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Campus Technology Benefits from Benefactor's Network

This site near Campus Center was one of the first areas for fiber installation in June.

In the world of computer network infrastructure, 20 years is more than a lifetime. Limited resources have kept the university from replacing its network on the Olathe campus until this year when funds from a $10 million Federal Title III grant made it possible to begin work on a long overdue upgrade. 

Through a special gift of time and intellectual resources, the network is not just being replaced. It’s being completely reimagined by a group of MNU IT professionals, outside experts and a network of internationally known technology gurus put together by Chad Williams, chairman and CEO of Quality Technology Services (QTS). Williams attended MNU and his contacts in the telecommunications industry are globally known experts—his company is a leader in the infrastructure industry with a coast-to-coast portfolio of 12 data centers. 

Dr. Jeannie (Deisher ’96) and Chad Williams (FS ’89) shown here at President’s Honors.

According to Jon North (’92, MBA ’94), vice president for university advancement, the team has developed plans for a “world-class network backbone that is future-proofed and yet can be completed in the most economical way possible. Chad Williams has helped us to dream beyond what would be adequate for today and instead create a plan to provide for the technology needs of our campus for years to come,” North says. 

The work begins with new fiber optic lines installed this summer by K & W Underground.

The new system includes:

  • New fiber-optic cable throughout the primary Olathe campus
  • Newly designed network infrastructure including redundancy measures for seamless operations and future replacement and upgrades
  • New equipment to service wired and wireless network access
  • Upgraded, robust security including the latest hacker protection
  • Proactive network management solutions allowing problems to be detected and solved before the end user experiences an outage

“Installation of this new fiber ring will provide the bandwidth we need for the next 15 to 20 years, maybe even longer,”
says Mark Leinwetter, IT services manager at MNU.

At the same time, in phase two of the project, the network infrastructure is being redesigned. “This is an extensive upgrade,” Leinwetter says. “It’s a new local area network design that’s flexible, scalable and includes new hardware and software that will work hand-in-hand with the new fiber optics. It allows MNU to utilize the latest in technology advancements. The before–and-after scenario of this comprehensive upgrade will be remarkable. Our students will have the best available technology experience not only in the classrooms, but also in the residence halls.” 

The fiber optics installation project begins this summer, closely followed by the network infrastructure upgrade. Implementation of a new telephone communications platform across the entire footprint of the university is planned for phase three of the project.

It is with deep gratitude that MNU acknowledges the U.S. Department of Education and the Title III Strengthening Institutions Program as well as Quality Technology Services for the support of these activities.  $1,211,200 (94%) of these activities are supported by Federal funds and $66,109 (6%) of these activities are supported by non-Federal funds over a 5-year period.  Additional support of priceless time and intellectual resources for the benefit of the project and the university will be contributed by Chad Williams and Quality Technology Services.  

 

 


 

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Summer 2018

Recognition: Amazing accomplishments, noteworthy events. This is Accent Summer 2018.

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