Schools among the North Dakota University System are now required to consolidate information technology departments.
The move comes from a mandated law, North Dakota Century Code 15-10-55.1, which states that every institution and entity under the control of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, which oversees the university system, must use a delivery system that has been established by the board.
The board will also establish policies and guidelines for the delivery of the technological services, including the transition from “existing systems to functional consolidation, with consideration given to the creation of efficiencies, cost-savings, and improved quality of service.”
Affected technological devices and applications include required use of email, file server and database administrations, application and hosting servers, as well as research computing and storage of data.
All software used through one’s school email account, mainly Microsoft OneDrive, will be apart of the initial consolidation move.
NDUS campuses are being consolidated into a single Office 365 tenant, but email addresses will continue to remain the same through the process of consolidation, NDUS spokeswoman Billie Jo Lorius said. She added that NDSU students’ emails will remain with the address line @ndsu.edu as their reply to address.
Lorius said during the migration period there may be “some potential disruptions,” but the functionality of NDUS emails will remain the same.
Lorius said other changes or disruptions may occur in the future as that will be a system by system process. She added that aside from email accounts, there has not yet been an outlined schedule for other specific migrations set to occur.
The law was approved and filed on May 14, 2015 by North Dakota state legislators.
The Spectrum was unable to acquire information by press time as to whether or not Blackboard and its services will be affected due to the mandate, or if any North Dakota State servers or employees would be affected by the mandate.