Email / User Account Policy


The purpose of this policy is to establish email use guidelines.  The reason for this policy is that when an email is sent out from Black Hills State University, the general public will tend to view that message as an official communication from Black Hills State University.  This policy establishes requirements for use of network and email account access to Black Hills state University resources.  This policy does not take the place of, but supplements the South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) policies avaialable at SDBOR Policy Manual.

The information covered in this policy includes, but is not limited to, information that is either stored or shared via electronic mail. Furthermore, this policy extends to email addresses provided by the university that may not be hosted on or processed by the university's information systems(s).


This policy applies to all Black Hills State University network email accounts and covers acceptable use of any email sent from a Black Hills State University email address untilized by all students, employees, vendors, and agents operating on behalf of Black Hills State University. This policy aligns with the SDBOR policies and is secondary to keeping. Any email that contains information in the scope of the business record keeping policy should be treated in such manner.


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.

Fiscal Correspondence

Black Hills State University's Fiscal Correspondence pertains to all information related to revenues and expenses for the university.

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.

Encrypted Communications

Black Hills State University's Encrypted Communications should be stored in a manner consistent with the South Dakota Board of Rengents Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy, but in general, information should be stored in a decrypted format.

Deleted Email Retention

Black Hills State University mail servers (where applicable) may retain deleted items for 30 days after deletion from a mailbox. Email stored on external servers are subject to the policies of that entity.

Official University Communications

Black Hills State University uses electronic mail (email) as a means of communicating official University information. Students should be aware that the university uses email to communicate official information of many kinds to students. Students are responsible for the information in official university emails and are expected to meet all dealines, requirements, and safety recommendations, as described. Examples include, but are not limited to, financial aid annoucements, billing statements, registration or enrollment information, course cancellations, etc.

Email User Account Limitations

The Black Hills State University email system prohibits disruptive or offensive messages as electronic communications in violation of civil or criminal law at the local, state, and federal levels. 

All Student Email Distribution List

Pursuit to SDBOR policy 3.19, Black Hills State University restricts email sent to all students to official university business only. Official business is anything sent out from the administrative or academic offices that pertains to the students' academic career. Email to all students requires approval. To obtain approval for access to the all student list, please request permission from your Dean or Vice President. Approval should be emailed to Network and Computer Services' staff.

Personal Use

Using Black Hills State University resources for personal emails is prohibited by the South Dakota Board of Regents. Sending chain letters or joke emails from a Black Hills State University email account is prohibited. Virus or other malware warnings and mass mailings from Black Hills State University shall be approved by Network and Computer Services before sending. These restrictions also apply to the forwarding of mail received by a Black Hills State University employee/student. Black Hills State University email systems should not be used in the promotion or business communications for any personal/commercial business.


Black Hills State University employees and students shall have no expectation of privacy in anything they store, send or receive on the University's email system. Black Hills State University may monitor messages without prior notice, however, Black Hills State University is not obliged to monitor email messages.


Compliance shall ensure Users receive competent and effective service. Noncompliance by students will result in revocation of network access, and may be adjudicated as indicated in the Student Conduct Code of the South Dakota Board of Regents, as outlined in the BHSU Student Handbook. Furthermore, any student/employee/faculty member who is found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment, as provided by the Student/Employee Handbooks.

Responsible Adminsitrator

The Chief Information Officer or designee, is responsible for the annual and ad hoc review of this policy and its procedures. The University President or designee, is responsible for formal policy approval.


  • Approved Electronic Mail Systems: Includes all mail systems supported by Network and Computer Services. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, Microsoft Exchange servers and D2L for faculty, staff, students, and other related users of Black Hills State University resources.
  • Approved Encrypted Email and Files: Techniques include the use of Data Encryption Standard (DES) and Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). DES encryption is available via many different public domain packages on all platforms. Encrypted emails and file users will contact the appropriate support organization if they require a license.
  • Individual Access Controls: Individual Access Controls are methods of electronically protecting systems 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.
  • Non-secure Internet Links: Non-secure Internet links are all network links that originate from a locale or travel over lines that are not completely under the control of Black Hills State University.
  • Encryption: Method of securing Black Hills State University sensitive information in accordance with the South Dakota Board of Regents Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Email: The electronic transmission of information through a mail protocol such as SMTP, IMAP, or POP. BHSU supported email clients include Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Web Access (OWA).
  • Forwarded Email: Email resent from an internal network to an outside point.
  • Chain Email or Letter: Email sent to successive people. Typically, the body of the note has direction to send out multiple copies of the note and promises good luck or money if the direction is followed.
  • Sensitive Information: Information is considered sensitive if it can be damaging to Black Hills State University's reputation or good standing to include Black Hills State University students and employees.
  • Virus Warning: Email containing warnings about virus or malware. The overwhelming majority of these emails turn out to be a hoax and contain bogus information usually intended only to frighten or mislead users.
  • Unauthorized Disclosure: The intentional or unintentional revealing of restricted information to people, either inside or outside Black Hills State University, who do not have a need to know that information.

6.0 Revision History

1.1 March 16, 2005
1.2 August 12, 2005 (to include section 3.5-Forwarding)
1.3 October 19, 2005 (to include section 3.1-Official University Communications)
1.4 October 23, 2005 (clarification of Prohibited Use)
1.5 November 19, 2005 (removed section 3.5-Forwarding and adjusted section numbers)
1.6 October 30, 2006 (added sections 4.1 and 4.2)
1.7 October 9, 2012 (incorporated email retention policy, clerical corrections)
1.8 April 23, 2013 (clerical corrections)
1.9 March 13, 2014 (clerical corrections)
1.10 June 24, 2015 (clerical corrections)
1.11 January 11, 2016 (implemented changes to align with suggestions)