CyberCHANT - Coastal Carolina University
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Abdallah Haddad, chief information technology officer, CCU imageFrom the CITO


Abdallah Haddad
Chief Information and Technology Officer
abdallah@coastal.edu

With the year 2018 nearing the end, I would like to reflect on significant ITS achievements, collaborative efforts and a few challenges. I am proud of the hard work and dedication the ITS team has displayed in service to CCU and its constituents including students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders. In addition to daily support for systems and infrastructure, in the past year the ITS team completed over 11,400 service tickets that ranged from providing telephone and network support, assisting with technology implementations and providing web application development, and more.IT Service Requests Fall 2018 image

With the support of the Provost and Executive VP, in collaboration with University stakeholders, and in alignment with the University strategic objective to “ensure sustainable, strategic and prioritized investment in technology to support advancement and effective delivery of instruction, research activities, information repositories, information flow and processes within the institution,” achievements/initiatives have included, but are not limited to:

  • Realignment and reorganization of ITS to better serve the University community in an evolving complex digital world.
  • Major upgrade of the Student Information System/Colleague ERP System to enhance system robustness and access for students, faculty and staff as well as to enhance business continuity and disaster recovery services.
  • Successful Information Security Awareness events, with faculty participation from Computing Sciences, to help spread awareness and practice of information security techniques to keep digital identities secure among students, faculty and staff.
  • In collaboration with the Coastal Office for Online Learning (COOL), supported the addition of new functions and important capabilities in Moodle to enhance the learning experience and add teaching tools for students and faculty.
  • Expanded and enhanced technology services for students with printing, lab and classroom technology upgrades.
  • In collaboration with University Housing, the significant enhancement of Wi-Fi at University Place and other residence areas, upgrading over 1,500 access points.
  • In collaboration with the University Communication, upgraded and enhanced the CCU Alert system to ensure parents and students have access to a high-quality alert system if and when emergencies occur on or around campus.
  • In collaboration with and under the direction of the chief internal auditor, conducted risk assessment to help mitigate and manage risks and their impacts.
  • In collaboration with Graduate Studies, rewrote a simpler and more concise application process for end-users.
  • Collaborated with academic and administrative and academic units on system module enhancements, workflows, as well as several facilities moves and projects.

One of the biggest challenges in 2018 continues to be phishing and spam emails, which have caused major global security issues. We thank faculty and staff for their patience and understanding during the process of the MFA implementation. We also understand that this measure adds an extra layer to access systems and information, which is critical to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information, protect digital identity and ensure compliance where applicable.

As the year 2019 approaches, the ITS team looks forward to effective collaboration and communication with University stakeholders on prioritized technology initiatives and solutions that will help all of us advance the mission and strategic goals of the University, while creating valuable student experiences.

Some initiatives and projects for 2019 include:

  • Launch the University Portal as a secure all-encompassing experience and access; this great service personalizes and improves the single sign on experience for students, faculty and staff.
  • Significantly enhance self-serve printing technology with kiosks hosted cloud capabilities.
  • Service Now will enhance support services for common requests with virtual agents and enhance IT Management Services.
  • Enhance research-based and experiential learning for students through the Internet 2 initiative.
  • Build IT portfolios and Service Level Agreements (SLA) with key university academic and administrative departments.
  • Strengthen our Information Security program and further facilitate the MFA experience.

I encourage faculty and staff to visit our ITS Projects website to find regular updates on IT-related projects and activities.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to serving you in 2019.

Best wishes for the holidays,

Abdallah Haddad