Spring 2020 - UNIT Progress Report Back to top

Welcome to the Spring 2020 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:

Banner 9 Upgrade Back to top

IT Security

Banner 9 is Here!  Please visit here to register for Banner 9 training sessions which will enable a seamless transition to the new interface.  All users will be expected to access Banner 9 Administrative Pages only.  All Banner 8 Villanova custom forms will be upgraded to Banner 9 by March 31, 2020.   

The Banner 9 upgrade provides major benefits including:

  • Ends dependency on IE & allows for full browser support 
  • Greatly simplifies the upgrade process for administrators
  • The user interface is modernized and very intuitive 
  • Mobile friendly
  • Integrated with Single Sign On
  • End the dependency on Java

UNIT Services and Collaborations Back to top

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Upgrade Back to top

Banner 9

On March 3rd 2020, the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) application will be upgraded to version 6.5.  This upgrade does not impact any content that is live in production on  The upgrade will include new and exciting features:   

  • Icon driven navigation
  • New terminology (i.e. Sites instead of Website, Assets instead of Digital Asset Manager)
  • Navigation of how to manage/edit pages

There will be training sessions and open office hours leading up to and past the upgrade date.  Stay tuned for upcoming dates in the new year and look forward sharing more information about this upgrade. 

VU Women in Tech Conference Back to top


This year UNIT was a Gold Sponsor of the VU Women in Tech Conference that took place on February 22nd. The successful and engaging conference had over 230 attendees from across the tech space and the University, including eight UNIT staff. Recordings of this and previous years' speakers can be viewed online via Mediasite at More information about VU Women in Tech is available on their website at

Mendel Hall Renovations Back to top


On the evening of July 3rd, 2018, the lower level of the East wing in Mendel Hall flooded due to excessive rainfall, Lab 087's window gave way to the water pressure. Results of the flooding was the loss of 3 research labs, UNIT hardware offices, storage, receiving areas and equipment. Villanova's Facilities Maintenance office (FMO) took on the task of cleanup, demo, and renovations. Classes resumed in the East wing on January 13th, 2020.

Various UNIT departments worked collaboratively alongside FMO and the Center of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS) to complete the renovations.


UNIT 's hardware team was relocated to different areas across the University until their space was renovated, first in priority. The hardware team functioned to the best of their ability and did so without interruption to services. Impressive given their circumstances, once their area was renovated it was back to business as usual.

NetCom facilitated the task of having to do a complete reworking of the entire network structure for the affected areas. This would include all new wiring for wired and wireless networks, new access points, new Juniper network switches at the IT closet, desk phones and phones in the labs for emergencies.

Classroom Technologies worked cross functionally with FMO & CLAS to design, install, and setup new AV systems in 4 labs and a Seminar room. The teaching labs AV consisted of a combination of projectors, screens, display monitors, wired and wireless AV. The seminar room is based on a hybrid functionality design, to be used as a large conference room, small break out areas, and the ability to teach classes.

UNIT Support Solutions Back to top

Campus Wired Network Refresh Back to top

The Campus Wired Refresh project is underway! Villanova's existing data and voice wired infrastructure is being upgraded for the bandwidth/speed demands and growth needs of the wired network. Replacement of all legacy wired switches will future-proof the University's network and provide for extremely faster ethernet speeds. This project includes a switch count reduction for each building, which reduces power consumption campus-wide along with higher reliability due to redundant power supplies in each wired switch.

St. Augustine Center and Tolentine Hall have been completed. To minimize disruption, remaining buildings will be upgraded according to schedule, with a completion timeframe of June 2020. UNIT will work with building managers and will communicate all upgrades in accordance with our change management process.

Blackboard Winter Upgrade to SaaS Back to top


Over the 2019 Winter Holiday break, Blackboard was migrated from managed hosted to SaaS continuous delivery model. SaaS continuous delivery will provide more frequent releases, on a monthly basis.  This will create more opportunities for bug fixes and enhancements made available in Blackboard throughout the year, while eliminating Blackboard downtime for these updates. 

Here are two new enhancements made to Blackboard over the last month:

  • New Originality Report available for SafeAssign integration (includes updated look and feel, some new information about a submission's overall risk for being copied from another source and it new report interface is also more responsive for mobile devices and more accessible to screen readers than the old design.
  • E-Portfolio submissions display within the Inline Grader Tool (Starting in December 2018, Blackboard did not support E-Portfolio submission displaying within inline grader tool, which meant that instructors had to download zip files to their computers.  This has now been fixed, and e-Portfolio submission will display natively within Blackboard).

For Blackboard SaaS monthly releases for enhancements and bug fixes, please visit our Blackboard SaaS Updates website

Student office 365 licensing Update New Microsoft Office365 Offerings to Students Back to top

Office 365 suite is the cloud-based version of the Microsoft Office desktop suite and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and much more. In mid-October UNIT upgraded the Office 365 Student Licenses to offer a higher-level of increasing student functionality.

When logging in, students now have access to:

  • Full use of Skype for Business, including "Join by Phone" for meetings, using your O365 account credentials,
  • Access to PowerBI, Stream and MyAnalytics tiles in the Office 365 Portal
  • Availability of multiple Excel plugs ins
  • Welcome email to MyAnalytics as well as a weekly digest

TechZone @ Commons: Features, Events and Activities Back to top


Students, Staff and Faculty can visit the TechZone@theCommons to print, study, collaborate, host an event and check out new technology!  Room and resources can be conveniently reserved online, using Bookings via Microsoft Office 365.  Click HERE to book a room.  


  • VR headsets (Oculus Rift and Valve Index) are available and offer a truly immersive experience.  
  • 3D Printing services offered along with quick tutorial session with our 3D printer specialist 
  •  2 Microsoft Studio Touch screens available and 2 Apple iMacs 
  • 86" touch screen display with informal group seating 
  • Teleconference capable 20-person conference room is available for a group meeting with dial in and an 86" touch screen display
  • Student VPrint Station and TechZone Support Services


Events, Activities and Training:
The TechZone@theCommons has hosted multiple events and activities since opening in August 2019, a shared Events Calendar is being developed and will be available to the Villanova Community. Past events and ongoing activities include the following:

  • Adobe Enterprise Manager Training - Ongoing
  • Blackboard Drop in Day
  • CLAS Public Policy Meeting 
  • Inaugural VISIBLE Trustees Meeting
  • SGA Executive Committee Meeting 
  • CEER VESTED VR programming and enrichment Saturday Mornings - Ongoing
  • TechZone Commons & SGA Men's Basketball Watch Party
  • Emerging Technologies VR and AR Class - Ongoing
  • IT Coordinators Meeting - Ongoing
  • Microsoft Power Apps in Day Event 
  • Office 365 Training - Ongoing
  • Esports Rocket League Hosted Activities - Fall 2019

Security Back to top

Never Respond to Emails Asking for Personal Information Back to top

Companies you do business with should never ask for your account information, credit card numbers or password in an email. If you have any questions about an email you receive that supposedly came from your financial institution or service provider, find their number on their website and call them. 

SANS OUCH Newsletter provides even more information


Unit Links Back to top

UNIT's Homepage Back to top


UNIT's TechZone Facebook Back to top


UNIT's TechZone on Twitter Back to top


UNIT's TechZone Instagram Back to top