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Hi, I am Dr. Rob Rennie, Vice President, Technology & Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Southern. I have been here since July 2014 and have been busy working with our talented staff to create a next generation technology environment.
One of our biggest projects has been the complete replacement of the university network. This project will be completed prior to the beginning of the fall term. It includes the replacement of the core and edge network (the hundreds of routers, switches, and firewalls that connect us to the outside world and route traffic), the connections to the Internet and Internet 2, replacement of all of the university wireless [rewiring and replacement of over 700 access points (the wireless antennae that allow devices to connect)], and segregation and replacement of the entire residence hall network with our partner Comcast.
Another major project is the implementation of SailPoint for identity and account management. This will significantly improve the account creation and management process as well as provide a better user experience. Look for communications regarding changes to the log in process and note that the implementation will take a while before it is complete and in its ideal form. We are also busy trying to upgrade the technology in over 30 classrooms.
My goal as CIO is to provide the best possible technology environment for students, staff, and faculty. There are challenges in resources: money, time, and staff but we are making good progress. You should already have much improved customer service and network access-which will continue to improve. Soon there will be the first round of improvements in registration and similar systems (with a long way yet to go), we are rebuilding the university web, and not too far off some significant new mobile solutions will be coming to Southern.
If you have any questions, concerns, or want to share your views, please feel free to reach out to us through the Help Desk, we really need your input.