Information Technology Services is putting the final touches on plans to migrate student and faculty users off the Novell network operating system onto a new system, making campus computer use more efficient.
ITS plans to begin switching student and faculty users off Novell to Active Directory, in late fall 2010.
Beth Rugg, user support services manager at ITS, said the project is part of a larger network and security “megaproject” that has been in process for several years.
This project includes changing the physical, logical and application structure of the college’s computer infrastructure. The biggest change will allow student and faculty users to keep a single username and password for both the campus computer login and college e-mail login, said Rugg.
“The majority of users get confused by the [current] password setup,” Rugg said.
Other changes will allow students to more easily access their stored files on the college’s server.
Rugg said faculty and staff will see the biggest changes in how departments share files when the transition occurs. Some departments now manage their files through outdated departmental structures, she said.
Funding the project, which was no different from other organizational spending projects, came about through normal budgetary capital requests, Rugg said.
Carl Sgrecci, vice president of finance and administration, said budget cuts from previous years have not affected ITS’s ability to manage these projects.
Michael Smith, assistant professor of history, said as a professor who uses classroom computers frequently, he is wary of ITS implementing new technology without getting advice from faculty.
“My biggest concern with ITS’s process is advice from faculty is often not solicited at the beginning,” Smith said.
Rugg said ITS is keeping the campus community informed about the process.
“We are constantly keeping groups around the campus informed of our progress,” she said.
Freshman Nicole Belott said her biggest complaint with Novell is the speed of campus computers.
“I can’t even run to the computer lab and print something before class — it takes too long,” she said.
Belott also said that if the new software is easily accessible, she and other students may change their campus computer use habits.
“I don’t know of anyone who stores files on Novell right now,” Belott said. “But if the software runs smoother, I cannot imagine why students wouldn’t at least try something new.”