Before choosing a new email direction for students, ITServices consulted with the Queen's community and other higher ed institutions to identify the best solution for Queen's.
Active discussions have been ongoing with senior leadership at Queen's for the past year. Groups consulted include:
Further information regarding IT Governance and Queen's is available on the Office of the CIO website.
The Information Services and Technology - Student Advisory Committee (ISAT-SAC) was established by ITServices in late 2011 to provide a forum for students to share their concerns and priorities about information technology at Queen's University. Membership includes representatives from student societies across campus. Its mandate is to discuss current and new IT initiatives, and email for students was at the forefront of the conversation in Winter 2012.
The committee's Final Report for 2012 makes a number of recommendations about email for students. Virtually all of these will be satisfied with the implementation of O365 in early 2013, including:
The Queen's University Senate Information Technology Committee (SITC) conducted a focus group on March 23, 2011, to explore email preferences for students, faculty and staff. The participants were asked:
If our community determines that Queen's needs to establish a different email service, what you think matters most is:
Reliability || 100% up time
“Though 100 percent up time might be impossible to obtain in reality, email service should by and large be available at all hours of the day and night. Email services are only useful if they can be consistently accessed.”
A high quality user interface
“A modern, well designed user interface that is intuitive, easy to use, and provides useful features.”
“Storage large enough to handle more than a few attached PDFs is critical, as is the ability to quickly search the content of emails.”
“Any email system must have a reasonable expectation of privacy and security.”
All platforms supported
“Students need to access their email on any device (laptop, smart phone, tablet) and platform (Windows, Mac, Linux).”
Secure || private || confidential
“ Some emails contain sensitive information, personal information etc. Security is crucial. We must protect the privacy of our faculty, students and staff.”
“Reliability is key. Business and education today revolves around email and other technologies. If our primary messaging system is not reliable and available it will damage our ability to run the university, do business and interact with each other, colleagues elsewhere, and students effectively.”
Queen's identity - consistent email address
“We need a consistent Queen's email identity to do business.”
Security from data mining and warranties searches (depends strongly upon where the data is stored)
“As much security as possible from unauthorized access is of paramount importance. These are our messages containing our information and it should not be used for purposes other than what we intend.”
Functionality, good flexible interface
"Able to be used from a variety of platforms, efficiently by all users."
On February 24, 2011, Ryerson University hosted a symposium entitled, "Exploring the Future of E-mail, Privacy, and Cloud Computing at Ryerson." Guests from the higher education community were invited to attend, including from Queen's University.
Two presentations of particular interest were:
Please view the page on Symposium Presentations and Other Resources for additional information about this event.