Enhancing Communication and Collaboration at UIC
In an effort to optimize resources, enhance communication and collaboration, and improve support operations, Technology Solutions will be transitioning university email to Microsoft Exchange.
Currently, the university manages and supports two email services: UIC Gmail and Microsoft Exchange. The effort required to support, manage, and secure two email services is an inefficient use of staff and financial resources and creates increased security risks.
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Consolidating to a single email platform for UIC students, faculty, and staff will enhance communication and collaboration across UIC, increase operational efficiencies, preserve financial resources, and improve security.
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The immediate goal of the project is to route new incoming students’ email to Exchange by default once they activate their UIC NetID. Current students on Gmail will remain on Gmail until they graduate, leave the university, their unit/college decide to transition to Exchange or the university decides to transition email to Exchange near the end of the project timeline.
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- Streamlined Communications
- Improved Security
- Financial Efficiencies
- Enhances Operations
- Inefficient use of staff and financial resources
- Increased security risks
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The first phase of the email consolidation project is to route new students’ email exclusively to Exchange, and phase out the use of UIC Gmail over the next four years. The long-term goal of this project is that by Fall 2026, all university email for students, faculty and staff will be transitioned to Exchange.
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Why is this happening?
Consolidation to Exchange would streamline communications with students, UIC staff, UI Health, and other areas of the U of I System as Outlook features university calendar sharing with U of I Systems (AITS, UI Health, UIUC and UIS).
Management, configuration, and monitoring of a single email service for security threats, attacks, and credential compromise would be less complicated. Consolidation would reduce the cost of email security solutions and enhance their effectiveness. Microsoft Exchange requires the use of Duo 2FA, which provides an extra layer of security.
Reduces staff, maintenance, and email security solutions costs required to support two email services.
Resources would be optimized; staff would be better equipped to specialize in, monitor, support, and respond to one service.
What will change?
Technology Solutions is revising email settings so that upon NetID activation, new students will be assigned a Microsoft Exchange email account by default and will no longer be able to route email to UIC Gmail. New students provisioned with Exchange must ensure that they sign up for Duo 2-factor authentication so they can access their UIC email.
New students who are starting at UIC in Summer 2022 and Fall 2022 may have already been provisioned with Gmail if they activated their NetID before May 24, 2022. This means that students belonging to the same class may be in different email environments.
Current students on UIC Gmail will still have access to their UIC Gmail accounts and calendars until they graduate or leave the university, or their college elects to complete a bulk transition to Microsoft Exchange. Current students on Gmail also have the option to reroute their university email to Exchange and migrate any existing email to Exchange by following these instructions:
- Change UIC Email routing of your NetID
- How do I migrate my UIC Gmail emails into a UIC Exchange account?
Faculty & Staff
New faculty and staff are already set up on Exchange by default and do not have the option to route email to Gmail. Faculty and staff currently on Gmail will continue to have access to Gmail until further notice. The first phase of the email consolidation project is to route new students’ email exclusively to Exchange.
When is this happening?
- Effective April 19th, 2022:
- The option to re-route university email to UIC Gmail will be removed for all new and current students (this option is already not available to faculty and staff). If your UIC email already routes to UIC Gmail, you will not be impacted at this time.
- Note: re-routing UIC email to a non-U of I email account is already not allowed except for eligible alumni. This restriction is not changing.
- Effective May 24th, 2022:
- Newly created UIC Google Workspace accounts will have access to Google Drive, Docs, and other applications in Google Workspace, but will not have access to Gmail.
- All individuals activating a UIC NetID will have their university email routed to Microsoft Exchange. UIC Google Workspace accounts will still be created automatically for students but will no longer include Gmail access.
The first phase of the email consolidation project is to route new students’ email exclusively to Exchange. The long-term goal of this project is that by Fall 2026, all university email for students, faculty and staff will be transitioned to Exchange and Gmail will be fully phased out.
- Effective April 19th, 2022:
Will Google Workspace go away?
No, transitioning email to Microsoft Exchange will not terminate Google licensing and UIC students, faculty, and staff will continue to have access to Google Workspace products (e.g. Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Chat, Drive, etc). To access Google Workspace, visit google.uic.edu.
If my email is transitioned from Gmail to Exchange, what will happen to my email history, folders, and files saved on Google Drive?
You will continue to have access to the UIC Gmail app to view your email history, and you have the option to migrate those emails to Exchange by following this process:
You will also continue to have access to the other UIC Google apps such as Google Drive, Docs, Calendar, etc., and the data/files within those apps will not be impacted.
What if our college wants to transition all students to a single email service and does not want to wait for students to leave or graduate from UIC?
Colleges that want student email migrated to Exchange would be responsible for associated migration costs, as well as providing the technical support to manage the transition. The cost to migrate student email accounts is approximately $5.00 per email account. Colleges can work with Technology Solutions to get an approximate cost estimate for migrations.
Will my UIC email address change?
No, your UIC email address will not change.
I am on UIC Gmail; can I route my email to Exchange now?
Yes, anyone currently on UIC Gmail can choose to instead route their university email to Exchange by visiting the Email Routing tool.
Visit How do I migrate my UIC Gmail emails into a UIC Exchange account? for detailed instructions to migrate existing email from Gmail to Exchange.
What is the difference between Exchange and Outlook?
Exchange is an email server, which is a dedicated network resource management program.
Outlook is an email client; it’s a program installed on your desktop or mobile device, or accessed via the web, that is designed to send and receive emails.
How do I update my UIC email forwarding?
UIC email cannot be forwarded to an outside email; Email Forwarding for Life is available to UIC Alumni.
For students, faculty, and staff, their email@example.com email must route to a UIC email account but there are some exceptions to route email to an affiliated campus. Learn more about email forwarding.