Use of E-mail at UCOP

Governing Policies

The University of California Electronic Communications Policy (ECP) governs the use of UCOP e-mail services. At UCOP, Acceptable Use of UCOP Electronic Information Resources identifies the allowable uses and allowable users of UCOP electronic information resources. The key points of these policies are summarized below.

Allowable uses of IT Resources/Electronic Information Resources:

  • Supporting the teaching, research, and public service mission of the University, and of the administrative functions that support this mission.
  • Workforce Member uses IT Resources for incidental personal purposes provided that, such use does not: (i) interfere with the University's operation of electronic communications resources; (ii) interfere with the user’s employment or other obligations to the University, or (iii) burden the University with noticeable incremental costs.

Prohibited uses:

  • Unlawful activities;
  • Commercial purposes not under the auspices of the University;
  • Personal financial gain (except as permitted under applicable academic personnel policies);
  • Personal use inconsistent with Section III.D, of ECP; or
  • Uses that violate other University or campus policies or guidelines. The latter include, but are not limited to, policies and guidelines regarding intellectual property and sexual or other forms of harassment.

Access to E-mail Services

Termination of UCOP E-mail Accounts

Effective October 15, 2009, all UCOP issued e-mail accounts are terminated once the user's relationship with the Office of the President has ended, whether due to retirement, separation, contract termination, or some other reason.

UCOP does not provide e-mail accounts for emeritus faculty, executives, or other staff. No policy exceptions are allowed, regardless of the individual's appointment. See "Acceptable Use of UCOP Electronic Information Resources:"

  • Date of Account Termination
    Workforce Member’s access to the e-mail account is terminated no later than the first day of separation. However, it may be terminated prior to separation to accommodate those cases, such as layoff or misconduct, in which Workforce Member may be informed to stop reporting to work and accessing e-mail before their date of separation.
  • Responsibility to Cancel Account
    Local HR is responsible for initiating the request to cancel accounts for UCOP Workforce Member.  Units/Workforce Managers who request accounts for contractors or external users are responsible for cancelling accounts when they are no longer needed.
  • Business Contact Information
    Managers may request that a Workforce Member put an e-mail out-of-office message in place on or before their last day of work to provide business continuity. The out-of-office message will remain active for 45 days after the account has been canceled; the Workforce Member will not have access to the account during this time.
  • Disposal of E-mail Files
    All emails are deleted after 45 days of separation unless the Workforce Member’s on UCOP legal hold.
  • Unit Responsibilities
    Units are responsible for:
    • Informing HR of the separation date of a Career Workforce Member.  HR will cancel the account.
    • Requesting IT cancel the account for Workforce Members who are not managed by HR (e.g., Contractors, volunteers, Supplier, other external accounts requested directly from IT, etc.).
    • Informing the Workforce Member of the date the e-mail account will be terminated and therefore no longer accessible to that individual,
    • Instructing the Workforce Member whether to install an out-of-office message to provide business continuity.
    • Instructing the Workforce Member to properly relocate or dispose of business and personal files (on File shares and Box), and
    • Informing the Workforce Member that electronic communications records may be accessed after separation for business purposes and that the employee's electronic files, including e-mail, will be eventually destroyed. (See the UCOP guidelines on accessing employee e-mail and files for policy guidance.)


  • Use of University e-mail services may be restricted or rescinded by UCOP at its discretion when required by and consistent with law; when there is substantiated reason to believe that violations of law or University policies have taken place; when there are compelling circumstances; or under time-dependent, critical operational circumstances. See the UC Electronic Communications Policy for more details.
  • UCOP ITS reserves the right to deny access to UCOP e-mail services when any use violates University policy, including any activity that directly or indirectly interferes with the operation of UCOP electronic communication resources or burdens the University with noticeable incremental costs.


  • UCOP e-mail services may not be used to give the impression that the user represents, gives opinions, or otherwise makes statements on behalf of the University or any unit of the University, unless appropriately authorized to do so.


  • UCOP e-mail users must abide by University and campus policies regarding endorsements.

False Identity and Anonymity

  • UCOP e-mail users shall not, either directly or by implication, employ a false identity (the name or electronic identification of another).
  • When not prohibited by law or other University policy, a Workforce Manager may direct a Workforce Member to use the supervisor's identity to transact University business for which the supervisor is responsible. In such cases, an employee's use of the supervisor's electronic identity does not constitute a false identity
  • E-mail services shall not be used for purposes that could reasonably be expected to cause excessive strain on any electronic communications resources, or to cause interference with others' use of electronic communications resources.
  • UCOP e-mail users shall not:
    • send or forward chain letters or their equivalents in other services;
    • spam, (exploiting electronic communications systems to amplify the widespread distribution of unsolicited electronic messages);
    • letter-bomb, (sending an extremely large message or send multiple electronic messages to one or more recipients with the intent to interfere with the recipients' use of electronic communications systems and services);
    • Intentionally engage in other practices such as denial of service attacks that impede the availability of electronic communications services.

Incidental Personal Use

  • As described in the Electronic Communications Policy, Section III.D.8, incidental personal use is allowed as long as such use does not:
    • interfere with the University's operation of electronic communications resources;
    • interfere with the user's employment or other obligations to the University, or
    • burden the University with noticeable incremental costs. When noticeable incremental costs for personal use are incurred, users shall follow campus guidelines and procedures for reimbursement to the University.

Requests to Examine E-mail without the User's Consent