June 8, 2021

Major changes coming to UW Google

This message was sent to everyone with a UW NetID associated with a UW Google account.

Major changes coming to UW Google

Google recently announced several significant changes to their Google Workspace for Education product and how it is licensed. These changes will have major implications for UW-IT’s ability to provide UW Google (aka Google Workspace, formerly known as Google G Suite and Google Apps) to the UW. Although this situation is still unfolding and many details remain undetermined, we want UW Google users to be aware of the impact we face due to Google’s altered business model and what UW-IT is doing to respond.

These changes to UW Google services will include:

  • Limiting the use of UW NetIDs with UW Google services to only personal (individual) UW NetIDs. The use of Shared UW NetIDs (such as those used for department, course, student activity office accounts) with UW Google will be discontinued.
  • UW-IT’s ability to provide UW Google Shared Drives (aka Google Team Drives) will be significantly limited and will likely necessitate the migration of data to alternate storage solutions or tools.

In addition to the above changes, we anticipate significant storage limitations for accounts associated with personal UW NetIDs. Because conversations among Google, multiple peer institutions, and Internet2 (representing hundreds of higher education institutions) are currently ongoing, the exact parameters are still being determined.

Timeline

At this point, the only known deadline is August 25, 2021. On that date:

  • The ability to create new UW Google accounts for Shared UW NetIDs will be disabled.
  • The ability to create new UW Google Shared Drives will be disabled.

Please note that the above changes are the first in a series of changes to the use of UW Google. Changes will also impact UW Google accounts associated with personal UW NetIDs. As negotiations among the UW, Google, peer institutions, and Internet2 yield additional actionable details, UW-IT will communicate with the UW community.

Planned communications to the UW community

We are communicating with you because you have a UW NetID associated with a UW Google account and because we want you to be aware of these changes and what UW-IT is doing to address them. In addition, we will publish articles in campus newsletters and hold Q&A events for the UW community.

As details and timelines – in particular, regarding storage limits and shared drives – are clarified, we will send call-to-action notices to affected individuals with specific guidance on how to mitigate impact to their use of UW Google services.

When known, specific limits, timelines, and guidance for migrating data will also be published on IT Connect. In the meantime, we encourage people who want to begin exploring alternate solutions to review these options for online storage.

Lastly, we want to acknowledge that news of yet another disruptive change, coming on the heels of a year fraught with multiple stressors, is far from welcome. But we believe in the resilience of the UW community and its ability to respond with patience, fortitude, and a spirit of collaboration.

Questions

Please contact the UW-IT Technology Service Center at help@uw.edu or 206-221-5000 with questions about the UW Google Changes Project.

Sincerely,
The UW Google Changes Project Team