Information Technology (IT) professionals from throughout Illinois State University gathered in the State Farm Hall of Business on November 17 for the Continuous Improvement in Technology Extension (CITx) conference.

CITx is a half-day conference that grew out of the popular full-day CIT conference held each summer since 2013. Illinois State employs more than 200 staff who support the University’s IT infrastructure. CIT brings IT staff together to learn about upcoming projects outside their area and to identify opportunities to collaborate even more effectively.

Kevin Crouse facilitates a discussion on IT Security at CITx

Kevin Crouse facilitates a discussion on IT Security at CITx.

After a networking breakfast, CITx began with a 90-minute IT News update. Interim Dean of Milner Library Shari Zeck kicked off the session with a keynote address. As a former IT Leader in the College of Fine Arts, Zeck understands the unique challenges IT professionals face. Zeck thanked the staff, acknowledging that the group’s specialized knowledge places them in a unique position at work. “Everyone in this room is a teacher,” Zeck said. “We’re all teaching, all the time.”

Following Zeck’s remarks, staff from around campus shared the floor to provide updates and field questions from the group. The session featured updates from across campus, including:

  • Update about how Enterprise Data and Analytics is using predictive models to identify and address behaviors that lead to attrition.
  • Select Survey has been replaced with Qualtrics. While ISU has a limited number of licenses for FormStack, Qualtrics is available to the entire campus community.
  • is being leveraged as a personalized communication tool. The ISU homepage and admissions pages will soon be rolled out with a more visual template.
    Charley Edamala took the opportunity to thank everyone for the role they play in addressing IT-related outages. Collaboration has been key in providing good service.
  • In an effort to protect data, direct database access will require VPN even on campus. The Applications team also detailed some of the efforts on which they are currently collaborating with other IT teams.
  • Paul Unsbee and Dan Taube provided an overview of Microsoft Teams and how they’ve enhanced communication with his team.
  • Several recent infrastructure upgrades have been completed recently, along with successful partnerships among IT teams such as the Account Refresh project.
    The IT Service Management tool (Cherwell) now includes tracking of endpoint devices and will upgrade before the winter break, among other improvements planned for this system.
    The Information Security Office provided some context to the benefits of participating in IT risk management assessments.

After IT News, the group split into four discussion groups, with topics ranging from growing your IT career to an introduction to regular expressions. Topics were selected by the conference planning committee based on submissions. If you are interested in assisting the committee, email

Mark your calendars for spring CITx on April 13, 2018, and email the committee with topics you’d like to discuss or learn more about.

CITx is sponsored by Administrative Technologies, the Office of Academic Technologies, TechZone, and the College of Business.

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