HuskyMail to be Replaced

In response to feedback, UITS plans to upgrade the student e-mail with a third-party system.

University Information Technology Services staff are expecting to replace HuskyMail – the e-mail system used and disparaged by UConn students for years – with a hosted, third-party system.

“The RFP is out the door,” says Matthew Smith, manager of server support at UITS. “The bids will be in by May 11, an evaluation group will review the submissions, and we’ll move forward.”

If all goes according to plan, Smith says, students new to the campus will be automatically enrolled when the new system is installed, while continuing students will be “rolled” into the new system over a period of several months.

“We recognize the need to upgrade, and the external third-party solutions can do the job far better than we,” he says, noting that a number of other universities have already moved to outside vendors for e-mail and other support.

The third-party solutions provide far larger systems, able to store several gigabytes of information compared to only 50 megabytes for HuskyMail. The external systems also will provide services for calendaring, document sharing, instant messaging, and more, all functions HuskyMail is incapable of performing.

“We heard the students and we’re moving forward,” Smith says.

Students have complained about HuskyMail’s slow speed and limited functionality for several years. Their voices became more strident last summer, and UConn administrators responded by sponsoring an open forum and creating the student technology advisory group, an 18-member committee that included nine students. The group researched the University’s needs and developed the RFP that was sent out several weeks ago.

The new system is expected to require minimal costs and staffing requirements, while greatly enhancing the functionality of the e-mail system.