All posts by jfiske


Annual Copyright Policy Notification

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Clarkson University is committed to the protection of intellectual property and copyright. Actions that deliberately infringe copyright and other intellectual property rights are inconsistent with the Clarkson Values and a violation of the Clarkson University Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy. Such actions will not be tolerated.

CONSEQUENCES:

Users who violate the Clarkson University Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy may be subject to a $100 fine, loss of network privileges, and referral to the Dean of Students or Human Resources for disciplinary action. Violators may also be subject to additional legal and financial actions, with potential fines exceeding $150,000 per infringing work.

HOW TO AVOID COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT:

Unless a work explicitly states otherwise, assume all material is subject to full copyright protection. If you use online services for media, verify the service is legal and has proper authority to distribute copyrighted work. If you are unsure, you may open an IT support request by contacting the IT HelpDesk at helpdesk@clarkson.edu.If you have used software on your computer to download illegal content prior to attaching to the Clarkson network, be sure to fully uninstall the software and remove illegal content, or you may be identified by copyright enforcement companies. This is the most common cause of copyright infringement penalties incurred by students. OIT has a no-questions-asked policy to help students remove illegal content and software from student computers. If you need assistance to remove software, please open an IT support request by contacting the IT HelpDesk at helpdesk@clarkson.edu.

FULL STATEMENT

Clarkson University takes the protection of intellectual property and copyright seriously. Actions that deliberately infringe copyright and other intellectual property rights are inconsistent with the Clarkson value of integrity and are a violation of the Clarkson Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy (Student Regulations, IX-G).Because the University is an internet service provider, it is protected from liability for copyright infringement by network users if it satisfies one of the safe harbor provisions established in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 USC §512. To qualify for those safe harbors, the University must and will expeditiously disable access to material stored on its systems or transmitted through its network when the University knows or is made aware of the presence of infringing content. Under the University’s Student Code of Conduct, students who violate the Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy by illegally sharing copyrighted material may be fined $100, have their network access removed, and may be referred to the Dean of Students for further disciplinary action.The University is committed to fully comply with the Copyright Act and other laws that protect intellectual property rights. All users of the Clarkson network should be aware that illegally sharing copyrighted material online (or otherwise) may have significant legal and financial consequences. Penalties for copyright infringement may include fines of up to $150,000 per infringing act. Specific penalties are outlined in 17 USC §504.

Clarkson University has taken the following steps to respond to the issues surrounding copyright and intellectual property infringement:

  • The Chief Information Officer sends an annual announcement to all University computer users explaining the potential consequences of violating the laws regarding copyright protected material.
  • By connecting to the network, each network user agrees to abide by the Clarkson University Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy. This policy prohibits copyright infringement and recognizes the importance of intellectual property.
  • The Office of Information Technology responds to network use that is excessive and addresses suspected violations of the Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy.
  • We provide students information on legal alternatives for music and video entertainment.
  • We comply with takedown notices from copyright holders issued under the DMCA.

A NOTE ON FAIR USE:

Users should also note that there are specific situations, referred to as “Fair Use,” in which copyrighted material can be used without the copyright holders permission. Section 107 of the copyright law contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  • The nature of the copyrighted work
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

The safest course is to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material. If you have further questions in reference to Fair Use, please contact the University Libraries at refdesk@clarkson.edu.

This email serves as the official communication of the University Copyright Policy for compliance with the HEOA of 2010.


How We Spent Our Summer — A Campus Technology Update

Summer is always a busy season for us in the Office of Information Technology and this past summer was no exception.   We’ve been working diligently over the past few months to upgrade and enhance a variety of campus technologies.  I’d like to take a few moments to review a few of the most notable summer projects.

  • Campus Wireless – this summer we expanded residential wireless coverage to include Riverside, Townhouses and Woodstock Village.  This work concludes a five-year project to provide latest-generation wireless in all of our residential housing facilities.
  • Moodle 3.0 – Moodle was upgraded in early July to the latest version; new features include gradebook enhancements, new quiz question types and course editing improvements.
  • Internet Connection Upgrade – for the last 18 months, the campus has been making use of a redundant 2Gbps Internet connection.  In preparation for students return to campus in the fall, we have completed an upgrade that doubles our capacity to 4Gbps.  Additionally, each academic building is now connected to the campus datacenters via a redundant 20Gbps link, providing improved speed and resiliency.
  • Classroom AV Upgrades – keeping our classroom technology up-to-date is a high priority.  This summer we upgraded the audio-visual equipment in ERC102, New Snell 129, 169, 175, 239 and 241.  We are also actively working to equip two new classrooms in the basement of New Snell.
  • Computer Lab Hardware Refresh – the public-access computer labs have undergone a hardware refresh this summer.  The new lab computers sport newer i5 CPUs, 16GB of RAM, fast SSDs and Windows 10 for improved performance.
  • Graduate Admissions Software – we continue working with a cross-functional team to optimize the business processes around graduate admissions and implementing a software solution to help manage those processes.  This software will provide full prospecting CRM, online application review, and a prospective student portal.
  • Network Enhancements at CRC Campus – a complete overhaul of the network infrastructure and Internet connection was completed on the CRC campus.  This has the net result of connecting the CRC facilities to the Potsdam campus and the Internet at 1Gbps speeds.
  • Windows 10 – beginning with this fall semester, we will make Windows 10 & Office 2016 available as a fully-supported platform option for faculty and staff who are upgrading PCs. There are no plans to discontinue support for Windows 7 at this time.
  • Student Timecard System – in conjunction with the Payroll Office, we have developed an electronic timecard system for student employees.  This tool will provide both ‘virtual timeclock’ and ‘virtual timecard’ functions to help improve efficiency around student timecards.  We have conducted a phased rollout during the summer months, and expect the system to be fully available for all departments in mid-Fall 2016.
  • CRC Student Information System – together with SAS, we are continuing the process of preparing PeopleSoft to house information about students and degree programs from our Capital Region Campus.  We expect CRC students to be fully integrated into PeopleSoft by July 2017.
  • PeopleSoft Financials 9.2 Upgrade – we are beginning the process of upgrading PS Financials to the latest software release.  The updateprocess is expected to take several months, so don’t expect to see anything new immediately, but once it is available new features will include improved mobile interface and a large number of compliance/regulatory updates.
  • Room Scheduling – in conjunction with SAS, we are working to streamline the process of building the course timetable and assigning courses to rooms.  We expect this process to eliminate lots of paper/emailed PDFs and to eliminate several manual components of the process.  This new software and business process will be used to generate the schedule beginning in the Spring 2016 semester.

As we prepare to welcome students back to campus, please remember that we are here to help with your technology needs.  You can always call the HelpDesk at 315-268-HELP or email helpdesk@clarkson.edu


Faculty & Staff Migration to Google Apps for Education (Gmail)

Who: All Faculty and Staff

What: A migration of campus email and calendaring systems to Google Apps for Education (Gmail).

When: Faculty and staff will be given the opportunity to migrate to Gmail beginning August 10, 2015. Final conversion to the Gmail platform will occur on September 21, 2015.

Details: The Office of Information Technology will be migrating campus email and calendaring systems from our current solution, Microsoft Exchange, to Google Apps for Education (Gmail). Google Apps provides a new feature rich email client, unlimited storage capacity and a suite of tools allowing additional collaborative opportunities.  Beginning Monday, August 10, faculty and staff may move to Gmail by contacting the IT HelpDesk. Faculty and staff will have a 6 week window to migrate at their convenience, prior to September 21, 2015.

Please note: your email address will not change and all of your email, calendar entries, contacts and aliases will be migrated to Gmail for you!

Before you can access your Google Apps account you must first reset your Active Directory (AD) password. You can find instructions for changing your password in the OIT Knowledge base here: http://confluence.clarkson.edu/x/toG5. To learn how to access your Gmail or Drive account please visit: http://confluence.clarkson.edu/x/IIG5.

OIT will be holding drop in hours to provide members of the campus community with answers to specific questions, or a tutorial on using Gmail or Drive. Please join us on Monday, August 17 in CAMP 172 from 9am – 11am or on Wednesday, August 19 from 1:30pm – 3:30pm in New Snell 241. Additional drop in hours will be scheduled in September closer to the final transition date.

Please contact the IT HelpDesk with any questions or problems at 315-268-4357 or helpdesk@clarkson.edu. The IT HelpDesk is located in CAMP 171A and is open Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm.


Student Migration to Google Apps for Education (Gmail)

Who: All Students

What: A migration of campus email and calendaring systems to Google Apps for Education (Gmail).

When: August 3, 2015

Details: The Office of Information Technology will be migrating campus email and calendaring systems from our current solution, Microsoft Exchange, to Google Apps for Education. Google Apps provides a new feature rich email client (Gmail), unlimited storage capacity and a suite of tools allowing students additional collaborative opportunities.  The migration will take place for all students on Monday, August 3.

Please note: your email address will not change and all of your email will be transitioned to Gmail for you!

Before you can access your Google Apps account you must first reset your Active Directory (AD) password. You can find instructions for changing your password in the OIT Knowledge base here: http://confluence.clarkson.edu/x/toG5. To learn how to access your Gmail or Drive account please visit: http://confluence.clarkson.edu/x/IIG5.

On August 3, 2015 you will find that all of your calendar and contacts have been migrated into Google Apps, along with your most recent two weeks of email.  At that point, you should begin using Google Apps as your primary Clarkson email account–new emails will not be delivered into MyMail.  Older mail will continue to be migrated over the next few weeks, but will still be available for reading in MyMail.

Please contact the IT HelpDesk with any questions or problems at 315-268-4357 or helpdesk@clarkson.edu. The IT HelpDesk is located in CAMP 171A and is open Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm.


How We Spent Our Summer – A Campus Technology Update

Summer is always a busy season for us in the Office of Information Technology — and this past summer was no exception.   We’ve been working diligently over the past few months to upgrade and enhance a variety of campus technologies.  I’d like to take a few moments to review a few of the most notable summer projects.

IT HelpDesk

We have a new phone number, xHELP (268-4357).  And if you’ve called in for IT support recently, you have probably noticed some other changes to the IT HelpDesk.  We have implemented a call queuing system which allows our front-line support representatives to spend more time on the phone with you, with a goal of resolving more IT issues in real-time.  Of course, you can still reach us by email (helpdesk@clarkson.edu), on the web (http://rt.clarkson.edu) or visit us in person at CAMP 171A.

Campus Wireless Access

We have installed pervasive wireless access in the Quad residence halls.  This is latest generation equipment (802.11ac) which provides high-speed wireless network access to all indoor spaces in that facility.  As part of this project, we have also made significant investments in upgrading our campus network backbone to 10 gigabit.  We plan to continue to expand this coverage to additional residence halls and academic buildings over the next few years.

Classroom Lecture Capture

Through a partnership with the CFO and the School of Engineering, we have expanded the Echo360 system to include six new classrooms:  Science Center 360, CAMP175, CAMP 176, CAMP 178, CAMP268 and Rowley 142.  While this equipment is primarily intended to serve our distance education courses, it is also available as a supplemental tool for our traditional on-campus courses.  Studies have shown that the use of lecture capture tools allows students to focus less on recording every detail of the lecture in their notebook and instead allows them to focus more on engaging with the lecturer, asking questions and actively participating during lecture.  If you’re interested in using this tool for your class, either on a one-time or recurring basis, please contact the IT HelpDesk.

Old Main Datacenter

The new campus datacenter in Old Main is nearing the completion of its construction phase.  We have begun commissioning the major mechanical systems that support this facility—including the new UPSes, CRAHs and generators.  We anticipate that work on this facility will continue into the fall, with all of the University’s production compute load transitioning to this facility by December.  This new datacenter will provide redundancy and disaster recovery ability for the University’s IT infrastructure as well as additional capacity for hosting research-related computing hardware.  As part of this project, the majority of our IT Operations and Administrative Computing staff have new office space located in the West Wing of Old Main.

Classroom AV Enhancements

A number of classrooms have had their AV systems overhauled this summer — new digital projectors, screens, and improvements to audio quality in:  CAMP 172 and Science Center rooms 342, 344, 346 and 348.  Additionally, webcams and wireless microphones to support distance learning were added in SC 344, 348 and 356.

Of course, this is only a summary of the major projects.  There has been a lot of other activity taking place this summer.  If you have thoughts or feedback related to this or other campus technology, please feel free to reach out to me.  I’m eager to hear from you.

Thanks,

Josh


IT Security Advisory – Campus Response to OpenSSL “Heartbleed Bug”

Background –

heartbleedLast week, a major security vulnerability related to secure websites was disclosed.  It is estimated that up to 60% of all websites on the Internet are or were impacted by this vulnerability.  I want you to rest assured that the staff of the Office of Information Technology have been monitoring this very closely and have taken proactive steps to ensure University information remains secure.  Clarkson University PeopleSoft, MyMail (Outlook Web Access), Moodle, CAS and other core services are not and were not affected by this vulnerability.  And, there is no indication that any Clarkson University information or account credentials were in jeopardy or were actually compromised as a result of this vulnerability.

Secure Passwords – 

While no University information was at risk as a result of this compromise, a number of other popular websites were impacted.  Several of these websites are advising users that their passwords may have been compromised and that they should now be reset.

This is a good opportunity to remind you of the following best-practices for passwords:

  • You should not use the same password for your Clarkson accounts that you use on other websites
  • Consider using a passphrase rather than a password
  • Include a mixture of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols in your password
  • It is recommended that you change your password at least once per year

What should you do?

  • Check whether a website you are using was vulnerable by contacting the vendor or checking the CNET HeartBleed Status List.  If the website was vulnerable or it’s unclear, change your password for that site.
  • Pay close attention to notifications sent to you by your bank, personal email provider, social networking, or other vendor about OpenSSL or Heartbleed.  (However, remain mindful of these best practices to avoid phishing attempts.  Criminals may use this as an opportunity to trick you into revealing personal information.  Never send your password or sensitive information in response to an email and do not click on links included in an email to get to a vendors site.  Type a known good URL directly into your web browser.)
  • If you use any external services not provided by Clarkson OIT for conducting University business, please report that service to the Service Center so that we may assess the risk.

 

 


Computer Security – Protecting Against Heartbleed

heartbleedEarlier this week, a major security vulnerability related to secure websites was disclosed.  It is estimated that up to 60% of all websites on the Internet are or were impacted by this vulnerability.  I want you to rest assured that the staff of the Office of Information Technology have been monitoring this very closely and have taken proactive steps to ensure University information remains secure.

Clarkson University PeopleSoft, Outlook Web Access, Moodle, CAS and other core services are not and were not affected by this vulnerability.   The few centrally provided IT services that were vulnerable were patched within 12 hours of the disclosure of the vulnerability and did not have access to University usernames and passwords or other sensitive information.

Additionally, the Office of Information Technology has proactively performed scans of the University network to identify any vulnerable hosts that may exist outside of the University’s datacenter.  OIT security staff have been working closely with the owners of affected systems to implement remediation steps.

There is no indication that any Clarkson University information or account credentials were in jeopardy or were actually compromised as a result of this vulnerability.  We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will notify the University community of any major developments.


Fall 2014 Academic Software Requests – Due 18 April 2014

It is time to request software for technology enabled classrooms and academic computer labs for the Fall 2014 semester.  If you have any software packages (including those that are free or externally funded) that need to be installed in a classroom or computer lab, they must be requested using this process no later than Friday, April 18th, 2014.

Computers in all classrooms will have a base suite of software that includes:

  • 7-Zip
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • AntiVirus
  • Google Chrome
  • Filezilla
  • Firefox
  • Flash Player
  • Internet Explorer
  • JAVA
  • Microsoft Office 2010 Suite (Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, Visio, and Word)
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System (64 bit)
  • PuTTY
  • SSH
  • Windows Media Player
  • WinSCP

If you need any other software please request it using the Software Request Form: http://afsweb.clarkson.edu/depts/oit/software/request.php

A confirmation email will be sent to you as soon as your request has been received.  Once all of the requests have been reviewed, a finalized listing of all approved requests will be made available to all faculty members.  If your request is not approved, you will be contacted personally.

Thank you,


Employee expense reimbursement via direct deposit

Who:  Anyone who receives reimbursements via the PeopleSoft Expense module

What:  Reimbursements will be deposited into your primary bank account, just like your payroll checks

When:  Beginning March 21, 2014

Details:

It is with great pleasure that the Controller’s Office and the Office of Information Technology announce that we will begin to process expense reimbursements via direct deposit.  Beginning March 20, all employees who receive direct deposit for their payroll will also begin receiving reimbursement checks via direct deposit into their primary bank account.

Before submitting your first expense report for direct deposit, please double-check your bank account information in PeopleSoft.  For instructions on how to check and update your account information, please visit http://kb.clarkson.edu/index.php?action=artikel&cat=144&id=183&artlang=en

Also please note: if you currently receive your bi-weekly payroll as a paper check, then you will continue to receive your expense reimbursements as a paper check.

If you have any questions, please contact the Controller’s Office staff (Shawn Seymour, Jennifer Page, Susan Scott or Donna Martell).