Name: University of North Texas. University Information Technology

Historical Note:

Computing at the University of North Texas started in 1962 with the purchase of an IBM 1620 which was used to support academic users.  Gene Milner was the first director of Academic Computing, which was housed in the Business Administration Building (now Sage Hall). The department consisted of a computer, the director, and three employees: Richard Harris, Charlie Ellis, and Jerry Walden.  In 1963, Gene Milner left to work for IBM and Richard Harris was appointed Acting Director.  Harris would be named Director of Computer Systems in 1964. In 1969 an IBM 1440 was purchased to provide computer processing for the administration. 

The 1970s saw the upgrading of the computers which would include: sixteen Apple microcomputers that were installed in the Computer Science Department (1978) and a remote job entry station was installed in the Business Administration Building (1979).  Computer Systems published their first newsletter in 1971, the NTSU Computing Center Newsletter. NTSU stood for North Texas State University, which is now the University of North Texas. The first issue of Benchmarks, the Computer Center newsletter, was published in 1980.  Claudia Lynch was the editor, Sandy Burke typed it, and Lynne Rutherford designed the logo.

Multi-User System for Interactive Computing / System Product (MUSIC/SP), which offered file access control and data compression, was installed in 1980. It would be used until 1993.  The campus also saw the creation of Computer Centers in the College of Business and Computer Science. By 1982, the campus saw the development of a local network. It would become operational in 1983.  The General Academic Building’s (GAB) fifth floor became the site of computer rooms in 1983.  In that same year, Sixty-four terminals were installed in the GAB and the Business Administration Building.  The development of Student Information Management System (SIMS) initiated.  The first help desk was established in the Information Science Building (now known as Sycamore Hall) in 1984. In 1985 the university became a BITNET site–part of a cooperative U. S. university computer network. UNT’s membership in BITNET would cease in 1994. The University would also become part of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) in 1988. ARPANET developed protocols, such as packet switching, later used on the internet.  1989 saw progress when the last keypunch machine used by the public was removed from the Information Science Building. The academic and administrative support groups were combined to create the Microcomputer Support Group in that same year. 

The 1990s saw changes in computer access for students and improvements in communication. In 1991 General Access Computer Labs opened in Willis Library, Information Science Building, the Business Administration Building, and the General Academic Building (GAB).  1991 also saw a task force formed to develop a university wide e-mail system. Windows 3.0. was in use across the university in 1992. By 1994 the first World Wide Web server was installed.  1994 marked the installation of the Financial Aid voice response system. Printing Services began accepting files from the campus network in that same year. By 1995 the Visual Arts General Access Lab had joined the General Access Lab system and was offering fourteen Apple Power Mac 7100 computers for faculty and student use. With computers now a part of daily life on campus an “Appropriate Use Policy” for campus computers was drafted in 1996. In 1998 the UNT Telecommunications department merged with the Computing Center.  This was the same year UNT was named as one of America’s 100 most wired colleges by Yahoo! Internet Life. Benchmarks was first published as a digital newsletter in 1998.  In 1999 was the year in which UNT joined two organizations: Internet 2 (University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development) and Internet 2 “gigaPOP” (gigabit Point of Presence) with the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Christian University, and UT Southwestern Medical School. UNT also signed a campus licensing agreement for Microsoft Office and Desktop software.

The year 2000 is remarkable for the steps taken to improve communication with students and develop products to ease registration and access to financial aid.  The university adopted a new policy that established email as an official means of communication between the university and the students.  Academic Computing Service also developed a bulk email process to communicate with all, or a select group, of students and automated activation of student e-mail accounts. A self-service web application for financial aid was introduced. This year also witnessed the start of EagleMail. By 2002 EagleMail username and password (Enterprise User Identifications [EUID]) were introduced for web based student registration, which was accompanied by an online password reset utility.

During 2002 PeopleSoft was selected to replace the mainframe administrative applications.  This product went into effect under the name “Enterprise Information System” (EIS). In 2003 the following services were discontinued: dialup networking service, Academic mainframe service, and USENET news service. 2003 was also about new starts. A new account management system to support activation and password changes for EUIDs was implemented. The Eaglenet wireless network was launched in several campus buildings. The Computing Center received a new name, the Computing and Information Technology Center (CITC). The “” was made available to campus in 2004 and PeopleSoft was fully operational in the fall. In 2006 the majority of CITC staff moved to offices at Research Park (now Discovery Park).  Academic Computing and User Services were the two units that continued to be housed in Sycamore Hall.  By 2007 Microsoft Exchange and Outlook replaced Groupwise as the campus-wide email service. In 2008 Discovery Park became the site of four general use computer classrooms. 2011 saw the creation of University Information Technology (UIT) and Information Technology Shared Services (ITSS). In 2012 the university saw the celebration of fifty years of computing and information technology at UNT.

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