7-4: Electronic Mail – Policy

Policy Overview

Electronic mail or “email” is a Santa Fe Community College (SFCC or College) asset and falls under the guidelines contained herein. Email messages are considered the same as formal written SFCC correspondence. This policy outlines the administration, operation, and maintenance of the SFCC email by students, faculty, staff, administrators, and members of the Governing Board.

Scope and Applicability

This policy applies to all electronic mail systems maintained by the College for the use of its students, faculty, staff, administrators, members of the Governing Board, and non-employees with official business with SFCC.

Policy Statement

SFCC shall follow information technology management standards in higher education to manage and to administer its electronic mail system including security and access to ensure the effective and efficient use of electronic mail for academic and administrative use. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the Governing Board shall have no expectation of privacy on the use of the SFCC email and shall adhere to the administration and ethical use of the SFCC email system.


  1. Email An electronic message transmitted between two or more computers or electronic terminals, whether or not the message is converted to hard copy format after receipt and whether or not the message is viewed upon transmission or stored for later retrieval. Email includes electronic messages that are transmitted through a local, regional, or global computer network.
  2. Email Archiving The system that stores all received and sent email to employees of SFCC.
  3. Email Delegation The authority given by an employee to another to access their email, calendar, tasks, and other features and functions of the system.
  4. Email Retention The amount of time the email is archived and stored in a system for retrieval.
  5. Employee is any member of the college workforce: all staff (regular full-time, regular part-time, term, temporary, probationary, sensitive position); all student employees; all faculty (full-time, part-time, adjunct, probationary); all administrators, including interim; all contract employees.
  6. Hosted Email An internet based email service hosted, operated, and maintained by a third-party such as, but not limited to, Apple, Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo. The terms and conditions on the use of such service follows the third-party's terms and conditions.
  7. Mailbox Size The total size of the mailbox of a user including calendar, tasks, and folders in an inbox, outbox, sent items, and deleted folders.
  8. Office of Information Technology (OIT) The office responsible for implementing, maintaining, and developing information systems and technology at the College.
  9. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) refers to a set of distinct information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual excluding information as allowed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). It includes but is not limited to information such as social security numbers, tax identification numbers, health information, birthdate, driver’s license numbers, bank account numbers, health insurance information, maiden name, SFCC A-numbers, or any aggregate student data that is less than 10 individuals.
  10. Public Records means all documents and records, regardless of physical form, that are used, created, received, maintained or held by or on behalf of any public body and relate to public business, whether or not the records are required by law to be created or maintained. NMSA 1978 41-2-6(F).
  11. SFCC Email System Local and internet-based email systems maintained and administered by SFCC for its students, faculty, and staff.
  12. System Distribution List A collection of email addresses stored on the email system used and intended to send an email to two or more email addresses. The intention is to send an email to more than one email address without overloading the system. Another term used for this purpose is electronic mailshot.

Policy Process

  1. SFCC uses its email system to disseminate relevant and pertinent information through electronic means.
    1. Accuracy of an Email Message. SFCC does not guarantee the accuracy and veracity of the content of an email sent by and/or to its employees and students. The content of emails and attachments are the sole responsibility of the sender.
    2. Official Communications.
      1. All official communications in electronic format between and among students, employees, Governing Board members, and the public or off-campus contacts shall be made through the SFCC email system and/or other contracted third-party email systems.
      2. To comply with applicable state and federal laws, email communications, particularly with students, shall be coursed through the official SFCC student email accounts.
  2. Student Email. SFCC shall provide an official email account for all credit students.
    1. SFCC reserves the right to use the most appropriate system for student email. The Office of Information Technology shall ensure integration between the official student email system and the institutional email system. SFCC reserves the right to replace the student email system to address easier administration and integration with other systems such as, but not limited to, the information system, learning management system, content management system, and domain infrastructure.
    2. It shall be the responsibility of the student to read in a timely manner all emails sent from the College, including, but not limited to, registration, admission/re-admission, instruction, conduct, advising, and counseling.
      1. Students are expected to check their email regularly to stay current with SFCC communications.
      2. A student’s failure to open and read official email from SFCC in a timely manner does not absolve the student from knowing and complying with the content of such communication.
    3. It shall be the responsibility of the student to ensure there is available space in their mailbox for new and incoming mail.
    4. A student email account shall be disabled or deleted if the student has not enrolled within the last four consecutive semesters.
    5. The mailbox size of student email accounts and other conditions, settings, configurations, and the like are governed by the terms and conditions of the hosted email system.
    6. Access to student email requires internet access. Access to the internet and the device (computer, mobile phone, tablet, etc.) shall be the sole responsibility of the student. Students who do not have access to computers and/or the internet at home or workplace may use any available computer on campus.
    7. Re-directing email to personal email accounts is allowed. However, it shall be the sole responsibility of the student to ensure that the settings and configurations are correct and shall not absolve the student from the responsibilities associated with the communication sent to their official SFCC email.
  3. Educational Uses of Email. Faculty and staff members shall determine if and how email may be used in their classes. Should a faculty or staff member decide to use email as a method of communication in class, it shall be specified in the course outline. Faculty and staff members may expect students’ frequent access to their email, which may be used for their courses.
  4. Employee Email. All employees, regardless of status, and Governing Board members shall be assigned an SFCC email account.
    1. The SFCC email naming convention shall follow the network account for consistency.
    2. All requests to change the email name must follow legal documentation and an employee must show evidence of such through the Office of Human Resources. Exceptions require endorsement from the executive-level supervisor and approval from the Executive Director of Human Resources and the Chief Information Officer.
    3. Access to employee email immediately terminates upon separation of the employee from employment at SFCC. For continuity of a department’s operations, a separated employee’s email shall be forwarded to an appropriate employee within the same department for a maximum of 90 days and the separated employee’s mailbox will have an automatic reply.
    4. Access to a Governing Board member’s email shall terminate immediately after the expiration of a member’s term of office.
  5. Email for Non-Employees. Non-employees, such as, but not limited to, contractors, consultants, auditors, third-party service providers, partners, and the like may be provided with official SFCC email accounts, when necessary, to represent SFCC and to communicate electronically on behalf of SFCC. This is on an as-needed basis only. They shall be expected to follow all guidelines, terms, and conditions governing the use of SFCC email. The SFCC email shall not in any way be used for personal business or to further their business.
  6. Employee Email Delegation. SFCC shall allow delegated access to staff and faculty email accounts. Users are expected to safeguard and monitor access to their mailbox. Users are responsible for delegating access to their mailbox.
  7. Email Retention. To comply with federal and state laws, SFCC shall keep a five-year archive of all employee emails. Retaining documents that require a longer retention period is the responsibility of the appropriate department or office.
  8. Email Forwarding.
    1. SFCC discourages employees from forwarding their SFCC emails to their personal email addresses.
    2. Employees shall be responsible for protecting and safe-guarding emails forwarded to their accounts.
    3. The Office of Information Technology shall not assist in email forwarding for employees.
    4. SFCC shall allow students to forward their student emails to their personal or preferred email account.
  9. Employee Mailbox Size. SFCC shall limit the size of an employee’s mailbox. The Office of Information Technology shall recommend to the Executive Team the mailbox size and the tiers on an annual basis. Exception to the mailbox size shall be on an as-needed basis and will require endorsement of the employee’s executive director or vice president and the approval of the Chief Information Officer.
  10. Employee Deleted Email. SFCC shall implement an automatic cleanup of all deleted emails in each mailbox older than three months. This shall not affect the email archive system.
  11. Personally Identifiable Information. SFCC shall exert all reasonable effort to filter emails sent to external recipients containing personally identifiable information, such as, but not limited to:
    1. Banner ID Number (SFCC A-Number)
    2. Credit Card Information
    3. Social Security Number
      Alternative methods of sending personally identifiable information shall be used in lieu of email to minimize the risk of compromising unauthorized access to sensitive and confidential information.
  12. Access to Current Employees’ Emails. Access to an existing employee’s email account shall require approval from the Executive Director of Human Resources and the Chief Information Officer. Any legal or litigation requests involving an employee’s email must be made through the Executive Director of Human Resources and the Chief Information Officer.
  13. System Distribution Lists.
    1. The ability to send emails to a system distribution list such as All Students, All Faculty, and All Staff shall be limited.
    2. Only Executive Team-level administrators or their designee shall have access to system distribution lists.
    3. Access is privileged and may be revoked at any time.
    4. Exceptions must adhere to the following approvals:
      1. All Student distribution list: Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
      2. All Faculty distribution list: Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
      3. All Staff distribution list: Executive Director of Human Resources.
    5. The appropriate officers of the Staff Senate and Faculty Senate shall have access to their respective constituency distribution lists.
    6. Student Government Association officers may request permission from the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs for approval to access the All Students distribution list.
  14. Privacy. Email is an asset of SFCC.
    1. Students, faculty, and staff do not have an expectation of privacy in their email accounts.
    2. SFCC discourages sending emails with personally identifiable information.
    3. SFCC shall not provide email addresses to outside entities for commercial or promotional use.
  15. Public Records.
    1. Employees who receive a request to inspect public records must immediately refer them to the Executive Director of Marketing and Public Relations (Records Custodian) or designee.
    2. Public records responses shall require approval from the Executive Director of Marketing and Public Relations prior to access and shall follow the procedures outlined under SFCC Policy 8-3 Inspection of Public Records.
    3. As a matter of courtesy when possible, the Records Custodian or designee will inform an employee whose email is the subject of an IPRA request.
    4. Requests through the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act will be measured to avoid conflict with intellectual property rights.
  16. Email Archive. SFCC shall archive all employee emails sent and received.
  17. Email Disclaimer. Shall there be a need, SFCC reserves the right to amend any sent email with a disclaimer statement duly approved by the Chief Information Officer and the President.
  18. Standard Email Signature. The Executive Director of Marketing and Public Relations or designee shall provide a set of approved templates for the official email signatures of employees to ensure consistency in representing the College and in maintaining the branding integrity of SFCC’s image.
  19. Violations of Email Policy. Email use violations are actions that violate the ethical use of the email system. Violations of this policy are subject to discipline according to SFCC Policy 4-2 SFCC Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action Policy. The Office of the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs shall be responsible for enforcing student actions pertinent to the violations of such policies according to SFCC Policy 2-1 SFCC Student Code of Conduct Policy and SFCC Policy 2-2 SFCC Student Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action Policy.

Statement of Accountability and Responsibility

The President, through the Chief Information Officer and the Office of Information Technology, shall be responsible for enforcing technology-related policies and procedures. The Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs shall be responsible for enforcing the use of student electronic mail. The Office of Information Technology shall work with the different departments and offices to comply with this policy and to develop procedures that will enforce this policy regarding awareness, prevention and remediation.


SFCC Governing Board approved: 3/31/15
Revised: 11/15/19


SFCC Policy 2-1 SFCC Student Code of Conduct
SFCC Policy 2-2 SFCC Student Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action
SFCC Policy 4-2 SFCC Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action
SFCC Policy 8-3 Inspection of Public Records

Associated Procedures