E-MAIL Guidelines


The purpose of these guidelines is to delineate acceptable uses of e-mail by employees and other authorized users of the USF College of Education Network Services.


These guidelines apply to all USF College of Education employees and all other authorized users of the electronic mail infrastructure made available by the USF College of Education, including the Internet. These guidelines supplement any existing University policy with regard to technology use.



  • The Internet is to be used as a business tool for reasons that are necessary for the accomplishment of an employee’s job assignments. Files downloaded from the Internet must be thoroughly scanned by anti-viral software maintained by Instructional Technology Support. This anti-viral software is not to be disabled by the user.
  • Accessing, sending, storing, or displaying sensitive materials including, but not limited to, gambling or other illegal activities, sexually explicit materials, or materials that include profane, obscene, or discriminatory content is considered inconsistent with the business of the College.
  • Data and files on the Internet must be considered copyrighted material and may not be distributed or published in any form without the written permission of the originator.

  • In addition to work-related access, employees may visit non-sensitive Internet sites during non-work time, such as break, lunch, or before or after work hours, and must not result in any additional cost to the Department or the COEDU. Examples of acceptable sites are those dealing with health matters, weather, news, business topics, community activities career advancement, and personal enrichment.  




  • E-mail is to be used for official University business, which includes communications with other governmental entities; colleges/programs within USF, other universities and private sector entities. Although the USF COEDU does not prohibit all personal use of e-mail, a common sense approach should be applied.
  • Acceptable personal use of e-mail is where the communication is brief, does not interfere with work, does not subject the University or College to any additional cost, and is consistent with requirements contained in these guidelines.
  • Unacceptable uses or e-mail include:

    • Non-University sponsored solicitations, including, but not limited to such things as advertising the sale of property or other commercial activities;
    • Sending copies of documents in violation of copyright laws or licensing agreements;
    • Sending messages prohibited or restricted by government security laws or regulations or any other communication that may adversely affect the College or University’s ability to carry out its mission. Messages which may reflect unfavorably on the COEDU or University, or which may be perceived as representing the COEDU or University’s official position on any matter when authority to disseminate such information has not been expressly granted are also unacceptable;
    • Sending confidential or proprietary information or data to persons not authorized to receive it, either within or outside the COEDU or University.
    • Sending material promoting political positions or actions.
    • The COEDU or University does not intend to routinely monitor the contents of e-mail messages. However, users should expect that electronic mail messages may be accessed by authorized supervisors or System Administrators with or without the permission of the employee.
    • Any requests for access to the contents of e-mail in order to respond to legal processes, such as subpoenas and public records law requests, or for purposes involving litigation, investigation or claim must be immediately brought to the attention of the USF General Counsel’s office through the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
    • Individual users are responsible for keeping and archiving their own business-related e-mail. Retention of these files is subject to Florida State Law.

  • To reduce the risk of electronic virus contamination and unsolicited e-mail, these guidelines recommend that all faculty instruct their students to use only the University e-mail service when communicating with their instructors from off campus. No outside e-mail service should be accepted. It is suggested that such information/instructions be documented in each course syllabi.
  • Infractions of these guidelines should be reported to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs who will consult with the appropriate supervisor.


Colleen S. Kennedy
Dean, College of Education

Effective date: November 10, 2005