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-

Critical Zoom Updates

Dear SJSU campus community,

As we move into summer and as we’ve mentioned in previous communications, SJSU IT is implementing improvements to Zoom. As usual, we hold off on any changes through finals to minimize any possible disruption for our faculty and students. Both of the items in this email will greatly enhance the security of Zoom for our university and both will impact how you use Zoom.

Authentication with SJSU

Your Zoom meetings have passwords by default, but anyone with the meeting link can still join your Zoom. That’s fine until your link gets shared with a malicious person outside your class or meeting. This is where authentication comes in, providing an additional layer of security on top of using meeting passwords.

Zoom meetings hosted by SJSU users can now require that all attendees be authenticated through SJSU’s single sign-on. Authenticated attendees are individuals who have signed in to Zoom and been verified as valid Zoom users. For SJSU authentication, this means they’ve logged in to Zoom using the SJSU single sign-on portal. SJSU authentication is a great security precaution when everyone in the meeting or class is an SJSU. We’re implementing this setting to enhance security at SJSU. Remember to double-check this setting whenever you schedule a meeting, as different Zoom clients have different default settings.

LEARN MORE

There are a number of cases where you may not need or want to use authentication and may consider changing this setting: classes with a visiting lecturer, meetings with off-campus vendors, or collaborative research discussions with other institutions, to name a few. To read about how to change this setting, please visit our Zoom Authentication website.

This change will go live Thursday, 5/28/2020. Take a moment before then to review our Zoom Authentication website so you’ll know the extra steps you may need to take before joining a class or meeting. It’s also a good idea to give yourself an extra couple minutes before meetings and classes once this change goes live, just in case.

Zoom 5.04

Beginning May 30, Zoom will require everyone to upgrade to the newer version of their client, Zoom 5.04. This new version has a handful of new features, but most importantly it uses a more secure encryption standard.

If you’re using a university machine, then the update will be automatically installed for you. If you’re currently working remotely on a home device, Zoom will notify you of the new version and help you download and install. You can update early by visiting Zoom’s Download Center and downloading and installing the latest Zoom Client for Meetings.

 

You’ll still be able to use Zoom without updating, but it will launch in the web interface. Zoom on the web is much less secure and has a very restricted feature set. That’s why SJSU IT is recommending that everyone update Zoom to this new version.
Student Conduct & Ethical Development
Lastly, I want to let you all know that we will be sending an email to students shortly informing them of our university processes around disciplinary action for Zoom Bombing. SJSU IT and the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development have been working closely on the issue of Zoom Bombing. Our university has only had a handful of cases, a testament to the integrity of our student population.
If you have any questions about the updating process or need help, please contact the SJSU IT Service Desk online or at 408-924-1530.
Thank you,
Bob Lim
VP of Information Technology and CIO

Thank you for your support!

Dear Colleagues.

I hope this message finds you and your family all safe and healthy! I never could have imagined the challenges and changes of the last two months. As I take a moment to reflect, I am astounded by all we have accomplished. I am also extremely proud of you and your dedication to SJSU and SJSU IT. It is my pleasure to be part of such an incredible division.

So, what exactly did we accomplish? Within four short days of President Papazian announcing the shift to online modality, we transitioned an institution of almost 40,000 individuals from a traditional campus-centric university to a completely mobile campus, where approximately 36,000 students are learning remotely, 2100 faculty are teaching remotely, and 1500 staff are working remotely! This is truly amazing.

Thinking back to the first week of shelter in place, I remember a conversation that I had with an SJSU IT employee. We were working on the campus’s transition to the remote work environment, and he said, “You know, three years ago we would not have been in a situation to be able to do this.” And he was right!

In 2017 our President, Mary Papazian, elevated SJSU IT to a division level and shared her vision that technology would play a critical role in the digital transformation of SJSU. She and her cabinet invested in emerging technologies and dramatically increased technology funding. With Mary’s direction and support, we also established strong industry partnerships with technology leaders like IBM and LinkedIn. Our campus’ digital transformation – over the last three years – has provided the building blocks for a solid IT foundation, one that is scalable and modern.

We upgraded our networks and VPN, creating a more mobile and secure campus with higher bandwidth; transitioned from desktops to laptops, so people could work where they need to work; added analytics capabilities to evaluate our service quality and build our online support model; and changed our service model to maximize support for students, faculty, staff, and researchers.

We also shifted key communication and collaboration platforms:

  • WebEx to Zoom for cutting-edge video conferencing

  • Jabber (chat capability) to a much more user-friendly Google Hangout Chat

  • Announce to Marketo for prompt emails and an enterprise solution with analytics capabilities

What this all means is we had the right infrastructure in place to transition to a mobile campus, right when we needed it.

When called to help, everyone in our division mobilized and swiftly worked together to support our transition to online teaching and telecommuting. Your dedication, flexibility, and professionalism were unprecedented as you planned, shifted hours and responsibilities, and reprioritized work to meet new demands. Specifically, with very limited human resource capital, we formed a rapid response team, created a rapid response triage model, and extended coverage. Back-end engineers now respond to emergency tickets within five minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Front-end engineer customer service staff have a target closure time of 10 minutes for teaching-related issues. And this is the shortlist of the many critical steps you took to ensure our success!

Did I mention, all of this great work has been accomplished while transitioning yourselves to remote workspaces and taking care of your own families? Thank you for all you have done, and all you continue to do!

We may face more challenges in the next few weeks and months as we manage the issues surrounding COVID-19, but remember, we are a resourceful and resilient community. Together, we will come out stronger on the other side.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31, is an SJSU holiday. Please take this opportunity to relax and spend some quality time with those you care about. Each of you deserves some downtime – please rest, stay healthy, and be safe!

Sincerely,

Bob-