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Summer Brings Many Technology Changes

Summer is here. The campus is quiet. And, excitement is building in the Office of Information Technology (OIT) as we prepare to deploy a number of new or improved services to better meet your technology needs. Here are some of the highlights:

  • myAU.american.edu portal
    One of the biggest changes will be the introduction of a new portal to replace my.american.edu. The new myAU.american.edu portal will provide the ability for members of the AU community to interact, collaborate, and share information with one another and dramatically improve their transactional processes. Look for announcements to come on the official launch date.
  • Blackboard 9.1
    Many of you have requested a way to get things done in fewer clicks within Blackboard. The answer is the new Blackboard 9.1 application, which provides a more efficient interface and support for Web 2.0 features, such as wikis, blogs, and personal and class journals, with an easier way to add multimedia. This migration will not influence summer courses or your work on fall courses created during the summer. Your courses will be migrated on August 7, before the start of the semester. To learn more about the plan, click here.
  • Improved wireless network infrastructure
    More and more members of the AU community are taking advantage of AU’s wireless campus. This summer, OIT will begin implementing a redesigned wireless network infrastructure using new wireless standards and access points with support for higher connection speeds, secure transfer, and more bandwidth. This project is expected to continue throughout the academic year.
  • New voice mail system
    Roll out of a new voice mail system will begin as a phased deployment across the several campuses during the summer and fall semesters. The new system offers a unified messaging solution, so you can send, receive, store, and listen to voice mail messages on your computer or BlackBerry, in addition to your office phone.
  • Whole disk encryption
    Efforts to protect confidential data stored on AU-owned workstations continue. OIT will continue coordinating with faculty and staff members who regularly work with confidential data through the Datatel or EagleData systems on AU-owned laptops running Windows XP.
  • Patch management software
    There has been a recent surge in malware infections, due to exploitations of outdated or vulnerable software. To reduce risk, OIT will begin using patch management software to address software vulnerabilities on faculty and staff AU-owned workstations. The first phase will ensure that Microsoft Recommended Patches are successfully installed. Other Windows and Macintosh applications will follow.
  • Remote enterprise-class data center
    A new remote enterprise-class data center, located in Reston, Virginia, will come online in the summer months to support configuration of key AU information services to allow for higher service availability levels. Our primary objective will be to meet and improve the recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives for services as designated in the OIT Business Continuity Plan.

Please contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550, e-mail helpdesk@american.edu or on instant messenger at AskAmericanUHelp for information on any of these initiatives.