Policies

University Email Policy

Email and Official Correspondence

Purpose of this Policy
There is an expanding reliance on electronic communication among students, faculty, staff, and administration at Sacred Heart University. This is motivated by the convenience, speed, cost-effectiveness, and environmental advantages of using email rather than printed communication. Because of this increasing reliance and acceptance of electronic communication, email will from this point forward, be considered an official means for communication within the university.

Implementation of this policy ensures that everyone at the university has access to this critical form of communication. For the majority, this will not represent any change from what is currently done; it will, however, ensure that all students, staff, and faculty have access to, and can be accessed by, email as the need arises.

Scope
This email policy is not inclusive of all aspects of email, rather it provides guidelines regarding email as an official means of communication: 

  • University use of email; 
  • Assignment of student and adjunct faculty email addresses; 
  • Student use of and responsibilities associated with assigned email addresses; and 
  • Expectations of email communication between faculty and student and staff and student.

Policy

University use of email
E-mail is an official means for communication within Sacred Heart University. Therefore, the University has the right to send communications to students, staff, and faculty via email and the right to expect that those communications will be received and read in a timely fashion.

Assignment of student email addresses
Information Technology Division (ITD) will assign everyone an official University email address. It is to this official address that the University will send email communications; this official address will be the address listed in the University's Global Address List found in the Exchange/Outlook Address Directory.

Redirecting of email
It is permissible to have email electronically redirected to another email address. However, those persons who use email redirection from their official address to another email address (e.g., @aol.com, @hotmail.com) do so at their own risk. The University will not be responsible for the handling of email by outside vendors. Having email redirected does not absolve anyone of the responsibilities associated with communication sent to his or her official email address.

Expectations regarding student use of email
Students are expected to check their official email address on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with University communications. We recommend checking email at least as often as your most frequent class meets in a week, in recognition that certain communications may be time-critical. (This means that if you are taking four classes a week and your most frequent class meets three times a week, then our recommendation is that you should check your mail three times a week, but if you are a part-time student meeting once a week, checking email once prior to class should be sufficient.)

Educational uses of email
Faculty may determine how email will be used in their classes. It is highly recommended that if faculty have email requirements and expectations they specify these requirements in their course syllabus. Faculty may expect that students' official email addresses are being accessed, and faculty may use email for their courses accordingly. 

Appropriate use of email
In general, email is not appropriate for transmitting sensitive or confidential information unless an appropriate level of security matches its use for such purposes. 

  • Confidentiality regarding student records is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). All use of email, including use for sensitive or confidential information, will be consistent with FERPA. 
  • E-mail shall not be the sole method for notification of any legal action.

Procedures
The Office of the Assistant Vice President for Information Technology will review this policy as needed. The President's Cabinet, as appropriate, will authorize changes. Students, staff, and faculty with questions or comments about this policy should contact the Office of Information Technology.

Responsible Organization
The Office of the Assistant Vice President for Information Technology will be responsible for this policy.

Related Link:
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)