Email as Official Mode of Communication

SUNY Oswego Electronic Mail (E-mail) Accounts as Official Mechanism of Communication

Submitted by the Information Technology Council to Faculty Assembly, March 17, 2008
Approved by Faculty Assembly, April 7, 2008


    1. Use of Electronic Mail
      Electronic mail (e-mail) is an official mechanism of communication for SUNY Oswego.
    2. Official College E-mail Accounts
      An official college e-mail account is one in which the address ends with "" All students, faculty, and staff are assigned an e-mail address and account while enrolled or employed. Retired employees may, at their discretion, choose to continue their account.

    3. Expectations For Use of E-mail
      Students, faculty, and staff have the responsibility to use this e-mail in an efficient, effective, respectful, ethical and lawful manner. Students, faculty, and staff are expected to check their e-mail on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with college-related communications.
      1. All users have the responsibility to recognize that certain communications may be time-critical. Failure to check one's email, failure to maintain one's email account resulting in mailbox storage limitations being reached, or forwarding errors will not constitute acceptable excuses for missing official college communications via e-mail.
    4. Redirecting of Email
      If a student, faculty, or staff member wishes to redirect e-mail from their official address to another e-mail address (e.g.,,, they may do so, but at their own initiative and risk. The college will not be responsible for the handling of e-mail by non-SUNY Oswego providers. Redirecting e-mail does not absolve students, faculty, or staff from the responsibilities associated with official communication sent to their account.
    5. Privacy
      Users should exercise extreme caution in using e-mail to communicate confidential or sensitive matters, and should not assume that e-mail is private and confidential. It is especially important that users are careful to send messages only to the intended recipient(s). Particular care should be taken when using the "reply" command during e-mail correspondence.


  1. Educational and Administrative Uses of E-mail
    Faculty will determine how electronic forms of communication (e.g., e-mail, discussion boards, discussion lists etc.) will be used for educational purposes, and will specify their requirements in the course syllabus. The official e-mail policy ensures that all students will be able to comply with e-mail-based course requirements specified by faculty. Faculty can therefore make the assumption that students' official accounts are being accessed and faculty can use e-mail for their classes accordingly. Administrative offices will determine how e-mail communications will be used for administrative purposes.
  2. College Announcements
    Approval and transmission of e-mail to the entire campus community must be obtained from the appropriate authority. Only the offices of vice presidents or the College President can authorize the sending of broadcast messages to all students, faculty, and/or staff.
  3. Ownership/Administration
    SUNY Oswego owns all e-mail accounts run on systems it owns or controls. Under certain circumstances it may be necessary for the Campus Technology Services staff or other appropriate college officials to access e-mail files to maintain the system, and to investigate security or abuse incidents or violations of other institutional policies. Such access will be on an as-needed basis and any e-mail accessed will be disclosed only to essential and affected individuals. While incidental non-business personal use of e-mail is acceptable, conducting business for profit using college resources is forbidden. Quota, maximum message size, message retention settings, time-out settings, maintenance times, and other e-mail guidelines will be set as appropriate for the anticipated educational and administrative needs of the university. The need to revise settings will be monitored with recommended changes as appropriate.
  4. Violations/Abuses 
    Violation or abuse of the campus policies may result in restriction of access to SUNY Oswego's e-mail system and/or other appropriate disciplinary action.