Email Retention Policy

Black Hills State University's Email Retention Policy

1.0 Purpose

The Email Retention Policy is intended to help employees/students determine what information sent or received by email should be retained and for how long.

The information covered in these guidelines includes, but is not limited to, information that is either stored or shared via electronic mail.

All employees/students should familiarize themselves with the email retention topic areas that follow this introduction.

Questions about the proper classification of a specific piece of information should be addressed to your manager/advisor. Questions about these guidelines should be addressed to Technical Support Services.

2.0 Scope

This email retention policy is secondary to Black Hills State University's policy on freedom of information and business record keeping. Any email that contains information in the scope of the business record keeping policy should be treated in that manner. All Black Hills State University email information is categorized into four main classifications with retention guidelines:

  • Administrative Correspondence (Retain until read, destroy)
  • Fiscal Correspondence (Retain until read, destroy)
  • General Correspondence (Retain until read, destroy)
  • Ephemeral Correspondence (Retain until read, destroy)

3.0 Policy

3.1 Administrative Correspondence

Black Hills State University's Administrative Correspondence includes, though is not limited to clarification of established university policy, including holidays, time card information, dress code, work place behavior and any legal issues such as intellectual property violations.

3.2 Fiscal Correspondence

Black Hills State University's Fiscal Correspondence is all information related to revenue and expense for the university.

3.3 General Correspondence

Black Hills State University's General Correspondence covers information that relates to faculty, staff, or student interaction and the operational decisions of the university. The individual employee/student is responsible for email retention of General Correspondence.

3.4 Ephemeral Correspondence

Black Hills State University's Ephemeral Correspondence is by far the largest category and includes personal email, requests for recommendations or review, email related to development, updates and status reports.

3.6 Encrypted Communications

Black Hills State University encrypted communications should be stored in a manner consistent with the South Dakota Board of Regents Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy, but in general, information should be stored in a decrypted format.

3.7 Recovering Deleted Email via Backup Media

Black Hills State University maintains backup tapes from the email server and once a quarter a set of tapes is taken out of the rotation and they are moved offsite. No effort will be made to remove email from the offsite backup tapes. Individual messages cannot be restored and will not be saved in a format that they can be restored.

4.0 Enforcement

Any employee/student found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Please see the Employee or Student Handbook for guidelines.

5.0 Definitions

  • Approved Electronic Mail: Includes all mail systems supported by Technical Support Services. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, Microsoft Exchange servers for faculty, staff, students, and other related users of Black Hills State University resources.
  • Approved Encrypted email and files: Techniques include the use of DES and PGP. DES encryption is available via many different public domain packages on all platforms. Please contact the appropriate support organization if you require a license.
  • Individual Access Controls: Individual Access Controls are methods of electronically protecting files from being accessed by people other than those specifically designated by the owner. On Mac's and PC's, this includes using passwords on screensavers.
  • Insecure Internet Links: Insecure Internet Links are all network links that originate from a locale or travel over lines that are not totally under the control of Black Hills State University.
  • Encryption: Secure Black Hills State University Sensitive information in accordance with the South Dakota Board of Regents Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy. International issues regarding encryption are complex. Follow university guidelines on export controls on cryptography, and consult your manager.

6.0 Revision History

1.1 March 16, 2005

Black Hills State University

E.Y. Berry Library Room 007
7:00 AM - 4:00 PM M-F
IITS Office: 605.642.6020
IITS Help Desk: 605.642.6580

Helpful Hints

You can transfer information such as files and images without using the L Drive or a flash drive. Just attach them into an email, address the email to yourself, and send it!

Learn more about email…