University of Alaska Anchorage - Electronic Mail Policy

  1. Preamble

    Electronic mail (e-mail) has become a ubiquitous service greatly enhancing communication both internally within the UA community and externally to others, including prospective students, alumni, and the public at large.

    The University of Alaska Anchorage offers and encourages the use of electronic mail services in support of the academic, research, and public service mission of the Institute, and the administrative functions that support this mission.

    The purpose of this policy is to describe the appropriate use of University E-mail resources, associated responsibilities, and rights of all Users of University E-mail resources and official University of Alaska Anchorage e-mail accounts.

  2. Scope

    This e-mail policy covers all uses and Users of University e-mail resources. Any User of University e-mail resources consents to all provisions of this policy and agrees to comply with all terms and conditions set forth herein, all other applicable University policies, regulations, and procedures, and with applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

    Users of University e-mail resources whose actions violate this policy or any other University policy or regulation may be subject to revocation or limitation of e-mail privileges as well as other disciplinary actions or may be referred to appropriate external authorities.

  3. Terms of Reference

    To clarify terms used within this policy, the following definitions are provided:
    • Official UAA E-mail account: Account with e-mail address of the form <UAusername>@uaa.alaska.edu. An Official UAA e-mail account is provided to staff, faculty, students, and other individuals and entities granted e-mail privileges at UAA. It is automatically created for admitted and enrolled students as well as actively employed staff/faculty.
    • User: Includes any staff, faculty, student, or other individual or entity who is assigned an Official UAA e-mail account who uses or attempts to use University E-mail Resources
    • University E-mail Resources: Include all facilities, technologies, information resources, and computing and electronic communication devices, hardware, software, and services required to accomplished the processing, storage, transmission, and communication of electronic mail, whether individually controlled or shared, stand-alone, or networked.
  4. Statement of Policy

    1. General

      Access to E-mail:

      The University of Alaska Anchorage provides University e-mail resources for legitimate University-related activities to faculty, staff, students, and other individuals and entities granted e-mail privileges at UAA, as well as connections between UA e-mail systems and external data networks. The use of University e-mail resources – like the use of any other University-provided resource and like any other University-related activity – is subject to the normal requirements of legal and ethical behavior within the University community. Thus, legitimate use of University e-mail resources does not extend to whatever is technically possible.

      University E-mail Account:

      UAA IT Services manages centralized e-mail and directory information for the UAA MAU, and provides creation, management, and distribution of Official UAA e-mail accounts. Each UAA MAU regional campuses IT organization has the same role for its own centralized e-mail and directory information.

      All staff, faculty, and students are required to activate their Official UAA e-mail account. Users are expected to read, and shell be presumed to have received and read, all official University e-mail messages sent to their Official UAA e-mail accounts.

      Acceptable Use

      UAA provides University e-mail resources for activities and associated administrative functions supporting its mission of learning, discovery, and engagement. Although modest personal use of University e-mail resources is allowed, University e-mail resources should be used for University-related educational and administrative purposes. Any use of University e-mail resources that interferes with University activities and functions or does not respect the image and reputation of UAA is improper.

      Policies and regulations that apply to other forms of communications at the University also apply to electronic mail.

      The following list, although not inclusive, provides some examples of acceptable uses:

      • Communications, including information exchange, for professional development or to maintain job knowledge or skills;
      • Use in apply for or administering grants or contracts for University research programs or work-related applications;
      • Communications with other University agencies and research partners of university agencies providing document delivery or transferring working documents/drafts for comment;
      • Announcements of University regulations, procedures, policies, services, or activities;
      • Use involving research and information gathering in support of advisory, standards, analysis, and professional development activities related to the user's University duties;
      • Communication and information exchange relating to the mission, charter, and work tasks of the University including e-mail in direct support of work-related functions or collaborative projects.

      In addition, the following specific actions and uses of University e-mail resources are improper:

      • Concealment or misrepresentation of names or affiliations in e-mail messages.
      • Alteration of source or destination address of e-mail.
      • Use of another individual's account, with or without permission.
      • Use of e-mail for commercial or private business purposes that have not been approved by UAA.
      • Use of e-mail for organized political activity or political solicitation.
      • Use of e-mail to harass or threaten other individuals.
      • Use of e-mail that degrades or demeans other individuals.

      Public Record and Privacy:

      Any e-mail sent from Users at UAA or residing on UAA e-mail resources may be considered a public record under the Alaska Public Records Act (AS 40.25.100-.220) and may be subject to disclosure.

      UAA does not monitor the content of electronic mail as a routine procedure. The University reserves the right to inspect, copy, store, or disclose the contents of electronic mail messages, but will do so only when it believes these actions are appropriate to: prevent or correct improper use of University e-mail resources; ensure compliance with University policies, procedures, or regulations; satisfy a legal obligation; or ensure the proper operations of University e-mail resources or the UAA data network. Any UAA administrator who believes such actions are necessary must first obtain the written approval of an appropriate administrative authority.

      The University will make reasonable efforts to maintain the integrity and effective operation of its e-mail systems, but users are advised that those systems should in no way be regarded as a secure medium for the communication of sensitive or confidential information. Because of the nature and technology of electronic communication, the University can assure neither the privacy of an individual user's use of the University's e-mail resources nor the confidentiality of particular messages that may be created, transmitted, received, or stored thereby.

      Use of E-mail for UAA Business:

      The Official UAA e-mail account shall be considered an official means for communication University business, and may in some cases be the sole means of communication. Users are expected to read, and shall be presumed to have received and read, all official UAA e-mail messages sent to their Official UAA e-mail accounts. Because the contents of such e-mail are subject to laws governing public records, Users will need to exercise judgment in sending content that may be deemed confidential. Furthermore, e-mail transmissions may not be secure, and contents that are expected to remain confidential should not be communicated via e-mail. Common examples of confidential contents include: student grades, personnel records, individual donor gift records, and data subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, and the Gram Leach Bliley Act (GLBA).

      Dyn-list creator/owners, and their appointees may send messages to University dynamic-listserv's relating to University business without any prior approval. The author of any business messages, however, assumes responsibility for assuring that messages do not violate any University policies, regulations, or procedures. Disclaimers of confidentiality included in e-mail messages do not protect the sender if confidential information is shared or disclosed inappropriately.

      E-mail Retention and Disposal:

      E-mail stored on official University systems will not be stored after deletion by the e-mail User.

      E-mail Users storing messages on UAA servers often have the capability to “archive” e-mail items to files. This effectively allows Users to save any e-mail messages for any length of time. These retention and disposal guidelines do not apply to e-mail archives and backups done by individuals.

      Users may at their discretion configure their Official UAA e-mail accounts to forward all e-mail to an external e-mail address. Forwarding to an external address prevents messages from being stored at UAA, but a record of the forwarding transaction is stored on University e-mail resources in system logs.

      E-mail correspondence and associated documents sent as attachments may be considered official University records, and, as such, may need to be retained longer than the established policy guidelines for e-mail retention and disposal. It is the responsibility of the sender and recipient of these e-mail messages to determine the required retention period, to comply with applicable University policies and procedures regarding record retention, and to preserve these e-mail records either electronically or in printed form with all the associated header and transmission information.

      E-mail Backups

      In the event of a system disaster, email will be restored to the state of user email accounts on the server at the time of the last back-up. As messages may be received and subsequently deleted or lost since the last backup, UAA IT Services cannot guarantee that all messages can be restored.

      UAA IT Services is not able to restore individual messages or mailboxes on email servers. It is the user's responsibility to back up copies of their own e-mail.

      Disclaimer

      The University makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, with respect to the University E-mail resources it provides. The University will not be responsible for damages resulting from the use of University e-mail resources, including, but not limited to, loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, missed deliveries, service interruptions caused by the negligence of a University employee, or by the User's error or omissions. The University specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through University e-mail resources, except material represented as an official University record.

    2. Provisioning

      Email Address

      Official University e-mail account addresses are created as documented in the University of Alaska – Unified Directory Policy.

      Email Aliases

      Users may create up to a total of four (4) e-mail aliases (or vanity addresses). These are convenient nicknames that you can add to your Official UAA e-mail address. These are not an additional email account, but will route any email sent to the alias address to your Official UAA e-mail inbox. Users can create, modify, or delete aliases at https://me.uaa.alaska.edu.

      Student Accounts

      E-mail services for students enrolled in classes at UAA are provided by a Google Apps @ UA account. This account is created automatically within 24-hours after the student has been admitted to the University.

      Student E-mail accounts are assigned a quota on the email server per Google's policies. Students should not rely on disk space on e-mail servers for the purposes of archiving or record retention.

      Access to UAA Student e-mail is available via one of the following:

      Additionally to this Policy, and other applicable UAA & UA policies, procedures, and regulations students are subject to the following Google Apps @ UA policies:

      Employee Accounts – Students

      E-mail services for UAA Student employees are the same as those provided for all students and utilize Google Apps @ UA.

      If for business needs, a student employee needs access to Exchange resources department heads may submit a request to the UAA IT Services Call Center to have the students account exchange enabled. Student employees who are approved will have an Exchange account created, the existing mailbox contents in Google Apps @ UA will be transferred to Exchange, and the Google Apps @ UA email account is deleted. When their role as a student employee ends their email account will be recreated in Google Apps @ UA, the existing Exchange mailbox contents will be transferred to their Google Apps @ UA account and the Exchange account will be deleted. These operations are not automatic and require the Department to submit a request to the Call Center to initiate the process.

      Employee Accounts – Staff & Faculty

      E-mail services for UAA Staff & Faculty are provided by Microsoft Exchange. This account is created automatically within 24-hours after the employee's job form has been entered into Banner.

      Employee e-mail accounts are assigned a 3GB quota on the University's Exchange servers. Employees should not rely on disk space on e-mail servers for the purpose of archiving or record retention.

      If the User is an employee and a student at the same time they will only have an account on the University's Exchange system.

      When an employee is no longer employed at UAA, their account becomes disabled, after 90 days the mailbox is deleted from the mail system. If the user is also a student then a Google Apps @ UA email account is created and the current mailbox contents are transferred.

      Access to UAA Employee e-mail is available via one of the following:

      • Desktop Client – UAA IT Services supports, and recommends, desktop client software for use with the University's Exchange e-mail system as documented in the UAA Technology Knowledge Base Article Employee Email Client How-to's.
      • Web Browser – For access to Employee e-mail account via a web interface visit https://owa.uaa.alaska.edu
      • Smart Phone – Employees may configure their Microsoft ActiveSync capable device to access their University e-mail. Visit the UAA Knowledge Base article for additional information.

      Group or Departmental Accounts

      In some situations, a single point of contact is required where multiple individuals manage service requests. These accounts are permitted as follows:

      • The department head will determine when a group account is required to conduct the business of the department and will be responsible for all of the account activities, including use of it by authorized and unauthorized employees and will sign a responsible use statement indicating this is so.
      • Passwords will be set to automatically expire at a frequent rate to ensure that passwords are being used appropriately.
      • Standard quotas will apply to all accounts created (these are not designed to store mail messages).
      • Account usernames and address will be assigned to these accounts as appropriate.
    3. Abuse and Policy Enforcement

      E-mail services are provided to the UAA community to conduct University business. Violations of the E-mail, UAA's Appropriate Use Policy, and the UA Board of Regents policies may subject users to the regular disciplinary processes and procedures of the University and may result in suspension of their computing privileges during any investigation.

      Illegal acts involving University computing resources may also subject violators to prosecution by local, state, and/or federal authorities. Suspected law violations may be referred to police agencies.

      If a user is found to have violated this Policy, the user's computing privileges at the University may be permanently and totally removed. Student users in violation of this Policy may be recommended for suspension or dismissal from the University. Employees in violation of this Policy may be recommended for termination from University employment.

      E-mail abuse may be reported to callcenter@uaa.alaska.edu. Reports of abuse will be investigated and handled as appropriate. In all cases, do not delete any evidence or message(s) as they can be used as evidence.

    4. Related Documents