College Communication Policy

College Communication Policy

College use of email
Electronic Mail is the official means of communication for the Paul Smith’s College (PSC) community. The college has the right to expect that email communications will be received and read in a timely manner. Faculty, Staff and Students are expected to regularly check, read, and respond to their email.

Redirecting of email
Students, faculty and staff are advised not to forward their PSC mail to an off-campus email address (e.g., as the college cannot be responsible for email delivered beyond the PSC system. If forwarded, students, faculty and staff are responsible for information sent to their official PSC accounts, even if their off-campus email provider fails to deliver the message.

Users should exercise extreme caution in using email to communicate confidential or sensitive matters, and should not assume that email is private and confidential. It is especially important to send messages only to the intended recipient(s). Caution should be exercised when using the “reply” or “reply all” command during email correspondence. When feasible, attachments containing sensitive information should be encrypted or password protected as an additional safeguard.

The college retains the right to inspect and disclose the contents of electronic mail to the extent permitted by law. The college may inspect and disclose the contents of electronic mail to:

  • Assist in the investigation of misconduct or misuse
  • Protect public health and safety
  • Prevent interference with the academic mission
  • Locate substantive information required for the college business that is not more readily available by some other means
  • Fulfill obligations to law enforcement for criminal or civil investigations
  • Where not otherwise restricted by law or policy, the college will inform users if their email was inspected or disclosed without their prior consent.

To protect the user and the college, faculty and staff should attach the following statement to their email signature:
“This message may contain confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e- mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system.”

Retention of email
In many cases, email is considered official correspondence of the college. As such, users have a responsibility to retain email records as required by law or policy. Each office or department should have guidelines and retention plans that provide guidance to determine which items will be retained and for how long. Those items that are determined to require long term retention should either be printed and filed or saved to a stable electronic medium. NOTE: lf you know, or should have reason to know, that litigation is imminent, all records relating or possibly relating to the litigation must be excepted from this retention policy. Electronic documents should be retained in electronic format to preserve possible metadata.

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Course Descriptions