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In This Issue

+ Google Services Delayed

+ Wireless Policy Update

+ What is Active Directory?

+ Faculty Technology Selector

+ Malware Advertisements on the Rise

+ March Training Opportunities

+ New ITSS Staff

+ ITSS Spotlight

ITSS home : infotech.NEWS : March 2010


Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students

March 2010

ITSS by the Numbers

From July 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009, the ITSS Phone/Network Team provided support for:

  • 3,794 telephone connections
  • 6,624 network connections
  • 422 wireless access points
  • 406 surveillance cameras
  • 9 remote sites

Ten Years Ago in ITSS
March 2000

Controversial student computing proposal eliminates tiers

ITSS has proposed another change to the campus student computing fee. The proposal would eliminate the two tiers of service that presently exist and make one primary set of services available to all students. The new plan calls for a fee of $6.60 per credit. [ Read the entire article ]

Google Services Delayed

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) continues work on integrating Google applications for use at all campuses of the University. ITSS staff are collaborating on this project, since we run our own email system here. Services will be aimed primarily at students, although faculty and staff may opt in to use services as well.

The rollout to UMD is taking longer than we had hoped, for which we are sincerely sorry. At this point we are waiting for OIT staff to complete the configuration of our section of the Google space. In addition, we need to test the transfer of mail from our email servers to Google email servers for those who opt in.

We hope to be testing in late March and making the service available starting in April. It will take some time to roll this service out to all users on campus, so please be patient.

For more information, please see the OIT Google Initiative site

The Questions and Answers section is particularly good for those who want to see details.

Wireless Policy Update

The University of Minnesota has established a new policy on wireless technology infrastructure. This policy applies to all campuses of the University of Minnesota, including UMD. This policy requires that wireless network devices be centrally managed and forbids rogue wireless devices from being attached to the network.

For details, you may find the new policy here: Wireless Network Infrastructure".

What is Active Directory?

ITSS recently announced that we will be rolling out Active Directory services to the UMD campus during the coming year. But what is Active Directory?

Active Directory (AD) is a directory of people, computers, and groups that provides a way to manage computer policies and permissions. Through Active Directory services, we will be able to provide desktop authentication to the network using your University ID (X.500), eliminating the need for a separate workstation and/or Novell account and password.

AD also provides the ability to easily share and update standardized security policies with workstations on our network. This will enable us to be compliant with new University policy that requires all University computers and devices to be installed and actively maintained on an ongoing basis so that they protect the data stored or accessed through them and meet external compliance requirements.

Through Active Directory services, we can also provide managed data storage and network printing, allowing us to retire our Novell file and print services and move these staff and hardware resources into the Active Directory project.

As the project progresses, we welcome questions from our customers. As we work through the project, we will post the questions and answers on our web site in our Active Directory FAQ Please submit any questions by calling the ITSS Help Desk (x8847) or sending email to

Faculty Technology Selector Tool

"The faculty technology selector is a tool on the MyU portal that allows an instructor to link to course websites that are not managed through WebVista or Moodle."
- Vice Provost for Distributed Education and Instructional Technology July 2008

To access the Technology Selector:

  1. Log into MyU Portal
  2. Click on the my Courses & Teaching tab
  3. Find the course that you would like to add a resource to
  4. Under the "Other Course Resources" area for that course, click on the add some link, then do one of the following:
    - add class messages
    - link to course web sites (that are not Moodle or WebVista)
    - add a link to a course Wiki

Note: There may be a delay up to 4 hours before these changes are available to you and your students. Once you see that the resources are available to you, you will know they are also available to your students.

Malware Advertisements on the Rise

In the past few weeks, we have seen a huge increase in the number of University computers affected by malicious "advertisements". Legitimate web sites, even newspapers such as the Star Tribune, have been hijacked to deliver malicious software via the web browser. Often the ads can attempt to compromise a computer simply by being displayed -- the user doesn't even need to click on anything.

The best protection against these types of attacks is to keep any application accessible via a Web browser up-to-date with security fixes. Scan for missing security patches for applications (programs) installed on your computer (such as Java or Adobe Reader) using the following tools:

Another recommendation is to use the Firefox browser with the University's recommended firefox security settings

Advanced computer users may also wish to try these Firefox security plugins:

Please be aware that these plugins will require the user to learn about the plug in and make some educated security decisions as they are web browsing, so they may not be the best solution for everyone.

March Training Opportunities

Check out the various online and in person training available for March.

Microsoft E-Learning courses

Free and available online for anytime/anywhere learning! Offered by University Technology Training Center, topics include Word, Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Powerpoint, Project and more. For details and registration, see: Microsoft E-Learning


eClasses are online online, instructor-led courses. The format has no set meeting time, although courses do have definite start and end dates. eClasses typically run two weeks.

March 23-April 2nd: Accessibility 101: Introduction
What does "web accessibility" really mean? What all does that term encompass? Why is it that some people are unable to use certain web sites - and whose job is it to provide access? This eClass will answer those questions and more, and features the popular "disable your browser" exercise.
For details and registration, see: eClasses

Technology Tuesdays @ Two (TTT)

The TTT series spotlights a variety of technology topics of interest to the university community. It is an opportunity to become aware of what's new and to get supportive ideas and suggestions from your colleagues. The format will be an overview or demonstration followed by informal discussion.

All sessions will be held on Tuesdays at 2:00 pm in the Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab, 154 Marshall Performing Arts Center. No registration is required and all UMD faculty, staff, and students are encouraged and welcome to attend. Just show up!

March 2: UMSurvey Replaces Test Pilot
Testpilot will be shut down at the end of the summer term 2010, but we already have a replacement in UMSurvey which has been available since Fall 2009. Come see what UMSurvey has to offer and to find out how move your surveys out of TestPilot. UMConnect will be used for in this session to support distance participants.
March 9: How to do Class Capture 
Have you ever wanted to record what happens on your computer screen and record your voice while teaching a class or topic? If yes, please come see how you can do this with the University's class capture system. UMConnect will be used for in this session to support distance participants.
March 30: Active Directory
To meet new University security requirements, Windows and Macintosh workstations at UMD will be moving to Active Directory services. Novell file and print services will also move to Active Directory. Stop by for a brief overview of what, when and how.

For the complete TTT schedule, see: Technology Tuesdays @ Two (TTT)


March 23: Creativity
Researchers share their ideas for getting the creative juices flowing in this short workshop. Learn some tips and creative exercises from some of UMD's artists and scientists. Jumpstart your creativity with the Viz Lab.
For details and registration, see: Workshops

New ITSS Staff

We are very pleased to announce that Ann Thors joined the ITSS staff as our Accountant Supervisor.  Ann's responsibilities include coordinating the day-to-day financial and human resources functions and operations within ITSS, supervising and managing our department clerical office staff and work, and providing administrative assistance to the ITSS management team.

Ann has been a member of our campus community for a few years both as a student and also an employee of the University. She has earned her Bachelor of Accounting degree and Bachelor of Applied Science degree, majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Teaching Mathematics, from our campus, and also is a Certified Public Accountant.

During the past three years Ann has been employed as a Senior Auditor by the University of Minnesota, Office of Internal Audit.  She has worked with various University financial and human resource systems, operations and practices at the department and campus level. Ann has also assisted and advised several University departments with improving their record-keeping activities and accounting practices.

Ann has a rich background in auditing, financial management and human resources.  Her skills will assist ITSS greatly as we move forward with the integration and implementation of many departmental financial and human resource projects.

Ann's office is located in Kirby Plaza 386.  Her email id is and her office phone is x7590.  Please do stop and greet Ann when you have the opportunity.

ITSS Spotlight On: Lisa Fitzpatrick

Each month ITSS highlights a different member of the staff to let you get to know some of the great people who are working "behind the scenes" to make technology work for our campus. This month the spotlight is on Lisa Fitzpatrick, Technology Support Professional.

What Lisa Does for ITSS:

Lisa is coordinator of the Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab.

She provides coordination of the Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab, including technology consulting, research development, support for faculty, graduate and undergraduate researchers. Lisa's current  focus is on improving the public outreach of scientific research through graphic design. Along with faculty research, Lisa also facilitates the exploration of emerging technologies and techniques, including game and animation experimentation, video production and the defining of informational, user-centered kiosk development within the university. She serves on ITSS teams: Student Supervision, Faculty Technology and Training.


Born in Hancock, MI.
BS Russian from Georgetown University, Washington, DC 1984
Associate Degree Graphic Design, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Boston, MA 1993
MS Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 2000

Lisa lived on the East Coast for many years, working at the Harvard Teaching Hospitals, Boston as an Interpreter for Russian, Spanish & French and occasionally Finnish and Turkish. At Polaroid's corporate offices in Boston, Lisa  was an international editor. She also worked as a freelance graphic designer in Boston, MA.  Lisa also led tours to Russia and worked as a Research Assistant at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution, Wash. DC.  From 1997 to 2000, Lisa taught Spanish and served as Assistant Director of the Humanities faculty computer lab at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI.  Lisa has used computers for design and publishing since 1983, back in the days of Aldus Pagemaker. Lisa joined ITSS at UMD in 2001.


Lisa enjoys spending time with family and friends, skiing, camping, canoeing, church activities, gardening, creating art, yoga, cooking international foods, and traveling (she has traveled and lived in over 25 countries, including Finland, Japan, Peru and Turkey). The Fitzpatricks are active members of the Duluth Sister Cities programs.

Interesting Facts:

Lisa has been married to Mark since 2005. She has a daughter, Glenda, and a pet shih tzu named Smudge.

An Example of Lisa's Work for ITSS:

Lisa has done a nice job finding opportunities to collaborate with a wide variety of faculty and staff through the VDIL.  She was responsible for the design of the interactive (touchscreen) kiosks in Solon Campus Center, Labowitz School of Business and Economics, and James Swenson Science Building.

Lisa and family Lisa and family hiking

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