Policy Category and Number: Executive
Effective Date: 02/14/2024
Responsible Officer: Vice President, Digital Technology Services
History: Email Policy
Responsible Office: Digital Technology Services
This policy is intended to provide guidance to Wentworth Institute of Technology (henceforth known as “the university” or “Wentworth”) related to electronic communications (email).
This policy applies to all members of the Wentworth community, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and affiliates assigned an email account by Wentworth Institute of Technology.
This policy establishes that email is an official means of university communications and that your Wentworth assigned email is your official email account that will be used for university-affiliated business. It establishes the requirement that each email custodian reads, understands, and complies with this policy. This policy is supplemented by all other Wentworth policies, particularly including the Policy on Information Technology Resource Acceptable Use.
The university provides personalized email accounts for all full-time/part-time faculty, staff, students, and select other constituents.
Responsible Use: All use of email generated using Wentworth technological assets and/or routed through said systems will be consistent with other policies, such as the policy on Acceptable Use (see Additional Information & Related Documents), and is subject to all local, state, and federal laws.
Privilege of Use: The use of Wentworth email accounts is a privilege granted by the university to members of its community. It is not a right, and the privilege is contingent upon compliance with this policy.
Creation of Accounts
Faculty and staff: Faculty and staff accounts are established and assigned upon hire date as directed by Wentworth Human Resources department.
Students: Students accounts are established and assigned once accepted to the university.
Use of Accounts
Faculty and Staff
- Wentworth email accounts are assigned to conduct work-related and university business only. It is the responsibility of each division to determine work-related usage.
- Faculty and staff are expected to read official university communications and cannot opt-out of receiving university communications and/or substitute their university issued email for a personal email account.
- Emails containing restricted information, such as personally identifiable information (PII) as defined by Stewardship of Information policy (see Additional Information & Related Documents), must be encrypted or otherwise adequately protected.
- Email forwarding to personal email accounts is prohibited to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information.
- Students are expected to read official university communications and cannot opt-out of receiving these communications and/or substitute their university issued email for a personal email account.
- Students’ use of email is subject to this policy and the policies under Additional Information and Related Documents.
- Alumni will be given the opportunity to retain their Wentworth email address after the one-year deactivation period by converting to an email forwarding only account. This is an opt-in offering, and not automatically applied. Instructions on how to opt in are provided to eligible accounts.
- The email forwarding only account follows the email policy at Wentworth with additional restrictions and conditions:
- The email forwarding account is a service that allows alumni to use their Wentworth email as an alias for another email account of their choice.
- The account does not provide any storage space, spam filtering or security features. The alumni are responsible for managing their own email accounts and ensuring their privacy and security.
- The account is subject to the same acceptable use policy as the regular email account. Alumni must not use their Wentworth email address for any illegal, unethical, or inappropriate purposes.
- Wentworth is not responsible for any issues or conflicts that may arise from the use of the third-party email services the alumni are forwarding to.
- The accounts are provided on an "as is" and "as available" basis. Wentworth does not guarantee the availability, reliability, or functionality of the email forwarding account. Wentworth is not liable for any loss or damage arising from the use or misuse of the accounts.
- The account is a privilege, not a right. Wentworth reserves the right to suspend or terminate the account at any time, without notice or explanation at its sole discretion.
Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability
- The university owns all university email accounts.
- Data transmitted or stored using them is subject to underlying copyright and other intellectual property rights under applicable laws and university policies, such as the Policy on Record Management.
- University email accounts are being scanned to minimize the amount of Spam/Phishing email and suspected emails are blocked by the universities’ security tools.
Backup and Recovery
Wentworth views university email as a mission critical application. It is important to note that simple deletion of an email does not necessarily constitute that the email cannot be accessed or recovered. Recovery of email accounts, and/or specific email messages, is performed on an as warranted basis and in association with Wentworth business and/or academic requirements. Users are advised to follow the policy on information Stewardship and employ means for data loss prevention to their accounts (see Additional Information & Related Documents). This includes the use of multifactor authentication whenever possible.
Privacy & Confidentiality
Email is considered private, confidential information and will be kept as private as possible. Attempts to read another person’s e-mail will be treated with the upmost seriousness. The university makes every effort to respect e-mail privacy and adhere to state and federal statute governing email confidentiality. However, Wentworth reserves the right to investigate illicit activity or network degradation issues that can be introduced through email systems. Additionally, if requested by the person assigned to the email account, appropriate technical support staff may enter the specific email account to assist with problem identification and resolution.
Misuse of Accounts
- Wentworth provided email accounts may not be used for any illegal, unethical, or inappropriate purposes.
- Violations of the email policy will be referred to the appropriate adjudicating body of Wentworth. Email privileges may be suspended immediately pending review. Email misuse will be forwarded to the following officials based upon the classification of the offender:
- Faculty violations will be reported to respective department chair and the Office of the Provost.
- Staff violations will be reported to respective department heads and to Human Resources.
- Student violations will be reported to the Student Services Judicial Review.
- All other violations will be reported to respective supervisors and/or organization responsible.
- Penalties for email misuse may range from warning, temporary suspension of email privileges, to permanent revocation of privileges. Violations of law will be reported to the appropriate legal authorities.
Termination of an Account
To guard against inadvertent account deletion, Wentworth allows for a deactivation period. The deactivation period is initiated under the following criteria based upon applicable classification:
- Faculty and staff email account deactivation occurs upon notification from Human Resources. The account is left deactivated for a period of 60 days. After 60 days, the email account is permanently deleted. Extensions and/or variations from this policy are considered on a case-by-case basis. Approval of extensions and/or variations requires applicable department head and Human Resources approval.
- Student email account deactivation occurs one year after graduation or after two semesters of inactivity. Additionally, email accounts for academically dismissed students will be deactivated after two semesters and email accounts for administratively dismissed students will immediately be deactivated. Extensions and/or variations from this policy are considered on a case-by-case basis. Approval of extensions and/or variations requires a strong, compelling reason and approval from the Division of Student Affairs.
- Alumni can opt in for an email only forwarding account (see Alumni Accounts).
Additional Information & Related Documents
- Policy on Stewardship of Information
- Information Technology Resource Acceptable Use Policy
- Policy on Information Security
- Records Management
- Data Loss Prevention
- Two Factor Authentication
- Policy on Texting
Interpretation & Revision
Any questions of interpretation regarding this policy shall be referred to DTS Information Security Office. They will be the final authority regarding the interpretation of this policy.
This policy shall be reviewed annually however, minor changes and updates can be made at any time.
Wentworth will typically apply the policy in place at the time it receives a report concerning the respected policy.
Review & Revision History
This policy was drafted by representatives from DTS, NetOps, Student Affairs, and Academic Affairs. This policy was reviewed by Cabinet and approved by the President on 2/14/2024.