Electronic Mail (S-7)

Standard: S-7
Responsible Executive: Vice President for Information Technology and System Chief Information Officer
Responsible Office: Office of the Vice President for Information Technology
Date Issued: October 16, 2017
Date Last Revised: N/A


Individuals and Entities Affected by this Standard
Statement of Standard
Definitions (defined terms are capitalized throughout the document)
Related Documents, Forms and Tools
History and Updates


Policy Clarification




ITaP Security and Policy



Campus Specific Questions




Fort Wayne: IT Services Help Desk



Northwest: Information Security Services



West Lafayette: ITaP Security and Policy




All faculty, staff, students, retirees and other individuals and entities assigned a University Email Account.


Purdue University provides University Email Services for legitimate University-related activities. As IT Resources, University Email Services are subject to the provisions of the policy on Acceptable Use of IT Resources and Information Assets (VII.A.4) and this standard.

The campus information technology department is the owner of email and directory information for its campus and provides creation, management and distribution of official University Email Accounts. To the extent a user forwards the content of a University Email Account to another email address, that user assumes all responsibility for the consequences of delivery beyond the University Email Services’ domain. The forwarded content remains subject to applicable public records laws and related University policies.

Policies and regulations that apply to other forms of communications at the University also apply to electronic mail. In addition, the following specific actions and uses of University Email Services and University Email Accounts are considered a violation of this standard:

  1. Concealment or misrepresentation of names or affiliations in e-mail messages.
  2. Alteration of the source or destination address of an email.
  3. Use of email for commercial or private business purposes that have not been approved in accordance with the policies on Individual Financial Conflicts of Interest (III.B.2) and Conflicts of Commitment and Reportable Outside Activities (III.B.1).
  4. Use of email for organized political activity or political solicitation.
  5. Use of email to harass or threaten others or threaten to cause physical harm or damage to property.

University Email Services are considered an official means for communicating University business and may, in some cases, be the sole means of communication. Staff, faculty and students are required to activate their University Email Account and will be presumed to have received and read all official University email messages sent to their University Email Account.

Users are reminded that any e-mail sent from a University Email Account or residing on University Email Services may be considered a public record under the Indiana Public Records Act (IC 5-14-3) and may be subject to disclosure. Users need to exercise judgment in sending content that may be deemed confidential or that they otherwise do not wish to be disclosed. Furthermore, email transmissions may not be secure, and contents that are expected to remain confidential need to be communicated via means other than email. Common examples of confidential contents include: student grades, personnel records, individual donor gift records, personally identifiable information, and data subject to federal and state laws or regulations, including but not limited to, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA).

Purdue University does not monitor the content of electronic mail as a routine procedure. The University reserves the right to inspect, copy, store and disclose the contents of email messages residing on University Email Services, but will do so only in accordance with the policy on Acceptable Use of IT Resources and Information Assets (VII.A.4).

Anyone who wishes to communicate electronically to all or a large number of faculty, staff and/or students outside of their department is required to do so utilizing established communication methods. These methods include official University and campus e-newsletters like Purdue Today and distribution lists maintained by either the campus IT department or another unit of the University. Units responsible for the creation and publication of e-newsletters and/or the maintenance of email distribution lists may impose requirements for the appropriate use of their e-newsletter/distribution list. Mass Emails sent to University Email Accounts in the event of an emergency must follow the emergency notification process as outlined in the relevant campus’s emergency preparedness plan.


All Individuals assigned a University E-mail Account

  • Comply with this standard.

Campus IT Departments

  • Preserve email stored on University Email Services for no longer than 30 days after deletion by the University Email Account holder.
  • Preserve log files associated with email messages that record email transactions for no longer than 90 days.

Faculty and Staff

  • Preserve emails sent or received via their University Email Account that are considered official University records in accordance with established records retention guidelines.

Recognized Student Organizations

  • Follow procedures established by the campus registrar for sending Mass Emails to students.

Vice Presidents, Vice Chancellors, Vice Provosts and Deans

  • Review for approval any Mass Email message to be sent by their unit to ensure the content of the message is intended to communicate information relevant to the business of the University.


All defined terms are capitalized throughout the document. Additional defined terms may be found in the central Policy Glossary or in the policy on Acceptable Use of IT Resources and Information Assets (VII.A.4).

Mass Email
An email sent to all or a large number of faculty, staff and/or students of the University.

University Email Account
An official University email account provided to faculty, staff, students, and other individuals and entities granted email privileges at the University. It is automatically created for admitted and enrolled students as well as actively employed faculty and staff.

University Email Services
Services, including IT Resources to facilitate services, provided by the University or by a third-party on behalf of the University to accomplish the processing, storage, transmission and communication of electronic mail for official University Email Accounts.


This standard is issued in support of the policy on Acceptable Use of IT Resources and Information Assets (VII.A.4), as amended or superseded.

Additional Related Policies:

Purdue Today submission guidelines


October 16, 2017: This standard supersedes the policy on Electronic Mail (VII.A.1), most recently revised November 1, 2013, and the Policy on Sending Campus-wide Electronic Mail (V.A.1), most recently revised November 18, 2011. Further history can be found in the archived versions of those policies.


There are no appendices to this standard.

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