THE EXPONENT

Student email switch driven by cost, security

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






On January 8, Baldwin Wallace switched students over to formally using an @bw.edu email address instead of @mail.bw.edu.
There were different motives for the switch, the main reason being “to enhance our cyber security protection,” said Greg Flanik, the Chief Information Officer of the Information Technology Department. “That was really goal number one, but then there’s all these additional benefits that our faculty [and] staff had been asking for, and to some degree, some student groups. Now we’re able to maximize the value.”
Donna Gutschmidt, the Director of Educational Technology, mentioned that universities have received bigger threats for SPAM and phishing because of the personal information they hold, such as student records.
The way that the advanced threat protection works, said Shane Morehouse, the Director of Client Services, is that, “if you get a link, it will check to make sure that link is correct, and it will send it to a safe zone.”
In terms of both links and attachments, the system will notify the user if the link is corrupt and will prevent him or her from proceeding any further.
Students can choose which email they want to be on and then can forward one BW email to the other.
“What we decided is, let the student choose where they want to live and play and so the system that we created is one that empowers them to choose,” said Flanik. “Our hope is to get everyone on the @bw.edu platform because that’s where you maximize the benefit.”
Prior to the email switch, the faculty and staff emails were on a different tenant or server than the students.
The cost to license per server is about $20-30,000 per year. Therefore, the price to license two different servers would cost the university much more money.
However, the cost of the threat protection could be free if the school transferred student addresses over to the same server as the faculty and staff.
“By moving over to this platform, we didn’t have to increase any costs for the student side,” said Flanik.
Along with advanced threat protection, there are also other benefits to the new address.
The @bw.edu address also gives students a global address book which allows them to see all the faculty, staff and students when they type in the address bar on a new email. There is also now the Office 365 calendar feature and the opportunity to collaborate with faculty through the Office tools.
The Office 365 Calendar can assist students in scheduling appointments with their professors and classmates. Using the calendar, users will be able to see when others are available to meet. If a phone is synced to a user’s Office 365 email, the calendar feature will also notify them of a meeting or appointment. Students can also see their appointments on the my.bw.edu portal and create to-do lists to help with their studies. This feature can be used on either a computer or smartphone.
“We had collaboration tools with faculty and staff together, but if students wanted to collaborate with the faculty, you couldn’t, because the Office 365 had two tenants: one for @mail.bw.edu and one for @bw.edu, and they couldn’t talk together,” said Morehouse. Now with both parties on one server, this allows for full collaboration.
The Office 365 collaboration feature has been requested over the past few years.
“The switch over now gives students the opportunity to be able to do that,” Gutschmidt said.
Another addition is that the BW password is synced to all platforms. “Now, if you change your password today, it will change across the board,” said Flanik.
In the near future, “[IT will be] expiring student’s passwords and forcing [them] to change it to something else,” said Flanik.
Ceasing to change BW passwords makes it easier for threats to find personal information. The department wants to make sure that this will become less likely to occur.
“[Threats] can see your grades [and] they can see your [finances] because it’s linked to billing… we want to make it a more secure environment for students,” said Flanik.
For assistance in regard to the new email or other IT related issues, students can email the help desk at helpdesk@bw.edu or call 440.826.7000.
“Our help desk will work with any student and support them setting up a way for their phone to check their mail @mail.bw.edu and @bw.edu if they what to keep them separate,” said Flanik, along with assisting in forwarding old addresses to the new account.
For any more questions on the new email, visit New Student Email FAQ at the top left corner of the home page on my.bw.edu.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Baldwin Wallace University Student Newspaper
Student email switch driven by cost, security