This month, Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services began general activation of campus users on the voice component of the UC @ Illinois (Unified Communications) program. The voice component uses Microsoft Lync software. Several units already have been using Lync as early adopters of the system.
CITES considers this the transition period for UC Voice because although campus users will get Lync accounts (based on information provided by their unit), users will still be able to use their traditional desktop phone. Full transition to the Lync software will be complete by mid-2012.
FAST3 (Faculty and Staff Technology Training Team) is continuing to offer UC at Illinois workshops for Microsoft Outlook (email and calendaring) and Lync (voice) at no cost to Urbana faculty and staff members, graduate students and retirees. A registration form is available on the FAST3 website.
In addition, CITES is planning several events for unit support staff members such as Telecom unit coordinators and IT professionals.
For a full listing of these open sessions and all UC-related events, check the UC calendar.
UC voice transcriptions subject to FOIA request
One of the features of the voice component of the Unified Communications system is its ability to transcribe voicemail messages into text.
The UC's Lync telephone software takes each voicemail, from both on-campus and outside calls, and creates an email notification that includes a transcribed text version of the message.
While that may come in handy for some employees, it also represents another medium that can be publicly accessed under Illinois law, officials noted.
Robin Kaler, associate chancellor for public affairs, recommends that people adhere to the same principle used in other publicly accessible mediums - using discretion.
"You should be aware that your comments could be made public," she said.
Under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, "All records in the custody or possession of a public body are presumed to be open to inspection or copying. Any public body that asserts that a record is exempt from disclosure has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that it is exempt."
Starting last year, all FOIA requests for the UI are processed by the Office for University Relations.
More information on university policy and the state's Freedom of Information Act law are available online.