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Mitch Ahlbaum, Chief Information Officer

November 5th, 2014

Mitch Alhlbaum, Chief Information Officer, addressed the group and explained that ICIT was being re-organized.  The Client side of the house was being supervised by Steve Sukra; the Help-Desk was being overseen by CC Garcia and their were numerous technicians and audio-visual support staff. 

He went on to say that the key initiatives for this year were:

  • Upgrading the network;
  • Accessing and utilizing CUNYFirst Data;
  • Overhaul Website;
  • Supporting the many facets of instructional technology.

He then addressed the questions regarding the Help Desk.  In 2013 the Help-Desk had 35,583 inquiries compared to 28,612 this year to date.  The hours for help are: Mon-Thurs 9:00am - 7:00pm; Fri 8:00am - 7:00pm; Weekends 8:00am - 7:00pm.  There are 4-5 full-time staff members and 15 part-time staff members.

ICIT uses a program called Right Answers which allows the HelpDesk to record information from each caller and track resolution of problems.  When we call we should let them know whether this situation is critical to your operation and whether it involves classes as well - the more info that they have the better they will be able to respond in a timely manner. Eventually the end-user will be able to generate their own tickets and ask questions.  When we are able to use this, we can ask to be contacted with updates by checking the contact box.  ICIT has stopped doing this as a routine because people have complained about the amounts of emails that they receive.

Network monitoring is done by Solar Winds but is problematic because of bandwidth constraints.  It would take a $12-15 million proposal to upgrade the entire network.

With respect to the phone book and directory, ICIT is working on a better way to update the information, perhaps from the Active Directory, rather than individual units.  In the meantime, if you notice corrections to be made please email

With respect to the software available, Mitch mentioned that there is a core listing on the website and information is disseminated regarding upgrades in Sharepoint.  Michael Jamroscz is the point person for software. He also mentioned that he hoped to re-form the Software Committee which has not functioned recently.

A question was raised about the replacement policy for computers.  Mitch mentioned that the old policy of 5-year replacement was not being used anymore since many of these computers work just fine.  They are more concerned with spending the student tech fee money to expand the numbers of computers.  Lab computers are replaced now as needed, not automatically.

Time was then called.  Mitch agreed to both respond to the remaining questions via email so we could include them and schedule a follow-up meeting with him, if deemed necessary.  The questions remaining were:

1.       We have students who are also workers at the College.  We were told that we are not to send business emails to their student email and that they all have staff emails.  Yet when we send students to the HelpDesk who do not have staff emails (i.e. Work Study students) they are told to tell us to use their student email.  There are also many offices who do not know about the new protocols.  Can you enlighten us?

2.       Who is the point person now in Audio-Visual now that they have undergone some staff changes?

3.       What do we tell instructors who are using a SMART classroom and have issues - immediate issues vs training needed?  Whom should they contact?

4.       How are the labs are informed when upgrades are done in the system (i.e. virus protection, etc)

5.       How much input will the Centers have in making recommendations for computers regarding the new space on 6th and 7th floor?

6.       Is there any designated developer that can make modifications to Microsoft Office (for example Outlook no longer prints Bcc, etc)

7.       With CUNYFirst working best on Mozilla Firefox, what future do you see for IE at Hunter and CUNY?

8.       Has the College considered moving from the tap card to a tap card with perforation on it to accommodate something other than a lanyard with a card holder - something that could be attached with a clip?

9.       Is there a list serve that we can subscribe to in order to get real time updates on the status of one card, sometimes we find out  it's down by a student complaining that printing is down or simply that they cannot add money to their onecard.

10.   Sometimes the onecard machines are full and students cannot add money to their card with cash and must use a credit card.  The minimum is $20.00 per card.  Can we fix this either by having more pickups or changing the minimum payment?

11.   Is there a difference in the printing cost for a student card and a guest card?  If so, how does that impact students who forget their ID and have a temporary pass?

12.   Sometimes our printers malfunction and "eat" the student's money.  We used to have the ability to have a lab card for emergency use.  That procedure seems to have gone away and now we find ourselves using our card and paying for it.  This really is not right - is there anything we can do to get these "lab cards" back?

13.   Is there any data on print jobs from specific machines and how, if at all, do you control theft of paper?

14.   Do all labs have machines on hand for students registered in the office of accessibility and if not, how many should we have available?



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