The purpose of this policy is to ensure electronic mail (email) remains available and reliable to support Cal Poly’s mission. This policy applies to all users (individuals, departments and organizations) of the campus-wide Cal Poly email system.
Email is a critical service for teaching, learning and scholarly research; academic experiences; and business and administrative processes. All users must comply with applicable laws and university policies affecting the use of email, including but not limited to responsible use, computer accounts, passwords, information security, copyright law and software licensing. Violation of Cal Poly email policies may result in disciplinary action dependent upon the nature of the violation.
1222.1 Broadcast Electronic Message Policy
This policy is provided to reduce the incidence of complaints from potential misuse of broadcast messaging and large mailings. Broadcast messaging and large mailings are unsolicited email sent in large quantities to communicate urgent, time-critical or other essential university information to large segments, or all, of the entire campus community. Broadcast messaging and large mailings, when sent according to this policy, are an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly use of technology to disseminate information.
The President and all vice presidents are authorized to send broadcast messages meeting the criteria of urgency or critical University information. Each vice president is individually responsible for the appropriate content and frequency of broadcast email and is responsible for directing and monitoring its use by assigned staff within their offices and divisions.
Other users wishing to send broadcast messages to large segments, or all, of the campus community must request authorization from a vice president or the president, and use a broadcast mail tool provided by Information Technology Services.
Broadcast messages are sent to campus distribution lists based on campus role (for example, faculty, student, employee, emeritus). Broadcast messages are appropriate for:
- Messages to carry out the business of the University
- Messages about changes in University policy or time sensitive issues
- Messages to a select group of people (e.g. faculty, staff, students, members of a specific school or department, etc.) with content related to their specific role within the University
- Urgent messages about emergencies and university infrastructure conditions or activities that potentially affect most of the recipients
Broadcast messages must use an approved campus distribution list and meet the following criteria:
- Other means of communication are not timely, and timely announcement via other methods could not be accommodated
- An appropriate target audience can be determined
- Could be of significant benefit to all of the targeted audience
- Prevents significant inconvenience that the lack of the information would cause to the targeted audience
- Must comply with applicable university policies on use of State resources
- Must be sent from a department or organization account using the tool provided by Information Technology Services to facilitate approval and ensure technology accessibility
- Must be approved by the president, a division vice president, or designee.
Units within the university, such as a college or department, may initiate broadcast messages containing official university business to their own constituent groups without seeking the approval of a vice president, but should still observe these criteria. Email messages not meeting the criteria of urgency or critical University information, should seek other methods of communication.
Large mailings are those sent to more than 1,000 email addresses. Users are prohibited from sending large mailings except as defined in the large mailing procedures referenced at the end of this policy.
Large group mailings are permitted only if sent to electronic distribution lists for the purpose for which they were created. For example, class distribution lists are for use by classes in class discussions and dissemination of information within the context of the specified class. Student club distribution lists are for disseminating official club information. All other distribution lists are for use by specific units or members to disseminate or share information. Use of such distribution lists for the purpose of large mailing by unauthorized personnel violates this policy.
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1222.2 Email as an Official Means of Communication
Cal Poly must be able to communicate quickly and efficiently with employees, students and affiliates in order to conduct official university business. Campus email is an official means of campus communication, and may be used as the sole method of communication for some campus matters. Official university communications are sent to a university-assigned email address (email@example.com). All employees, students and affiliates are responsible to receive and read official email communication in a timely manner and take necessary action when appropriate. This also applies when university emails are redirected to a non-university email account.
Email is an appropriate, cost-effective, convenient and timely means to transmit official campus communications. An official communication occurs when an individual or campus entity sends email or other message pertinent to conducting University business, including notification of University-related actions.
Official email communications will be sent to a University-assigned email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and may be the sole method for notification. Other methods may be used when authorized by the individual (e.g., text messaging) or approved by the University (e.g., portal notifications) for this purpose. Additional or other methods of communication will be used if required by law or other contractual obligations (e.g., notification of disciplinary and legal actions).
Email sent as official campus communication is expected to comply with applicable laws and campus policies, including those referenced in this policy, and are subject to the same public records, privacy and records retention requirements and policies as other official campus communications.
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