We're going through this same conversation at my employer (a higher-ed liberal arts university). This article came up yesterday in my team, and we had a bit of a discussion about it. Here's the email I sent out to the group about the article and Yale's decision. Hopefully this will help to clear up some of the misinformation in the article.
> Several members of the committee thought ITS had made the decision
> to move to Gmail too quickly and without University approval, Fischer
Well yah, of course that's going to be a problem.
> Google stores every piece of data in three centers randomly chosen
> from the many it operates worldwide in order to guard the company’s
> ability to recover lost information — but that also makes the data
> subject to the vagaries of foreign laws and governments"
Several other schools have fought this fight with Google and have gotten
them to agree that all of their data will stay in the country.
> Under the proposed switch, Yale might lose control over its data
No, No, No. Google makes it very clear to its customers that the data is
always "owned" by the customer.
> or could seem to endorse Google corporate policy and the large
> carbon footprint left by the company’s massive data centers
For many years, Google has been a pioneer in building efficient, green
datacenters. I guarantee you that proportionally-speaking, Yale's
segment of Google's network has a *much* smaller carbon footprint than
Yale's self-hosted system.