Announcements

Information Technology Services (ITS) Q4 2019 Highlights

The 4th quarter of 2019 highlighted ITS improvements in many areas, including security and disaster preparedness, the SF State mobile app, network infrastructure, and student-focused applications.

Campus Outreach Training

  • ITS hosted two Microsoft Teams outreach training sessions and one Qualtrics outreach training session as it kicked off outreach training for campus. Look for more Teams and Qualtrics sessions in 2020, and the launch of sessions on IT Resources, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Disaster Preparedness

  • Automated the deletion of phone numbers from Campus Solutions (CS) and Human Resources (HR) to reflect Telecom database changes. This ensures that business phone information provided for emergency contact or published in the public directory are accurate, which will reduce wrong numbers, misassigned numbers, and/or phone numbers that have been deactivated.
  • Replicated the last service to the Disaster Recovery (DR) site. The DR project is now completed.

End User Support Statistics

Network Infrastructure Improvements

  • Upgraded bandwidth to the Gym from 1Gbps to 2Gbps to eliminate network bandwidth bottleneck.
  • Upgraded the campus core from 20G uplinks to 40G uplinks in response to increased bandwidth utilization.

Security Improvements

  • SF State is one of several CSU campuses to improve the security of Level 1 data in Campus Solutions (CS) using Appsian to provide added security for PeopleSoft users and data owners. The data masking hides sensitive data such as Social Security Number (SSN) and Date of Birth (DOB), which are considered Level 1 data.
  • Provisioned all campus staff classified as Information Technology Consultant (ITC) to require Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on 12/05/2019.
  • Required encryption (HTTPS) for all access to the main www.sfsu.edu web server.
  • Performed email cleanup to deactivate approximately 40,000 unaffiliated student accounts.
  • Identified and processed 1325 compromised individual email accounts; 760 of these were in part due to a breach of Chegg.com, a popular student services website.
  • October was Cyber Security Awareness month. ITS held a Cyber Security Information Session on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, teaching easy-to-use techniques to improve cyber hygiene, and tricks to keep devices and data safe online. We regularly conduct our security awareness campaign, the results of which can be found at https://its.sfsu.edu/content/securityawarenesscampaignsummary.

SF State Mobile App Enhancements

  • Added Gender Neutral restroom locators in the SF State Mobile app.
  • Rolled out 3 wellness features on the mobile application for “My Academics” and “Housing”:

                • My Academics: “Not Feeling Prepared” – tips to stay organized

                • Housing: “Roommate Problems” – communication exercises

                 • Housing: “Budgeting” – creating a budget

Student-Focused Improvements

  • ITS launched a new and improved custom Short-Term Loan (STL) application with myriad benefits. Developed in collaboration with students, this update benefits students by enabling the application process to be handled almost entirely online. See all the details at https://its.sfsu.edu/announcement/newshorttermloanstlapplicationoffersmanybenefitsdecember52019.
  • In production as of October 11, 2019, ITS completed building a new version of the CSULB's First-Time Freshman (FTF) Admissions Evaluation Page for use at SF State; as a result, SF State applications processed per evaluator has increased. This has a positive impact on more timely notification and admission of applicants, which helps to improve first year admission candidates matriculating to SF State. Timely admission offers increased admission acceptance percentages which adds to first year yield.
  • Created a new PeopleSoft page to track completed Community Service Learning (CSL) hours. This provides a service to better manage CSL hours that are associated with certain courses offered at SF State. The tracked data will ultimately appear on the student transcript as a note under the associated courses. This is important to the educator and students to ensure the proper units are tracked and displayed on the transcripts, which is an official university record.

Updated Websites Went Live

New Short-Term Loan (STL) Application Offers Many Benefits (December 5, 2019)

On December 5, 2019 a new and improved custom Short-Term Loan (STL) application for students was released. Developed in collaboration with students, this update benefits students by enabling the application process to be handled almost entirely online.

The benefits for students:

  • The application process will be handled almost entirely online, with the exception of signing the promissory note and picking up the check.
  • 24/7 availability to apply and request deferments.
  • After submitting a STL application via the app, students receive an automatic pre-qualification or denial because the software calculates what is entered and retrieves Financial Aid information from Campus Solutions (CS) to determine eligibility.
  • Deferments are processed automatically and can save students interest and late fees that would otherwise have been incurred in the old application.
  • Students can edit their information or delete employer(s) if they have more recent employment.
  • Students will receive a five-day reminder that their payment is due for all three installments.
  • The STL application is mobile friendly.
  • The top of the application page graphically shows student application progress / status.
  • When students reapply, their information is saved so they don’t have to re-enter information that was previously provided.
  • With daily file processing, students can see payment status to avoid interest and late fees.
  • Status tracking features provide transparency in applying.

The benefits for Accounts Payable-Fiscal Services staff:

An enormous amount of time and money saved in the following:

Not having to:

  • approve/deny each application due to the new pre-approval process
  • contact the Bursar’s Office staff for interest, late fees, deferments, and holds
  • do manual calculations of interest and assess late fees
  • look up a student’s Financial Aid information in Campus Solutions (CS) to determine qualification
  • notify students of approvals and denials
  • print out and review paper applications
  • process deferment requests
  • review and respond to emails on the status of applications

Increased efficiencies by being able to:

  • easily customize messages displayed on the application and email templates within the app
  • have a copy of daily STL files sent to CS and automatically saved to Box, with notifications sent to Accounts Payable-Fiscal Services and Bursar’s Office staff in a new email distribution list created. This creates an archive for tracking and auditing.
  • message the student from within the application
  • save internal comments on a loan application record within the application
  • save paper for all the forms
  • send messages to students through the application, which will automatically be sent to the sfsustl@sfsu.edu account for tracking and auditing
  • reduce the need for students to call about short-term loans

The benefits for the Bursar's Office staff:

  • The Short-Term Loan (STL) application will automatically send files via Secure FTP (SFTP) several times throughout the day to the Campus Solutions (CS) server for processing by the new job set created, replacing the former manual process of having to manually grab and process files in CS.
  • The Bursar’s Office also plans to use the model for STL job set and processing to process other files received, such as files from the Student Health Center. This will streamline fee processing for their office.

The benefits for the ITS web development team:

  • Allows for mobile-friendly interfaces for end users
  • Created reusable application program interfaces (API) for future web development
  • Developed a new automation process that integrates with CS, as well as using Box API for the archiving process logging that can be reused in future projects
  • Developed entirely with React, an open source JavaScript library for building user interfaces

Screenshots from the new Short-Term Loan Application

Short Term Loan Income Information

Review-Short Term Loan

 

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