Manual of Policies and Procedures

F/1.5 Email policy

Contact Officer

Chief Information Officer

Approval Date

07/12/2010

Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review

01/12/2013

1.5.1 Availability and use of email
1.5.2 Email address aliases
1.5.3 Staff email as official records
1.5.4 Email attachments
1.5.5 Email profiles
1.5.6 QUT email distribution lists (Interest Groups)
1.5.7 Decommissioning of email accounts
1.5.8 Email transaction records
1.5.9 Email etiquette
Related Documents
Modification History

1.5.1 Availability and use of email

QUT provides electronic mail to staff, students and approved affiliates (e.g. honorary and adjunct staff, members of QUT Council) to enhance communication and promote greater efficiency in teaching, research, community service and administration. The University has adopted standard corporate messaging systems and support for non-standard systems is not provided. It is expected that all use of QUT email will be in accordance with the Acceptable use of information and communications technology resources policy (F/1.11).

Information Technology Services is responsible for providing and supporting QUT's email systems and mail agents on central servers.

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1.5.2 Email address aliases

QUT email addresses or aliases (for both individual accounts and email distribution lists) are created based on a strict set of criteria and naming conventions (QUT staff access only). The Director, Information Technology Services, has responsibility for determining the email alias conventions.

Additionally, heads of departments, schools, faculties and divisions have the capacity to create and use alternative email aliases based on their position description (e.g. registrar@qut.edu.au). This strategy may also be employed by other positions or for specific functions (e.g. privacy@qut.edu.au). The Staff IT Helpdesk provides further advice on set-up and management.

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1.5.3 Staff email as official records

Email messages sent or received by QUT staff in the performance of their duties are official records of QUT and must be managed in accordance with the University's Records management policy (F/6.1). As official records, ownership of email messages rests with QUT rather than with the individual staff member.

All staff members using email as a means of communication have a responsibility to capture and retain messages so that they are accessible as records to meet business and evidential needs over time. QUT's policy is that emails are captured and managed in the University's electronic recordkeeping system (HPRM) or other appropriate corporate system. Given QUT's obligation to retain records under relevant legislation and standards (F/6.1), periodic deletion of email messages irrespective of their content or the business activity they support is inappropriate. Email messages must be stored and retained for the period specified in the University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule or the Queensland State Archives General Retention and Disposal Schedule.

Staff should be aware that, as official records of the University, email messages may be subject to release to applicants under the Information Privacy Act 2009 and Right to Information Act 2009.

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1.5.4 Email attachments

The size of attachments to be sent with email messages is limited to 10 megabytes. Staff should use alternatives such as OneDrive, Syncplicity, SharePoint or Wiki to transfer or share files larger than 10 megabytes. Executable attachments (programs) are not accepted by the QUT email system. This reduces the risk of malicious software and viruses being spread via email at QUT. Recipients of emails with such attachments receive a message that their email attachment has been rejected and the reason for this.

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1.5.5 Email profiles

All staff and students are allocated an email profile. More information is available on the QUT Students email webpage (QUT Staff and students only) and the email and calendar webpage in the Digital Workplace (QUT staff access only).

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1.5.6 QUT email distribution lists (Interest Groups)

Organisational lists

Information Technology Services is responsible for the implementation, management and system support for an organisational email list system, the objective of which is to provide email distribution lists based on organisational units or groupings of staff or students. Staff members are unable to opt off organisational lists, campus lists, and certain other groups set up to inform staff about important matters such as security or health and safety. In some cases, affiliates can be added to an organisational list and this must be authorised at the level of head of school / head of department.

The ability to send to organisational email lists can be limited to certain individuals. In particular, sending messages to large email distribution lists such as the "all staff" list is restricted to the Vice-Chancellor and President, heads of division and executive deans of faculty in order to avoid excessive load on email servers. Email to these lists is normally scheduled to be sent three times per day.

Large email distribution lists and attachments


For email distribution lists containing more than 100 members, alternatives such as SharePoint, Wiki, OneDrive or Syncplicity must be used to transfer or share attachments. For some email distribution lists attachments are either not permitted or restricted in size and the use of a service such as OneDrive or Syncplicity is mandatory.

Staff self-subscribe email distribution lists


QUT provides some email distribution lists or news groups to which staff may subscribe according to their individual needs or interests. Staff members may add or remove themselves from the staff self-subscribe email lists via the Digital Workplace (QUT staff access only). Some lists may allow any staff member to send an email message to subscribers (e.g. qut.classifieds) and where this can occur, messages should be relevant to the purpose of the list. Self-subscribe email distribution lists are restricted to staff only.

The creation of new self-subscribe lists must be approved by the Chief Information Officer. Given the need to conserve information technology resources, requests to create new lists should address the appropriateness of restricting the ability to send to the subscriber group (e.g. qut.parking).

Further information on QUT email distribution lists is available from the Interest Groups Main Menu in the Digital Workplace (QUT staff access only).

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1.5.7 Decommissioning of email accounts

Student email accounts

Student access to email ceases the day after their notified graduation ceremony date (or alternative completion date for courses without a graduation ceremony), or as directed by the University Vice-President (Administration) and Registrar.

Staff email accounts

Staff access to email ceases 14 days after the staff member's cessation of employment with the University, or as directed by the Executive Director, Human Resources. 

It is the responsibility of the head of department or school to ensure that email records of a staff member who has ceased employment with the University remain accessible and are retained for the period of time required by the University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule and the Queensland State Archives General Retention and Disposal Schedule.

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1.5.8 Email transaction records

The University keeps a backup of all email. Logs of internet access and email are automatically generated and, in the case of email, include the time a message is received and the location of its origin, the time a message is retrieved by a user, the user name which was used to authorise the sending of a message, and the size of the message and the identity of the sender and receiver.

Access to these logs is available to a small number of Information Technology Services technical staff solely for the management of the email resource, for diagnosis and resolution of faults, or to detect and manage IT security breaches.

Consistent with QUT's Information privacy policy (F/6.2), information contained in these logs is released beyond this group only with authorisation of the Director, Information Technology Services, and only if

  • it must be released for law enforcement purposes
  • it is required to investigate breaches of University statutes, rules or policies
  • the University is legally compelled to provide the information (e.g. by subpoena).
Other requests to analyse material retrieved by a QUT user in terms of content will not normally be authorised.

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1.5.9 Email etiquette

Email messages should be as short and specific as possible, having regard to their function as records of University business. Given that email is generally an insecure means of communication consideration should be given to the appropriateness of using email to distribute confidential or sensitive information.

Individual work groups within the University should establish their own standards for expected response times to emails, but given the immediacy of email as a method of communication short response times would normally be expected. Further advice on other aspects of email etiquette (or best practice) is available from the Information Technology Services best practice website.

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Related Documents

MOPP F/6.1 Records management

MOPP F/6.2 Information privacy

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Modification History

Date

Sections

Source

Details

09.12.16 F/1.5.6 Enhancing the Student Experience REAL Difference Change Manager Revised policy to include REAL Difference initiative, approved name change for position title, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Library Services) - effective 03.01.17
29.05.12 All Associate Director, Infrastructure Services, Information Technology Services Minor editorial amendment
16.12.11

F/1.5.7

Registrar

Policy revised to reflect change on decommissioning email
07.12.10

All

Vice-Chancellor

Periodic review - policy revised

07.10.10

All

Governance Services

Policy revised to reflect change from privacy policy to information privacy

1.09.10

F/1.5.9

Governance Services

Policy revised to reflect repeal of Information Facilities Rules

24.08.06

All

Acting Vice-Chancellor

Revised policy (includes new section on decommissioning of email accounts)

29.09.05

F/1.5.6

Manager, Network Services, ITS

Minor editorial amendment

15.01.04

All

Vice-Chancellor

New policy; replaces Mail Service policy (formerly F/7.2) and incorporates aspects of former Information Technology Rules

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