1.01 With the availability of expanding access to electronic communications, including electronic mail (e-mail), comes the need for University policy to inform members of the University community (all those individuals who are using e-mail on university-issued accounts) on issues of appropriate use, privacy, and access of electronic mail. This document is an attempt to provide policy that will assist the University community to understand and exercise the use of this technology in pursuit of the goals of the University. The policy statements refer only to e-mail. It is recognized that the law governing electronic communication technologies and the material transmitted using these technologies is in an early stage of development and that the policy statements in this document will change in response to changes in law and further development of electronic communications technology.
This policy will apply to all University e-mail services. Members of the University community who are given access to OSU Institute of Technology’s e-mail system will be informed of the policies in this document and will be required to agree to applicable policies. Violations of this policy will result in loss of e-mail privileges at the University, disciplinary action, or legal action where applicable.
2.01 Appropriate Use
a. As with other University resources, e-mail is appropriately used for purposes that further the goals of the University.
b. Individuals may not use e-mail for entrepreneurial activities except in cases of University-sanctioned activities. Specifically prohibited is the selling of access to the Internet by any member of the University community.
c. No one shall be added to an e-mail mailing list for other than official University business without his or her consent. Mailing lists may be used only for their intended purposes.
d. All materials sent by campus e-mail must be attributed to the individual, office, or organization sending the material. It is a violation of this policy to originate e-mail in such a manner as to create the impression to the recipient that the mail was originated from another source or individual.
2.02 Issues Related to Privacy
a. General Policy Statements.
(1) It is the intent of the University to preserve the privacy of e-mail communications and maintain access to communications intended for an individual. Given that universities place high value on open communication of ideas, including those new and controversial, the intention of the University is to maximize freedom of communication for purposes that further the goals of the University.
(2) All e-mail communications, unless subject to a specific privilege, are subject to production under the Oklahoma Public Records Act and, when relevant, to discovery in civil litigation.
b. Individual Expectations.
(1) E-mail messages shall be delivered to the addresses and not censored or interfered with in any way by the University.
(2) Individually addressed e-mail communications may not be read by any third party except as noted below. Any access of individual e-mail communications other than that noted below is in violation of University policy and action will be taken accordingly.
c. University Requirements.
(1) University officers and supervisors shall have the right to read any e-mail when written permission for such access has been given by the individual.
(2) Under certain circumstances the Postmaster may, in the course of his or her professional duties, access an individual’s e-mail for legitimate management or maintenance purposes.
(3) If an occasion arises when a University officer or supervisor believes that access to an individual’s e-mail account is required for the conduct of University business, the University individual is not available, and a system administrator is required to access the individual’s e-mail account, the following procedure shall be followed:
(a) The University official or supervisor shall secure permission to access the e-mail account from the Executive Vice President of this institution.
(b) An appropriate form with the signature of the Executive Vice President shall be presented to the system administrator allowing the system administrator to proceed to access the e-mail account.
(c) The individual whose e-mail account has been accessed will be notified as soon as possible by copy of the above referenced form.
(4) Keeping in mind the University’s intent to preserve the privacy of e-mail (see 2.02, a, 1), if an occasion arises when a University officer or supervisor believes that access to an individual’s e-mail account is required because there is reason to believe the individual is engaged in wrongdoing, and a system administrator is required to access the individual’s e-mail account, steps 3.a. and 3.b. above shall be followed. The individual whose e-mail account has been accessed will be notified upon conclusion of the monitoring process. Such notification shall be made in a timely manner.
(5) Prior to termination or resignation, faculty and staff members are expected to make all e-mail files related to University business available to his or her supervisor.
(6) On termination or resignation, the individual’s e-mail account will be terminated and all information not retained by the supervisor will be deleted.
2.03 Access to University Electronic Mail Accounts
a. Any member of the University community who requests it shall have an electronic mail account established and made available for his/her use. This does not guarantee unlimited or unrestricted opportunities to use the e-mail account.
b. While account holders may expect reasonable access to e-mail, this cannot be guaranteed to be at all times and in all circumstances.
c. Violation of this policy may result in the loss of e-mail privileges at this University.
2.04 Objectionable Material, Violations and Sanctions
a. The University cannot protect individuals against the existence or receipt of material that may offend them. Those who make use of electronic communications are warned that they may willingly or unwillingly come across, or be recipients of, material that they may find offensive. Members of the University community are expected to demonstrate good taste and sensitivity to others in their communications.
b. It is a violation of this policy to use e-mail to libel, harass, or threaten other individuals.
c. Users of campus communications are subject to local, state, and federal laws and regulations and applicable Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee policies and procedures. Users must comply with copyright laws.