University Email Accounts and Electronic Communications

Adopted Policy 5.4

Policy Purpose

To set forth the basic principles of using the University Email Account for all University communications conducted via email.

Responsible Office

Information Technology Services, Division for Finance & Administration

Responsible Executive

Chief Information Officer

Policy History

  • Date of Permanent Approval:
  • Date of Amendments:

Policy Statement

The University at Albany recognizes email as one of its official means of communication with members of the campus community. University Email accounts are provided to Students, Employees, Emeriti, and may be provided to employees of University-related Organizations, to be used for conducting the academic and administrative activities associated with the University’s mission of learning, discovery and engagement. University Email accounts are provided at the discretion of the University and may not be provided to all groups or individuals beyond what is required to perform job duties and responsibilities, as necessary. 

Persons Affected

Students, Faculty, Staff, Third Parties

Any member of the campus community, including Employees, volunteers, Students, Emeriti, and employees of University-related Organizations who has been provided with access to a University Email account.


Emeriti are former professional Employees of the University who have received emeritus status in accordance with SUNY Board of Trustees policy.

Employee is any faculty or staff member employed by the University at Albany.  This includes permanent, temporary, full-time, part-time, hourly, provisional or any other person who is on the payroll of the University in any capacity, such as undergraduate and graduate Student employees.

Student is an individual who is currently registered, or was registered within the last calendar year, for University at Albany classes.

University is the University at Albany, SUNY.

University Business is any official activity in connection with the individual’s role at the University.

University Email (Account) is the University email address assigned after the creation of the University’s NetID, the unique identifier that is automatically assigned when a Student is admitted, or when an employee or volunteer is entered and activated in one of the University’s Human Resources systems of record.

University-related Organization or Organization(s) is one or all of the following entities associated with the University: University at Albany Foundation, Research Foundation for State University of New York, University Auxiliary Services at Albany, Inc., University at Albany Bioscience Development Corporation, Alumni Association of the State University of New York at Albany, Empire Commons Student Housing, Inc., Student Association State University of New York at Albany, Inc., University at Albany Graduate Student Association, and Five Quad Volunteer Ambulance Service, Inc.


  1. Provisioning of University Email Accounts
    1. The establishment, continuation and discontinuation of access to University Email Accounts is based on an individual’s status at the University in accordance with the University’s Identity and Access Management Policy.
  2. Use of University Email Account for University Business
    1. Employees and Students are expected to activate their University Email Account and use it for all University communications conducted via email.
    2. Students are expected to check their University Email Account on a regular basis and shall be presumed to have read all official University email messages sent to their University Email Account.
    3. Employees are expected to check their University Email Account as is necessary to perform their professional obligations or while on duty for those with an established work shift and schedule.
    4. Employees are required to abide by SUNY’s procedure 6610 Legal Proceedings Preparation (E-Discovery) and need to be aware of SUNY’s Email Retention Guidance.
  3. Improper Use
    1. Employees may not forward or redirect their University Email Account to their personal email account insofar as related to University Business.
    2. All use of University Email Accounts must be consistent with the University’s Responsible Use of Information Technology policy. Any use of a University Email Account that disrupts or interferes with University activities and functions, constitutes a commercial or private business use, or to conduct political solicitations or activities as defined by the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics is improper. Communications that relate to Union activities are permissible pursuant to applicable collective bargaining agreements and local agreements by and between the University and any individual bargaining unit.
  4. Privacy and Confidentiality
    1. As email may contain University Business correspondence as well as non-official correspondence, attachments, and forms transmitted electronically, it is important that all users note that there is no general expectation of privacy in email communications.
      1. All email messages sent in an individual’s capacity as New York State Employee as well as an Employee’s personal communications sent through a University Email Account may be released to the public under the New York State Freedom of Information Law.
      2. All email messages sent in an individual’s capacity as New York State Employee as well as an Employee’s personal communications sent through a University Email Account may be subject to and released in response to various government and court-ordered legal actions. Federal and state rules regarding discovery of electronically-stored evidence require the preservation and production/disclosure of any electronic evidence that is regularly and routinely available, including email messages, when there is an expectation of litigation.
      3. While the content of emails sent through a University Email Account is not monitored routinely by the University, the University shall have a right to inspect, monitor and disclose data and usage of all University Email Accounts in accordance with University policies and/or as required by law.
    2. Email should not be used to transmit data classified as Category I: Protected Data in the University’s Data Classification Standard.
  5. This policy shall go into effect immediately upon approval.



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