To: All in IT Services
The start of a new academic year is an immensely busy time as we welcome thousands of new and returning students back to the University. This year has been no exception with lots of great events and welcoming activities. For the first time IT Services had a very visible presence in the “front of house” enrolment operations based in the Richmond Atrium. This was a success dealing with lots of questions and providing help and reassurance about a wide range of technical and not so technical requests. We have held a follow-up event to collect all of the feedback together and make further improvements next time. We also had a team of people in Richmond F42 providing the University enrolment helpline and this was an incredibly busy operation starting as telephone support in the earlier weeks and becoming face-to-face support during enrolment with the Hub. In amongst, we also launched the new attendance monitoring system and students began “checking in” at all the teaching locations on campus (with a capacity of more than 10) in all the timetabled activities. Students appear to have adapted well to the new “check in” process and management information is now flowing about attendance reporting, although much work remains to embed the system fully.
As always, comments, feedback and input for next time is always welcome.
A Level Results, Clearing and Confirmation
We have received a letter from Prof. Barry Winn in which he asks me to convey his thanks to all those involved.
Compliments on the new LSS and IT Services website
There has been a great deal of work in preparing the launch of the new LSS and IT services web presence. During September 2013 the amount of web traffic to the site doubled versus September 2012. Sara Marsh commented: “I see the new websites (LSS and IT) are up and running - congratulations, it's all looking very nice and new (just like Student Central!). Thanks for all the hard work on getting this ready in time for the new term”.
New state of the art student PC facility
We have re-launched our premium PC cluster facility for general teaching use in the JBP Building (room 01.53). It was further improved over the Summer with a deep clean like brand new (it had new carpets and lighting last year anyway), a fresh paint job, 72 brand new computers and our colleagues in AV services have installed over a dozen large screen TVs to enable the room to be available for teaching purposes with both music, video, and screen display capabilities. Take a look – it has a bit of a “wow” factor.
School of Social and International Studies invests in student PC upgrades
IT Support has reported the following Summer improvements in one of our Facility Managed schools:
Pemberton 2.12 (cluster/teaching room) has 20 PCs which have been upgraded from 5 year old Viglens.
Pemberton 2.08 (postgraduate room) with 7 PCs has been upgraded from 6/7 year old Nec VL360s.
Pemberton 0.04b (postgraduate room) with 6 PCs has been upgraded from a mixture of Viglens and NEC VL360s
Ashfield T0.02 (postgraduate room) is also being upgraded from 5 year old Viglens .
Student Printer Credit
Once again the new students received a print/copy credit on their accounts at the start of the new year. There were just over 3,500 on campus students (by October 4th) who were each credited with £2.
Performance Recognition Scheme
I am currently meeting with all of the recipients of awards which were presented to the LSS committee for consideration. This committee is constituted to look at all cases across LSS and includes external and HR representations etc. There were a number of successful submissions. Congratulations to all those who received an award – Sara has already sent a separate message.
Wi-Fi improvements (Heaton Mount)
Over the Summer the wi-fi upgrades to Heaton Mount Old Building, Extensions and Bedrooms for universal wi-fi coverage at an estimated cost circa £15-20k were completed. The School of management has pretty much universal wi-fi coverage in this space.
It has been a long journey through several Deans and years to get to this point. Delays were caused by a lack of budget/funding rather than any technical or other issue – although we did encounter a number of Estates challenges along the way given the nature of the buildings. The funding issue was finally resolved when we had agreement from Finance to commit the monies from central budgets.
Alison Thickett (Senior Operations Manager for Sodexho at Heaton Mount) commented: “I do want to add that Drew and the team have been brilliant, they have worked around our schedules and business within Heaton Mount”
During the late Summer, we were involved in supporting a wide range of supplementary assessments which were co-ordinated within IT Support team and of course others assisted with the computer aided assessments in the infrastructure team. This email was received from the exams office:
“I wanted to let you know personally that the service we have received from all the IT Services Team during the August examination period has been excellent. All the team have been prompt, helpful and responsive to the needs of the candidates. They conducted their business in a professional and polite manner at all time.” Julie Hodgson (Examinations Team Leader)
IT Services Annual Report 2012-13 (Draft)
We have been working on a document which summarises the department’s work over the last academic session. Annual reports for the last four years are published here. We will be producing a shorter copy which we are working on at the moment as well as a student summary. In the meantime, the current working draft is attached and I would welcome comments and feedback in the next week, before we move to a final circulation. Please let me know if we have (inadvertently) missed something important that you have been working on in 2012-13.
Until next time