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