UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

“Lifetime E-Mail” For Students

Over the Fall 2001 semester, the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Computing Services plans to make some new resources available to UMass Boston students. Most notably, past, present, and future UMass Boston students will now be able to obtain a lifetime email account through the university.

According to Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance David MacKenzie, “Student email available on campus is long overdue. It is something students in this day and age expect as a basic service at any college or university.”

The email system is built on a robust multi-server Dell architecture using the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system, the Exchange 2000 server application, and the Outlook 2000 Web Access Client. This will allow users to access their email accounts from any Web browser.

Computing Services, which, along with Enrollment Services, has been working on this project for the last six months, reports that all new UMass Boston students will have an email account from the day they are enrolled in the university through their alumni years. Present students and alumni will also be able to avail themselves of this benefit.

According to Director of Computing Services Charles Bolen, his office has provided the Registrar’s Office with “16 thousand email accounts, which will be distributed to the active students in about a week.” He added that the process “is not yet set” for enrolling new students, inactive students and alumni. He noted, that while many private schools already offer this service, “we’re ahead of the snowball as far as the rest of the state colleges.” Bolen stated that they “don’t really know” the cost of the project at this point.

Other “exciting developments in campus computing services” that will be rolled out over the fall semester are upgrades to existing computer labs, implementation of “Portable Smart Classrooms” improvements to the Help Desk, and further development of the Boston Information Technology (BIT) Council.

The BIT Council’s purpose is to ensure that the university’s information technology resources are being maximized. Improvements made through the other projects will be seen in the Graduate and Research Lab, where a third of the workstations will be updated, and the Adaptive Computing Lab (ACL), where several new PCs and peripherals have been acquired in order for the ACL to be compatible with other computing labs on campus and remain up-to-date with current technology.

Computing Services has also purchased two mobile carts to be used in classrooms. Each is outfitted with 25 Dell laptop computers, capable of operating in a wireless environment. At the Help Desk, support has been redefined and more staff has been hired in order to improve their services.

MacKenzie stated, “Although our staff is limited, in part due to the tight job market in the area, and our resources are constrained, I have nevertheless committed to making immediate improvements when possible, engaging in a cohesive planning process, and developing sensible procedures for utilizing our limited resources.”