Current Initiatives

Within the context of the Colleges' strategic planning process, IT Services promotes the exploration and integration of emerging, innovative technologies for the enterprise and the curriculum. Students, faculty and staff members who have ideas and interests may follow the process for suggesting an initiative. If approved, that initiative will proceed to be evaluated, piloted, and implemented on campus. At every phase, initiatives are assessed for viability and reviewed to ensure anticipated benefits and improvements are being achieved.

Initiatives proceed in phases, as follows:

  • Acceptance: Initiative is approved as something to evaluate
  • Consideration: IT Services puts the tool in place and evaluates it internally
  • Pilot: A small, focused group of students, faculty, and staff use the tool, working with IT Services to create best practices and resources.
  • Expanded Pilot: A larger group of students, faculty, and staff use the tool and assess best practices and resources
  • Implementation: Available for use by everyone on campus
  • On-Hold: Initiative has been placed on-hold and is no longer being actively pursued.
Name Overview Phase
E-mail Upgrades Upgrading HWS e-mail to a more secure version with additional features that integrate with Office 365 and Teams Implementation
Ensemble Video Retirement Ensemble Video has been acquired, and will be retired on August 1st. It will no longer be accessible after that date. HWS video streaming services will changeover to Panopto the first week in July. Implementation
Expansion of Multi-Factor Authentication Adding and updating services with multi-factor authentication capabilities Implementation
Hypothesis Annotation and note taking tool that integrates directly into Canvas Implementation
Office 365 and Microsoft Teams A suite of browser-based productivity tools Pilot

Let us know if you have feedback or are interested in participating in one of the initiatives current initiatives by contacting IT Services.


E-mail Upgrades [completed]

As previously communicated to all faculty and staff, the HWS e-mail system will be upgraded shortly after commencement to keep our e-mail system current and to improve the overall security posture of our e-mail infrastructure.

The upgrade for all faculty and staff accounts will begin on the evening of Monday, May 23 at 10 p.m. ET and will be completed by Tuesday, May 24 at 6 a.m. ET.

Your ability to send and receive e-mail will not be interrupted during this window. We will provide instructions in our bulletins and on the e-mail upgrade page linked below for reconnecting your devices to the HWS e-mail system once the upgrade is complete. We will also have many members of our team, in addition to those at the Help Desk, on standby on May 24th should anyone require additional assistance in reconnecting personal devices to the HWS e-mail system.


Ensemble Video Retirement

Ensemble Video will be retired on August 1st and it will no longer be accessible after that date. The retirement of Ensemble Video means that you should be saving or transferring any content you want to retain that is uploaded into this system. A new video service, Panopto, will be launched in June and will be accessible to those looking to transition content. Users may also wish to leverage Box for media that is less used or kept solely for archival purposes.


Expansion of Multi-Factor Authentication

Beginning on December 19th, users will be required to complete the multifactor authentication each time they login to the following systems:

  • AleraEdge (health benefits administration)
  • Housing Director (student housing)
  • Kiteworks (secure file transfer service)
  • Maxient (student judicial management)
  • PeopleSoft - Campus Solutions, Financials, and Human Resources
  • Raiser’s Edge (advancement)
  • Slate (admissions)
These systems manage our most sensitive institutional and personal information, and there is a heightened expectation from regulators, auditors and insurers in how institutions protect systems with sensitive information. The methods of authentication will remain as they are today. The only change is the frequency in which authentication will happen with this select set of systems. All other systems (Canvas, Zoom, Webmail, Box, etc.) will remain with the current MFA protocol (30-day trusted device). The upgrade is timed to coincide with the conclusion of the Fall semester and prior to the start of J-Term to ease in the transition.
To make authenticating easier and quicker, you can download an app to your phone that allows you to "push to accept." See below to get started using the app:



Annotation and note taking tool that integrates directly into Canvas.  Can be used for individual, or group annotation of PDFs and websites, and works with assignments, SpeedGrader, and modules features of Canvas for ease of setup. Resources can be found on the hypothesis knowledge base.

Microsoft 365 and Teams

All students, faculty, and staff are provided Microsoft 365, which is platform agnostic. The Microsoft 365 ecosystem includes the classic Microsoft Office applications plus other secure productivity services that are delivered over the Internet. Microsoft 365 offers cloud storage (OneDrive), synchronous collaboration features (Teams and Office Applications), and digital notebooks (OneNote) among other features. Microsoft 365 also works with other HWS services like Box. You can access these applications and download the office suite onto your device by going to Let us know if you are interested in piloting something within the Microsoft 365 suite.

We are actively working with different staff, faculty, and students to pilot Teams. Microsoft teams is a communication and collaboration tool that lets you chat, have video based meetings, share files, and more. You can use teams between individuals or have IT Services setup a channel for your group or department. Let us know if you are interested in joining the pilot.