MSU IT Council discusses Office 365 email, active directory, licensing agreements

The MSU IT Council met on June 3.  Below are the high-level topic summaries from the meeting.

Office 365 implementation

Beginning this month, all undergraduate students that set up their MSU NetID on or after June 8 are directed to the Office 365 email interface.

In fall 2015, a migration plan will be communicated to returning undergraduate students to assist them in transitioning to Office 365 email.

Read more about the Office 365 transition.

Active Directory Governance Committee

The IT Council formed an Active Directory Governance Committee in April to work with IT Services to ensure MSU’s central Microsoft Active Directory (CampusAD) will enable all of MSU and its departments with a solution that is stable, secure, and flexible. This group will also create the procedures to govern this community owned, but centrally run service.

We are currently working with Microsoft and Active Directory experts to assess our CampusAD environment at MSU, which is not robust enough to support future technology needs and growth.

Progress is being made on setting up password synchronization between CampusAD and Kerberos user accounts. The current campus password complexity policy is being reviewed.

Campus software licensing agreements

Departmental Microsoft licenses are centrally funded and available through an Enrollment for Education Solution (EES) agreement.

Licenses need to be ordered through the MSU Computer Store website based on the number of licenses needed within your MSU department. Once ordered, an activation key is provided and media can be downloaded from Each download carries a fee of $6, but departments only need to download media once for all the licenses within their unit.

Read more about the Microsoft licenses.

MSU has a campus agreement for all versions of Red Hat software on university-owned machines. First-level support will be handled by IT Services. IT staff are encouraged to use Red Hat for their Linux implementations unless there is a compelling reason to use a different Linux version.

Read more about the Red Hat Enterprise Linux license.

Vendor presentations

There are many vendors who are enthusiastic about presenting to IT leaders at MSU. The IT Council would like to support this effort, working with vendors to identify topics we want covered in a format that would be most effective. We are exploring offering these presentations in a way that would allow the campus IT community to attend.

IT Council membership identified a long list of possible topics that could be covered. Select members of the IT Council board will consolidate and prioritize the list for presentation at the next membership meeting.

About the IT Council

The MSU IT Council serves as a primary IT advisory body. Membership is open to the primary IT leader from each of the degree-granting colleges, core academic units, major academic support units, and other major business units.

The MSU community is encouraged to seek out their IT Council representative or visit the IT Council website for more information on topics of interest.