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Faculty, Staff Email Will Move to Google Apps

03/27/14

By Kathleen Sullivan | Chronicle Staff

Published: Mar. 27, 2014

Information Technology Services has announced that Boston College faculty and staff email and calendar will move to Google Apps for Education on June 16. The move follows the successful migration of student email to Google last summer.

In addition to email and calendar, Google Apps offers a suite of tools, such as Google Drive, which offers cloud storage for data; Google Docs, which allows users to collaboratively create and edit documents online; instant messaging, and discussion groups, among other tools.

“This was really a faculty-driven initiative,” said Scott Cann, technology director for ITS Support Services. “The faculty wanted a more integrated, collaborative platform that would strengthen faculty-student interaction and work with our learning management system (Canvas).

“The user experience will be dramatically enhanced.”

Cann pointed out that more than 70 of the Top 100 US News & World Report colleges and universities are already using Google Apps for Education.

Cann said he is committed to providing all necessary ITS resources to ensure a smooth transition to Google. Email addresses will remain the same (firstname.lastname@bc.edu or username@bc.edu). Current mail and calendar data will be migrated over with no outage time. Faculty and staff will be requested to create an additional password for their Google account, as an added security measure.

Security and privacy are key issues for ITS, according to Cann. He said BC’s contract with Google prohibits them from displaying ads and mining data – scanning the content of emails for marketing purposes.

In advance of the June 16 conversion, ITS will move to Google Apps on April 7, followed by a group of approximately 200 “early adopters” who will move on May 12.

ITS will offer training and support throughout the transition. Information on training classes will be emailed to all faculty and staff. In addition, a number of faculty and staff members have volunteered to serve as Google Guides, specially trained ambassadors who will share their technical expertise with their departments or offices during the transition.

For more information, visit bc.edu/googleapps.