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Student Electronic Information (Email) Policy

Issuing Authority/Date Created

Policy Number: 04.74.11
Issuing Authority: Office of the Vice President for Computer & Information Services
Responsible Officer: Chief Financial Officer

Date Created: December 10, 2002
Date Last Amended/Reviewed: November 6, 2008
Date Scheduled for Review: November 6, 2013
Reviewing Office: Computer and Information Services

Scope of Policy & Rationale

Purpose of the Policy

Temple University seeks to employ state-of-the-art technology to facilitate communication among students, faculty, staff and administration. Due to the rapidly expanding use of e-mail and the internet, students can contact faculty, advisors and administrative offices without ever visiting an office and can take classes in an entirely online environment. This policy recognizes the convenience, accuracy, speed and cost-effectiveness of utilizing e-mail and authorizes the use of e-mail as an official means of communication within Temple University.
Implementation of this policy ensures that students have access to this important method of communication. For the majority of students, this will not change their current method of communication with teachers and administration. Implementation of this policy also ensures that students can access and be accessed through e-mail as needed.


This policy provides guidelines regarding the following aspects of e-mail as an official means of communication throughout Temple University:
- University use of e-mail;
- Assignment of student e-mail addresses;
- Student use of and responsibilities associated with assigned e-mail addresses;
- Expectations of e-mail communications among students and the faculty, staff and administration of Temple University.
- Assignment of e-mail addresses to alumni by Temple University; unless otherwise stated all references to student e-mail in this document also include alumni e-mail.

Policy Statement

  1. University use of e-mail
    e-Mail is an official means of communication within the Temple University community.  Accordingly, Temple University has the right to send official 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
    All students are required to obtain an e-mail address upon their entrance into the university. All official university e-mail correspondence will be sent to this address. This address also will be listed as the official address for each student in the student's records. The university, at its discretion, may engage the services of a third party vendor or vendors to provide student e-mail services.  In addition to applicable university policies, students will be required to agree to and be bound by the vendor(s) terms of use.
  3. Data retention or recovery
    The university does not accept responsibility for providing e-mail retention or e-mail recovery of e-mail accounts.  All data, including e-mail, associated with accounts will be purged in accordance with the Temple University Computer Resource Access and Revocation Guidelines and other applicable policies and procedures. Students are strongly encouraged to maintain their own backup of important e-mail and documents.
  4. Advertisements
    The university and/or its vendors may display sponsored links and/or advertising on communications at any or all times after a student has graduated or otherwise left the university.
  5. e-Mail forwarding
    A student may have e-mail electronically forwarded from the account to another e-mail account at his or her own risk. Temple University will not be responsible for the handling of e-mail sent or forwarded to outside service providers. Having e-mail redirected does not absolve the student from the responsibilities associated with communications sent to his or her e-mail address.
  6. Expectations regarding student use of e-mail
    Students are expected to check their e-mail accounts frequently to stay current with Temple University communications. Some communications may be time critical so it is imperative that students check their accounts regularly, just as they would be expected to check their U.S. mail regularly.
  7. Appropriate use of the official e-mail account
    In general, e-mail may not be appropriate for transmitting sensitive or confidential information unless an appropriate level of security accompanies its use for such purposes.
    - Confidentiality regarding student records may be protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). University use of e-mail should be consistent with the university guidelines regarding FERPA.
    - The account will be used as the primary method of communication from the Bursar's Office, Student Financial Services, Academic Records, academic advisors and certain other student-related offices.
    - Students may request that all or specified documentation be delivered in printed, hard copy format to a particular street or P.O. Box address in addition to the official e-mail correspondence.
    - The official e-mail account may be used by departments for setting up individual departmental mailing lists. Any departmental mailing list using official addresses must have an opt-out feature for the students.
  8. The official university mailing list
    The university will create an official mailing list using the e-mail addresses. This official mailing list may be used only for official, legal and emergency university correspondence.
    - Any use of the official mailing list must be approved by the president or vice president for computer and information services.
    - The official mailing list shall not be used for solicitations from within the university community.


  1. Dates of official enactment and amendments:
    Adopted by the Vice President for Computer & Information Services on December 10, 2002.
    Updated and amended on October 30, 2008.
  2. History:
    Amended on October 30, 2008 to reflect third party e-mail vendors.
    Initial Policy Effective Date:
    December 10, 2002
    Last Amended:
    October 30, 2008
  3. Cross References/Appendix:
    University guidelines regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
    System Access by University Enterprise Role