Title

New Student Email System is "Live"

Authors

Sean Lee

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date

4-2011

Campus Unit

University of North Dakota

Abstract

Admit it, email has a special love/hate relationship in our lives.

It’s something we check the first thing in the morning as well as the last thing at night. We anxiously await important messages and conveniently ignore others on the weekends.

Although many may not realize it, email has long been the official communication method at The University of North Dakota to deliver messages between students, faculty and staff.

Countless messages pass through the current “U-Mail” system. Now, UND plans to roll out the next generation of email, called Student Email.

“After the last 10-15 years, people are expecting more out of their email,” said UND Chief Information Officer Joshua Riedy. “The original system [U-Mail] was a very basic service.”

The new system, hosted by Microsoft, has already been in operation for about a week. Users of the new system have advantages such as 10 GB of email storage space, 25 GB of file storage, file collaboration capabilities and an advanced calender program. This is a significant increase over U-Mail.

Another advantage is that “Users of the Live accounts will be able to keep their accounts for life,” said director of UND’s Center for Instructional and Learning Technologies Lori Swinney. “Students can keep the accounts after they graduate, as long as they log in every 180 days.”

How does this affect you?

All current U-Mail users have been migrated to the new Student Email. Users can login using the same credentials as U-Mail. Students are encouraged to explore the features and capabilities of the new system during this transitional period.

Students still have access to their U-Mail accounts, as well.

Most noticeable in the change to the Student Email email system is the new @my.und.edu addresses for students. The address format (firstname.lastname@my.und.edu) will remain identical.

Although the transition is on a completely voluntary basis as of now, all email users will have to fully transition to the new system by next fall. “Eventually, emails sent to the old @und.edu account will be undeliverable,” said Deputy CIO Rick Anderson. “By early to mid fall we want all the students to transition to the new system. At the end of the calender year, we will take U-Mail offline.”

Splitting up

While students transition to the Student Email accounts, facility and staff emails will remain on an in-house server – and keep the original @und.edu domain.

With two separate email services feeding two separate user groups (students and faculty,) it became necessary to spit the two groups into separate domains (@und.edu for faculty and @my.und.edu for students.) “We have explored the possibility of keeping the two together,” Riedy said, “but nobody could say it would work reliably.”

Having two separate services would require an intermediate system to “sort” incoming messages and route them to the correct inbox. This system would cost the university “several hundred thousands of dollars per year,” Riedy said.

Why “my”?

Originally slated to be @student.und.edu, the North Dakota University System asked UND to adopt @my.und.edu. “This is a relatively common naming scheme for other Student Email campuses,” said Rosi Kloberdanz, NDUS Executive Director for Academic, Research & Learning Technologies, “including all 9 of the NDUS campuses now on the Student Email system.”

Next steps

For now, users of the current U-Mail system can set up and use their new Live accounts immediately.

Because the old U-Mail system will eventually shut down, students are encouraged to start the transition now. “Students should look at how their U-Mail address is being used now and take steps to make the switch,” Deputy CIO Anderson said.

A step-by-step guide is available on the UND tech support website. Students are also able to take advantage of tech support over the phone (701) 777-6305, or use the Live Chat feature found on the tech support website.

Email will be just one of many new features the University will premiere next academic year. “It is just the first step toward a new communications plan,” Lori Swinney said. “I think students will like what’s in store for them in the future,” said added Riedy.

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