University e-mails to change

Caitlin Carter

Next semester, students and alumni will notice a change in their WKU e-mail accounts with the introduction of TopperMail.

TopperMail is powered by the [email protected] e-mail service, which is designed specifically for universities, said Gordon Johnson, director for Administrative Systems and Applications.

WKU will begin converting about 40,000 student and alumni accounts during winter break, Johnson said.

All students will be able to access their accounts in early January, he said.

Johnson said students and alumni must note that their e-mail addresses will change once the conversion is complete.

E-mail addresses will now end with

@topper.wku.edu instead of @wku.edu.

WKU faculty and staff experienced a similar e-mail migration throughout the last year, but only 3,000 accounts had to be converted, Johnson said.

Microsoft [email protected] is a better fit for WKU than the service the university uses today, Johnson said.

“Currently, students and alumni are only offered 50 MB of message storage space, but once [email protected] is implemented, they will receive an upgrade to 10 GB,” Johnson said.

According to [email protected]’s website, there are additional features provided by the service other than e-mail. Students and alumni can utilize many Windows features integrated into one service, such as Windows Live Messenger, Spaces, SkyDrive, Alerts, Mobile and Photos.

Johnson said SkyDrive, a password-protected online storage space, is an element many students would like.

Bob Owen, vice president for Information Technology, said [email protected] will not only be an improvement for students and alumni, but also for the Information Technology department.

“([email protected]) is able to provide a lot more functionality,” Owen said.

Because of this, he said, the service will save about $50,000 annually in maintenance.

Louisville sophomore Josh Malave said he’s content with the current e-mail service and the benefits of [email protected] aren’t enough to entice him.

“E-mail is e-mail,” Malave said. “You just really need the service and not the benefits.”

Laura Clayton, a sophomore from Santa Claus, Ind., said she also doesn’t see the need for the changes.

Since student and alumni e-mail addresses are going to be different, she said potential problems could arise.

“People are going to be confused with the switch,” Clayton said.

Johnson said that any transition has some pain associated with it.

“But everyone we’ve talked with said that in the long run, students really like [email protected],” he said.