Information Services works to consolidate email services

Envelope on a keyboard

The University of Oregon is moving one step closer to consolidating email services on campus.

In the coming months, Information Services, the UO's central information technology unit, will be collaborating with IT staff across campus to transition the UO email accounts of about 1,900 faculty and staff members to a different email system.

Specifically, they will be switching those accounts from the older email system known as Webmail, IMAP or basic email to Exchange, the email and calendaring service already in use by the other two-thirds of UO employees.

This change is part of the email consolidation effort announced in October by Jessie Minton, vice provost for information services and chief information officer. Minton said that by 2023 all UO students and faculty and staff members would be moved to a service called UOmail, a cloud-hosted version of Exchange.

Information Services aims to have the remaining one-third of employees switched to Exchange by September. The units with the most affected employees are the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Design.

The process for that transition will vary across campus. For example, in the College of Arts and Sciences, staff and faculty members will be switched over in weekly batches of about 50 people from April until September.

Before their email accounts are changed, affected employees will receive email notifications from Information Services or from IT staff in their respective schools or colleges, such as CASIT.

After the transition, Webmail users will need to visit a different web portal, the Outlook Web App, to access their new messages. Affected faculty and staff members must also move their old email messages to the new system before losing access to Webmail.

Affected employees who read and send email from programs on their computers or smartphones — such as Outlook, Mail or Thunderbird — won't receive any new messages in those programs until their settings have been adjusted to work with the new system.

Instructions for completing those tasks will be provided to affected employees as their respective transition dates approach.

"We understand this change may cause disruption for some employees, so Information Services and our IT partners around campus are ready to help." said Patrick Chinn, associate chief information officer for customer experience in Information Services. "In the end, the university will have more secure, feature-rich email and calendars for everyone."

Employees who are unsure whether they'll be affected by this change can do a quick test. If you can log in to the Outlook Web App with your Duck ID and password, then you're already using Exchange. If you can't, then you're currently using Webmail and will be moved to Exchange as part of the transition.

The transition from Webmail to Exchange doesn't yet include students. Instead, staff in Information Services are working to ensure that, beginning this summer, all new students and employees will have UOmail when they start at the university.

More information about the campus email consolidation project is available on the Information Services website. Anyone with questions about the project can contact the project team at emailproject@uoregon.edu.

Anyone seeking help with moving their email or setting up their email programs should contact the IT staff in their respective schools and colleges, if applicable, or contact the Information Services Technology Service Desk by phone at 541-346-4357 or through the UO Service Portal.

—By Nancy Novitski, University Communications