Tuesday Tips

August 2, 2022
Past Editions

NETv4 Network Upgrades

NETv4 is a project by IET-Communications Resources to replace and upgrade the infrastructure that connects each campus building to the wider UC Davis data network.

The project began upgrading buildings in July 2022 and is currently scheduled to run through October 2022, targeting a small set of buildings each week.

So far, several buildings occupied by Letters and Science departments have been completed, including Kerr, Cruess, Music, and Art.

NETv4 upgrades occur between 5PM and 2AM to avoid disruption as much as possible. During the upgrade window, all wired and wireless networking in the building will be unavailable.

LS IT will send notifications to building occupants prior to the scheduled upgrades.

While the schedule is subject to change, additional buildings are scheduled soon:
  • 8/4 Everson Hall
  • 8/10 Hickey Gym
  • 8/11 Hoagland Hall
  • 8/17 Sproul Hall
  • 8/23 Pitzer Center
  • 8/24 Young Hall
  • 8/30 Social Sciences and Humanities Building
  • 8/31 Hart Hall
  • 9/7 Wright Hall
  • 10/11 Cousteau Place - All Buildings
  • 10/13 Drew Avenue - All Buildings
The current phase of the NETv4 upgrade is focused on the connections between buildings and the core campus network, so the upgrade has limited effects on network speeds within buildings. But these upgrades set the stage for faster wired and wireless connections going forward.

Handling Student Data for Instructors

As an instructor, TA, or Reader, it's all too easy for student data to accumulate, such as graded assignments, class rosters, gradebooks, etc.

However, this kind of data is sensitive: it is protected under federal regulations such as FERPA and state regulations around Personally Identifiable Information that can result in fines and other penalties. Even relatively small data sets (e.g., fewer than 100 students) may incur penalties if breached.
The obvious question is, What should an instructor do with student data?

Here are our recommendations to answer that question:
  1. Where possible, keep data in the official campus systems of record instead of on your computer.

    For example, unless you have a clear need to do so, don’t download rosters or assignments from Canvas, and keep your course-related communications with students within Canvas (via the Inbox tool). If you have historical student/course data stored on your computer or on cloud storage, consider just deleting it unless there is a compelling reason to keep it.
  2. Any computer that is used to store student data should at least meet the UC Minimum Security Standard.

    Almost all computers that are issued and managed by LS IT automatically meet and maintain most of these standards to the best of our ability. While not impossible, it would be difficult for an individual to meet and maintain the minimum security standards on a personally-owned computer. We recommend avoiding storing student data on personally-owned computers or personal cloud storage accounts (see next point).
  3. When using cloud storage, use one of the university-provided services such as Box, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive via your UC Davis account rather than a personal account.

    While all these services are provided at no cost to all our faculty, staff, and students, many people still choose to use other services such as Dropbox or SugarSync. Using one of the university-contracted services isn’t a silver bullet for data security, but it does mean that the university is able to apply many more security controls and that the university has contractual assurance that the vendor is handling our data appropriately.
  4. If there is a university-contracted cloud service or software title available for your instructional needs, please consider using it unless it truly doesn’t meet your needs.

    As technologists, we love to see creative uses of technology in the classroom. However, using a cloud service almost always means sharing data with a third party, which is a problem for sensitive student data if the vendor can't appropriately handle sensitive data. See the Keep Teaching, Cloud Services, and Service Catalog sites to find services that are currently available under contract. If there is not a suitable service already available to you under an existing university contract, UC Davis has implemented the Vendor Risk Assessment process to vet whether the tools we use can protect our data BEFORE we store sensitive data there.

UC announces open access publishing agreements with IEEE and Nature

Funding support is now available to UC corresponding authors who publish open access in IEEE and Nature journals. See the UC Davis Library’s announcement to learn more.

Quick Updates and Reminders


Language to Include in Grant Applications

Many grant applications ask for a brief statement of the research computing services available at UC Davis. LS IT has provided some boilerplate language on our website that you can use.

LS IT Website Updates

If you want to receive a new computer by the start of Fall Quarter, please place orders ASAP!

Supply Chain Delays

We continue to experience the effects of global supply chain delays on monitors, printers, some computers, and other equipment. In many cases, items we order today are not shipping for up to 6 months—and sometimes longer. Even when vendors provide an estimated ship date, we are frequently seeing those dates ship by weeks or months. Please plan ahead by ordering as soon as possible, and please be patient.

UC Davis Phish Bowl

The UC Davis Phish Bowl is a fast place to check whether a suspicious email you've received is phishing or legitimate. 
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