Email at a university.  Such a hot topic.  Outsource!  Outsource!  ‘Email’ and ‘outsource’ are never more than about 5 words apart it seems.  My university has recently made policy that, for students, your university email must go someplace you read and is used for official university communication.  You can redirect your email to Gmail or where ever you would like if you chose not to use the university email systems, but you must read it.  Once you combine this with outsourcing we can no longer guarantee that university mail is delivered to each student.  (Broadcast email for that weather alert and class cancellation perhaps?)  There is a third party that can turn off your email, be unreliable, not provide log information, complicate legal matters, etc.  Generally, the two ideas are contradictory.

So, if you want to outsource your email…its not just email.  You have an entire business process that needs to be changed in no small way.  But why, why for the love of \$DEITY, is email the focus of all this?

If email is like the calculator that students are required to bring to college, what about a students’ “web presence?“  We still provide students web space.  Why would that not be required for a student to “bring to college” as well?  Instant messaging?  Blogs?  All these are resources which cost money that universities offer to students.  If a student must come to college with an email address that the university does not provide, should they not require the whole ball of wax?

Let’s look just a bit more at someone’s “web presence.“  Its very much a reflection of an identity and things that a person enjoys the most.  Perhaps like their college sports team.  Why would students not want to have a web presence provided by their university?

Why are we, as universities, so concerned with 1960s technology? (Yes folks, email came about in the 60s, as in when Nixon was president.)  Why are we not focused on the communication tools that modern netizens use today?

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