IT committee seeks input from faculty, students for possible e-mail switch

Bill Thomas, Assistant News Editor

With the success of the Farley Library’s switch from its outdated, on-site server-stored VTLS catalog system to the new, cloud-based ENCORE system, Library Dean John Stachacz has been tapped to help Wilkes’ IT Committee determine whether moving the school’s email services to a cloud-based system like Google Gmail or Microsoft 365 (formerly “Microsoft Live”).

Once again, Stachacz pointed to recent flooding as a motivating factor in Wilkes’ consideration of moving more toward the use of off-campus servers.

“There’s a lot of benefits to that type of hosting,” Matthew Koch, Wilkes’ tech development director and Cloud Email Evaluation sub-committee co-chair said. “This is becoming increasingly popular with a lot of higher education institutions.” Other advantages Koch cited include ease of access and cost effectiveness.

To fully explore the possibilities of such a switch, the sub-committee will seek input from students and faculty members, both on a broad scale through campus surveying and on a more focused, narrower scale through evaluation volunteers.

Koch admits that the sub-committee is emphasizing faculty input more so than that of students simply because, he said, students are more used to cloud-based e-mail systems, whereas faculty members may not be.

The sub-committee plans to have a full analysis completed by the end of February, with a final recommendation, whether or not to move to full or partial cloud email, in March.

Stachacz and Koch said the sub-committee is still looking for students and faculty to help with the evaluation process, and said that interested parties should contact either Stachacz at 570-408-4254 or Koch at 570-408-4450.