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June 2021
McMaster Connectivity Newsletter

For the IT community, by the IT community.

McMaster IT News
Cyber security alert: phishing campaigns targeting McMaster 
A message from McMaster AVP and CTO Gayleen Gray on recent phishing attempts.

McMaster’s Information Security Services team is advising staff, faculty members and students to be vigilant with current email phishing scams.

Read more
IT Spotlight Series - Virtual Pink Folders

IT Spotlight is shining a light on Virtual Pink Folders, a project that automates, streamlines and simplifies the student admission process across Faculties and the Office of the Registrar (RO). Read on and learn more about the project, the teamwork and collaboration behind it and the solution that was a finalist for the 2021 CUCCIO Innovation award.

This project shows how McMaster IT developed an innovative solution to business problems by integrating disparate systems, from PeopleSoft to SharePoint, using robust APIs.

Read more
Happy retirement, Roger!
Roger Couldrey, McMaster’s Vice-President (Administration) is retiring on July 1, 2021. Roger has been the VP, Administration since 2009 and was a member of the Board of Governors for ten years before taking on the VP role. Roger's tenure also included leadership in diverse areas, such as finance, facilities, human resources, ancillaries and, jointly with the provost, University Technology Services (UTS).

Roger will be greatly missed!
IT Governance update - June 2021

On June 3rd, 2021, the IT Executive committee met to review and discuss proposed IT initiatives that were endorsed through McMaster’s IT Governance standing committees. Two projects, Sensible Building Science 'Bridge' and CRM Strategy Proposal, were endorsed through the IT Governance framework. 

Learn More
Ranil Sonnadara to lead Compute Ontario
A big congratulations to McMaster’s Dr. Ranil Sonnadara who has been appointed Compute Ontario’s (CO) new President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Research Officer! Sonnadara, an associate professor in the Department of Surgery, has held many senior positions at McMaster, such as past director of the Research & High-Performance Computing Support group (RHPCS), now led by acting director Jay Brodeur. A search is underway to appoint the next RHPCS director.

Sonnadara's appointment to Compute Ontario is effective immediately. 
Read more
Reminder: McMaster global password reset

McMaster's global password reset is well underway, and we would like to thank those who have already changed their password and supported areas across the university in doing so. This is a massive undertaking, and we're thankful to the broader community and McMaster IT for the support.

Read more
McMaster campus Wi-Fi enhancement 
University Technology Services has undergone major improvements for campus-wide wireless connectivity, including new outdoor Wi-Fi coverage. These enhancements support Back to Mac efforts, and the outdoor wireless will assist the community with increased connectivity as select groups return to campus operations. 

This project includes enhancing Wi-Fi networks across 54 campus-based McMaster buildings. Check out the project updates and more below.
Read more
DocuSign update

DocuSign eSignature is the use of electronic signatures on contracts and other types of agreement documents. eSignature is an efficient way to support business processes, timelines, and remote work. McMaster University has negotiated a reduced pricing with DocuSign for new eSignature service purchases that link to McMaster main account. New purchases will be considered sub-accounts to McMaster main account. University Technology Services, in partnership with Strategic Procurement, will be managing this service. 

The service offering will provide each department or Faculty the opportunity to individually buy a minimum of 500 envelopes. The cost for each envelope will be $3.49 (500 envelopes will cost $1,745.00) plus tax. Departments and Faculties will have the autonomy to manage assignment of the envelopes for their respective areas. Note: If a department needs less than 500 envelopes, there may be an opportunity to combine their purchase with another department. 

McMaster has enabled single sign-on functionality with DocuSign granting access to users through their MacID and password.

To request the DocuSign eSignature service and find details on support and FAQs, please click below. 

DocuSign info
Adobe license renewal

The renewal date for annual Adobe license(s) is July 8th, 2021. Licenses must be renewed or they will expire after July 8th and no longer be active.

The Campus Store and some McMaster Faculties and have entered into a 3-year campus-wide Enterprise Agreement for Creative Cloud with Adobe. This agreement is in effect, and a select number of licenses can be bought for a significant reduction.

Note: a three-year commitment is required to take advantage of the reduced pricing.

Please contact Diane Warwick ( by Wednesday, June 30th for more information. 

McMaster student email migration ahead of schedule

Since May, McMaster student email has been undergoing a move from Gmail to Outlook (powered by Microsoft 365). Approximately 32,000 students, of about 60,000 accounts in total, have been migrated to the Microsoft 365 platform to take full advantage of functionality and integration unique to educational applications. The project, which migrates students in batches rather than all at once, will continue migrating the remaining student accounts throughout the summer. 

Read more
NEW! Microsoft 365 features and updates
See a demo above of the Office 365 Hub for the McMaster Community.

Microsoft Teams continues its summer rollout of updates! Check out some new features:

  • One key update is the laser pointer and annotation feature for presentations 
  • Create webinars with custom registration pages, attendee emails, rich presentation options, host controls, such as disabling attendee chat and video and post-event reporting 
  • Live captions are now available for one-to-one calls and can appear on screen in real time
Many learning resources are also provided to make the most of new updates for Microsoft Teams:
See training events
SysAdmin Day 2021

Friday, July 30, 2021 is System Administrator Appreciation Day! This is a special day to celebrate the extra-ordinary efforts by our system administrators.

Mark your calendars and get ready for some fun!

A Tale of Two Presidents! Virtual Hallway Chats with David Farrar and Denver Della-Vedova

Listen in on the latest virtual hallway chats as McMaster President and Vice-Chancellor David Farrar and Gayleen talk about reuniting with family, remote work challenges and the future of work at the university. Recently, Gayleen also caught up with new McMaster Student Union (MSU) President Denver Della-Vedova. Worth a listen when you have some time!

If you're missing the delightful run-ins and impromptu conversations on campus and want to chat with Gayleen, please reach out to Tanya Reid at to set up a Virtual Hallway Chat.

Catch up on previous hallway chats here.

Newest hallway chat
McMaster IT mid-summer check in event
Join the McMaster IT mid-summer check in on July 14th from 9-10:30AM and enjoy treats, info and good conversation! Special guests include CIOs from across Ontario universities:
  • Bo Wandschneider - University of Toronto
  • Brian Lesser - Ryerson University
  • Marie-Claude Arguin (interim CIO) - Queen's University
  • Nela Petkovic - Wilfrid Laurier University
  • And more!
Submit your CIO questions by Thursday, July 1st using the themes: Return to campus; IT Security; Supporting People & Change
Submit questions
McMaster IT Tech Talks 

Don't forget the next Tech Talk on July 19 from 12-1PM with AVP and CTO Gayleen Gray and discuss timely tech topics, share ideas and perspectives on the possibilities of IT and hear community thoughts as we move closer to the fall term.

Have a topic you want to discuss? Let us know!

Submit ideas
Overcoming imposter syndrome 
McMaster AVP and CTO Gayleen Gray reflects on imposter syndrome and overcoming feelings of self doubt.
Read more

Items of Interest

Gartner for technical professionals license 

As a reminder, all IT professionals at McMaster University have access to Gartner for Technical Professionals (GTP). The objective of the GTP license is to provide technical research and actionable expert guidance to help IT professionals execute their initiatives across the entire project life cycle, from technical strategy to architecture and project execution. As a licensed member, you have unlimited access to both Gartner’s technical research and conversations (“inquiry”) with Gartner’s technical subject matter experts. You can log in here (or request access) to your Gartner portal using your MacID.

You can also reach out to our Gartner Account Director, Shay Norkin ( with any questions.

Back to Mac: staff and faculty townhall recap

University leaders held a faculty and staff town hall addressing topics from campus safety measures to in person components expected for fall 2021. If you missed the panel, a recording of the townhall is available.

Click below for more information, key takeaways and a recap.

Read more
EDUCAUSE QuickPoll results: AI use in higher ed

Check out EDUCAUSE's QuickPoll results about the use and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in higher education institutions in terms of institutional tasks, student success and support tasks. This QuickPoll gathers, analyzes and shares input from the broader higher ed tech community.

Read more
PSE SDC initial recommendation report

Read the initial recommendations from the Postsecondary Education Standards Development Committee. The committee works to ensure publicly funded postsecondary education is more accessible to people with disabilities.

Read the full recommendations report

You can also submit feedback through a survey.

Have a story you want to share with the IT Community? Email Peter McDonald at to feature an article!

IT@Mac Website
2020, McMaster IT

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