To the Campus Community:
I am pleased to announce that Stony Brook University will adopt Google Apps for Education as its next-generation email and collaboration services platform. This decision is based on a recommendation from the Steering Committee appointed to investigate viable options, led by co-chairs Margaret Schedel, Assistant Professor of Music and Chair of the Senate Committee on Information Technology, and Chris Kielt, Chief Information Officer. The Steering Committee listened to input from students, faculty and staff and presented a compelling argument in favor of Google Apps for Education, which I fully endorse.
During the course of its investigation, the Steering Committee weighed the important issues of security, privacy, compliance with federal laws and regulations, accessibility, usability, training, implementation, support, cost, integration over multiple mobile platforms, alumni email enablement, future innovation, and more. In the end, three key factors swung the decision in favor of Google Apps for Education:
1.) Google conveys a strong, forward-looking strategy in the higher education space. While it is impossible to predict what innovations may become highly valuable to the Stony Brook community, Google has a significant track record at innovation and continues to develop many new and potentially relevant technologies. As one example, Google Apps is already aggressively exploring integration with learning management systems such as Blackboard and Pearson's OpenClass.
2.) User feedback from evaluation sessions, and the preponderance of the Committee, found Google Apps for Education easy to learn and use.
3.) Google Docs provides an outstanding set of online and real-time collaboration tools which will bring powerful new capabilities to members of our campus.
Google Apps for Education will eventually replace Lotus Notes and MySBmail and is expected to be rolled out beginning in July 2012. Lotus Notes will not immediately be retired; there is a concurrent project already underway to move all existing IBM Domino/Lotus Notes applications and databases to other platforms by the end of 2013. Stony Brook University Medical Center employees who recently migrated to Microsoft Exchange will not be asked to move to Google Apps. Additionally, the choice of Google Apps for Education does not require any change in the use of Microsoft Office or SharePoint applications and a unique benefit of Google Apps is that the Microsoft Outlook interface can be used for those who prefer its look and feel. Please visit the project website for more information: http://www.stonybrook.edu/collaboration
I want to thank the Steering Committee for their hard work and diligence in helping to reach this decision for our institution. I am excited to hear how members of our community and colleagues around the world will leverage the power of Google Apps for Education to communicate, share ideas and expand Stony Brook's collective creativity.
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. President
Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D.