A promised shift in policy that would have allowed Stanford alumni to retain their “@stanford.edu” e-mail addresses indefinitely after graduation appears to have been significantly reversed, with alumni now only retaining their e-mails for a short time after graduation.
Administrators and ASSU President David Gobaud, a coterminal student in computer science, first announced the shift in October.
Many members of the Class of 2009 received an e-mail Tuesday from Bill Clebsch, the associate vice president for IT Services (ITS), detailing the reversal.
“Recently you were told that Stanford would allow you to forward e-mail from your ‘@stanford.edu’ account indefinitely after graduation,” a portion of the e-mail read. “After further investigation, we have realized that this will create significant complications, and we have come to the unhappy conclusion that we cannot provide this service.”
Instead, according to the e-mail, recent graduates’ “@stanford.edu e-mail account and other full SUNetID services will remain active in their present form until August 31, 2011.”
Clebsch and Michael Dimaano, an ITS associate, did not immediately return requests for comment. Gobaud said Tuesday that he was surprised by the announcement and hoped to hear from either University President John Hennessy or Provost John Etchemendy, whom he contacted yesterday about the issue.
In a partial replacement of the original promise, the announcement also said the Stanford Alumni Association “plans to provide an e-mail service with an ‘@alumni.stanford.edu’ address by that date. The Stanford Alumni Association has been providing permanent e-mail addresses to alumni since the 1990s.”
While the “@alumni.stanford.edu” address would presumably not mark the end of “@stanfordalumni.org” addresses, they would still mark a change from students’ existing e-mail addresses.
An early indication of trouble with the change came in March, when members of the Class of 2009 received an unexpected notice that their account would soon expire.
At the time, Gobaud wrote in an e-mail to The Daily that, in response to concerned e-mails from graduates, “we told everyone that nothing has changed since the announcement that was made in [the] fall.”
Speaking to The Daily last month, Dimaano had also said that he did not expect changes to the announced shift.
“A lot of students sent the help request about it, but right now we haven’t heard back from the SUNet ID-for-life project team about what they’re going to do,” Dimaano said. “We are pretty positive that they’ll be able to resolve that issue. We just don’t know what steps they are going to take to do so.”
In October, Clebsch wrote in an e-mail to The Daily that the original shift in policy was “the right thing to do.”
“Keeping our faculty, students and alums in contact and collaboration is a major goal for us,” Clebsch said.