By now, many of you have logged into and used mySRSU, the portal offering for the campus. As you have done so, you have experienced that not all of the links and applications within mySRSU use Single SIgn On (SSO). Here is an explanation for this behavior in mySRSU and information about what to expect going forward.
The goal is for everything we offer in mySRSU is that you only have to log in once and have access to all the content and applications within the application. As of today, not all of the links to information in mySRSU are working as expected. Specifically, the Email and One Drive links are challenging because Microsoft uses a different authentication mechanism than mySRSU. We are trying to figure out how to get these Microsoft application links to align with the vision of mySRSU. This will happen but will take longer than originally planned. The Lobo Online link is a similar issue. We are working with Ellucian on resolving this authentication challenge and hope to have a solution in place in the next two or three weeks.
As for Blackboard, the authentication is working. If you log into mySRSU and then click on the Blackboard link within 10 minutes, you will be taken to Blackboard without having to log in again (after you hop through the official Blackboard page). The issue here is that the SSO engine only respects your original credentials for 10 minutes (600 seconds to be exact), after which you must provide your LoboID and password again for any new applications, in this case Blackboard. Once again, we are working with Ellucian on this issue. We are asking them to increase the amount of time EIS respects the credentials for your login. This is actually fairly easy to do. The challenge is finding the right amount of time so we are not inadvertently leaving apps open for hours at a time, putting your data at risk. We recognize the timeout as it is today is too short.
As you use mySRSU and find other concerns, please use the feedback button at the bottom of the page. This feedback helps us improve your experience.
Much was planned for the summer. Not all was accomplished but most of what we wanted to do has been done or is being completed. Here is a list of some of the major accomplishments over the summer.
– Staffing. We are once again at full staffing on the Alpine campus. Our recent additions include:
Rob Stolz, Webmaster
Pad Rayburn, System Administrator
Shana Smith, Tech Support II
Michelle Castleman, Tech Support I
Al Brautigam, Web Developer
– Area207 – We are re-establishing what used to be the Instructional Technology Area and moving it to ACR 207 to assist faculty with their classroom technology needs. This new area will be managed by Sandy Bogus and Estella Vega along with Rusty Klein.
– Updated Labs at RGC Campuses. The lab computers are updated at the RGC-Uvalde and RGC-Del Rio campuses.
– Disaster Recovery Implementation. Hardware configured and running at the Del Rio location. We will start pushing data to this DR site and begin the process of testing our disaster recovery plan during the fall semester.
– Wireless Internet and Improved CATV Services in Residence Halls. The Lobo Village residence halls as well as Fletcher Hall now have wireless internet capabilities and improved television services. .
– New Blackboard Features available during the fall semester:
+ Bb Mobile. Allows access to Bb content via mobile devices (iOS and Android)
+ Bb Content. Allow sharing of Bb content across courses and adds ePortfolios to the available features.
+ Bb Community. Allows groups to be created and managed within Bb (e.g. Social organizations).
– Ellucian Mobile Implementation. Allows access to student information (grades, classes, holds, schedule and other information.)
– Anti-virus. Malwarebytes anti-virus software was implemented for all Sul Ross owned computers.
– Training for Student Employees. We spent time this summer creating training plans for the students that work with us here in OIT. Our intention is to provide better service at the point of contact on technology issues.
A few items we are looking at for the near future:
– Castroville Campus. In the coming weeks, we will complete the installation of equipment and network, working closely with the team from SWTJC, at the new Catroville campus. The first classes at this new campus will be in the spring 2015 semester.
– A Campus Portal – Various frameworks being considered with a possible roll-out in spring 2015.
– Office 2013 for Students. All SRSU students have the opportunity to download and install Office 2013 to their personal computers while they are active students at the university. This new feature should be available in the October time frame.
– Upgrade to Exchange 2013 – Will provide a better Exchange experience for Desktop and Web. Also interacts with Office365, Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity suite.
– Desktop Backups – We will continue to look at backup options for desktop and laptop computers.
– Website Redesign. We have started the process of redesigning some of the content on our public pages. The redesign will take several months to work through.
– Telephone Switch Upgrade or Replacement. We are looking at several options to upgrade our phone switch to provide more stability and features such as caller-id.
This list represents many of the major projects completed this summer. There were many other smaller projects that were completed as well. On to fall!