to inform university alumni campaign efforts as to alumni attitudes towards WMU. The Alumni Attitude Study offers tools to improve alumni satisfaction and prioritize budgets by identifying valued programs and providing key talking points for targeted communications.

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