Welcome – An Important Message about IT Services and Security

Information Technology Services (ITS) welcomes you to the University of Memphis, and wishes you a successful academic year.  We understand this is a hectic time for everyone as the semester begins. However, we want to take a moment to provide you with these important reminders.

We encourage you to review tips for protecting your personal information by clicking this link: 


Additional security information is accessible by clicking links on the left-hand side of that page.  If you receive any suspicious email, you may forward it to abuse@memphis.edu for analysis.


Please use the Service Desk to request technical assistance. For your convenience, you may use http://umhelpdesk.memphis.edu to submit your requests online or you may call 901.678.8888. Once your helpdesk ticket is submitted, someone will follow-up with you as soon as possible. 


Finally, please be sure to review the policies regarding information technology located at http://policies.memphis.edu/. We encourage you to especially review the following policies:






If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me!


Ellen Watson

Chief Information Officer

New Service Desk Support System

Monday, August 3, marks the start of a new service support system for all faculty, staff and students.  The system is designed to enhance customers’ experience and to continue to improve service quality.

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will be conducting Virtual and On-Ground training opportunities for all users.

For more information and to register for training, visit umtech.memphis.edu/service.

Desktop Security


In order to comply with TBR guideline G-052 (https://policies.tbr.edu/guidelines/access-control) and best practices for desktop security, desktop sessions should be locked after 20 minutes of inactivity.  ITS is investigating how to implement this change throughout the University with as little impact as possible and we are considering a phased roll-out beginning in administrative units, followed by academic units.

An additional consideration, however, is the impact on instructor workstations in classrooms and student lab computers.  We’d appreciate your feedback on this issue while we are in the early planning stages.

You can leave your comments, concerns and suggestions below, or you may email Jude Knight (jknight3), who will compile all of them and share them with the ITS team.

Thank you for your input.


2015 UofM Campus Technology Survey (Techqual+)

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Information Technology Services (ITS) is participating in the annual Techqual+ survey to assess the quality of technology services on campus and we need your help.  Your input is critical in helping us to gather information so that we can identify and plan appropriately to provide the best technology services possible.

Participants may enter a drawing for a $50 gift card.  Four winners will be selected!

Your participation in this survey is completely optional and your responses are anonymous. No personally identifiable information about you will be collected during the survey.  You will be given an opportunity to participate in this year’s gift card drawing at the end of the survey and, if you choose to participate, you will be redirected to a separate website to provide your email address.  The email address you provide for the gift card drawing will not be associated with your survey responses.  Gift card winners employed by the University of Memphis are subject to appropriate IRS tax withholding and reporting.

To participate in the survey, click the following link:


Your feedback is important because it helps us develop action plans that assist in continual improvement. The survey closes April 24, 2015 at 4:30PM.  I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to participate in this process. If you have any questions about the survey please feel free to contact Dr. Robert Jackson at rjax@memphis.edu.

Thank you for your participation!



Reminder – 2015 ECAR Student Technology Survey

Dear University of Memphis Student:

Recently you received an email from Dr. Robert Jackson regarding an opportunity to provide feedback in this year’s ECAR Student Technology Survey.  If you already responded, please accept my thanks, and you may disregard this email.  If you haven’t had a chance to response yet, please consider participating. The University is interested in improving student experiences with information technology, and your response is very important to us.  Your participation in the study is voluntary, and your responses will be completely confidential.

You still have time to participate but act quickly because the survey closes March 27, 2015!

Is technology being effectively used in your classes?  How can technology help you become more effective?  How useful are online early-alert or intervention notifications?  How does the University of Memphis compare against other institutions with these and other issues?  Participate in the 2015 ECAR Student Technology Survey to help us learn more!

It will take approximately 15-30 minutes to complete the survey. Please click this link to complete the survey: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1971183/ECAR-Student-Study-2015-us?eid=9257.

Thank you in advance for your participation.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Jackson at rjax@memphis.edu.


ECAR Faculty Technology Survey

Dear Faculty Members,

Please see the invitation below from Dr. Robert Jackson regarding this year’s ECAR Faculty Technology Survey invitation. ITS reviews the survey responses and compares our institution’s responses to peer institutions to inform our decision-making process.  The survey closes March 20, 2015.

I encourage you to participate in this survey to help us identify current uses of technology and potential future endeavors.




Dear University of Memphis Faculty Member:

You have been selected to participate in a national survey that will help us learn how to provide you with better technology services at The University of Memphis.

The University is interested in improving faculty experiences with information technology, and your response is very important to us. Your participation in the study is voluntary, and your responses will be completely confidential.

This faculty survey about technology experiences is being conducted by ECAR, the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research. The survey is similar to the ECAR Student Technology Survey in which the University has historically participated. ECAR will provide the University with both national data for comparison, and aggregated, de-identified local data that we can use directly.

It will take approximately 15-30 minutes to complete the survey. The last day to complete the survey will be March 20, 2015. Please click this link to complete the survey: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1950444/ECAR-Faculty-Study-2015-us?eid=9257

Thank you in advance for your participation.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at my email address, rjax@memphis.edu.


Robert Jackson, Ed.D.

Password Length Expanded to 30 Characters

In a continued effort to follow best security practices, ITS has expanded the maximum character length of passwords to 30 characters.  Users will not be required to have that many characters in their passwords, but they can be changed up to that number if desired.  This may help people use phrases as passwords, which may be more mnemonic than a string of characters.   The minimum password length will remain at 12.  Also, remember that the University requires that passwords for all UUID accounts be changed every 6 months.  For more information regarding password security, visit the ITS webpage on this topic.

Thank you,



“FREAK” Browser Vulnerability

IT Services would like to alert the campus community of a recently announced vulnerability that affects a number of web browsers and operating systems. The “FREAK” vulnerability is one that enables SSL Man-in-the-Middle attacks by forcing browsers to downgrade the cipher suites used in SSL/TLS connections.

Microsoft, Google and Apple have announced that patches will be released to correct the vulnerability. Individuals should ensure that they are running the latest version of their browser to mitigate “FREAK”.

If you have any questions regarding this vulnerability, please contact the University’s Service Desk at ext. 8888.

Thank you,


“GHOST” Linux Vulnerability

ITS Security would like to alert the campus community of a recently announced Critical vulnerability that affects a number of Linux operating systems.  Dubbed the “GHOST” vulnerability, a flaw in the glibc library present in many Linux operating systems could allow a remote attacker to compromise an affected system through a buffer overflow against the gethostbyname() function.  Individuals responsible for Linux workstations or servers are strongly recommended to patch and reboot to protect against this vulnerability as soon as possible.  Please refer to your distribution’s support pages for further information and impacted releases, or departments may contact their area’s LSP.




Thank you,