Summer 2017 - UNIT Progress Report Back to top

Dear Villanova Community: 

Welcome to the Summer 2017 issue of UNIT's Progress Report. This newsletter is meant to inform you about UNIT Projects, Support and Service Offerings to the University. Please let us know if you have any comments or ideas for future issues by contacting:

Annual Report Back to top

UNIT's 2016-2017 Annual Report Available for Viewing Back to top

UNIT is pleased to present its 2016-2017 annual report. Over the last year, UNIT has continued to seek, adopt, and implement new technologies that play an important role in teaching, learning and research. Please Click Here to view the Annual Report. Please Click Here to view the Annual Report Recap Video.

UNIT Services and Collaborations Back to top

Web Accessibility and Usability Back to top

Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities.  The resources below are maintained by UNIT for content publishers to understand how their web site can meet the standards for compliance with the American for Disabilities Act.  UNIT is available for support and training on these topics at the links below:

New Web Conferencing Tools Back to top


The Instructional Technologies has been doing research and working with faculty pilot groups to provide better web conferencing software for the University.   After researching ten products, it has been determined that we will adopt two products, Zoom and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, as suitable replacements to Adobe Connect.  Both of these products will add functionality, including the ability to participate by phone and enhanced accessibility features, to help create a better online or hybrid course for both faculty and students.  Effective Summer Session 2017, Adobe Connect will no longer be available and our web conferencing tools will be Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and Zoom. UNIT has been holding weekly group training sessions for both BB Collaborate Ultra and Zoom.  To sign up for these sessions, please visit the Training Calendar site.

Banner System Upgrade Back to top


UNIT along with assistance from the campus Banner Coordination team upgraded the Banner Production system database and Banner hardware. Project planning and collaboration with UNIT and the Banner Coordination team has been ongoing for the past year resulting in a successful project implementation. These upgrades have improved overall system security and greatly improved performance along with additional enhancements within the infrastructure in disk management and database disaster recovery. 

UNIT Support Solutions Back to top

Office 365 and Cloud Services Back to top


The utilization and improvement of Office 365 and cloud service applications has continued throughout the semester including Exchange Online Protection, Office 365 applications, Skype for Business and DropBox for Education.

These solutions leverage University technologies while facilitating cost, effective scalability, reliability, improved agility and security.

Some Highlights:

Multiple new security products were added to Exchange Online to enhance email security and reduce malicious email activity.  These changes assist in combatting unwanted spam and provides a more effective protection against malware launched by unsafe links and unsafe attachments. The University e-mail environment improvements include:                 

  • Improved SPAM Filtering:  A new look and feel for the Villanova SPAM Quarantine daily digest with pre-set 'junk mail' settings for robust filtering.
  • Safe Links:  provides time-of-click protection against phishing and malicious web sites by warning you or preventing access when clicking a link in email that has been determined to be unsafe.
  • Safe Attachments:  a feature that opens all unknown attachments in a safe cloud based environment to help detect malicious content and removes it prior to delivering email messages to your inbox.

Microsoft's Skype for Business was deployed in January 2017 to all faculty and staff PC's.  This application is used for messaging and meeting needs and replaces Microsoft Office Communicator (MOC client). Currently there are up to 600 Skype sessions daily with 283 active users.  The new features include:

  • Skype for Business Mobile app
  • Skype to Skype communication audio/video and Instant Messaging
  • Global Address List and presence from calendar
  • Screen sharing and file transfer

Wireless Expansion Plans Back to top


The University's Wireless Network Upgrade Project continues to be executed with phases for spring-summer 2017, fall-winter 2017, and beyond. 

For spring 2017, UNIT continued its effort, and completed wireless infrastructure upgrades in Falvey Library, Driscoll Hall, Health Services Building, and Villanova Law School.  In Falvey Library, Villanova Law School, Driscoll Hall and Health Services Building, UNIT deployed over 290 next-generation wireless APs, as well as backend infrastructure bandwidth improvements.

For summer 2017, UNIT plans to upgrade the wireless infrastructure for both Lancaster Avenue and west campus residential areas. For west campus, wireless upgrades are planned for: Farley, Gallen, Jackson, Mouldin, St. Clare, Rudolph, Klekotka, and Welsh Hall's.  Residential areas on Lancaster Avenue include: Fedigan, Delurey, Moriarity, O'Dwyer, and Simpson Hall's. For Lancaster Avenue and west campus residential areas, UNIT plans to deploy over 400 next-generation wireless APs, as well as complete infrastructure bandwidth improvements.

Please visit UNIT's web site, available at for more information regarding the next steps for the University's wireless infrastructure plan, including campus map for completed and scheduled upgraded wireless areas.

Eduroam--Global Wifi Roaming Back to top


UNIT is proud to announce that Villanova is now a member of  Eduroam-global Wifi Roaming.  This service is designed to allow active students, faculty, and staff to use their home institution's credentials to connect wirelessly and securely to the Internet while visiting other participating institutions.  With this new offering, there is no need to set up a guest account at the visited institutions. You will be able to use your Villanova credentials ( to access the wireless network at participating educational and research institutions.  Click here to find out where Eduroam is supported and access a list of over 300 institutions in the U.S. We will begin to be implementing the service here on Campus during the Summer.  

Security Back to top

Securely Disposing of Your Mobile Device Back to top


Mobile devices, such as smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets, continue to advance and innovate at an astonishing rate.  Many people dispose of their devices with little thought on how much personal data may be on them.

UNIT wants you to understand what types of personal information may be on your mobile device, and why you should securely "wipe" it before disposing or returning it. Mobile devices store far more sensitive data than you may realize.

Typical information can include:

  • Where you live, work, and places you frequently visit
  • Stored passwords and access to personal accounts, such as your online bank or email
  • The contact details for everyone in your address book and applications, including family, friends, and coworkers
  • Call, text, chat, social media and location history
  • Personal photos, videos, audio recordings, and emails
  • Access to photos, files, or information stored in the Cloud

Regardless of how you dispose of your personal mobile device, such as donating it, exchanging it for a new one, giving it to another family member, reselling it, or even throwing it out, you need to be sure you first erase all of that sensitive information, ensuring it cannot be recovered. Remember, before you wipe all of your data, you want to back it up first. When disposing of your mobile device, be sure to do a factory reset and remove the SIM and any SD cards if your device has them. The easiest way to securely wipe your device is use its "factory reset" function, standard on most mobile devices. This will return the device to the condition it was in when you first bought it. 

Awards, Achievements and Other UNIT Information Back to top

NY Times Square Villanova Ad Back to top


UNIT's Multimedia Technologies not only assists in the creation of academic videos but works with various departments to create video-based materials that externally promote the University. For a second-year UNIT's Multimedia Technologies group, in collaboration with UCM, created an advertisement that ran in Time's Square during the NCAA Big East Tournament. This ad, featuring the Villanova basketball team, academic scenes, and service trips had an estimated 1.5 million viewers per day and encouraged viewers to use the hashtag #LetsMarchNova.

2016 University Above and Beyond Award Back to top

UNIT Would like to Congratulate team member Cathy DeGrazio as a recipient of the University Above and Beyond Award. Well done!

New UNIT Employees Back to top

In the past year UNIT has welcomed the following employees to the UNIT Team:

Charles Cooper - Client Technologies Analyst
Paul Fournier - AVP and Chief Information Security Officer
William Hotz - Multimedia Production Specialist
Christopher Medalis - Network Operations System Admin
Bilal Rahim - Client Technologies Analyst
Tim Ryan - Sr. Network Engineer
Gabby Varano - Client Computing Specialist
Myra Villas - Multimedia Production Specialist


Unit Links Back to top

UNIT's Homepage Back to top


UNIT's TechZone Facebook Back to top