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Email upgrade: Working around graduate student calendar issues

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Sean O'Malley  

This summer, OIT upgraded 11,000 graduate student email accounts from Exchange to Catmail. The move gave those students 50 GB quotas and a much improved web interface; however, it also brought with it some temporary challenges when scheduling meetings. 

Exchange users who schedule meetings with graduate or medical students can expect to encounter two main challenges: hidden availability and limited access to resource and delegate capabilities. See below for detailed descriptions of each issue and ways to work around them.

Hidden Availability

Screen shot: Exchange meeting with a Catmail user's schedule grayed out

Currently, if a faculty member who uses Exchange needs to schedule a meeting with a graduate or medical student on Catmail, he or she will not be able to tell whether that student is available by using the Scheduling Assistant. The same is true in reverse: a graduate or medical student on Catmail who needs to schedule a meeting with a faculty member or reserve a room in Exchange will not be able to see that person or room's availability.

Meetings CAN still be scheduled across the two systems. The participants just will not be able to tell in advance if everyone is available during a particular time slot.

WORKAROUND

On September 20, OIT will enable a hybrid server that will allow Catmail and Exchange users to see free/busy times across both systems. In the meantime, scheduling meetings across the two systems may require a few extra emails, calls or texts back and forth to confirm everyone's availability.

Resources and delegates

The university's Exchange server currently includes many resource accounts like conference rooms, labs, departmental shared mailboxes and shared calendars. OIT will migrate those resources to Catmail at the same time as the individual faculty and staff who use those resources. If a graduate or medical student had administrative rights to such a resource on Exchange, he or she will not have those rights restored until that resource is migrated to Catmail. 

Similarly, if a graduate student or medical student was a delegate for a faculty or staff member on Exchange, he or she will not be able to resume those duties until that person's account is migrated to Catmail.

WORKAROUND

OIT can provide temporary Exchange guest accounts for graduate students and medical students who need to act as resource managers or calendar delegates. To request this service, contact the OIT Service Desk at 740-593-1222.


Related Links

Email upgrade info 
Graduate student email upgrade details (June 17 news item)