OIT News – July 2009

OIT News
Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 21, July 2009

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For the up-to-the minute reports on OIT systems, see SysNews:
For help with computing problems, contact the NC State University Help Desk:


01: MyPack Portal, WolfWise and other OIT services outage planned weekend of July 17-19
02: E-mail as a public record – When in doubt, keep your e-mail!
03: OIT sponsors Lunch and Learn: All the Hype about Skype
04: WolfWise training opportunities available
05: New Clicker training sessions offered
06: NC State employees offered free Microsoft Office E-Learning
07: SAR training scheduled for August 18
08: Keep abreast of upcoming SIS modifications
09: OIT publishes second annual report
10: Download new Trend Micro antivirus products


01: MyPack Portal, WolfWise and other OIT services outage planned weekend of July 17-19
NC State faculty, staff and students should be aware that a number of OIT services will not be available this weekend due to emergency maintenance on the electrical configurations of the Data Center 2 (DC2) facility. Until this critical maintenance is done, the university is at risk of losing access to a large number of systems and applications in the event of an extended power outage.

The shutdown of services will begin as early as Friday night, July 17 in preparation for this maintenance, but the majority of shutdowns will take place approximately 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 18. Major administrative systems such as the MyPack Portal, the Student Information System (SIS) and the Financial and Human Resources systems will be available until 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 18. Financial and Human Resources reporting environments will not be updated Saturday night. Transactions entered into the Financial and Human Resources production systems on Saturday and Sunday will be reflected in their corresponding reporting environments on Monday, July 20.

All services should be restored by 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 19.

Services that are affected include:

  • The MyPack Portal and its associated services (course registration, housing, payroll, leave, etc.)
  • The WolfWise email and calendaring system (WolfWise will be degraded and will suffer a brief outage during the maintenance.)
  • Some Unity/Cyrus IMAP servers (Some servers will be unavailable; however, mail sent to these servers will be held until after the outage and then delivered.)
  • Some AFS file servers
  • Some campus Web pages and sites (The university home page should be available.)

Please check SysNews for updates. If you have any questions, please contact the NC State Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or 515-HELP (4357).

02: E-mail as a public record – When in doubt, keep your email!
The University E-mail Retention Regulation is currently under review, and the university is investigating technology solutions to meet its legal obligations to preserve email. In the meantime, the Office of Information Technology would like to remind faculty and staff of the current email retention policy.

Faculty and staff have the responsibility to preserve all email and other electronically transmitted documents of a non-transient nature that is related to the public business of the university. This information is public record and belongs to the people of North Carolina.

Employees should conduct work-related business through university email systems. This practice makes complying with records requests much easier and can help prevent your personal email accounts from also being subjected to discovery or subpoena for university business emails.

OIT recommends that you do not use university email accounts for personal purposes, although the university generally allows personal use of its email systems for non-commercial, incidental use. As a state employee, your university e-mail account is not considered private because of business and legal demands of the university. Email in that account is subject to business information needs, legal discovery and public records requests, and as such, the university can access that email. The university can also review, delete or retain the information in your email account for work purposes after you leave the university.

In most cases, when you leave the university, you will lose access to your university e-mail account and any personal e-mail it may contain. This means you must create another account elsewhere and communicate that change to all your personal email contacts that had been using your university email address. Google, Hotmail and Yahoo offer free email services with basically unlimited storage. You can satisfy your personal email needs with any of these good alternatives on a long-term basis.

For more information about e-mail retention, visit the University Email Retention Regulation Web page.

03: OIT sponsors Lunch and Learn: All the Hype about Skype
OIT is sponsoring a Brown Bag Lunch and Learn session, “All the Hype about Skype,” from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29 in 216 Scott Hall. Donna Barrett of the College of Management will talk about Skype, software that allows users to make voice and video calls via the Internet, and how it fits into your office toolbox. Her presentation will include creative ways to use Skype (conference and international calls, virtual office hours and phone interviews) and will note some potential gotchas. Skype is available on the Windows, MAC OS X and the Linux platforms. To register, visit ClassMate.

04: WolfWise training opportunities available
The migration from Oracle calendar to WolfWise took place the weekend of June 19, and new WolfWise users are reminded that training opportunities are available by registering on the WolfWise Training Web page (no longer available). Custom training is also available for groups of five or more people. WolfWise is NC State’s implementation of Novell GroupWise for its single centrally supported calendaring and e-mail solution for faculty and staff.

Users who have questions or problems pertaining to the migration should contact the NC State Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or 515-HELP (4357).

05: New Clicker training sessions offered
Turning Technologies will conduct beginner and advanced Clicker training during the month of August. To register, visit Classmate. Training sessions include the following:

  • New User (PC) Clicker Training
    12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. August 5, ITTC Lab A, D.H. Hill Library
    9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. August 6, ITTC Lab B, D.H. Hill Library
  • Turning Anywhere Clicker Training (MAC or PC)
    3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. August 5, ITTC Lab A, D.H. Hill Library
  • Intermediate (PC) Users Clicker Training
    1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. August 6, ITTC Lab A, D.H. Hill Library

06: NC State employees offered free Microsoft Office E-Learning
As a Software Assurance benefit of the Microsoft Office site license, NC State faculty and staff are now eligible for free E-Learning for various Office applications: Access, Excel, Groove, InfoPath, Office, Office SharePoint Server, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Visio and a few others.

The E-Learning is geared for both information workers and IT professionals. To get access to this free training, please visit the Software Licensing Web site. Currently, the training is only available for Windows versions of the applications. You will also be required to conduct these classes in IE7 or higher.

If you have questions, please contact either Bill Coker via email at bill_coker@ncsu.edu or Mark Harben at mark_harben@ncsu.edu.

SAR training scheduled for August 18
Security Access Request (SAR) training for campus requestors and approvers is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, August 18 in the EAS Training Lab (302 Harrelson Hall). Please visit the Training Web site to view available classes and to sign up for training.

08: Keep abreast of upcoming SIS modifications
Want to know about upcoming modifications to the Student Information System (SIS)? You can join the SIS listserv and learn about modifications as they become available. To join this listserv, send an email to sis_info-owner@lists.ncsu.edu or visit the NCSU Majordomo SIS Listserv page and subscribe. Some upcoming modifications include:

  • Instructors will be allowed to see which students meet course pre-requisites by choosing an alternate view of the Class Roster.
  • Scheduling Officers will be able to remove/alter scheduling restrictions, such as reserve capacities, more easily.
  • Instructors and departmental/college staff will be able to enter grade changes directly into the system. This would eliminate the current Grade Change Form and significant data entry work in Registration and Records.

For more information, visit the SIS Web site.

09: OIT publishes second annual report
The Office of Information Technology Annual Report, 2008-09 is now available online and in pdf format. The report highlights OIT’s efforts to enhance NC State’s information and communication technology (ICT), while creating a positive new organization. It’s the organization’s second annual report since its formation in November 2007.

10: Download new Trend Micro antivirus products 
Antivirus protection is required of all NC State students, faculty and staff connecting to the campus network. If you previously obtained Symantec antivirus from NC State, it is no longer available and is not protecting your computer. To get your free copy of the new, university-provided antivirus software – Trend Micro OfficeScan 8 for Windows and Intego VirusBarrier X5 for Mac OS X  –  visit the NC State Antivirus Resources Web site. If you have any questions, please contact the NC State Help Desk athelp@ncsu.edu or 515-HELP (4357).

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For help with computing at NC State, contact the NC State Help Desk:
help@ncsu.edu, phone 515-HELP (4357), or visit Room 101, West Dunn Building.

Send your comments or suggestions about OIT News to Rhonda Greene, OIT Information and News Services, at rhonda_greene@ncsu.edu.