A. Purpose of the Policy

There is an expanding reliance on electronic communication among students, faculty, staff, and administration at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder). This is motivated by the convenience, speed, cost-effectiveness, and environmental advantages of using e-mail rather than printed communication. Because of this increasing reliance and acceptance of electronic communication, e-mail is considered an official means for communication within CU Boulder.

Implementation of this policy ensures that students have access to this critical form of communication. For the majority of students, this will not represent any change from what is currently done; it will, however, ensure that all students can access, and be accessed by, e-mail as the need arises.

B. Scope

This student e-mail policy provides guidelines regarding the following aspects of e-mail as an official means of communication:

  • University use of e-mail;
  • Assignment of student e-mail addresses;
  • Student use of and responsibilities associated with assigned e-mail addresses; and
  • Expectations of e-mail communication between faculty and student and staff and student.

C. Policy

  1. University use of e-mail
    E-mail is an official means for communication within CU Boulder. Therefore, the University has the right to send communications to students via e-mail and the right to expect that those communications will be received and read in a timely fashion.
  2. Assignment of student e-mail addresses
    Information Technology Services (ITS) will assign all students an official University e-mail address. It is to this official address that the University will send e-mail communications; this official address will be the address listed in the University's Enterprise Directory for that student.
  3. Redirecting of e-mail
    A student may have e-mail electronically redirected to another e-mail address. If a student wishes to have e-mail redirected from his or her official address to another e-mail address (e.g., @aol.com, @hotmail.com, or an address on a departmental server), they may do so, but at his or her own risk. The University will not be responsible for the handling of e-mail by outside vendors or by departmental servers. Having e-mail redirected does not absolve a student from the responsibilities associated with communication sent to his or her official e-mail address.
  4. Expectations regarding student use of e-mail
    Students are expected to check their official e-mail address on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with University communications. The campus recommends checking e-mail once a week at a minimum, in recognition that certain communications may be time-critical.
  5. Educational uses of e-mail
    Faculty may determine how e-mail will be used in their classes. It is highly recommended that if faculty have e-mail requirements and expectations they specify these requirements in their course syllabus. Faculty may expect that students' official e-mail addresses are being accessed, and faculty may use e-mail for their courses accordingly.
  6. Appropriate use of student e-mailĀ 
    In general, e-mail is not appropriate for transmitting sensitive or confidential information unless its use for such purposes is matched by an appropriate level of security.
    • All use of e-mail, including use for sensitive or confidential information, will be consistent with theĀ Administrative Policy Statement on Use of Electronic Communication.
    • Confidentiality regarding student records is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). All use of e-mail, including use for sensitive or confidential information, will be consistent with FERPA.
    • E-mail shall not be the sole method for notification of any legal action.

D. Procedures

The Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic and Campus Technology will review this policy as needed. Changes will be authorized by the approval of the Information Technology Council and the Chancellor's Executive Committee. Students with questions or comments about this policy should contact the Office of Academic and Campus Technology.

E. References

This policy complies with the guidelines as found in:

F. Responsible Organization

The Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic and Campus Technology will be responsible for this policy.

Appendix A -- Policy Routing

  • This policy was approved by the Information Technology Council on May 10, 2001
  • This policy was approved by the Chancellor's Executive Committee on May 23, 2001
  • This policy was approved by University Counsel on November 21, 2001

Effective Date

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Approved By

Richard L. Byyny, M.D., Chancellor


Bobby Schnabel, Assoc. Vice Chancellor for Academic and Campus Technology