NYU To Finally Replace Terrible Email With Gmail

It feels like the messiah has finally come. After years of students loathing NYU’s Messenger email system and technology in general, the school has made an historical announcement: “NYU to Move to New Email System: University to Move from In-House System to Google Apps Education Edition“. That’s right – your email and calendar will look and feel exactly like Gmail and Google Calendar (but will of course be separate from your regular Google apps). Sadly, the switch-over won’t be ready until July 2012, but this is still a huge win for NYU. NYU projects Google Apps will save the school “$400,000 per year by eliminating the need to purchase, upgrade, and maintain in-house mail servers and to maintain software licenses.” Here is the post from Google’s blog, cleverly titled, “Passing the torch to the cloud: NYU is going Google”.

The weather report may predict sun today in New York City, but it’s beginning to look more like a city that’s in the “cloud.” Today, NYU announced that it’s moving to Google Apps for Education, providing cloud-based email and collaboration tools to the entire university community. This announcement comes just weeks after New York State created an initiativeto bring Google Apps for Education to their K-12 schools. With students and faculty across New York now using Google Apps, it looks like the Empire State has fully embraced the cloud.

This move to Google Apps will provide more than 60,000 students, staff and faculty at NYU with Google tools like Gmail, Calendar, Docs and Sites and will bring all 18 schools of NYU—including medical, dental and law schools—together on one uniform system. This project is estimated to save the University around $400,000 annually by eliminating the need to purchase, upgrade, and maintain in-house mail servers and software licenses.

Marilyn McMillan, NYU’s Chief Information Officer says the move is “…a win-win: in one stroke, we are able to provide better email services to members of the NYU community, offer a new set of tools for academic collaboration, and achieve savings for the University.”

The community of NYU joins more than 10 million users from thousands of schools across the globe who have gone Google, and we’re proud to welcome them to the family.



17 Comments

  • Maddi Gilje
    November 1, 2010

    I already have my NYU email forwarded to my gmail, as NYU mail blows.

  • Kate Shapiro
    November 1, 2010

    Isn’t this just another way to fire people? Is that what they mean by saving money?

  • Natan Edelsburg
    November 1, 2010

    @Kate, good question. IMO, absolutely not. Hopefully, if they have to cut jobs for the unneeded tasks they were spending money on, they can then take those funds and/or salaries and use them to improve communications in other ways. Some positions could include, a head of social media (investing in tools like Foursquare or Scvngr to help us navigate our “campus” better, Twitter, Facebook startegy, etc.), tech liaison dedicated to building umbrella portals (apps, etc) to bridge all the different NYU divisions together and more!

  • Alexandra Hart
    November 1, 2010

    I am always sort of astounded/horrified to discover that people are still using the NYU mail interface. y’all. forward to gmail already.

  • [...] took a hard look at the benefit of many of the student services. NYU’s email system is being outsourced to Google next summer, which will save almost $1 million/year. Dorm rooms will no longer have a [...]

  • John Beckman
    November 1, 2010

    @Kate & Natan — No, there are no job eliminations associated with this. We save on avoided upgrades, licensing fees, etc.

  • [...] NYU students seem quite happy about the change, which is another big point in Google’s [...]

  • Sarah Feng
    November 2, 2010

    Forward your NYUmail to GMail, or check everything on Apple Mail. That’s what I do.

  • Natan Edelsburg
    November 2, 2010

    Two things. Our writeup on forwarding your NYU mail to Gmail. A Paul Sailer masterpiece: http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2010/02/25/a-useful-guide-to-making-your-nyu-email-awesome/

    PC Mag’s coverage of the gmail announcement: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2371874,00.asp

    Which reveals that we use “SquirrelMail: Webmail for Nuts” whose most recent post on their site is this:

    NEWS: Is SquirrelMail “Notable”?
    Jul 23, 2010 by Paul Lesniewski
    It seems that one Wikipedia user thinks that SquirrelMail is not considered “notable” enough to retain its own Wikipedia page. Do you agree? Disagree? Voice your opinion.

  • Rosie Gray
    November 2, 2010

    Not till July 2012?!? Of course it has to be right after I graduate.

    I’ll admit that I’m one of those people that still uses the NYU email interface. This is because I don’t want all the bullshit that gets unloaded into my NYU mail to pollute my Gmail, which is already crazy enough as is. I keep my NYU mail to exclusively administration-related stuff.

  • Robert Delap
    November 2, 2010

    I’d be a little wary about being forced by default to use a service where my emails would be processed (read, trends deciphered, advertised to with specificity) by Google’s algorithms.

  • Natan Edelsburg
    November 2, 2010

    Google Apps for Education is completely secure and has been used by many esteemed universities. The information will 100% not be used for advertising.

  • Rob Delap
    November 3, 2010

    Well that’s the company line, alright. Generally nothing good comes from the neo-liberal attitude that unaccountable private company X will do a better job than the more directly controlled, if clunky, measures we already know and directly pay for.

    That said, NYU email does say this – “The use of this system is routinely monitored and recorded, and anyone accessing this system consents to such monitoring and recording.”

    I guess the question is, then, are we willing to trade more direct accountability for efficiency? I suppose our emails will always be scanned in some way..

  • Natan Edelsburg
    November 3, 2010

    I think I 100% trust Google’s privacy and accountability and now NYU does too.

  • [...] each class — Recognize that it’s time to ignore Blackboard completely. In 2012. when NYU goes Google, this will be easier, but you don’t need to wait. We use Google Docs and we use Google Groups, [...]

  • [...] Fall of 2010, NYU announced it would transition from its antiquated in-house e-mail system to Google’s Apps For Education [...]

  • [...] today, we published a story about the new NYU Google Apps pilot program, which is part of the ongoing effort to move NYU’s email system to Gmail. One of the first things we noticed — and [...]

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