CSCF Support for Administrative Computing

These notes are intended to provide an overview of how the Computer Science Computing Facility (CSCF) User Support Group (USG) provides support for administrative computing to CS staff, faculty, tutors, sessional instructors, and third parties.

Services we provide

Moves, adds, changes, and repairs of staff workstations and printers. This work includes providing advice on evergreening equipment (using a similar schedule to IST's desktop rollover), tracking equipment in our inventory system, shipping and receiving, configuring network access, and installing based images and additional software as required.

Keep software on staff workstations and laptops up to date, using a combination of remote access (e.g. Apple Remote Desktop) and physical access to workstations. Administrative staff computers are not part of AD; teaching staff (e.g. ISG) workstations are members of our student AD domain. Staff are not given system administrator privileges on workstations we support, including laptops.

Assistance with applications used by staff. These applications include web (Firefox, Safari) and mail (largely Thunderbird) clients, FileMaker database manager, corporate applications such as GAP and Bookit, office productivity software (MS Office and OpenOffice), and Sharepoint.

Investigate security problems reported to us (by our clients as well as by CSCF or IST staff), cleaning or reimaging workstations when required.

Staff are encouraged to store work-related files on their network drive (on our NetApp) so minimal setup or backup recovery is needed when machines need to be re-imaged or staff otherwise change workstation environment. We have standard images for Windows and administrative staff Macs; teaching staff Macs use the same image as the student lab Macs, with additional software installed if required. Staff workstations are backed up using CSCF's backup service.

Who our clients are

USG primarily supports undergraduate teaching within CS. We also support administrative work done by staff, faculty and others in CS, as well as the undergraduate SE lab, and outreach/education programs affiliated with the School, including seminars and ESQ camp.

Client Groups

Debbie Mustin handles CS grad student office assignments, equipment and furniture requests, and equipment repairs. CSCF generally handles computer and equipment moves, installations, changes, and repairs that she is responsible for coordinating.

The Instructional Support Group coordinates support for most first and second year undergraduate courses. While each undergraduate CS course has a designated Point of Contact for computer hardware and software requests related to the course, services which go beyond supporting a single course (e.g. assignment submission, exam seating) and ISC staff have a Point of Contact familiar with the needs of the group as a whole.

The Undergraduate Operations Co-ordinator and CS Advisors make heavy use of student and staff information and require assistance in effective use of the associated databases and programs.

Administrative staff have two points of contact: one who specialises in Windows and web site content management, and one for other (usually Mac) support. Each point of contact backs the other up, so staff can request assistance from whichever point of contact is available.

The User Support Group provides a default point of contact for requests which are not related to research (RSG), teaching a specific CS course (USG teaching Point of Contact), or in a specific staff role (USG staff Point of Contact). Anyone who does not have (or does not know) their point of contact can request assistance through this staff member or the USG manager.

Points of Contact

One of the key features of our model is that each course and each administrative role is assigned a "Point of Contact". That is, a single person to whom they can go to when they have a question or concern. That person gets to be familiar with the course, the group, or the individual and can generally answer most questions fairly efficiently. If that person is not available, our clients are welcome to speak to any of the rest of the User Support Group who will try to answer their question or at least log the request. Clients can make their requests in any form they prefer - in person, over the telephone, via email or directly into our Request Tracker system, if they wish. They are not required to use one form over another.

The USG Point of Contact is not necessarily always the person who will answer the question or do the work. Their job may be to "triage" the problem and determine who can best solve it - including someone in the CSCF Infrastructure group, IST, or an external vendor. They will "own" the problem and facilitate its resolution. This way, our clients don't necessarily need to know who's responsible for any given piece of technology (networks, printing, email, etc.). They can come to us and we'll work that part out.

Links

-- DawnKeenan - 06 May 2009

Topic revision: r6 - 2009-06-09 - DawnKeenan
 
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform Powered by PerlCopyright © 2008-2019 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? Send feedback