UC Davis opts not to outsource faculty, staff email; Gmail pilot ends

The campus has stopped considering the proposal to outsource UC Davis email for faculty and staff. This means the campus will not be transferring faculty and staff email accounts to Google's Gmail, an idea that was evaluated in a pilot project this spring.

An official joint statement posted today said the decision was based on "extensive community consultation, as well as a campus assessment of the UC Electronic Communications Policy and increased privacy risks that have come to light in recent weeks."

The decision was presented as a recommendation from Information and Educational Technology Vice Provost Peter M. Siegel to Chancellor Linda Katehi and Provost Enrique Lavernia. The Academic Senate Committee on Information Technology and the Campus Council for Information Technology (CCFIT) concurred.

UC Davis students will continue to use Gmail-based DavisMail, at least for now, because students have less access to university assets and research, compared to faculty and staff. Gmail for graduate students will get another look.

The statement continues,

"Although outsourcing is no longer under consideration, the need to provide UC Davis with a more flexible and effective central email system remains. As a next step, we suggest that, jointly with the Academic Senate, a committee be established in the coming months to identify essential campus email features and capabilities. Its discussions would be informed by reports from the Gmail Assessment Committee, the Unified Communications Workgroup, and the UC Email Task Force. All three initiatives, as well as the experience and perspectives of faculty and staff involved in them, will be critical to defining a functional, reliable and secure email system for UC Davis."

The statement is signed by Siegel; Niels Jensen, chair of the Academic Senate Committee for IT and a professor in applied science; and Joe Kiskis, chair of CCFIT and a professor in physics.

Additional information will be available here.