Faculty receive a phone upgrade at all KSU campuses


Zane Lutz

The new telephone system is in use at Stewart Hall on campus. The university is replacing the old phone systems in all buildings across campus. Photo by Zane Lutz.

Chenayle Bradford

A new telephone system is about to replace the old phone system campus-wide, offering integrated mobile and desktop communication services through unified communications.

All phones at the Kent State main and regional campuses need to be converted. The process began in late 2011, and will be completed in June 2014.

Jason Wearley, executive director for the division of Information Services and Infrastructure Services, said around 700 phones have been installed out of 7,000 total in the conversion process.

Wearley said they are trying to convert one hall per week, and this upcoming week, the university is converting the phones in Nixson Hall. He said the university’s voicemail system was converted last Friday.

Wearley said the following locations have already been converted:

  • Kent State Ashtabula campus
  • Kent State Geauga campus
  • The Regional Academic Center in Twinsburg
  • Executive Offices at Kent Main
  • Harbourt Hall at Kent Main
  • Stuart Hall at Kent Main
  • The Tannery
  • Kent State Airport
  • Student Legal Services office

Wearley said the old phone system, which was installed in 2000, was becoming harder and more expensive to maintain, while the new phone system is set to reduce infrastructure across campus.

“The new system that we are introducing will integrate campus computers, phones and messaging; provide enhanced productivity tools for our faculty, staff and students; and gives us the framework to install industry-standard telecommunications infrastructure in new and renovated campus spaces,” Wearley said.

The new phones include digitalize voicemail sent through email, new desk phone and software with enhanced features, impromptu call conferencing for up to eight individuals, caller-ID history appearing on the phone and computer and integrated mobile and desktop capabilities, where users can place and receive calls through either a cellphone or a computer.

“It has a ring-anywhere feature, where when the phone rings, it simultaneously rings the desktop and cellphone,” said Wearley. “And I’m a pretty mobile guy, so it comes in hand.”

Kevin Acierno, manager of information technology at Kent State Ashtabula, said during the deciding process about two years ago, a couple different systems were tried, but the Unified Communications Cisco system seemed to be the best option.

“We were the first to have the phones,” Acierno said. “I absolutely love this system, I mean hands-down love it. The way that you can collaborate with others across the university, I mean, it is real-time collaboration.”

There is a migration chart for the new phone system located on the Unified Communications website for more information on the upgrade dates.

Contact Chenayle Bradoford at [email protected].