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March 2022
McMaster Connectivity Newsletter

For the IT community, by the IT community.

McMaster IT News
New HR Workforce Dashboard available through Oracle BI 

The Human Resources (HR) and Institutional Research and Analysis (IRA) teams have been working together to develop the Oracle Business Intelligence Workforce Dashboard. This will provide Mosaic HR data users with interactive workforce dashboards and reports to help explore workforce data and enable leaders across the McMaster community to make evidence-based decisions. 

The new dashboard shows aggregated employee demographic data and year over year trend of employee life cycle events, such as hires, promotions, career growths, transfers and more. The interactive charts and tables let users to compare workforce data for different groups or how a department changes over time. 

Visit dashboard
Learn more about data governance at McMaster

Interested in learning more about data governance at McMaster? Be sure to check out the Provost's website to learn about all the aspects of data governance at the institution.

Regular updates to the McMaster community will be provided in the Institutional Research and Analysis (IRA) Newsletter. For more information, contact:

Read more

Celebrating McMaster Women in Tech and International Women's Day

On March 8, McMaster recognized and celebrated International Women’s Day! It is an important time to acknowledge and reflect on the achievements and great work done by women, particularly in the IT community. Within McMaster’s IT community alone, we are extremely grateful to have strong women tech leaders that choose to enhance campus experience through technology. 
Read more
McMaster IT/Gartner Virtual Event April 5: Continue the AI conversation with Carlton Sapp 

Join Carlton Sapp, Managing Vice President from Gartner's Data Analytics team, and McMaster's AVP and CTO, Gayleen Gray. On Tuesday, April 5, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Carlton and Gayleen will discuss the digital future, with a focus on AI in higher ed. Audience questions are welcome!


COMING SOON: A new, streamlined approach for McMaster cyber alerts 

Starting April 2022, the McMaster Information Security Services team will introduce new methods for sharing critical information and updates from the cyber security landscape (e.g. CanSSOC) with the McMaster IT community. Watch for Teams and email communications coming soon. 

Continuing this month: MFA for Microsoft 365 required for students, faculty and staff

The Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) universal adoption policy started to roll out in January 2022. All McMaster staff, faculty and professors emeriti are required to use MFA on their McMaster Microsoft account by April 29, 2022. Student activation will extend to Spring/Summer 2022.

But there’s no need to wait! You can start today! McMaster students, faculty and staff can sign up for and use MFA right now.

Learn more

MFA drop-in sessions to support universal adoption

To support the McMaster community with universal adoption of MFA, the Information Security Services team is hosting virtual drop-in sessions for anyone who has questions about how to prepare yourself for MFA, guide you on the set-up process and address any questions.

Virtual drop-in sessions are available on Microsoft Teams meetings every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. until June 30, 2022. Community members can also join the Microsoft Teams group to post questions and get answers from the Information Security Services team.

IT security tips for McMaster users traveling abroad

Planning a trip? Check out these handy tips to help maintain IT security best practices before, during and after you travel.

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McMaster GSuite decommission on May 4, 2022

McMaster GSuite account holders must move any files and data they wish to keep before May 4, 2022.

Learn more
Impacts to Zoom and Duo resulting from Russia's attack on Ukraine
UTS is advising of current and future changes to McMaster-provided services Zoom and Duo because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Users whose IP addresses originate from certain countries outside Canada will likely experience service impacts.
Learn more
VPN accelerator for students in mainland China to be discontinued

With the return to in-person learning and McMaster’s shift to the Microsoft 365 environment, the Alibaba virtual private network (VPN) accelerator for students in mainland China will be decommissioned mid-June 2022.

Learn more
Have you subscribed to the UTS Service Dashboard?

The new UTS Service Dashboard allows you to customize your preferences for alerts on upcoming planned maintenance and unplanned major service interruptions. The dashboard is built on Atlassian. You can set your preferences to receive your alerts via email and/or text for the services most relevant to your work. Subscribe today!

NEW! Microsoft 365 and Zoom features and updates
Click here to see a demo of the McMaster Office 365 Hub.

Mac’s month of Microsoft learning has one session left! Tune into Discover M365 and Zoom to see the latest updates for Teams, meetings and breakout rooms, and learn helpful apps to boost your productivity. Check out previous recorded sessions from the Month of learning and more!

Microsoft Teams: Create a richer sound experience when you transmit audio to listeners in a Teams call with high-fidelity mode. For increased accessibility and quality of sound. go to Settings, then Devices and enable to offer high fidelity sound.

Microsoft Teams: All members of a Team can now create tags. Team owners, members and guests have different permissions in a team. Only team owners of existing teams can create or change tags, unless they give permission in Manage Team settings. For new teams created, all team members can create and manage tags by default.

Microsoft Stream: Owners of recordings can turn transcripts on and users with edit permission can generate transcripts and closed captions. Users must navigate to Video Settings and use the Transcript and caption setting. Any viewer will be able to enable captions during playback via the Closed Captions button. 

OneDrive: When playing a recording back in OneDrive or SharePoint, owners of recordings can now toggle features, such as transcripts, on and off for all viewers. Audio and video files must be stored in OneDrive and SharePoint.

OneDrive: Easily find your teams files by navigating to the "More Places" page and selecting "Your Teams." Here you can find all the Teams which you are a member of within Teams and sorted alphabetically. 

Zoom: new updates for meeting and webinar features.

EmpowerEd: Christa Morrison and Joe Kim at Microsoft Canada

EmpowerEd, a partnership of Canadian higher education institutions and Microsoft Canada, discusses the higher ed space in Canada.

Christa Morrison represented University Technology Services and McMaster by presenting Active communities of practice for academic professional learning and sharing experiences in creating a robust and active community delivering high impact learning experiences.

Joe Kim, professor of psychology, also represented McMaster with High impact strategies for student engagement and shared insights on a people-centered learning experience, along with strategies and digital tools faculty members have used to engage students for deeper learning.

Register and get access to the on-demand presentations!

IT Spotlight: toward a sustainable campus with ACCESS Tech

What’s in store for the future of sustainable tech at McMaster? Students from the Academic Sustainability Program are helping solve e-waste and sustainability challenges by collaborating with Facility Services and University Technology Services to collect, refurbish and donate used technology to Hamiltonians in need.

Read more
McMaster Byte Size: your monthly tech newsletter
McMaster Byte Size. Your monthly tech newsletter for the McMaster community. Subscribe today.

Have you subscribed to the monthly tech newsletter for McMaster students, staff and faculty? McMaster Byte Size includes tech news, reminders, training and more for the McMaster community to learn more about IT security, Microsoft 365 and Zoom offerings, new services and more! Have a news item to submit for an upcoming issue? Get in touch!

RECORDING AVAILABLE: Turning Academic Institutions into Exponential Organizations with Salim Ismail

Recently, Salim Ismail gave a special talk to McMaster IT discussing exponential organizations and academic institutions. Check out the recorded talk and learn about Ismail's insights and expertise.

Many thanks to Technology Roundtable (TRT) co-chair Nevine Chawra for reaching out and securing this great speaker!

2022 Virtual Hallway Chats with Gayleen!

Are you missing the delightful run-ins and impromptu conversations on campus and want to chat with Gayleen? Express your interest and reach out to Tanya Reid at to set up a Virtual Hallway Chat.

Catch up on previous Hallway Chats.
Nerds and Nodes: The Mac AI Podcast
Gayleen joins Gal Armon from the Mac AI Society to discuss the current goals, challenges and responsibilities of IT in postsecondary institutions. 

Check out the podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts

The Nerds and Nodes Podcast serves as a deep dive into the minds of experts in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the fields of biomedical sciences, engineering, business, humanities and more. The McMaster Artificial Intelligence Society is a group of students dedicated to the study and implementation of AI to students at McMaster and across Canada.

Gayleen Gray joins EDUCAUSE board of directors

Gayleen Gray has been appointed to the board of directors for EDUCAUSE, an international association and community of IT leaders, tech practitioners and professionals advancing higher education.  

Read more
Items of interest
Your campus: Have your say

You're invited to shape the future development of our campus and locations by sharing your opinions to help inform McMaster University’s next Campus Master Plan.

The survey is available until April 6, 2022, will take approximately 5 minutes to complete and all information collected will be confidential.

Take survey

Women Advance Technology: May 5, 10, 17, 24, 31

EDUCAUSE Leadership Series will host the Women Advance Technology online offering, a five-week event for professionals invested in advancing opportunities for women in the fields of technology, information security, and teaching and learning.

Over the course of five weeks, participants will have various opportunities to engage in online, synchronous and asynchronous sessions. Throughout, participants will meet, share with, and learn from a cohort of higher education professionals and leaders for networking and conversation with small-group deep dives.



Ryerson University is hosting the Ontario Higher Ed IT (OHEIT) conference from Tuesday, May 24 to Friday, May 27, 2022. OHEIT is open to all IT staff, faculty and employees from Canadian universities who are interested in gaining insight into:

  • Technology trends, projects, products and services in higher education;
  • Cybersecurity initiatives and progress on cybersecurity benchmarking projects.

This year, the conference will be presented in a hybrid format with day one having in-person and virtual events and the remaining 3 days virtual only.

Read more

CANHEIT 2022 registration open

University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) will host CANHEIT 2022 from June 21 to 23. Join your colleagues at the largest gathering of Canadian higher education IT leaders from universities, colleges and technical institutes. Call for proposals will be out soon. Stay tuned for more info!

Share ideas, trade best practices and inspire each other in a unique hybrid format. Register today!


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

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