Faculty and campus staff members who deal with particularly sensitive data, such as electronic health information, will remain on Yale’s current eMail system, according to the school.

Having Google host the school’s eMail service, Powell said, will give IT employees more time to tackle other technology-related issues around the 5,300-student campus.

Powell said Yale students “would benefit from the richer set of features Google offers. Moreover, the range of eMail and collaborative tools is powerful and rapidly expanding; outsourcing will make these tools available to the Yale community as they are developed, ensuring that our community is working with state-of-the-art tools.”

Yale’s embrace of Gmail won’t mark a drastic change for many students. More than half of Yale students already forward their eMails from the university account to their Google inbox, according to research from Yale’s Information Technology Services Advisory Committee.

Yale IT administrators’ decision to delay adoption of Google Apps for Education last spring was seen by many in higher education as signs of a backlash against the popular cloud-computing service.

Shortly after Yale balked on switching to Gmail, IT decision makers at the University of Massachusetts said they would completely phase out the Gmail, along with Google Apps such as Docs, Calendar, and Sites.

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