We have passed the mid-point for the spring semester and are approaching the home stretch to graduation in May. There continues to be much progress, including the upgrade and introduction of new services.
This newsletter is an important channel we have to introduce important updates to the AU community. We also have customer forums and an in depth Annual Report that also provide additional information and are available on our web site.
As you read this issue of our newsletter, I would like to direct your attention to a few stories that highlight some recent developments. The first is the introduction of the AU Mobile Strategy, which will help to guide the action planning and activities underway in support of the roll out of mobile applications and support. The next is the very successful walk-in Technology Support Desk located in the library. The success of this new venture exceeds our expectations; and we are now looking for ways to expand the support provided to the community.
Another exciting development is the introduction of the iModules system in support of alumni development and community building. This new system empowers regional chapters of alumni to improve networking and communications among alumni and with the university. Yet another new development is the introduction of the new ULearn system for the professional development of university staff. This modern online approach to learning will help AU to better address the training needs for our staff. Finally, we also completed the UI 4.3 project that upgrades the user interface to the university Datatel system. This huge project required the modification of over 800 programs and reports, which keeps us in compliance with best practices and provides the most current version of reporting available.
Next, I would like to bring your attention to those things waiting in the wings to be launched in the near future. In early summer, we will be launching the new student finances system that will permit students to get a better accounting of their current financial balance, as well as pay bills online. We also will be launching a new imaging and document management system with the planned introduction of online solutions for management of information in areas like accounts payable, student admissions, and financial aid offices.
I also would like to take the opportunity to share with you the awards we received in several areas from the SIGUCCS association in higher education that is reviewed in the newsletter. And also, it is my pleasure to acknowledge the recognition by the University Honors Program for our staff in two separate support categories. Further, we bring some focus to the winners of our internal staff awards for outstanding performance. OIT has a great group of hard working and committed staff; and it is really a pleasure to see that their efforts are being recognized.
Finally, let me share something not covered in the newsletter, and that is the upgrade to our Internet bandwidth. We continue to grow our bandwidth. Over the last year, our bandwidth needs have doubled from 500 megabits per second to 1 gigabit per second in just one year. We are in the process of upgrading to 2 gigabits per second in preparation for next year. This major upgrade will take the summer and the replacement of equipment; however, it will position us well for the growth that we expect over the coming year.