Annual UCInetID Password Change Policy

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In response to escalating threats to information security, the Office of Information Technology is working on multiple fronts to strengthen protections. One of the steps we will be taking is to require that UCInetID passwords be changed annually.

Your UCInetID is your key to UCI online services. Use of a UCInetID and password by anyone other than you can result in exploitation of UCI resources, loss of personal and university information, and other potentially negative consequences.

There is a plethora of “malware” on the Internet: on web sites, downloaded via email, and on potentially infected public computers. This software often quietly collects passwords for later use by unscrupulous individuals. The longer you use a given password, the greater the chance it may be captured and misused. Changing it periodically helps you insulate yourself before a thief has an opportunity to use it.

Between January and June 2016, we will be incrementally rolling out a process to require changing UCInetID passwords older than one year. You will receive a series of email notifications starting one month before the change is required. Once that month has passed, a UCInetID whose password has not been changed will be deactivated. It will then need to be re-activated via an online process.

Although UCI Google and Office 365 passwords are not yet linked to UCInetID passwords, we recommend that you change all of these annually as well.

We appreciate your support of this new policy and other security initiatives. Given the imperfect protection that passwords provide, we are also working to implement expanded use of “multifactor authentication”. This involves exchanging a token with a smartphone or other device in addition to entering a password when accessing sensitive campus resources.

For additional information on the new password policy, including advice on choosing a good password, please see www.oit.uci.edu/ucinetid/password-policy/. If you have additional questions, please contact the OIT Help Desk (oit@uci.edu, 949-824-2222).

Kuali Financial System

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In July of 2014, after years of planning, development, and testing, UCI moved to the Kuali Financial System (KFS).  KFS allows us to better manage UCI’s substantial finances.

Elements that have been implemented include:

  • General Ledger
  • Chart of Accounts
  • Financial Processing
  • Purchasing / Accounts Payable
  • Contracts and Grants
  • Capital Asset Management
  • Travel and Event Management
  • Electronic document workflow
  • Decision Support data warehouse and reporting
  • Kuali Security Access Management System
  • Sciquest online procurement catalog and ordering system

The launch of KFS allowed us to retire several business systems (FS, PAL, EQS, PBS, PayQuest, etc.) that were 20-30 years old. While they have served us long and well, they were no longer capable of meeting campus needs nor could they be maintained.  With the exception of PPS, we are now independent of the IBM mainframe at UCOP.

KFS comprises 1.4 million lines of programming, of which 220,000 lines were written to adapt it to UCI’s needs.  The system required developing interfaces to 40 other campus systems.

This was a major team effort, involving subject matter experts from the Accounting Office, Budget Office, Procurement Office, and UCIMC, modification developers, configuration managers, interface developers, business analysts, database administrators, testers, data converters, unit adoption leads, access control leads, security specialists, data modelers, report writers, system administrators, trainers, training material developers, vendors, banks and agencies.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are notoriously difficult to implement, and KFS represents a great success and a hallmark collaboration for UCI.

 

IT Consolidation Update

Consolidation

Consolidation

UCI’s IT Consolidation initiative continues to move along.

On April 20th, about 120 staff from units affected by consolidation attended a “Town Hall” meeting to hear a status report and ask questions.  Presenters included Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Michael Gottfredson, Dean Sharon Salinger, and several staff from the Office of Information Technology.  Materials from the meeting, including the presentation slides accompanied by speaker audio, and a summary of the questions and answers discussed, are available online.

In summer, 2009, Academic Affairs Computing Services, Administrative Computing Services, Graduate Division IT, Network and Academic Computing Services, and Office of Research IT joined forces as the Office of Information Technology.  The desktop support, help desk, data center, and security teams in these units have been consolidated and work on integrating services is ongoing.

In the spring of this year, IT staff from Distribution and Document Management, University Advancement, Design and Construction Services, Parking and Transportation Services, and Athletics were moved organizationally into OIT.  In addition, the reporting relationships of IT staff in Student Affairs outside of Enrollment Services, were changed to report into OIT, through full or affiliate relationships.  Enrollment Services IT will move organizationally into OIT sometime this summer after the recruitment for an Enrollment Services IT Director completes.

OIT Director Allen Schiano has been conducting a series of meetings with the academic unit computing directors to review OIT services that the schools require.  CIO Dana Roode has been asked to coordinate a campus-wide discussion starting this fall regarding how academic units might benefit from IT integration efforts.

The IT Oversight Committee continues to meet monthly to receive updates on consolidation activities and to review longer term IT priorities.  The Committee has developed a set of IT Principles to help guide IT decision making at UCI.

Questions or feedback on the consolidation initiative may be sent through email to IT-Consolidation@uci.edu.

IT Consolidation at UCI

Information Technology (IT) services at UCI are presently delivered by diverse groups which have arisen in various ways as needs were identified.  UCI is now undertaking a consolidation process with an eye toward the most efficient use of resources and more consistent IT support to faculty, staff, and students.

The plan, announced by EVC and Provost Michael Gottfredson on June 22, is now being developed and implemented by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) with the assistance of an IT Oversight Committee with broad campus membership:

  • Ramona Agrela, Associate Chancellor
  • Kevin Ansel, Director, Student Affairs IT Strategic Planning
  • Bill Cohen, Director of Computing Support, Information and Computer Sciences
  • David Leinen, Assistant Dean, Social Sciences (Academic Senior Manager Representative)
  • Frances Leslie, Dean, Graduate Division
  • Rich Lynch, Associate Vice Chancellor, Budget
  • Paige Macias, Associate Vice Chancellor, Administrative and Business Services
  • Marie Perezcastaneda, Director of Business Services, OIT
  • Lynn Rahn, Assistant Vice Chancellor, University Advancement
  • Dana Roode, Assistant Vice Chancellor, OIT
  • Sharon Salinger, Dean, Undergraduate Education
  • Mark Warner, Associate Vice Chancellor, Office of Research
  • Ted Wright, Associate Professor, Cognitive Sciences (NACS Faculty Advisory Representative)
  • Brent Yunek, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Services

Goals for the consolidation process include:

  • making the most effective use of IT talent across campus, focused on the highest priority activities
  • allowing cost savings through staff attrition while mitigating the impact of losing staff in currently unique, isolated positions
  • creating a consistent campus IT environment for greatest efficiency and ease of use for faculty and staff
  • finding and implementing solutions to common problems
  • leveraging the leadership, communication, and technical skills of UCI’s IT managers
  • saving energy costs through consolidation of server maintenance in data centers

The consolidation process will result in the creation of a single IT support organization for administrative units, the Office of Information Technology.   OIT will also make available commodity IT services to academic units and provide other support through mechanisms to be discussed.  Regular consolidation progress reports will be shared with the campus, including publication here in IT News.

First Steps Toward Consolidated IT

UCI’s new consolidated IT organization, the Office of Information Technology (OIT), is just over two months old.

Administrative Computing Services (AdCom), Network and Academic Computing Services (NACS), Office of Academic Affairs Computing Services, and the Office of Research Information Technology group joined forces on July 1 as OIT.  Graduate Division IT has now joined OIT as well.

The AdCom and NACS Directors constitute the OIT senior leadership team and have been meeting regularly since late June:  Marina Arseniev, Cheryl Ast, Shohreh Bozorgmehri, Brian Buckler, Steve Franklin, Marie Perezcastaneda, Carmen Roode, and Allen Schiano.   Assistant Vice Chancellor Dana Roode serves as the department head of the Office of Information Technology.

In July, many discussions among the management and staff of the consolidated units took place to get to know one another and exchange information about job function and organizational structure.  Several teams were created to identify immediate opportunities for integration.

An initial integrated organization became effective on August 3rd.  The first of several planned combined groups have been formed: Desktop Support (see article later in this issue) and the Help Desk.  Complementary functions in AdCom and NACS have each been moved under a common OIT director (electronic security, help-desk, data-center services) to work toward integrating them.  An organizational chart is available online.  The OIT organizational structure will continue to evolve over time.

We have been interviewing representatives of new OIT client groups and are using a survey to enhance our understanding of their needs.  We have also been meeting with the leadership of administrative units with IT groups outside of OIT to discuss their participation in the consolidation effort.

A draft plan for including administrative IT groups in OIT is under development and should be available for review in the October timeframe.  Whereas the expectation is that all administrative IT groups will become a part of OIT over the next year, the nature of the affiliation with OIT in each case will vary depending on the needs of the clients served.  The physical location of IT staff will also depend on client needs, and staff may remain proximate to the units they serve in many cases even after becoming a part of OIT.

All of this is subject to the development of the consolidation plan, review by the IT Oversight Committee and units, and approval by Provost Gottfredson.