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Accessible Org Charts for Everyone

accessible org charts

Most org charts on Boise State websites are in PDF or Lucidchart formats. While you can make PDF documents accessible using Acrobat DC Pro, that process will make the names and positions readable but likely won’t translate the organizational hierarchy for someone using access technology. (Lucidcharts aren’t accessible at this time.)

Luckily, simple tools have existed for over 20 years to convey hierarchical relationships on a web page: Headings and lists!

By using structured headings on your page, along with unordered (bulleted) lists, you can represent how your department or college is organized in a way that’s accessible to everyone. Use this method to create an accessible org chart and link to it as an option for those people who are unable to interpret a PDF or other visually-based document.

View an example on our website, and check out how the University of North Georgia makes their org charts accessible.

For questions about creating accessible organizational charts, contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357, or email

New Features in Google Sheets

Google Sheets

Google is releasing a handful of new features this week for Sheets. Google Sheets are created and accessed through Google Drive.

Simplified Pivot Tables

Pivot tables have been available in Sheets for some time now, and now Google will suggest pivot tables for you to use with your data.

You can now also use natural language to ask questions of your data and view answers in a pivot table format.

Intelligent Formula Suggestions

In addition, Sheets now uses machine intelligence to suggest formulas for you to use when you type “=” within a cell.

Google has information about these changes along with several other new features on their blog, including customizable headings, format options for pivot tables, waterfall charts, and improvements for importing or pasting fixed-width formatted data.

Training and Assistance

Learn how to use Sheets or any other G Suite application with the G Suite Learning Center.

For information about using G Suite applications at Boise State, contact the Help Desk at, or call (208) 426-4357.

Update on Mac OS X High Sierra

Due to security issues with macOS 10.13 High Sierra, the Office of Information Technology is postponing support for this latest version of the operating system until January 2018.

We anticipate a few more weeks of testing and patching.

Information about High Sierra is available on Apple’s website.

For questions or further information, please contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357, or email

Faculty Workshops: Leverage Blackboard and iClicker for Efficiency and Engagement

LTS Presents Faculty Workshops on Blackboard and iClicker REEF

Our Learning Technology Solutions team presents upcoming workshops for faculty on time-saving gradebook features in Blackboard, and using iClicker Reef in the classroom for student engagement.

Prepping Your Blackboard Course for Spring

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 11 – 11:30 a.m.
River Front Hall, room 301 or virtual meeting

Get your course ready for Spring Semester by cleaning up content and implementing course-copy best practices. This workshop will help you streamline course management and minimize frustration by getting a head start and avoiding common mistakes.

Register on the OIT website.

Managing Grades in Blackboard Using the New Blackboard-to-Peoplesoft Grade Transfer Tool

Thursday, Dec. 7, 11 – 11:30 a.m.
River Front Hall, room 301 or virtual meeting

Simplify your gradebook so that it is easier to manage and use the new Grade Transfer feature in myBoiseState. The Grade Transfer feature saves you time by sending all of your student grades from Blackboard to PeopleSoft in just a few clicks.

Register on the OIT website.

Key Insights from the Faculty Learning Community on Clickers and Student Response

Two times: Friday, Dec. 8, 9:30 – 11 a.m. and Friday, Dec. 8, 1:30 – 3 p.m.
Interactive Learning Center (ILC), room 315

This fall, a group of selected faculty members met as a learning community where they shared their best practices and techniques using our student response system iClicker Reef. The community was sponsored and facilitated by OIT’s Learning Technology Solutions, with a grant from McMillan Education.

The group will share how they utilize iClicker Reef in the classroom, including how to effectively engage and poll students in the class, track student understanding, address misconceptions, encourage attendance and give every student a voice.

Register through OrgSync.

One-On-One Assistance

Schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our technologists or just stop by during one of our scheduled Drop-In Sessions.

Contact LTS

If you have questions about these Blackboard and iClicker Reef sessions, contact Learning Technology Solutions at (208) 426-3289 or

Get Insights Into OIT Projects Through Our Project Management Office


Our Project Management Office (PMO) is constantly updating information on projects we’ve recently completed, projects coming up in the next month, and all of the active project requests in our queue.

Boise State faculty and staff can view this information on the Project Management Office’s website.

The following projects were recently implemented:

  • Replacement of Campus Operator
  • Enhancements to the Major Change application
  • Development of a report to identify the number of times a student has been on probation
  • College of Engineering: Enhance outreach to students in academic distress

Currently, the PMO is actively working on 50 projects, with up to 21 additional projects scheduled to go live in the next 30 days.

Add another 47 project requests awaiting review and prioritization, and the scale of the PMO’s workload becomes clear. Director Diana Nydegger and her experienced team keep it all under control by adhering to a comprehensive project lifecycle process.

If you have questions about OIT projects or want more information, contact the Project Management Office directly at

Network Systems Maintenance November 20-22

System engineer works on a network router

The Office of Information Technology will upgrade Boise State’s network Monday through Wednesday, November 20-22.

Monday, November 20

Riverfront Hall network and internet access will be unavailable 6:00 am – 6:30 am.

Tuesday, November 21

Wi-Fi will coverage may be spotty between 3:00 am – 5:00 am.

Monday, November 20 – Wednesday, November 22

Intermittent network outages of 5-20 minutes will occur during normal business hours in the following buildings:

  • Charles P. Ruch Engineering Building
  • Communication Building
  • Environmental Research Building
  • Ron and Linda Yanke Family Research Park
  • Science Building

For additional information, contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357, or email


Max’s Minute: The OIT Strategic Plan

Boise State University CIO, Max Davis-Johnson, talks about the Office of Information Technology (OIT) strategic plan, governance partners, and the continuous evolution of technology in relation to the OIT strategic plan.

You can view the OIT strategic plan on our website. You may comment on the plan by emailing Max Davis-Johnson, CIO, at

Video Transcript

[inspirational music]

>> MAX: Today I’m going to talk a little bit about our strategic plan.

TITLE: Max’s Minute November 2017

Hi, this is Max Davis-Johnson, Boise State University Office of Information Technology.

TITLE: How often does OIT review its strategic plan?

We do an annual update. We try to take a five-year view and layout a framework for where we want OIT to go.

TITLE: What informs the Office of Information Technology (OIT) strategic plan?

We have our mission, our values, our core beliefs. We have our core objectives.

We try very hard to align those with the University’s strategic plan.

The University strategic plan has been relatively stable over the last number of years, so these parts of our plan have been stable too.

What we try to do, especially within each of our objectives, is identify projects and initiatives, short-term and long-term, long-term being five-year view of what we see, of what we think we need to accomplish in each in these core areas.

And all this is based on our mission, our values, our vision, and sort of our core tenets.

TITLE: Do campus partners review the strategic plan?

We work with ITGC, IT Governance Council. We work with the ITPC, IT Planning Council to sort of help affirm, confirm these that we’re on the right track, that we’re doing the right thing.

TITLE: Does the plan change to accommodate new technology?

The very nature of technology: it’s changing, it’s evolving, and it’s one of the reasons we need to continue to evolve our strategic plan.

Technology is a core part of what we do at work. It’s a core part in our personal lives at home.

Our goal is to make technology so it’s not, it’s an enabler, it’s a tool, but it doesn’t get in the way of you doing your job.

TITLE: Does the strategic plan provide a framework for decision making?

Each of us, not just OIT, but all other departments and colleges on campus, we’re continually being asked to do more. And we’re being asked to do more and we don’t necessarily have more money, i.e. resources, to get this done.

So it’s very important that we have a framework that we can continually go back to and say, you’re asking, we’re trying to do this, is this part of our plan, our strategy moving forward?

It helps us balance and bring some framework, some consistency, to what we do as a department for the University moving forward.

TITLE: Can I view and comment on the OIT strategic plan?

This plan is posted on our OIT website,

I encourage you to go out and look at it. We’re always looking for feedback on this. We want to make sure we’re on the right track. It’s important that we do hear from anybody that’s interested in the plan. If there’s adjustments we need to make, if there are things we aren’t focusing on, again, we want to know this.

We’ll continue to review this with our guidance councils, our governance council, our priority council, and other constituents on campus as we go forward.

This plan is important to us. I want it to be important to you too. So, take a look when you get a chance.

VPN Client Software Upgrade


On Tuesday, November 7 the Office of Information Technology will update Cisco AnyConnect software used to connect to Boise State’s VPN service.

The software will automatically download and update when an individual launches the Cisco AnyConnect software and attempts to connect to the university’s VPN.

If you use Boise State’s VPN service and have any issues with the software update, contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357, or email

All University faculty and staff have access to Boise State’s VPN. For more information, visit our VPN web page.

Accessing Higher Ground Virtual Conference November 13 through 18

Accessing Higher Ground Virtual Conference

The Office of Information Technology is pleased to host the “Accessing Higher Ground” virtual conference in the Student Union Building the week of November 13 through 17.

Free registration is available for Boise State faculty, staff and students.

Sessions cover a variety of accessibility-related topics, including:

  • Access Technology
  • PDF and Document Accessibility
  • Organization and Planning
  • Evaluation and Testing
  • Legal Requirements
  • Educational Materials and Faculty Development

Join us for sessions of interest to you.

Visit our Training website to view the conference schedule and registration information.

Web Accessibility at Boise State

Web Accessibility

Natasha Williams, a student employee on our Web Accessibility team, has created a brief video explaining Boise State’s approach to helping ensure our public-facing websites are accessible to everyone:

The Office of Information Technology’s Web Accessibility team provides resources, training, guidance, monitoring, remediation and consultation for Boise State web administrators and authors.

For more information about web accessibility, visit WebGuide, contact the Help Desk at, or call (208) 426-4357.