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Guidelines for the use of email
Authorised by: Executive Director (Organisational Development), 19 April 2004
Date policy takes effect: 19 April 2004
Notes: These Guidelines complement, and should be read in conjunction with, the UTS Email Policy.
These Guidelines are current, however are under review.
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1. Introduction

These Guidelines complement the UTS Email Policy (the Policy) and should be read in conjunction with this Policy.

In accordance with the Policy, these Guidelines have been authorised by the Executive Director (Organisational Support). The Executive Director may interpret the Guidelines and may authorise departures from them (except Policy excerpts).

Documents closely related to these Guidelines are:

2. Email account administrative procedures

2.1 Creation of email accounts

2.1.1 Student email accounts

Accounts for email services are issued to students for as long as they are enrolled students of the University. Student email accounts are automatically issued following enrolment and have to be activated by the individual student. By signing their enrolment form, and by using the account, the student agrees to be bound by the UTS Email Policy and other University policies, in particular the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Facilities Policy.

2.1.2 Staff email accounts

Email accounts are issued to staff on their appointment. By using the account the staff member agrees to be bound by the UTS Email Policy and other University policies, in particular the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Facilities Policy.

2.2 Deletion of email accounts

When an individual's affiliation with the University no longer exists, the University may elect to:

  • terminate the account;
  • offer a reduced facility, such as the ability to redirect email
  • continue the account, provided it does not breach legislation or University policy.

2.3 Email account ownership

Each email account has an owner who is responsible for management of the account and for the confidentiality of its contents.

3. Submission and return of student assignments

Email accounts may be used for the submission and return of student assignments. Such use requires specific authorisation by the relevant Faculty or Unit and must conform to the guidelines for the submission and return of assignments that have been specified by that Faculty or Unit. This would normally involve:

  • the requirement on the part of a staff member to acknowledge receipt of the assignment in the form of a reply email within a specified period after the deadline for submission of the assignment;
  • the requirement on the part of the student to promptly follow up with the relevant staff any instance where a receipt has not been sent for an assignment submitted electronically;
  • the requirement on the part of the student that they keep a copy of the relevant email and attachments until the work in question has been assessed and returned.

4. Accessing email accounts

4.1 Regular checking of email

It is the responsibility of staff and students to make appropriate and informed decisions as to the regularity of checking their email, taking into consideration among other factors the University timetables and calendars and dates for various activities (including, but not limited to, deadlines for admissions, enrolments, program variations, subject assessments, and appeals).

4.2 Regular checking of email space quota

It is also the responsibility of students and staff to perform a regular check on their email disk space quota to ensure that it has not been exceeded. If it has, action must be taken immediately to reduce the usage below the quota by the deletion or moving of email messages.

4.3 Redirecting email

If the email forwarding facility of the central University Email System is used by a member of staff or a student to redirect email messages from their UTS account to another email address, it is the responsibility of that person to ensure that these arrangements maintain the integrity and ability to act upon email messages that are sent to their official University email address. Failure to do so will not be considered an acceptable basis for not having received, having misinterpreted, or having not acted upon, relevant email. Email messages to an official UTS address that are forwarded to a non-official University email address will be bound by this policy.

5. Broadcast email

The use of broadcast email to all students or all staff or both will be kept to a minimum level and will only be used for purposes of official University business. The authorisation for broadcast email is:

  • the Vice-Chancellor for a broadcast email to all students or all staff of the University.
  • a Dean of a Faculty or Head of a Division or their authorised delegates for a broadcast email to all members of staff or all students in that respective Faculty or Division.

Email communications to a group of staff by a member of staff that are clearly presented as the views of or information from that person and not as an official announcement of the University, Faculty, Division or Unit are not considered to be Broadcast Emails for the purposes of this paragraph.

In general, notices concerning events or matters that members of the University wish to draw to the attention of other members of the University will be considered for placement on any appropriate on-line notice boards (such as Staff Notices for staff), which are approved for such purposes by the Vice-Chancellor according to certain criteria and conditions as set down by the Vice-Chancellor.

6. University records

6.1 Use of non-UTS email addresses

Under certain circumstances it may be necessary for staff to use non-UTS addresses to create or receive email messages for UTS business, so constituting official UTS records. In these cases, it is important to indicate in the body of the email that its contents relate to official UTS business, and also to ensure that usual record keeping requirements are observed. This can be done by ensuring that a copy of each email is forwarded to the staff member's official UTS email address and by keeping a copy of the email for University records, either printed or stored online.

6.2 Use of UTS email addresses for non-UTS business

When an email message emanating from a UTS email address is used for non-UTS business purposes, it is important to indicate that this is the case in the text of the email. For the central UTS Email System this information is included in a disclaimer that is added automatically to all messages with destinations outside UTS.

7. Directory of staff email addresses

The University will provide an online directory service of all staff email addresses, which will be accessible to the general public. A staff member who believes they have a good reason not to have their University email address on public access should do so by application to the Director, Information Technology Division.

8. Security and confidentiality

8.1 Security of student email addresses

Student email addresses will only be provided to relevant staff members for use by these staff members to facilitate communication on matters of University business. They shall not be passed on to any other persons, and their availability should be restricted to avoid inadvertently allowing other persons to have access to such addresses. However, it is important that students are aware that there may be many other mechanisms that a wide range of people may use to detect email addresses. This means that potentially there are many people who could send email messages to a UTS email address without the University or its staff supplying them with that address. While the University will take reasonable steps to guard against such occurrences, it is impossible to fully prevent such occurrences. It is also important for students and staff to exercise caution when providing their email address to other persons, both within and outside UTS and to realise that when they do, their email addresses thereby become available to the recipient. For this reason all students should use their UTS email address primarily for the express purpose for which it was given.

8.2 Email account owner responsibilities

Users of University email services should utilise whatever means of protection that are available to them to safeguard their email. In particular, account passwords must not be disclosed and email accounts must not be left unattended and accessible. Senders and recipients of University email should be aware of the potential presence of personal or confidential information in email messages when they are forwarding email to others.

Email should be read by the intended addressee(s) or their delegate(s) only. The intended addressee(s) or their delegate(s) should only use, reproduce, disclose or distribute the information contained in an email message and any attached files with the sender's permission. In an organisation such as UTS many emails are received by staff which contain information or queries that are better directed to other appropriate members of staff. Staff should use their judgement as to what is appropriate in such circumstances.

9. Backup copies of deleted email

Users of email services should be aware that even though the sender and recipient may have discarded their copies of an email record, there might be backup copies of such email that could be retrieved. They should also be aware that this could mean that even though a sender or recipient of an email message has deleted it from their account, the University may retain a copy.

10. Inspection of email without consent

The University shall only permit the inspection, monitoring or disclosure of email without the consent of the holder of such email in certain circumstances as outlined in the Policy. When access to an individual's email must be restricted or the content of an individual's email must be retrieved, inspected, monitored, or disclosed, the following procedures apply:

  • Authorisation:
    Except in emergency situations, such actions must be authorised in advance and in writing by the authority specified by the law or policy under which the action is taken. If the authority is not specified, authorisation must be sought from the appropriate member of the University Executive on the advice of the Executive Director, Organisational Support or the Registrar. At the earliest appropriate opportunity, the University shall notify the affected individual of the action(s) taken and the reasons for action(s) taken, unless law or other University policy specifically requires otherwise.
  • Emergencies:
    In emergency situations (for instance, when the community or its members are endangered or when access to email services must be secured to ensure the preservation of evidence), the Executive Director, Organisational Support or the Registrar or any other person specifically authorised to so do by the Vice-Chancellor may take the action necessary to resolve the emergency immediately without further authorisation. Appropriate authorisation must then be sought without delay following the procedures described above. If the action taken is not subsequently authorised, the person who has taken the action must do everything possible to have the situation restored as closely as possible to that which existed before action was taken.