To: Brown Community
Following consultation with a number of campus groups, I am writing to announce that over the next four to five months, Brown will adopt the use of Google Apps for Education as our officially supported email and calendar platform for the entire campus - faculty, staff, graduate/medical students and undergraduates. By the beginning of fall term, we will retire the campus Microsoft Exchange server that is currently used for our email and calendars. Undergraduate students are already using this software for their email, and our experience with that has given us confidence that this change will bring significant benefits and cost savings to the university as a whole.
Some of the immediate benefits of this transition include 7.4 GB of inbox capacity for each user (nearly 30 times our current limit) and the ability to send attachments up to 25 MB in size. In addition, there are many more potential benefits that we will help users to discover as they begin to use the collaborative documents tools and the integrated text, audio and video chat that are features of this suite of applications. Faculty and students will be able to integrate a variety of new tools into their teaching, learning, and research.
The transition to the new system is likely to create some level of inconvenience and even frustrations as we learn new ways of organizing our email and calendars. To help minimize these frustrations, Computing and Information Services (CIS) will hold a campus-wide forum on April 29th at 10:00 am (location to be announced) and has already begun to meet with departments to demonstrate the new tools and to seek input on the best way to make a smooth conversion.
CIS will train a number of students and staff to provide assistance during the transition and learning process. They will also provide focused support for administrative assistants to ensure that they become effective in the Google Apps quickly and that they can get help when they encounter problems.
The following web page will be regularly updated with details about Google Apps for Education and the migration project: http://brown.edu/cis/GoogleApps/.
I would like to thank Michael Pickett, John Spadaro, Geoffrey Greene and the CIS staff for the energy they have invested in making these tools available to the Brown community.
Please take advantage of the upcoming campus meetings to learn more and to help guide the transition.