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CLA Upgrade Event Set for Thursday, April 9

The CLA Upgrade event is scheduled for Thursday, April 9 from 9 - 11 a.m. in Anderson Hall 110 (home of CLA-OIT). This event replaces the April's CLA NOW meeting and will be a drop-in format open to staff who work in the affected areas. A light breakfast will be provided, so please RSVP.

CLA advance team members and several departmental administrators are working together to determine the best CLA specific business practices and will be available for discussions regarding the following areas:

  • Appointment entry and intersections

  • Faculty readiness

  • IT

  • My wallet

  • Payroll and time and absence

  • Recruiting solutions, position management

  • Reporting

  • Student: advising and student services, registration, enrollment

  • Student: curriculum, class scheduling

For the fair to be a success, please ensure you have taken all applicable Upgrade trainings available for your position as general Upgrade questions will not be addressed during this event. All staff are encouraged to also attend the general Upgrade Fair on April 15 in Coffman for answer to questions not specific to CLA.

The printer security transition previously scheduled for Tuesday, March 10 and Thursday, March 12 in Fraser, Nolte, Shevlin, and STSS has been postponed by one week.

Those departmental printers scheduled for review and update on Tuesday, March 10th will be addressed on Tuesday, March 17th and those scheduled for Thursday, March 12th will be addressed on Thursday, March 19th.

The goal is for no printer to be down for more than four hours. CLA is the pilot college for the printer security transition and the decision to postpone the efforts in Fraser, Nolte, Shevlin, and STSS by one week was made to allow technicians to resolve network issues and ensure as little interruption as possible for faculty and staff on the day of the transition. 

Thank you for your understanding as we work to keep data safe.

Get to know CLA-OIT: Christopher Stordalen


Name: Christopher Stordalen

When did you start working at the U? January 5, 2002

Current position? Assistant IT Director for Relationship Management

What excites you about working at the U/CLA-OIT? Working to support and advance the liberal arts.

What is your favorite accomplishment with CLA-OIT, so far? Beginning a successful relationship management team.

What advice do you have for CLA-OIT constituents who are intimidated by technology? We all start our path to knowledge somewhere. You are not alone.

Is there a technology trend that you think constituents should embrace? What is it and how could it be used to make their work/person lives easier? Paperless existence. I can help.

What is your favorite place on campus? Northrup or Ted Mann

Your hometown and the first place you lived after leaving your hometown? Hometown: Enderlin, ND. After leaving my hometown, I lived in Fargo, ND as I attended college and kept residence there during summers.

What do you do for fun? Perform in and lead musical and theatrical endeavors. Coach baseball. Carpentry.

What is your dream job (besides the one you have!)? Music Director for the Minnesota Orchestra.

Motto or personal mantra: You'll get enough sleep when you die. AND If not now, when? If not, me, who?


Author: J.R.R. Tolkein

Favorite source of inspiration? I derive inspiration from music - particularly masterworks.

Favorite word or word that annoys you? Annoys: Fixins

Favorite food and drink? Steak (Ribeye). Red Wine (Merlot or Malbec) and Scotch

Favorite TV show(s)? M*A*S*H and West Wing.

Favorite musician or band? Styx (close seconds in Kansas and Boston). Sara Bareilles.

People may be surprised to know: I narrowly escaped being detained by authorities at the Grand Canyon for "exploring".

The printer security transition begins Monday, March 2. During the first week, the following buildings will have a printer outage of several hours as technicians secure ports to better protect data:

Folwell Hall - Monday, March 2

Johnston Hall - Tuesday, March 3

Each unit will be contacted by email the week prior to scheduled updates.

The deadline for submissions to the Academic Innovation Grants Program and Infrastructure for Learning Program is Wednesday, March 4 at 11:59 p.m. All proposals must be received online at that time. Relationship managers are available to assist with proposals and annual departmental plans. Results will be communicated in May.

About The Grants

Academic Innovations

The Academic Innovation Grants Program exists to facilitate innovation in teaching and learning through the application of the latest in instructional technology. Faculty and instructors submit proposals that are reviewed by the Academic Innovation Committee. Download the packet of information and submit proposals online. Questions can be directed to Sarah Knoblauch at

Infrastructure for Learning

For equipment upgrades or recurring funding, the Infrastructure for Learning Program supports the long-term evolution and maintenance of the inventory of instructional infrastructure in CLA. This program option is intended to utilize strategic planning with regard to departmental technology equipment.

Department Chairs submit a single plan for their department for the following year that is reviewed by the Infrastructure for Learning Committee, made up of technology and space professionals from departments across CLA and OIT. This committee maintains inventory and reviews department plans for upgrades and new facilities.  

Questions and emails of interest can be directed to Christopher Stordalen at  Once the email of interest is received, you may contact your department's relationship manager for assistance in completing the plan documentation.

Good Luck!

DVD/CD Drive Options for Future Dell Computers

The standard configuration Dell computer used by many CLA faculty and staff has changed. All NEW Dell models will no longer have a DVD/CD drive (also known as an optical drive). This is a change at the factory level as technology needs of purchasers evolve.

Faculty and staff who use DVD/CDs in their work or in a classroom have two options with their next computer purchase:

1. Submit content to CLA's DCL3 (Digital Content Library).

2. Purchase a portable external DVD/CD unit when ordering new laptop.

This change does not affect any current computers, only future CLA standard configuration Dell purchases.

Relationship managers are available to assist with questions and solutions.

Latest on Upgrade

Questions Answered

We recently completed an Upgrade Readiness Survey in CLA. To help address specific concerns of dept admins (and their team members), there will be three workshop options in early to mid-January where the agenda will be shaped by the survey results and those confirming their attendance to specific meetings. Invites will go out by the end of the year.

Advance Teams

The three upgrading systems (HR, Finance, Student) each have Advance Team members to assist with the transition. Every department has at least one "advance team" person identified who is as a point of contact to help. While they may not have all the answers, they can help direct you to the proper resource or let you know when a solution is available for their area of expertise (HR - HR Stars, finance - RRC managers, faculty/student/adviser - Faculty Go-Tos) . CLA's Advance Team list can be found here.

Training & Communication Resources

New trainings are added to The Upgrade site as they become available. The "Sneak Peek" section of the site also includes videos covering finance, HRMS, student work stream, and the Upgrade in general. If you haven't had the chance to start prepping for the Upgrade, it is a great place to start.

In an effort to better understand how faculty, staff, and students systemwide currently use web conferencing and video and how they'd like to use it in the future, the Video fCoP has created a survey that directly impacts how the technology will be used in the future.

To help get the robust response needed by 12/12, we would like each CLA dept admin to assist in two ways:

1 - Take the SURVEY.

2 - Send the survey to faculty, staff, and students in the communications channel that works for your department (ex. email, newsletter) this week. Sample email text is listed below:

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

Technology used to communicate continually evolves. In an effort to better understand how faculty, staff, and students systemwide currently use web conferencing and video and how they'd like to use it in the future, please complete this SURVEY  that directly impacts how the technology will be used systemwide in the future by December 12, 2014.

Your participation in this survey is critical as we plan to support these needs.

The results of this survey will be available in early Spring of 2015.

Thank you in advance for your input.

Thank you, as always, for your part in helping the UMN community progress in our use of technology to both shape the student experience, as well as attract and retain high quality employees.

Get to know CLA-OIT: Holly Leighton

Holly Leighton APPROVED (1).jpg
Name: Holly Leighton

When did you start working at the U?January 2000

Current position? Relationship Manager for CLA-OIT

What is your favorite aspect of your job? Meeting with faculty and staff.

What excites you about working at the U/CLA-OIT? Working with faculty and staff, and seeing the "light bulb" go on when they understand a technology concept or procedure.

What is your favorite accomplishment with CLA-OIT, so far? Creating the first bonafide Service Desk with Kevin Smith in 2006. That was a BLAST!

What do you do for fun? I love to run with my dog, Max.

Favorite motto or personal mantra? Tomorrow is another day, and you get to start fresh.

Interesting facts:

  • I have both a bachelor's and master's degree in French.
  • My favorite place on earth is Paris and I hope to live there one day.

Get to know CLA-OIT: John Fite

John Fite (2).JPGName: John Fite

Hometown and first place you lived after leaving home? My hometown is Huntington Beach, California and the first place I lived after leaving home was Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

When did you start working at the U? August 2012

Current position? Relationship Manager for CLA-OIT

What is your favorite aspect of your job? Meeting, working with, and learning from talented individuals across many disciplines. I hope that someday I can benefit them as much as they have me.

What advice do you have for CLA-OIT constituents who are intimidated by technology? If I could go back in time and tell the twelve-year-old John Fite anything, it would be, "You can find a solution to almost any problem in a book somewhere." Technology is quickly reaching a similar position and will then surpass it in ways that we cannot predict. For most people I know, the time investment required to learn and stay current with technology is more than repaid in the leverage it gives them in solving more and more of life's problems.

What is your favorite place on campus?
Washington Avenue Bridge - Being from the West Coast, it is impressive to me that every time I walk across that bridge I'm going from Eastern to Western USA or vice-versa. I do seem to notice a cultural difference when I arrive at the other side, as well!


Authors: Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Neal Stephenson, Hunter S. Thompson, Alan Watts

Sources of inspiration: Popular Science Books (esp. Dawkins, Brian Greene, Ray Kurzweil, Feynman, Michio Kaku, Steven Pinker, Robert Pirsig)

Favorite word: Yes

Phrase that annoys you: I'll try

Food and drink: Sashimi, red wine

TV show and movie: Twin Peaks, The Matrix

Musicians: Bach, Depeche Mode, Serge Gainsbourg, Morrissey

Favorite place: Joshua Tree National Park

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