FY23 Contributions Report Theme: Securing UF

Each year, Vice President and CIO Elias Eldayrie shares UFIT’s progress made towards Our Purpose. Our Legacy. The University of Florida Strategic Plan for IT: 2020-2025. The progress is reported in the annual publication known as the Contributions Report. The 12-page publication for fiscal year (FY) 2023 is available online in two formats:

Securing UF’s network and UF data is the theme threaded throughout the content sections of the FY23 Contributions Report. Some of the security-based content featured include a section dedicated to achieving HITRUST certification for HiPerGator and a list of new IT security policies approved in FY23. Additionally, VP Eldayrie reports on the progress made towards each of the strategic plan’s six goals.

Anyone with questions about the 2022-2023 Contributions Report is welcome to contact UFIT Communications.

Request Your Spring 2024 Course Shells

Faculty can now request their courses in ONE.UF. (Faculty or staff requesting on behalf of an instructor must still use the established process in myUFL.) Course auto-creation for the Spring 2024 term will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024, at 12:00 p.m.  Any course not requested or marked “exclude from Canvas” will be created on that date. Instructors who would like sections combined into one shell will need to make their request prior to Jan. 3. Any course section added to the Student Information System after the auto-creation date will still require a course shell request.

Instructors cannot use their Canvas courses (via Announcements or Inbox) to communicate with students prior to the start date of the course and the course being published. Instructors who want to communicate with students prior to the first day of the Spring 2024 term can use the Class Rolls feature in ONE.UF. Full course rosters will load into e-Learning after the Jan. 3 auto-creation date.

The e-Learning Support group offers one-on-one consultations to help prepare your course for the upcoming term. Instructors can schedule a consult on the http://go.ufl.edu/CanvasHelp page. Consultations will be conducted via Zoom. Please email or call (352-392-4357) the e-Learning Support group with any Canvas questions you have, or if you need assistance requesting your course shells for Spring 2024.

Electronic Thesis & Dissertation Formatting Help

The UFIT Help Desk provides campus with a variety of technical support services, including electronic thesis and dissertation support. The Electronic Thesis and Dissertation team (ETD) assists graduate students through the formatting process of their thesis or dissertation in accordance with the Graduate Editorial Office’s guidelines. Their services are available for free to all UF graduate students.

Meg Renard, a lead ETD staff member, joined the team in 2019. She encourages graduate students to reach out as early as possible.

“If you look up the template before you start writing, or if you’re at least aware, the process is going to be much easier,” Renard said. “People spend so long writing these things and gathering material. Then, they get to the end, and they have no idea that the submission had requirements.”

Whether you need finishing touches or a full reformat, the ETD team will meet you wherever you are in the formatting process, Renard said. The team’s primary three services are one-on-one appointments, document reviews via email, and free template and formatting tutorials. The only templates accepted for thesis and dissertation submissions are in MS Word and LaTeX, both requiring specific formatting that is difficult to recreate. Faculty can also arrange for an ETD staff member to present to their classroom by contacting the ETD team directly.

Visit https://it.ufl.edu/helpdesk/graduate-resources/ to book an appointment, email your document for review, or view the templates and tutorials. Appointments and email queue spots fill quickly as submission deadlines approach, so it’s best to contact the team as soon as you can. Although the UFIT’s ETD team supports students through the formatting process, the Graduate Editorial Office is a separate office and sets the submission standards and deadlines. Students can view thesis and dissertation deadlines, checklists, and further requirements on the Editorial Office’s website.

Get Familiar with Classroom Technologies

UFIT is hosting two in-person sessions focused on using installed technologies in campus classrooms. The Tech Byte events will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 15 and Tuesday, Aug. 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Turlington Hall – Rm. 2319. All faculty are welcome.

The Tech Byte open house events are a great way for new and returning instructional faculty to become familiar with installed technologies in UF classrooms. At each drop-in session, instructional technology experts will explain the flexibility and capabilities installed in UF classrooms to enhance teaching and learning. Attendees will have the opportunity to try out available technology and resources including lecture recording options, cameras for Zoom/Teams sessions, microphones, pre-installed software, and digital annotation tools. Staff can also provide guidance on incorporating LinkedIn Learning and UFApps into your courses, and help connect you with any other technical assistance needed from UFIT. Faculty and staff can pre-register to attend either session. Or…just drop in!

Have questions about classroom technologies? Please do not hesitate to contact UFIT anytime before or during the semester, at classrooms@ufl.edu.

Resources for Storm Preparation

The Atlantic hurricane season occurs from June 1 to Nov. 30. New to Florida or new to storm prep on your own? Start by reviewing the sites and bookmarking resources from UF and Alachua County, below. You’ll get updated, reliable information on a storm’s impact to campus, campus closures and emergency plans, and effects to infrastructure like RTS bus service.

All updates on a storm’s potential impact to campus will be posted on https://www.ufl.edu/. A banner image (like the one shown) will go live atop the UF homepage in plenty of time for you to prepare. The homepage serves as the official source of emergency information for the university community. UFIT frequently updates the page with the latest information from the National Weather Service, the university’s emergency operations center, and from UF regarding class cancellations and provisions for students who live on-campus.

Additional Resources:

UF Alerts: New students are automatically enrolled in the system using their cell number provided during the course registration process. Faculty and staff are encouraged to enroll by adding their cell number in the emergency contact section of https://one.uf.edu/.
GatorSafe is UF’s official safety and security app. GatorSafe has a lot of great information available, so don’t wait for an emergency to download!
Alert Alachua: Text “ALACHUA” to 888777 for countywide alerts about large-scale events and emergencies.

Improve the Accessibility of UF’s Websites

UFIT is offering FREE Siteimprove training to all faculty and staff who manage websites on behalf of the university. The 1-hour, virtual training will be particularly beneficial for site administrators, web managers, and web content editors who must ensure people with disabilities can equally perceive, navigate, and use their websites.

Wednesday, May 24
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Click here to register.
A Zoom link will be sent to registrants prior to the training.

This vendor-led training session will teach attendees how to prioritize accessibility issues, tips to prevent further accessibility issues from arising, and how to use Siteimprove to fix broken links and misspellings. Site administrators can request access to Siteimprove here. The platform offers users an at-a-glance dashboard that clearly pinpoints where improvements to accessibility should be made. Utilizing Siteimprove helps guarantee university websites comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for compliance levels A, AA, and AAA.

Please contact the UFIT training team for additional information about the Siteimprove training or other UFIT trainings offered.

Bolstering Campus Security: New SNAP App

With a new app, Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP) is now better able to serve students who need a ride home after dark. SNAP, free to all UF students, operates seven 15-passenger vans each night of the week from 6:30 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.

The SNAP by Spare app allows students to see estimated ride time before they request a ride to more than 80 location stops around campus. Scott Fox, senior director of Transportation and Parking Services, lauded the app as a needed update.

“Our new UF SNAP by Spare app was selected for its effectiveness in accepting rides and efficiency in routing drivers using an advanced algorithm,” Fox said. “The new app offers students a more modern and user-friendly interface, the ability to track their vans, expanded customer notification features for important SNAP-related announcements, more accurate pick-up times, and ultimately a more predictable experience for SNAP riders.”

The SNAP app requires you to authenticate with your GatorLink credentials. It is available for both Android and Apple devices. Visit the Transportation and Parking Services website or give TAPS a call (352-392-SNAP/7627) for additional information.

Intern with UFIT–15 Paid Summer Positions

UFIT has a year-round paid internship program for students to gain experience in a variety of IT fields. Internships are now posted online for Summer 2023: https://it.ufl.edu/internships/. Students do not have to be majoring in computer science or other technology-focused program to intern with UFIT.

Computer science junior Lauren Bartyczak (pictured), hopes her experience as an enterprise resource planning intern helps to launch a career in software engineering.

“This position has given me experience navigating and understanding a system much larger and more complex than anything I have encountered in school. Having to learn the system, and my role within it, in a short period of time is something I think will prove to be valuable anytime I need to learn a new skill for future jobs.”

Shaina Desroches, a digital arts and sciences in engineering freshman, interns with UFIT’s communications group. Her career goal is to work in user experience design and software development.

“This opportunity has furthered my understanding of how information about technology can spread. By creating information to target users, I increased the likeliness that users would interact with technology based off their response to media I created.”

Falling for a Phish Can Lead to an MFA Bombing Attack

Phishing attacks are frequently carried out through emails or texts that appear to come from a reputable source. Cybercriminals are skilled at using deceitful tactics to trick users into revealing personal information such as logins or credit card information. Common phishing tactics include:

Unsolicited work opportunities that lead to requests for bank routing information, or ask the new “employee” to purchase supplies, with the promise of reimbursement
Messages warning of an imminent deactivation of your accounts, such as bank accounts, social media accounts, or subscription services
Emails allegedly from the IRS, FBI, or other federal agency threatening legal action, and directing you to imposter websites requiring you to enter personally identifying information
Urgent requests from fake email accounts impersonating a high-level person in your organization, asking you to purchase gift cards or submit your credit card information.

Pay close attention to any email asking for GatorLink login credentials. Unauthorized access to your GatorLink account can expose your personal or academic information. Once a GatorLink login is compromised, the attacker may repeatedly spam Duo Push requests to your device — otherwise known as “MFA Bombing” — hoping you will accept just to make the requests stop. Approving an unexpected Duo request gives the criminal access to your account. Visit the MFA bombing webpage to learn more about this form of cyberattack.