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By Claudia Lynch, Benchmarks Online Editor
Changing with the times
If you have been reading Benchmarks Online for awhile, you may have noticed that the Computing Center has been going through a lot of changes lately. These changes are not only going to continue, they are going to increase over the next several years. I have prepared a a sort of "Cliff Notes" overview, below, to help you grasp the magnitude of the changes you can expect.
Enterprise Information System (EIS) Acquisition/Implementation
Last year, UNT began the process of selecting a new "Enterprise Information System," (or EIS). This system will eventually replace virtually all of the aging administrative systems on campus over the next three or four years, at which time our IBM mainframe computer will be decommissioned and we'll no longer be referring to SIMS, HRMIS, NOBIS, CEATS, and all those other acronyms we've grown to love. The new system will truly be a "UNT System," because it will be shared by the Health Sciences Center and the Denton campus (and of course the future UNT Dallas.) See Enterprise Information System Selection Status Report for further background on this topic.
The EIS news Website contains up-to-date information on the project. Below are two recent entries.
UNT Internet Services
Over the past several years, efforts have been underway to expand and improve the student E-mail system (EagleMail) and move away from older and insecure host and authentication technologies. Inevitable in this process, is the retirement of older technologies and computer systems. The article UNT Internet Services in Transition provides you with a history of UNT Internet services and the rationale for the changes the services are undergoing. The article Internet Dialup Service Changes in this issue of Benchmarks Online, discusses some important - and positive - changes in that service, as well.
Just as the Administrative Mainframe is being phased out, so too is the Academic Mainframe. This makes sense since both actually share a single CPU. The article Academic Mainframe Shutdown Proposed details the rationale for the impending shutdown, and Academic Mainframe Services to be Terminated in 2003 contains the timetable for that shutdown.
ACS General Access Lab Functions Expanded/Enhanced
This summer Academic Computing Services, the Office of Disability Accommodation, the UNT libraries, and the General Access Lab leadership took the opportunity to evaluate and act upon recommendations by the UNT administration to provide more convenient access to adaptive computing facilities for the several hundred University community members who utilize adaptive equipment on our campus. The resulting planning sessions and budgetary allocations have resulted in exciting new technical opportunities and resources.
After careful consideration it was determined that the adaptive facilities should be moved to the Academic Computing Services General Access lab located in ISB 110. This location offers many advantages including its centralized location, its close proximity to the Union where Office of Disability Accommodation (ODA) is housed, and the availability of ramp access far away from busy streets. After this choice of location was made cooperative efforts between the UNT library, Academic Computing Services, the School of Community Service and the ODA helped to make this new facility an outstanding resource for the university. The article Expanded Adaptive Facilities Available for the UNT Community provides further information on this change, including the adaptive software that is available in the lab.
And there's more ...
Add some internal reorganization (in progress) to the items above, changes in computer-based instruction providers, and the possible re-location of some or all Computing Center personnel to the new UNT Research Park and you've got Change with a capital C! Keep reading Benchmarks Online for the latest on this and other new developments.