EWU Policy 203-06
Authority: EWU Board of Trustees
Effective: December 6, 2019
Proponent: Vice President of Student Affairs and Vice President for Business & Finance
Purpose: This policy establishes and describes the official email, texting, and contact
information policy for students and employees at Eastern Washington University.
History: This policy updates and supersedes the previous version dated February 27, 2009 that
was assigned policy number 502-01 and was adopted by the EWU Board of Trustees on December 6, 2019.
Scope: This policy applies to all students and employees at Eastern Washington University.
1. CONTACT INFORMATION
All students and employees are required to provide current contact information in accordance with published university procedure.
2-1. Purpose of University Email
This policy sets forth basic rules for email use and establishes email as an official means of communication for Eastern Washington University students, employees, and anyone else eligible for a university-provided email account. All EWU email users are bound by this policy.
Employees, students, and other eligible email users will be informed that their university-provided email account is the primary means of communication from the university community.
While email is an official method of communication, it is not the only official method of communication and does not preclude the university’s use of other methods, including, but not limited to, text messages, other writings or oral communications.
2-2. Email Account Eligibility
All university employees are assigned an official EWU email account during the term of their employment. Faculty Emeriti may keep their account indefinitely.
All admitted students are assigned an official EWU email account. Eligibility for an account is in accordance with published university procedure.
2-3. Deletion and Expiration of Email Accounts
The expiration and deletion of official university email accounts is carried out in accordance with published university procedure.
2-4 Email Forwarding
Email forwarding is discouraged, but not prohibited. If a university member chooses to forward their university-provided email account, they are responsible for all information and attachments sent to the forwarded email account. EWU assumes no responsibility for ensuring that forwarded email is received.
University members are responsible for safeguarding the privacy and security of information sent electronically in accordance with applicable laws and university policies. Anyone who forwards a copy of email sent to an official university email account to a non-university provided email account expressly assumes personal responsibility for the security and privacy of that email and any information contained therein. Forwarding or copying email into a non-university account may subject the non-university account to review in response to a subpoena, a public records request, or other legal process. In addition, emails, regardless of location, are subject to laws, regulations, and university policy concerning retention of public records.
2-5. Ownership of Email Data
EWU owns all university-provided email accounts. The University also owns information transmitted or stored using a university-provided email account, subject to any underlying copyright or other intellectual property rights under applicable laws, contracts, and policies.
While the University will make every attempt to keep email messages secure, privacy is not guaranteed and users should have no general expectation of privacy in email messages sent through University email accounts. All university email accounts are subject to the Washington State Public Records Act, RCW 42.56.
Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary for University staff or other appropriate University officials to access University email accounts. These circumstances may include, but are not limited to, maintaining the system, investigating security or abuse incidents or investigating violations of law or this or other University policies, discovery or public records requests, and, in the case of Office 365 Accounts, violations of Microsoft’s Acceptable Use Policy or the University’s contract with Microsoft.
2-7. Records Retention
University-provided email accounts are subject to state laws regarding records retention, public records requests, and other legal obligation such as preservation and discovery. Use of a non-university email account to conduct university business/operations is strongly discouraged and does not eliminate this requirement.
3. E-MAIL USE
Official communications will be sent to students, employees, and other university members using their university-provided email address. University members are responsible for all information sent to them via their university-provided email account. Students, employees, and other university members are required, in a timely manner, to read (including any attachments) and respond (if appropriate), to all official university email messages sent to their university-provided email account.
3-2. Appropriate Use and User Responsibility
All use of university-provided email accounts must comply with university policies, state and federal laws and regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, EWU Policy 203-01 (Information Security), 203-02 (Copyright Infringement), 901-01 (Ethical Standards), 901-02 (Appropriate Use of University Resources), WAC 172-121 (Student Conduct Code), and WAC 172-191 (Student Education Records).
3-3. Email Lists
The university maintains a number of official campus email lists, managed by the department of Information Technology. Recipients do not have the ability to opt out of any official list. Permission to use an official list must be granted by the President or Vice Presidents.
The creation of other email lists for university purposes is permitted, but recipients must have the ability to opt out of these lists.
Any emails sent to lists must be accessible for all intended recipients as set forth in EWU Policy 203-05 (Accessible Technology).
4. UNIVERSITY TEXT MESSAGING OF STUDENTS
The university recognizes text messaging is a useful tool for communicating with students, but recognizes that students should not be overwhelmed with text messages from the university.
Any texting should be conducted using university phones or systems. Use of personal phones to text students for university purposes is strongly discouraged.
The use of texting for non-emergency purposes is subject to published university guidelines for appropriate content and usage.
All text messaging services and software must be reviewed by the department of Information Technology.
4-2. Types of Permitted Texts
Text messages can be used by authorized university officials to relay information closely related to the educational purposes of the school from the following offices or contractors performing services on their behalves:
- Academic Advising
- Dean of Student’s Office
- Financial Aid
- Health and Wellness Services
- Records and Registration
- Student Financial Services
- Public Safety
- Program Leading to University Success
- Immigration Advising
4-3. Opt-In and Opt-Out; Accessibility
Clear opt-in and opt-out processes are required for any text messaging service or software.
Text messages must be accessible for all intended recipients as set forth in EWU Policy 203-05 (Accessible Technology).
4-4. Records Retention & Public Records
University-related text messages are subject to state laws regarding records retention, public records requests, and other legal obligation such as preservation and discovery whether or not a EWU system/tool or personal telephone is used for texting.
The limitations above do not apply to situations where a student individually signs up to receive text messages for a specific, limited purpose, such as students engaged in extra-curricular activities, athletics, study abroad, fieldtrips, etc. In such instances, students must individually consent to receiving text messages and must have the ability to opt-out of receiving such messages. This chapter also does not apply in cases of emergency or to the university’s police department.