Employee Email Usage

Purpose of the Policy

Azusa Pacific University (APU) is becoming increasingly dependant on effective and efficient electronic communications. Electronic messaging is a major feature of this communications infrastructure, and messaging standards are critical for easy receipt of messages and attachments. The volume and content of these messages are of organizational concern and we are required to manage this tool diligently and with good stewardship.


This policy applies to all employees of Azusa Pacific University with network access. The following issues are addressed in this policy:

  • Appropriate Use
  • Material Distribution
  • University rights and permissions
  • Authorized Access


Azusa Pacific University (hereafter referred to as “the company”) has established a policy with regard to electronic mail messages created, sent, or received by company employees using the company's electronic mail system. The elements of the policy are set forth below.

The company reserves the right to change them at any time as may be required under the circumstances or as determined by the Chief Information Officer.

The company maintains an electronic mail system. The purpose of this system is to assist company employees as they conduct business within the company-provided system. Nonemployees (including consultants and independent contractors) may not obtain company mail addresses, but rather must exchange messages through external Internet providers.

All messages composed, sent, or received on the electronic mail system are and remain the property of the company. They are not the private property of any employee.

The use of the electronic mail system is reserved solely for the conduct of business at the company. It is not intended for personal business. Participating in “chain letters” is one example of inappropriate use of electronic mail.

The electronic mail system may not be used to solicit or proselytize for commercial ventures or political causes, outside organizations, or other non-job-related solicitations. The exception to this is urgent and critical prayer requests for immediate family members.

The electronic mail system is not to be used to create, send, or forward messages that are obscene, pornographic, defamatory, harassing, threatening, containing racial or sexual slurs, or which are otherwise inappropriate in the context of the company’s ethos and core values.

The electronic mail system shall not be used to violate copyrights or other proprietary rights by distributing unauthorized copies of materials owned by others, nor shall it be used to distribute confidential or proprietary company materials without proper authorization.

The company reserves and intends to exercise the right to review, audit, intercept, access, and disclose all messages created, received, or sent over the electronic mail system for any purpose. The contents of electronic mail may be disclosed by the company without the permission of the employee as identified in the “Data Security FERPA” policy.

The confidentiality of any message should not be assumed. Even when a message is erased, it is still possible to retrieve and read that message. Further, the use of passwords for security does not guarantee confidentiality.

Notwithstanding the company's right to retrieve and read any electronic mail messages, such messages should be treated as confidential by other employees and accessed only by the intended recipient. Employees are not authorized to retrieve or read any e-mail messages that are not sent to them, except with the permission of the intended recipient. Any exception to this policy must receive prior approval by the employer.

Employees shall not use a code, access a file, or retrieve any stored information, unless authorized to do so.

Any employee who violates this policy or uses the electronic mail system for improper purposes shall be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.

Any questions relating to the contents or implementation of this policy should be addressed through the Chief Information Officer.

Appendix A -- Policy Routing

Status: Discussion
Edit Date:

  • This policy was approved by the IT Cabinet on
  • This policy was approved by the UIMC on
  • This policy was approved by President’s Cabinet on
  • This policy was approved by Academic Cabinet on

Approved by: John C. Reynolds, Vice President of Information Technology
Author: John C. Reynolds, Vice President of Information Technology

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