Feb 082004
 
Authors: Lindsay Robinson

The funds collected from the $15 technology fee students are now

paying each semester will be used to finance the Campus Portal

Project, which aims to combine RAMweb, Webmail and WebCT into one

Web site.

The portal should be available to students during the 2004-2005

academic year.

Brandi Johnson, chairperson of the University Technology Fee

Advisory Board, said the Portal Project includes a one-time cost of

$682,000 that was paid for by CSU, and additional incremental costs

of $390,000, which will be split between the university and the

student technology fee.

“The idea is that you go into one place on the web and we try

and consolidate as many things as we can that students would be

interested in knowing about the university, and also fun stuff,”

said Linda McNamara, associate director of the Academic Computing

and Networking Services.

According to the Campus Portal Project Web site the portal is a

step above regular Web sites because it will recognize students

upon login and present them with information useful to their

university affairs.

“There will be targeted announcements, communication tools for

committees and student clubs,” said Johnson, a senior marketing

major, via e-mail.

The portal will be created in phases, with Phase One occurring

this spring. The first phase will involve creating a basic

framework on which the portal can be built. Phase Two, which will

take place this summer, will consist of testing the portal before

it is made available to students sometime the following academic

year.

“It’s important to realize the portal and portal contents will

grow over the next few years,” according to the Web site.

Future additions will include a personal calendar, personal

digital assistant syncing and distributed content specific to

colleges, Johnson said.

“Students can put all their information on a calendar and access

it from this portal. We want to link things like the calendar back

to your class schedule so when you register for classes it would

automatically update your electronic calendar,” McNamara said.

She said the portal might eventually include everything from

live video feed to information about community events in Fort

Collins. It will also offer account management for students

reminding them of any unpaid bills from tuition to parking

tickets.

“The idea with the portal is: think of it sort of as the front

door to all the electronic web services you might need while you’re

at the university,” McNamara said.

Johnson said the University Technology Fee Advisory Board

supported the portal not only because it will improve online

options for students, but also because it will replace the

out-dated Student Information Systems, the service currently

used.

“It will upgrade some software that we’ve had that’s been very

old and give us a chance to put all of the resources together in a

more organized fashion and let students personalize,” McNamara

said. “Students will have a lot more control over what they see and

the things they have on their web page.”

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