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Message from shawt@d-e.org

Is anyone out there using sub-domains in Google Apps to segment their student users from parents or alumni?

Our alumni office wants desperately to keep alumni accounts open long after graduation, but I want to push these users out of my regular school domain. Specifically I am concerned with the student faculty address book being accessible to alumni and having the alumni being able to send and receive mail from internal distribution lists / groups. I am also a little concerned with the implications of things (docs, sites, blogs) being shared across the entire organization being available to alumni.

I setup a subdomain called alumni.d-e.org but I don't see easy ways to filter out the things I need to filter. I suspect that the easier thing to do would be to create a Google Apps account for Non-profits and associate it with our alumni office, but I have been having a hard time getting Google to approve it for full blown access. I'm still limited to 10 users.

Any help would be appreciated.

Trevor

--
******************************
Trevor Shaw
Director of Technology
Dwight-Englewood School
315 E. Palisade Ave
Englewood, NJ 07631
"Challenging Minds for a Changing World"
v 201.569.9500.3244
*******************************

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

Message from ecurtin@ranneyschool.org

Trevor –

 

We’re using sub-organizations versus sub-domains (admins, divisions, faculty, alumni, etc.) and although we’ve haven’t had the exact need your speaking about, we do though use the sub-organizations services tab to turn on and off  items such as email, talk and contacts (for lower school.)  All graduating seniors are moved into the alumni sub-organization and within that sub-organizations I turn off specific services.  While this is acceptable to us and meets our needs, it may not be for everyone.

 

Ed

Edward Curtin, MCSE
Director of Technology
Ranney School
235 Hope Road
Tinton Falls, New Jersey  07724
P: 732-542-4777 x 1173

 

 

 

Hi Trevor,

We did that one school (using a separate OU, not a separate domain) and it was a BIG mistake, and I have heard similar stories from other schools. The fact is, students don't care to use their high school accounts after they graduate. The former Director of Alumni Relations pushed for it, and then she left. Since then, we had a few incidents of graduates using their accounts to harass current students and faculty, and Google's OU's don't allow you to keep them from posting to internal groups (like the "All Student" or "All School" email lists). 

Like you said, we couldn't find a way to filter what we need to filter, and now we're trying to step back and cancel the "email for life" program.

Jeremy
------
Jeremy Angoff 
as Manager, OunceIT LLC. 

phone: 617.600.4608 
email: jeremy@OunceIT.com
twitter: @MyTakeOnIt

Message from tphelan@peddie.org

I think it is worth pushing back pretty hard against this request.

Most likely you'll only get a handful of alumns who will use their d-e email addresses in a significant and sustained way so it will be a headache for you with virtually no benefit to the school. The most common argument in favor I've heard is that some colleges do this successfully. A&D departments in schools of our type have to keep in mind that we're not colleges. While vanity email addresses for some big name colleges might make sense, I don't think they make sense for us. Also, A&D departments also have to keep in mind that colleges typically have technology staffs that dwarf our staffs.

Suppose I'm wrong and you get good participation, who are these alumns going to call when they have an email problem? Does your administration really want your tech department running down answers to questions from alumns about why such and such an email didn't reach them? Why they can't attach a 1GB movie? ... What if the alum is frustrated with the level of support you are able to supply--sounds like another tech case of no good deed goes unpunished! Of course there is always the legal concern. Should an alum do something illegal using his d-e email address you're likely to get pulled into the discover phase of any legal proceedings. While this is very unlikely, it could also be a major headache should it happen.

For all these reasons and more I think it is a really bad idea. Pushing back hard now will potentially save you a lot of headaches in the future.

We allow graduating seniors to keep their email accounts open through Sep 30 to give them a chance to transition to their college email address.

Tom

--
Tom Phelan
Director of Technology
Peddie School
tphelan@peddie.org
Office: 609-944-7625
http://www.peddie.org


I would second everything Tom says. When I was IT Director ten years ago, we received this request via our Development Office. After extensive discussion, we could not figure out why an alum would want a Choate.edu email account when they had an email account from their higher ed institution, usually with more cache than our address. Ultimately, most of these alums would also have email addresses such as goldmansachs.com or bankofamerica.com. We also didn't like the potential support drain we would face, the full mailboxes as a result of not using the account, and the forgotten passwords. Finally, our Development Office thought they could use this account to keep track of alumni, but we quickly convinced them that having a Choate email account and responding to solicitations were very different animals. So, only downsides and expenses with few benefits; a bad investment.

Joel

-- 
Joel Backon
Director of Academic Technology / History
Choate Rosemary Hall
333 Christian St.
Wallingford, CT  06492
203-697-2514




On Feb 10, 2012, at 5:03 PM, Thomas Phelan wrote:

I think it is worth pushing back pretty hard against this request.

Most likely you'll only get a handful of alumns who will use their d-e email addresses in a significant and sustained way so it will be a headache for you with virtually no benefit to the school. The most common argument in favor I've heard is that some colleges do this successfully. A&D departments in schools of our type have to keep in mind that we're not colleges. While vanity email addresses for some big name colleges might make sense, I don't think they make sense for us. Also, A&D departments also have to keep in mind that colleges typically have technology staffs that dwarf our staffs.

Suppose I'm wrong and you get good participation, who are these alumns going to call when they have an email problem? Does your administration really want your tech department running down answers to questions from alumns about why such and such an email didn't reach them? Why they can't attach a 1GB movie? ... What if the alum is frustrated with the level of support you are able to supply--sounds like another tech case of no good deed goes unpunished! Of course there is always the legal concern. Should an alum do something illegal using his d-e email address you're likely to get pulled into the discover phase of any legal proceedings. While this is very unlikely, it could also be a major headache should it happen.

For all these reasons and more I think it is a really bad idea. Pushing back hard now will potentially save you a lot of headaches in the future.

We allow graduating seniors to keep their email accounts open through Sep 30 to give them a chance to transition to their college email address.

Tom

--
Tom Phelan
Director of Technology
Peddie School
tphelan@peddie.org
Office: 609-944-7625
http://www.peddie.org


Message from shawt@d-e.org

At the start of the school year, I was completely in agreement with you guys. This seemed like a huge amount of work for a very small payoff, but I was really getting nowhere in my argument.

As I have continued to work on this, however, I have begun to change my mind. So many of our alumni receive email on their smartphones now that it becomes a passive activity to receive email from school. They have multiple accounts on their phones and if they do nothing, the messages simply come in.

As I look at the account stats in google for the kids who graduated last spring, I am amazed at how many of them are listed as having checked email in the last few days. It's a very large number.

So the argument of the Development Director and the dean of the senior class that this can potentially be a powerful way to keep alumni connected with the community has begun to gain some traction with me. 

The devil is in the details, however, and we need to find a way to move the accounts to an alumni domain while maintaining the passivity of the connection of graduates to their email accounts. Perhaps its a quick presentation to seniors before graduation while they are still feeling all warm and fuzzy about the place.

Anyway, the bottom line is that this is an argument that I lost, so it's going to happen. In retrospect, though, I think it might be for the best.

And Joel -- I would take a Choate address over a Goldman Sachs Address ANY DAY!!

Trevor

Message from qvo@pingry.org

I'm afraid that I am in the same boat as Trevor. I reluctantly agreed to do this for our school...mainly because we an alum in the tech dept and he took it on himself to setup the email system and support it. 
We created a subdomain called alumni.pingry.org then setup an email system on a linux box run it. We provided web and imap access. The students go through a web app to convert and move their Exchange email account to this system. So far (5 years now)have had no problems. I can't say I know exactly how many people use it but I do get a number of questions about it at the end of every year...mainly on how to move email. But haven't any with typical email end user problems. Maybe we're lucky...maybe not enough people use it...I stopped thinking about it since it takes almost no effort from my folks to support this system.

Not the same as subdomain in Google but that's how we approached this request from the folks in the Advancement office.

HTH,
****************************
Quoc Vo
Director of Technology
The Pingry School
908.626.5433
****************************


On Feb 13, 2012, at 9:52 AM, Trevor Shaw wrote:

At the start of the school year, I was completely in agreement with you guys. This seemed like a huge amount of work for a very small payoff, but I was really getting nowhere in my argument.

As I have continued to work on this, however, I have begun to change my mind. So many of our alumni receive email on their smartphones now that it becomes a passive activity to receive email from school. They have multiple accounts on their phones and if they do nothing, the messages simply come in.

As I look at the account stats in google for the kids who graduated last spring, I am amazed at how many of them are listed as having checked email in the last few days. It's a very large number.

So the argument of the Development Director and the dean of the senior class that this can potentially be a powerful way to keep alumni connected with the community has begun to gain some traction with me. 

The devil is in the details, however, and we need to find a way to move the accounts to an alumni domain while maintaining the passivity of the connection of graduates to their email accounts. Perhaps its a quick presentation to seniors before graduation while they are still feeling all warm and fuzzy about the place.

Anyway, the bottom line is that this is an argument that I lost, so it's going to happen. In retrospect, though, I think it might be for the best.

And Joel -- I would take a Choate address over a Goldman Sachs Address ANY DAY!!

Trevor

Everyone:

 

I’ve gone ahead and created an email account for all of you who attended the EdAccess 2010 conference at Williston; it’ll be: (your first initial Last name)@EdAccessConference2010.com.

It’ll have great news on things related to the EdAccess 2010 conference and just general EdAccess stuff.

I’ve set up WebAccess for you to read your email.

Now I don’t know if you really want it or not, but did it anyways.

 

…Stop and think for a moment your reaction.  Did anything like the following come to mind?:
“..What??? “

“…Another email account I have to monitor???”

“…Why isn’t this voluntary?”’

“…wait, I didn’t attend EdAccess 2010!”

 

I’m sure there were other reactions…some directed at my sanity! (GRIN)

DISCLAIMER: The above was a dramatization. No actual email accounts were harmed during the creation of this email.

 

If only there was an alternative to email…. Some kind of place where almost the entire world visits and connects… some kind of place where groups could be created and maintained by the school (and alums as well).. something that wasn’t as intrusive… hey, maybe we could set it up ourselves?  We could call it the same thing we call our student/employee picture book… hey.. “student-employee-picturebook.com”… kinda rings a bell, hunh?

(GRIN)

 

What we’re talking about here is our alumni offices to keep in contact with alums after they leave school.

No matter what is done, some kind of metrics needs to be in place to determine the value of doing something – even if the system is on “autopilot”.

 

With the advent of new ways to communicate (lumped into the term “social media”) such as twitter/facebook/texting, email is becoming a thing of the past – like the phone!

It may seem strange, but I wish there was a “facebook-like” email system where all my methods of communication (Voicemail, phone, instant messaging, messages) were in one place AND (here’s the key part) there would be an approval process for people to contact me – such as facebook’s “friend” system. (sorry, off-topic… but one can dream, can’t they??).

 

J

 

 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE ACCESS Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Vo, Quoc
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2012 10:24 PM
To: ACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: google apps and sub-domains

 

I'm afraid that I am in the same boat as Trevor. I reluctantly agreed to do this for our school...mainly because we an alum in the tech dept and he took it on himself to setup the email system and support it. 

We created a subdomain called alumni.pingry.org then setup an email system on a linux box run it. We provided web and imap access. The students go through a web app to convert and move their Exchange email account to this system. So far (5 years now)have had no problems. I can't say I know exactly how many people use it but I do get a number of questions about it at the end of every year...mainly on how to move email. But haven't any with typical email end user problems. Maybe we're lucky...maybe not enough people use it...I stopped thinking about it since it takes almost no effort from my folks to support this system.

 

Not the same as subdomain in Google but that's how we approached this request from the folks in the Advancement office.

 

HTH,
****************************
Quoc Vo
Director of Technology
The Pingry School
908.626.5433
****************************

 

On Feb 13, 2012, at 9:52 AM, Trevor Shaw wrote:



At the start of the school year, I was completely in agreement with you guys. This seemed like a huge amount of work for a very small payoff, but I was really getting nowhere in my argument.

As I have continued to work on this, however, I have begun to change my mind. So many of our alumni receive email on their smartphones now that it becomes a passive activity to receive email from school. They have multiple accounts on their phones and if they do nothing, the messages simply come in.

As I look at the account stats in google for the kids who graduated last spring, I am amazed at how many of them are listed as having checked email in the last few days. It's a very large number.

So the argument of the Development Director and the dean of the senior class that this can potentially be a powerful way to keep alumni connected with the community has begun to gain some traction with me. 

The devil is in the details, however, and we need to find a way to move the accounts to an alumni domain while maintaining the passivity of the connection of graduates to their email accounts. Perhaps its a quick presentation to seniors before graduation while they are still feeling all warm and fuzzy about the place.

Anyway, the bottom line is that this is an argument that I lost, so it's going to happen. In retrospect, though, I think it might be for the best.

And Joel -- I would take a Choate address over a Goldman Sachs Address ANY DAY!!

Trevor

Message from mwestfort@ndapa.org

Spot on Joe!!  8-)

 

_________________________________

Michael Westfort

Director of Information Services
Academy of Notre Dame de Namur
560 Sproul Road
Villanova, PA 19085
610.687.0650

 

From: The EDUCAUSE ACCESS Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Lorenzatti, Joseph
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 7:57 AM
To: ACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ACCESS] google apps and sub-domains

 

Everyone:

 

I’ve gone ahead and created an email account for all of you who attended the EdAccess 2010 conference at Williston; it’ll be: (your first initial Last name)@EdAccessConference2010.com.

It’ll have great news on things related to the EdAccess 2010 conference and just general EdAccess stuff.

I’ve set up WebAccess for you to read your email.

Now I don’t know if you really want it or not, but did it anyways.

 

…Stop and think for a moment your reaction.  Did anything like the following come to mind?:
“..What??? “

“…Another email account I have to monitor???”

“…Why isn’t this voluntary?”’

“…wait, I didn’t attend EdAccess 2010!”

 

I’m sure there were other reactions…some directed at my sanity! (GRIN)

DISCLAIMER: The above was a dramatization. No actual email accounts were harmed during the creation of this email.

 

If only there was an alternative to email…. Some kind of place where almost the entire world visits and connects… some kind of place where groups could be created and maintained by the school (and alums as well).. something that wasn’t as intrusive… hey, maybe we could set it up ourselves?  We could call it the same thing we call our student/employee picture book… hey.. “student-employee-picturebook.com”… kinda rings a bell, hunh?

(GRIN)

 

What we’re talking about here is our alumni offices to keep in contact with alums after they leave school.

No matter what is done, some kind of metrics needs to be in place to determine the value of doing something – even if the system is on “autopilot”.

 

With the advent of new ways to communicate (lumped into the term “social media”) such as twitter/facebook/texting, email is becoming a thing of the past – like the phone!

It may seem strange, but I wish there was a “facebook-like” email system where all my methods of communication (Voicemail, phone, instant messaging, messages) were in one place AND (here’s the key part) there would be an approval process for people to contact me – such as facebook’s “friend” system. (sorry, off-topic… but one can dream, can’t they??).

 

J

 

 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE ACCESS Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Vo, Quoc
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2012 10:24 PM
To: ACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: google apps and sub-domains

 

I'm afraid that I am in the same boat as Trevor. I reluctantly agreed to do this for our school...mainly because we an alum in the tech dept and he took it on himself to setup the email system and support it. 

We created a subdomain called alumni.pingry.org then setup an email system on a linux box run it. We provided web and imap access. The students go through a web app to convert and move their Exchange email account to this system. So far (5 years now)have had no problems. I can't say I know exactly how many people use it but I do get a number of questions about it at the end of every year...mainly on how to move email. But haven't any with typical email end user problems. Maybe we're lucky...maybe not enough people use it...I stopped thinking about it since it takes almost no effort from my folks to support this system.

 

Not the same as subdomain in Google but that's how we approached this request from the folks in the Advancement office.

 

HTH,
****************************
Quoc Vo
Director of Technology
The Pingry School
908.626.5433
****************************

 

On Feb 13, 2012, at 9:52 AM, Trevor Shaw wrote:

 

At the start of the school year, I was completely in agreement with you guys. This seemed like a huge amount of work for a very small payoff, but I was really getting nowhere in my argument.

As I have continued to work on this, however, I have begun to change my mind. So many of our alumni receive email on their smartphones now that it becomes a passive activity to receive email from school. They have multiple accounts on their phones and if they do nothing, the messages simply come in.

As I look at the account stats in google for the kids who graduated last spring, I am amazed at how many of them are listed as having checked email in the last few days. It's a very large number.

So the argument of the Development Director and the dean of the senior class that this can potentially be a powerful way to keep alumni connected with the community has begun to gain some traction with me. 

The devil is in the details, however, and we need to find a way to move the accounts to an alumni domain while maintaining the passivity of the connection of graduates to their email accounts. Perhaps its a quick presentation to seniors before graduation while they are still feeling all warm and fuzzy about the place.

Anyway, the bottom line is that this is an argument that I lost, so it's going to happen. In retrospect, though, I think it might be for the best.

And Joel -- I would take a Choate address over a Goldman Sachs Address ANY DAY!!

Trevor

Message from shawt@d-e.org

Joe,

While I found this funny, the analogy is a pretty big stretch.

While edAccess is great, I haven't spent 5 days a week with all of you for the last 4-12 years of my life. I have also never had an edAccess email address. My school email address has been a key component of my communication with friends and my connection to the institution and its events. In a perfect implementation of this (which admittedly, we will fall short of), I'm not talking about adding something new, I'm talking about keeping what you have.

I agree that FB is a better way to handle this, but the advent of smartphones have changed my view on alumni eMail a bit. (It's no longer a separate address you have to check, it just comes into your phone.)

I also agree with the importance of measuring impact, but the google stats have been pretty good for that. I can see the last time that anyone in the class of 2011 logged in. For many of them, it was this morning.

Trevor

Message from tphelan@peddie.org

As I look at the account stats in google for the kids who graduated last spring, I am amazed at how many of them are listed as having checked email in the last few days. It's a very large number.

How many of these set their phones up back in July and ever since their phone has been dutifully checking their d-e email even though they have moved on? How many will show up as still checking their email after they get their next phone? While your Alumni Office might like being able to reach them in the meantime, I still think it is not worth the effort if the activity you see is just a legacy of your student not deleting old accounts.

I genuinely appreciate the fact that our alumni offices have a really tough job and their work is very important to the health of our schools, but they have to keep the cost benefit of what they ask for in mind and this one is "free" from their perspective so even a minor benefit is worth it. However, looked at from the perspective of the whole school I continue to be very skeptical that the cost is worth the benefit.

If I were you I would look to see if their were a way to outsource this service. Even if you choose to do this in house, this would provide both your Alumni office and your administration with a real number so they know how much this service costs--merely estimating your staff's time required to provide a service is far less effective at focusing attention than putting a dollar value set by the marketplace on the service. If you do agree to provide email for alums, I recommend you do so on a provisional basis with the understanding that the decision is re-evaluated at a specific date in the future and that the Alumni office should be expected to provide some objective metrics to justify continuing to provide alumni email.

Tom

--
Tom Phelan
Director of Technology
Peddie School
tphelan@peddie.org
Office: 609-944-7625
http://www.peddie.org


Message from shawt@d-e.org

I am quite sure that for many students this checking is a legacy of accounts set up on their phone some time ago. Many, I'm sure have manually deleted their d-e accounts - largely because we haven't managed this process well and they have gotten tired of receiving messages about lost chemistry notebooks sent to the entire address book.

I suspect that if we managed it better (by segmenting them into their own domain), we would retain many of them, and when people get new smart phones these days, often the settings are all transferred over at the store (or in the iCloud), so I see that as less of an issue than it might have been a couple of years ago.

With all of this said, I do agree that leveraging the power of FB is a much better way to go. Here are the roadblocks:
 - Getting people to "like" the FB page / Group (we have had some success, but haven't reached the tipping point yet)
 - Email allows us to keep mailing lists for each graduating class. There are already a wide variety of FB groups for recent classes, and in the past students have bristled at the idea of administrators and teachers joining those groups. How can we establish an "official" FB presence for each class when the unofficial ones are already so established.
- Time in the Development Office to keep the FB presence fresh. (This has an obvious, but not an easily achievable solution.)

Thanks for any input.

Trevor

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