Navigation

2013

December 19, 2013

To: Bowie State University Campus Community
From: Wayne Rose, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO
Re: Email Application Load Update – Resolution

The email application load issue has been resolved, and all users should have been able to access all data since late last week. While this issue was quickly fixed for most users, we do know that many users had significantly more challenges.

If you are still experiencing any challenges to include the “use temporary mailbox or use old data” selection prompt, please contact the DIT Helpdesk so they can quickly rectify such remaining issues.

While these issues seem to linger, please note that we have started the migration to the new email servers, and several users and departments have already been upgraded and are currently operating on our new email infrastructure. Additionally, we have several other departments already scheduled to be upgraded, and have hired an email professional to oversee the upgrade and provide us additional assistance.

Please note that updated information can be found via the new IT Status Alerts section of the DIT website: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/it-status-alerts/ and specific information under News and Update: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/news-and-updates/.

Thank you. 


December 3, 2013 

To: Bowie State University Campus Community
From: Wayne Rose, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO
Re: Email Application Load Update – Ability to access new emails

To alleviate the challenges of non-functioning email accounts, the Division of Information Technology has implemented a temporary solution that will allow the affected users to start working with new emails.

To enable this function: 

  • Affected users should close their email application and then reopen it (this step may need to be repeated). 
  • Upon restarting the email application, users will encounter a message to select either “Use Temporary Mailbox” or “Use Old Data.” 
  • Select “Use Temporary Mailbox” to see and work with new emails. This option will give you immediate access to new emails while system repairs continue. Due to the backlog of messages, it may take a few minutes before the new email begins to populate. 
  • By selecting “Use Old Data,” you will only have access to older email and information. 

Please note: These two options will be presented each time the email application is reopened until your account is fully restored. Upon resolution of this issue, new and existing emails will be merged together and function as before.

Please note that updated information can be found on the new IT Status Alerts section of the DIT website: www.bowiestate.edu/it/it-status-alerts/ and specific information under News and Updates: www.bowiestate.edu/it/news-and-updates/.

Thank you.

 

To: Bowie State University Campus Community
From: Wayne Rose, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO
Re: Email Application Load Update

As of this morning, December 3, 2013, the Division of Information Technology (DIT) is in the final process of restoring the email accounts affected since yesterday. The expectation is to begin restoring accounts by midday and to complete the process by the end of the day or sooner.

As we continue to monitor the progress in correcting the offline accounts, we will provide regular updates.

Please note that updated information can be found via the new IT Status Alerts section of the DIT website: www.bowiestate.edu/it/it-status-alerts/ and specific information under News and Updates: www.bowiestate.edu/it/news-and-updates/.

Thank you.


December 2, 2013

To: Bowie State University Campus Community
From: Wayne Rose, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO
Re: Email Application Loading Issue   

DIT is continuing the email migration and is working through some software application challenges. As of this morning, the email application that had been functioning on updated equipment has exhibited some technical challenges that are affecting a segment of users.

We are working with our technical support vendors to quickly isolate the issues and hope to have them resolved as soon as possible. 

We will continue to provide updates and notify you as soon as these issues are resolved.

Thank you


November 21, 2013

To: Bowie State University Campus Community 
From: Wayne Rose, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO
Re: Update – BSU Recent Network Outage

The Division of Information Technology (DIT) is working to make long-term corrections to the IT infrastructure, and we have been able to accelerate the time required to begin making these corrections.

Although Phase 1 of this update was originally scheduled to take place over the December winter break, we have been able to move this date up and are planning on installing a more advanced network device tomorrow, Friday, November 22, 2013, after 5:00 p.m.

We are working with a team of vendors and support technicians, and the changeover is expected to take 1 to 2 hours. While this equipment is being replaced, there will be limited internal access to network services to include no internet access, and no access to network services from outside of BSU.

We will provide additional communication when this work has been completed and services restored.

Please note that updated information can be found via the new IT Status Alerts section of the DIT website: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/it-status-alerts/ and specific information under News and Updates: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/news-and-updates/.

Thank you.


November 15, 2013

To: Bowie State University Campus Community
From: Wayne Rose, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO
Re: New Adaptive Technology and MAC Computer Labs 

As part of the Helpdesk Transformation initiative, the DIT Helpdesk was relocated to the basement level of the Thurgood Marshall Library last month to ensure more accessibility to students and those utilizing the computer labs in that area.

As DIT continues to enhance support services, we have installed new printers in the two main computer labs. Additionally, all computers have been upgraded to the Windows 7 operating system, and the Enterprise IT Support Services team is working to upgrade lab computers to the MS Office 2010 application suite.

Furthermore, as part of our commitment to provide secure and reliable access to information systems, DIT will open a MAC Lab starting Monday, Nov. 18 and have also partnered with the Academic Advising Center to open the Adaptive Technology Lab for students with disabilities. These new labs are located directly across from the Graduate Computer Lab.

The above mentioned relocation of the Helpdesk facilitates greater support for the computer labs, Graduate Lab, MAC Lab and Adaptive Technology Lab. We have much more enhancements planned, and we will continue to keep you informed of our progress.

Please note that updated information can be found via the new IT Status Alerts section of the DIT website: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/it-status-alerts/ and specific information under News and Update: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/news-and-updates/.

Thank you.


November 11, 2013

To: Bowie State University Campus Community 
From: Wayne Rose, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO
Re: Updated Bulldog Connection URL

The PeopleSoft upgrade for Bulldog Connection has been successfully completed with no major issues, and the new link for connecting to the system now updated. Therefore, please see the information below for system access. 

  • Users will need to update the shortcut links and favorites on their browser.
  • Before logging into Bulldog Connection, clear the system cache on your computer. Click on this link to view instructions on clearing cache or contact DIT Helpdesk for additional assistance.
  • Upon initial log on to Bulldog Connection, the response time will be slow, but will improve as information is cached.

The upgraded system has been tested and validated, but should you experience difficulties, we ask that you please call the DIT Helpdesk at 301-860-4357.

Please note that updated information can be found via the new IT Status Alerts section of the DIT website: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/it-status-alerts/ and specific information under News and Updates: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/news-and-updates/.

Thank you.


November 10, 2013

To: Bowie State University Campus Community 
From: Wayne Rose, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO
Re: Updated PeopleSoft URL

The PeopleSoft upgrade has been successfully completed with no major issues, and the new link for connecting to the system now updated. Therefore, please see the information below for system access.

The upgraded system has been tested and validated, but should you experience difficulties, we ask that you please call the IT Helpdesk at x. 4357.

Please note that updated information can be found via the new IT Status Alerts section of the DIT website: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/it-status-alerts/ and specific information under News and Update: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/news-and-updates/.

Thank you.


November 7, 2013

To: Bowie State University Campus Community 
From: Division of Information Technology
Re: CryptoLocker Malware Threat

We were notified today of a destructive computer malware threat called CryptoLocker that is affecting other institutions.  CryptoLocker encrypts any and all files it finds and informs the user they need to pay to have their data unencrypted!

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has issued the following announcement:

“The malware has the ability to find and encrypt files located within shared network drives, USB drives, external hard drives, network file shares and even some cloud storage drives. If one computer on a network becomes infected, mapped network drives could also become infected.

CryptoLocker appears to have been spreading through fake emails designed to mimic the look of legitimate businesses and through phony FedEx and UPS tracking notices.”

The best protection we have at this time consist of the following best practices:

  • DO NOT open email attachments you are not absolutely sure of. 
  • DO NOT open or download any web attachments that you are not ABSOLUTELY sure you can trust.
  • Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages or submit any information to webpages in links
  • DO NOT attempt to download plug-ins websites claim to be required unless advised by a technician.
  • Please be sure to take the proper steps to regularly back up files to the personal and shared network drives (H:\).
  • Notify HelpDesk immediately of any suspicious messages you may receive at helpdesk@bowiestate.edu

Updated information can be found via the new IT Status Alerts section of the DIT website: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/it-status-alerts/ and specific information under News and Update: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/news-and-updates/.

Thank you.


November 4, 2013

To: Bowie State University Campus Community  
From: Wayne Rose, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO
Re: PeopleSoft Server and Application Upgrade Reminder

The Division of Information Technology is committed to providing secure and reliable access to information systems. As part of the Information Technology infrastructure upgrade, the PeopleSoft application servers and PeopleTools application will be upgraded.

This upgrade is planned to begin at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 7th, and continue through Monday, November 11th, 2013. During this time, PeopleSoft Financials will remain available. Please see the planned activity and specifics below:

  • PeopleTools Production Upgrade to begin at 5:00 p.m. on November 7th, 2013.
  • PeopleSoft Campus Solution and HR will be back online and open to faculty and staff on Monday, November 11, 2013.
  • PeopleSoft Bulldog Connection will be available to Students on Tuesday, November 12, 2013.
  • The URL for PeopleSoft Faculty and Staff as well as Bulldog Connection will change, and the new URL will be posted after the upgrade is complete. Users will need to update shortcut links after the upgrade.
  • Items in your PeopleSoft favorite menu will not be retained.  Make note of items in your PeopleSoft favorite menu in order to establish these pages after the upgrade.

The upgrade entails moving the current Campus Solutions application and data from the outgrown server configuration to an updated high availability, high capacity server infrastructure. In addition to the new server hardware, the PeopleTools application will also be upgraded to facilitate vendor supplied patches and fixes.

Updated information can be found via the DIT website under News and Updates: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/news-and-updates/.


October 31, 2013

To: Bowie State University Campus Community  
From:
 Wayne Rose, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO
RE: BSU Recent Network Outage

As we are recovering from another major failure of our IT system, we want to take the opportunity to apologize for the loss of service and thank you for your patience. We know these recurring issues have been frustrating and have inconvenienced you, and we too are also frustrated. We feel that it is important to share with you our immediate actions underway to address this outage, as well as our long term goal to fix things permanently. 

Although DIT was already in the process of upgrading core network components, a critical piece of equipment became unstable before the planned equipment replacement was installed.  This resulted in the campus community being unable to access network applications including email for several days last week. As of last Friday October 25th, the failed network component has been replaced and core systems are back online. However, please contact the IT Helpdesk at extension x.4357 if you are experiencing any network challenges. 

We have spent the last six months planning and mapping out areas of vulnerability in the system and securing new hardware to strengthen the infrastructure.  We recognize there is still much work to be done, and our goal is to implement upgrades before systems fail.

We are currently working with our technology vendors to thoroughly plan-out and install a robust replacement of core technical components, and also ensure technical redundancy of critical elements throughout the infrastructure to greatly improve systems up time.

DIT has already been working to configure the existing network according to industry best practices and has been taking the steps necessary to rebuild the IT infrastructure to provide better reliability and redundancy.  

To date, DIT has:

  • stabilized the current PeopleSoft environment ensuring it did not go down during registration
  • scheduled implementation for PeopleSoft upgrade with new hardware for Nov 8-11
  • purchased new servers for email, web site, and multiple applications
  • implemented new data storage and backup infrastructure
  • upgraded student email to Office 365 and shared folder infrastructure
  • implemented new network security parametes

President Burnim has also established an IT Advisory Board comprised of Information Technology industry professionals and campus representatives to advise on our planned approach. This board will assist us to systematically mitigate challenges and explore ways to potentially accelerate network improvements.

We have a plan, have identified the resources, and are planning to schedule phase 1 of some much needed upgrades to the portion of the infrastructure that failed.  To minimize any further inconvenience, we are scheduling this work to take place over the December winter break.  We are committed to establishing a stable, secure and reliable network environment for the campus, and will keep you apprised of our progress.

Updated information can be found via the DIT website under News and Updates: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/news-and-updates/.


October 14, 2013

To: Bowie State University Campus Community  
From: Wayne Rose, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO
RE: New Location for DIT Helpdesk

To provide better and more consistent Enterprise IT Support Services, the Division of Information Technology (DIT) has begun Phase 1 of its Helpdesk Transformation initiative. As of Monday, October 14, 2013, the Helpdesk was relocated to room 090 behind the Computer Labs (090C and 090D) on the basement level of the Thurgood Marshall Library. This will ensure more accessibility to students and those utilizing the computer labs in that area.

The Helpdesk walk-in hours will continue to be from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and until 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.  Service support staff will be available to provide technical assistance during these hours. Additionally, we have increased the number of telephone support technicians to meet your customer service needs. The Helpdesk telephone and voicemail systems have been updated so that when incoming calls exceed our capacity they will automatically be routed to a monitored voicemail account.

Future support enhancements are planned to include the implementation of a Tier III structured incident handling methodology to provide the appropriate level of technical support to resolve customer issues.  Additionally, campus zone response teams will be assigned to specific areas of campus to handle service request calls placed through the Helpdesk, which will provide a more effective and efficient way of resolving technical challenges.

Thank you,
Wayne Rose
CIO/VP for Information Technology


August 23, 2013

Dear BSU Faculty and Staff,

On July 19th, DIT communicated that we would be upgrading the Email infrastructure and desktop computers to Microsoft Office 2010 and this is to update you of our progress.

DIT has completed the initial workstation assessment within each department, and we thank you for your cooperation in giving us access to the workstations as needed. The assessment results highlighted the need for many workstations to be upgraded in order to function appropriately in the new email environment. We will inform each department of the specific workstation updates required, and will begin working to update these workstations as the next step in our email upgrade.

Although we may still occasionally experience intermittent email challenges, please note that we are moving forward with the critical work required to implement the new system. Once the testing results have been confirmed, we will be able to provide more details and dates on the scheduled roll out.  Additional information concerning this upgrade and other DIT projects can be found at: http://www.bowiestate.edu/it/news-and-updates/.

Regards,
Wayne Rose
CIO/VP for Information Technology


July 19, 2013

To: BSU Campus Community

Due to the ongoing critical challenges within the Bowie State University (BSU) email infrastructure, the Division of Information Technology (DIT) will upgrade the ten year old email system.  

The upgrade will begin next week by coordinating workstation assessments with each department. Faculty and Staff email will be upgraded to Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010. We are partnering with trusted consultants and will begin the migration to a reliable, robust and redundant system. Following a test pilot in August, we expect to begin the email upgrade implementation and conclude by the end of September 2013.

DIT will coordinate and work with selected point of contacts from each building to create a suitable implementation schedule.  During this email implementation, a specific email hotline phone number will be established and staffed to facilitate prompt resolution of upgrade challenges. This information will be communicated beforehand for maximum planning and scheduling.

 We thank you for your assistance as we work towards improving our technology applications and systems.

Regards,
Wayne Rose
CIO/VP for Information Technology