Business Services Policies

BS01 Use of University Mail Service

Policy Status: 


Policy Steward: 

Associate Vice President for Auxiliary & Business Services



To state University policy governing the use of the University Mail Service.


General University policy requires that equipment, supplies and services owned, leased, or operated by the University be used only in the conduct of University programs and activities. The use of University Mail Service is governed by this general University policy.


Because of time and space limits on the University Mail Service trucks, the following limits pertain to transferring packages:

(A) A single package cannot weigh more than 20 pounds.

(B) A single package cannot exceed 10" x 15" x 6."

(C) Only one package exceeding 9" x 12" x 1" can be picked up from any one department per day.


If packages exceed the above limits, the University Courier Express Services may be called to handle the request. A minimum charge, plus a per package charge, will be made for this service.


This paragraph does not apply to U.S. Parcel Post packages, United Parcel Service (UPS), or Motor Freight shipments.

Interdepartmental Mail envelopes are not considered packages.


A Standard "A" non-profit mailing must consist of 200 pieces or more of identical mail. The individual piece may be personalized, however, no other variances in the mailing can be accepted. Mailings that are sent out by University departments must be official University business to qualify for the Penn State non-profit rate. Mailings sent out for University related associations will be accommodated if the association has a non-profit permit of their own or if special authorization is requested and approved by the U.S.Postal Service. This is accomplished by filing a 3624 Form through Addressing Services a minimum of 10 days in advance of the mailing date.

When designating a piece to be mailed using the Standard "A" non-profit rate, there are several items to be kept in mind. There must be a return address for all Standard "A" mail consisting of the following information:

  • Department Name (as listed in the faculty/staff directory)
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • Room Number and Building Name
  • City, State, and Zip Code + 4

The use of names, telephone numbers, conference titles, association names, etc. will NOT be permitted in the return address. It will also be necessary to show that any payments due the University involving the conference or seminar are made payable to The Pennsylvania State University and NOT to an association name, conference title, or person's name involved with the program. The Postal Service will be using these two items as a guideline in determining the validity of non-profit mailing for Penn State. The nonprofit indicia, shown below, should also be printed in the upper right hand corner of the pieces being mailed.






Because of the large volumes of inter-office mail handled by our University mail trucks, departments generating campus-wide mailings are required to sort and bundle this mail by building and/or campus.


An exception to the general University policy governing the use of University equipment, supplies and services will be considered in the case of the use of University Mail Service where the proposed communication would clearly contribute to the general welfare of the total University community. An example of such an exception is the approval of the annual support of one charitable fund raising activity where fund raising materials may be distributed through University mails. Approval of an exception which falls within this Policy, except in the case of the annual support of one charitable fund raising activity, will be contingent on the agreement by the individual or organization to make payment for the utilization of the mail service according to a schedule of charges maintained in the Office of the Assistant Vice President for Business Services. An exception shall not be granted or may be revoked, if the proposed use

  • fails to demonstrate a clear relationship to the welfare of the total University community,
  • will overload the mail delivery system, or
  • is intended primarily for personal and private purposes.

In the case of an approved exception, priority for handling of mail shall be given to normal University operations.


Requests for an exception to this Policy shall be directed to the Assistant Vice President for Business Services at least 10 days prior to the desired utilization of the University Mail Service. A standing committee will consist of:

  1. the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs,
  2. vice chairman of the Council of Academic Deans,
  3. Vice President for University Relations,
  4. Senior Vice President for Research, and
  5. Assistant Vice President for Business Services who also serves as the convener of the committee,

This committee shall advise the Senior Vice President for Finance andBusiness on those requests for use of the University Mail Service which require a judgment regarding compliance with this Policy.

If the request for an exception is an appeal by a registered student organization to the decision of the Director of Student Life, the president of the Undergraduate Student Government or Graduate Student Association, whichever is most appropriate, shall be added to the committee.


Areas wishing to leave material at Addressing and Mailing Services that will be later used by Addressing Services (e.g., envelopes), will store material for a nominal fee. Material that is not used for more than three months will be returned to the area by Courier Express Service with the storage and delivery fees charged to the owning department's budget.


For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Associate Vice President, Auxiliary & Business Services.

Effective Date: March 6, 1998 

Date Approved: February 25, 1998 

Date Published: March 11, 1998 (Editorial changes- October 25, 2013)

Most Recent Changes:

  • September 18, 2019 - Changed Vice President for Research to Senior Vice President for Research

  • October 25, 2013 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • June 19, 2006 - Revision History added.
  • January 31, 2003 - Editorial change: "Senior Vice President for Administration" changed to "Vice President for University Relations"
  • March 6, 1998 - Added the section STORAGE OF MATERIAL, relocated and renumbered BS01 from Policy AD13.
  • March 17, 1997 - Position Titles updated.
  • December 9, 1994 - Revisions to last paragraph of "Requesting An Exceptional use" section, as approved by the Central Management Group in November 1994.
  • December 10, 1985 - Major Revisions.