parties if they're legally permitted to do so, Keltner said. Google has worked with many schools to make the contract clear and protective, Keltner said, and if UC Davis requests specific changes to the contract, the company will listen.

"We're always willing to take input from schools and discuss and see if we can refine a contractual language to more adequately address any concerns that they may have," he said. "We really think that the contractual protections are very strong; we've worked with many schools to refine those protections in the legal language, and we think that they really do address the needs of institutions."

In the meantime, UC Davis will look for a more flexible and effective central e-mail system than Cyrus, which faculty and staff currently use. The university also will reconsider whether graduate students will continue using Gmail along with undergraduate students.

By pulling the plug on Gmail, UC Davis is bucking a trend. Oregon recently became the first state to bring Google Apps to its public schools, and more than 7 million users log into Google's education services. Also, a 2009 survey of 500 senior campus IT officers from the Campus Computing Project shows that many schools are outsourcing their e-mail, with more than 50 percent of public research universities and more than 60 percent of private research universities choosing Google as their e-mail provider. And a few big cities have adopted or are in the process of adopting Google Apps for the enterprise, including Orlando, Fla., and Los Angeles.

Keltner noted that the Campus Computing Project statistics clearly show that schools are moving toward cloud computing. "And I think the idea of moving in the opposite direction is somewhat out of the norm today," he said. "It really does not represent what we're seeing generally in the higher-ed market."


Tanya Roscorla  |  Managing Editor, CDE

Tanya Roscorla covers ed tech behind the scenes and on the legislative agenda. Likes: Culinary experiments, travel adventures, beautiful landscapes.