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The University of Nevada, Reno “email for life” program is being discontinued at the end of the Spring 2024 semester, announcing a switch from Google to Microsoft on Feb. 20. Students will need to matriculate data from their current Google Workspace to Microsoft 365 or risk losing their documents forever.

The Google Workspace students are familiar with was originally marketed as the “email for life” program started nine years ago. The new change comes after problems with security and “unforeseen costs associated with Google’s storage and email policy changes,” spending $80,000 per year on Google costs.

“This move improves the University’s ability to protect and monitor you and your personal information from cyberthreats and offers significant improvements to phishing and spam detection,” the university said in the email. 

All students will have a new address, now using the same one as faculty members: “” rather than the former “”. 

“We acknowledge and completely understand the popularity of the program, how it was initially advertised to the community, and how integral it has become in many of your daily lives,” the university said in the email. “We strongly encourage you to migrate your data out of the Google Workspace immediately.”

Students house most of their coursework and additional materials on their Google Drive, which can hold 100 GB free of charge — the typical, non-university email can only hold 15 GB.

The university is encouraging users to use Google Takeout when transferring their data to Microsoft, which is a tool where users can download data that is currently stored in Google accounts, and it can then be transferred over to the new cloud service. 

Users are being asked to cross check their data once it’s moved to the new space to ensure nothing is left behind and prevent problems with transferring data before it is deleted.

ASUN Meeting

At the ASUN senate meeting on Feb. 28, Sasi Pillay and Jim McKinney from the Office of Information Technology at UNR shared a presentation with the senate on the transition to Microsoft. They explained many students have fallen victim to phishing on the current Google platform and moving to Microsoft will prevent this.

“We have seen quite a few of them that we’re aware of, that are preying on the students to do this and do that,” said McKinney.  “Many students have actually lost money as a result of this.”

Emma Thomsen, College of Education senator asked about what would happen to those who applied for scholarships under their current Google email and if the benefactors would be able to send responses to students after the Google accounts have been deactivated.

McKinney clarified that students don’t have to do anything once they make the switch over to Microsoft, and that when benefactors send their responses to scholarship applications, their responses will automatically go to the new Microsoft emails rather than their old Google emails. 

Tori Beaulac, College of Science senator, expressed concern over the sudden switch to Microsoft and emphasized that a lot of the frustration from students stems from the sudden change.

Pillay responded saying that plans for the change began over 9 months ago, and during that time they tried to engage with students about the change, but would like to be more open about communication and assist students in the future.

“We’d like to come back and keep you updated on that,” said Pillay. “At any time, you can send us a note, we’ll come back and provide that. It’s a lesson learned”
Nick Stewart can be reached at or on X @nickk_stewart.

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