We’ve just posted the LIS Quarterly Update for your reading pleasure. We’ve shrunk it down (it’s a mere 11 pages!) and generally re-organized it to make it easier to skim quickly. As always, I would love to hear more about how we can make this report useful as a communication and planning tool, and also what we can do to make the process of producing it as simple as possible.
We’ve just launched an on-line discussion board at http://go.middlebury.edu/discuss . The goal of this project is to find out whether or not an on-line forum will meet a need on campus that is presently not being met by Facebook, Midd Confessional, and Twitter on the one hand, and MiddNotes, the Campus Events Calendar, and the Portal on the other.
The discussion board is a very simple utility where you can post a topic, respond to a topic, and respond to a response. You can add profile information about yourself, including an image, and links to your on-line persona. We’ve created a thread to discuss the discussion board, and hope that students will take time to let us know whether or not this effort will address some of the gaps they have described in the communication platforms currently on offer at the College.
An FAQ on the details of how the forum works is available for those who want to learn more about how to post.
NITLE is hosting an on-line presentation on September 12 from 4-5 p.m. The topic is “Blended Learning in a Liberal Arts Setting”
and will feature the work being done as part of the Next Generation Learning Challenges grant that Middlebury is participating in, and is being led by Bryn Mawr. More information on the presentation can be found at http://www.nitle.org/live/events/142-blended-learning-in-a-liberal-arts-setting
You can watch it from your own computer if you sign-up, or you can join us in Library 145.
We in LIS spent time this summer reviewing what we accomplished this spring, and planning for the upcoming semester and year. The results of this are reflected in the attached .pdf
, which is the latest edition of the LIS quarterly update. You can expect an update in the late fall, which will provide a progress report on that which we have set out to do in the coming months and years, and also some course corrections based on new information culled from new information gleaned from the college-wide planning exercise that we participated in this summer.
The United Way of Addison County needs your help! This year’s campaign is behind its goals, at a time when the need in our community has never been greater. If you haven’t yet contributed this year, you can do so easily on line by going to http://go.middlebury.edu/unitedway/. To encourage participation, if you contribute by January 28, your name will be put in a raffle. Prizes include $150, $100, and $75 of Middlebury Money. First-time donors and donors who increase their donations are entered twice.
We have decided to move the hosting of Banner, our main administrative system, to a facility managed by SunGard, the developers of Banner. We have decided this for three main reasons:
- SunGard understands Banner better than anyone in the world, and we will be able to benefit from this expertise as we manage the application, and perform upgrades.
- The data center where Banner will reside is a world-class facility that will provide us with a level of protection, security, and up-time that is a major improvement over how we manage Banner today.
- SunGard provides a disaster-recovery facility where we can recover should their primary data center fail.
This change will have only minimal impact on campus. For the most part, users of Banner will notice no real differences. GO shortcuts will remain the same and will point users to the new Banner hosted servers. As we go through the migration of the system from our facility to the SunGard facility, we will at some point have to freeze all development efforts for a period of about 6 weeks. This is currently scheduled for the October – November time frame. Functional areas are already planning around this schedule with the understanding that any patches required for regulatory compliance or tax updates will be granted an exception. Once the migration is complete, we will be back in business and able to continue with our development efforts.
The timeline for this project is as follows:
- from now until October: LIS is working with SunGard to establish the hosting environment
- November: Testing of the new installation will be done by administrative offices
- Mid-December: Go live on the new system
We feel confident that this decision will improve the performance and reliability of this critical system, and will allow us to focus our precious human resources on Middlebury-specific issues, as we no longer have to spend time thinking about the system optimization, back-ups, and other critical but aspects of running this system. While this may seem like a radical move, it is in fact part of an on-going trend in Information Technology in Higher Education, as schools leverage the power of the Internet, the cloud, and hosting services to provide improved services to their campus.
LIS has begun a new program to recognize the LIS staff member of the month, the LIS crew of the month, and the LIS student employee of the month. If there is a particular LIS staff member, student worker, or team that has delivered exceptional service either on a particular project or simply in the course of their daily work, please consider taking a few moments to nominate them. The nomination form is at http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/technology/lis/about/recrec/nomination.