Guidelines for the Use of Official Student Email Addresses

In fall 2001, The University of Arizona established official student email addresses to enable faculty, staff and administrators to communicate more effectively and efficiently with students.  View the Official Student Email Policy for policies governing the use of this email address.

Appropriate use of email addresses is essential to the success of this mode for contacting students.  On one hand, if the address is used to communicate too much information too often, particularly if the information is perceived to be unimportant, students will abandon the system.  On the other hand, if sensitive, confidential information is communicated via email, student's privacy rights may be violated (see Guidelines for Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information at the University of Arizona).  This document is intended to help guide the appropriate usage of student email, in particular those messages sent from University administrators, faculty and staff to students.  Students may choose to use their email accounts more broadly than prescribed by these guidelines.

General guidelines

  • Keep messages simple and direct.
  • Use plain text in messages--do not include HTML or formatted content.
  • Format messages so that lines wrap at 80 characters or less.
  • When possible, send email messages only to the specific group of students for whom the message is pertinent.
  • When a message is to be sent to many recipients, use an email program that will not list all the recipients in the message; alternatively, include all recipients' addresses as "Bcc:" instead of "To:"
  • When a message is to be sent to more than 1,000 students, send separate mailings in groups of no more than 1,000 email addresses.
  • Do not send attachments when sending messages to groups of students.
  • A "From:" or "Reply-to:" name and email address of the sender is required.
  • Encourage students to check their (a.k.a. accounts regularly or to forward their account to an address that they will check regularly.
  • Ensure that any non-directory information (see FERPA for definition of directory information) is sent only to the student.

Examples of appropriate uses

  • Communicating commencement and convocation information
  • Degree check information
  • Notification concerning students' change of course schedules (drop/adds), general petitions, withdrawals, and residency
  • Notification of cancellation of registration
  • Student aid processing issues and deadlines
  • Academic departmental information such as class changes, registration issues, new courses, job-opening lists, and events
  • Math and English placement information
  • New student information about academic support services and academic policies
  • Advising appointments
  • Notices about student internships and workshops
  • Payment deadlines and other Bursar information
  • General Education Program information
  • Surveys (See Survey Guidelines for special instructions concerning the use of email for surveys.)

Examples of inappropriate uses

  • Information unrelated to University business
  • Solicitation
  • Promoting political viewpoints
  • Personal information
  • Surveys that do not serve sanctioned University purposes.
  • Messages containing confidential information such as course grades, financial aid award amounts, or tuition/fee payment amounts
  • Emails that violate the Official Email Policy

As steward of the official student email address, the Office of the Registrar is responsible for directing its use.