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 (below) 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. 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.
Guidelines for the Use of Official Student Email Addresses
- 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 email.arizona.edu (a.k.a. u.arizona.edu) accounts regularly or to forward their account to an address that they will check regularly.
- Ensure that any non-directory information (see FERPA page for definition of directory information) is sent only to the student.
- 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.)
- Information unrelated to University business
- 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.
Official Student Email Policy: Use of Email for Official Correspondence with Students
Email is a mechanism for official communication within the University of Arizona. The University has the right to expect that such communications will be received and read in a timely fashion. Official email communications are intended only to meet the academic and administrative needs of the campus community. As steward of this process, the Office of the Registrar is responsible for directing the use of the official student email. See Guidelines for the Use of Official Student Email Addresses (above) for details.
Official University email accounts are available for all enrolled students. The addresses are all of the form [Name]@email.arizona.edu. These accounts must be activated before the University can correspond with its students using the official email accounts. The University Account website has been designed for this purpose. The official email address will be maintained in UAccess. Official email address will be directory information. As with other directory information, any student may request that his or her official email address be restricted in its access.
If a student wishes to have email redirected from their official @email.arizona.edu address to another email address (e.g., @aol.com, @hotmail.com, or an address on a departmental server), they may do so, but at their own risk. The University will not be responsible for the handling of email by outside vendors or by departmental servers. Having email redirected does not absolve a student from the responsibilities associated with official communication sent to his or her @email.arizona.edu account. Information and warnings about forwarding are available on the Information Technology Website.
Students are expected to check their email on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with University-related communications. Students have the responsibility to recognize that certain communications may be time-critical. "I didn't check my email", error in forwarding mail, or email returned to the University with "Mailbox Full" or "User Unknown" are not acceptable excuses for missing official University communications via email.
It is a violation of University policies, including the Student Code of Conduct, for any user of official email addresses to impersonate a University office, faculty/staff member, or student. To minimize this risk, some confidential information may be made available only through UAccess Student, which is password protected. In these cases, students will receive email correspondence directing them to UAccess Student, where they can access the confidential information only by supplying their Net ID credentials. The confidential information will not be available in the email message.
Users should exercise extreme caution in using email to communicate confidential or sensitive matters, and should not assume that email is private and confidential. It is especially important that users are careful to send messages only to the intended recipient(s). Particular care should be taken when using the "reply" command during email correspondence.
Faculty will determine how electronic forms of communication (e.g., email) will be used in their classes, and will specify their requirements in the course syllabus. This "Official Student Email Policy" will ensure that all students will be able to comply with email-based course requirements specified by faculty. Faculty can therefore make the assumption that students' official @email.arizona.edu accounts are being accessed, and faculty can use email for their classes accordingly.