Email Policy

Scope:  Who is Covered by this Policy?

  • Employees and Students


Electronic mail (email) has become the primary method of communication within the Miami University community. The use of email is governed both by internal policies and external, mostly legal, requirements. It is important that each member of our community understand these policies and requirements so that they can exercise their rights and responsibilities effectively and appropriately when using email. This email policy covers all uses and users of the University’s email system – including messages sent to and from University email addresses.

Access to Email

Miami University’s email and computing network was developed and is maintained for the University’s educational mission and the benefit of our students, faculty, and staff. Miami’s computing services are dedicated to the support of our instruction, research, and service missions; student and campus life activities; and University administrative services.

Miami’s email system is not available for external solicitation. All external users are expected to comply with all applicable laws including the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM.)

University email services are provided for the University-related activities of faculty, students, staff, and other individuals and entities granted email privileges at Miami University, as well as connections between on-campus electronic mail systems and external data networks. The use of University email — like the use of any other University-provided resource and like any other University-related activity — is subject to the requirements of legal and ethical behavior within the University community. Thus, the legitimate use of University email does not extend to whatever is technically possible.

Violations of this policy or any other applicable University policy or regulation may subject the user to revocation or limitation of email privileges as well as other disciplinary actions or may be referred to appropriate external authorities.

Miami University Email Account

Information Technology (IT) is the owner of centralized email and directory information, and provides creation, management, and distribution of Miami University email accounts.

Persons with access to a University-owned computer on campus, students, and faculty are required to activate their University email account and to use it for all University business. Faculty, staff and students are expected to read, and shall be presumed to have read, all official Miami University email messages sent to their University email accounts.

Acceptable Use

University email is available for activities and associated administrative functions supporting the University’s mission of learning, discovery, and engagement. Although modest personal use of the University’s email and computing network is permitted, University email accounts and the computing network should be primarily used for University-related educational and administrative purposes. Any use of University email or computing network that disrupts or interferes with University activities and functions is improper. Policies and regulations that apply to other forms of communications at the University also apply to electronic mail- including the University’s Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Discrimination.

In addition, the following specific actions and uses of University email are improper:

  • Concealment or misrepresentation of names or affiliations in email messages.
  • Alteration of source or destination address of email.
  • Use of email for commercial or private business purposes.
  • Use of email for organized political activity or political solicitation.
  • Use of email to harass or threaten others or threaten to cause physical harm or damage to property.

Public Records and Privacy

Any email sent to or from a University email address or residing on a Miami University email server may be considered a public record under the Ohio Public Records Act (ORC 149.43) and may be subject to disclosure. See the “Public Records Policy.”

Miami University does not monitor the content of electronic mail as a routine procedure. The University reserves the right to inspect, copy, store, or disclose the contents of electronic mail messages, but will do so only when it believes these actions are appropriate to: prevent or correct improper use of University email; ensure compliance with University policies, procedures, or regulations; satisfy a legal obligation; or ensure the proper operations of University email functions or the Miami University Data Network. Any Miami University employee who believes such actions are necessary must first obtain the written approval of one of the following: appropriate divisional vice president (or the president for those units that report to the president), Assistant Vice President for IT Security Compliance and Risk Management, the General Counsel, the Director of the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources or the Assistant Provost for Academic Personnel Services.

Use of Email for University Business

The Miami University email Account shall be considered an official means for communicating University business, and may in some cases be the sole means of communication. Because the contents of such email are subject to laws governing public records, users will need to exercise judgment in sending content that may be deemed confidential. Common examples of confidential contents include but are not limited to: student grades, social security numbers, home addresses, individual donor profile information, and data subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) or the  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). See the “Confidential Information Policy” for additional Information.

The Office of the President, University Communications and Marketing, Miami University Police, deans, vice presidents, and their designees may send campus-wide email messages relating to University business without any prior approval. The author of any business messages, however, assumes responsibility for assuring that messages do not violate any University policies, regulations, or procedures. Disclaimers of confidentiality included in email messages do not protect the sender if confidential information is shared or disclosed inappropriately.

Email Retention and Disposal

Email stored on official University systems is preserved indefinitely after deletion by the email user. Email users storing messages on Miami University servers often have the capability to “archive” email items to files. This effectively allows users to save any email messages for any length of time.

Email correspondence and associated documents sent as attachments may be considered official University records, and, as such, may need to be retained longer than the established policy guidelines for transient record retention. It is the responsibility of the sender and recipient of these email messages to determine the required retention period, to comply with applicable University policies and procedures regarding record retention, and to preserve these email records either electronically or in printed form with all of the associated header and transmission information. See Miami University Records Retention manual for more information.


Related Form(s)

Request to Destroy Records

Additional Resources and Procedures

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Policy Administration

Next Review Date


Responsible Officers

  • General Counsel
  • Sr. Vice President for Finance and Business Services

Legal Reference

  • Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM.)
  • Ohio Public Records Act (ORC 149.43)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
  • The  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Compliance Policy


Recent Revision History


Reference ID(s)

  • MUPIM 19.7
  • OAC 3339-19-07


  • General Counsel
  • Sr. Vice President for Finance and Business Services