OIT to Add DUO to Additional UA Services

Monday, Sept. 10, 2018 DUO two-factor authentication will be applied to the Concur travel and expense management system and to UA Box cloud storage. This change will only impact active DUO users.  On Sept. 10, users that have active DUO accounts will begin to see the DUO prompt when logging into Concur or Box. Users who have not activated DUO will not notice any change, users will login with their username and password. This change will not impact users who have installed Box mobile or desktop apps such as Box Sync.

DUO is designed to protect the sensitive data held within user accounts like Concur and Box. The Office of Information Technology recommends that all UA faculty and staff activate DUO. To activate your account, visit duo.ua.edu. Please contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu with any questions or concerns.

myBama, Banner and Other Services Unavailable Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018

The Office of Information Technology will install the quarterly Oracle patch on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, from 5:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. The following services will be unavailable during the installation period: Appworx, BITPRD, Banner, CEME, CENSUS, Crystal Report Server, Degree Works, myBama, OIRA, PCR and SiteFile. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

Broadband and Rural Health Care

One of my strongest passions is related to my interest in the buildout of our nation’s broadband infrastructure. I am particularly interested in achieving a broadband network infrastructure in the state of Alabama. In this blog post, I will detail the need for a network infrastructure in Alabama, and how it has the capabilities to impact health care and economies in rural areas.

Models to Follow

I first became aware of how the broadband initiative was evolving when I attended the Nobel Summit in Stockholm, Sweden in 2002. At the summit I met with the mayor of Stockholm and their network team, and I was amazed at how well connected the city had become. Education buildings, health care facilities, emergency management stations, libraries, theaters, and pharmacies were all connected to the network and to almost every building in the city. This was especially impressive because the city is built on many islands. Telehealth and telemedicine were commonplace for this nation. European countries have long been engaged in the development of their infrastructure, but the United States has lagged behind in part due to the way in which our telecommunications and transportation industries are segmented.


InfrastructureIn the U.S., infrastructure stands as the critical issue when cities attempt to attract and sustain economic growth and development. Infrastructure can also be a major consideration when striving to develop better health care services. Both the West and East Coasts have been noted for their strong network infrastructure, specifically the regional optical networks, as noted by the development of the Corporation for Education Network (CENIC) and Pacific Wave in California, Oregon, and Washington, Florida Lambda Rail (FLR) in Florida, and the Atlantic Wave on the East Coast.

Alabama Progress

The University of Alabama System Regional Optical Network (UAS RON) represents the first major step toward a statewide network in Alabama. This project was designed to meet demands of rural health care initiatives and also to provide a stimulus for the development of a research corridor. Alabama’s network infrastructure requires a significant build-out and retrofit to meet the growing demands of a technology-centric culture.

There has been increasing pressure to make quality health care more accessible through usable technology. To achieve effective health care reform, nationally, as well as in rural areas, all entities involved must systematically redesign their own infrastructure to assure the highest quality of care, avoid duplication of effort and trim costs. Lack of access to health care professionals, as well as lack of knowledge regarding how this access can be provided through telemedicine, have hindered Alabama’s ability to provide ubiquitous health care to its residents.


x ray

The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is a model of care articulated by principles that embrace the aspirations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM). This model is closely aligned with the capabilities of patient-centered health care at a distance through the practice of medicine by physicians, physician assistants, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, and specialists. In this model, all entities collaborate for patient consultation either within the confines of the same location or at a distance.

Rural health care is highly dependent upon the ability of the PCMH team to provide health care services to the population that resides in many underdeveloped areas of Alabama. Broadband is required to provide this service to residents in rural communities.

Rural and Economic Impact

Rural well-being is especially critical to Alabama. Approximately 60% of Alabama’s population resides in rural areas, while less than 20% of the state’s physicians’ practice in these areas. In fact, 38% of Alabamians reside in federally designated “professional primary health care shortage” areas. This discrepancy is just one of many rural health care issues facing Alabama; however, collaborative research is providing much needed insights into Alabama’s rural health care issues that may someday provide all Alabamians better access to quality health care. To meet the challenge of the health initiative, several groups have aligned in partnership. The 14 public universities in Alabama, the State of Alabama and Alabama Power have formed a strategic partnership that will focus on the elevation of public health as well as safety, education, and defense for the citizens of Alabama.

Expanding the use of emerging technologies can provide an answer to several necessary requirements for improving quality while removing barriers. Through such technology, rural health care facilities can offer patients an expanded continuum of care at a lower cost. Local patients who receive such convenient and specialized care at their local health care facility will be more likely to enhance the facility’s financial viability by returning to that facility for other health care needs. The use of emerging health care technologies can also aid in decreasing the tremendous pressure that rural facilities face in trying to provide subspecialty care for its local patients. Broadband provides the solution.


To enact a solution, we must map a set of fiber-optic cable rings to provide a more accessible backbone for connection points. The map below is concept-only and doesn’t represent a complete plan. It is intended to illustrate the concept of regional rings, and how they might bring connection points closer to the communities and facilities where they are needed. The figure does show the existing UA System-owned Regional Optical Network that would certainly be an integral component of a general state network backbone.


This is an exciting initiative, one that will place Alabama in a position to enhance its economic potential through its ability to provide health care, education, and other critical services to all of its citizens. Multiple planning sessions have been held to move this initiative forward, especially in light of the U.S. infrastructure development plan. I look forward to providing updates as this project moves forward.

Wireless Upgrades

Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018 OIT will be performing wireless code upgrades from 5am – 7am. Users in the buildings below may notice a 15-minute wireless Internet outage during this time window.

New Freshman

Ridgecrest East

Presidential 2

Mary Harmon Bryant


Hillel House

Bryant Museum

Delta Zeta

Alpha Omicron Pi

Partlow HR

OIT Operations

Bus Gas Pumps





BB Comer

DUO Outage – Aug. 20, 2018

Update 2:40pm – DUO has resolved the issue. OIT has re-enabled the DUO requirement for UA services. DUO is expected to post a root cause analysis of the issue on their status page as soon as it becomes available. https://status.duo.com/

This issue impacted all users on the DUO1 deployment, many entities were impacted including our counterparts at other institutions. Thankfully, OIT was able to disable our DUO requirement, allowing users to gain access to UA services, such as myBama and Webmail without DUO.

We thank you for your patience in this issue. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that the OIT status page is always available to provide quick answers to service status questions. https://status.oit.ua.edu/

10:28am – Users may notice that systems that normally require DUO to permit access do not have the DUO prompt. We have temporarily disabled the DUO requirement while an issue is investigated. DUO is investigating the outage – https://status.duo.com/

Additional UA status updates are provided on the OIT Status site https://status.oit.ua.edu.

IT Service Desk – Extended Hours August 2018

The IT Service Desk, located at 125 Gordon Palmer Hall, will be open extended hours to assist students during move-in and the week of welcome. The IT Service Desk will be open Monday, Aug. 20 – Thursday, Aug. 23 from 8:00am – 6:00pm.

Friday, Aug. 24, the IT Service Desk will resume its normal hours of operation, 8:00am – 4:30pm. Students can contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu. No appointment is necessary.

MATLAB Now Available

OIT is excited to now offer MATLAB to all students, faculty and staff at The University of Alabama. OIT has established a UA System-wide license agreement with MathWorks to provide MATLAB software, tutorials and support.

To download MATLAB, please visit our software webpage, and click the button – MATLAB Portal. Users will be redirected to the MATLAB portal designed for The University of Alabama. Through this portal, users can run the installer, view video tutorials and obtain software support.

Existing MATLAB users will follow the same procedure. Visit the portal, download the software and rerun the installer to obtain the new UA System licensed software. With the UA System license, users will receive the latest version of MATLAB with all the available toolboxes. This is very similar to the procedure MATLAB users follow to obtain new releases of the software.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.