Portal will provide easy Internet access for FHSU students
04/07/2005

HAYS, KS -- The emergence of the Internet as a popular source for information has been nowhere more evident than on college campuses, and Fort Hays State University is hard at work on a new technology that will greatly increase Internet convenience for its students, faculty and staff.

With a target launch in January 2006, FHSU is developing a university "portal," designed to give personalized, single-sign-on access to information that is both local and global. Services available through the portal will include e-mail, calendars (both personal and community-related), on-line class registration, financial transactions, chat rooms, information channels, and other communication tools, just to name a few.

Using customization features, students, faculty and staff will be able to program their personal portals according to their individual tastes and needs.

By logging onto his or her personalized portal, a student will be able to check FHSU e-mail on line; interact with classes, professors, and friends; look up club and event information; and conduct business with the university. Students will be able to perform such tasks as checking their grades, reviewing their transcripts and paying their tuition all from a computer keyboard.

Faculty and staff will be able to take advantage of the portal to communicate with classes and other faculty, and to conduct business with the university.

The university has assembled a Portal Development Team, with wide representation by students, faculty and staff, to design the portal. A Web page that explains the portal development process is available online at www.fhsu.edu/portal-project.

The portal environment not only will provide tools for accessing FHSU information via the Web but also will allow messages among faculty and students, from the administration to the university community, and from departments to their constituents. The portal will offer universal desktop tools that students, faculty and staff can use for the daily management of a variety of work, school and personal tasks.

By signing on to a personalized portal page, a student, a faculty member or a staffer will have access to the tools he or she needs, without a clutter of information or tools that he or she does not want. The portal will not be just another homepage. Rather, it will establish a personalized view of Web-based information. Depending on the user, the portal will include access to institutional data, personal data, productivity tools and other information of interest.

FHSU will benefit through enhanced services and increased efficiency made possible through secure on-line communication. Initially, the portal will consist of notices, class information and links to Web mail. As the project matures, the portal will offer additional services that everyone will use daily.

The goals of the Portal Development Team include:
* Establish a single sign-on for access to all FHSU information via the Web;
* Provide a flexible, robust environment for accessing FHSU information;
* Extend and enhance the university's work in integrated marketing through careful attention to messages and their audiences;
* Create a well-defined method for creating enhanced access to university information;
* Create a customizable Web-based environment; and
* Create standards for distributed application development including coding, testing, archiving, and managing software and documents.

Further information about portals is available on the Web at:
* http://www.usask.ca/web_project/uwebd/portals_faq.html
* http://www.sapdesignguild.org/editions/edition3/portal_definition.asp
* http://www.sapdesignguild.org/community/editorials/editorial_06_2001.asp
* http://searchcio.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid19_gci525918,00.html

Demonstrations and tours of portals at other universities are available on the Web at:
* California Polytechnic State University -- http://portaldemo.calpoly.edu/tour/
* Illinois State University -- http://www.ilstu.edu/icampus/
* Virginia Tech -- http://my.vt.edu/content/myvt3/myvt/tour-uportal/
* University of Kansas Medical Center -- https://my.kumc.edu/index.jsp

Interactive portal demonstrations are available on the Web at:
* Denison University -- http://my.denison.edu/
* University of California, Irvine -- http://snap.uci.edu/
* Iowa State University -- https://portal.iastate.edu/uPortal/
* University of Delaware -- http://uportal.udel.edu/student/
* University of Colorado -- https://cuconnect.colorado.edu/uPortal/index.jsp


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Office of University Relations   |  600 Park Street   |  Hays, KS  67601-4099
(785) 628-4206   |   Fax (785) 628-4152
Kent Steward, Director   |  ksteward@fhsu.edu  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |  kbeyers@fhsu.edu