'Inbox full' to be a problem of the past with Ball State's new e-mail offerings

Topics: Administrative, Human Resources

October 23, 2008

Opening your inbox and finding it full will be a problem of the past now that Ball State has changed its e-mail offerings for students, with university e-mail accounts.

Students now have the option of switching their "@bsu.edu" e-mail address from the university's internal e-mail system to an outside mail system of their choosing, hosted either by Google or Microsoft. The change will provide students with 7 or 10 GB of storage compared to the 12 megabytes (MB) Ball State offered them off in its internal system.

By moving students off the internal system, Ball State will free up space for increased storage capacity in employee mailboxes still on the university's internal system, said Sarah LaChat, a University Computing Services (UCS) technology coordinator.

"We will be able to give employees even larger mailboxes, with 200 MB of space," she said. Employees currently have 50 MB of storage in their inboxes on Ball State's internal e-mail system.

University officials say thousands of students already have their Ball State e-mail forwarded to outside servers of their choosing. Beginning with next year's freshman class, incoming students will no longer be given a mailbox on Ball State's system but will instead be required to set a forwarding address to an existing e-mail account. If they don't already have an e-mail account or want to use Google Apps or Microsoft Exchange Lab, they can choose from those options as well.

After they graduate, students also can continue using their "@bsu.edu" e-mail address and use additional e-mail addresses with the "@bsu.edu" tag. The option will allow alumni to create multiple aliases while continuing to route his or her e-mail to one destination. "Say a former student gets married and wants to change the name on their e-mail, this will be an easy way to do it," LaChat said. "Professionally, it might also be a good idea when it comes to listing your e-mail address on your resume, too."

UCS staff say Ball State is months ahead of other universities looking to make similar changes to the maintenance of their internal e-mail systems. Colleges nationwide are re-examining existing services now that students have grown accustomed to the offerings— and larger storage capacity — of providers such as YahooMail, Hotmail and Gmail.

Ball State unveiled its plans for a new e-mail system Oct. 23 during Tech4U, a daylong event that introduced the campus community to emerging digital technologies.

LaChat said employees will not have the same options as students to be a part of either Google Apps or Exchange Labs. "We don't have an easy way to 'override' this right now because of how we are managing things," she said. "It may be possible to add exceptions at some point but not at the moment."

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