Office of the President

Official Communication with Employees via Electronic Mail

Executive Memorandum 16-004 March 17, 2016

This Executive Memorandum has been superseded by EM 23-019 .

From: Paul J. Zingg, President Subject: Official Communication with Employees via Electronic Mail

Upon the recommendation of the Academic Senate and the concurrence of the Vice Provost for Information Resources, I approve the policy for Official Communication with Employees via Electronic Mail, effective immediately.

Official Communication with Employees via Electronic Mail

Electronic mail is an increasingly important vehicle for cost effective and sustainable communication between members of the university community and between staff and students of the university and external partners and agencies. Its use by faculty, staff, students, volunteers and associates is governed by relevant legislation, by the university’s stated values and standards of professional conduct, and by the protocols that apply to written communication.


This policy is intended to complement EM 05-005 Student E-Mail: Interim Policy for Official Communication With Students via Electronic Mail and EM 07-001 Policy on the Use of Computing and Communications Technology for Faculty. This policy applies to all CSU, Chico faculty, staff, student employees, auxiliaries, centers, individuals, or organizations outside the university who use CSU, Chico’s email system.


I. University Use of E-Mail

E-mail is an official means of communication for California State University, Chico employees. Official information sent to university e-mail addresses may include approved notification of university business processes and/or appropriate university, college or department information, such as emergency announcements, security information, required compliance training, billing information, etc. Alternative methods, (e.g., U.S. postal mail, website notification, etc.), in addition to e-mail, may also be used to communicate official university business.

II. Assignment of E-Mail Accounts

Official e-mail addresses are assigned by the university to all CSU, Chico faculty, staff, and student employees, eligible retired faculty and staff, and individuals or organizations outside the university who are actively involved in research, development, or other projects sponsored by a department, college, or the institution. Email addresses for faculty and staff will be assigned at the time of hire.

III. Redirecting E-Mail

Account holders may elect to redirect (i.e., auto-forward) messages sent to their CSU, Chico official e-mail address. Redirecting an official email account may compromise privacy of confidential information. E-mail content that has been redirected must comply with the CSU Information Security Data Classification Standards. Those who redirect e-mail from their official address to another address do so at their own risk. Having e-mail lost as a result of redirection does not absolve the account holder from the responsibilities associated with communication sent to their official e-mail address. Student employees with named accounts may redirect their emails to their student account.

IV. Expectations of E-Mail Account Holders

Subject to the terms of their appointment (e.g., Academic Year versus 12 month), university e-mail account holders are expected to check their e-mail frequently to determine if they have received official university communications. Non-exempt employees are only expected to check their email during work hours. Account holders are responsible for recognizing that certain communications may be time-critical. Legal notifications requiring an employee’s response that have legal significance to that employee shall not be communicated solely by email.

E-mail messages sent and received by a member of the university community acting in their university capacity form part of the university’s official records and must therefore comply with EO 1031 Systemwide Records/Information Retention and Disposition Schedules Implementation. E-mail record retention requirements vary based on record type.

Use of email is subject to the laws relating to copyright, Public Records Act request, breach of confidentiality, privacy, and anti-discrimination. Users of university email accounts are required to respect confidentiality, privacy, legal/professional privilege, and the rights of others and to ensure that the content and dissemination of email does not jeopardize those protections.

V. Purging of Deleted Messages

Unless a legal hold has been placed on an account, messages in university email accounts shall be purged from folders as follows:• Trash / Deleted Items – 30 days• SPAM email quarantine – 30 days

Due to limited resources, the university has the right to restrict the amount of user space on university email accounts as necessary.

Gmail accounts are subject to Google’s purge policies, which may change from time to time without notice. Google currently provides the following guidelines for purging folders:• Trash – 30 days

VI. Legal Hold

There are circumstances where the normal and routine destruction of records must be suspended according to federal and state requirements and university record retention and disposition schedules. When requested by the university, present and future records that are involved in litigation, or reasonably anticipated in foreseeable legal action, must be preserved until the Office of General Counsel releases the legal hold.

VII. Account Removal/Deactivation

Email accounts and aliases are deleted upon request or when a person does not meet the eligibility requirements. In most cases, notification of a pending deactivation will be emailed to the account 10 days before the account is deactivated. Information and instructions on what the individual should do to prepare for the deactivation are included in this email notification.


The Information Security Office is responsible for administering this policy.


1. All use of e-mail will be consistent with other university policies and local, state, and federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).2. E-mail addresses are directory information as defined by the university, unless a request is made to withhold it (EM 06-034, University Catalog, University Class Schedule).3. CSU Records Retention Policy (EO 1031).4. Student E-Mail: Interim Policy for Official Communication With Students via Electronic Mail (EM 05-005).5. CSU Responsible Use Policy (ICSUAM 8105.0).6. CSU Information Security Data Classification Standards (CSU Policy 8065).7. Policy on the Use of Computing and Communications Technology for Faculty (EM 07-001).8. Systemwide Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Against Employees and Third Parties and Procedure for Handling Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Allegations by Employees and Third Parties (EM 15-012).9. Accessibility and Nondiscrimination Policy Regarding Individuals with Disabilities (EM 07-009).