CAIT Project Updates

If you are considering any new projects or technology purchases (software or hardware), please fill out the Project Information Form

For any questions regarding the projects and services included below, please contact CAIT (cait@calarts.edu). 

Recently completed projects

Last updated: October 15, 2023

Account provisioning improvements

Provisioning is the process of generating account information (username, password) and providing access to services such as Gmail and Single Sign-On. CalArts IT's provisioning process encountered several issues on Hub Helper which prompted CAIT to pursue possible solutions such as fixing and improving the Hub Helper provisioning tool or using a different solution for provisioning such as QuickLaunch. After a thorough evaluation of alternatives, CAIT has chosen to improve the provisioning tool in Hub Helper through fixes and added functionality and moved the app to a new server running the latest server Operating System (OS).

IT Team: Enterprise Applications, Infrastructure Operations

Ad-hoc reporting solution (Informer)

CalArts stakeholders have identified business process needs that would benefit from an ad-hoc reporting solution that can provide access to self-service data analysis and dashboard creation based on governed datasets and real time reporting. CalArts IT has researched various solutions and, after a successful pilot, has chosen to implement Informer. With Informer in place fully configured and linking to a replica database of Colleague, phase 1 of the project is complete. The project team has created a list of past reports and new report requests and will continue to work on new data sets, data sources, and reports.

IT Team: Enterprise Applications, Infrastructure Operations

CopyLeaks

CopyLeaks is a plagiarism and AI content detector tool that can detect AI-generated content, detect multiple forms of paraphrasing, perform image-based text plagiarism, expose attempts to deceive detection software, and detect plagiarism in source code. CopyLeaks is now available in Canvas and training opportunities were offered during Spring and Fall 2023. Various documentation and educational guidelines are available in Canvas and on the CAIT website. 

IT Team: Instructional Technology

Coursedog event scheduling

Coursedog is an event planning application that assists with scheduling and managing events and event resources such as rooms. The project team has created workflows for three types of events which will be available to everyone in Fall 2023:

  • Student live performance/special event
  • Meeting
  • Reception

CalArts staff will continue to build upon this structure and integrate new event types as the need arises.

IT Teams: Enterprise Applications, Infrastructure Operations 

HUB - Pathify

Pathify, the product powering the HUB, provides a centralized user experience for all information, systems, and communications. Communications, in collaboration with CalArts IT, hopes to improve the way information and resources are presented to students, faculty, and staff on the HUB through the judicious use of Pathify widgets and re-organization of content. 

CAIT has moved the HUB behind CalArts' Single Sign-On solution, QuickLaunch, and connected Pathify to Colleague through Ethos for automatic data exchange. The project team has deployed three widgets earlier in Summer 2023 and has updated them to the latest version in preparation for the start of the school year.

  • A Canvas widget gives students and instructors a quick look at their Canvas courses and a quick link to open Canvas for more details. It also shows upcoming assignments, announcements, and grades.
  • An Academic Profile widget allows students to quickly look at their métier and anticipated graduation date, while also providing quick links to Self Service for their academic records and to the academic calendar for important dates and deadlines.
  • A Student Finances widget provides quick links to information on students’ current bill and payment, meal plan, and health insurance options.

Phase 2 of this project will entail a content review and reorganization by Communications.

IT Teams: Enterprise Applications

Lab computer refresh

Computers need to be refreshed every few years as they become too slow and outdated to be able to expediently run the latest software and operating systems. CalArts IT maintains a schedule and runs computer refreshes on that schedule. A computer refresh entails replacing the old computers with new computers and installing the latest secure versions of the operating system and software applications. As part of the CalArts IT computer refresh, CalArts IT updated the Library Lab and the Critical Studies Lab with brand new computers and updated software.

IT Team: Customer Engagement

PyraMED

CalArts replaced Medicat with PyraMED as the Electronic Health Record solution for Medical and Counseling Services at CalArts. The Enterprise Applications team worked with the vendor to configure Single Sign-On for the application, move current records from Medicat to PyraMED, and configure data integrations. The Customer Engagement team worked with CalArts staff to ensure Citrix is installed on their computers for use with PyraMED and that TWAIN drivers are available and installed for the scanner that staff will be using with PyraMED. PyraMED became available to students starting in August 2023.

IT Team: Enterprise Applications, Customer Engagement

Technology setup for renovations and new buildings

CalArts IT is involved with many renovation and new buildings projects working alongside vendors and other departments to deliver network connectivity, Zoom Rooms, and other technology. 

This is a list of renovations or new buildings projects that CalArts IT has assisted with and recently completed the technology work required:

  • Lodge Rebuild (new building): network connectivity, wiring, access point, phone

IT Team: Infrastructure Operations, Customer Engagement

Ongoing projects

Last updated: October 15, 2023

Academic Live Care

Project description: Academic Live Care is a modern telehealth solution that Health Services is hoping to implement to replace Mantra. The purpose of this application will be to meet the demand of CalArts students for physical and psychological support beyond the capacity of on-site staff and in modalities preferred by CalArts student population.

The Enterprise Applications team will be working with the vendor to configure Single Sign-On for the Academic Live Care application so that all users can sign in securely through the same SSO solution we use for most other applications. 

Project status: The team has contacted the vendor's technical team, but SSO is currently being developed for a later release and the requirements have not been made available by the vendor.

IT Team: Enterprise Applications

Estimated completion date: Unknown

AlertUs

Project description: AlertUs is a unified mass notification system that helps achieve optimal emergency readiness by providing various methods of alerting the community of an emergency. 

Project status: CalArts IT has created a server for AlertUS and is currently working on deploying the AlertUs app to all centrally managed computers so that emergency alerts can be sent to all computers on campus. 

IT Team: Infrastructure Operations, Customer Engagement

Estimated completion date: Unknown

Anaplan budget planning tool

Project description: California Institute of the Arts has partnered with Allitix, an implementation partner, to provide a budgeting and forecasting solution on the Anaplan technology platform. The Institute needs a more efficient, modern solution for their 5-step budgeting process: 1) Develop assumptions, 2) Distribute guidelines, 3) Develop preliminary budget, 4) finalize budget, 5) approve and implement. The Anaplan solution will meet this need by providing the following dashboard-driven models: multi-year forecasting, current-year forecasting, budget development, and a data hub.

Project status: The project team has created dashboards for current year forecasting, multi-year forecasting, budget development, bond capital, lease, and position control. The project team has run through several rounds of testing and validation and the Allitix team is currently finalizing the last adjustments based on feedback on position control and multi-year dashboards. Majority of the documentation has been completed, pending final touches to reflect the last change requests. Outside of position control, bond capital, and lease, all other dashboards are being automatically fed data from Tableau via Anaplan Connect. 

IT Teams: Enterprise Applications

Estimated completion date: Fall 2023

Automate Operating System updates with Automox

Project description: CalArts IT maintains several servers that host services such as PaperCut, Colleague, and Transact and all of these servers have to be kept up to date to protect CalArts services and data from potential security holes. CalArts IT will be deploying an automation tool (Automox) which can update the operating system (OS) and third-party software on servers quicker and with less impact to users and services.  As a result, the servers can be kept safer by being updated more often and with less downtime.  Automox will also be used to coordinate the deployment of OS updates to all computers managed by CalArts IT.

Project status: 

  • Completed:
    • All Windows servers have been updating on a monthly schedule since Summer 2022.
    • Script and policy created to deploy Automox to Windows computers.
    • Documentation on administrating workstation patching created.
    • WSUS server has been successfully deployed and WSUS has been successfully integrated into Automox.
  • In progress/pending:
    • Adding Linux servers to Automox - waiting on other projects to complete.
    • Deploying Automox to Windows computers.
    • Deploying Automox to Mac computers - waiting on the the deployment of Kandji.
    • Documentation.

IT Team: Infrastructure Operations, Customer Engagement

Estimated completion date: January 2024

Backup system improvements

Project description: CalArts IT is pursuing more time and cost efficient backup solutions to replace the current backup system. The onsite backup solution will be switched over to the new network storage solutions once that is in place. The offsite backup solution will be switched from physical tapes to a cloud storage solution.

Project status: The project team has identified possible cloud storage providers and their solutions have been tested and reviewed. Backblaze has been identified as the best cost and feature rich option and the project team has configured our current systems to use this new cloud backup solution. Due to licensing issues with the existing software for backing up the Virtual Machines (VMs), the project team reviewed and trialed a new software solution (Hycu) to use with Acropolis (our virtual machine management system). 

Next steps: The project team will pursue purchasing and installing Hycu to ensure all VMs are regularly backed up.

IT Team: Infrastructure Operations

Estimated completion date: December 2023

Certificate management

Project description: Many servers and applications at CalArts depend on certificates to ensure a secure connection between a user's browser or computer and the server or application that the user needs to access.  CalArts IT manages the purchasing, installation, and renewal for all certificates and the process of manually managing certificates is often laborious and time critical. CalArts IT plans to implement a certificate management solution that would automate all the tasks associated with managing certificates:

  1. Creating, configuring, signing, and issuing certificates.
  2. Provisioning and configuring of certificates on servers, applications and devices.
  3. Scanning, locating, and validating certificates.
  4. Inventory and organizing group certificates and managing entities.
  5. Dynamically monitoring, auditing, and reporting.
  6. Encrypting private key storage for security.
  7. Preemptively renewing certificates and preventing expiration.
  8. Revoking and discarding certificates once invalid.

Project status: The project team has reviewed services offered by several security companies and will continue to research and evaluate tools that offer certificate management. In the meantime, the team has started to replace wildcard certificates with server specific certificates via the InCommon Certificate Manager.

IT Team: Infrastructure Operations

Estimated completion date: Unknown

Coursedog catalog

Project description: Coursedog offers an online catalog solution which allows institutions to easily create, organize, and publish branded, student-centric course catalogs, handbooks, and campus policies. 

Project status: A Catalog sandbox has been created and the project team has been working on creating custom pages and configuring various aspects of the application such as templates, department overviews, filters, workflows, and navigation. The project team completed the configuration, quality assurance, and user acceptance testing in staging. Everything has been cloned to production and user acceptance testing in production has been successfully completed. The project team with working with the vendor to fix a few formatting/display issues that are cutting off parts of the text in some areas. 

Project next steps: Roll out Coursedog catalog and send out communications to students and stakeholders.

IT Team: Enterprise Applications, Infrastructure Operations 

Estimated completion date: Fall 2023

Coursedog curriculum planning

Project description: Coursedog offers a curriculum management tool with powerful tools such as degree maps, requisite builders, smart forms, and configurable reporting. 

Project status: Documentation and workflow for current processes has been developed and the project team has met with school admins for User Acceptance Testing. The school admins have completed User Acceptance Testing and everything has been cloned to the production server. Several issues found during testing by Registrar's Office have been addressed with the vendor. Coursedog curriculum has been announced and formally introduced to the campus by the Provost and the team is moving forward with providing training materials to faculty and staff.

IT Team: Enterprise Applications, Infrastructure Operations 

Estimated completion date: Fall 2023

Coursedog scheduling

Project description: Coursedog offers a class scheduling tool with features such as end-to-end scheduling workflows and powerful reporting which help deliver student-centric schedules. 

Project status: The stakeholders have met with the vendor and project management to kick off the project. 

IT Team: Unknown

Estimated completion date: Unknown

Cybersecurity initiative

Project description: Previously called "Encryption at CalArts", the project has expanded to encompass all efforts taken towards cybersecurity as part of new insurance requirements. These efforts include:

  • Device encryption for all CalArts-owned computers, including school computers, in order to protect all data from the threat of hacking and lost/stolen devices.
  • A replacement for Sophos Antivirus in the form of an Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solution (Cybereason) which has better prediction, detection, and automated response to possible threats to your computer and data.
  • Hiring a cybersecurity partner that offers Virtual CISO (vCISO) services, a managed security center (MSoC), and an Event Detection and Response (EDR) solution.

Project status: The project team has turned on device encryption on all devices currently managed by CalArts IT. School administrators have been contacted and empowered to schedule when school laptops will be brought in to CalArts IT so that encryption can be turned on. The installation files have also been sent to several schools so they can deploy them onto the computers they manage. 

The project team has entered into a contract with a cybersecurity partner that offers vCISO services, a managed security center, and an EDR solution called Cybereason. The team is working with this new partner to replace Sophos on all CalArts IT managed devices with Cybereason and the software is now available on several servers, all CAIT managed Windows computers, and some CAIT managed Macs. The project team has already deployed several monitoring devices on the network in order to detect potential issues and security threats.

CalArts IT is working with our vCISO partner on improving security practices and has already built disaster recovery and incident response plans.

IT Team: Customer Engagement, Infrastructure Operations

Estimated completion date: Unknown

Data Center UPS replacement

Project description: UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to devices such as servers when the main power fails. CalArts' current UPS solution was installed in 2011 and is currently two years passed its end-of-life date which means that support and replacement parts will not be available for much longer. 

Project status: The project team has been engaging several vendors and electricians for quotes and to check on equipment availability due to world-wide supply chain issues. The project team is working on ordering the required hardware. 

IT Team: Infrastructure Operations

Estimated completion date: Unknown

Device management tools (Autopilot, Intune, Jamf/Kandji)

Project description: CalArts IT is in the process of implementing several device management tools to help manage computers for initial Operating System (OS) setup, software installation, security encryption, and security updates. These tools will allow the Customer Care team to more easily set up and maintain hundreds of computers with minimal downtime to faculty, staff, and students. 

Project status: Autopilot and Intune for PC are configured and ready for the project team to start enrolling computers. The Customer Engagement configured Autopilot and Intune to automatically enroll new computers as they are deployed, but older computers will be enrolled during Fall 2023 term. 

Jamf is configured and currently in use, but the team has found better options for Mac management and has replaced Jamf with Kandji which comes with better support services. Kandji is currently installed and the project team has deployed the Kandji client to all computers via Jamf. The project team has migrated all new computers and iPads over to Kandji, but Kandji is missing warranty information for older computers. The project team is pursuing possible solutions to this issue.

IT Team: Customer Engagement

Estimated completion date: Fall 2023

Document management

Project description: CalArts stakeholders have identified business process needs that would benefit from a document management solution such as Perceptive Content or Softdocs which provide secure access to documents and can deploy workflows for processing documents according to CalArts business processes. CalArts IT will be working with the Registrar's Office, Financial Aid, Student Employment, Enrollment Management, and HR to leverage the capabilities of such a document management solution and create a repository and workflow environment best suited for CalArts' processes.

Project status: The project team is researching various solutions and their benefits and costs before making a software recommendation and proceeding with implementation.

IT Team: Enterprise Applications

Estimated completion date: Unknown

Financial Aid data from Colleague to Slate

Project description: CalArts would like to improve the student experience by displaying scholarship/federal aid awards for accepted students in Slate. In order to provide this information in Slate, the data needs to be brought in from Colleague. 

Project status: The project team will be using the new iPaaS solution (TeamDynamix) to move data between Slate and Colleague. 

IT Team: Enterprise Applications

Estimated completion date: Unknown

Graduation Application

Project description: The project team will be adding a graduation application to Colleague Self-Service labeled as "Graduation Overview" in the menu. This will allow students to view and submit a graduation application.

Project status: The project team has configured the graduation application and the Registrar's Office is working on adding in program rules and other configurations. Once the program rules are in place, communications will go out to prepare students for the next round of graduation applications.

IT Team: Enterprise Applications

Estimated completion date: December 2023

Hub Helper improvements

Project description: CalArts' Hub Helper platform hosts several applications and reports crucial to student pre-registration, mentor evaluations, student reports, financial reports, employee changes, and other business processes. CalArts IT aims to improve the functionality of the Hub Helper applications, improve the security and stability of the platform by moving to a new server on the latest Microsoft Operating System, and to ensure that each application and report is running on the best platform available to provide the best functionality for CalArts students, faculty, and staff.

Project status: The project team created a new Hub Helper server on the latest server Operating System (OS) ensuring that the platform is running on a supported and secure OS. They have also fixed most of the issues with the Hub Helper provisioning app and added new highly desirable functionality to this app. The project team has also added some functionality and reviewed the mentor review apps in order to fix issues identified by students and mentors in the past.

The project team previously moved pre-registration tasks to Self-Service so that students are prompted to go through those steps in the same website where they register for courses. The project team plans to move the remaining user profile functionality to Self-Service such as the ability to submit a change in gender, pronoun, and chosen name. 

CalArts has started to implement an excellent reporting tool, Informer, and the project team is working closely with those that access reports in Hub Helper to evaluate if Informer will provide them a better overall experience by allowing them to filter, organize, and visualize the data in the reports more easily. 

After communicating with stakeholders, the project team will also remove tiles whose functionality is no longer needed (mainly because the functionality was moved to better tools or the software that required the functionality is no longer being used by CalArts).

IT Team: Enterprise Applications

Estimated completion date: Unknown

Integrating Library presence on Canvas

Project description: As students and faculty are using Canvas more and more for course materials, assignments, and projects, CalArts IT and the Library have begun to integrate Library resources into Canvas so that they are more easily accessible to students and easier for faculty to reference inside their courses. 

Project status: The project team will be working on populating Canvas Commons with modules from academic related departments such as the Library. Faculty will be able to pick and choose which resources to bring into their course by adding the corresponding module from Canvas Commons.

IT Team: Instructional Technology

Estimated completion date: Unknown

Integration of Symplicity products and Colleague

Project description: CalArts is currently using four apps from the Symplicity product line: Accommodate, Advocate, Compass, and Residence. While currently flat file data extracts are being used to provide the data needed by these apps, CalArts IT is researching better ways to integrate Symplicity products with Colleague and better automate the data exchanged between them.

Project status: The project team is currently reviewing the technical requirements and details for the integration while also evaluating if this integration is a good candidate to configure in the new iPaaS solution (TeamDynamix).

IT Team: Enterprise Applications

Estimated completion date: Spring 2024

Integration Platform as a Service (TeamDynamix)

Project description: CalArts is currently using a variety of apps for different purposes such as Symplicity apps for residence and accessibility accommodations or Slate for school applications. These apps often have to connect to Colleague, the database of record. CalArts IT is researching better ways to integrate these various applications with Colleague and better automate the data exchanged between them.

Project status: The project team has researched various alternatives and has chosen to go with TeamDynamix as an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) solution. The project team has kick-started the project, completed the required training, and has begun working on the first integration (Paycom and Colleague) by completing the requirements document. The team met with Paycom and TeamDynamix in a working session and established how data will be flowing between Paycom and Colleague. The team is currently working on providing sample Paycom files (for import and export) to TeamDynamix and will meet with the vendor to discuss outstanding items once the Paycom files have been delivered.

Next steps: Implement TeamDynamix for two more integrations with the assistance of TeamDynamix specialists and then identify further integrations that could benefit from using iPaaS.

IT Team: Enterprise Applications

Estimated completion date: Ongoing

Inventory management tool (AllSight)

Project description: CalArts IT manages approximately 700 staff and lab computers across several device management tools such as Autopilot, Intune, Jampf and performs computer refreshes on a 4 year schedule. An inventory management tool would greatly assist the work of the Customer Engagement team by providing reports for inventory and computer refresh purposes and by providing quick access to all information related to a computer when troubleshooting and assisting users. 

Project status: The project team has identified Sassafras AllSight as a good fit with CalArts IT's current device management tools and Active Directory. CalArts IT will be making use of the many features of AllSight such as the Active Directory integration, the AllSight computer client, printer tracking, and purchase order tracking. The project team has created and configured a new server for AllSight and has started to work with the vendor to create necessary accounts, build a map, and import devices from Active Directory. 

The Customer Engagement team will run a full inventory in Fall 2023 to clean up the inventory that was imported from Active Directory. The team has started to inventory old equipment, wiping hard-drives, and working with companies to try to sell this equipment. 

IT Team: Customer Engagement, Infrastructure Operations

Estimated completion date: 2023

LTI 1.3

Project description: Canvas has introduced a new version of their integration standard for third party tools (LTI 1.3). This new LTI allows external tool providers to offer improved integration standards and security between Canvas and their tool data. CalArts is making use of several excellent external tools that provide integration with Canvas such as Panopto (video creation and sharing), Zoom (online conference and meeting), CopyLeaks (plagiarism detection), and Microsoft and Google (document sharing). CalArts IT will be reviewing current external tools and upgrading them to versions that support LTI 1.3.

Project status: The project team created a list of currently installed external tools and will be reviewing each vendor's documentation for LTI 1.3 versions. Currently, CalArts is using 10 different LTIs with three of them already using LTI 1.3. The project team will be focusing on the Microsoft and Google LTIs first. After those LTIs are updated, the focus will shift to CopyLeaks and Panopto LTIs as the remaining LTIs are Canvas owned plugins and will be waiting for official updates from Canvas. Panopto and Google have already introduced LTI 1.3 versions with the current Google LTI going end-of-life in June 2024.

Next steps: The project team will focus on switching over to LTI 1.3 for Google and Panopto over the Winter and Spring 2024 terms.

IT Team: Instructional Technology

Estimated completion date: By Fall 2024

Modern Campus Destiny Connect

Project description: Extended Studies uses Modern Campus' Destiny One as its Student Information System. Destiny Connect uses Ethos to connect Destiny One and Colleague so student and course data can be exchanged between the two systems. This improvement will lead to automation of certain student data entry tasks as well as the ability to have Extended Studies student and course information synced with Canvas via ILP (Intelligent Learning Platform). Destiny Connect will create a seamless integration between multiple systems.

Project status: Stakeholders have evaluated CalArts' data needs and collected specific requirements from various applications and services that require Extended Studies student data. The project team is working with Modern Campus to understand Destiny One data, focusing on if and where certain data resides that is necessary for CalArts apps. The project team has engaged the Registrar's Office to discuss the Colleague side of the connector. 

The project team has reviewed all use cases, made modifications to data and configuration as necessary within Destiny One, and submitted all the requirements to Modern Campus. Once Modern Campus completes the migration exercises, the project team can start testing the connector in the test environments as the Destiny One live environment was cloned to the test environment with all its data (courses, sections, registrations, students). 

IT Team: Enterprise Applications

Estimated completion date: December 2023

Monitoring system

Project description: CalArts IT is reviewing alternative monitoring systems in order to get better features and lower cost compared to the current monitoring system that provides various server alerts and status updates. 

Project status: The project team has identified a potential product and is currently working on obtaining quotes. Once a quote is approved and the contract is signed, the project team will be working to deploy and configure the application. In the meantime, the project team has downloaded and installed the latest software updates for the current monitoring solution. This way the Infrastructure Operations team has access to the latest version of the monitoring application while pursuing a more feature-rich alternative.

IT Team: Infrastructure Operations

Estimated completion date: Unknown

Network refresh

Project description: Just like computers have a refresh cycle, network equipment also has to be refreshed every few years. This year's network refresh will be upgrading every network equipment on campus such as firewall, core network equipment, routers, and cabling. CalArts IT will also take this opportunity to introduce better cabling management for the network equipment. 

Project status: The project team finalized a network layout plan, performed extra physical checks against current equipment and will be ordering the necessary equipment. New firewalls have been delivered, configured, and replaced the old firewalls. Due to equipment availability issues, the wired network refresh has been delayed to Summer 2024 and the wireless network refresh will be completed first (piecemeal in Fall 2023 and Spring 2024). 

IT Team: Infrastructure Operations

Estimated completion date: 2024

Network storage solution (FileCloud)

Project description: In order to respond to the changes in the Google policy for storage, CalArts IT is working on finding a network storage solution to alleviate the demand on Google Drive storage. 

Project status: The project team has chosen 45Drives as the best hardware solution for CalArts and the equipment has been ordered and received. The project team has installed the equipment in the server rack and the equipment has been connected to the CalArts networking infrastructure. The project team worked with an engineer to configure 45Drives once it was physically installed. A software solution (FileCloud) was configured and Single Sign-On was set up for a group of test users. Several CAIT staff members are testing FileCloud and the project team is addressing any issues that arise.

The project team is hoping to make personal shares available to staff, faculty, and students in Fall 2023. Once those are configured, the project team will focus on configuring other use cases such as the current departmental file share. 

IT Team: Enterprise Applications, Infrastructure Operations

Estimated completion date: Fall 2023

Nutanix upgrade

Project description: CalArts IT uses a Nutanix appliance as a virtualization software solution and is currently running VMWare software in order to create and manage Virtual Machines (VMs). CalArts IT will be upgrading to the newest Nutanix hardware and also switching from VMWare to Nutanix software which is included in the pricing package for the hardware solution. This change will require some staff training on Nutanix software, but will result in cost saving due to no longer needing to pay for VMWare software.

Project status: The project team has configured the new Nutanix appliance and moved 98% of VMs over to this new appliance.

IT Team: Infrastructure Operations

Estimated completion date: Fall 2023

Printer refresh

Project description: Multi-function printers at CalArts are currently provided through a contract with RICOH and, in preparation for May 2024 when the contract expires, CalArts IT will work with various vendors to assess the best options for current printer needs on campus. 

Project status: The project team has started to review campus printer needs with RICOH which will include serving current departments and spaces as well as expanding services to Vista Village.

IT Team: Customer Engagement, Infrastructure Operations 

Estimated completion date: May 2024

Secondary internet connection

Project description: In order to ensure better uptime for services on campus CalArts IT has been exploring installing a secondary internet connection that would be used in case of internet outage on campus. 

Project status: The project team worked with Palo Alto to test failover and has been running further failover tests with a 3rd possible connection over 5G. The latest tests for the 5G failover have been successful and the team will be starting to work on a secondary internet connection installation and failover plans.

IT Teams: Infrastructure Operations

Estimated completion date: Unknown

Server upgrades

Project description: CalArts IT maintains several servers hosting various environments for Colleague and other services such as Business Objects and Synoptix. We are always updating and upgrading servers to maintain the most efficient environment. This will enable CalArts IT to ensure that crucial services such as Colleague are running on the latest servers.

Project status: Several servers have been completely migrated and the old servers have been shut down and/or deleted. The Colleague servers (application, database, departmental test environments), Business Objects servers and Synoptix servers are running on new software and final checks were completed to ensure everything has been migrated and the old servers have been shutdown. The Transact (omni) server hosting the database was migrated to a new Linux server before being decommissioned. The domain servers have been replaced with new servers, as well. A few servers will be decommissioned rather than upgraded once the applications they host are replaced with new ones. 

IT Teams: Infrastructure Operations, Enterprise Applications, Customer Care

Estimated completion date: Unknown

Slate documents into Perceptive Content

Project description: Perceptive Content enables access to documents and folders, as well as tasks and workflows, on mobile devices and web browsers. The content and process management product suite provides accessible and secure information through the entire content lifecycle, regardless of format. Perceptive Content Apps offer module platform capabilities that can be pieced together to create purpose-build work environments and tailored user experiences. The project team will be working to bring in documents submitted by applicants in Slate into Perceptive Content.

Project status: The project team worked together with the vendor to set up the export which will occur at the end of add/drop each semester. Terms prior to Fall 2023 are being worked on and documents for the current term are next. 

IT Team: Enterprise Applications

Estimated completion date: Fall 2023

Staff computer refresh

Project description: Computers need to be refreshed every few years as they become too slow and outdated to be able to expediently run the latest software and operating systems. CalArts IT maintains a schedule and runs computer refreshes on that schedule. A computer refresh entails replacing the old computers with new computers and installing the latest secure versions of the operating system and software applications.

As part of the CalArts IT computer refresh, CalArts IT will be updating staff computers with brand new computers and updated software.

Project status: The project team has performed a pre-inventory check to establish whose computer is due for a refresh and will be ordering computers soon as the quote has been approved. During Fall 2023, the project team will contact staff who will be able to schedule a time with the Customer Engagement team in order to exchange their current computer for a new computer.

IT Team: Customer Engagement

Estimated completion date: Fall 2023

Technology setup for renovations and new buildings

Project description: CalArts IT is involved with many renovation and new buildings projects working alongside vendors and other departments to deliver network connectivity, Zoom Rooms, and other technology. 

Project status: This is a list of currently ongoing renovations or new buildings projects that CalArts IT is assisting with:

  • Cattern House Pasadena: internet contract with ISP, network equipment
  • Vista Village:
    • Completed: network closet, uplink and antenna setup, secondary internet connection, wiring and network connectivity for rooms 109 and 110, cameras
    • In progress: wiring and network connectivity to other rooms, switches to accommodate future expansion, installation of 2 more cameras, installation of computer equipment and TVs, Zoom Room setup, new printers
  • A-block restoration
    • Completed: cable and equipment removal, network closet, network connectivity, connectivity and equipment in 3 classrooms and several offices
    • In progress: wiring and equipment installation for cubicle spaces for students
  • HVAC Control System: wiring, control cables
  • G201/202: complete AV system replacement
  • Town Center: remove equipment

IT Team: Infrastructure Operations, Customer Engagement

Estimated completion date: Ongoing

VPN replacement

Project description: Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a software solution that allows users to access resources and services securely and can be used to allow users access to on-campus only resources from home while maintaining the security of those resources. CalArts' current VPN solution is end-of-life as of 2020 and CalArts IT has been researching a better and more modern way of providing the same services instead of purchasing a similar VPN solution. 

Project status: The project team has reviewed Parallels Remote Access Service as a solution for certain VPN services and tested a proof of concept build. As a result, CalArts IT has purchased, installed, and configured Parallels for remote server and application access. The project team created and set up a Remote Desktop server in order to facilitate remote server access. Various CAIT teams are testing remote server and application access through Parallels. The project team has put Parallels behind a Web Application Firewall (WAF) and further testing and configuration is underway to ensure all remote servers and applications are still accessible. The Enterprise Applications team has started working on Single Sign-On configuration for Parallels.

Once all access requirements for CAIT day to day operations have been configured and successfully tested, the project team will reach out to departments to configure and test server, application, and web application access for the day to day needs of each department. Once all departments are able to connect successfully to the resources they need via Parallels or the web application firewall, then the current VPN solution will be decommissioned. 

IT Team: Infrastructure Operations, Enterprise Applications

Estimated completion date: Unknown

Website redesign

Project description: The Office of Communications and IT have begun the process of designing and developing a dynamic new calarts.edu website, a process that will unfold over the next year with a projected launch in the summer of 2024. This is an institute-wide project and CalArts is partnering with NewCity, a digital strategy agency, who will be building the new CalArts website. This project aims to deliver a new CalArts website that will elevate the CalArts brand, balance the needs of multiple audience groups, deliver rich multimedia content for dynamic storytelling, meet high accessibility standards, and ensure a good multi-device experience. The project team will ensure that the website has an effective navigation strategy and the CalArts team has the tools to measure performance for continuous improvement and to easily manage and update the website over time.

Project status: The project team has been gathering input and insight from a broad spectrum of CalArts departments and communities via 1-on-1 interviews and small group workshops. The project team has presented at several councils and board meetings and an email has gone out informing all faculty, staff, and students about this endeavor. Based on the insights gained, the team built an audience research plan and sent out surveys to three different key groups: incoming Fall 2023 students, prospective students interested in an arts program, and CalArts faculty. 

The project team has begun the technical discovery process and NewCity has begun reviewing the current CalArts website, its analytics, and any existing and desired integrations. The project team has begun work on design and wireframes based on the insights gathered through stakeholder engagement, technical discovery, and historical background provided by key members in the team deeply familiar with the CalArts community and website. The project team has expanded with extra resources for design and content review work.

Project next steps: Gather further input and insight from the various CalArts communities. Deep dive into audience research survey results and build out a story-telling strategy. Design and develop the site architecture, look and feel, content strategy, and pattern library. Build out the content for the website. Test out website for browser support and accessibility. 

IT Team: Enterprise Applications, Infrastructure Operations

Estimated completion date: Summer 2024

Year-to-Date report on instructional technology use on campus

Project description: As instructional technologies such as Canvas, Panopto, and CopyLeaks have been introduced to faculty and students at CalArts over the last year, it is important to look back on how this technology is being used at CalArts and highlight some innovative best practices.

Project status: The project team will be working on both quantitative and qualitative analyses of instructional use on campus and highlight innovative best practices. This report will be provided to faculty and school administration.

IT Team: Instructional Technology

Estimated completion date: December 2023

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