Use of Email for Official and Mass Communications

Policy Number: 
Reason for Policy: 

The university must be able to communicate quickly and efficiently with employees and enrolled students in order to conduct official university business. E-mail is an available and appropriate medium for such communication. E-mail is also an efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable way to communicate with large groups of people. However, non-strategic use of mass e-mail can reduce employee productivity, burden the IT infrastructure, and hinder the university’s ability to deliver critical messages. Recognizing these expectations and concerns, this policy establishes e-mail as an official form of university Communications and establishes the requirements for use of mass e-mail.

Entities Affected by this Policy: 

Anyone with access to a university email account.

Responsible Office: 

For questions about this policy, please contact University Communications at 541-346-3134 or

Enactment & Revision History: 

25 January 2017 - Revisions approved by the university president. Merged with former UO Policy 01.00.15 and new policy number assigned: IV.06.07

08 February 2010 - Policy number revised from 1.000 to 01.00.11

09 August 2005 - Issued by the university vice president for administration


Unless otherwise prohibited by law, the University of Oregon (University or UO) may send official University communications to employees and students by e-mail to an account provisioned by the University with the full expectation that such e-mails will be read by the recipient in a timely fashion.

  1. Assignment of E-mail Accounts

All UO students and employees are provisioned an account in the domain, which is designated as their “UO e-mail account.” The UO e-mail may not be changed absent University approval. University communications that are sent by e-mail will be sent to UO e-mail accounts.

  1. Responsibilities

Employees and students are expected to review messages received through their UO e-mail account on a frequent and consistent basis. Individuals must ensure that there is sufficient space in their accounts to allow for e-mail to be delivered. Communications may be time-critical. Individuals should use UO e-mail accounts for all University-related e-mail communications.

  1. Use of Mass E-Mail

University mass e-mail is an e-mail message sent to any large campus audience (e.g. all students, all undergraduate students, all faculty, all staff, etc.). In this policy, mass e-mail does not include messages sent within a unit, department, school, college or similar subset of the university population. All mass e-mails shall follow the UO’s mass e-mail guidelines and procedures and be consistent with any applicable state and federal laws.

Mass e-mail is restricted to information that (i) pertains to the majority of the recipients, (ii) is critical or time sensitive, and (iii) meets one or more of the following standards:

  • Alerts the campus community to situations about health and safety risks, as defined in the UO Crisis and Emergency Notification procedures;
  • Provides information essential to the operation or execution of business;
  • Notifies the campus community about changes in university governance, policy, and practice; or
  • Communicates important information from the president, provost, or other member of university senior leadership as defined in the mass email guidelines and procedures.
  1. Forwarding of E-mail

Individuals who choose to forward e-mail received on a UO e-mail account to a different e-mail address do so at their own risk. The University is not responsible for e-mail, including attachments, forwarded to any e-mail address.

  1. Instructional Use of UO E-Mail Accounts

Faculty should use UO e-mail accounts for e-mail communication with students. The University’s course management system requires that faculty and students use their UO e-mail account to gain access to the system.

  1. Departmental Servers

E-mail accounts with addresses such as or do not qualify as a UO e-mail account for purposes of this policy. Employees and students who prefer to use such accounts must forward e-mail to them. Such accounts are subject to Section IV above.

  1. Accessibility

E-mail sent by the University must use best practices for being accessible to message recipients. When creating an HTML mass e-mail message, senders must follow University guidelines and procedures.

  • Volume IV: Finance, Administration and Infrastructure
  • Chapter 6: Information technology
Original Source: 
UO Policy Statement