This policy describes access to, and disclosure of, messages sent or received by university employees and students using the university's email system, voice mail system, or network system.
The electronic mail system, the voice mail system, and server and network systems were established by the university to facilitate mission-related communications. All email and voice mail messages, computer and server files, and network use logs are university records and should be treated like other shared university filing systems. Therefore, employees and students should not assume that communications are confidential, even if the sender or the recipient so designates them. Back-up copies of email may be maintained and referenced for business, legal, or policy reasons.
Although university students, faculty, and staff have individual passwords to access these systems and may expect a certain degree of privacy with respect to their use, these systems and information stored thereon, except faculty research material defined in the Policy on Privacy and Appropriate Use of University Resources, belong to the university. The university reserves the right to inspect university records for legal or policy reasons or to ensure the wellbeing or security of the campus.
When in the course of university business a supervisor requires access to an employee's computer files and the employee is not available, that employee should give password information to his/her supervisor upon request by the supervisor. Alternatively, the supervisor may request, with the approval of the appropriate division vice president, the Technology Services to reset the password and/or other access privileges to enable the supervisor to fulfill university business. All system passwords and encryption keys must be made available to the university's management upon authorized request.
In cases requiring inspection of university records because of possible violation of university policies or state or federal laws, the authorities would be the Vice Presidents in each division of the university or, alternatively, the President. The university shall inform university personnel if and when such access will be, or has been, required.
Because the university provides the electronic mail system, the voice mail system, and network access to assist university personnel with the performance of their work, these resources should be used for such purposes. Incidental and occasional personal use of these resources by employees is permitted by the university, but records of such use will be treated the same as other university records.
Members of the campus community should understand that deletions of messages and files do not fully prevent the messages and files from being recovered; that it is possible for third parties to intercept messages and files; and that messages and files may be disclosed to third parties (e.g., parties in civil litigation; law enforcement agencies in criminal investigations).
Members of the campus community may not use the university's email, voice mail, or network systems in any way that is inconsistent with laws, regulations, and university policies. All members of the university community should be aware of expectations regarding proper use of university information and communication systems, as described in the university's Information Use and Security Policy.
Information posted by others on the network may be copyrighted. Information obtained through the network may be reproduced only by permission from the author or copyright holder unless the user is aware that the material is free of copyright.
Unacceptable use of university electronic communication systems is a serious breach of ethical conduct and will result in corrective action up to and including termination of employment under procedures specified by the Student Integrity Code, Staff Policies and Procedures, and the Faculty Code.
Origination Date: 8/2002;
Owner: President's Cabinet
Contact: Executive Assistant to the President/Secretary of the Corporation