How Cheap is Lakehead? - The Intrepid

Monday, June 15, 2009

How Cheap is Lakehead?

Lakehead University

Last week, a Canadian labour arbitrator ruled that Lakehead University had the right to convert its campus email to Google’s Gmail. In 2006, Lakehead had signed a free three-year deal to outsource its "@lakeheadu.ca" address to Google’s Gmail servers. Upset, the Lakehead University Faculty Association challenged the switch, claiming that it violated privacy rights. Some students and faculty members feared that because Google is an American company, US government agencies would have access university emails under post 9/11 laws such as the Patriot Act. The arbitrator dismissed the challenge, concluding that the privacy of email communication was not protected under the University’s collective agreement.

Debates about privacy aside: just how cheap is Lakehead? Every other university in the country provides its students with on-campus email, so why can’t Lakehead? For a university that already has a questionable reputation, this doesn't exactly scream: "quality education." Things could be worse though: Lakehead could have signed a deal with Yahoo or Microsoft.

Photo by Patrick Chondon.

3 comments:

hyfen said...

Managing email servers is one of those things that pretty much nobody does good. Even the mighty UofT (*ahem*) can't do a good job of it. How many times was it going down, email getting lost, email delivered late, etc.

Stephen M. said...

Gmail is pretty awesome, and it's no doubt better than all of the university email services out there. But there's something about signing a free deal with Google that's off-putting.

Who knows though, in ten years, maybe every university will be using Gmail.

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