Google Drive Sustainable Management: removing departed student and employee accounts

Former student and employee Google accounts will be removed to reduce college data use.  If you need files owned by these accounts, be aware of your options for retention.

Google Drive and Email Storage at Williams

Google no longer provides unlimited storage for educational institutions. Why? Cloud storage requires servers and electricity. And, as data traffic grows, so will the use of fossil fuels. Growing cloud resources are particularly energy intensive accounting for 4% of global electricity consumption and 1% of global greenhouse emissions. The expectation of unlimited free storage is now unrealistic as companies, like Google, seek to reduce costs and lessen environmental impacts.

Williams needs to reduce our current storage use before January 1 2024 when Google’s new limits will apply to us. 

All of us at Williams will need to do our part to limit growth by “decluttering our digital lives” through data/records management, stewardship, and reducing our footprint. Some of the data you are storing may be records and/or essential for your time here at Williams. Other files may be inactive, less important, and possibly just taking up digital space.

We will also be removing old accounts belonging to former students and employees.  These accounts will have their shared files set to read-only.  Accounts which are candidates for deletion will have “(PENDING DELETION – CONTACT OIT)” added to file names for easy identification.  If this file is a record or needed for use (either active or inactive use), we recommend you copy the file to your Drive.  Contact OIT at [email protected] if you need assistance or have questions regarding these files.

Stay tuned for upcoming digital file and email management trainings, Declutter Your Digital Life, with the Records Manager (sponsored by Libraries and OIT) . The sessions, set for May 5th and May 12th, will focus on effective methods to dispose and retain of contents of Drive and Gmail. For other recorded trainings and information about digital file management please review the Records Management website

If you have questions about managing what to keep and what to dispose of, have personal archiving questions, or would like to update your office or department’s records retention schedule the Records Manager is happy to meet with you!