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UMMail coming soon!

A note about Google Email Accounts for UMN students and Faculty

I'm Dan Wagner, an OIT-OIA manager acting as project manager for the UMMail (Google Mail) initiative. Information about the project has already been distributed through a variety of means, and naturally this has generated interest and questions. As general questions come in, I'll attempt to answer them through emails like this, distributed to a wide audience. (Since I'll be sending these out to a number of different lists, please forgive any multiple postings you may receive. If a personal reply is needed, I'll respond to you individually.) Information will also appear in the U of M Brief, the OIT Tech Brief, and Anne Duin’s weekly OIT newsletter on a regular basis. We are also working on setting up a website as a source for information and progress updates. If you have any questions or comments about UMMail please send them to gpilot@umn.edu list. Thanks for your interest and input.

What is UMMail?

UMMail is the University title for email hosted by Google. Users of UMMail will be included in our umn.edu domain

Who will be using UMMail?
We are planning to allow new students to choose UMMail as an option beginning this fall. The long-term goal is to have all students using UMMail, so at some point all incoming students will be required to use UMMail as their official University email account.. A number of roll out ptions are being considered at this time for expanding the use and availability of UMMail beyond this fall’s opt-in period.

Will Students be able to use other Google Apps?
No, not at this point. Only the email app will be enabled for students. Access to the other Google Apps for students will be considered in a later phase.

What about faculty and staff?
UMMail will be offered to faculty and staff at a later date, and their access will include the other Google Apps besides email. A time line for general availability of UMMail for faculty and staff has not yet been determined.

How will students access their UMMail account?
Shibboleth will be used to provide single sign on access, so students will use their Internet (X.500) ID and password when signing into UMMail.

Who will administer UMMail accounts?
UMMail accounts will be administered by University staff. The University will also provide support through the Help Desk.

How will Google treat the information it stores?
Under our contract, Google will protect University data with the “same standard of care with which it protects its own confidential information.” Google will disclose University information only when required by law, and then only after giving the University the opportunity to challenge the disclosure request.

Students will not see advertising while they are active students. However, once a student leaves the University, their account will revert to a regular Google account and they will receive advertising like any other Gmail account.

Storing data stored for faculty and staff will introduce bring additional security concerns and complexity. We are doing further research in this area.

What about the coordinate campuses?
All the coordinate campuses -- Crookson, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester-- will be included in the process and the project team will be soliciting their input. We are currently identifying who should be representing each of the coordinate campuses and the best means of including them in the process.

Staying informed
Answers to questions submitted to the gpilot list, along with updates on the progress of the project, will to distributed in a number of different venues, including the gpilot and Net People and CSS-DEV email lists, the U of M Brief, the OIT Tech Brief, and Anne Duin’s weekly OIT newsletter. We are also working on setting up a website as a source for information and progress updates.

Other questions and comments
Please direct any questions and comments about UMMail to gpilot@umn.edu list.

Thank you.

Dan Wagner

OIA Manager
University of Minnesota
Office of Information Technology
Room 660 WBOB
1300 South 2nd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55454
44.974 N Latitude, 93.265 W Longitude
612-624-2052 (Office)
612-275-4227 (Cell)

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