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Should Penn State Euthanize Its Webmail?

Last Friday, Read Write Web wrote an article discussing the future of webmail for universities. Lots of schools already outsource thier webmail to bigger providers like Google, and more are considering the outsourcing. Hopefully webmail outsourcing won’t translate your emails into broken English.

Most colleges will probably continue to provide students with an official .edu email address, but this will just be used for forwarding mail to another account – something most students prefer over using their college email systems anyway.

In many ways, this makes a lot of sense. Schools won’t give up email as their preferred way of communicating with students anytime soon, but the days when colleges provided the most important on-ramp to email and the Internet for their students are long over.

If Penn State will be phasing out its webmail client, then this makes a lot of sense. As it is currently, forwarding a email address to a Gmail account can cause the mail to not arrive for anywhere between ten minutes and five hours (yikes). Just letting the students and faculty choose which email service their address will forward to – without the middleman of Penn State’s clunky interface – will improve email communication immensely.

What do y’all think is the best course of action for Penn State? Should it adopt a Gmail webmail client or make the addresses forwarding-only? Or is the webmail system fine as it is (laughing1)? Let us know!

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About the Author

Evan Kalikow

Evan Kalikow co-founded Onward State in November 2008 with Davis Shaver and Eli Glazier. Having previously served as a Writer, Editor, Standards Editor, and Community Manager, Evan is now a proud alumnus of both Onward State and Penn State. He was also named "Person of the Year" by Time Magazine in 2006.


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