Updates from
the Associate Vice President for IT and CIO

January 2018

Successful start on Canvas for Autumn Quarter 2017: Nearly 1,500 instructors and 15,000 students used Canvas, the University’s primary learning management system, for all Autumn Quarter 2017 courses. Over the last year, the Academic Technology Services (ATS) staff offered weekly workshops on Canvas to prepare instructors for the transition. Instructors were given an evaluation after the training and 95 percent responded that they were satisfied with the workshop. The Techbar in the Regenstein Library hosted walk-in hours as well. On the evaluation 100 percent of  respondents agreed that their questions were answered, and they left the Techbar with a better understanding of Canvas. Workshops and walk-in sessions were held throughout the quarter as instructors prepared for Winter Quarter 2018. In preparation for  organization site migration and archiving, outreach began to over 2,500 Chalk organization site leaders, with the goal to have all organization sites migrated to Canvas, or other collaborative platforms, by Summer Quarter 2018.


Another set of milestones reached for the Next Generation Network: The Next Generation Network program (NGN) is a multiyear series of projects designed to replace the legacy network environment with new infrastructure that is intelligent, automated, and highly adaptable. A number of NGN projects were completed in the last few months that provided significant enhancements and progress toward transitioning to the new infrastructure. New, high-performance hardware, located at the core of the campus network, was installed to increase the capacity to ten times that of the previous environment. To optimize the scalability of Wi-Fi infrastructure, a new service block architecture was designed, and enhancements were made in the size of the network border to allow an increase of traffic to pass between the campus network and the University’s internet service providers. These upgrades were designed to improve the user experience by increasing the ability to consume more network resources while reducing the potential for network failures. The new environment also will be set to adapt to future network enhancements.


The future of call centers is Finesse: There are more than 200 call centers in operation between the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Medicine. Each call center uses a variety of capabilities delivered through the campus telephone system, which promote the efficient routing of calls to subject matter experts. Reporting the results provides visibility to call center supervisors in order to further enhance the experience of callers. Recently, the system that supports call centers was upgraded to promote continued viability of the service and to introduce additional capabilities that allow call centers to be more dynamic and expand outside the traditional call center space. With this upgrade, an enhanced service called Finesse will allow call center operators to stand up, move, or expand call centers faster than ever before.



Download the PDF:
Updates from the Associate Vice President for IT and CIO – January 2018