CASIT serves faculty, staff and GTFs in the UO College of Arts and Sciences by providing reliable and efficient IT services that complement services provided by UO’s central IT unit. We focus on excellent customer service, and are committed to creating an environment where technology allows our faculty, graduate students, and staff to achieve the highest standards of academic inquiry, learning, and service.
CASIT supports all CAS departments, serving the departmental staff, faculty, and GTFs of CAS, a group comprising over two thousand users. For a list of services, see our service catalog. We also offer services to units outside CAS on a fee basis. Services and fees are specified in a Service Level Agreement with the client.
Our philosophy is to provide a single, efficient source for the shared IT needs of the College’s 41 departments and programs (and its Dean’s Office), and to support the mission of the College by providing the best services we can with the resources available.
Most CASIT services are not available to CAS from any other source. These include:
- Desktop computer support for faculty and staff,
- Secure computer-based exam scheduling, proctoring, and reporting for classes in CAS and other schools
- Computer lab management services
- Hands-on assistance with data storage, virtual machine hosting and configuration, and file share management
- Needs analysis and project management for IT projects
- Volume purchasing for IT equipment
CASIT is not the only unit on campus to offer web application development. However, CASIT allocates most of its web development resources to projects that improve efficiency across the College, including applications that help manage:
- The approval, tracking and invoicing of all technology purchases. Titled “CASIT Dashboard,” this application also manages the entire CAS Computer Replacement Program cycle.
- Asset inventory tracking, including improved software asset management.
- Space utilization tracking.
- Streamlined PRF creation for GTF contracts (in development.)
Some Current Initiatives
Here are some selected projects that CASIT is currently working on:
Addressing increased demand for online education support services
With the September 2015 announcement that all online courses in CAS must administer their exams through CASIT’s Distance Education proctored online testing suite, the number of students enrolled in classes for which we administer exams has increased 60% for the current term. For Summer, 2016, in particular, we have gone from 32 to 57 classes. Depending on course enrollment, we could see as much as a 665% increase over last summer in the number of students testing, to almost 5000 students.
CASIT is working on several fronts in order to improve services for CAS departments offering online courses: We’re adding features to the exam software suite, increasing exam security with biometric hand scanners, and offering consultation services with an instructional designer for online classes.
Needs assessment, project plan and infrastructure rebuild for Printing and Mailing Services
UO Printing and Mailing Services, with the approval of their home unit, Finance and Administration, has signed an SLA with CASIT to review and update infrastructure. The first phase of this three-year SLA is now complete, with CASIT delivering a complete inventory of systems and an analysis of risks and recommendations. With the beginning of phase 2, the CASIT Systems team has begun the process of moving P&MS data from end-of-life infrastructure to the CASIT virtual machine cluster, and replacing applications that are no longer supportable with new tools.
CASIT is in the planning phase of a new iteration of its web-based inventory database for tracking computers and other assets. The inventory application is used by CAS departments and several UO units outside CAS. Version 2.0 will offer integration with the UO Spaces application, allowing users to track and map assets by their physical location.
Piloting “Docker” implementation for hosted web applications
Docker is a technology that allows us to ‘virtualize’ not just the web application and its database, but its server environment and dependencies as well, making it very easy to move applications around from one VM to another, as required by space, bandwidth and development needs. CASIT expects Docker to help us control infrastructure costs while reducing web development and testing time.
System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) roll out for all CAS computers
CASIT is currently using SCCM to create images and deploy them to CAS lab computers. Over the next few months we will be assessing the use of SCCM to help streamline and standardize our support of computers outside the lab. We are also exploring how SCCM can help us with software asset management.
Two-factor authentication for local admin accounts
In an effort to improve our security practices, CASIT Help Desk will be testing two factor authentication for local CASIT admin accounts on Windows and OSX computers. Under this system, these accounts will only be accessible when both the correct password is entered, and the Yubikey USB key is plugged in. This new method for logging in to local accounts will help reduce risk if a password is compromised.
Apple hardware repair certification for our techs
We are currently pursuing this certification in order to allowing our technicians to work on repairs here in our shop, increasing efficiency and improving service to our CAS faculty and staff.
Security response and procedures
The CASIT Security Working Group continues to improve policy and reporting procedures, and to increase security awareness and promulgate best practices in CAS.