Administrative Policies

AD99 University Provided Email Policy

Policy Status: 

New

Subject Matter Expert: 

Shuchi Nalepa, 814-863-5240, shuchi@psu.edu

Policy Steward: 

Vice President for Administration

CONTENTS: 

  1. Faculty and Staff
  2. Students
  3. Information Classification Restrictions
  4. Ownership of Penn State Email Accounts
  5. Passwords
  6. Authorized Users of University Provided Email Accounts and Termination of Service
  7. Release of Penn State Email of Current and Former Faculty, Staff, and Students
  8. Acceptable Use of Penn State Email Accounts
  9. Penn State Email Subject to Legal Holds
  10. Penn State Email Forwarding

OVERVIEW

Electronic mail (email) is a primary means of communication both within The Pennsylvania State University (“Penn State” or the “University”) and externally.  Email provides a quick and efficient means to conduct business, but, if not used properly, it carries the risk of harm to the University and members of its community.

PURPOSE

To establish the eligibility, expectation, and parameters for University provided email.

SCOPE

This Policy applies to all email accounts maintained, provided, and offered by the University.  This Policy applies to all psu.edu email addresses and sub-domains. 

This Policy does not apply to email accounts maintained, provided, and offered by Penn State Health and the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

POLICY

1. Faculty and Staff

Penn State provides email accounts to all current faculty and staff to conduct University business.

2. Students

Penn State provides email accounts to all currently enrolled students at the University. In addition to the Penn State policies applicable to all members of the Penn State community, student use of email is subject to the University’s Student Code of Conduct.

3. Information Classification Restrictions

While the University will make every attempt to keep email messages secure, it is important to note that email generally is not considered a secure form of communication.  As a result, Penn State email accounts should not be used for the transmission and/or storage of information classified as “Restricted” or “High.” Refer to University Policy, AD95, Information Assurance and IT Security and its corresponding Security Standards and to http://security.psu.edu for best practices on transmitting and/or storing information classified as Restricted or High.

4. Ownership of Penn State Email Accounts

Penn State owns all University provided email accounts.  Subject to underlying intellectual property rights under applicable laws and University policies, the University also owns the information transmitted or stored using Penn State email accounts.

5. Passwords

To help safeguard your identity and your privacy, do not share your University assigned email account with, or give your password to, anyone.  Refer to University Policy AD95, Information Assurance and IT Security and its corresponding Access, Authentication, and Authorization Standard for best practices on password management.

6. Authorized Users of University Provided Email Accounts and Termination of Services

The following outlines the authorized users of email at the University, as well as termination of services provisions:

Authorized Users Termination of Penn State Email Service
Students - Alumni

Access to Penn State email ends 90 days after graduation, then transitions to a commercial, non-fee email provider for alumni - @weare.psu.edu

Students

Access to Penn State email ends 90 days after separation from the University and may be terminated immediately for misconduct or in the best interest of the University.

Students on official leave of absence maintain access to email, calendar, and productivity tools.

Access to Penn State email ends 365 days after a student is placed on academic suspension.

Faculty - Emeritus and Retired Eligible for access to Penn State email dependent upon account usage. Accounts inactive beyond 365 days may be terminated.
Faculty (Formerly Full-time, Adjunct, and/or Affiliate)

Access to Penn State email ends 365 days after separation from the University. Access may be terminated immediately for misconduct or in the best interests of Penn State.

Access will be terminated immediately in the case of termination for cause.

Staff - Retired Eligible for access to Penn State email through @mylion.psu.edu dependent upon account usage. Accounts inactive beyond 365 days may be terminated.
Staff (Formerly Full-time and/or Part-time)

Access to Penn State email ends 14 days after last day at the University. Access may be terminated immediately for misconduct or in the best interests of the University.

Access will be terminated immediately in the case of termination for cause.

Sponsored Affiliates (e.g., Visiting Scholars) Access to Penn State email ends on the last day of their designation.

Once email services have been terminated, Penn State will no longer provide and/or restore email, unless required by law to do so. 

7. Release of Penn State Email of Current and Former Faculty, Staff, and Students

To ensure compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (University Policy AD11) and in consideration of general privacy principles (University Policy AD53), the University will not release – or otherwise provide - the email of any current or former student, faculty, or staff member to a third-party, including, but not limited to, family members of any student, faculty, or staff member, absent a subpoena, search warrant, or court order or where such email could be required or authorized by law to be produced or lawfully requested for any other reason, including disclosure to a government agency.

8. Acceptable Use of Penn State Email Accounts

Members of the University community must comply with all University Policies, including, but not limited to, University Policy AD96, Acceptable Use of University Information Resources, and guidelines, standard of ethical conduct and safety, and must comply with applicable state and federal laws, when using Penn State email accounts to conduct University business.

9. Penn State Email Subject to Legal Holds

To the extent Penn State email is relevant to, or the subject of, a legal hold, please note that the deletion and/or destruction of all such email will be suspended immediately upon notice that an investigation or litigation is pending, imminent, or reasonably foreseeable.  The suspension will be tailored to cover only those records, documents, drafts, and copies relevant to the investigation or litigation, as determined by the Office of General Counsel. 

A legal hold remains in effect until it is released in writing by the Office of General Counsel.  After the University community receives written notice of the lifting of a legal hold, all records, including email, relevant to the legal hold shall return to their normal handling procedures and retention schedules.  Please refer to University Policy AD35, University Archives and Records Management for further information.

10. Penn State Email Forwarding

Penn State email is an official means of communication for the University.  Faculty, staff, and students are required to conduct Penn State business from their University assigned email address containing the psu.edu domain.

Faculty, staff, and students, however, may forward Penn State email to other email providers.  Active members of the University community assigned Penn State email address are still responsible for having access to all Penn State related emails and may be subject to discipline if not responsive. 

 

EXCEPTIONS AND EXEMPTIONS

Exceptions to, or exemptions from, any provision of this Policy must be approved by the Vice President for IT and Chief Information Officer at cio@psu.edu.

POLICY VIOLATIONS

Any Penn State department or unit found to operate in violation of this Policy may be held accountable for remediation costs associated with a resulting information security incident or other regulatory non-compliance penalties, including, but not limited to, financial penalties, legal fees, and other costs.

Violations of this Policy by faculty, staff, or students may be subject to disciplinary action, to specifically include, suspension or termination of email privileges. 

FURTHER INFORMATION

For questions, additional details, or to request change to this Policy, please contact the Vice President for IT and Chief Information Officer at cio@psu.edu

CROSS REFERENCES

AC25 Emeritus Status

AD11 University Policy on Confidentiality of Student Records

AD35 University Archives and Records Management

AD53 Privacy Policy

AD95 Information Assurance and IT Security

AD96 Acceptable Use of University Information Resources

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • February 7, 2020 - Published.

Date Approved: 

February 7, 2020

Date Published: 

February 7, 2020

Effective Date: 

February 7, 2020