OIT's vision is to be a transformative and innovative, yet customer-centric, organization that enables and empowers the UAH community to successfully accomplish its goals through the effective use of technology.The mission of the Office of Information Technology (OIT) is to facilitate excellence in scholarship, research, teaching and learning, student success, the student experience, and administrative/business operations through the provision of robust, reliable, and cost-effective Information Technology (IT) services and solutions. We are committed to fulfilling both our vision and mission.    In the past year, OIT has implemented Crowdstrike to secure our network infrastructure, and we are currently rolling out UAH Get Connected to allow guests easier access to the campus wireless network.  We have partnered with the Office of Financial Aid to implement new scholarship software, and we are working with Business Services to implement new expense software.  In addition, the Budgets office will soon be rolling out the Self Service Banner 9 budgeting module.  Currently OIT is developing specifications for suggested workstation hardware and working on a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that will detail the response times for our standard services.  This will include the support expectations for software and hardware that are out of maintenance or at end of life. If you are planning a software project that may need the assistance of OIT, we are more than happy to partner with you.   You can visit the OIT Project Website where you will find the university policy, the Project intake form, and a Software questionnaire that we send to vendors.

- Malcolm Rice, CIO


OIT congratulates Kelly Jo Lyle as she takes on her new position within OIT.  Kelly Jo first joined OIT in September, 2015 as an Information Systems Analyst supporting several different operational areas.  After a three-year hiatus, Kelly Jo returned to UAH in January, 2020 and took on an increasingly more challenging role with a broader scope of responsibility. The Enterprise Applications group has relied heavily on her problem-solving and troubleshooting skills and technical abilities.  In her new position as the Application Systems Administrator/Application Developer, she will be involved in the development, administration and support of mission critical IT systems.


Google Calendar's new appointment schedules offer some improvements over appointment slots.Calendar Appointment Slots

The existing appointment slot feature in Google Calendar is helpful for internal use cases, specifically if you don't know who needs to meet with you but you want to make yourself available. For example, professors can invite their students to office hours each week or HR professionals can share availability for benefits Q&A sessions.See https://support.google.com/calendar/answer/190998 for more information.New! Appointment SchedulesThe appointment scheduling feature allows users to share their availability via a booking page, which can be used by external stakeholders, clients, and partners to schedule time. It is suited for external use cases: allowing external users, including those without a Google account, to schedule meetings. Additionally, with automatic conflict detection with existing Calendar events, this feature helps reduce time spent finding and rescheduling appointments.See https://support.google.com/calendar/answer/11608416 for more information.


OIT has recently improved the functionality of campus wireless networks by implementing the “UAH Get Connected” wireless network, enabling users to self-register their guest devices through a web page portal and SMS/text response.  UAH Get Connected will allow guest access to the UAH wireless network without requiring planners of campus events to coordinate with OIT to provision the UAHEvents wireless network. UAH Get Connected will result in a more secure and streamlined user experience for our guests on campus.

After a sufficient testing period, the UAHEvents, Guest5, Faculty5, Staff5, and Student5 networks will be retired.  Eventually, only eduroam and UAH Get Connected will be available as the official and supported methods of accessing the campus wireless network. To see a complete list of proposed projects, please visit the OIT Project Website.



In previous security newsletter articles I have talked a lot about phishing attacks and the dangers of clicking on links in emails when you do not know where they go.  Why have I mentioned that topic so many times in our cybersecurity newsletter?  In short, because of ransomware.

Ransomware is malware that encrypts UAH information and prevents us from accessing these files, databases, or applications.  The attackers attempt to hold this data ransom, hoping UAH will pay to reinstate access to their data and will pay to not have that data released to the public.  This is a newer technique attackers are using called “double extortion”.Sure, but that only happens at other places, right?  In the first three quarters of 2021 there were 494.7 million ransomware attacks around the world.  This was a 150% increase compared to 2020 (data from SonicWall).  Unfortunately, the education industry was the second most targeted industry for ransomware attacks with 18 separate universities being targeted (Verizon DBIR and Blackfog).  Depending on the damage caused, a ransomware attack could cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to remediate.These ransomware attacks can be catastrophic.  Howard University was hit with a Ransomware Attack in September which shut down all classes for 3 days.  Also, last year the University of Portsmouth had to close their campus due to a ransomware attack on IT services.  As of this writing, at least seven US universities or colleges have been attacked with ransomware in 2022, including North Carolina A&T and Arkansas (Emsisoft).Preventing UAH from becoming the next university victim requires all of us to be diligent in the way we use UAH’s information systems.  What can you do?

  • Make sure systems are kept patched and up to date.  It’s always best to configure applications and systems to patch automatically if the feature is available.
  • Back up your critical data to UAH servers or using Code42 backup solution.
  • Think before you click on any links sent to you via email or SMS
  • Make sure Crowdstrike is installed and running on all university-owned computers
  • Identify and make OIT aware of any end-of support hardware or software required for your position.  If you are unsure, please submit a ticket to helpdesk@uah.edu and we will be happy to help you.
  • Use Multifactor Authentication (MFA) like Duo or Google wherever possible
  • Pick strong passwords that contain lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Contact your IT Department or OIT if you find a USB storage drive in the parking lot or other public area.  Do not insert it into a UAH computer.

Most importantly, if you suspect that you may have been the target of a ransomware attack, contact OIT immediately so we can respond quickly and effectively.

#besafe #becybersmart

- Jeremy Shelley, CISO (ciso@uah.edu)


Survey responses showed several positive comments for OIT technicians.

From Jana Savanapridi:
"Etta Pettis has been our IT help for the past seven years that I've been here. She has always over performed at her job. She replies to inquiries promptly and there has never been a problem that she has not been able to solve for me. There is no one better and she is deserved of a University Staff Excellence Award and a promotion!"

From Valerie Green:
"Ryan Elmore and Michael Jennings were helpful, patient, and responsive. That is much appreciated."

Jerome Baudry (regarding help by Coe Gwathney):
"Awesome work on a relatively difficult request."

Cayce Perry (regarding help from Michael Jennings and Wendy Worlund):
"The OIT Help Desk was extremely helpful and prompt helping me with my issue. Their instructions were very easy and everything worked with no problems. I appreciate the quick response and ease of the process."

Maria Bricker (regarding help by Ryan Elmore):
"I was treated professionally and my issue was handled quickly according to my request. Good experience!"

Susan Cummings (regarding help by Ana Elmore):
"The Help Desk is always very helpful and the day I had trouble with DUO was no exception. Thanks!!"