This policy describes access to and disclosing messages sent or received by university employees and students using the university's email system, voice mail system, or network system.

The University's Right to Access Information

The university's electronic mail system, voice mail system, and server and network systems were established to facilitate mission-related communications. All email and voice mail messages, computer and server files, and network use logs are university records and 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 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 campus's well-being or security.

Authorization Regarding this Policy

When in 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 appropriate division vice president's approval, the Technology Services reset the password and/or other access privileges to enable the supervisor to fulfill the 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 a possible violation of university policies or state or federal laws, the authorities would be the Vice Presidents in each division of the university or the President. The university shall inform university personnel if and when such access will be, or has been, required.

Personal Use of Email, Voice Mail, and the Network

Because the university provides the electronic mail system, the voice mail system, and network access to assist university personnel with their work's performance, these resources should be used for such purposes. The university permits incidental and occasional personal use of these resources by employees, but records of such use will be treated like 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 third parties can 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).

Unacceptable Use of Email, Voice Mail, and Network Tools

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 university community members should be aware of expectations regarding the proper use of university information and communication systems, as described in the university's Information Use and Security Policy.

Copyright Awareness

The 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.

Sanctions for Policy Violations

The unacceptable use of university electronic communication systems is a serious breach of ethical conduct. It will result in corrective action, including termination of employment under procedures specified by the Student Integrity Code, Staff Policies and Procedures, and the Faculty Code.

Origination Date: 8/2002;
revised 8/2006.

Owner: President's Cabinet
Contact: Executive Assistant to the President/Secretary of the Corporation