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DOIT Newsletter

Fall 2021

A Message from the Vice President & Chief Information Officer

Welcome to our fall issue of the Division of IT newsletter.  I take this opportunity to thank you all for keeping our educational programs delivered to our students and keeping our campus operations going despite the pandemic.  In the past 19 months, the Division of IT partnered with many campus offices and units to develop and provide new technology services to meet the needs rising from working remotely.  In this issue of the newsletter, we are sharing with you some of our new technology services and providing an update on some of our Smart Campus Initiative projects.  We are also providing a few useful information security tips.  I hope that you will find this issue of the DoIT newsletter informative and useful.  I wish all of you a safe semester and happy new academic year.

Go Beach!

Min Yao, Ph.D.
Vice President & Chief Information Officer

Smart Campus Initiatives Supporting Today’s Flexible Work and Learning Environment

a silhouette of a person wearing a mask sitting at a desk using a laptop

New DocuSign Training Resources
A feedback survey about the campus eSignature service (DocuSign) was conducted in early summer with key user groups.  We heard you loud and clear – “More training please!” With increased usage during remote operations and potential opportunities for further streamlining business processes, you can explore new DocuSign Help resources for taking full advantage of our eSignature capabilities.

Microsoft Teams for Classrooms
Microsoft Teams offers classroom specific features for faculty looking for an additional tool for supporting an online learning environment. This fall, faculty now have access to automatically created class teams which correspond to their active courses.  Once activated by the faculty member, students can access their class teams with their campus Microsoft Teams user accounts. Faculty Instructors may leverage Microsoft Teams’ new features to deliver classroom assignments, make use of virtual classroom notebooks, and view learning analytics to monitor student progress.

Enhancing High Performance Computing (HPC) Infrastructure
The HPC continues to be a valuable resource to all campus faculty who conduct research projects.  Since last Spring, we have increased our High Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure for research faculty from 55 compute nodes to 63.  Our HPC capability consists of 1,896 computational cores and 43,008 GPU CUDA cores.

24/7 Computer Labs

The campus’ Student Virtual Lab (SVL) hosts 28 software applications and supports up to 1,000 concurrent user sessions (virtual seats).

Specifically for the Colleges of Business, The Arts, Liberal Arts, Education, and Engineering, Student Remote Labs enable students to remotely access physical computer lab computers that contain specialized software programs and applications that are otherwise only available physically on campus.

Student Laptop and Hotspot Loan Program Still Available

In continued partnership with the Division of Student Affairs, we have provided laptop computers (Windows operating system) and Internet hotspots to students in need.  With over 1,766 laptop computers and approximately 3300 Internet hotspots having been loaned out to students, so far, more is available as needed.  This technology assistance program continues to be open to all CSULB students who need a laptop computer and/or an Internet hotspot for taking online classes, by completing the CSULB Laptop / Hotspot Loans request form.

Fall 2021 Smart Campus Map Resources

Visit the updated smart campus map when planning your physical campus visits.  See where such resources as hand sanitizing locations, outdoor wi-fi, and open food and drink locations are.

Information Security

a padlock and key sitting on top of a keyboard

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
The cybersecurity and digital privacy of our faculty, staff, and students are important to our Beach Community.  Therefore, throughout the month of October we are promoting and sharing weekly information security tips and best practices, like this week’s message about “Making It a Habit.”

New Password Reset Service
Since we migrated to our new password reset service on August 2, students and employees have more immediate self-help access when it comes to their campus computing password.  Learn more about managing your password.

Microsoft Authenticator App is Recommended
The Microsoft Authenticator app is the most convenient method for quickly and securely verifying your identity.  It may be downloaded and installed free of charge on both iOS and Android computing devices.  Read more about the Authenticator App including links to download.

Set Up More Than One MFA Method as Backup
Because it is always a good idea to prepare for the unexpected, it is highly recommended that you have more than one multi-factor authentication method.  We have assisted many students and employees that have lost or upgraded their phones only to later realize they could not log in to campus services.  Learn how to setup additional MFA methods.

Looking Ahead

Coming Soon

Multi-Factor Authentication for VPN

To further secure our campus information, we will be implementing a security enhancement which changes how you log in to the campus GlobalProtect Virtual Private Network (VPN).  You currently use your campus ID and password to log in.  On October 25, the service will transition to using the SSO login screen. This means you will be required to use your campus email address and password, plus Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to log in.  Learn more about what to expect.

Required Personal CSULB Website Content Transfer by Oct. 27

We have prepared a new server for hosting web content for personal homeweb.csulb.edu/~yourname/ or homeweb.csulb.edu/~campusID/ sites. Owners of personal web sites (also known as tilde accounts) must move content to this new environment by October 27th for the content to remain available on the Internet.

This change is needed because the software (Red Hat 6) on the current server reached end of life November 2020, which means the vendor software is no longer supported. DoIT purchased temporary extended support to allow the campus time to transition the Web content to a new, updated environment.  Please be aware of ongoing communications from DoIT-ServiceManagement@csulb.edu if you maintain a personal website.  For reference, this notification was sent to all current active tilde account owners, and reminder messages will continue to be sent.

Did You Know?

Did you know

CSULB Tech Donations Help Bridge the Digital Divide
The Division of IT has formed an ongoing partnership with Human-I-T, a nonprofit and social enterprise aiming to bridge the digital divide and help the environment.  In coordination with the CSULB Property Office and campus divisions and colleges, the campus has donated nearly 650 units of IT equipment between March and August 2021. Equipment donations include desktops, laptops, monitors, printers, projectors, and televisions.  Human-I-T helps divert this technology from landfills and refurbishes and redistributes this equipment to local communities in need.

Departments or tech groups with surplus electronics that are in good working condition can contact Property Management (property@csulb.edu or 562-985-4880) to coordinate your donation.  Property still collects all poor and broken condition items for e-waste through the normal Property Survey process.

Receive a Copy of Voice Mail Messages in Your Email Inbox
A service called Simple Unified Messaging (UM) is available if you’d like the added convenience of receiving a copy of your campus voice mail messages in your campus email inbox as a WAV file attachment you can easily open and listen to on your computer or mobile device. Learn more.

Primary Campus Wi-Fi Networks

Beachnet+ and eduroam provide the safest, fastest, and most secure wireless options for connecting to the CSULB network with Wi-Fi enabled devices.  While the beachnet-guest-access Wi-Fi network is available for University visitors that need temporary Wi-Fi access, DoIT strongly advises students and employees against using it. Students and employees that use the beachnet-guest-access network may become more susceptible to general campus Wi-Fi instability issues and data flow restrictions.  It is recommended that if you have used beachnet-guest-access, to forget/delete it from your list of available networks on your devices.