E-mail Policy and Procedures

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Policy Name: E-mail Policy and Procedures
Policy ID Number: 03-05-005
Version Effective Date: January 2012
Last Reviewed on: January 1, 2019
Policy Applies To: All members of the University granted an Email account
Responsible Office: Information Technology


INTRODUCTION AND STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
New Jersey City University (NJCU) acknowledges an increasing need for efficient communications with its students, faculty, and staff. This policy was established to enable official email communications with students, faculty, and staff.

Electronic Mail (email) is recognized as a very effective way to disseminate information of importance, relevance and interest to members of the University and larger, global community in a timely manner. It is therefore important to define the University’s policy on email and offer appropriate procedures on the use of this technology. This document serves as the University’s policy on email and distribution lists, as well as appropriate procedures and guidelines for their use.

POLICY
Scope

This information is for all members of the University who are granted an official NJCU email account. In addition to general policy and procedures that apply to all members, specific responsibilities and procedures are provided for both employees and students.

Definitions

  • Email – Electronically delivered messages addressed to specific email account holders.
  • Email Account – A username and password assigned to a user that allows access to email services.
  • Listserv – Software that creates email distribution lists.
  • Email Server – A server-class computer that has been configured to accept and forward email messages on behalf of a registered account holder (the sender), and to receive and deliver messages to members registered to a server (the receiver).
  • MS Exchange® Server – A specialized Microsoft email server that provides extended enterprise capabilities through Microsoft Office Outlook. Faculty and staff are provided accounts on this server.
  • Local Email Client – – Software installed on a personal desktop or notebook computer. This software establishes a link to and communicates with the email Server on behalf of the email account holder. The local client downloads messages from the email server to the computer where the application is running. This type client restricts a user to read new and access old email from a single computer. Example local clients are Microsoft Outlook, Qualcomm Eudora and Mozilla Thunderbird.
  • Web Email Client – Software installed on a server-class computer that establishes a link to and communicates with the email Server on behalf of the email account holder. However, rather than downloading to the user’s local computer, email is transferred to the web client server from the email server. This type client enables the user to retrieve new and access old email from any computer with a browser and internet connection. Example web clients are Microsoft Office365, Yahoo! Mail, and Google Mail.
  • Distribution List – A collection of recipients with a specific interest in common, or a sub-group of a larger community. Examples of NJCU distribution lists are Faculty, Staff, and Students.
  • Netiquette – A combination of two words: Network and Etiquette. As with any interaction between two or more people, there are formal and information protocols that are followed to facilitate communications. These protocols are called “etiquette”. As use of the Internet and email became New Jersey City University Email Policy & Procedures Revised: January 2012 Page 3 of 8 universal, protocols for polite interaction over this medium were also developed. The term netiquette is used to describe these new protocols for electronic communication.
  • Spam – Unsolicited email advertising for a wide range of legal and illegal products. In many cases spam is considered a form of free speech which is protected under the first amendment, even if some recipients find a message offensive. Some spam is a veiled attempt at acquiring personal information such as a bank account number or a password. This form of spam is known as “phishing”. Some spam may also be veiled attempts at spreading viruses and other harmful or annoying programs, generally known as malware. All email should be treated with caution!

Electronic Mail (email) is an official means of communication at New Jersey City University. This does not preclude the use of other methods of communication. Email shall not be the sole method for notification of any official University action.

Official NJCU email accounts are granted to all members of the University community and are generally active for the duration of the member’s relationship with the University.

General Responsibilities and Guidelines
The following responsibilities and guidelines apply to all users of NJCU email services and utilities:

  • To maintain the security and integrity of the Email system, email account holders must change their temporary account passwords as soon as possible after notification that the account has been created. The email account holder should also periodically change his/her account password.
  • Email account holders should follow best practice standards for creating highly secure passwords.
  • The email account holder is responsible for the general security of the account and its information.
  • Email accounts and passwords are not to be shared under any circumstances.
  • The email account holder is responsible for checking NJCU email regularly, preferably daily, and responding appropriately to messages.
  • All those assigned an official University email account are responsible for the information and attachments sent to them.
  • Email should be answered promptly and courteously.
  • To conserve disk storage resources, attachments are restricted to 15 MB per email.
  • Account holders using a local email client are responsible for maintaining backups of their email that have been downloaded to their computer(s).
  • Commercial use of NJCU email accounts is not permitted.
  • NJCU email accounts are not to be used to harass or intimidate others.
  • NJCU email accounts are not to be used to instigate or promote chain mail.
  • NJCU email accounts are not to be used to distribute spam.
  • NJCU email accounts are not to be used to distribute harmful programs (viruses, worms, and other malware).
  • Email accounts are not to be used to distribute copyrighted materials without permission of the owner.
  • It is highly recommended that email account holders enable the NJCU Spam filter for their account to avoid receiving unsolicited messages.
  • All email account holders should use proper netiquette when sending messages.
  • Inappropriate use of NJCU email should be reported to the IT department at it@njcu.edu.

NOTE: All email stored on University computers and servers may be requested as part of a litigation process known as e-Discovery or, in some cases, through the Freedom of Information Act. Once notified that an account is being held for litigation, the account holder must not delete or tamper with email or email contents.

Specific Responsibilities and Guidelines
Employee Responsibilities

  • NJCU email is to be used for University business and academic-related communications. Personal interactions should be kept to a minimum.
  • Employees should check for NJCU messages frequently and consistently as email is considered an official means of communication.
  • Employees must retain email messages consistent with the State of New Jersey - Managing Electronic Mail: Guidelines and Best Practices
  • All use of email, including use for sensitive or confidential information, will be consistent with local, state, and federal legislation, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
  • Employees should set an “out-of-the-office” notice when they will not be able to respond to NJCU email messages for an extended period of time (e.g., vacation, conferences, etc.).
  • When sending to a distribution list, email messages should be brief and to the point.

Student Responsibilities

  • Students should check for NJCU messages frequently and consistently as email is considered an official means of communication and in order to stay current with time-critical and time sensitive University announcements.
  • Students may re-direct (auto-forward) NJCU email to an external email address. However, responsibility for checking the third-party email account for NJCU communications is still required.

IT Responsibilities

  • The Department of Information Technology (IT) is responsible for maintaining email services and for creating and removing accounts
    Note: Email accounts adhere to a specific naming convention. Account names are created as follows: first initial, last name (no spaces) – up to 12 characters. For example: John Doe = JDOE. A number is added to the end of the account name if it is a “common” last name and first initial combination. The account password will be given at the time of account distribution
  • IT is responsible for maintaining the server-based email anti-virus and anti-spam services.
  • New email is held on the University server for 30 days or until downloaded or transferred to the user’s computer or the web client server.
  • IT will create and manage listserv distribution lists as required.
  • IT will ensure adequate storage to accommodate the maximum quota of all account holders.

Email Distribution Lists
NJCU provides system services for the mass distribution of announcements and notices and as a tool to promote discussion and collaboration through forum-like interaction. This system service is known as a Listserv. Distribution lists are a viable tool to communicate information to a wide body of email users. IT offers several permanent lists and many adhoc lists for this purpose.

Students List (students@njcu.edu)
This list is provided as a means to distribute announcements and notifications to all active students of the University.

  • All student email addresses are automatically subscribed to this list by IT
  • Authorization to post to this list is determined by the Vice President for Student Affairs
  • No attachments should be sent to this list

Staff List (staff@njcu.edu)
This list is provided as a means to distribute announcements and notifications to all active employees of the University.

  • All faculty and staff email addresses are automatically subscribed to this list.
  • Only designated individuals are authorized to send email messages to this list.
  • This list is to be utilized only for University business and academic-related topics. Examples of appropriate uses of the STAFF list include, but are not limited to:
    •  University Announcements (e.g., Emergency, Meetings, Events, Conferences, Training, et
    • Technology/Help Desk Notifications
    • Human Resources Notifications
    • Public Safety Notices
  • Examples of inappropriate uses of the STAFF list include, but are not limited to:
    • Personal Solicitations
    • Religious & Political Views
    • Inaccurate Computer Virus Notices
  • NOTE: email sent to a list should not be electronically recalled by NJCU email account holders. Attempting to do so may generate mass error notifications to all members of the list and disrupt the normal processing of email.

Community List (njcu-community@njcu.edu)
This list is designated to provide an open forum for discussion on a wide range of topics and for announcements of a more personal nature (e.g., birth & death announcements, condo rentals, etc.).

  • Subscription to this list is voluntary and available to all members of the NJCU community.
  • If the list is no longer of interest, each member has the ability to ‘unsubscribe’ from the list.

Adhoc Lists
Other lists may be created upon request. All requests for a new Listserv distribution list should be addressed to the IT Help Desk at helpdesk@njcu.edu

  • All adhoc lists require a designated list owner who is a member of the list
  • Members of an adhoc list are added and removed by the designated owner of the list

Procedures
Acquiring an Email Account

  • Student Accounts
    Student NJCU email accounts are granted to all registered students of the University prior to their first semester and are retained for the duration of the student’s active relationship with the University. Students receive notification of their email account and password information via US Postal Service mail.


    While a student may forward messages sent to their NJCU email account to a third-party email address (e.g., HotMail®, Gmail®, Yahoo! Mail®, etc.), the student’s NJCU email account remains the official delivery address for NJCU electronic communications. NJCU is not responsible for email handling, delivery, and access to a forwarded email address.
     
  • Employee Accounts
    The Office of Human Resources submits a request for a faculty/staff email accounts to the IT Help Desk. IT creates the account and forwards the information to the requestor. This account will remain with the individual until leaving the University’s employment.

     
  • Special Purpose Email Accounts
    The University recognizes the need for special purpose email accounts such as generic department accounts. These accounts are created by request and must be approved by the departmental manager. Requests of this nature should be directed to the IT Help Desk at helpdesk@njcu.edu

Accessing Email
Access to NJCU email is available from:

  • Any computer connected to the Internet on- or off-campus via a local email client.
  • Any computer connected to the Internet on- or off-campus via a web-based email client.
  • The Student Access Center “kiosks” distributed throughout the campus.

Spam Blocking
IT provides a spam blocker application that checks messages for spam as they are received by the email server. IT strongly recommends that users enable this feature on their accounts. Once enabled, all email messages addressed to the account are scanned and any messages suspected of being spam will be moved to a special quarantine queue on the email server and not delivered to the user. The application may identify the contents of a message as spam (a “false positive”). It is therefore imperative that users who enable spam blocking check the quarantine queue for these false positives and release them for delivery, and to manage the provided Allow and Block lists. 

DATE TO INITIATE REVIEW AND UPDATE
As deemed necessary or appropriate by the Policy Coordinator but at a minimum, at least every 5 years from the date of last review.