University of California, Riverside

Information Technology



January 2001 Meeting


Academic Computing and Computing Support Services Highlights

Faculty Panel Discussions

Computing and Communications is partnering with the newly-formed Center for Teaching Excellence to produce a continuing series of faculty panel discussions. The project began in the Fall quarter 2000 (the initial panel discussion was "Teaching in Large Classrooms"). Scheduled this quarter are panel discussions on student ethics and a second on technology resources available to UCR faculty. C&C is producing a digital video library (hosted on C&C video servers) of these presentations and the initial response from faculty and the administration has been extremely positive.

Initiative to "Link" Multimedia Teaching Facilities

C&C, working collaboratively with the Statistics Department, developed and deployed the CNAS Multimedia Undergraduate Teaching Facility. This 30 seat instructional lab utilizes classroom-management technology from Robotel. The lab also features technology to create digital video (from a "follow me" camera, document camera, and instructor's laptop). C&C is now attempting to secure funding to create a series of these labs located throughout campus. Partnerships are being created with Math faculty (introductory calculus series), Computer Science faculty (introduction to Computer Science), and Mechanical Engineering faculty. The goal of this effort is to create a series of labs that can be linked (via IP) to each other so that a single instructor can manage and deliver curriculum "real time" to several locations on campus.

Apple Grant Leads to Dramatic Increase in School of Education (SOE) use of Blackboard (C&C hosted Instructional Management System)

UCR's School of Education received a faculty development grant from Apple. This grant provided funding and release time for faculty to develop electronic content and innovative instructional delivery methodologies. This grant has led to a substantial increase in SOE's use of Blackboard. No fewer than 50 SOE courses are currently available on UCR's instructional management website (wcb.ucr.edu).

Manager of Faculty and Student Technical Support Hired

Leo Schouest was recently hired as UCR's Manager of Faculty and Student Technical Support. For several years, Dr. Schouest has worked for Computing and Communications as an Instructional Technologist. C&C currently has funding for four full time instructional technologists.

Student Computing Programmer / Analyst to be Hired - Supporting Wireless Communications Initiative

C&C received instructional technology funding to hire a programmer/analyst that will work in UCR's Student Computing center. The efforts of this programmer will focus (certainly initially) on supporting students' use of the emerging wireless network.

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Communications Highlights

Search for Director of Communications and Communications Planner Continues

C&C is continuing its search for a Director of Communications (communications services and network operations) and a Communications Planner. Any referrals of interested candidates would be greatly appreciated (refer them directly to Chuck Rowley, chuck.rowley@ucr.edu.

Wireless Efforts Continue

802.11b 11 Mbs wireless coverage is available in several residence halls public areas, throughout the commons, and in most open areas and several labs in the College of Engineering (COE). The COE pilot group is expect to grow to 50 users by March 1st. Work will begin soon on the second phase of deployment, beginning in the Graduate School of Management.

C&C to Pilot Cisco VoIP System

C&C has installed a Cisco VoIP-ready 6509 router on the east side of campus. In-line power switches (3524s) have been installed in the new C&C building. Finally, C&C has on-site some 70 IP phones as well as a Cisco NT-based Call Manger. C&C plans to pilot this technology within the C&C building over the next 4 to 5 months.

750 Student Housing Project, Grand Marc Facility

C&C is partnering with a second private contractor to connect a non-UCR owned and operated student housing facility to UCR's campus network. Under these agreements, the contractor is responsible for all cable plant, network electronics, and communications closet build-out costs. In turn, C&C agrees to maintain the network in exactly the same fashion as an on-campus residence hall. Although C&C has limited experience with these agreements (only 6 months) the results have been encouraging to date.

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Center for Visual Computing Highlights

Faculty Database Project Completed and Deployed

The Center for Visual Computing continues to be an extremely positive resource for UCR's digital communications efforts. An on-line faculty database (with search engine) was recently deployed. Please click here to view the new site.

Graduate School of Management Site Completed and Deployed

Please click here to view the AGSM web site.

Comprehensive re-work of CHASS site and most CHASS departments underway

C&C is partnering with CHASS for a complete upgrade of the CHASS web site. Although this effort will take several months to complete, virtually all the departments within the college (and the college site itself) will have been upgraded or completely re-designed / re-developed.

Marie Greene, longtime director of CVC, leaves UCR for a position in Maui

Marie Greene, a C&C employee for 20 years, resigned on January 1, 2001. After earning a UCR Masters Degree in Computer Science (she had already earned a B.S in Biochemistry, also from UCR) she took a position with C&C supporting visual and graphics computing (especially for science faculty). Over the years, her organization transformed itself several times, finally becoming an incredibility productive source of web and multimedia development. Marie has taken a position with a computing center in Maui jointly run by the University of Hawaii and one of the U.C. national labs.

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Institutional Computing Highlights

Initiative Underway to remove SSN as Student ID within Student Information System

C&C will be partnering with the Registrar's office, as well as SCT, to remove SSN as the student ID within the Student Information System. C&C will -in all likelihood- contract with SCT to develop this functionality.

C&C to Participate in the Formation of a SIS Steering Committee Similar to the Group Advising Financial System Development.

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Client Server Computing and Administrative Computing Highlights

New OLAP (On-line Analytical Processing) Tool Released to Campus

On January 25th, 2001, C&C deployed a new financial system analytical tool providing campus users unprecedented flexibility when accessing the campus financial and budgetary data warehouse. The tool allows users to summarize fiscal information by virtually any meaningful field within the data repository and to "drill into" totals at various levels (including transactions detail).

UCR Completing Development of Encumbrance Accounting System

In September 2000, C&C deployed a major custom enhancement to the PeopleSoft Accounts Payable system (code that allowed payments to post in the General Ledger summarized by Purchase Order Number, Voucher Number and FAU combination). This functionality does not exist natively within the PeopleSoft system. C&C is modifying this A/P functionality to allow for encumbrances (creation and reversals) to flow to the General Ledger in the same fashion as A/P payments. This functionality is not contained in PeopleSoft 7.5 and is not planned for PeopleSoft 8.0.

Web Based "Generic" Recharge System Development Underway

Virtually all "large" campus service providers utilize web-based transaction processing systems (Fleet, Physical Plant, Communications, etc.). However, there are approximately 45 different departments on campus that generate recharges but do not have web-based transactions processing systems (to post debits and credits, these "service providers" access the PeopleSoft system directly). C&C is developing a web based "generic" transaction processing system for these departments. This system will allow users to select the service provider needed (Police, Human Resources, etc.) and enter their orders on-line. The orders will then route to the appropriate service provider for processing. Once the work is completed, the system will automatically generate financial system journals. C&C hopes to deploy the system within the next 3 to 4 months.

Excel Based Extramural Fund Reporting System Development Underway

C&C has the specifications for (and is developing now) an Excel based reporting system for extramural funds accounting. The system utilizes VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) and will allow users to make direct ODBC / SQL*Net connections from Excel to the campus data warehouse. The end result of the process is a series of Excel spreadsheets containing detail and summary financial and budgetary information for campus PIs. Completion is expected prior to the end of the academic year.

Comprehensive Course Request and Management System Nearing Completion

C&C, partnering with the Academic Senate Committee on Courses, has developed a comprehensive system that allows new courses and modification to existing courses to flow on-line from academic departments, to the Registrar, to College Offices, to Honors and the Graduate Division when appropriate, and finally to the Committee on Courses for ultimate approval and submission to the campus catalog. The product, which features web access and a Windows application developed in Visual Basic, is by far the largest non-financial system application ever developed by the Client Server computing team. The product is tentatively schedule for deployment in the Fall 2001 quarter.

C&C Continuing to Evaluate PeopleSoft Upgrade Options

C&C continues to evaluate PeopleSoft upgrade options. PeopleSoft 7.51 Financials was released in late December (7.51 incorporated almost 750+ patches into the base public sector offering). PeopleSoft is considering COMBINING the commercial and public sector product lines to avoid the patching and troubleshooting problems associated with EACH public sector product deployment. PeopleSoft has indicated that an 8.0 public sector versions MAY NOT be forthcoming.

Web Based Space Management System Nearing Deployment

C&C will deploy a new Oracle-based application that allows for complete web management and reporting on the recently redesigned campus space database.

C&C to adopt Oracle Application Server (OAS) Development Environment

Virtually all of Computing and Communications recent web based transaction processing systems have been developed using the Oracle Application Server (OAS) Development Environment. C&C is formally adopting this architecture (which is highly dependant on programmers skilled in PL-SQL) for web development of systems meeting campus business processing needs. Please click here for a short introduction to the development environment.

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Other Notes

Computing and Communications Move Complete

Computing and Communications has completed its move to a new facility located on the far southeast section of the campus. Included under one roof are the following units: Microcomputer Support Group, Institutional Computing, Client Server Computing, Network Operations, Instructional Technology, the Computing Infrastructure and Security, and C&C Administrative Support Group. The campus Machine Room, Telecommunications, Media Resources, and the Student Computing support group remain in their old locations. C&C was moved to the new facility (a "permanent modular building" with stucco exterior) to allow several academic departments "temporary surge" space until new buildings come on-line.

UCR to name New Associate Vice Chancellor, Computing and Communications

UCR is completing the final steps in the recruitment for a new Associate Vice Chancellor, Computing and Communications. A final decision on the position should be made by the third week in February.

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More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Computing & Communications
Computing & Communications

Tel: (951) 827-4741
Fax: (951) 827-4541
E-mail: helpdesk@ucr.edu

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