Summer green foilage fades into fall colors of brown, red and gold

Welcome Back, Fall 2018

By Philip Baczewski, executive director, University IT

University Information Technology wishes to send a warm welcome to new students, new faculty, and new employees, and reach out to all of our university community as many return to the learning, teaching, and research that drives the mission of UNT. As we return from our summer vacations with shiny new parking stickers, we also welcome new opportunities for enhancing those academic activities. The back-to-school calendar is brimming with events, and in this issue, you will find new training and resources as well as new opportunities in several areas of University IT.

So, What's New?

The UIT Help Desk has added new services to include in-person, hands-on training for new students, and the new Virtual Statistics Lab—a boon to faculty and students—provides a new way to access computing resources. A new opportunity for research students and faculty unfolds as UNT joins the National Science Foundation Cloud and Autonomic Computing Center as a new affiliate site. In this edition, you also will get a new take on faculty use of discipline-specific apps as well as a staffer who delivers IT services. UIT also has new names for offices that have grown beyond their former descriptions: Data Science and Analytics and Research Computing Services better describe the formerly named Research and Statistical Support and High-Performance Computing offices.

So, What’s New-ish?

Over the last year, UIT has seen a number of changes, additions and accomplishments. Last January, UIT staff offices made a move from Sage Hall to the General Academic Building to support the redesign of Sage Hall as an undergraduate student success center. UIT management, staff and our Exam and Research Data Services (temporarily) joined our Research IT Services (permanent) as tenants of the GAB, so many of us are now just an elevator ride (or stair climb) away.

IT User Services also was on the move last year, with newly designed space for the UIT Help Desk and Adaptive Computing and Learning Lab completed last fall in Sage Hall, Room 330. A new service for that area is the addition of a laptop checkout service for use on the UNT main campus. And as seen above, the UIT Help Desk is extending its help to provide informal training sessions for students and others who want to become more familiar with some of UNT’s key technology services.

Research IT Services welcomed a new director last May. Dr. Ravi Vadapalli already has had a significant influence on the development of Research IT at UNT as seen by the article in this edition about the Cloud and Autonomic Computing Center. Under his leadership, RITS is repositioning its services to maximize engagement opportunities with student and faculty researchers.

Instructional IT Services  executed a “soft launch” of dedicated a laptop testing service for the College of Business. Now that the mobile-testing service is fully operation, a dedicated website is available for College of Business faculty (only) to schedule this service. IITS has made all testing services and desktop instructional computers ready and fully functional with the Canvas Learning Management System.

Finally, UIT Student Success Technology became fully staffed again in May with the addition of Irene Frank to the SST team. Irene joined UIT from the UNT College of Education and brings excellent technical and student advising experience. SST continues development of the Salesforce platform to support applications that enable student advising and student recruitment. SST also completed the rollout of Appointment Manager, an application that let’s student easily schedule and manage meetings with academic advisors and other offices that provide student support.

We look forward to a successful fall semester and hope we can help by providing information technologies that support your personal mission at UNT. The UIT Help Desk is available to take on any IT questions that may come up at UNT. The UIT Tech Tour can be a valuable resource for IT services available at UNT. And don’t forget to keep reading Benchmarks for the latest news and information about the technology that shapes our academic world.

Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially the links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the world wide web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068.