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E-mail Policy - UB

University of Baltimore

Approved by President Bogomolny 11/10/10

I. Introduction

The University of Baltimore recognizes electronic mail (e-mail) as supportive of the University’s mission of teaching, scholarly research, and public service. This policy serves as a statement on access to, use of, and disclosure of e-mail.

The University recognizes that academic freedom and shared governance, freedom of speech, and privacy of information are vital principles in an academic setting. The University affords e-mail privacy protections comparable to that which it traditionally affords paper mail and telephone communications. This policy reflects these principles within the limitations of the University's legal obligations.

II. Email Account Assignment

Individual UB e-mail accounts are provided to students, faculty, and staff. Unless exempted by the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, or Office of Human Resources, all community members are assigned a University of Baltimore e-mail account. The @ubalt.edu address is your official primary e-mail account for university business.

III. An Official means of Communication

The University of Baltimore uses e-mail as one official means to communicate academic and administrative information to UB community members. Examples of these communications are emergency notices, event notifications, class registration information, policy announcements, and general correspondence among faculty, staff, students and University offices.

University correspondence is mailed only to primary UB e-mail addresses. This provides a uniform means for maintaining communications among community members. Further, the UB e-mail address will be the primary address maintained in UB’s enterprise human resources and student records system, e-learning software, and e-mail address book. Regular faculty and staff e-mail addresses will be available via the online University directory. Personal e-mail addresses—those not provided by UB-- will not be maintained or visible through these services. Individual departments may maintain their own individual email lists, but it is not intended that these lists replace or duplicate the UB directory.

IV. Expectations of Use

Faculty, staff, and students are expected to check their e-mail on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with University-related communications. Faculty, staff and students have a responsibility to process e-mail at their University address in a timely fashion and to manage their account to ensure that disk space allotments are not exceeded.

Department heads and supervisors are advised to consider providing computer access for employees with positions that do not provide regular access to a computer. Employees without regular access to a work computer may require a reasonable amount of time to check and respond to work e-mail. Supervisors of employees who are exempt from the required UB e-mail account as specified in section II must make communications available to employees via other methods.

  1. Forwarding E-mail: Employees who rely on e-mail as a communications tool in the workplace are required to use their UB assigned account for work purposes, not substitute a personal e-mail account as their primary account. Supervisors and directors are expected to exercise judgment in determining if UB e-mail account use is a condition of employment.

    All other members may choose to forward their UB e-mail to another account. Members are responsible for all communications sent to their UB e-mail address. The University is not responsible for mail once it has been forwarded from the University e-mail service.

  2. Care in Drafting/Representing the University: In all communication, employees may be perceived as representing the University. Users have the responsibility to comply with state and federal laws, with this and other University policies and procedures, and with normal standards of professional and personal courtesy and conduct. Users are encouraged to identify controversial opinions as their own and not as those of the University.

V. Privacy and Confidentiality

  1. Users' Expectations: The University of Baltimore will exercise reasonable effort to maintain the integrity and effective operation of its e-mail system; users should not regard e-mail as a secure medium for the communication of sensitive or confidential information as in social security numbers and credit card information. Because of the nature of electronic communication, the University can assure neither the complete privacy of an individual’s use of the University's e-mail resources nor the confidentiality of particular messages.
  2. Inspection and Disclosure: The University respects the privacy rights of users. It does not routinely inspect, monitor, or disclose e-mail without the holder's consent. The University may, however, deny access to its e-mail services and may inspect, monitor, or disclose electronic mail when a) required by law, b) there is reason to believe that violations of law or of University policies have taken place, or c) required for the orderly conduct of University operations, as long as such actions would not infringe on legitimate privacy interests of the holder.
  3. Public Records Considerations: E-mail messages may constitute University correspondence or computerized records and therefore may be considered public records subject to disclosure under Maryland's Public Information Act or other laws, or as evidence in a legal action.

VI. Acceptable Use of E-mail System

In addition to any conditions set forth in the University’s “Acceptable Use Policy of Information Technology Resources,” the following is specifically applicable to use of the University of Baltimore e-mail system and accounts:

  1. Authorized Users
    Only University faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other persons who have received permission under the appropriate University authority are authorized users of the University's e-mail system and resources.
  2. Purpose of Use
    The University of Baltimore e-mail system belongs to the University of Baltimore and may not be used for prohibited purposes (see section C). Use of the e-mail system is primarily for University-related academic and administrative purposes. Personal use of the e-mail service may not a) interfere with the user's or another community member’s academic or work performance, b) create negative impact on the operation of the e-mail server, or c) violate any other provision of this policy or any other policy of the University of Baltimore or the University System of Maryland.
  3. Prohibited purposes
    The University of Baltimore e-mail system may not be used for unlawful activities or for commercial purposes that are not directly related to the University's mission or otherwise authorized. Other prohibited uses of e-mail include, but are not limited to:
    • commercial advertisement, solicitations, or promotions;
    • destructive programs such as viruses;
    • sending copies of documents in violation of copyright laws;
    • use of e-mail to harass, intimidate, defame or discriminate against others or to interfere with the ability of others to conduct University business;
    • use of e-mail for any purpose restricted or prohibited by laws or University regulations;
    • constructing an e-mail communication so it appears to be from someone else;
    • unauthorized access to electronic mail or breach of any security measures on any electronic mail system, or unauthorized interception of any electronic mail transmissions.

VII. Broadcast e-mail

Broadcast e-mail is defined as e-mail sent to one or more of the following groups: all students (degree, non-degree, inter-institutional), all faculty (regular and adjunct), and all staff (regular, union, contractual, temporary).
Broadcast e-mail announces:

  • Policy changes, developments or breaking news items that affect the entire campus or impact a significant portion of the community;
  • Emergency and weather-related announcements;
  • Late cancellations of major campus events.

Designees in the Offices of the President, Provost, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs , Technology Services, University Relations, and Administration and Finance including the Department of Public Safety have access to broadcast e-mail. Anyone who identifies a need for broadcast e-mail should contact her/his administrative or academic designee or the Office of University Relations for further information. Requests for broadcast e-mail should be forwarded three days in advance to permit appropriate follow-up.

VIII. Targeted e-mail

Targeted e-mail is defined as e-mail sent to any subset of the faculty, staff, and student populations. It is understood that targeted e-mail will be used by:

  • Officers of shared governance bodies, officers of student government bodies, and chairs of recognized organizations and committees, to communicate as needed with their constituencies;
  • The Deans and their designees, to communicate with the faculty, staff and students in the school/college;
  • Administrative and academic employees, to conduct business associated with their positions.

These individuals and groups will be responsible for creating a communication plan consistent with the mission of their organizations and in cooperation with appropriate departmental e-mail designees and the Office of Technology Services. Requests for new lists should be submitted one week in advance through the OTS Call Center (ext. 6262 or callcenter@ubalt.edu).