M365 Faculty and Staff Email Migration

Welcome! We are pleased to announce a new CUNY-wide project – the transition of faculty and staff email accounts to the Microsoft Cloud (O365). Graduate Center faculty and staff email is scheduled to transition to the Microsoft Cloud in February 2023.   

M365 Migration Project Timeline which has three phases. The first being MFA, the second is upgrading Microsoft Office Desktop Client, and the third is migrating GC faculty and staff email to the cloud.

Welcome! We are pleased to announce a new CUNY-wide project – the transition of faculty and staff email accounts to the Microsoft Cloud (O365). Graduate Center faculty and staff email is scheduled to transition to the Microsoft Cloud in February 2023.   

Moving email to the cloud provides numerous benefits, including the capability to integrate your email with other applications within the Microsoft 365 family, such as Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint. The transition to Microsoft’s cloud-based email system will provide increased reliability, significantly reduce the risk of phishing and spam attacks, efficient single sign-on, and 24/7 Microsoft support and accessibility features.

All CUNY campuses are transitioning to M365 (email in the cloud). Each CUNY college will have its own timeline and approach to transitioning their faculty and staff email to the Microsoft Cloud.

We aim to minimize disruption and expect zero downtime during the migration process. We cannot discard the possibility of unanticipated issues.

While your primary email address will not change, you will have to use your CUNYfirst credentials (@login.cuny.edu) to access your mailbox in the cloud.

A few things to Note:

GC IT will be having two town hall sessions to provide information and answer questions about the Graduate Center's upcoming faculty and staff email migration.

The Town Hall sessions are on:

  • Tuesday, January 31st at 11am
  • Thursday, February 2nd at 2pm​

Each session will be recorded, and this section will be updated with them when they become available.

Preview the topics that will be presented at the Town Hall sessions: M365 Faculty and Staff Email Migration Information Guide.

A freeze on new email account creation begins Monday, January 30rd through Friday, February 17th. This encompasses email account creation for all users, including POIs, as well as shared (non-human) mailboxes.

New email account creation requests (including POIs) must be received no later than Thursday, January 26th to be processed prior to the freeze period.

If you plan to onboard any new GC primary faculty or staff, including POIs, during the freeze period listed above, please submit the required paperwork to HR as soon as you can to avoid any delays in processing. If you plan to onboard any new non-GC faculty with primary affiliations at other CUNY schools, please contact Steven Wong for POI processing.

During the freeze period, new faculty and staff can use their personal email accounts for correspondence until their GC email account is created, if the communications do not include PII (Personally Identifiable Information). Examples of PII data include SSN, Date of Birth, and credit card numbers.

Please share this information with anyone on your team who assists with the onboarding process.

  1. There is a 35MB limit per email message in the cloud. This means that we will not be able to migrate any existing emails that are 35MB or larger from your current mailbox to the cloud. We strongly recommend that you search your current mailbox for any emails and email attachments that are 35MB or over in size. The CIS Training Team created instructions on how to perform this task, please see below:
    1. MS Outlook Cleanup on a PC (Outlook 365, 2021)
    2. MS Outlook Cleanup on a Mac (Office 2019 and O365)
    3. MS Outlook cleanup on the Web (Outlook Web Access)
  2. Create folders to organize your email. This will make it easier to locate mail items, especially if you have mailboxes at multiple CUNY campuses. When your GC email is migrated, it will be placed in your CUNY cloud mailbox. If you maintain mailboxes at other CUNY campuses, your email from those campuses will be placed in the same cloud mailbox. Creating named folders for each campus will help you to organize your email if you prefer to keep the email separate.
  3. Delete any emails that you do not need to retain (including sent items). You are moving to a brand-new, clean mailbox. You do not want to take emails with you that are not required. 
    1. Mailboxes with over 50,000 email items may experience performance issues in the cloud (slowness, lag, etc.).  
  4. Unsubscribe to any RSS feeds to which you currently subscribe and delete any mail items related to the RSS feeds that you do not need to retain. RSS feeds may interfere with the migration process.
  5. Empty your junk email and deleted items email folders.
  6. If you have a version of Microsoft Office older than 2019, please contact IT Services at itservices@gc.cuny.edu.
  7. If you need to share documents, we recommend storing those documents in OneDrive or Dropbox and emailing a link to the file.
  8. Take advantage of CUNY’s offer to download free copies (up to five) of Microsoft Office Pro Plus on personal devices.

For faculty and staff who have email addresses with multiple campuses, there are a few critical items to note: 

  1. There will be one consolidated mailbox for campuses moving into CUNY’s unified email tenant. Multiple CUNY email addresses will now be directed to a single inbox under your primary affiliation. For example, suppose you currently maintain mailboxes at Baruch, Queens, and the Graduate Center. In that case, all three mailbox emails will be accessible from the consolidated CUNY mailbox. CIS recommends that users with multiple campus affiliations create folders and rules in the cloud mailbox to assist with organizing your incoming email. 
    Email Consolidation Explanation (M365)
  2. Your primary campus affiliation determines your primary email address. If your primary campus is Baruch, your primary Send From email address will be @baruch.cuny.edu. If you have multiple campus affiliations and are unsure which campus is considered your primary, please get in touch with your HR department.
  • Students should notify their colleagues that their “@gc.cuny.edu” email address will cease to function on February 9, 2023.
  • IT will no longer be able to redirect “@gc.cuny.edu” email traffic to any email address. The service known as “mail-enabling” will cease on February 9, 2023.
  • Discontinuation of “@gc.cuny.edu” will not impact a student’s GC network credentials or “@gradcenter.cuny.edu” email addresses.
  • Suppose a student has used their “@gc.cuny.edu” email address as a username or contact at external organizations. In that case, they should update their information with those organizations.
  • As of February 9, 2023, students will no longer be able to access faculty and staff mailboxes, including departmental or shared mailboxes, as delegates. Students’ inability to hold delegate permission on shared mailboxes is a limitation in the CUNY M365 cloud configuration. While this situation may change in the future, it will not change before the Graduate Center’s faculty and staff email migration on February 9, 2023.
  • IT will begin work on the migration process in late January. Users may experience intermittent Outlook performance issues.
  • An email containing tips and recommended steps to take will be sent prior to migration.
  • Any email messages or attachments that are 35MB or larger in size.
  • Any personal contacts or contact groups you created in Outlook Contacts.
  • Any mailbox delegations you created for your personal mailbox.
  • Any rules you created in Outlook and OWA.
  • Any email messages or content contained in the Deleted Items and Junk Email folders.
  1. You will access your new CUNY mailbox in the cloud by using your CUNYfirst credentials (@login.cuny.edu). CUNYfirst credentials are required. If you do not have CUNYfirst credentials, please contact IT Services (itservices@gc.cuny.edu). Your primary email address will remain the same as it is today.
  2. You will be able to access your email online (via outlook.office.com) and from your local desktop client. Accessing your email online provides added features, including the ability to select a different “Send From” email address if you have email addresses at other CUNY campuses. You cannot change your “Send From” address via the local desktop client.
  3. Going forward there will be a 35 MB limit within Outlook 365. This means that you will not be able to store, send, or receive emails that are over 35 MB in size, including attachments.
  4. Sending messages containing sensitive information (PII data) is not recommended. Suppose you try to send a message containing sensitive information. In that case, you will receive an alert message (a warning message) from Microsoft.
  5. The Microsoft Windows Report button replaces the Report Phish button, enabling you to report spam and phishing.
    O365 Report Phish Button
  6. Once we are in the cloud, the Global Address list will be inclusive of all CUNY campus faculty and staff email accounts. As a result, the display names of all shared mailboxes will begin with "GC", with the exception of ASRC mailboxes that already begin with the acronym "ASRC". This will not affect their exiting email address.   

Due to increased cyber threats and Microsoft's plan to disable support for Email Basic Authentication, The Graduate Center stopped supporting less secure email authentication protocols. This change impacts username and password authentication for IMAP and POP3 Office365 email functionality.

Basic Authentication is an outdated authentication standard that allows and poses serious security risks to the Graduate Center community and their privacy.  Any apps connecting to Graduate Center email that do not use a technology called Modern Authentication will no longer be able to connect. Email apps compatible with Modern Authentication are listed below.     

Make sure you use one of these compatible email apps. See Microsoft's website for instructions on finding what version you use. 

Also, remember to remove your Graduate Center email account from any older, unused, or incompatible app to prevent it from trying to connect and slow down the computer, phone, or tablet.  It is also best practice for security to ensure that anyone else who may end up using the device will not be able to see messages or other data that they are not authorized to view.    

MFA is a requirement before the email migration to the cloud. MFA creates an additional layer of security when logging into your Office 365 account.

  • The first authentication factor is your account password (CUNYfirst login credentials). 
  • The second factor of authentication can be one of the following three options:
    • Use the Microsoft Authenticator mobile app on your smartphone to approve the sign-in. 
    • Receive a text message sent to your mobile device providing you with a code to enter into the login window. 
    • Receive a voice call to a designated phone number providing you with a code to enter to sign-on.  
  • For more information and detailed FAQ’s about Microsoft’s MFA tool, visit CUNY’s MFA page.
  • The date for enabling MFA is Monday, September 19th, 2022