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The purpose of this procedure is to outline the proper use of Howard Community College (HCC) email and messaging systems for employees.  Email is considered an official method for communication at the college and is intended to meet the academic and administrative needs of the campus community.

Only the college president, vice presidents, or designated representatives are authorized to send college emails to all employees or all students.  Addressing messages to multiple distribution groups, which include all employees, is prohibited.  Employees should forward proposed wide-distribution messages to their area vice president or designated representative for approval and dissemination.

The college email system must not be used for the creation or distribution of any disruptive or offensive messages, such as offensive comments about race, gender, ethnicity, disabilities, age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and practice, political beliefs, or national origin or pornography.  Employees who receive emails with this content from any HCC employee should report the matter to their supervisor or human resources immediately.  Email cannot be used for private business or personal gain.

Using a reasonable amount of college resources for personal emails is acceptable, but non-work related email must be saved in a separate folder from work-related email.  Some authorized examples of personal email include the use of the college email system to schedule medical appointments, communicate with dependent care facilities or schools, or coordinate transportation needs to and from work. 

Email is not a private means of communication.  By law, email is owned by the college, not by the employee.  The college will make every effort to ensure the reasonable privacy of an individual’s email; however, it is possible that college personnel, in the function of their positions, may access individual accounts, messages, or both.  Email accounts may be used as evidence for legal action against the college.

The information technology department retains backup of email for 30 days.

Policy Manual Review/Revision:  04/11/14