As we are all going through this cleanup and future management of storage, it is important for teams and departments to think strategically about file management. We suggest that teams develop a plan on how to handle saving files of individuals no longer at the university. 

Make a Team Plan

If you work on a team or in a department that collaborates on files using Google Workspace, it is important to make a plan that will work for your team. Depending on how you operate, you have a few options to consider. 

Level of Collaboration in Google


High or Medium - You often use Google Workspace to collaborate on files and share files with others on a regular basis that will need to be maintained if you or someone on your team leaves the university

Use a Google Shared Drive

Low - You sometimes use Google Workspace to collaborate and rarely share Google files with others.

Use individual Google accounts

Understanding File Ownership

Official ongoing cleanup efforts are based on file or account ownership so it is important to understand who owns a file. We have created a Google Drive File Ownership Guide to better help explain how file ownership works and what impact it has when someone leaves the university. 

Use an Existing Google Shared Drive or Request a New One

Google Shared Drives provide an excellent solution for managing files shared among teams and departments, ensuring they remain readily accessible even if the original creator leaves the university. If your team heavily relies on collaborative work via Google Drive, we highly  recommend utilizing a Google Shared Drive as your primary collaboration platform.

Faculty and staff can request a Google share drive by filling out this form.  

Designate individuals who will make copies of files

Having multiple people creating copies of files will lead to issues when maintaining files in the future. Where possible, we suggest that managers be the designated individuals to make copies of files of employees who are no longer at the university, however, managers will only be able to make copies of files that are shared with them. 

Getting Support

We recognize that this is a significant transition and will take some time and effort for the university community. However, IT is here to help and provide guidance. Teams and departments can reach out to IT Central at to schedule a storage and cleanup consultation.