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OIT Policy: Email Communications

Purpose

This policy defines the use of email for official communications to all University of Massachusetts Amherst students. Its provisions apply to all graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in credit courses; they do not apply to faculty and staff, or to non-credit students.

Policy Statement

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has established email as a means of sending official information to students enrolled in University courses. To support this objective, the Office of Information Technologies (OIT) provides an email account to all students.

  • The University will send official communications only to official UMass Amherst email addressees provided by OIT. This applies to all credit-seeking undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Students are expected to check their University email on a regular basis to ensure that they are staying current with all official communications.
  • Students may have email redirected from their official UMass Amherst email address (@umass.edu) to another email address at their own risk. OIT is not responsible for the handling of email by departmental servers or by outside vendors not contracted to provide official services.

Responsibilities

  • The Chief Information Officer has the overall oversight for the implementation and enforcement of this policy.
  • OIT is responsible for providing and maintaining official University of Massachusetts Amherst email addresses for all students.
  • Students are responsible for activating their OIT Account and email service. Students who do not activate their OIT Account will not be able to access the course registration system.
  • Students are responsible for reading their email on a regular basis.
  • The content of any official communication is the responsibility of the originating office or department.
  • Students are expected to adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy when using UMass Amherst Google Mail and other computing services provided by OIT.

What is an official email?

The term UMass official email refers to all official communications (e.g., excess check notices, bill notices, etc.) sent by administrative departments to UMass students via email.

Do not confuse official emails with other electronic mailing lists available on campus. Official email accounts are intended for official communications only and are restricted to authorized users.

Who can send an official email?

Use of official email accounts is restricted to authorized users from administrative departments (e.g., Registrar, Bursar). Individual students, faculty or non-authorized staff cannot use official email accounts to communicate with the student community at UMass Amherst.

Each administrative department must designate an official email contact (someone responsible for sending official communications). This person’s name, telephone number and email address must be sent to massmail@oit.umass.edu to be added to OIT’s list of authorized users.
Note: OIT will only process messages from authorized users.

How does it work?

Each administrative department is assigned an email account to be used for official email communications only. For instance, Student Records’ email account is official-registrar@admin.umass.edu. This is also the sender address that students will see when they receive an official email from Student Records.

OIT manages the distribution of UMass official emails. This means that administrative departments do not send official emails to students directly. Instead, official emails are sent to OIT first, then re-directed to students by OIT staff.

To send an official email

The authorized user in your department must contact OIT (massmail@oit.umass.edu) with the text of the official message and a list of recipients' email addresses.

The List of Email Addresses

  • Must be plain text, with one address per line. No Word, Excel or other file formats will be accepted.
  • With the exception of incoming students, only umass.edu email addresses will be accepted.

The Official Message

  • Must have a subject line.
  • Must be plain text with no attachments. No HTML will be accepted. For non-text materials, we recommend that you post these materials online, then include the URL in the text of the message.

Note: Official email accounts are not available to receive email. This means that students cannot directly reply to an official email. We recommend that you include a reply email address each time you send an official notice. Per your request, we can also add a generic auto-reply message to your account.

Please plan ahead! OIT will send your official notice within three business days. We do not review your message for content, nor can we cancel or intercept mailings once we have received them.
Note: Remember to include an in-house email address in the recipients’ list if you wish to receive a confirmation copy of the mailing.

Last Updated: Mar. 17, 2014