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July 2021
McMaster Connectivity Newsletter

For the IT community, by the IT community.

McMaster IT News
A tale of two leaders (and two Virtual Hallway Chats)

This week's AVP & CTO Update, Gayleen reflects on leadership and how good leaders know, do and make you feel. The piece also highlights TWO Virtual Hallway Chats -- a fond farewell with outgoing Vice-President, Administration Roger Couldrey and a warm welcome to new Vice-President, Operations and Finance, Saher Fazilat who joined McMaster last week. 

Read update
SysAdmin Day 2021

Happy Sys Admin day! Each year, the last Friday of July is a special day to praise, thank, and celebrate our system administrators. While we’re always grateful for our skilled and dedicated sys admins, we want to especially express our gratitude for keeping our tech in tip-top shape! Thank you, McMaster system administrators!

In celebration of this day, our friends at the Faculty of Science created a challenging trivia to test your IT smarts.The trivia opens Wednesday, July 28th at noon and closes Friday, July 30th at 1 p.m. And it isn’t just bragging rights up for grabs! First and second place will be getting great prizes too! 

Take the trivia
UPDATE: UTS Client Support for the fall semester

Over the past 17 months, UTS has been successful providing support remotely for students, staff and faculty members and will continue to do so for the fall semester. An email communication from Gayleen with further details was shared with the McMaster IT community. A communications campaign for the broader McMaster community is planned for August. By not bringing staff on campus, we can continue to streamline, be more effective and maintain consistency. As we continue to receive new information and guidance from the Government of Ontario and Ontario Public Health, we will continue to be flexible and agile as circumstances change.

Back to Mac Town Halls August 10 & 11
As Ontario enters phase 3, many wonder what that means for the fall term. The McMaster community is invited to join the next set of Back to Mac Town Halls in early August to hear about the most up-to-date plans.
  • The student townhall is on August 10, 2021 at 11AM to 12:30PM
  • The staff and faculty townhall is on August 11, 2021 at 13:30AM to 11:30AM
See complete details below, including where to submit questions and recordings of the last town halls.
Event details
ITSAC report: 2021

The Information and Technology Student Advisory Committee (ITSAC) provides a forum for students to discuss current campus technology priorities and ensure they have meaningful involvement in enhancing the IT experience at McMaster. A big thank you to Elizabeth DiEmanuele and Christa Morrison for cochairing the 2010-2021 committee. 

This year's report is on Sway, and we believe this format and approach reflects this year of digital communication and collaboration, where cloud and media allowed for interactive digital content and ease of sharing.

A big thank you to the many individuals who supported ITSAC and the student members!

Read report
REMINDER: McMaster global password reset underway

A reminder that we are now in the student phase of the global password reset. As of July 26th, 2021 and throughout August, students will be automatically prompted to reset their passwords the next time they log into a McMaster Microsoft service, similarly to faculty members and staff. 

Thanks to McMaster IT personnel and everyone involved for supporting this initiative!

Read more
Campus Wi-Fi Enhancement
As some McMaster community members return to campus this fall, designated outdoor spaces have been equipped with additional seating and increased Wi-Fi capacity to provide more opportunities to safely study and collaborate in the fresh air.

These unique and creative spaces are available for individuals presently working on campus and to community members required to teach, learn, research or work this fall in person.

Check out more, including a map of seating and new Wi-Fi spots.
Read more

Webex will no longer be a university-supported video conference tool

The MacPherson Institute, Faculty of Health Sciences’ (FHS) Computing Services Unit (CSU) and University Technology Services are currently undertaking the necessary steps to devolve the use of WebEx as a contractually licensed product on campus.

This recommendation was endorsed and supported by the McMaster IT Executive Governance Committee and as such we will begin activities to devolve the contract before its renewal date of Sept. 1, 2021.

Read more
COMING SOON: IT Spotlight Series - Campus Wi-Fi Enhancement  

Our forthcoming IT Spotlight peers into the world of wireless. In a coordinated effort with Back to Mac efforts, the Campus Wide Wi-Fi Enhancement project has seen major rollouts. Facility Services and UTS have come together to provide the community with enhanced wireless coverage across buildings and campus grounds. Watch the McMaster IT Teams channel and CTO site for this Spotlight in the coming weeks. 

See past IT Spotlights
Discover Microsoft 365 and Zoom
McMaster community members can discover and learn about Microsoft 365 and Zoom apps -- all through one link. Whether it's beginner to more advanced learning opportunities, gaining certification or discovering use cases, users can easily access up-to-date content and opportunities to learn on their own or with others all within a few clicks through a SharePoint page.

Keep an eye out for this resource in the coming weeks!
Join the UTS Collaboration and Productivity Services team at our Mid-Summer Drop-In Sessions. They’ll be hosting several 20-minute sessions over two sessions on Wednesday, August 4th and Thursday, August 12th and will be covering a wide range of topics from platform updates, tips, tricks and more. Each session will include a 10-minute presentation followed by a 10-minute Q&A. Sessions are open to all staff and faculty members.

More info will be coming soon!

McMaster student email migration ahead of schedule

McMaster student email migration from Gmail to Microsoft 365 (Outlook) has migrated 56,000 accounts (96% of all student accounts). This migration process does not apply to incoming first year students. Once students have been migrated, all emails will be directed to Microsoft 365 (Outlook) accounts.

You can learn more about this project and access FAQs at the McMaster Microsoft 365 Hub here.

Read more
Mosaic eForms update

On May 17th, 2021, the paper-based HR Event Form began transitioning to the Mosaic eForm:

  • Request New Position eForm – to request new positions, and
  • Request Position Data Update eForm – to update the attributes of existing positions.

Additional eForms will become available in the fall to process transactions such as contract extensions, retirements, terminations, schedule updates and compensation adjustments. The project team strives for continuous improvement on the eForm process and would like to hear from Mosaic eForm users.

Read more
Updated Tech Tips for Students 
In anticipation for the fall semester, UTS has collected a resource of tools and tips for students to make the most of learning technology. We encourage you to share this resource.
Tech tips
NEW! Microsoft 365 features and updates
See a demo above of the Office 365 Hub for the McMaster Community.

Microsoft Teams has rolled out chat bubbles, a new feature where chats sent during a Teams meeting will surface on the screens of all meeting participants.

Class Teams have now been created for all courses listed in Mosaic and instructors are now able to access and use them accordingly:
  • Instructors can start using their Class Teams without students seeing or being able to access them until instructors decide to ACTIVATE the Team
  • Class Teams from the previous term will not be deleted or removed. Instructors can choose to delete, archive or keep the previous term’s Class Teams
  • Check out the setup guide on how to start using and activate your Class Teams

Check out training sessions for Microsoft 365 until the end of August on all the popular apps.

See training events
REMINDER: IT Governance on Microsoft Teams
IT Governance moved from Confluence and MacDrive to Microsoft Teams, allowing for easier access to current and previous meeting materials. This move affirms the commitment to collaboration, transparency, inclusivity and alignment to the McMaster IT Strategic Plan. The Microsoft Teams channel will be the best place to look for the latest agenda and the materials for review. The IT Governance Teams group is open to all in the McMaster community. To join, search “IT Governance” in Teams.
Read more
McMaster IT mid-summer check in event
Thank you McMaster IT for joining the mid-summer check in! A big thank you to all who joined (over 150 of you), contributed to polls and tried out ThoughtExchange. The Office of the AVP and CTO is reviewing feedback and will share back info in the coming weeks.
Equity, diversity and inclusion film festival 2021
This year, the EDI Film Festival (EDIFF) will focus on the theme of Changing the Narrative — “I see you.” This theme aims to reframe perspectives and thinking of EDI topics, such as beliefs, stereotypes and biases.

Join on July 30th and August 6th with a group viewing of a video or short film (1:30 to 2:00 p.m.), with the remaining time (2:00 to 3:00 p.m.) allotted for facilitated discussion and open conversation.
McMaster IT Tech Talks 

Don't forget to join the next Tech Talk on August 3 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. with AVP and CTO Gayleen Gray. Participate and discuss timely tech topics and share ideas and on the possibilities of IT. Hear what the community's thoughts are as we move closer to the fall term.

Couldn't make the last Tech Talk? Some key highlights include:

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

Submit ideas

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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