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Electronic Mail System


Access to and use of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s (ESF) campus electronic mail (e-mail) system is a privilege.  All users of the e-mail system must act responsibly to assure the integrity of the ESF e-mail system and the ESF campus network.  

All messages, data files and programs stored in or transmitted via the ESF e-mail system ("Electronic Communications") are ESF records.  ESF reserves the right to access and dis­close all messages, data files and programs sent over or stored in its computer system for any purpose.  Given the nature of electronic communication, e-mail should not be used for confidential or personal communication.  Computer records, including e-mail, are con­sidered “records” which may be accessible to the public under the provisions of the New York Freedom of Information Law or pursuant to discovery in a legal proceeding.  


Eligibility for Email Accounts:

Faculty and Staff
·       All regular full-time faculty and staff receive e-mail addresses to use for electronic commu­nication to facilitate their work at the College.  Supervisors may require the use of e-mail in the course of an employee’s job function.  The College issues addresses and supports, maintains and administers these accounts.  E-mail addresses are purged after the individual is no longer employed at the College.


·       Part-time and temporary faculty and staff may receive e-mail accounts if the supervisor requires e-mail as part of the job function.  The College issues addresses and supports, maintains and administers these accounts.  Part-time and temporary faculty and staff e-mail addresses are purged after the individual is no longer employed at the College.

·       Emeriti faculty and staff may retain ESF e-mail addresses.  The provision of ESF e-mail addresses for emeriti faculty and staff is subject to an annual review, at which time the Administration will determine whether to continue to maintain each address.  

·       Under special circumstances, individuals not falling into the above categories may be granted ESF e-mail addresses.  These requests are reviewed and granted with permis­sion of the Vice President for Administration.


·       Matriculated students at the Syracuse Campus.  Full-time and part-time matriculated undergraduate and graduate students at the Syracuse campus are granted e-mail addresses through Syracuse University (SU).  SU provides support, maintenance, and administration of student e-mail accounts.  Students’ SU e-mail accounts are considered to be their official e-mail addresses by the administration of ESF.  All official com­munication suitable for e-mail will be sent to students via their SU e-mail account.  Policies regarding the use of the Syracuse University Computing System, including e-mail, can be found at the following location:  Com­puting and Network Services (CNS) suggests that students who wish to use an alter­nate account redirect, or forward, their Syracuse University mail to that account.  Instructions for doing this may be obtained at Syracuse University’s HelpDesk in 106 Hinds Hall or their website  Student e-mail addresses are purged after the student graduates or is no longer enrolled.

·       Matriculated students at the Ranger School.  Students on the Wanakena Cam­pus receive e-mail addresses from the ESF Administration.  The College supports, main­tains and administers these accounts.  Student e-mail addresses are purged after the student graduates or is no longer enrolled.

·       Non-matriculated students.  Non-matriculated students, including Con­tinuing Educa­tion students, receive SU e-mail addresses only if the professor requires e-mail for the use of the course.   SU provides support, maintenance, and admini­stration of these stu­dent e-mail accounts.  Student e-mail addresses are purged after the stu­dent is no longer enrolled.  


Supported Email System Clients:

·       Following is a list of e-mail clients currently supported by CNS for use with the ESF e-mail system:  Outlook 2000 and 2002, Outlook Express, Eudora, Pegasus Mail, and Net­scape Mail.  CNS reserves the right to change these system clients at any time.

·       ESF e-mail system storage allocation:  Each ESF e-mail account is allocated initially with 10 MB of disk storage space on the central e-mail server.  Users are warned as this limit is approached and e-mail service is automatically suspended when this limit is exceeded.  Users may request to increase their e-mail disk quota.  CNS will review disk quota requests with the goal of limiting the storage allocation to the minimum required for the user’s needs.

Access to Computing Resources: 

·       Accounts:  Accounts created by an ESF CNS administrator for an individual are for the use of that individual only.  

·       Sharing of access:  Computer accounts, passwords, and other types of authorization are assigned to individual users and should not be shared with others.  The holder of the account is responsible for any use of that account.  Account holders may author­ize des­ignees to use the account.  If an account is shared or the password is divulged to any person not appropriately acting as a designee of the account holder, the holder of the account may lose all account privileges and be held responsible for any actions that arise from the misuse of the account.  

·       Permitting unauthorized access: A user may not run or otherwise configure software or hardware to intentionally allow access by unauthorized users.  


Prohibited Email System Uses:

Certain types of e-mail system uses, including but not limited to the following, are pro­hibited.  

·       Chain letter e-mail:  The propagation of chain letters is considered an unacceptable prac­tice and is prohibited.  

·       Unauthorized monitoring:  A user may not use computing resources for unauthor­ized monitoring of electronic communications.  

·       Flooding:  Posting a message to multiple list servers or news groups with the inten­tion of reaching as many users as possible is prohibited.  

·       Excess use of resources:  Users may not use or authorize others to use excess resources such as disk storage for non-College purposes.

·       Pornographic material:  Users may not intentionally e-mail any kind of pornographic or obscene material.  Any such material that is received should be deleted immediately.  

·       Unauthorized use of software:  All users are responsible for ensuring the legal use of their software.  

·       Unauthorized servers:  Initiating and operating unauthorized servers (FTP, file sharing applications, e-mail etc.) on ESF servers or systems, particularly those that extend ESF network and computing resources to non-affiliates of the College, is pro­hibited.  CNS must authorize all servers before they are connected to the ESF network.

·       Use of an alias:  Each user must clearly and accurately identify himself or herself in all e-mail communication and not use an alias in e-mail communication. 

·       Private commercial purposes:  The computing resources of ESF (including hardware, software, ESFnet and connections through the Internet) shall not be used for personal or private commercial purposes, solicitation, or financial gain.  This includes advertise­ments for commercial enterprises.

·       Political advertising or campaigning:  The use of ESF computers and networks for politi­cal advertising or campaigning is prohibited.  

·       E-mail hoaxes or scams:  ESF users shall not initiate or promote e-mail hoaxes or scams.

·       Intentional transmission of viruses, Trojan horses, worms or back-door programs:  ESF users shall not intentionally transmit any program or mechanism that causes incon­venience or harm to other individuals’ computer hardware or software.   

·       Harassment.  Sending e-mail in any form (including text, graphic or audio files) that may be perceived as har­assment is prohibited.  



Use of Distribution Lists:

As a service to the ESF community, several e-mail-based distribution lists have been cre­ated.  These are designed to facilitate the timely and cost-effective dissemination of infor­mation to the campus community and are available in the Campus Global Address List accessed through the Microsoft Outlook e-mail client.  Inclusion in distribution lists is determined by department affiliation and job responsibilities.


When using ESF e-mail system Distribution Lists, users are advised to consider their audi­ence carefully and restrict their communication to the appropriate group.


The College maintains two campus-wide distribution lists.  This two-tiered system of cam­pus-wide e-mail groupings includes the Campus Alert Group and the Campus News Group.  Both groups include all non-student State and Research Foundation employees having e-mail addresses.  The e-mail messages from each group are clearly labeled when they are received.

·       The Campus Alert tier is intended for bulletins related to the delivery of critical College services.  These include notifications with regard to water, power, tele­phone service, networking and computing, campus access, parking, safety and security.  This tier should be used to communicate news or urgent issues affecting most College employees.  Inclusion in this group is automatic and required.  Due to the nature of these messages, the ability to send mail through this campus-wide group is restricted to the President, the Vice Presidents, Faculty Chairs, University Police, Physical Plant, Environmental Health and Safety, Human Resources, and Information Technology Offices.  

·       The Campus News tier is intended to communicate news directly related to the mis­sion of the College.  This tier should be used for items such as campus events and deadlines, campus meetings, changes in campus policies and procedures, and notification of the availability of services and/or facilities.  The College administration encourages restraint in using this tier, which should be used only to post information that is truly campus news and important to a majority of campus employees.  Each employee with an e-mail address will belong to this group and have the ability to send news via  Some individuals may consider this information extraneous; there­fore, inclusion in this group is optional.  An individual may request removal from this tier by sending an e-mail to


These campus-wide lists are not intended for messages of a personal nature.  Exam­ples of inappropriate uses of Campus Alert and Campus News include, but are not limited to:

·       Soliciting support (financial or otherwise) for charity or special causes not con­nected with a College effort.

·       Personal opinion or public debate.

·       Unverified public service announcements (such as virus alerts, unsafe products, etc.).

·       Services offered or services sought (except for College related services).

·       Lost and found.

·       Give-aways (personal property such as furniture, tickets, equipment, books, etc.).

·       Items for sale or rent or items desired (including houses, tickets, books, services, etc.) 


Campus-based distribution lists:  ESF campus-based organizations and depart­ments may create specific Distribution Lists, but an individual within the group must be designated as the list manager.  The Director of Administrative Computing must approve all such lists in advance, but the following general guidelines apply:

·       The purpose of the list must pertain to ESF business.

·       Lists are not open for posting to off-campus, non-ESF or non-SU e-mail system users.  However, ESF employees who use ESF e-mail off-campus are allowed to create and belong to lists, though management of a distribution list is not pos­sible from off-campus locations including regional campuses.

·       It is the list manager’s responsibility to learn the methods necessary to manage the list's members.

·       Under no circumstances can a distribution list be used to participate in or pro­mote activi­ties that are illegal or violate College policies.


Individuals who routinely abuse the intent of distribution lists will have their ability to post messages to these lists suspended.  Questions regarding proper use of distribution lists and review of what constitutes abuse can be forwarded to the Director of Information Tech­nology.  


Limitations on Users' Rights:

1.     The issuance of a password or other means of access is to assure appropriate confiden­tiality of ESF files and information and does not guarantee privacy for personal or improper use of College equipment or facilities.  

2.     ESF provides reasonable security against intrusion and damage to files stored on the central facilities.  ESF also provides some facilities for archiving and retrieving files specified by users and for recovering files after accidental loss of data.  However, the College is not responsible for unauthorized access by other users or for loss due to power failure, fire, floods, etc.  ESF makes no warranties with respect to Internet services, and it specifically assumes no responsibilities for the content of any advice or information received by a user through the use of ESF’s e-mail systems or computer networks.  

3.     Users should be aware that ESF’s computer systems and networks may be subject to unauthorized access or tampering.  In addition, computer records, including e-mail, are considered "records" which may be accessible to the public under the provisions of the New York State Freedom of Information Law or pursuant to discovery in a legal pro­ceeding.  


Incidental Personal Use of Email Systems:

Incidental personal use of e-mail systems at ESF is an exception to the general prohibition against the use of College equipment for anything other than official state business and educational activities.  The parameters of the exception are that incidental personal use must not:

1.     Result in personal financial gain for the user;

2.     Conflict with performance of assigned job responsibilities; 

3.     Be in violation of existing security/access rules; or

4.     Be in violation of College policies or federal or state law.



It is the responsibility of all users of the e-mail system to notify CNS about violations of laws or College policies in connection with the use of the ESF e-mail system, as well as about potential flaws in the security of the ESF Campus Network.  The user community is expected to cooperate with CNS in its operation of the ESF e-mail system, as well as in the investigation of system misuse or abuse.  Any concerns, complaints, or reports of mis­conduct with regard to the ESF e-mail system or campus network should be reported to the Director of Administrative Computing at 470-6689.  



ESF Administration reserves the right to deny, limit, or revoke e-mail privileges at its dis­cretion.  Alleged violations of this policy or violation of other College policies in the course of using the ESF e-mail system may result in an immediate suspension of e-mail and campus network privileges and may also result in the referral of the matter to ESF Administration, Univer­sity Police, or other appropriate authority for action.  Violators of this policy will be subject to the existing student or employee disciplinary procedures of ESF.  Illegal acts involving ESF e-mail systems may also subject users to prosecution by state and federal authorities.