Updates from
the Associate Vice President for IT and CIO

April 2017


Online add/drop for Spring Quarter: On March 13, at 9 a.m., the Academic Information System (AIS) opened the Spring Quarter online Add/Drop period with nearly 700 students accessing the system in the first minute. The immediate demand shows the importance of the online Add/Drop process for students. The teams performed tests in advance of the online Add/Drop period to ensure system performance and the ability to access AIS. After completion of the Spring Quarter online college Add/drop process, the new AIS has been successful the last four consecutive quarters in fulfilling the needs of the students.

Refreshed encryption that protects CNet passwords:
Digital certificates, electronic “passports” that allow the secure exchange of information (CNet logins) over the internet, were replaced with more secure digital certificates. CNet passwords are used to protect many systems and services across the University, with approximately two million logins processed by the University’s LDAP system every day. IT staff across campus collaborated in advance of the digital certificate replacement, to test the new digital certificates functionality within the systems. More than 12,000 systems used the new digital certificates and no issues were reported following replacement.

IT Rationalization wraps phase one, moves into phase two:
The IT Rationalization (ITR) project has formally concluded the data collection and analysis phase, and is moving into the project definition and implementation phase in conjunction with related efforts, a part of UChicago IT. Four strategic business cases have been defined, including: Infrastructure Transformation, Email and Collaboration, User Devices and Support, and AV and Classroom Optimization. Projects defined within these program areas will help strengthen services provided to campus, improve overall IT efficiencies, and create new opportunities for distributed IT to focus on the needs of the research and teaching mission of the institution. IT Services is currently working with internal teams to define the initial projects. Once scoped, the information will be brought to the IT Leadership Council (ITLC), and shared broadly with campus partners, to further validate assumptions and gather support for implementation.

Canvas migration update:
Over a quarter of the total courses have migrated from Chalk, Blackboard Inc.’s Learning Management System (LMS), to Instructure’s Canvas LMS. All courses will complete the migration by Summer Quarter 2017. The use of Canvas has steadily grown on campus and has been enthusiastically received throughout its two year pilot, early-adopter, and opt-in phases. Many opportunities for instructors and staff to learn about Canvas are offered, including: in-person workshops, online documentation, an online self-paced Lynda.com course, plus one-on-one consultations and custom workshops for departments or course sequences.

Improving the customer experience for call centers:
A new wallboard service has been introduced within The University of Chicago Medicine and the University of Chicago environments in an effort to provide call center supervisors with the means to deliver a more effective customer experience. The wallboards provide real-time statistics on active calls, calls in queue, calls dropped, average wait times, status of agents, and many other metrics. This information can be used by supervisors to increase or decrease the number of agents supporting a call center by reacting to the volume and wait times of calls. The ability to quickly react to the changing usage of a call center directly impacts the customer experience by reducing wait times and providing agents the time they need to service their callers.


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Updates from the Associate Vice President for IT and CIO – April 2017