Center for Information Technology Services

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Site Executive Distributes Web Editing Capability
The Web Development Department has purchased Site Executive, a Coldfusion-based content management system (CMS), for UMB web developers to use. Site Executive is a comprehensive web development and content management tool that allows an organization's content providers (technical and non-technical staff) to directly add, update and manage their websites in an effective and timely manner, thus reducing the need for advanced web development skills and experience. This CMS utilizes an Oracle Database backend in order to store and dynamically update information.

Site Executive will be available on the CITS Webserver at no charge for any UMB school, department, or organization that is interested in taking advantage of its many benefits. Training is also being provided at no charge. For additional information or assistance, please contact the CITS Web Development Department at webdevelopment@umaryland.edu.

Bridging the Cultural Divide Through E-Learning
Nola Stair, Instructional Design Technologist; Rachel Smith, Assistant Professor; and Shelley Jordon, Multimedia Specialist, all from the School of Nursing, are slated to co-deliver a presentation entitled "Bridging the Cultural Divide: Technology - Collaboration - Innovation" at the Blackboard Users Conference 2004. The authors will present their experiences with developing a model that has transformed the educational process through (1) engaging the communities of interest, (2) blending eclectic conceptual approaches to constructing new knowledge through interactive experiences, and (3) utilizing e-learning opportunities to decrease health disparities. The model outcomes reflect high student satisfaction, increased student enrollment, effective student engagement, evidence of application to practice, and enhanced liaisons with the communities.

Cooperation Creates IT Security Strategy
Computer security is a serious problem. It's a more vexing problem for campuses and complex organizations where semi-autonomous units have distinct missions, needs and IT systems. The University of Maryland Baltimore is a case in point. Our campus has seven schools and three large affiliated healthcare operations connected to a common network infrastructure. Separate IT groups fulfilled the needs of each organization, school or unit. Conflicting requirements fostered differing practices and discouraged adoption of uniform policies. Security was uneven and sometimes nonexistent. Failure of one unit's security measures jeopardized the security of the others.

Spurred in 2002 by federal regulations, mounting computer security threats, and a growing number of users who worked across organizational boundaries, the various IT groups began to collaborate. First, they coordinated computer support among four help desk centers. This experience demonstrated that multi-organization coordination and collaboration could work in UMB's decentralized environment. Help desk data also indicated that practices in one organization frequently led to computer problems in another. This led the group to find ways to improve cross-organization communication among network managers, technical director and CIOs.

Soon the productivity benefits of mutually confronting common threats and complying with the same regulations began to be realized. This led to a desire to tackle common security solutions. Slowly a set of common practices emerged. These are now being codified into policies and procedures that can be applied equally across all organizations on campus.

For the latest on security issues, policies and practices go to the following URL http://www.umaryland.edu/cits/security/.