Current Status Report - September 2011
Text in red denotes new activity since previous status report.

Expand the use of technology in academic and administrative work

Action Taken


    The network

  • Upgraded the campus network in more than 190 buildings, increasing the number of active ports from 14,000 to 38,000 since summer 2002; the network is now redundant with multiple layers of security protection
  • Began in 2003 to build the wireless network through a pilot project, and in 2006 began the full roll-out of campus-wide wireless service
  • Added a team of three full-time professionals to oversee network security and policy
  • Began in 2005 to use the network to deliver both instructional video and TV channels
  • Played a leading role in a statewide wireless (Wi-MAX) pilot with the Business Innovation Factory of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation
  • Completed expansion of wireless network to all residence halls
  • Completed extension of network capability to 10gb to facilitate research data access
  • Expanded wireless network to classrooms and the Sciences Library
  • Completed phase 1 of the Voice Over IP (VOIP) technology project
  • Saved Brown over $750k telecommunications and construction costs on university building and renovation
  • Completed expansion of 10gbps network capability to the Jewelry District through NSF C2 Grant for Optical Network
  • Began roll out of new network design – upgrading existing firewall/security infrastructure to improve security, reduce downtime, allow departments to utilize new higher network bandwidth and increase capacity for expansion
  • Implemented redesigned Domain Name Service (DNS) using Infoblox appliances for cache forwarders and external DNS appliances
  • Implemented new SSL VPN service to improve secure access to campus services for remote users
  • Chose Workday as the cloud-based provider for our Human Resources and Financial systems
  • Completed a governance audit of information technology at Brown
  • Completed an assessment of the current condition of our IT infrastructure as well as an inventory of our future IT needs


  • Technology in teaching, learning, and research

  • Introduced several classroom and Web programs that promote the use of new technology in teaching and learning, including WebCT, an online course-management system, and personal response systems
  • Offered a wide range of technology courses to staff and students through the Computer Education Program
  • Offered Summer Institutes for Faculty, a week-long immersive workshop that helps faculty incorporate technology into their teaching
  • Co-developed the Online Course Reserve Access (OCRA) with the library
  • Offered new services for faculty and students aimed at personal publishing on the Web and collaborative publishing using wikis and blogs
  • Conducted annual surveys of incoming students, seniors, and faculty on their use of technology in teaching and research, with the goal of improving services
  • Expanded the Multimedia Across Campus pilot program into a standard service; introduction of iTab, a joint project with Apple Computer to utilize iPods and iTunes in courses
  • Launched video-on-demand-service to deliver instructional materials to student computers wherever they may be on campus
  • Completed the report and recommendations from the Research Storage Working Group
  • Completed a report and recommendations from the New Media Working Group on Foundational Services for Digital Audio and Video at Brown
  • Designed and implemented a suite of instructional technology solutions to enhance and enable the integrated curriculum of the Warren Alpert Medical School (CIS/Medical School collaboration)
  • Upgraded technology tools in support of teaching and learning, including upgrade of course management system and replacement of personal response system with iClicker solution
  • Offered new options to improve classroom engagement and collaboration, including the introduction of smart board technology and pilot of Adobe Connect Web collaboration software
  • Began improvement of access to teaching with technology tools by implementing a Web-based unified services gateway
  • Increased visibility of the value of technology for teaching and learning by introducing Faculty Roundtable seminar series – as a venue for faculty to model effective use of technology – and incorporating Teaching with Technology Award with campus-wide award ceremony
  • Increased support of faculty teaching with technology by expanding summer institute, increasing workshop offerings, adding open labs, and implementing a tech cub program which partners technology-skilled undergraduate students with faculty
  • Expanded iTunes U at Brown to include a public content component, providing greater access to University content
  • Increased digital humanities activities on campus by supporting an increase in faculty projects and helping faculty secure funding for digital projects
  • Increased Brown’s international visibility as a key player in digital humanities by, among other things, participating in Project Bamboo, a program to enhance arts and humanities research through shared technology services
  • Implemented a university-wide event calendar system using the Bedework platform
  • Implemented Brown Course Search tool to add Mocha-like course selection, shopping cart and automatic registration capability to the Banner Student System
  • Working with the Dean of the College, implemented the web-based Academic Gateway for faculty enabling all courses to have electronic syllabi and course descriptions online
  • Rolled out class photo rosters allowing faculty to more quickly become associated with student names and faces
  • Created the Educational Technology Center in the Watson CIT to allow faculty to learn a variety of technology tools for teaching including smartboards and the use of video conferencing for classes
  • Working with the Organizational Review Committee, identified $850,000 annual savings in IT services across Brown
  • Implemented a new IT Support Consultant program to extend departmental computing support to academic departments that need desktop and computing help
  • Implemented a Web Services group to provide web and departmental application development support across Brown
  • Launched a research data service providing 250GB of network accessible storage to any Brown researcher, with additional storage available for data intensive research projects
  • Upgraded power and cooling infrastructure in Center for Computation & Visualization (CCV) datacenter to enable new and enhanced research computing services
  • Successfully completed conversion of faculty, staff and students to GoogleApps for Education for email and calendaring, resulting in substantial savings while providing a 30 times increase in email quota, extension of personal calendaring to students and a wide array of communication and collaboration tools
  • Appointed an Instructional Designer to assist faculty in making effective use of technology in the classroom
  • Completed technology assessment for replacement/upgrade of current learning management system and embarked upon replacement of Blackboard learning management system with Canvas, a cloud-based service as the center of a newly integrated set of technologies to support teaching and learning
  • Extended synchronization of course membership to Google Groups enabling the secure use of Google collaboration tools in courses
  • Worked with the Dean of the College and Registrar to implement a course proposal system to enable departments to propose new courses online and have them automatically uploaded to Banner
  • Worked with the Dean of the College to implement an online course and teaching evaluation system integrated with the Banner student system
  • Implemented remote classroom AV management infrastructure to provide quicker resolution of common technical issues and improved proactive maintenance of audio visual technology in classrooms
  • Deployed a new live streaming service to enable broadcast of live campus events via the web


  • Major systems and other services

  • Began the multiyear implementation of Banner, a new student information system that integrates the admission, financial aid, records, registration, and student billing systems
  • Completed the first phase of the Coeus project in April 2006, a system for the Office of Sponsored Projects to manage and track information on grant proposals and awards
  • Performed a campus-wide risk assessment to identify and address areas of serious risk and inform ongoing security programs and educational efforts
  • Went live with admission and financial aid modules of Banner in fall 2006, with records and registration in process during spring 2007
  • Completed an external evaluation of our Human Resources Information System
  • Began preliminary planning for a new data center to support growth, business continuity, and research computing objectives
  • Completed Banner Student Information System Phase I and initiated Phase II to implement additional functionality and improvements in core business areas
  • Began implementation of an electronic advising portfolio to facilitate communications between students and advisors, to house student work, and to enhance continuity between pre-concentration and concentration advising
  • Developed a five-year strategic plan for IT at Brown that included the assessment of, among other things, teaching and learning, research, and information needs on campus
  • Centralized Web architecture and services for the Brown community and identified opportunities to use the Internet in more creative ways. The team launched a pilot iTunes presence to convey the depth and breadth of Brown in audio and video; launched a social-networking Twitter feed currently followed by more than 1,300 Web users; and plans to introduce a modern campus calendar for the 2009–10 school year
  • Completed analysis and recommendations for the replacement of the HR/payroll system
  • Updated secure identity management infrastructure with Internet 2 open source implementations of Shibboleth for federated identity-based authentication and authorization and Grouper for enterprise-delegated groups management
  • Completed second phase of Coeus project in support of sponsored research providing for electronic submission and routing of grant proposals directly to federal granting agencies
  • Completed the third phase of the Coeus project that implemented the Institutional Review Board (IRB) component to enable improved oversight of the University’s human subjects research protections program
  • Complete replacement of Brown’s budget system and the implementation of new position management functionality
  • Working with the offices of the Provost, Dean of Faculty and Dean of BioMed, completed the creation of a university-wide Faculty Information System
  • Upgraded power and cooling infrastructure in Center for Computation & Visualization (CCV) datacenter to enable new and enhanced research computing services
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity
  • Implemented and successfully tested disaster recovery for Brown’s priority 1 and 2 information technology services including Admissions, Registrar’s Office, Payroll, Finance, HR, WebCT, etc.
  • Successfully completed changes to Brown’s primary data center resulting in added resilience to power loss as well as capacity for short-term growth
  • Working with Senior Vice President for Corporation Affairs & Governance, facilitated the development of business continuity plans for 45 key business areas of Brown
  • Began replacement of Human Resources and Financial systems with the cloud-based Workday system
  • Completed assessment and started on implementation planning for an overhaul of the campus identity management infrastructure
  • Implemented http://m.Brown.edu to create a Brown web presence tailored to web-enabled mobile devices
  • Worked with Public Affairs and University Relations (PAUR) and an external design firm to implement redesigned top level pages for the Brown web site and a template-based content management system for departmental web pages
  • Worked on multiple projects to bring IT operations into conformance with industry best practice including: implementation of a Service Catalog, NLyte datacenter management software, BMC Asset tracking, IT Metrics process and tools, BMC IT Seride Management tools assessment, and Mcintosh and Windows Desktop management
  • Engaged external consultants to assess IT governance and perform a deep analysis of infrastructure capital investment needed over the next 5 years
  • Worked with the Office of General Counsel on assessing E-Discovery tools and began implementation effort
  • Began effort to expand business continuity and disaster recovery planning into academic departments

Action Needed

  • Invest in technology to achieve our academic goals
  • Develop, sustain, and periodically replace our core services
  • Launch full media distribution service
  • Expand 10 gig network capabilities into research buildings
  • Expand bandwidth capacity to the OSHEAN network as well as Internet II
    and/or National Lamda Rail
  • Address shortage of data center space for research
  • Investigate appropriate uses of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Virtual Computing Lab (VCL) technologies

Responsible

  • Provost
  • Vice President for Computing and Information Services/CIO
  • Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration

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