Yale University’s switch to Google’s eMail system was delayed in March when faculty members and administrators said they were concerned with the security of cloud computing, in which school eMail messages would be stored on off-campus servers.
Some Yale faculty also expressed concern with Google’s large carbon footprint, caused by its many energy-intensive data centers.
The University of California Davis ended a Gmail pilot program for faculty and moved its 30,000 students off of Google Apps in May, citing similar security concerns.
UC Davis technology officials, including CIO and Vice Provost Peter Siegel, said in a letter to faculty that “outsourcing eMail may not be in compliance with the University of California Electronic Communications Policy,” adding that faculty who participated in a Gmail pilot said the campus’s commitment to privacy was “not demonstrated by Google and that the appropriate safeguards are neither in place at this time nor planned for the near future.”
The University of Massachusetts joined the anti-Gmail fray in May when IT officials there said they would completely phase out the eMail service, along with Google Apps such as Docs, Calendar, and Sites.
UMass officials cited low adoption rates among students since Google services were made available through the university at the start of the fall 2009 semester.
Prominent schools that have transferred campus eMail services to Google’s servers include Northwestern University, Villanova University, Case Western University, and Notre Dame. Even brief Gmail outages in the last year didn’t dissuade colleges from looking elsewhere for their eMail services, because Google’s downtime of .01 percent is typically only a fraction of that for colleges managing their own eMail systems, supporters said.