The purpose of this policy is to ensure the proper use of Villanova University’s email system located on the University’s server and used by faculty, staff and graduate students (the “University Email Accounts”) and the email accounts for undergraduate students and alumni using the University’s domain name pursuant to an agreement between the University and Google, Inc. (the “Gmail Accounts”). Electronic Mail is a tool provided by the University to complement traditional methods of communication and to improve education and administrative efficiency. Users have the responsibility to use this resource in an efficient, effective, ethical and lawful manner. Use of the University Email Accounts and/or the Gmail Accounts evidences the user's agreement to be bound by this policy. Violations of the policy may result in restriction of access to the University Email Accounts and/or the Gmail Accounts and/or other appropriate disciplinary action. In the event a University employee holds both a University Email Account and a Gmail Account, the more stringent rules of this policy for University Email Accounts shall apply.
University Email Accounts and/or the Gmail Accounts are created based on the official name of the student, faculty staff or alumni as reflected in Human Resource, Payroll and Registrar records. Requests for mail aliases based on name preference, middle name, nicknames, etc., cannot be accommodated. Only requests for name changes to correct a discrepancy between an email account name and official University records will be processed, in which case the email account name will be corrected; this applies to both University Email Accounts and Gmail Accounts. User id’s will remain in the University’s system and will not be reused at any time.
The University owns both the University Email Accounts and the Gmail Accounts. Subject to underlying copyright and other intellectual property rights under applicable laws and University policies, the University also owns data transmitted or stored using the University Email Accounts.
While incidental personal use of a University Email Account is acceptable, conducting business for profit using a University Email Account is forbidden.
Use of a University Email Account for political activities (supporting the nomination of any person for political office or attempting to influence the vote in any election or referendum) is forbidden.
Any use of a University Email Account to represent the interests of a non-University group must be authorized by an appropriate University official.
While the University will make every attempt to keep email messages secure, privacy is not guaranteed and users should have no general expectation of privacy in email messages sent through a University Email Account or through a Gmail Account. Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary for the IT staff or other appropriate University officials to access University Email Accounts or Gmail Accounts; these circumstances may include, but are not limited to, maintaining the system, investigating security or abuse incidents or investigating violations of this or other University policies, and, in the case of Gmail Accounts, violations of Google’s Acceptable Use Policy or the University’s contract with Google. UNIT staff or University officials may also require access to a University Email Account in order to continue University business where the University Email Account holder will not or can no longer access the University Email Account for any reason (such as death, disability, illness or separation from the University for a period of time or permanently). Such access will be on an as-needed basis and any email accessed will only be disclosed to those individuals with a need to know or as required by law.
Google also retains the right to access to the Gmail Accounts for violations of its Acceptable Use Policy.
Individuals are responsible for saving email messages as they deem appropriate. Unless a legal hold has been placed on an account, messages in University Email Accounts are automatically purged from folders as follows:
Due to finite resources, the University has the right to restrict the amount of user space on the University Email Accounts as necessary, to revise the above purge policies with appropriate IT Committee approval and advance notice, and to purge and remove University Email Accounts of any students remaining on the University’s email system who have not registered for a semester or more.
Email messages on the Gmail Accounts will be subject to Google’s purge policies, which may change from time to time without notice. Google currently provides the following guidelines for purging folders:
Employees who have actual knowledge of matters in which it can be reasonably anticipated that a court action will be filed, a subpoena has been served or notice of same has been given, or records are sought pursuant to an audit, a government investigation or in similar circumstances preserve University records, including emails or instant messages.
The University Email Accounts are backed up on a regular basis as a way of recovering from a systematic loss impacting the entire email system. User files and folders are not backed up individually, and the IT staff cannot accommodate requests to restore these files or folders. While in some cases it may be possible to recover from the accidental deletion of files by a user, this is generally not feasible, and therefore each email user is responsible for backing up individual messages and folders as appropriate.
There are no restoration services offered for the Gmail Accounts.
Individuals may leave the University to take other employment, retire, transfer to another college, or simply go on to other activities. There are many situations at the University where the length of email privileges or expiration of accounts will differ, as set forth below. Notwithstanding the guidelines below, the University (UNIT, VPAA, Student Life, or General Counsel) reserves the right to remove email privileges at any time, both for a University Email Account and any Gmail Account.
For alumni who do not wish to participate in the opt in service to receive a Gmail Account, the University will hold the email address for 2 years. At the end of the 2 years, the available email address will be reused.
In the event the University terminates or otherwise ceases its contractual relationship with Google regarding the Gmail Accounts, those with Gmail Accounts will lose email privileges for the Gmail Accounts in accordance with the terms of the Google contract. Notice will be provided as soon as reasonably possible.
When using email as an official means of communication, students, faculty and staff should apply the same professionalism, discretion, and standards that they would use in written business communication. Furthermore, students, faculty and staff should not communicate anything via email that would not be prepared to say publicly. Users of email shall not disclose information about students or employees in violation of University policies or laws protecting the confidentiality of such information.
No private personally identifiable information about University faculty, staff, students, alumni or other University members should be transmitted via email or stored in an unencrypted format. This includes but is not limited to Social Security number, bank account information, tax forms or other sensitive data.
No technical data with potential for military defense application or otherwise subject to export control or other international trade control laws may be transmitted or stored in an unencrypted format. Users who use email communications with persons in other countries should be aware that they may be subject to the laws of those other countries and the rules and policies on others systems and networks. Users are responsible for ascertaining, understanding and complying with the laws, rules, policies, contracts and licenses applicable to their particular uses.
Students who are employed by the University may not store information relating to their employment on their Gmail Account.
Approval and transmission of email containing essential University announcements to students, faculty, and /or staff must be obtained from the responsible University official noted as follows:
Use of distribution lists or ‘reply all’ features of email should be carefully considered and only used for legitimate purposes as per these guidelines. In some cases where email messages generate a high number of responses due to the subject matter, it may be appropriate to utilize Villanova discussion boards in lieu of email.
UNIT maintains the University’s official email system; faculty, staff and students are expected to read email on a regular basis and manage their accounts appropriately. An email message regarding University matters sent from an administrative office, faculty, or staff member is considered to be an official notice. Faculty, staff, or students who choose to use another email system (apart from the Gmail Accounts) are responsible for receiving University-wide broadcast messages and personal mail by checking the University's official email system, newsgroups, and the University’s World Wide Web Homepage. An alternate method of checking University email is to utilize the Forwarding Feature, which can be set to forward mail to an individual's personal email account.
Sharing of passwords is strictly prohibited. Each individual is responsible for his/her account, including the safeguarding of access to the account. All email originating from an account is deemed to be authored by the account holder, and it is the responsibility of that holder to ensure compliance with these guidelines.
Requests for shared departmental accounts will be accommodated, but require a designation of an account holder, who will administer the addition, deletion, or modification of names within the account, as well as manage the account as per these guidelines. These accounts will be created with an expiration date of 1 year, at which time the holder can request a renewal, which will be granted pending verification of identity and the member list. Shorter expiration dates will be given where appropriate, such as to accommodate specific time-sensitive needs. Supported types of shared accounts are designated as:
Faculty, staff, or departments can request temporary email privileges for users outside of the University. Full time Faculty or Staff requesting these types of accounts will be required to submit user information, rationale for account, expiration date, & sponsor information. Such requests shall be approved by the appropriate Dean or Vice President. A mandatory one year re-sponsorship is required to maintain the account. Those accounts that are not re-sponsored after one year will have email privileges removed.
University-supported email clients are Outlook 2007 and Outlook Web Access (OWA). If a problem is encountered with the use of an alternate method, Helpdesk personnel will work with the individual to access email via the supported methods and will verify functionality of the supported environment. The University IT department is continually evaluating tools and technologies and reserves the right to modify the list of supported clients with appropriate notification.
All Gmail Accounts, including those of alumni, are subject to Google’s Acceptable Use Policy (http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/admins/use_policy.html). In addition, with respect to University Email Accounts and the Gmail Accounts of current students, any inappropriate email usage, examples of which are described below and elsewhere in this policy, is prohibited. Users receiving such email should immediately contact UNIT, who in certain cases may also inform the Department of Public Safety.
The exchange of email content that:
Other improper uses of the email system include:
These guidelines provide some examples of permitted or prohibited use of email. This list is not intended to be exhaustive but rather to provide some illustrative examples.
Incoming email on the University Email Accounts is scanned for viruses and for messages deemed to be ‘SPAM’, or unsolicited advertisements for products or services sent to a large distribution. Suspected messages are blocked from the user’s inbox. Due to the complex nature of email, it is impossible to guarantee protection against all SPAM and virus infected messages. It is therefore incumbent on each individual to use proper care and consideration to prevent the spread of viruses. In many cases viruses appear to be sent from a friend or coworker, therefore attachments should only be opened when the user is sure of the nature of the message. If any doubt exists, the user should contact the Helpdesk. DO NOT FORWARD THE MESSAGE! SPAM messages, however, can quarantined via Anti Spam Quarantine—Pure Message.