Students returning to campus this fall may find they have a little more “Rocket pride” in their electronic correspondences, along with a significant upgrade in their online storage capacity.
As the new academic year gets under way, the Division of Information Technology is entering into an e-mail hosting agreement with Microsoft that will not only significantly reduce the University’s computer infrastructure needs for the future, but will also significantly increase each student’s Web-based storage capacity from 250 megabytes to 10 gigabytes.
“The transition may require the migration of current students’ mailbox contents to the new e-mail system,” said Dr. Godfrey Ovwigho, vice president for information technology. “We are currently exploring the technical means to migrate these mailboxes.”
The new student e-mail addresses will be structured in a way similar to the current addresses, but will read firstname.lastname@example.org. However, the change will not require any action on the student’s part, according to Ovwigho, as current e-mail addresses will remain active for the next several years.
“If an e-mail is sent to the old address, it will be routed to the new one,” Ovwigho said. “In addition, all replies will automatically be sent from the new ‘Rockets’ address, so the updating process may begin.”
Faculty and staff who are also students will not be impacted in the change; however, IT will be increasing all faculty/staff mailboxes by 50 megabytes in conjunction with the transition.
“The University of Toledo is among the first to enter into this kind of agreement with Microsoft, which has allowed us to shape our agreement to ensure privacy,” Ovwigho said. “Our help desk personnel will still be able to provide assistance in the event of an e-mail issue, and we still have administrative rights.”
Ovwigho estimates that it would cost the University more than $2 million to upgrade the current e-mail infrastructure to achieve a similar in-house solution, in addition to personnel.
“This transition will last several years. That is by design, as we want to make this as smooth a process as possible for our continuing students.
“Plus,” Ovwigho added, “the addition of the word ‘Rockets’ into the address gives our students a chance to show a little Rocket Pride every time they send an e-mail.”