Office of Information Technology

Frequently Asked Questions about AU's Faculty Gmail Pilot



General Information About AU-Sponsored Faculty Gmail Accounts


Privacy and Security


Configuration of Your AU-Sponsored E-mail Account




General Information About AU-Sponsored Gmail Accounts


What is an AU-sponsored Gmail account?

An AU-sponsored Gmail e-mail account is hosted by Google and can be accessed via the Web at mail.mail.american.edu. These accounts are referred to as AU-sponsored Gmail accounts to avoid confusion with any other Gmail accounts you may personally have. The AU-sponsored Gmail account uses an e-mail address format of username@mail.american.edu. All electronic correspondence from the university will be forwarded to your "@mail.american.edu" e-mail address from your "@american.edu" address. Back to List

 

How do I log into my AU-sponsored Gmail account?

You can access your account through the myAU portal by clicking the "Faculty Gmail Pilot" link, under the My Bookmarks section on the right when you log in. Alternatively, open your Web browser and go to mail.mail.american.edu. You will be prompted for your USER NAME and GMAIL PASSWORD.

Please note that your user name is the same as your user name on the myAU.american.edu Web portal. Back to List

 

Who is eligible to get an AU-sponsored Gmail account?

At this time, only faculty members of the AU Gmail Faculty Pilot project are eligible for an account. This may change once the project is complete. Back to List

 

Can I opt out of the AU-sponsored Gmail service and use AU-hosted e-mail instead?

Yes. Contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550, helpdesk@american.edu, or AskAmericanUHelp to request that your account be opted out of the Faculty Gmail Pilot and migrated back to the AU-hosted servers.

NOTE: You will still have access to your Lotus Notes mail on the AU-Hosted servers during the pilot, a copy of all mail is being sent to your AU-sponsored Gmail account so you can access mail in both places. Back to List 

 

If I make a change in Lotus Notes, such as deleting an e-mail, does it automatically synchronize to my AU-sponsored Gmail account and vice versa?

Unfortunately, there is no ability to synchronize Lotus Notes to Gmail or Gmail to Lotus Notes once your AU-sponsored Gmail account has been provisioned. We are hoping to get comparative feedback on the features of both systems during the pilot period. Back to List

 

Privacy and Security


How do I make sure no one can intercept my password or the messages I am sending in Gmail?

You should enable encryption, or the HTTPS protocol, in the settings for your account. This will encrypt everything that is sent between the computer you are using and the Gmail servers, thereby reducing the probability of interception.

To enable this feature in Gmail:

  1. Log into mail.mail.american.edu
  2. Click MAIL SETTINGS at the top right of any Gmail page. 
  3. Set BROWSER CONNECTION to ALWAYS USE HTTPS
  4. Click SAVE CHANGES
  5. Press RELOAD. Note that the address now starts with https:// rather than http://, meaning the connection is encrypted.

It is also important to end each of your Gmail sessions by clicking SIGN OUT at the top of any Gmail page and to close all Gmail browser windows. Back to List

 

Will Google log my activity or scan my content?

Your AU-sponsored e-mail account is a standard Google Gmail account sent to your username@mail.american.edu address. Google's operating practice is to electronically process the contents, addresses, and other characteristics of Google Apps for Education services (including GMail, Calendar, Contacts, Blogger, etc.), in order to improve the efficiency of user searches, and also to focus advertising for individual users. Google's privacy policy states that hosted data is not sold or turned over to third parties, unless the data is subpoenaed in a court proceeding. The data derived from Google's automated processing are maintained by Google until two years after the last date of a customer's use of any Google service.

Under American University's agreement with Google, Google will not display advertising to faculty using @mail.american.edu e-mail accounts. Back to List

 

Are AU or Google sharing my personal information with any outside organizations?

No. Google has signed a contract committing to compliance with AU's strict privacy policies. Back to List

 

Is my AU-sponsored Gmail account secure and private?

This service is being provided by the University, during the pilot, as the primary e-mail/collaboration system for eligible faculty. University policies will apply to the service.

Your AU-sponsored Gmail account has been customized for optimal educational collaboration. American University has taken steps to ensure that your data is protected above and beyond a publicly available account.

Google has signed a contract committing them to uphold a strict privacy policy and to always treat your personal information with the utmost care and security. Read more about Google Privacy & Security. Back to List

 

Will I be able to look up other faculty and staff addresses in a directory?

Unfortunately, the Gmail system is not configured to allow one account holder to look up another's information. OIT will be migrating your Lotus Notes personal contacts to your Gmail contacts. You can still access the Lotus Notes public address book to look up an email address for another AU community member, or look for their email address through the online faculty and staff directory here. You may find it helpful to add AskAmericanUHelp@gmail.com to your contact list, so you can easily chat with the IT Help Desk when you need assistance. Back to List

 

How do I ensure that my data stays secure when I'm using a shared or public computer?

IMPORTANT: Closing your Web browser will not end your Gmail session as it does with many other systems. Click the SIGN OUT button when you are finished using your Gmail account on a shared or public computer and then close the browser to be sure that no one else can access your data. Back to List

 

 

Configuration of Your AU-Sponsored E-mail Account


I can't log into my AU-sponsored Gmail account. How do I get my password reset?

Log into the myAU.american.edu Web portal. Click on TECHNOLOGY on the right. Under Personalized Links, click the CHANGE MY GMAIL PASSWORD link and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you are unable to log into the portal, contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550, helpdesk@american.edu, or AskAmericanUHelp to request a password reset, after confirming your identity. Back to List

 

Can I use another program, such as Mac Mail, Outlook, or Thunderbird) to read my e-mail on my AU-sponsored Gmail account?

Yes. Please follow the instructions below to enable IMAP access for your AU-sponsored Gmail account:

  1. Log into mail.mail.american.edu
  2. Click MAIL SETTINGS at the top right and then click the FORWARDING AND POP/IMAP tab.
  3. Scroll down and select ENABLE IMAP. 
  4. Then, click SAVE CHANGES from the bottom of the page. 
  5. Finally, contact the Help Desk for assistance on how to configure your IMAP program to connect to your @mail.american.edu account on the appropriate, secure ports.

Back to List

 

Will my portal password synchronize with Gmail?

Yes, however this is optional. When you change or synchronize your network password on the myAU portal, you will see a check box that if checked, will also change or synchronize your AU-sponsored Gmail account password. This will allow you to keep your portal and Gmail passwords the same. If you wish to keep the passwords separate, you must uncheck the box when changing or synchronizing your portal password. Back to List

 

How do I make sure that mail I want to receive isn't marked as spam?

If messages that you want to receive have be sent to your spam folder, you can prevent that from recurring by taking three steps: 

  1. First, you should add any important addresses to your Contacts List. Most messages from people in your Contacts List will be delivered. 
  2. Then, you should review the contents of your Spam folder and mark messages you want to receive as NOT SPAM. Gmail's spam filtering system will learn what you think is spam, based on what you mark as spam and not spam. It will change how future messages are filtered based on that. 
  3. Finally, you can create a filter so the messages are never sent to the Spam folder.

Back to List

 

Lotus Notes / Gmail Features Matrix

 

Gmail

Lotus Notes

Mail

 

 

Add Flags

Yes - Stars

Yes -Flags with email reminders

Max Attachment Size - inbound from Internet

20 MB

20 MB

Max Attachment Size - outbound

25 MB

no limit within Lotus domain

Auto-close original email after replying

No

Yes

Auto-correct common spelling mistakes

No

Yes

Capitalize first letter of every sentence

No

Yes

Change days before trash is deleted

No

Yes

Change default font in body of email

Yes

Yes

Change display name format (first last, last first)

Yes

Yes

Click to move from inbox to All Documents view

Yes (Archive)

Yes - Option in Folder button

Default Email client

Yes

Yes

Digitally Sign messages

No

Yes

Displays messages in tab format

No

Yes

Drag and drop attachments into new email

Yes

Yes

Email delegation

Yes

Yes

Email filtering

Yes

Yes

Email messages can be in multiple folders/labels

Yes

Yes

Encrypt messages

No

Yes

Group like documents in a single tab

No

Yes

Importance markers

Yes

Yes

Integration with MS Office

No

Yes

Internal Chat

Yes

Yes

Lock account after inactivity

Yes (Firefox Only)

Yes

Message Recall

Yes (5 seconds)

Yes (Only in own domain)

Message Threading

Yes

Yes

Open email message in separate window

Yes

Yes

Prevent displaying of images

Yes

Yes

Recipient Icons

No

Yes

Reopen any previously open messages on restart

No

Yes

Reply with > (internet-style replies)

Yes (if using plain text replies)

Yes

Return Receipt

Yes

Yes

Save messages locally as a .eml file

No

Yes (Drag and Drop)

Send email in plain pr HTML text or both

Yes (not both)

Yes

Sender Colors

Yes (Labels)

Yes

Sort by Name, Subject, Date, Attachment, or Size

No

Yes

Spell check before sending

No (spell check works constantly)

Yes

Themes

Yes

Yes (limited)

Warn about blank message subjects

Yes

Yes

 

 

 

Calendar

 

 

Assign Categories

No

Yes

Display unprocessed notices

No

Yes

Change default Entry Type

No

Yes

Change default duration of meeting

Yes

Yes

Set availability

Yes

Yes

Check for conflicts

Yes

Yes

Auto respond to meeting invitation

Yes

Yes

Assign colors by calendar type

Yes

Yes

Calendar delegation

Yes

Yes

Calendar overlays

Google and iCal

Lotus Notes, Google, and iCal

 

 

 

Contacts

 

 

Contact Delegation

No

Yes

Assign categories

Yes

Yes

Display Names (last first, first last)

Yes

Yes

Add arbitrary custom field to contact entry

Yes

No

 

 

 

Tasks

 

 

Assign categories

No

Yes

Assign end date

No

Yes

Assign priorities

No

Yes

Assign start date

No

Yes

Assign Tasks to others

No

Yes

Create repeating Tasks

No

Yes

Email reminders

No

Yes

Mark Complete

Yes

Yes

View Tasks dates on Calendar

No

Yes

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

 

Gadgets/Widgets

Yes

Yes

RSS Feeds

Yes

Yes