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Problems with student email prompt changes

Changes are coming to the MyUFV student email system.

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By Alexei Summers (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: November 7, 2012

Changes are coming to the MyUFV student email system.

The system crashed last Thursday, and the problem was ongoing until Information Technology Services (ITS) staff at UFV were able to get the situation under control at 1 p.m. on Friday.

According to Michael Bayrock, the manager of information systems, the problem occurred because of a massive amount of emails waiting to be sent to students.

“There was, at one point, between 20 and 30 thousand messages that were waiting be delivered,” Bayrock stated. “All the messages that were queued were delivered by 3 or 4 p.m. on Friday.”

The current system, known as NIMS, is supplied by Novell Software and is an antiquated system at nearly a decade old. UFV is currently updating its network, opting for Microsoft-sourced software. The Novell Software will no longer be used at UFV as of spring of 2013.

There is no plan to transfer emails from the old system to the new, since ITS does not have access to student inboxes. According to Bayrock, students will be provided with a way to access the old system and forward important emails to the new system. The older NIMS system will be accessible until April of 2013 for this reason, and instructions on how to forward emails will be found at the IT Services website in the future.

ITS remarked that the SpamTitan Virus and Spam-filtering program currently in place would still be used with the MyUFV email system after the change.

The ITS department has been considering the idea of eliminating student email altogether, due to its costliness and an ongoing debate about its usefulness. However, the decision has been made to keep the student email system, and to simply update its software to something more user-friendly.

“This project has been underway for some time now – a student email replacement project,” Bayrock said. “The decision has been made that we will have a student email system, and that we’ll change the system, and we’re close to finishing that project.”

Bayrock says some problems students have with the current system can be solved by cleaning out their inboxes. Many students reportedly use their student email to link up with their Facebook to get email notifications, which clutters up the system. If there are too many emails in the inbox, it can sometimes cause the email channel to appear blank or as an error on the myUFV page.

These changes to the system are expected to be made active in late December or early January. Student email addresses and passwords will remain unchanged and will migrate over to the new system seamlessly.

“We don’t have a set date yet when these changes will be implemented – sometime in December or January,” Bayrock said. “We want to make sure our systems—such as Blackboard, and the library—are okay with this new system. If there are problems, we’ll need to address them before moving forward. At this point I don’t see anything that’s going to be stopping us.”

For more information, students can visit the Information Technology Services website. Updates will be posted as the ongoing changes occur.

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  1. Pingback: Cascade news story on Student email | IT Services

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