July 6th, 2015: ORACLE PATCH TO BE INSTALLED JULY 12 — The Office of Information Technology will install the quarterly Oracle patch on Sunday, July 12, from 8 a.m. to noon. The following services will not be available during the installation period: Appworx, Astra, Banner, Degree Works, myBama, Pinnacle, Tidebytes. In case of an emergency, contact the IT Service Desk at 348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.


June 15th, 2015: There is a wide spread phishing/scam attempt for the Berjaya Foundation.

If you haven’t already please deleted it.

There isn’t an AOL email address for the legitimate Berjaya Foundation located in Malaysia.

security alert

June 10th, 2015- The Office of Information Technology will implement a Banner Bundle Upgrade to Production on Sunday, June 14th during the normal maintenance window. During the upgrade, myBama will be available but the channels within myBama that access Banner will not be available. For most users, these channels include the self-service and administrative systems.

In case of an emergency, The University of Alabama Police Department will have continuous access to Banner information during the scheduled down time.

If additional emergency access is needed, contact the IT Service Desk at 348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

The Changing Face of Higher Education – A Personal Journey

I have often been amazed at the lack of use of technology in the Ivory Tower. I came back into Higher Education after approximately 20 years in the business/corporate environment and was very disappointed in the technology status of the universities.


It saddened me because it (technology), in my opinion, is one of our greatest tools for enhancing the learning experience.

Many of the faculty today, in my experience and observation, believes that a PowerPoint presentation is advanced technology. It has gone way beyond that and touches on the fringes of the Internet of Everything. I can’t remember the last time I went to a Library for my information. The Internet has opened all types of possibilities for me personally. My journals in technology, science, current history, and business are immediately available to me on-line and as the W Hotels slogan states “Whenever, Whatever”. My iPad is my gateway to the world. I often wonder, was there life before the iPhone, iPad and the Internet?

In my exploration of new methods of technology I have adapted various methods. For example, when I was teaching a graduate course in Toxicology the internet became our gateway to the National Institute of Drug Abuse site for journal articles related to drugs of abuse, and the three dimensional structures of molecules. The full course material was totally on-line.

I have expanded my own experiences by becoming actively involved with iTunes University. It is a site that gives an individual access to the world of education. Every University you can imagine has full courses and seminars available and it is free! I took a course from the University of Dublin in Immunology. It was excellent!
Of course you are able to have access to all of the material at no cost but it is not for credit.

The next major movement in on-line education was in the development of massive open online courses (MOOC’s). The MOOC combined with the latest technologies provides for universal access to on-line education. The MOOC concept was endorsed by Harvard and MIT (to the tune of a $60 M investment). Millions of students have signed up for MOOC’s that provide worldwide access to the courses. The MOOC’s make content and learning more accessible and affordable at the scale of the Internet. What is amazing is that you can take the course as an audit (for free), for a certificate, or for credit toward your degree.

I decided that I would experiment with MOOC’s. As CIO I wanted to understand what the current interest and excitement was all about. Many academicians were discussing them but had no hands-on experience with them. I enrolled in a 10 week Epidemiology Course “Epidemics – the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases” through the MOOC broker Coursera, https://www.coursera.org.

I have included the description:

Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Influenza, Measles – we’re in a constant battle against infectious diseases. This is a course about the dynamics of such diseases – how they emerge, how they spread around the globe, and how they can best be controlled.


It was amazing and incredibly time consuming. It was every bit as good as any course I had ever taken. I had to get used to studying for exams and reading and discussing papers through on-line chat sessions. It was a course taught by the Penn State Medical School faculty and therefore not for the uniformed.

I had been bitten by the MOOC bug and decided to take other courses in Calculus from UC Irvine, and a course in Programmed Cell Death from the LMH in Munich. Both were excellent and well worth it.

The point I am trying to make is that the landscape is changing for education and those in higher education institutions must begin to think more globally. We are not in the mainstream with some of our programs but I believe we are moving in that direction.

If you have the time explore the on-line world. It is transformative and invigorating!

May 19th, 2015- On Saturday, May 30, the myBama portal will be down for systems work from 8AM to 12PM. If you have any issues after noon on Saturday, please contact the IT Service Desk at ITSD@ua.edu.

PrinterLogic Now Being Used for Easy Printer Management

As we continue the work transitioning all network services to the new campus network, OIT is implementing a new method to administer and install network printers. We have tested a product called PrinterLogic that allows printers to be installed via direct IP and removes the need for print servers. There is a small client that will be installed on all OIT supported workstations (via group policy) that will ultimately enable the end user to find and install their own network printer, bypassing the need for a technician visit. You may notice a new icon in your system tray (a small printer with a + sign) when OIT rolls out the product in preparation for implementation.

The client rollout will not impact your current printing. When OIT is ready to move printers to the new network we will use this client to reconnect network printers. OIT will communicate and be on site for each OIT-supported area when we perform this final step.

Also, OIT would like to extend this application to all campus departments. Interested Technical support staff can submit a request to ITSD@ua.edu.