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Holbrook Memo


DATE: October 5, 2001
TO: Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors and Department Heads
FROM: Karen Holbrook
SUBJECT: UGA E-Mail Policy

There are current and emerging needs that necessitate official communication among individuals or groups of individuals via e-mail or other electronic means. Some situations require an available e-mail address for an individual or individuals, while other situations additionally require the denotation of numerous affiliations (faculty, staff, student, departmental affiliation, declared major, organizational membership, etc.).

The registrar's office has developed a process approved by the University Council to enable students to withdraw from courses via the OASIS system. The success of this system is dependent on teaching faculty, instructors, and graduate assistants having an e-mail address that they regularly check and these addresses need to be centrally registered. Various other student administrative processes as well as academic departments and other organizations routinely need to communicate with all or various components of their membership. University Communications would like to use electronic communications for numerous types of official information dissemination. These are just a few examples.

It is important to realize that there are numerous caveats associated with the implementation of such a policy. For instance, not all staff have access to computer technology and in these situations other arrangements will need to be made by Deans, Directors, and Department Heads. This is addressed in the attached policy. Additionally, if e-mail is sent in bulk to large numbers of people, it will not arrive instantaneously, as it takes time to send tens-of-thousands of messages. Network and other technical problems can delay or occasionally prevent messages from reaching the intended recipient(s). Therefore, it is important to appropriately manage the expectations of those disseminating e-mail for official communications (e.g., e-mail will not likely be the sole appropriate mechanism to warn of weather or other dangerous situations, UGA closures, and the like).

Effective November 1, 2001, all faculty, staff and students who have access to e-mail as part of their duties/responsibilities must register their preferred e-mail addresses for official University communications.

Thank you for your cooperation in the implementation of this important policy.


UGA E-mail Policy for Faculty, Staff and Students


Because of the expanding reliance on electronic communication at The University of Georgia, it is necessary to ensure that all faculty, staff, and students have access to information sent via e-mail. For many, this will not represent any change from what is currently done; it will, however, facilitate access to the information sent by e-mail as the need arises. The authoritative source on this policy and responsibility for its implementation rests with the Office of the Provost.


1. E-mail is a mechanism for official communication within the University and may be used in lieu of other means of official communications.
2. All faculty, all students, and all staff who have access to email as a regular part of their duties must register a preferred e-mail address for official University communications. This address is the location to which the University will send official e-mail communications. At their discretion, faculty, staff, and students may or may not elect to publish their registered e-mail address in the UGA phonebook (in both electronic and printed versions). Recognizing that certain communications may be time-critical, it is recommended that these e-mail addresses be checked daily, but at a minimum twice-per-week.
3. For units and departments where all or part of their staff do not have access to e-mail as a regular part of their duties, the Dean, Director, or Department Head in authority is responsible to create, maintain, and register a departmental e-mail address where official communications will be sent. In these situations, it will be necessary for these units to develop a procedure to disseminate this information in a timely fashion to their staff members who do not have access to e-mail. Recognizing that certain communications may be time-critical, it is recommended that these e-mail addresses be checked daily, but at a minimum twice-per-week.
4. Faculty retain autonomy in determining how electronic forms of communication such as e-mail or WebCT will be used in their classes.


A central e-mail service is provided at UGA and is available to all faculty, staff, and students. If a faculty member or student elects to register and use an e-mail address from a different service, it is impossible for the University to be responsible for the security and handling of e-mail on that service.

As noted in The University of Georgia's Policies on the Use of Computers, "Electronic mail (e-mail) is intended for communication between individuals and clearly identified groups of interested individuals, not for mass broadcasting.

It is legitimate for University organizations to send announcements to all their members by e-mail. Likewise, it is legitimate for the University to send bulk e-mail for official purposes, including disseminating administrative notices, notifying students of educational opportunities, or otherwise carrying on the work of the University. University units should exercise care whenever they consider sending e-mail to recipients outside their immediate group of faculty, staff and students. As a rule of thumb, the larger the intended audience, the more important the notice needs to be-not just for the unit, but for all of the recipients.

Final version - 10-02-01