Proactive Health Checks

The Economics Computer Lab

To prepare campus’ repopulation, the SJSU IT customer support team performed proactive support on hundreds of technology-enabled spaces across campus. Some of the rooms had not been used since March 2020, and we wanted to be sure that the technology our campus needed was ready to go from day one of Fall 2021. For our Proactive Health Checks, SJSU IT technicians went to each SJSU IT-support room to test technology solutions and resolve issues before they became problems. We also performed proactive checks to verify the function of our campus network. 

Classrooms

Before the start of the semester, SJSU IT support staff proactively identified and resolved 76 classroom-related items in SJSU IT-supported classrooms, including replacing missing cables and addressing audio/visual challenges.  We are now performing Proactive Health Checks on a weekly basis for technology setups in all SJSU IT-supported classrooms. 

Thanks go to the entire Instructional & Meeting Spaces (IMS) Team: Daniela Zopiyatle, Cameron Myers, Fred Asuncion, Rod Maciel, Andy Yeung, Frank De Fanti, Phil Braverman, Danny Vo, Bruce Kelbert, Devona Williams, and Darlene Bargas.

Conference Rooms

We also checked each SJSU IT-supported conference room to ensure that physical hardware and virtual technology are working properly. We found minimal issues during the health checks performed before the start of the semester, all of which were fixed. This proactive support will be done monthly going forward. 

Many in our Customer Service unit, including Lor Vang, Lucas Chung, Belinda Nguyen, Chris Bradford, Matt Loo, Raymond Koc, Kirk Nguyen, April Lee, Bruce Gardner, and Jason Ferguson, flawlessly came together to support this important initiative. 

Network, WiFi, Printers, & Telephones 

Our network infrastructure and phone teams performed thorough reviews of university hardware and fixed issues before they became problems, ensuring reliable and prompt connectivity. Before the start of Fall 2021, these teams have:

  • Ensured critical components like WiFi, phones, and printers work properly by validating the connectivity of over 22,000 network ports.
  • Performed health checks on 323 network connectors to ensure all ports in classrooms and conference rooms are operational.
  • Eliminated potential WiFi dead spots by validating the indoor coverage of over 3,100 access points.
  • Validated that 3,700 phones are operational and ready.
  • Helped eliminate potential login problems for faculty and staff by setting the authentication servers. 

System checks require a lot of work, so I want to thank Sean Davis, Tristian Anthony, Toby Shaw, Brent Jones, Tino Cruz, Trevor Florez, Mark Trann, Shai Silberman, and Atul Pala.

Best regards,
Bob Lim
Vice President of Information Technology
and CIO at San Jose State University

Moving Large Events Online

One person working in SU Ballroom

As we prepared for a gradual return to campus, we looked at how technology could support campus life and student success outside the classroom. SJSU IT has deployed  a virtual event platform to enable larger gatherings online — things like alumni events, benefits fairs, conferences, career fairs, orientation events, open houses, and even courses with live presentations. These kinds of events create a richer college experience for students, drive engagement, and create opportunities. It was important to carry that experience into the hybrid future. The first event held with this new platform will be University Personnel’s Benefits Open Enrollment event in October 2021. You can visit the support page for our Virtual Event Platform on the SJSU IT website.

This kind of platform isn’t useful only for the short term — it supports our strategy of making our university mobile-enabled, with students able to access services when they need them from wherever they are. That kind of flexibility needs to exist for the entire college experience. 

As we return to campus, a hybrid approach to these kinds of events will ease the strain on campus facilities that were overflowed or overbooked pre-pandemic. For example, students who live far away could attend mandatory campus events without having to pay for travel and career fairs can host even more employers with remote sessions. 

Thanks go to Leon Nguyen, Sree Gandikota, and Ravi Alladi working to get this ready this semester.

Best regards,
Bob Lim
Vice President of Information Technology
and CIO at San Jose State University

Building the Hybrid-Enabled Classroom

In coordination with the Office of the Provost, SJSU IT is upgrading a number of larger classrooms across campus with technology to enable hybrid instruction for Fall 2021 semester. The chosen classrooms will be outfitted with in-person streaming equipment, laptop screen capture, live recording, additional monitors, and more. Having technology in the classroom will help our instructors bridge the gap from Zoom to classroom while we transition back to campus. We’re also upgrading existing smart classrooms that haven’t been refreshed in a while.

These upgrades align with our strategy to be future-facing in the shifting world of higher education. Changes in everyday pedagogy are coming, and SJSU IT is building for tomorrow. Once we’re fully returned to campus, these upgraded rooms will add value for years to come. 

Coe Tran, Bruce Kelbert, Tino Cruz, Trevor Florez, and Marco Rodriguez get the thanks for working on these classrooms.

Best regards,
Bob Lim
Vice President of Information Technology
and CIO at San Jose State University

Labs Anywhere, Labs Anytime with DaaS

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) represents our University’s next generation of computer labs, allowing students to access labs anytime, anyplace. DaaS not only reduces the need for students to be on campus to do lab work, it’s cost effective, flexible, and adaptable. 

The College of Social Sciences debuted their state-of-the-art “Spartan Experimental Economics Lab” DaaS lab dedicated to their rigorous exploration of complex economic and social sciences topics. Similar labs are up and running in the cloud for other colleges, hosting powerful applications like MATLAB, RStudio, JMP Pro, Python, and more. Our virtual solutions team is always excited to build something new for instructors, whatever department they’re from. DaaS labs give students access to computer resources they may not have otherwise, whether that’s in data, systems, or even creative fields. Simply fill out the request form and we’ll reach out to you

DaaS is a big win for our goal to have a mobile campus where students can study and get work done from anywhere at any time. And that’s where we are today. We’re connecting with instructors to find new ways of bringing lab work directly into the classroom. We’re also using DaaS as a secure solution for our staff who work with sensitive or valuable data — these virtual desktops are protected by our campus network. As we progress toward the goals of Transformation 2030, SJSU IT will be working with DaaS more and more to expand remote work, learning, and teaching opportunities. 

Lee Andersen, Tristan Orlino, TG Tran, and Scott Pham have all done great work getting our DaaS program where we are today.

Best regards,
Bob Lim
Vice President of Information Technology
and CIO at San Jose State University

CARES Act Purchases Update

Dear Colleagues,

I want to provide you with an update on the technology equipment we secured through the CARES Act. Firstly, I want to thank SJSU’s academic leadership for helping us identify and define each college’s needs; thanks to them, SJSU IT was able to make more informed equipment purchases.

Vin, Charlie, Patrick, and I reviewed those requests and collaborated to purchase a wide array of general equipment as well as specialized inventory through the CARES Act. All general items that college deans have requested have been approved to order and will be on-hand and ready for the start of the Fall semester. The following have already arrived and are readily available through the SJSU IT equipment loaning service today:

  • Laptops
  • Hotspots
  • Webcams
  • Headsets
  • Tripods
  • Chromebooks

Other items will also be arriving in the next week or two and will be ready through the equipment loaning service as well. In the meantime, we do have extra, should our students need it now. These include:

  • USB Microphones
  • Adjustable Laptop Stands
  • USB Keyboard/Mouse Combos
  • USB Mice
  • Monitors

Team can put in a request by calling 408-924-2888. SJSU IT will manage, track, and distribute general items (laptops, hotspots, mice, etc.) and software licenses so that we can optimize limited resources and maximize utilization. College/unit-specific items, like Wacom Tablets and ProTools licenses, will go to the college/unit that requested it through your college techs. Similar to last semester, we plan to communicate to our students, faculty, and staff about our offerings.

We’ll also work closely with MLK Library so that they have an inventory of general equipment on-hand for students. Big thank you to Christine Mune for being so collaborative in support of our students.

Rather than buying all of the requested items at once, we’ll make an initial purchase, monitor inventory, and purchase more when inventory for an item is below a certain threshold. Due to budget constraints, we want to be sure that we don’t purchase excess inventory.  Therefore, keeping an accurate inventory is critically important to ensure that our students have access to the equipment they need.

Arranging this and getting everything ready in time for Fall start was a huge collaborative effort. I want to make sure that I thank all of the IT staff across the entire campus, both SJSU IT and the distributed IT staff. Without everyone working together and quickly, this wouldn’t be possible for our faculty, students, and staff.  I also want to thank Bruce Gardner, who has been coordinating the effort and helping manage questions from across campus. Lastly, thanks go to Vicky Van Leer, Jewel Rodeo, and Susan Huang, who are working days and nights getting our equipment ready. Jason Ferguson, Sharon Watkins, Brent Jones, Joseph Chou, and our entire IMS Team (Darlene Bargas, Devona Williams, Trevor Wylie, Daniela Zopiyatle, John Hanley, Cameron Myers, Fred Asuncion, Rod Maciel, Andy Yeung, Frank De Fanti, Phil Braverman, Danny Vo, Bruce Kelbert) put in a lot of work to get this ready for Fall. This group deserves our applause. 

You can view our inventory, request equipment, and get more information at http://sjsu.edu/equipmentcheckout. Because of the high demand for laptops, we’re asking folks to email classroom-support@sjsu.edu or call us at (408)-924-2888 to set up an appointment.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.

Regards,

Bob-