I wanted to share the below updates from Brian Cohen, Vice Chancellor and University CIO. Important items of note:

·       CSI is one of the top users of Blackboard

·       Blackboard after hours support

·       Continued efforts with Adobe

Thank you as always for your continued support!

By Patricia Kahn, PhD


Data on Activity and Usage

As promised, below are some relevant data points on the activity and volume we have monitored over the past few days. 


·       Blackboard log in attempts have been steadily and significantly increasing since Mar. 14 with a significant spike on Mar. 19.

·       90% of CUNY students are utilizing Blackboard; while 75% of the faculty are utilizing Blackboard. CSI, BMCC, Baruch, City, SPH and John Jay are standouts in these categories.

Collaboration Tools (One Drive, Skype for Business, MS Teams)

  • Skype for Business usage has been minimal and consistent at around 500 active users.
  • Microsoft One Drive usage has steadily increased from approximately 500 users to 1,500 active users. One Drive storage used has increased from approximately 26TB to 27 TB from 3/11 to 3/17.
  • Microsoft Teams usage has increased from 1,000 to 3,500 active users. Chat Message and Channel Messages were the most significantly used messages on Teams over the past week.

Blackboard After-hours Support:

Starting tonight, students and faculty with a pressing Blackboard question can call Blackboard for assistance. This after-hours Blackboard support will be available by telephone:

·       weeknights – between 8:00pm and 8:00 the next morning

·       weekends – all day and night on Saturdays and Sunday

CUNY has contracted with Blackboard to provide this telephone support as an additional service to our students and faculty to ensure coverage when the campus help desks are closed and Blackboard administrator support to students and faculty is unavailable.

After-hours Blackboard support is to assist students and faculty with using Blackboard only; all performance, technical, and access issues will remain the responsibility of campus helpdesk and Blackboard administrators during their regular support hours.

Communications announcing this new after-hours Blackboard support and supporting documentation will be published later today.

Improved Way to Find Technology Resources:

CUNY CIS has developed two new sites to support remote teaching and work.  The first is the IT Resources for Remote Work & Teaching or cuny.edu/itremote, which consolidates in one place the IT resources that are available University-wide for all CUNY students, faculty, and staff.  It also links to key resources at colleges on the topic, as well as resources available to Central Office staff. This site is now live, and we will continue to update it as new resources become available. Our hope is that faculty, students, and staff will benefit from having one site for information, so please share broadly and feel free to link to it. 

Improved Way to Find Training Resources:

On Monday, we will also be launching a new IT Training site that consolidates links to all sites with training guides, videos, etc., so that users can more easily find the training they need to work and teach remotely. Again, we hope that the CUNY community will appreciate having one resource to find desired training and guidance. This site will also be accessible from the new IT Remote Resources site.  


Adobe has enabled temporary access to Creative Cloud Desktop Apps for CUNY students so that students can download and start using apps remotely​. While the CIS team has successfully completed our testing for the authentication and provisioning to the suite of Adobe products; we continue to work through issues with the Adobe instructions provided for downloading the products. I have reached out to Adobe’s Vice President for Higher Education and hope that we will get these issues resolved soon. We will make a broader announcement once we’ve heard from Adobe and confirmed that the product is fully accessible to our student population. ​

Online Voting

CIS has been exploring several solutions that can support campus anonymous online voting needs for both faculty and student actions. A demo of two in-house solutions developed by Guttman College and City College are being scheduled. The intent is to present quick and ready to use solutions that you can adopt and intergrade locally and one that CIS can, if needed, also intergrade into the @login single-sign-on infrastructure.

Other Activities at CIS and Target Completion Dates:

Project Name Target launch date
Course Dog Implementation Apr. 30, 2020
NTE/Cash Management/Billing/AR Phase 2 go-live June 2020
PeopleSoft 9.2 upgrade 2021
CUNYfirst homecoming to Hudson Street Fall 2020

Brian Cohen

Vice Chancellor and University CIO