Blackboard Clean Up

Beginning July 15, the Center for Instructional Technology will remove old course content from the Blackboard Learn system. This is accordance with UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy, which states that materials more than two years old will be removed from the system. Students and instructors should save any materials they wish to keep.

How to Back Up Blackboard Content – Students
At the end of each semester, students should save anything they may want to keep. Courses will be made unavailable according to the LMS retention policy but can also be made unavailable by the instructor any time after a course is completed. Visit the CIT website for guidance on how students can back up Blackboard content.

How to Back Up Blackboard Content – Instructors
Instructors have several options for backing up content or copying content into another course. More information about each of these options is available on the CIT website.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact CIT at 205-348-3532 or

OIT to Remove Access to Crimson Gmail

Effective Tuesday, June 8, OIT will no longer allow users with Crimson email accounts to access Crimson email at Crimson accounts must be accessed in O365 at  After June 8, if users attempt to access their Crimson email account in Gmail, they will receive the following error message.

access email in O365

Gmail not enabled

The Outlook mobile and desktop app is also available, visit our Crimson email webpage for more information.

Crimson Email Migration Update

More than 130,000 Crimson email accounts have been migrated from Gmail to Microsoft O365. This includes incoming and future UA students, currently enrolled students, and alumni.

Students can visit to access their Crimson email accounts. Note – two-factor authentication is required for email access. Future and current students should use Duo two-factor authentication, and alumni should use Microsoft multi-factor.

More information about the migration, including step-by-step guides for adding a Crimson email account to Outlook mobile and desktop apps, is available on our website. If students or alumni experience any issues accessing their email accounts, they should change their password.

Courses to be Removed from Blackboard

In accordance with UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy, materials more than two years old will be removed from the Blackboard Learn system. The Center for Instructional Technology will begin removing content from the LMS on July 15. Instructors can export course content, copy content to another course, and request a course shell to copy content from an existing course. Visit the CIT website for more information.

Microsoft Forwarding Rule – Impacted FA Email

Wednesday, May 26, Microsoft deployed a spam rule that prevented email from auto-forwarding. This service interruption impacted all email accounts that have been migrated to the UA Microsoft tenant. Microsoft has determined the cause and implemented a fix.

Brief Service Interruption – May 4

Root Cause Update, May 5: 

During routine data center maintenance, a default configuration was inadvertently applied to several ports causing devices connected to those ports to have difficulty connecting to the network. This caused an outage for some campus services, including myBama.

The outage was immediately identified and remediated. Moving forward, this maintenance will be vetted by multiple teams within OIT to minimize impact.

May 4, a network switch in the OIT data center lost connectivity and caused a brief service interruption for a few campus services.

myBama was unavailable for approximately 30 minutes; however, the myBama maintenance page was up, allowing instructors to reach Banner self-service for final grade entry. Our teams are investigating the root cause of the switch network outage, and it will be posted to here when available.

Banner Upgrade – May 15, 16

OIT will be implementing a Banner upgrade Saturday, May 15 through Sunday, May 16. Banner will be available through most of the upgrade, it will only be unavailable Saturday, May 15 from 5:00am – 5:15am. For questions or concerns, contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or

Cybersecurity Tip: Data Scraping

You may have seen the terms “data scraping” or “web scraping” in news stories lately, and asked yourself, “What is data scraping?” Look no further, the pros in OIT have got the answer.

What information can be scraped?

Websites can include a lot of important data – much of which is information that users provide. Think for a moment, what information have you made publicly available on the web? Perhaps within your Facebook or LinkedIn profile details you’ve shared your name, degrees, relationships, location and work history. How many of your account security questions can be answered by this information? For example: what was your first job, or what is your maternal grandfather’s name?

How does it work?

Malicious actors use web scraping tools to extract data from websites. Data scraping creates feeds of information for easy parsing and analysis. Content can be scraped from multiple websites (a phone number here/an email address there) to combine the information and establish an entire user profile.

Note – data scraping is not always used for malicious activities. Marketing companies, content creators and designers often use data scraping tools to research their customer base, find leads or personalize advertisements. Although not malicious, consider asking yourself – do I want companies to know this much information about me?

Limit sharing.

Here is a key tip to limiting what personal information about you can be scraped off of the web: limit what you put out there! If less of your personal information exists online, less information can be scraped and used – by marketing companies or by malicious actors.

Recently, scraped data from 500 million LinkedIn users was posted online. To be clear – LinkedIn did not experience a data breach, rather actors scraped publicly available content from the site, compiled it together then posted it online. The data included account usernames, full names, email addresses, phone numbers, workplace information, genders and links to other social media accounts.

Review your online profiles, and consider what you want malicious actors and marketers to know about you. Remember – information posted online can be made available to audiences beyond your “friends,” so be cautious what you share.

MATLAB Webinars – Spring 2021

MathWorks is offering several free upcoming webinars for research with MATLAB and Simulink. Topics include “MATLAB and Simulink with Python,” “The Use of MATLAB in Open Science,” “Scaling Up MATLAB Applications to Clusters and Clouds,” and others! More information, and webinar registration, is available on the MathWorks website.

matlab webinar